Today's Headlines in the Philippines

Philip GoldbergIs the Indian Ocean next for China reclamation?
MANILA, Philippines - Now it’s the Indians’ turn to worry about Chinese island reclamation activities. A recent move by Maldives on foreign ownership has raised concern among some Indians that China may soon launch an island reclamation project in the Indian Ocean, aside from its ongoing massive island building projects in the South China Sea. In Manila, US Ambassador Philip Goldberg said China should stop its reclamation activities in the South China Sea to reduce regional tension. “We work very closely. The Philippines is our oldest ally. We do a lot together and we talk a lot about the South China Sea ...

Supporters of expelled INC members fear for safety
MANILA, Philippines - Supporters of expelled members of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) fear for their lives after receiving threats allegedly from the religious sect’s spokesman Edwil Zabala, a source in the midst of the weeklong stakeout said yesterday. The source inside the residential compound of the late INC executive minister Eraño Manalo in Tandang Sora Avenue in Quezon City bared that supporters of expelled INC members Angel Manalo and Tenny Manalo, brother and mother of current INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo, want to hold vigil in front of the compound but are being prevented by Zabala.

Carl David Stillwell and Adam SamiaFeds say 2 Americans traveled to the Philippines and carried out murder-for-hire
NEW YORK CITY — Two North Carolina men were arrested Wednesday, July 22 on charges that they carried out a contract killing, allegedly leaving a woman dead on a garbage pile in the Philippines before each collected a portion of their $35,000 fee. An indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in New York City charged Adam Samia and Carl David Stillwell in the early 2012 killing of a Filipino woman. Prosecutors said the woman, identified in court papers only as “Victim-1,” was shot multiple times in the face before she was dumped on a pile of trash.

PNoy to endorse Mar Roxas on Friday –LP officials
President Benigno Aquino III is set to formally endorse the candidacy of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas for president on Friday morning at Club Filipino, ranking party officials said Wednesday. In a text message, Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Party, said Aquino will anoint Roxas as the administration's standard bearer at 9.am. on July 31 at the historic events place in San Juan City. Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, the LP chairman for political affairs, said political leaders allied with LP, as well as “civil society friends who are available and in Manila” have been invited to witness Aquino’s endorsement of Roxas.

Antonio CarpioJustice Antonio Carpio: China dredging 10 reefs
China is dredging 10 reefs to provide filling material for artificial islands that it is building on seven reefs in the West Philippine Sea, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio disclosed on Wednesday. Carpio, at the forum “Perspectives on Issues Involving the West Philippine Sea” held in Camp Aguinaldo, spoke about the extent of China’s land reclamation activities and the legal implications of these on countries with territorial claims in the strategic waterway. Besides the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also claim parts of the South China Sea, 90 percent of which China insists is part of its territory.

Hundreds of Zamboanga students hospitalized after DOH deworming
Hundreds of students were rushed to hospitals in the Zamboanga Peninsula on Wednesday for dizziness and vomiting, reportedly after taking deworming tablets given by the Department of Health. A report on "24 Oras" said of the 200 who were brought to hospitals after taking the chewable deworming tablets, 24 were confined. It added that due to the large number of affected students, some were brought to a nearby covered court. In Pagadian City, at least 25 children were rushed to the city health office, a separate "24 Oras" report said.

Muhaquer IqbalMoro Islamic Liberation Front wants BBL passed without revision
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front yesterday reiterated there was transparency in the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that it wants approved by Congress without revisions. Muhaquer Iqbal, chairman of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and the MILF peace panel, also said there is no basis for cynics to claim that the lack of openness is reason enough to stop the passage of the proposal. President Aquino made his pitch for BBL approval in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, wanting to make it his main legacy before he steps down ...

Malacañang says anti-political dynasty law prevents ‘unli-power’
The proposed anti-political dynasty law will be the solution to prevent “unli-power” in government and fortify delicadeza in public governance, Malacañang said on Wednesday. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said they hope Congress will pass the bill banning political dynasties in the country to curb any monopoly of public office. “No one political family, no one politician should be allowed to stay forever in a position, in power. The evil is present and we should correct that particular evil,” Lacierda told reporters in the Palace. “The President has made his views very public that ito ang solusyon sa ‘unli-power,’” he added.

(from left) Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Viel Aquino-Dee and Pinky Aquino-AbelladaAquino sisters not supporting VP Binay
Was it only a year ago that presidential sister Kris Aquino revealed that she and her sisters declared their openness to support the presidential bid of Vice President Jejomar Binay? But now, a month after Binay quit the Cabinet and started his bare-knuckled attacks on the President, the Aquino sisters revealed that they are not backing their longtime family and political friend in 2016. Presidential sisters Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada and Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz confirmed that the family could not support Binay who called their brother’s government “palpak at manhid” (insensitive and bumbling).

Earthquake drill today to test disaster preparedness
“The earthquake drill prevents panic and lessens fear. It is difficult to deal with the unknown,” DOST Secretary Mario Go Montejo said yesterday. He called on every one to participate in the drill, saying that knowing something relieves one’s fears. Once you know what to do and what not to do in case of an earthquake, one feels more at ease and prepared to face the danger, Montejo said. Solidum said the role of the local government units (LGUs) is to make residents aware of the need to be prepared for an earthquake. “People are panicky, or feel afraid if they don’t know anything.

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