By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent The military is now preparing for the “one big battle” that would liberate Marawi City from the Maute terrorists after regaining the city’s police station and Grand Mosque last week, said Armed Forces Chief (AFP) Eduardo Año. He made the statement even as security forces on Monday killed 10 Islamic State-inspired terrorists in an encounter on Lake Lanao. Año said the final battle was possible as the area where the remaining...

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent Now it can be told: President Rodrigo Duterte declined to re-appoint former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Sec. Judy Taguiwalo after her rejection by the Commission on Appointments because she funneled the multi-billion-peso Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) funds to her comrades in the New People’s Army (NPA) on the sly. Duterte indirectly admitted that his former DSWD secretary may have provided the armed ...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of one of his “top cops in the drug war” as Iloilo City chief of police, is a strong signal for Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to stop his alleged involvement in illegal drugs. Duterte earlier described Iloilo City as the “bedrock of illegal drugs in Visayas.” When asked if Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido’s new post serves as a warning to government officials in cahoots with drug traffi...

By Lara Climaco | FilAm Star Correspondent Amid recent rumblings over Chinese activity in the South China Sea, Admiral Harry Harris Jr., commander of the United States Pacific Command, visited Manila to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte and other Philippine officials. The visit was preceded by the delivery of an observation blimp that will equip the Philippines with real-time data in its maritime surveillance. Malacañang was sparse in disclosing details of Harris’s Au...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent Customs broker Mark Ruben Taguba on August 22 revealed that he handed PHP 5 million cash as “enrollment fee” to “a friend and a handler” of Davao City Vice-mayor Paolo Duterte to facilitate his transactions at the Bureau of Customs (BoC). Testifying during the continuation of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing on the PHP 6.4-billion shabu shipment, smuggled into the country through the BoC, Taguba said he personally met ...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent There’s no coup d’état against President Rodrigo Duterte from a group that pretends to be representative of the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP (Philippine National Police), calling themselves the Patriotic and Democratic Movement (PADEM),” assured AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla. Padilla stressed that the military stands by the constitutionally mandated government and unequivo...

By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent MANILA -- A party-list solon has filed a measure that will require government officials to ride public transport at least once a month during the weekday rush hour. Under the proposed measure of AANGAT TAYO Party-list Representative Neil Abayon, government officials will be required to occasionally ride the public transport as a way of maintaining compassion for the Filipino people. “Public service requires empathy and co...

By William Casis| FilAm Star Correspondent US-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on President Duterte to withdraw a call for police to shoot human rights activists “obstructing justice.” HRW Deputy Asia Director Phelim Kine said Duterte should retract his “reprehensible remarks immediately before there is more blood on his hands.” She pointed out that the President’s order places all members of the country’s human rights community in grave danger. “President...

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent Yielding to pressure from the House of Representatives, President Duterte accepted the resignation of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon who was found by the House committee on dangerous drugs to have failed in stopping the entry of PHP 6.4-billion worth of shabu from China recently. Although allegations of corruption were attributed to Faeldon at both the House and Senate investigations, Duterte stood by the Customs head sa...

By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent The Philippine capital continues to lag in the global liveability index by The Economist Intelligence Unit (IEC). The EIC attributed the country’s hellish traffic conditions, threats of terror and conflict, dense public spaces, pollution and poor healthcare system as reasons for the Philippines’ stagnant progress in the liveable index. “The declaration of martial law in Mindanao raises risks to political stability, especi...