Militant groups protested the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) findings absolving President Benigno Aquino III, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman for the bloody dispersal of farmers in Kidapawan that left two protesters dead last April 1. They also took the CHR to task for saying the farmers were used by the leftist Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas for its own purposes, other than demand for food in the face of a lingering dr...

By Lara Climaco | FilAm Star Correspondent A Filipino tech start-up won seed funding from Microsoft Corporation with its idea to transform sari-sari stores, or small convenience stores that can be found in almost every corner of the Philippines, into a network of wi-fi hotspots providing first-mile connectivity to consumers. Out of 248 start-ups from all around the world that vied for funding, Quezon City-based WiFi Interactive Network (WIN) was one of 12 enterprises th...

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent A number of netizens and journalists active in social media complained of political censorship after pages and posts critical of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, even his defeated running mate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., were arbitrarily taken down. For one, the page of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) was taken down after it released a statement online criticizing Duterte’s statements against media and...

Outgoing Sen. Sergio Osmeña III has filed Senate Bill 3227 seeking to amend the anti-money laundering law to include casinos, art dealers and real estate brokers in the list of individuals or entities that can be investigated for money-laundering activities. Osmeña filed the bill in the aftermath of several Senate hearings conducted by the Blue Ribbon Committee on the $81-million stolen money from the Bank of Bangladesh that eventually ended up in local casinos and the ban...

Incoming Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano promised to look into the 6,453-hectare Hacienda Luisita, owned by the family of outgoing President Benigno Aquino III. “We will immediately review the sham land reform implemented by the DAR in Hacienda Luisita,” Mariano said. He said the review will also include the pending petition by farmers for the revocation of the land-use conversion issued by the DAR in favor of the Cojuangcos of Hacienda Luis...

The leader of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has finally aired his side amid the scathing remarks made by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte against the dominant Catholic Church. In his message titled “Understanding Silence,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop and CBCP President Socrates Villegas highlighted the value of silence amid the tirades launched by the anti-establishment incoming President. “There is virtue in silence. There is virtue in speec...

Former President and current Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo rejected the offer of executive clemency by incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, saying it would be a tacit admission of wrongdoing. Duterte said he spoke with Arroyo through telephone and he offered to grant her executive clemency, but Arroyo rejected the suggestion. “I offered her. I said, ‘When I become President, I will pardon you.’ I talked to her. I said, ‘Ma’am, do you want me to pardon you not bec...

Balikbayan boxes are now tax- and duty-free after President Simeon Benigno Aquino signed into law the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) which increases the tax-exempt value of items sent by overseas Filipinos to their families back home. Sen. Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Senate ways and means committee and sponsor of the CMTA, said Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) can now enjoy tax and duty free balikbayan boxes. “We thank our President and our colleagues i...

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent President-elect Rodrigo Duterte was a “no show” when he was officially proclaimed as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines, along with outgoing Camarines Sur Rep. Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo as Vice -president during the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives last May 30. The proclamation came after Congress, sitting as National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) led by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimen...

By Daniel Llanto | FilAm Star Correspondent The Philippine military all but confirmed that on top of homegrown Muslim rebels it is also fighting Islamic militants linked to the international terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in Mindanao after government troops killed 54 suspected JI followers in a weeklong air and ground offensive in Lanao del Sur recently. Army spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan said Jemaah Islamiyah-linked militants apparently returned to the area when a ...