By Lara Climaco | FilAm Star Correspondent Modern public utility vehicles (PUVs) in the Philippines will have closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) and Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers, giving them a look vastly different from the jeepneys of today, and sport Euro-4 emissions compliant engines to be in tune with global vehicle standards. The Philippine government is backing this vision with PHP 1.5 billion in financing from the Development Bank of the Philip...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent To disprove accusations by President Rodrigo Duterte that he has offshore bank accounts, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on September 11 submitted 12 bank secrecy waivers to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and the Ombudsman and renewed his call to the President and his family members to do the same. “I have signed 12 waivers. So, the waivers are here, just to show I’m not hiding anything, these are open for scrutiny,” said ...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent President Rodrigo Duterte is waiting for the approval of Congress before talks with the Marcoses for the return of some of the ill-gotten wealth, including gold bars, to the Philippine govenment, said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella. “We therefore urge Congress to authorize the President to proceed with negotiations,” said Abella, adding that the ball is now in the legislative branch’s court. Duterte noted that author...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent Dismayed over allegations that there was a government policy to kill drug suspects, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa cried and vowed to resign from the PNP and go home to Davao. “If that policy can be proven right now, I will go home to Davao, I will quit (the) PNP if there is such policy-- widespread killing,” said Dela Rosa when the Senate inquiry into the killing of 17-year old Ki...

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent Another impeachment complaint was filed against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno at the House of Representatives this time drawing the endorsement of at least 16 House members, unlike the first similar complaint that begged for an endorser. Only an endorsement by a single congressman was needed to get an impeachment complaint moving and set the stage for the forcible removal of a constitutional officer. In this case, the mul...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent A day after Sen. Richard Gordon filed an ethics case against him, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on September 5 threatened to expose the corrupt acts of his accuser as Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman and also slap him with an ethics case. Trillanes did not give other details of the alleged corrupt practices act of Gordon but promised to come out with them soon. In a privilege speech, Trillanes also said he will step down as ...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent Customs authorities arrested the son of former Filipino movie star and ex- Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr. and his male companion for carrying PHP 24 million worth of Cytotec drugs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the evening of September 3. Nabbed were Reuben Bautista, 20, a resident of BF Homes, Parañaque City, and half-brother of detained former Sen. Bong Revilla and his companion Glen Morgadi, 30, of Pampanga. Confis...

By Lara Climaco | FilAm Star Correspondent The Office of the Ombudsman has digitized files relating to some 10,000 criminal and administrative cases at its central office, and is extending the data migration system (DMS) to its area and sectoral offices nationwide to make it easier and faster to prosecute corruption cases across the country. The DMS is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Integrity for Investments In...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent Sen. Richard Gordon, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, called on former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to submit documents to support his accusations that Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s son is the top smuggler at the Bureau of Customs (BoC). “Faeldon should send us the evidence so we can study them... if I can see the documents and there’s an affidavit, then I can make a better decision,” Gordon said. Gordon also said...

By Lara Climaco | FilAm Star Correspondent “Coron is no longer Bikini Bottom.” With these words, environmental activists celebrated the announcement last week that Viacom International Media Networks, owner of the Nickelodeon brand, had pulled out of the development in Palawan that would have hosted its first resort in Southeast Asia. “We thank all the supporters of the petition and campaign for this milestone. The battle is not over: we still need to remain vigilant an...