By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent Malacanang renewed its call for all parties to continue to exercise self-restraint to de-escalate the tension in the Korean peninsula, said Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella. He noted that the Philippine embassy in Seoul and the consulate general in Agana have been monitoring the situation closely and have been working closely with the Filipino communities in the Republic of Korea and Guam, respectively, to ensure prepared...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent Sen. JV Ejercito, who was acquitted of his technical malversation charge over the use of PHP 2.1-million calamity funds for the purchase of high-powered firearms, criticized Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales for adding charges against him and Sen. Gringo Honasan to her “scoreboard” of accomplishments. Honasan is out on PHP 60,000 bail which he posted on August 11 for two counts of graft charges for the alleged misuse of his Pr...

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent Three days after a bird flu outbreak in the Philippines was confirmed, government agencies are scrambling to keep the virus from spreading to humans even as they await laboratory tests in Australia to confirm if this were the deadly avian flu strain that affects humans. The outbreak was first reported in San Luis, Pampanga where about 40,000 poultry heads died and 116,000 layered chicken heads showed the tell-tale symptoms. In...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella on August 14 branded as mere black propaganda photos posted on social media showing Davao City Vice-mayor Paolo Duterte with Kenneth Dong, the Cebu-based businessman linked to the PHP 6.4-billion shabu shipment that slipped through the Bureau of Customs (BOC) net last May. “That’s what’s important, documentary evidence, not hearsay. Otherwise all of these things are just speculation, propa...

By Lara Climaco | FilAm Star Correspondent Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno loses no sleep over the massive spending required for the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build program, and invites critics to do the same. Facing investors at the 5th DuterteNomics Forum held August 10 in Makati, Diokno along with Socioeconomic Sec. Ernesto Pernia, Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez, Public Works Sec. Mark Villar, Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Martin Andanar, Transp...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent Fifty-nine suspected members of the Maute terror group who were arrested in Zamboanga City asked the Department of Justice to dismiss their criminal charges. During the preliminary hearing of their case, the respondents, through the lawyers from the Public Attorney’s Office, on August 14, denied the rebellion charges filed against them by the martial law authorities. The respondents, detained in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig C...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent Detained Sen. Leila de Lima urged the Duterte administration to send a formal invitation to UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Cecilia Jimenez-Damary to look into the growing number of citizens displaced by the crisis in Marawi. With the extension of martial law in Mindanao and the worrisome conditions reported in the affected areas, De Lima said it is imperative for the Executive ...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent The United States, Japan, and Australia on August 7, called on the Philippines to abide by its own legal victory against China over the disputed South China Sea and protest Beijing’s island-building and militarization on the disputed property. China claims nearly all of the sea, through which $5 trillion in annual shipping trade passes and which is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits. Its sweeping claims overlap ...

By William Casis | FilAm Star Correspondent North Korea on August 7 said it has no plan to use its nuclear weapons or threaten with nuclear weapons any other country except the United States, unless it joins the military action of the US against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK),” said Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho in a statement released to reporters in Manila. “The harder the US tries to get other countries to join in implementing the sanctions against th...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent Two Chinese businessmen were jailed at the Senate for the alleged importation of dangerous drugs as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said it is ready to file charges against those involved in the PHP 6.4- billion drug shipment from China smuggled into the country through the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in Manila. Temporarily held at the Senate detention facility are Chen Ju Long alias Richard Tan, Chinese citizen from Xi...