By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas (1st District, Ilocos Norte) warned on May 22 Philippines Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific Airlines that Congress will review their franchises if they do not address complaints of costly airfare and delayed flight. “Tell your corporate bosses that I will review your franchise. We can amend your franchise anytime. You make a killing, and we are at your mercy. You are taking advantage of the ...

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent Members of the working press are up in arms against the government-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) for purveying fake news to make it appear that no extra-judicial killings ever takes place in the Philippines as an offshoot of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) wondered sarcastically if it has become a mandate of the Presidential Communications Operati...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent The Supreme Court (SC) ordered the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Sec. Rafael Mariano and a group of farmers to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for alleged failure to implement its decision on the distribution of the sugar estate Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac. The sprawling estate had been under the control of the family of former Presidents Corazon Aquino and Benigno Aquino III for around six decades before...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent President Rodrigo Duterte has asked for three to four years to solve graft, corruption and illegal drugs in the Philippines, saying he “would not allow the country to go to the dogs.” Speaking before a crowd of Filipinos in Hong Kong Saturday last May 13, Duterte said he and his Cabinet are doing their best to encourage Filipino professionals working abroad to return home and contribute to national and economic development. ...

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent The Philippine government signed a letter of intent to buy defense equipment from Poly Technologies, Inc., a state-owned Chinese arms maker sanctioned by the United States early on for allegedly supplying weapons of mass destruction to Iran. In 2014, Poly Technologies was also condemned by human rights watchdog Amnesty International for selling weapons to countries in Africa and Southeast Asia with notorious human-rights recor...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent In less than five minutes, the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed on May 17 the nomination of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano as the new secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). CA committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Sen. Panfilo Lacson described the proceedings as the “shortest confirmation hearing” of a Cabinet secretary. During the confirmation hearing, which started at exactly 9 am (Manila time),...

By Corina Oliquino| FilAm Star Correspondent MANILA -- The Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media approved a measure to strengthen the law to protect media practitioners from revealing their sources last May 15. With a vote of 18-0, according to Sen. Grace Poe, sponsor of the proposed measure, the newly-approved bill was a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 6 and Senate Bill No. 486 as filed by Majority Floor Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Sen. Antonio...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton urged the Court of Appeals to reverse its earlier ruling and acquit him of the homicide charge in connection with the death of Filipino transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude. The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court, Branch 74, convicted Pemberton in December 2015 and imposed a jail term of six to 10 years. In a motion for reconsideration, Pemberton through lawyer Rowena Garcia-F...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent “I’m still alive, just old,” said the 87-year old former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos after she was erroneously reported to have died based on former actress now wife of former Sen. Bong Revilla Jr. and Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla’s Twitter post. “I still go to Congress and I’m even early,” she said and proved it early when she went to Monday’s session in the House of Representatives. “All I...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent The Ninoy Aquino Internation Airport (NAIA), the Philippines’ premier airport in Pasay City, was placed on “full alert” after the twin bombings in Quiapo, Manila, which claimed the lives of two people. Airport Police Department Gen. Romy Labador said all airport policemen were placed on alert status and additional officers were deployed inside and outside all terminals of NAIA. “Security at checkpoints will conduct random r...