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Poe regains lead; 3 presidential bets share 2nd spot —Pulse Asia
Independent presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe regained the top spot in the latest pre-election presidential preference survey, pollster Pulse Asia announced Saturday. In a statement, Pulse Asia said Poe was back on the lead with 30 percent of the respondents choosing her, while three other presidential contenders share second place. Statistically tied at second were: Jejomar C. Binay (23%), Manuel A. Roxas II (20%), and Rodrigo R. Duterte (20%).

Graft raps ordered vs Binay Jr.; VP to be accused after his term
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the immediate filing of graft and corruption charges against dismissed Makati Mayor Erwin “Jun-Jun” Binay and 22 other city officials in connection with the alleged overpriced construction of the P2.2-billion Makati car park building. She issued the directive after she rejected motions for reconsideration filed by the respondents, including Vice President Jejomar C. Binay.

14 Pinoys killed in hotel fire in Iraq – Philippine Embassy
Fourteen Filipinos were among the 17 people killed in a fire that struck a hotel in Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan region on Friday evening, a senior Philippine embassy official said. The information on Filipino fatalities was relayed to the embassy by Kurdistan officials, Elmer Cato, charge d’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad said in a statement posted on his Facebook account.

Roxas rising: LP camp says Pulse poll shows bet on ‘right track’
Despite trailing behind poll frontrunner Senator Grace Poe, the camp of Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said his ratings have significantly improved. “We still think we are still on track. Now we are tied [in] second with people who used to lead the pack,” Rep. Ibarra “Barry” Gutierrez III, LP spokesman, said on Saturday in an ambush interview. In the latest Pulse Asia Survey, Roxas, who got a 20 percent voter preference ...

Pulse: Sotto maintains lead in senatorial poll survey
MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III maintained his lead in the latest Pulse Asia survey released on Saturday. The survey showed that 68.8 percent of the respondents will vote for Sotto while 65.5 percent will vote for former Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan. Occupying the third slot was former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson with 63.3 percent while reelectionists Sen. Ralph Recto and Senate President Frank Drilon scored 59.9 percent and 58.8 percent, respectively.

Court junks Trillanes’ motion to suspend libel case proceedings
A Makati City court junked yesterday the motion of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to suspend the court proceedings on the libel case filed against him by suspended Makati City mayor Erwin “Jun-Jun” Binay. Judge Dina Teves, of the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 142, also denied Trillanes’ motions to suspend the service of the arrest warrant issued on February 1. The court said it found probable cause on the case filed against the senator.

The Puno factor in May election
After receiving the news that he can run for President, the exuberant Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte confirmed his reported planned trip to the Vatican to seek an audience with the Pope and ask for his forgiveness. The Commission on Elections earlier dismissed the petition seeking to disqualify Duterte based on a clerical error made by Martin Diño in filing his certificate of candidacy. Duterte replaced Diño as the PDP-Laban’s presidential candidate.

Malaysian court drops charges against 11 Filipinos accused of waging discord
The charges against 11 of the 27 Filipinos accused of waging conflict against the Malaysian King and being a member of a terrorist group in connection with the Lahad Datu incident that took place in February 2013 were ordered dropped by the High Court of Kota Kinabalu on Friday, February 5, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur reported. The Philippine embassy said Judge Stephen Chung found no prima facie evidence against the Filipinos.

Celebrating Chinese New Year
About one in three Filipinos has full or partial Chinese ancestry, making the start of the new Lunar Year in February each year among the most anticipated celebrations in the country. The special day, as celebrated in the Philippines, is make festive with food such as tikoy (nian gao or rice pudding), giving away of money contained in red envelopes called "ang pow," symbolic decors and fireworks.

New consular office to open in Alberta, Canada
RED DEER, Alberta – After years of pleading, Filipinos in Alberta will finally see a new Philippine Consulate open in the province. By end-February, the Department of Foreign Affairs will open the new consular office in Calgary to serve the more than 120,000 Filipinos in Alberta province. DFA Assistant Secretary Julius Torres, who was appointed consul general, will arrive in Calgary on February 23.

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