Where a Philippine passport means a visa-free visit

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine passport holders can travel to 63 countries without visa, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarJan 11th, 2018

LIST: 63 countries where Filipinos can travel visa-free

By Aika Rey/ – Are you looking for the next country to visit in 2018? Good news: Philippine passport holders can now travel to 63 countries and territories visa-free! This makes the Philippines rank 72nd out of 199 passports according to Henley and Partners’ latest Visa Restrictions Index for Read more ».....»»

Category: newsSource:  thepinoyRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

LIST: 63 countries where Filipinos can travel visa-free

MANILA, Philippines – Are you looking for the next country to visit in 2018? Good news: Philippine passport holders can now travel to 63 countries and territories visa-free! This makes the Philippines rank 72nd out of 199 passports according to  Henley and Partners' latest Visa Restrictions Index for 2018  – an improvement from last year's 75th rank. In a press briefing, Presidential ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Visa-free entry to Korea for Filipinos, but …

  Filipinos can visit South Korea without visa until April next year if they enter through the airport near the venue of the Winter Olympics, state-run Yonhap news agency said.   The South Korean government has also provided Indonesia and Vietnam visa-free privileges to visitors if they enter the country through the YangYang airport near Pyeongchang, which is hosting the games.   There are no direct commercial flights from the Philippines to YangYang Airport: Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines only have trips to Busan and Incheon.   The South Korean government has also waived the $15 per person visa fee for Chinese tourists up until the end ...Keep on reading: Visa-free entry to Korea for Filipinos, but ….....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

Duterte urged to continue peace talks with rebels

DAVAO CITY – Farmers fighting for genuine land reform have appealed on Sunday to President Rodrigo Duterte to continue the peace talks with communist rebels after he scrapped the negotiations following the spate of deadly attacks by insurgents in southern Philippines. Duterte’s decision to abandon the negotiations with communist leaders came on Saturday barely a day after he terminated the government’s unilateral ceasefire with New People’s Army rebels who also ended earlier its own truce. Since then, at least 4 soldiers had been killed by rebels in separate attacks and three more are being held prisoners in the troubled region. The rebels demanded the release of some 400 political prisoners &'' mostly NPA fighters and their leaders – languishing in jails across the country, but Duterte flatly rejected the demand, saying, a peace accord must be signed first before he could grant amnesty to political prisoners, although he had ordered the release from prison at least 21 senior rebel leaders to join the peace talks. Duterte said he cannot free all political prisoners and claimed that such action may trigger unrest in the police and military. Peace talks and land reform  But Joseph Canlas, chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, one of the biggest farmers’ organizations in the country, said the continuation of peace negotiations is in the best interest of farmers, who are pressing for genuine land reform, land distribution and real change under the Duterte administration. “Farmers want the peace negotiations to continue. We want the peace talks to help address the problem of land monopoly, landlessness of farmers, unemployment and to realize the equitable distribution of social wealth,” Canlas said. “The peace negotiation is a separate and distinct track of struggle to press for significant pro-people reforms. While the New People’s Army and President Duterte announced the termination of the unilateral interim ceasefires, it should not hinder the continuation of the talks that is gaining relevant developments with regard to discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, particularly agrarian reform and rural development,” he added. Canlas said based on the reported outcome of third round of the peace talks in Rome recently, the government, in principle, acquiesced to free land distribution to farmers and farm workers and that alone is a milestone with regard to pushing for socio-economic reforms and enough grounds to continue the talks. Pedro Arnado, leader of the farmers’ group in southern Mindanao, also urged Duterte not to abandon the peace talks, saying, the resumption of war with rebels may spark a series of illegal arrest and human rights violations, and even extrajudicial killings of civilians by government soldiers. “We call for the continuation of the peace talks and compliance to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Law to avoid rights violations of civilians,” said Arnado, who noted that at least 20 farmers and national minorities were killed during the ceasefire period. “For us farmers, a just peace means food for our families, education for our children and recognition of our right to the land we till.” Arnado said while the ultimate goal of the peace talks is to resolve the armed conflict and achieve cessation of hostilities, that wouldn’t be possible at this period when there are conflicting social classes and interests. “Big land estates, haciendas and landholdings remain intact and under the control of a few landlord families. That is in contrast with the situation of millions of tillers,” Arnado said, adding, Duterte should realize that people in the countryside are supporting and even joining the armed revolution because of the systemic and chronic crisis that is worsened by the government’s failure to address the most basic problems in rural areas. “Historically, it is the peasant masses that have made the ultimate sacrifices to achieve peace. Buhay na ang ibinuwis ng mga magsasaka para sa lupa at kapayapaan. The cost of peace is too expensive, farmers have paid it with their lives,” Arnado said. Cancel passport of communist negotiators Duterte also threatened to cancel the passports of the representatives National Democratic Front of the Philippines &'' the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA &'' who make up the peace panel negotiating with the government, saying, “they are in the wanted list, so I will alert the International Police to arrest them where they are because they are in wanted list. I'll cancel their passports.” “They can return, all of them. For those released by the government, they should, on their own volition, return here and go back to prison. Or else I will be forced to, I am alerting all the intelligence community to keep track of where they are now,” Duterte said. “Iyon na-release temporarily to talk with us in Oslo, they should come back and submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the government because they are still in prison. Walang pardon, walang amnesty, wala lahat.” Blame Duterte, AFP The NPA blamed Duterte for the breakdown of the talks and accused the military of sabotaging the peace negotiations, saying, security forces encroached and attacked rebel territories in Mindanao, and murdered innocent civilians suspected of supporting the communist group. “To conceal their own ceasefire violation, the spin doctors of the Armed Forces of the Philippines concocted yet another storyline of an anti-criminality operation to assist the Philippine National Police in going after lawless elements such as their botched combat operations in Makilala and Matalam [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2017

PH Embassy team services thousands of Filipinos in Caribbean

WASHINGTON, D.C. --A three-leg visit by a Philippine Embassy team to the Caribbean territories of Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas from February 24 to March 5 delivered passport and other consular services toFilipinosin these places.   A total of 1,676 consular services were rendered during the consular outreach mission. Over 92 percent of this total was for passport-related services. In addition, 1,085 eligible voters were registered for overseas absentee voting. There are an estimated 8,000 Filipinos in these islands, most of whom are employed in the medical, pharmaceutical, finance, and hospitality industries, as well in the households of...Keep on reading: PH Embassy team services thousands of Filipinos in Caribbean.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 9th, 2018

‘Freedom and Crime’ by Jun Ledesma

Letters From Davao:  AM NOT SURPRISED when some quarters are exploiting to the hilt the order of the Securities and Exchange Commission to shut down the operations of Rappler.The bannered story warns of the muzzling of the press. Rappler itself, quoting Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, wrote that if Duterte wants to close the media establishment they could have just sent the military. Of course it is the usual Rappler’s furtive way of saying it which is very characteristic of this media outfit.  But this is not about press freedom. It is about media ownership which, under Philippine laws, should be 100% owned by Filipinos. For years since the inception of Rappler, the impression was that it is fully owned by Pinoys. There are Filipinos  with extra money to spare who invested money in Rappler in the hope that they can support an independent media outfit. As every body knew, the big media establishments are tools used by the wealthy and famous to protect their interest from political predators but they end up using the muscle of the press to either promote or destroy politicians and their adversaries.  Not until SEC ordered the closure of Rappler that it came out in the open that  the notorious ON OMIDYAR had wormed its way in and into the heart and brain of Rappler. The characters behind these outfits are shrewd but not wise enough their own disclosures in their PDRs gave them away. The Philippine Deposit Receipts which Rappler through its holding company issued explicitly granted ON OMIDYAR to have a say in the operations and business of Rappler.  Ma. Ressa’s attention was called by SEC on this critical item but it appears that she was not paying attention or might have thought she can deal with the problem anyway.  Looks like she sat on the problem that even the  members of the 5-man Commission who, except for one,  are all appointees of ex-Pres. Noynoy Aquino have reach a point of decision.  As the story unravels, again it showed that there was an attempt to correct the provisions in the PDRs by submitting ON OMIDYAR’s waiver on its right to intrude into the conduct of business of Rappler. Again Rappler showed its cavalier attitude, it submitted the waiver document which was not even notarized.  Obviously even the Aquino-controlled SEC cannot take the lackadaisical attention of Ma. Ressa. It revoked the SEC registration of Rappler.  Even as it had been axed, Ressa and Pia Ranada fought back, the later calling Pres. Rodrigo Duterte names as if they reign supreme and they alone know what freedom of the press means. To add to her dramatics Pia intoned  that she is prepared to go to prison for exercising her rights of free expression. She forgot that It was Duterte who, early in his presidency signed an EO on Freedom of Information.  Ressa and Ranada wailed their press freedom had been curtailed. But such is not the case. Every word that they say saw print and broadcasted in nearly 2,000 media outlets in the Philippines and not counting the social media. The revocation of Rappler’s permit is not about freedom of the press but its violation of the constitution which succinctly underlines that media establishment must be 100% Filipino owned.   In hindsight the Duterte government was even too kind to Rappler even as it was the leading media organization that demonize Duterte in every turn. I had seriously doubted its overtures that brag it stands for truth and fairness. During the senate hearing on extra-judicial killing allegedly carried out by the Davao Death Squad which Sen. Leila De Lima and Sen. Antonio Trillanes claimed was organized by Duterte, Rappler simply swallowed what witnesses Matobato and Lascanas said.  In 2009 when as CHR Chair De Lima conducted a probe on EJK the number of victims she alleged then was less than 300. The probe lasted for months with nary a piece of evidence was found to indict Mayor Duterte. She pursued her quest to pin Digong when she became Justice Secretary but again she failed. When she became senator she became even more aggressive she placed a bungling Matobato in the witness stand. But Matobato was flawless in his delivery when he was interviewed by Time Magazine. It was unmistakable he was reading from an idiot’s card. He proudly state that as member of DDS he killed and buried more than 200 persons in an abandoned quarry. Yet he cannot find the grave of his victims.     When it was the turn of Lascanas to testify in the senate inquiry, he casually said that they buried more than 2,000 EJK victims in the same quarry.  Between the two perjured witness they  confessed to the  killing of over 2,200 victims of EJK which they buried, they said, in the abandoned quarry. It is simply a classic fantasy. A manslaughter of such magnitude cannot escape notice especially when that narrow piece of land is just about four kilometers from city hall and so adjacent to a number of housing subdivisions. Nevertheless, if they were so sure then why cannot they find a single piece of viable evidence.   In all these occasions Rappler gave the hearings liberal space and took the testimonies of the witnesses as the biblical truths. Both Rappler and Time Magazine adopted exactly the same flawed statistics which in their recent count had reached 13,000 EJK victims. I am based in Davao and frankly I am amazed […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJan 27th, 2018

Palace Welcomes Higher PH Ranking in World’s Most Powerful Passports

Malacañang on Saturday welcomed the country’s climb in the latest Henley and Partners Passport Index, which ranks all of the world’s passports according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The Philippines rose three notches higher to 72nd place in 2018 from 75th last year, according to Henley and Partners, a […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

2017: A banner year for the Senate

2017 was a banner year for the 101 year-old Philippine Senate. The upper chamber saw the passage of landmark laws that would benefit generations of Filipinos, among them the Free Tuition Law, the Philippine Passport Law, and the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act. However, certain sectors, including the opposition, claim that TRAIN would [...] The post 2017: A banner year for the Senate appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Iwas Paputok also means a fire-free New Year celebration – BFP

MANILA, Philippines — To intensify fire safety awareness campaign of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the Manila Fire District launched "Oplan Iwas Paputok" in Tondo, Manila on Saturday, December 30. BFP, together with Philippine National Police, Department of Health and local government units joint effort to promote a fire-free holiday in ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 30th, 2017

144-hour visa-free stays expanded in China

Nationals from 53 countries with eligible travel identification and reserved tickets with a fixed date to a third country or regionwithin 144 hoursare eligible for the new visa-free entry period. They include the United States, Australia and the Republic of Korea.   "The new policy extends the visa-free stay for travelers who want to visit the three regions, allowing foreigners sufficient time for a short visit for travel, business meetings or visiting friends and family. It will boost the tourism industry," said Zhu Lei, deputy head of Beijing's port of entry office.   Beijing and Tianjin previously allowed a 72-hour visa-free stay. The 72-hour stay has been allowe...Keep on reading: 144-hour visa-free stays expanded in China.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 29th, 2017 Announces 50 Days of Happiness Gadget Sale, the Philippines’ leading online gadget and accessories retailer, has announced the 50 Days of Happiness sale for the holiday season. In this promo, buyers can get discounts as big as 50% on some of today’s hottest consumer electronic products.  From November 8th to December 25th, one gadget will be put on sale for 24 hours. Shoppers can expect significant markdowns on products from their favorite brands including LG, Lenovo, Bowers & Wilkins and many more.  Shoppers who’ve been waiting for great deals on smartphones, tablets, headsets, cameras and other items will be delighted to see Poundit’s products on sale. The LG X Screen, the Lenovo A7000 Plus, and the Apple MacBook Pro are just some of the products that Poundit will be putting on sale.  Poundit has close partnerships with top consumer electronics manufacturers and their authorized distributors in the Philippines. This means that shoppers are guaranteed item authenticity and full aftersales support.  The retailer is also holding its Give 100, Get 1,000 promo where shoppers can get PhP 1,000 off any purchase when they refer at least 10 people to shop at Poundit. Referred shoppers, on the other hand, will also get a PhP 100 discount for purchases of PhP 1,000 or more.  The 50 Days of Happiness promo is valid while supplies last. For more information on exciting deals, visit Poundit’s Deals section.  Poundit is an e-commerce site for electronics & accessories where customers can shop risk free, enjoy price savings, and experience unparalleled customer service. From smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, desktops, headphones, speakers, gaming, and even accessories – Poundit has it all. It’s aiming to build the most customer-centric electronics e-commerce site in the region. Starting in the Philippines, it’s the only online destination in the country that sells legitimate, authentic, and authorized electronic products from the top tech brands. 5,120 total views, 5,120 views today.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsNov 27th, 2017

Report: South Korea to grant Pinoys visa-free entry for Winter Games

MANILA, Philippines — A  Korean news agency last week announced that South Korea will temporarily allow tourists from the Philippines to visit without a visa Source link link: Report: South Korea to grant Pinoys visa-free entry for Winter Games.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

Marawi war victims unite, threaten to launch ‘holy war’

&'160; MARAWI CITY – A shadowy group calling itself the “Meranaw Victims Movement” has threatened to launch its own jihad or holy war if a set of demands, among them government compensation for the destruction of Marawi and the victims of war between security forces and local IS militants in the besieged city in southern Philippines. Speaking in Arabic, the group &'' comprising about 3 dozen masked gunmen &'' released a 14-minute video and statement on social media and stated the following demands: First, we would like to ask our kinsfolk from among the so-called ISIS/Maute Group to leave Marawi City at once and free their hostages, Muslims and Christians alike; Second, we would like to ask the Philippine Government, especially President Rodrigo Duterte, the following – to allow the civilians to return to their homes in areas in Marawi City that were already cleared by the military; stop the aerial bombings of Marawi City if only to salvage houses or buildings that may not have been destroyed yet; stop the abuses of some military and police personnel at checkpoints and accord respect to civilians, especially the women. And ease the access to and from Marawi City, especially the roads through the village of Maliwanag so that people in the 1st District of Lanao del Sur would have better and convenient road access; secure the remains of civilians so they may not be mixed with the garbage in the process of military clearing operations and so that they may be given proper burial even if only skeletons are left of them; to provide immediate appropriate material and financial support to all wounded civilian victims similar to the support being provided by the government to wounded military and police personnel; compensate for the damaged houses and buildings, wasted goods and merchandise of civilians and provide for their livelihood as well. And to rebuild or rehabilitate the mosques and madrasahs and other destroyed structures that represented the Meranao culture and heritage; importantly, the government should not make any hint that it would occupy the land of the Meranaws on the basis of military reservation, instead it should help legitimate owners to have their respective land titles; and for the military and police personnel to avoid occupying mosques and madrasahs. It also demanded from local politicians to account for all the relevant government funds such as the Calamity Fund and all other assistance and donations, and ensure transparent and equitable implementation or spending of the same. And has urged the rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front to support its demands by ensuring that these reach all those concerned. The Meranaw Victims Movement strongly denied that locals &'' whom the government and authorities blamed for allowing militants to build up forces and occupy the city &'' condone the violence and said it is willing to face off with IS fighters in an effort to drive out the gunmen. It also blamed local leaders as responsible for failing to prevent the IS attacks. “First, we did not conform with the using of Marawi City as sanctuary neither did we approve of what some of our kinsfolk who claimed to be ISIS/Maute Group did which ignited the war in Marawi City that has brought about grave sufferings to the Meranaw people. Second, we deem unacceptable the actions of the Government that caused the displacement of tens of thousands and deaths of several civilians due to the aerial bombings and use of heavy armaments in Marawi City which are among those prohibited under International Humanitarian Law.” “Third, we hold our local leaders, past and present alike, responsible for failing to prevent the ISIS/Maute Group from carrying out their plan since they were fully aware of the group’s presence in the city prior to the siege, and for literally forsaking the civilians like orphans in the midst of great danger during the onset of the siege on May 23, 2017. Fourth, we are dismayed with the MILF since, until now, nothing was heard of them, let alone have they made a categorical position on the current Marawi crisis,” it said. If all the demands are not met, the group said it will take actions not only against IS militants, but the Duterte government as well. “To our ISIS/Maute Group kinsfolk, if you would not heed our call, we would be compelled to face you because by then you no longer care for the welfare of the people and you did not only fail to realize but have violated the essence of Jihad in Islam. To the Government, this will be the last time that we will ask in relation to previous demands of various sectors of the Meranaw society, and that if the foregoing demands will fall to deaf ears, likewise, we will be compelled to fight for our rights that have been trampled upon and that Jihad becomes our legitimate recourse.” “To our leaders, should we find out that you defraud or corrupt the assistance and support intended for the evacuees, we will unrelentingly pursue until we take them for the people in whatever means possible. To the MILF, take note that the demand for the approval of the BBL becomes irrelevant if the key area where it should be implemented would no longer be in the hands of the Meranaw, and that by then the support of the people of Lanao becomes weak in time that [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

Economy: FPI sees corn sweetener imports as spur for domestic sugar sector

THE Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said that it is open to the tariff-free importation of sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a means of stimulating the competitiveness of the sugar industry, as long as users purchase equivalent amounts from cane sugar producers......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 24th, 2017

Group seeks e-passport probe

MANILA, Philippines - Arguing that the country’s e-passports are too expensive, the Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions (PAFLU) has asked Congress to.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 26th, 2017

Canadian woman en route to Vermont spa denied entry to U.S., told she needs immigrant visa – CBC News

A Canadian woman travelling on a Canadian passport says she was turned away at the U.S. border and told she needed a valid immigrant visa to enter the country. Manpreet Kooner, 30, is a Canadian citizen who was born to Indian parents in Canada and raised here. She now lives in Montreal's LaSalle borough with her fiancé and works in a science lab at a local college. She told CBC she was on her way from Montreal to a spa in Vermont for a day trip with two friends, who are both white, Sunday afternoon. They never made it. Kooner said she was held at the border for six hours before being turned away. At one point, she said, a border agent told her: &'8220;'I know you may feel like you've been Trumped,'&'8221; an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump's January executive order barring citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country was later blocked in U.S. courts, but has touched off legal battles and confusion around the world. Kooner was told to apply for the visa at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. She went to the embassy Monday morning but was told they couldn't help her, and that she would need to talk to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. &'8220;I'm speechless,&'8221; she said. &'8220;There are no answers.&'8221; In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said it does not discuss individual cases, but that those who present themselves at ports of entry must prove they fulfill admission requirements, and that admission to the U.S. is at the discretion of the border officers. The statement also says CBP adopted a policy in 2014 that &'8220;prohibits the consideration of race or ethnicity in law enforcement, investigation, and screening activities, in all but the most exceptional circumstances.&'8221; Kooner's story is the latest in a string of recent tales involving Canadian travellers scrutinized or turned away by U.S. border agents. Last month, for instance, a woman from the Montreal suburb of Brossard said she was denied entry after being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned in detail about her religion and her views on Trump. Kooner was reluctant to attribute her situation to racism, but said friends who have reached out to her say that could be the case. &'8220;People have said we need to take that into account here, because unfortunately, yeah, my skin colour is brown,&'8221; she said. Kooner said this summer, her mother was turned away at the border as well, but wasn't told why. Kooner said she was told her mother's issues wouldn't impact her. She first had trouble getting into the U.S. last December, before Trump took office. She was with friends and her fiancé when her car was pulled over for what she was told was a random check, she said. She was made to fill out a number of forms, but was eventually told there was a problem with the computer system and they should return the next morning. When they went back, she was let through without any problems. She said that when she tried to cross Sunday, at Highgate Springs, Vt., an agent checked her passport and said they needed to ask her additional questions. The agent mentioned that she had been stopped in December and asked why she was trying to go through again, Kooner said. She said she told them she's a Canadian citizen, has no criminal record and, before December, never had any issues crossing the border. She also said she was fingerprinted and photographed, and signed a form to withdraw her application for entry to the United States. Though she was told there are no flags on her file, a border agent advised her not to fly to the U.S. without a visa, Kooner said. The reference to Trump came as the agent was explaining the reasons why she was refused entry, she said. The border agent couldn't say what kind of visa she would need, only that she would have to visit the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa to get one. Kooner said that's when she started to cry. CBC News spoke to Kooner's friend Alexandra Adam, who was one of the two women on the trip with her. Adam caught the end of the conversation between Kooner and the border agent and confirmed Kooner was told she likely wouldn't be allowed into the U.S. without a visa. Adam said she was not present when the agent allegedly made the Trump comment. A U.S. Embassy official said most travellers from Canada and Bermuda generally do not need visas for tourism and visits. Canadians who are intending to immigrate or those planning to marry a U.S. citizen are among those who do need visas. Kooner does not fall under either category. U.S. immigration lawyer Leslie Holman said it doesn't appear that there's a reason Kooner would need a visa to get into the country. &'8220;Even if someone has a visa, the ultimate decision as to whether they can enter the United States rests when you seek admissibility, at the time of entry,&'8221; she said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs told CBC News the common category of visa that is used for short term, non-immigrant travel to the United States – including tourism and business – is the B1/B2 visa. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an average of 1.2 million people a day try to enter the U.S. at all crossings. Of those, an average of between 300 and 500 are denied entry for various reasons. Kooner has spent more than $1,000 on tickets to attend a musical festival in Miami at the end of the month, and planned to return to that city in May for [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 7th, 2017

second woman held over death of Kim Jong-nam – The Guardian

Malaysian police have detained a second woman in connection with the apparent assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The Malaysian inspector general said in a statement that the suspect had been identified as Siti Aishah, an Indonesian national. Her birthday was given as 11 February 1992, and place of birth as Serang, Indonesia. It is not clear if her passport was genuine. The statement said she had been positively identified from CCTV footage at Kuala Lumpur international airport and was alone when she was apprehended in the early hours of Thursday. Channel News Asia quoted a police source as saying that a Malaysian man had also been arrested on Thursday in connection with Kim’s death. The confirmed arrest of a second suspect follows the detention on Wednesday of 28-year-old woman, whose Vietnamese passport bore the name Doan Thi Huong. She too had been positively identified from CCTV footage and was alone at the time of her arrest, the inspector general said. Still photos from the video, confirmed as authentic by police, showed a woman in a skirt and long-sleeved white T-shirt with “LOL” emblazoned across the front. Malaysian police have reportedly been granted permission to remand both women in custody for seven days. Police are also seeking “a few” other suspects in connection with the killing of Kim Jong-nam, apparently carried out with a fast-acting poison, as he prepared to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to his home in Macau on Monday morning. “We are looking for more suspects,” Selangor state police chief Abdul Samah Mat said, but declined to say how many were being sought, or their nationalities. Intelligence officials in South Korea have said they suspect Kim’s killing was carried out by people working on behalf of the North Korean regime. There is mounting speculation that his death was ordered by Kim Jong-un, possibly as retribution for criticisms his elder brother made against his leadership in interviews with the Japanese journalist, Yoji Gomi, in 2012. As Malaysian authorities searched for other suspects in a case that has focused attention on the apparent lengths to which North Korea will go to ensure the regime’s stability. Malaysian media cited unnamed sources as saying that North Korean officials had spent hours trying to persuade Malaysia not to conduct an autopsy and for Kim’s body be handed over to Pyongyang. Malaysia refused the request, since North Korea did not submit a formal protest, according to Abdul Samah Mat, a senior Malaysian police official. No decision has yet been taken on whether the body will eventually be handed over to the North. While Pyongyang has made no official comment on Kim’s death, it has not attempted to conceal its interest in his fate. On Wednesday, it sent a black Jaguar car with diplomatic number plates and flags to the mortuary at Kuala Lumpur hospital, where an autopsy was conducted on Wednesday evening. It was not immediately clear if or when the autopsy results would be made public. Kim, who was 45, fell ill after apparently being attacked from behind with a chemical spray, and died in an ambulance on the way to hospital. At the time of his death he was carrying a North Korean passport that gave his name as Kim Chol, born in Pyongyang on 10 June 1970. His death has parked speculation about the possible involvement of Kim Jong-un, whose five-year rule of North Korea has been marked by purges and executions of people perceived as a threat to his leadership. The highest-profile victim of Kim’s “reign of terror” was his uncle, Jang Song-thaek, who was executed on treason charges in late 2013. Jang, once considered his nephew’s most trusted adviser, was also believed to have been close to Kim Jong-nam, whom he had helped raise. Kim Jong-nam attempted to lead an unremarkable life with his family in Macau, according to exchanges with Gomi. “Because I was educated in the west, I was able to enjoy freedom from early age and I still love being free,” he told Gomi, whose book on Kim was published in 2012. “The reason I visit Macau so often is because it’s the most free and liberal place near China, where my family lives.” Kim Byung-kee, a South Korean MP, said intelligence services had told him Kim Jong-un professed to “hate” his half brother, whom he feared could one day play a role in the overthrow of his regime. The spy agency’s has also made unverified claims that North Korea had spent five years attempting to kill Kim Jong-nam. They cited a “genuine” attempt in 2012 after he had described his brother as ”just a nominal figure”, and lambasted the county’s hereditary transfer of power as a “joke to the outside world”. “The Kim Jong-un regime will not last long,” he told Gomi. “Without reforms, North Korea will collapse, and when such changes take place, the regime will collapse.” A terrified Kim is reported to have written to Kim Kong-un after the 2012 assassination attempt in which he pleaded with his brother to assure his safety and that of his family. The letter said: “I hope you cancel the order for the punishment of me and my family. We have nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, and we know that the only way to escape is committing suicide.” Kim Jong-nam may have succeeded his father, Kim [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2017

Washington, D.C. 6th-graders taste PH ‘gastrodiplomacy’

  WASHINGTON, D.C.---Sixth-graders fromLaSalle-Backus Education Campus were introduced to Philippine cuisine and food traditions during the second of three activities under the 2018Embassy Adoption Program (EAP) on March 15.   In their visit to the Philippine Embassy, the students learned about the diverse cultural influences on Filipino cooking and dining. They were also taught the Filipino folk song "Bahay Kubo".   After the presentation, the students and their teachers sampled chickenadobo,longganisa(pork sausage),sinangag(garlic fried rice) and cassava cake. "When we do gastrodiplomacy, we share not only our food, but also a great deal about w...Keep on reading: Washington, D.C. 6th-graders taste PH ‘gastrodiplomacy’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 20th, 2018

Vigan City all set for Palarong Pambansa in April

Vigan City is ready to roll out the red carpet for the more than 15,000 delegates from the country’s 17 regions expected to converge in the Ilocos Sur capital for this year’s hosting of the Palarong Pambansa next month. Department of Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali made the pronouncement on behalf of the provincial government after personally inspecting the different venues where the various sports events for the April 15-21 meet will be held. “Vigan is definitely ready. The province hosted a regional qualifier of the Batang Pinoy last year and that shows its readiness to stage such big multi-sports event such as the Palaro,” said Umali during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Tapa King Restaurant at Farmers Market in Cubao on Tuesday. “We had our final technical conference meeting a couple of weeks ago para tingnan sa huling pagkakataon yung preparation ng lalawigan. And no doubt, the facilities are of international standards. Handang-handa na sila,” said the Deped official. “Overall, I would say Vigan, Ilocos Sur is definitely ready.” Umali said DepEd expects the official athlete-delegates to be at around 12,000 competing in 21 regular sports events featured in the secondary level and 15 in the elementary side of the event for student-athletes 18-year-old-and-below. Perennial champion National Capital Region is again favored to win the overall title this year, although Umali noted the emerging rivalry between Calabarzon/Southern Tagalog and Western Visayas regions, which engaged in a close-battle for runner-up finish in the 2017 edition of the annual event held in Antique. In addition, Negros Island Region, which placed fourth last year, has now been made part of Regions 6 (Negros Occidental - Western Visayas) and 7 (Negros Oriental - Central Visayas). “So we’ll have to see ano ang effect pag ibinalik ulit as Regions 6 and 7 yung Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental,” added Umali in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. DepEd will continue to hold the demo sports of pencak silat, aero gymnastics, and dance sports, the same thing with the special Para events in aquatics, track and field, bocce, and goal ball. Being summer season, Umali said the Palaro will observe the same practice of not holding games from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “All games to be held during that time are indoor events,” said the government official. There will also be water dispensers stationed at the different sports venues for both athletes and officials, medical ambulances, doctors, and nurses are also on standby in both the playing court and billeting quarters, as well as police personnel. Umali also said the host province will be providing transportation unit for those coming from the Visayas and Mindanao regions which will carry them all the way to Vigan. “This is the first time the host LGU will shoulder transportation means or cost by providing buses to our athletes from Mindanao and the Visayas coming from a drop-off point lang. And lahat sila dadalhin sa Vigan, Ilocos Sur ng libre,” he said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 20th, 2018

PDEA declares 14 brgys drug-free in Isabela

OF ILAGAN, Isabela, March 16(PIA) -- The Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug-Clearing Operations headed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)hasalready cleared14barangays inthis cityfrom i.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMar 17th, 2018