Today's Headlines in the Philippines

Comelec starts printing of nearly 57M ballots for May polls
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday afternoon finally began the printing of nearly 57 million ballots for the May 9 local and national elections, three weeks behind the original schedule. The Comelec originally set the printing of ballots last January 26, but due to problems in the list of candidates and the software to be used, it was moved to February 1 and then to February 8.

Philippines ranks 4th in countries hardest hit by disasters
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines ranked fourth among countries hit by the most number of disasters in 2015, a report by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said. China is the most disaster-prone country with 26 disasters. Second is the United States with 22 followed by India with 19, the Philippines with 15 and Indonesia with 11. The UNISDR report said that 2015, being the hottest year on record, confirmed that weather ...

Things to know about Obama's summit with Southeast Asian leaders
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama hosts Southeast Asian leaders at an unprecedented summit in California starting Monday as he looks to deepen ties with the region's fast-growing economies. But a nation not invited — neighboring power China — will be the proverbial elephant in the room as the leaders grapple with sensitive territorial disputes. As part of Obama's so-called pivot in U.S. foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific ...

Binay remains No. 1; Duterte closes in
Vice President Jejomar C. Binay continues to lead the pack in the latest presidential survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gaining four percentage points to tie Sen. Grace Poe at second place. The nationwide survey conducted last February 5-7 among 1,200 respondents found that 29 percent of Filipinos would likely vote for Binay if the elections were held at the time of the survey.

PCSO chair Maliksi sued for graft, malversation for ‘using’ idle pork funds
PHILIPPINE Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi was sued for graft and malversation before the Ombudsman for allegedly diverting his idle pork barrel funds to pay the hospital bills of his driver. In the complaint affidavit filed on Monday, Jennifer Castro of the Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment (FATE) accused Maliksi of “using” his unspent P2.151-million Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) ...

Businesswoman shot dead during traffic jam in Parañaque
MANILA — A 66-year-old woman was killed after she was shot several times inside her vehicle in Parañaque on Tuesday. A report reaching Senior Supt. Ariel Andrade, the city’s chief of police, said Yolanda Dela Rosa Manatad was on her way home to Gatchalian Subdivision on board her black Isuzu Sportivo, with plate number PRY-677, when she was attacked around 4 p.m. Andrade said Manatad had just attended a hearing from a nearby court at that time ...

Bureau of Customs to auction 60 pieces of Marcos jewelry
MANILA, Philippines - All 60 pieces of Marcos jewelry in the possession of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will be auctioned off, along with those in the custody of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). The Roumeliotes collection will also be put on the auction block, Belle Maestro, spokesman for Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina said. “The auction date has yet to be determined… hopefully by next month,” she said.

Binay visits LP mayor in Parañaque, accuses LP of vote-buying
VICE President Jejomar Binay on Monday paid a courtesy call to Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, a stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), but still came up swinging against the administration party. Binay visited the city hall before dusk Monday greeted by a throng of city hall employees who posed for selfies, shook his hands, and pecked the cheeks of the opposition candidate from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Obama hosts PNoy, other ASEAN leaders at desert retreat
RANCHO MIRAGE, United States - President Barack Obama looks to put domestic issues aside and cap his long courtship with fast-rising South East Asian nations Monday, hosting Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and other leaders at a California desert retreat. Obama welcomes representatives from 10 ASEAN countries to Sunnylands, a secluded 200 acre resort beloved by Frank Sinatra and US presidents since Dwight Eisenhower.

Team Duterte drops all 12 senatorial bets
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president, yesterday disclosed that the Duterte-Cayetano presidential tandem has decided to drop all 12 senatorial candidates in the team’s national line-up that includes former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Pimentel’s bitter political rival. “There will be no senatorial candidate anymore for the Duterte-Cayetano team. This is now the official decision of the campaign team,” Pimentel stated at the weekly ...

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