Justice Department to Charge Sen. Drilon with Plunder

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said that Sen. Franklin Drilon is among the senators who benefitted from the pork barrel scandal. Also expected to be charged with plunder are Sen. Antonio Trillanes, Sen. Leila de Lima and former budget chief Florencio Abad. This has sparked concerns of persecution, with President Rodrigo Duterte himself practically greenlighting the planting of evidence against suspected criminals in a… Continue reading

Self-Rated Poverty Numbers Up, as Inflation and Unemployment Take Toll

Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s high ratings, social tension may be brewing based on several statistics. Self-rated poverty as polled by the Social Weather Station during the first quarter of 2017 is at 50%, a 6%-increase from the previous quarter that reverses the trend since 2014. This is probably related to the increase in inflation from a low 1.4% in 2015 to the current 3.4%. Employment numbers have also been declining since July 2016… Continue reading

Trillanes, de Lima, Abad Face Plunder Charges Related to Pork Barrel Scam

Leading opposition figures face another battle after Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said that plunder charges relating to the pork barrel scam will be filed against Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes, as well as former budget chief Florencio Abad. None of the three were implicated during the height of the scandal in 2013, sparking concerns of persecution, as the crime is non-bailable. Three senators were earlier… Continue reading

No Ban on EU Grants, as Finance Secretary Clarifies Duterte’s Remarks

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez clarified that there is no actual ban on grants coming from the European Union (EU). President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that he is rejecting all aid coming from the EU as per advice of Dominguez. After Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia announced that it should not be construed as official policy. Dominguez now explains that it would only reject aid not aligned with the administration’s priorities. Programs already existing will still continue. Only one aid… Continue reading

Duterte Makes Another Rape Comment, Says Soldiers to be Absolved Up to 3 Counts

In yet another head-scratching remark, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would absolve any soldier who would commit rape up to three times in regions under martial law. After getting lambasted for his statement, administration officials tried to explain that it was mere heightened bravado on the part of the president. Duterte already came under fire last year for a similar sick rape comment made regarding a dead AustralianContinue reading

Duterte Backs Arrests Sans Judicial-Issued Warrants in Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte told soldiers in Mindanao that the military could detain anyone and barge into any home  in regions under martial law, explaining that all they need is an arrest, search, and seizure order (ASSO), a relic from the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos issued by the armed forces commander. ASSO itself ceased to exist even during Marcos’ presidency, which the dictator then renamed twice though they… Continue reading

Duterte Blames Drug Money for Marawi Incident

President Rodrigo Duterte has included the war on drugs in the Marawi incident. He said that drug money was being used to fund the rebellion, which Solicitor General Jose Calida further explained as an alliance between terrorists, drug syndicates, and lawless armed men. The move may be designed to lay the predicate for a longer duration and/or wider coverage of martial law. Duterte has said before that martial law is the only… Continue reading