Today's Headlines in the Philippines

Mary Jane VelosoIndonesia orders preparations for executions
The Indonesian government said Thursday it had ordered officials to make preparations to execute a group of drug convicts, most of them foreigners, despite mounting international criticism. The attorney general’s office also revealed that a Filipina among the group will be moved on Friday to a prison island where the executions will take place, joining other death row convicts already there. Ten convicts — from Australia, France, Brazil, the Philippines, Nigeria, Ghana and Indonesia — will face the firing squad at the same time after recently losing appeals for presidential clemency, typically the final chance to avoid execution.

Death row convict, Mary Jane Veloso’s mom and kids off to Indonesia
The family of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipino scheduled to be executed in Indonesia for drug trafficking, was set to depart for Jakarta later yesterday to visit the death row convict, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. The DFA said Veloso’s mother, Celia, and her two children, Mark Daniel and Mark Darren, are scheduled to depart for Indonesia via PR0535. They were set to arrive in the Indonesian capital at 11:45 last night. The Veloso family will subsequently meet the father, Cesar, and sister, Maritess before they proceed to Yogyakarta today.

Grace PoeGrace Poe top choice for VP in poll; Roxas a far second
MANILA, Philippines–Sen. Grace Poe, who has closed in on Vice President Jejomar Binay as the voters’ preferred President in 2016, is also the leading choice for Vice President, results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey last month showed. Poe was chosen by 26 percent of the 1,200 adult respondents who were asked to name a candidate they would likely vote for the second-highest post in the country. The respondents were not given a list of names and were asked to give only one name.

COA: P7B tree-planting project of DENR a failure
MANILA, Philippines–The P7.2-billion National Greening Program (NGP) and the land survey project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) were “unsuccessful,” according to the Commission on Audit (COA). In its 2013 DENR audit report, the COA said the agency undertook the tree-planting program and the cadastral survey project covering 10 regions of the country without an efficient and effective system of implementing and monitoring projects.

Antonio Trillanes IVNacionalista Party to discuss 2016 options during Japan cruise –Trillanes
The Nacionalista Party would most likely have an idea who its presidential, vice presidential, and senatorial candidates for next year's elections would be after its Japan cruise scheduled later this month, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Wednesday. At a press conference, Trillanes said the 2016 elections would “most definitely” be “foremost in the agenda of the members of the NP” during their cruise. However, he said “it will fall short of actually making a definitive decision.”

Lawmakers oppose giving primary responsibility over public order, safety to Bangsamoro govt
The ad hoc committee deliberating on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law in the House of Representatives is bent on removing the primary responsibility over public order and safety within the envisioned new political entity from the Bangsamoro government. This, even if the National Police Commission (Napolcom) does not see a problem with delegating such responsibility to the proposed government.In a hearing Thursday, lawmakers expressed dismay with the Napolcom and the Philippine National Police for supporting the provision in the Bangsamoro bill that puts the primary responsibility over public order and safety within the new region—and consequently, the Bangsamoro police force—to the new government.

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.Mayweather-Pacquiao tickets sell out in 2 minutes
LOS ANGELES – Gone in 120 seconds. It took a total of two minutes for tickets to the showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to sell out, a news website reported Thursday (Friday Manila time). According to a report by Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the estimated 500 of the 16,700 seats that were made available to the public were sold out just two minutes after the announcement of selling. Tickets to the fight on May 2 (May 3 Manila time) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas range in price from $1,500 to $7,500. But these are expected to be sold at much higher rates in the secondary market. – Dino Maragay

100 Dollar bill insert on Floyd’s expensive mouthguard poses risk
LOS ANGELES – While it may look fancy, the $100 bill insert on Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s mouthguard might actually be a cause of trouble. This was the insight shared by Dr. Ed de la Vega, a Filipino dentist based here, when sought for comment regarding Mayweather’s $25,000 mouthguard that he’ll sport in his fight with Manny Pacquiao. Speaking to Filipino scribes at the parking lot of Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym the other day, De la Vega said the bill is just Mayweather’s way of showing off.

Janet Lim-NapolesNapoles now at maximum security compound in Mandaluyong
MANILA, Philippines - Alleged pork barrel fund scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles is now in a cell at the maximum security compound of the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City. Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, who led an inspection of the jail facility yesterday, said she was told that the businesswoman is in the cell with some 30 other convicted inmates. Napoles, who was found guilty of serious illegal detention charges by the Makati regional trial court (RTC) last week, was moved to the CIW from Camp Bagong Diwa after her conviction.

Former President Arroyo: Lubao detention OK
MANILA, Philippines—If the Sandiganbayan should be so inclined, perhaps it could let her stay in her provincial residence instead of her posh La Vista home. In a supplemental motion to her request for house arrest, former President turned Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo modified her April 8 petition seeking to be detained at La Vista, Quezon City, making a second choice of her house in Lubao, Pampanga. “If, for any reason, the honorable court is not disposed to grant her request for house arrest at La Vista, President Arroyo respectfully asks the honorable court consider granting her house arrest at her provincial residence at Purok 6, San Nicolas 1, Lubao, Pampanga,” the petition read.

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