STATEMENT: Justice for Dr. Sharmaine Baroquillo

Last February 3, 2024, Dr. Sharmaine Baroquillo, a physician working in Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital was driving along Datu Paglas highway in Maguindanao from Davao City. She was followed by motorcycle-riding men in tandem who shot her three times. She was able to drive herself to the hospital where she passed out. Three persons were […].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanews mindanewsFeb 12th, 2024

Statement of Concern and Condemnation on the attempt on Dr. Baroquillo

We, the batchmates of Dr. Sharmaine Baroquillo and faculty members of the Davao Medical School, condemn in strongest terms the murderous act against our colleague......»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2024

STATEMENT | A cry for justice for the victims and survivors of the ongoing climate disaster in Davao region

This most recent landslide is only a stark reminder that recurring disasters have occurred, pointing to a lack of corporate accountability and the failure to install mitigating measures to prevent a new landslide and prompt response when a new one occurs......»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2024

Police still determining motive behind ambush of female doc

The chief of police of Buluan in Maguindanao del Sur said investigations are still ongoing to determine the motive behind the ambush of a female doctor Saturday night.  “We are gathering more details to deepen our investigation,” 1Lt. Cemafranco Cemacio, chief of Police of Buluan, Maguindanao del Sur, said.  Dr. Sharmaine Ceballos Baroquillo, 27, a resident […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2024

De Lima questions DOJ s refusal to transfer 11 inmate-witnesses from Sablayan to Bilibid

This statement follows a day the justice department discouraged the transfer of the inmate-witnesses saying that they are convicted felons and emphasizing that recantation does not warrant a “reward.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2023

DOJ discourages jail transfer of PDL-witnesses in De Lima’s last drug case

In a statement, the Justice Department said that while it acknowledged the decision of the Muntinlupa Branch 206 on the transfer of the inmate-witnesses, the DOJ does not endorse the rewarding of PDLs for recanting testimonies. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 21st, 2023

Don t embarrass our justice system: Sara speaks up for father as House discusses ICC drug war probe

In her statement, Duterte said that the lower chamber must “respect” Marcos’ previous stance of not supporting ICC’s probe. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2023

Deceased Maine shooter had mental health problems: police

Police in Maine said Saturday that the man who gunned down 18 people at a bar and a bowling alley and later committed suicide, suffered serious mental health issues, but was able to buy weapons legally because he had never been forcibly committed to treatment. The body of Robert Card, a 40-year-old army reservist, was discovered Friday night inside a tractor-trailer near a recycling center where he used to work, said Maine public safety commissioner Mike Sauschuck. Card had shot himself. Investigators are still struggling to determine Card's motive for carrying out Wednesday's massacre in the town of Lewiston. However, Sauschuck said that Card had reportedly been hearing voices and suffering from paranoia. "Clearly there's a mental health component to this," Sauschuck told reporters. Investigators found a "paper-style" note that Card had left to a loved one which contained a password to his phone and bank account information, Sauschuck said, adding that the note had the tone of a suicide letter. Card was found in possession of three weapons, one of them a long gun, all purchased legally because he had never been forcibly committed to a mental institution. Despite the apparently clear mental health issues and a reportedly recent psychiatric evaluation undergone by Card, "a background check is not going to ping that this individual was prohibited," Sauschuck added. The sigh of relief The discovery of Card's body ended a massive two-day manhunt, which had this quiet city of 38,000 people on lockdown, with businesses and schools closed and residents terrified. Sauschuck acknowledged the help Card's family had provided to the investigation, saying his relatives were among the first people to call the police and identify the suspect. "This family has been incredibly cooperative with us," he said. Lewiston finally breathed a sigh of relief with businesses beginning to open and people appearing on the streets Saturday. Several posters reading "Lewiston strong" were seen in the city. Shukri Abasheikh, 60, was finally able to reopen her halal grocery store after the lockdown. "This morning I'm so happy because the last two days, we were worried a lot and we were scared," Abasheikh told AFP. "My customers were calling me saying we don't have milk, we don't have anything, can you open and I said, 'I'm scared.'" Upon learning that Card was dead, Sheri Withers, 44, owner of a Lewiston art gallery, said she felt "a balance of relief and remembering how to breathe, but also just being sad because, you know, it was a human life." For now, residents are "just trying to rebuild the pieces, and getting on from here is gonna be the next step for our community," she added. A local resident named Danica, who was buying coffee at a drive-through, said she was happy Card was dead, but at the same time wished he had first been brought to justice. "I think he took the coward's way out of doing it by suicide," Danica, who declined to give her last name, told AFP. "I think he should be held accountable for his crimes." In a statement issued shortly after Card's body was discovered Friday night, President Joe Biden vowed to renew efforts to curb gun violence in the United States. "Americans should not have to live like this," Biden said. "I will continue to do everything in my power to end this gun violence epidemic." Biden said the shooting brought "a tragic two days -- not just for Lewiston, Maine, but for our entire country." Authorities on Friday identified the victims, ranging from a husband and wife in their 70s to a 14-year-old boy killed alongside his father. This was one of the deadliest shootings in the United States since 2017, when a gunman opened fire on a crowded music festival in Las Vegas, killing 60 people Mass shootings are alarmingly common in the United States, a country where there are more guns than people and where attempts to clamp down on their spread are always met with stiff resistance. The United States has recorded over 500 mass shootings this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-governmental organization that defines a mass shooting as four or more people wounded or killed. Efforts to tighten gun controls have for years run up against opposition from Republicans, staunch defenders of the constitutional right to bear arms. The political paralysis endures despite widespread outrage over recurring shootings. The post Deceased Maine shooter had mental health problems: police appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 28th, 2023

NDCP alumni officials call for unity amid growing tensions in WPS

Filipinos should unite behind the nation and its government as Philippine sailors continue to experience harassment from the Chinese Coast Guard while on peaceful missions in the West Philippine Sea. This was the call of alumni officials of the National Defense College of the Philippines or NDCP, stressing that the public should remain vigilant and well-informed amid growing tensions inside the country’s territorial waters. Capt. Aldrin Cuña, the Secretary General of the NDCP Alumni Association Inc. (NDCPAAI), released the group’s statement stressing that “not only is it our right but our duty to protect it when parties launch aggressive acts to challenge our sovereignty and curb our activities over what is legally ours.” “The West Philippine Sea is of great importance to our nation, future and children - their inheritance we should not lose during our watch,” the NDCPAAI statement read. The statement was released after two Chinese Coast Guard ships rammed a Philippine Coast Guard ship and a military-run supply boat within Philippine territorial waters on Sunday, 22 October. The Chinese Coast Guard claimed that it was the Philippine ships who were the “aggressors,” but Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro fired back, saying “the Chinese government is deliberately obfuscating the truth.” The NDCPAAI seconded Secretary Teodoro, saying that “not only are our ships being rammed, the truth that is on our side is being pummeled too.” “The best defense against falsehood are facts which we can learn by educating ourselves about what our country’s rights are over West Philippine Sea and the legitimacy of our actions there,” the association said. However, the NDCPAAI emphasized that “diplomacy in search for principled peaceful solution is of equal importance,” but this can only be achieved if “a united citizenry is behind the government.” “We thus call on our fellow Filipinos, regardless of political affiliations, to put aside our differences and rally around our country's cause. As we maintain a credible defense posture, we must engage in constructive dialogue and nurture cordial and conflict-free peaceful solutions, guided by international law and our commitment to upholding justice and fairness,” the association said. “By pursuing these multiple tracks, we project a stance that is strong at home and supported by the people and respected abroad and recognized by the community of nations as just and right,” it stressed......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 24th, 2023

UN chief urges ceasefire to end Gaza’s ‘godawful nightmare’

UN chief Antonio Guterres pleaded Saturday for a "humanitarian ceasefire" in the war between Israel and Hamas militants that has devastated much of Gaza, demanding "action to end this godawful nightmare". Addressing a Cairo summit that ultimately proved fruitless, according to Arab diplomats, Guterres said the Palestinian enclave of 2.4 million people was living through "a humanitarian catastrophe" with thousands dead and more than a million displaced. The latest bloodshed began on October 7 when Hamas militants killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, and took more than 200 hostages, according to Israeli officials. Israel has hit back with a relentless bombing campaign, killing more than 4,300 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry, and cut off supplies of water, electricity, fuel and food. According to Arab diplomats who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, the meeting in Cairo failed to reach an agreement, with Western representatives seeking "a clear condemnation placing responsibility for the escalation on Hamas", which Arab leaders refused. The Western officials also wanted to call for the release of those held by Hamas. Egypt's presidency instead released a statement -- drafted with the approval of Arab attendees, the diplomats said -- saying the war had laid bare "a defect in the values of the international community". World leaders have long "sought to manage the conflict, and not end it permanently, by proposing temporary solutions and palliatives that do not live up to even the lowest aspirations of a suffering people", the statement read. In response, Israel bemoaned the lack of a condemnation of what it called "Islamic terror" that endangered the region and entire world. "It is unfortunate that even when faced with those horrific atrocities, there were some who had difficulty condemning terrorism or acknowledging the danger," a foreign ministry statement said. "Israel will do what it has to do and expects the international community to recognise the righteous battle." 'Global silence'  In the opening session, Guterres had said "the grievances of the Palestinian people are legitimate and long" after "56 years of occupation with no end in sight" but stressed that "nothing can justify the reprehensible assault by Hamas that terrorised Israeli civilians". He then stressed that "those abhorrent attacks can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people". In the meeting which also included the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Spain and Italy, Jordan's King Abdullah II called for "an immediate end to the war on Gaza" and condemned what he labelled "global silence" on Palestinian death and suffering. "The message the Arab world is hearing is loud and clear: Palestinian lives matter less than Israeli ones. Our lives matter less than other lives," he charged. "The application of international law is optional. And human rights have boundaries -- they stop at borders, they stop at races, and they stop at religions." The summit came on the day a first convoy of aid trucks rumbled into southern Gaza, which Guterres said needed to be rapidly scaled up, with "much more" help sent through. The UN has said that about 100 trucks per day are needed to meet worsening needs in Gaza. The Palestinians need "a continuous delivery of aid to Gaza at the scale that is needed", the UN chief told the Cairo "Summit for Peace". 'We will not leave'  Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi argued that the "only solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "justice" and said that "Palestinians must realise their legitimate rights to self-determination" and have "an independent state on their land". Abbas stressed his demand for a two-state solution and an "end to Israel's occupation" and rejected what he has warned could be a "second Nakba" -- a reference to the more than 760,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their lands during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. "We will not leave," he repeated three times at the end of his speech. Cairo and Amman have repeatedly rejected calls for large numbers of refugees to enter Egypt from Gaza, warning that the "forced displacement" would lead to the "eradication of the Palestinian cause". Egypt and Jordan were the first Arab states to normalise relations with Israel, in 1979 and 1994 respectively, and have since been key mediators between Israeli and Palestinian officials. Turkey's foreign minister Hakan Fidan urged for the current conflict to become, "rather than a regional conflagration, a breeding ground for a just and lasting peace". He also condemned "unconditional military aid to Israel which only serves to maintain the occupation", while Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan condemned the failure of the UN Security Council to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire after a US veto. The post UN chief urges ceasefire to end Gaza’s ‘godawful nightmare’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 21st, 2023

England, Wales grapple with growing teen knife violence

Elianne Andam was headed to school like any other teenager in London last month when she was stabbed to death, becoming the latest victim of rising knife crime in England and Wales. The 15-year-old suffered a "brutal attack" in Croydon, south London, shortly after she and her friends had stepped off a public bus on a Wednesday morning, prosecutors have said. A 17-year-old boy arrested nearby just over an hour later will stand trial for her murder next April. One of the latest tragic cases of teen-on-teen violence in the British capital, it has become an increasingly common problem nationwide over recent decades. A few days after Andam's death, 16-year-old Taye Faik died in Edmonton, north London, following another knife attack. He was the 14th teenager to be killed with a blade in the city this year. The UK government, and mayors in some of its biggest cities and regions, have repeatedly vowed to tackle the persistent scourge of youth violence, but appear to be failing. Between 2012 and 2022, the number of knife and offensive weapon offences amongst children aged 10-17 increased by 19 percent across England and Wales, according to the Ministry of Justice. That compared with an eight percent increase among adults. 'Social issue' With the sale of guns strictly controlled in Britain, teenagers intent on violence typically turn to blades, including machetes and so-called "zombie" knives. Inspired by horror films, they often have one smooth blade and one serrated edge, and feature graphics or text on the blade or handle glorifying violence. Possessing them has been illegal since 2016, but some manufacturers have managed to evade this quasi-ban by altering their design. The government unveiled plans in August to outlaw them entirely and give police more powers to seize the weapons, which it said "seem to be designed to look menacing with no practical purpose". The new legislation will also increase the maximum penalty for their "importation, manufacturing, possession and sale" from six months to two years. However, machetes and zombie-style knives can be bought with relative ease for less than £50 ($60) on social media platforms like TikTok or Snapchat, circumventing online age restrictions, according to anti-knife crime campaigners. They urge more focus on the roots of the problem. "Knife crime isn't just a law-and-order issue, it's a social issue," Patrick Green, president of the Ben Kinsella Trust, told AFP. The anti-knife crime charity is named after a London teenager murdered in 2008. "When you start to unpick knife crime, you start to look at social deprivation, poverty, the lack of social mobility, mental health probation for young people," Green said. 'Awful weapons' Youth knife violence is more prevalent in Britain than many other European countries, he noted. "It's difficult to determine why exactly," Green added. London mayor Sadiq Khan's office blamed the austerity policies of successive Tory governments in power since 2010, which it argued have "decimated youth services" in the capital and beyond. As many as 130 centers offering sports and arts activities in the city have closed over that period, its statement noted. The pandemic and the country's worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation, driven by decades-high inflation, are also seen as contributing to the problem. Following the recent knife crime deaths in the capital, the Labour mayor urged the Conservative government in a letter "to speed up the legislation so we can ban these awful weapons as soon as possible". "The proposals also need to be toughened up to close the loopholes that could still allow the sale of these weapons," Khan added. He also wrote this month to London's 500 secondary schools reiterating that wand metal detectors to screen pupils for weapons were available, as well as police officers to deliver knife crime prevention talks. His opposition Labour party -- well ahead in polls for over a year -- has pledged to spend up to £100 million if it wins power in an election expected next year on a "Young Futures" program. It would fund new youth mentors and mental health hubs in every community, youth workers in schools set up for troubled students and hospitals, alongside wide-ranging public sector reforms. The post England, Wales grapple with growing teen knife violence appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2023

CHR welcomes murder charges vs. cops linked to Jemboy Baltazar’s death

The Commission on Human Rights on Saturday welcomed the filing of murder charges against six police officers in connection with the “unjust killing” of 17-year-old Jerhode “Jemboy” Baltazar Navotas City in August. In a statement, the CHR likewise commended the Department of Justice for “conducting a comprehensive review” of Baltazar’s slay case, which has led to the decision to file murder charges against police officers allegedly involved in the killing. “This swift development on the case is an important step towards ensuring justice and accountability, especially as it involves law enforcement agents,” it said. The human rights body said the “senseless death” of Baltazar “underscored the importance of holding law enforcement agents” accountable for their actions to curb violations and abuses that breach fundamental rights. CHR firmly stressed that positions of authority, including law enforcers, “are not above the law. “Those who committed alleged violations must be held responsible considering that they made an oath to serve in accordance with the rules and standards required of police officers," it added. CHR hopes that the filing of murder charges against the suspects "will serve as a strong message that any alleged human rights violations by law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in our society.” “Aside from its crucial importance in delivering justice to Jemboy and his family, it can also help restore public trust in our law enforcement agencies,” it further stated. "The Commission also expects that the case amplifies the importance of abiding with established rules of operations that adhere to human rights-based policing to prevent violations that denigrate human rights, especially the utmost right to life.” CHR likewise urged the Philippine National Police to continue strengthening its programs and training “that will imbue its personnel with a renewed commitment to human rights practice” and values in the conduct of their duty. The commission said it will continue monitoring the case and provide support “in aid of ascertaining justice.” “As we mark this positive development, it is equally important to ensure continued commitment to due process, transparency, and accountability throughout the legal proceedings," it said. After the issuance of the warrant of arrest, the six police officers turned themselves into the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Lucena City in Quezon last Wednesday. They will be facing murder charges and are not entitled to bail. Eight policemen, including the six who were ordered arrested by the court, were dismissed due to serious grave neglect of duty. Since then, their benefits have been forfeited and their eligibility was revoked. While they were perpetually disqualified from holding any other government posts. The post CHR welcomes murder charges vs. cops linked to Jemboy Baltazar’s death appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 7th, 2023

DoJ seeks Antipolo prosecutors help on student’s death probe

The Department of Justice has asked the Antipolo City’s Office of the City Prosecutor to help in the investigation with law enforcers on the case of a 14-year-old boy who died days after he was allegedly slapped by his teacher. The DoJ said that the autopsy to determine the cause of death of the Grade 5 student identified as Francis Gumikib last 2 October is ongoing and being conducted by the Philippine National Police Forensic Laboratory. Earlier, the DoJ — through the Committee on the Special Protection of Children — has already directed the OCP of Antipolo City to coordinate with law enforcement agencies on the investigation and case build-up on any offenses that may have been committed in relation to the death of and/or abuse perpetuated against the student. It also declared that it “condemns any act of violence and abuse perpetuated against our children.” “Child abuse in any form is an abhorrent violation of children’s rights and a crime that should never be tolerated,” said the DoJ. “Children, especially learners, deserve a safe and nurturing environment where they can grow, learn, and thrive without fear of abuse.” Meantime, the Commission on Human Rights is conducting an independent investigation into the death of the student as it also urged the government to establish and strengthen the legislative, administrative and social measures that will secure the children’s safety. “The Commission deplores all acts which pose threats to safeguarding the rights and dignity of children,” said the CHR in a statement. With Lade jean Kabagani The post DoJ seeks Antipolo prosecutors help on student’s death probe appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 5th, 2023

Seized Iran arms, ammo sent to Ukraine

The ongoing political crisis in the United States threatening to cut aid to Ukraine has President Joe Biden worrying. “It does worry me,” Biden told reporters when asked whether the ousting of Republican House speaker Kevin McCarthy by hardliners in his own party could derail more funds for Ukraine’s war effort. However, the president indicated there was “another means by which we may be able to find funding” without congressional approval, but would not give further details. A 45-day stopgap budget law was passed by the US Congress and signed by Biden last week, but it doesn’t contain funding for Ukraine. The Pentagon says the government still has authority to withdraw $5.4 billion in equipment for Ukraine from US military stocks. In the meantime, the US military has given Ukraine small arms ammunition seized from Iran last year. “The US government transferred approximately 1.1 million 7.62mm rounds to the Ukrainian armed forces” on Monday, the military’s Central Command said in a statement. The ammunition was seized by US naval forces in December 2022 while it was “being transferred from the IRGC to the Huthis in Yemen,” CENTCOM said, referring to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Yemeni rebel forces they support. “The government obtained ownership of these munitions on July 20, 2023, through the Department of Justice’s civil forfeiture claims” against the IRGC, it added. The post Seized Iran arms, ammo sent to Ukraine appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 5th, 2023

Tulfo seeks Senate probe on Italian jobs scam, illegal recruitment

Senator Raffy Tulfo is urging his fellow legislators to conduct an investigation into the reported illegal recruitment of more than 200 Filipinos who were each supposed to be paid P120,000 (€2,500) up to P347,140 (€5,780) for "non-existent jobs" in Italy. Tulfo, chairs Senate committee on migrant workers, filed Senate Resolution No. 816 earlier this week, following reports that “hundreds of victims were charged by exorbitant placement and consultancy fees for jobs that turned out to be non-existent.” In a statement on Thursday, Tulfo said Alpha Assistenza SRL, the immigration consultancy firm allegedly victimizing Filipinos, is headed by Filipino chief executive officers Krizelle Respicio and Frederick Dutaro. He then cited the testimonies of the victimized overseas Filipino workers who bared that they were lured by a promise of higher-paying jobs. “Alpha Assistenza SRL had no legal personality whatsoever to process the work visa applications of Filipinos seeking jobs in Italy,” he said. Tulfo said about 68 complainants have already filed formal complaints before the Department of Justice in Manila. He added that the Philippine embassy in Italy has likewise alerted the Public Prosecutors Office in Rome, the SUI, the Questura, and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the alleged “large-scale fraud.” The allegations of victims on the supposed “non-action” by the Philippine consulate in Milan over the concern “should also be investigated,” said Tulfo. In filing SR 816, Tulfo stressed the need to “review existing laws and policies on illegal recruitment and adopt other legislative measures to curb the proliferation of such vicious acts.” The post Tulfo seeks Senate probe on Italian jobs scam, illegal recruitment appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2023

US sanctions China-based drug network over fentanyl

The United States announced sanctions Tuesday on a China-based network for producing and distributing chemicals used to make drugs including those fueling a deadly national fentanyl crisis. President Joe Biden's administration has made the fight against fentanyl a priority, with the synthetic opioid blamed for tens of thousands of deaths in recent years. The sanctions targets include 25 individuals and entities based in China, alongside three other parties in Canada, the Treasury Department said in a statement. In a separate notice, the Justice Department announced eight indictments charging China-based chemical manufacturing firms and staff with crimes related to drug production and distribution. "We know that this global fentanyl supply chain, which ends with the deaths of Americans, often starts with chemical companies in China," Attorney General Merrick Garland told a press briefing. He said it was "critical" that Beijing stops the "unchecked flow" of precursor chemicals coming from the country, adding that US officials will also raise the manufacturing and trafficking of fentanyl with their Mexican counterparts. Tuesday's actions are aimed at exposing and disrupting a network "responsible for manufacturing and distributing illicit drugs," said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo. The China-based network is "responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of ton quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and MDMA precursors," according to the Treasury. The parties designated are also allegedly involved in trafficking xylazine -- a veterinary sedative known as "tranq" -- and nitazenes, which are often mixed with fentanyl or other drugs, posing a higher risk of a fatal overdose. Via Mexico cartels  US authorities have noted that fentanyl is often coming from Mexican drug cartels that use precursor chemicals from China. The Biden administration has imposed sanctions on cartels, although some politicians call for tougher actions. Among the individuals designated on Tuesday are Wang Shucheng and Du Changgen -- members of a Chinese "syndicate" -- as well as their affiliates. Wang was said to have directed others to establish companies used as cover to move pharmaceutical goods globally, while Du maintains the most influence over the organization, Treasury said. The network is the "source of supply" for many US-based narcotics traffickers, dark web vendors, virtual currency money launderers and Mexico-based criminal organizations, Treasury added. "Du Changgen and persons operating under him have been responsible for approximately 900 kilograms of seized fentanyl and methamphetamine precursors shipped to the United States and Mexico," the department said. Companies Du owns have also been designated. Hanhong Pharmaceutical Technology Co, found to be linked to several members of the network, was targeted -- alongside three representatives who were involved in its sale of fentanyl precursors and protonitazene. Among others impacted were punch and die manufacturer Jinhu Minsheng Pharmaceutical Machinery and its part-owner, as well as other illicit drug distributors. The United States has also blocked over a dozen virtual currency wallets. The sanctions effectively stop those named from using the US financial system, and US citizens are barred from transacting with them. The post US sanctions China-based drug network over fentanyl appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2023

United States auto strike expands with 7,000 more workers joining

Another 7,000 members of the biggest US automobile workers' union on Friday joined its already major strike against the country's "Big Three" Detroit car manufacturers. The latest walkouts leave a total of some 25,000 workers on strike in 21 states -- or around 17 percent of the United Auto Workers' membership. UAW president Shawn Fain said the latest members to join the strike were at two plants in Chicago and Michigan, who downed tools at 1600 GMT. "Our courageous members at these two plants are the next wave of reinforcements in our fight for record contracts," Fain said. The industrial action is the first-ever joint strike at the major automakers -- Ford, GM, and Chrysler producer Stellantis -- in a push for higher salaries and other improvements. Fain noted however that he would not call on additional members to suspend their activity at Stellantis due to "significant progress" on several points currently under discussion. Fain mentioned a mechanism for adjusting salaries to the cost of living as well as the right to strike in the event of a site closure or relocation announcement by the manufacturer. The union has asked for a 40 percent pay raise over the next four-year contract, while the three companies have been offering raises of around 20 percent. It's also been negotiating to represent workers at battery plants planned by Ford, which the auto giant has so far resisted. UAW has used the targeted strike, which began on September 15, as a bargaining chip, ramping up the pressure on the three automakers in a bid to reach a deal. holding the deal hostage Ford President Jim Farley, who has remained relatively silent until now, came out strongly Friday against Fain's negotiating tactics. "I believe we could have reached a compromise on pay and benefits, but so far the UAW is holding the deal hostage over battery plants," he told reporters. Fain later hit back. "I don’t know why Jim Farley is lying about the state of negotiations. It could be because he failed to show up for bargaining this week, as he has for most of the past ten weeks," he said. "If he were there, he’d know we gave Ford a comprehensive proposal on Monday and still haven’t heard back." Ford recently paused construction at one of its plants and warned it may have to scale back its ambitions for the project. Stellantis said in a statement it has been "intensely working with the UAW to find solutions to the issues that are of most concern to our employees while ensuring the company can remain competitive." "We have made progress in our discussions, but gaps remain," it said, adding it was committed to reaching "a fair and responsible agreement that gets everyone back to work as soon as possible." The strike gets political The strike has ramped up the significance of Michigan's swing state status in the 2024 presidential election. Earlier this week, Joe Biden became the first sitting US president to stand on a picket line, joining UAW members in Michigan in a bold pitch for blue-collar votes against likely election rival Donald Trump. Wearing a UAW baseball cap, the Democrat used a bullhorn to tell red-shirted workers they deserved "a hell of a lot more than what you're getting." Trump's Republican party is typically hostile toward unions, though is often able to pick up significant numbers of working-class votes. Trump spoke at a non-union auto facility in the Detroit suburbs saying that he wants "a future that protects American labor, not foreign labor." On Friday, Fain called Biden's visit a "historic day." "The most powerful man in the world shows up for one reason only," he said. "Because our solidarity is the most powerful force in the world." "When we stand together united in the cause of economic and social justice, there's nothing we can't do," he added. The post United States auto strike expands with 7,000 more workers joining appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 30th, 2023

Phl can do without China — Bersamin

Executive Secretary Justice Lucas Bersamin on Thursday said that the Philippines can live without China despite their strong economic ties, adding that the country should avoid being dependent on its Asian neighbor. Nonetheless, Bersamin said in a recent TV interview that Philippine-China relations have many aspects, and that he is not in a position to talk about them because of his closeness with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “We are dealing with issues diplomatically. It is still possible for us to go with China, but about the economic viability of our relations or the economic dimensions if we were to go against China. You know, we can’t say that we are dependent on China,” Bersamin said. “China might be our trading partner or supplier, or it gives us some products that we may need, but we should not be too dependent on China. I don’t think China will even want us to be dependent because China knows that we have a multilateral approach,” Bersamin added. Bersamin’s statement comes as the Philippines is facing increasing pressure from China in the South China Sea. China has been militarizing islands and reefs in the disputed waters despite a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that invalidated its claims. He maintained that the Philippines has exclusive rights to the fisheries and natural resources in the West Philippine Sea, which China is claiming as part of its nine-dash line territory (recently expanded to 10-dash line) in the South China Sea. “That’s probably why China is acting like that. But beyond that, we do not want to have a conflict with China. We do not want to provoke a conflict with China because we can coexist with China,” Bersamin said. He refused to contrast the Marcos administration with the previous Duterte government, which was seen to be close to China. “I don’t want to compare,” he said. “We leave that to the Presidents to make those decisions, the directions that they take.” Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that China has become the Philippines’ primary trade partner. As of May, total exports to the Philippines reached $6.44 billion, with China having 16.6 percent of the trade volume. The post Phl can do without China — Bersamin appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 28th, 2023

Bersamin: ‘Phl can live without China’

Executive Secretary Justice Lucas Bersamin on Thursday said that the Philippines can live without China and that it should avoid overdependence on its Asian neighbor despite the two countries' strong economic ties. In a recent interview with journalist Ka Tunying, he asked Bersamin whether the Philippines is dependent on China. He responded that the question has many aspects and that he is not in a position to speak about it because he is too close to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. However, Bersamin did say that the Philippines is dealing with the issue of its relationship with China diplomatically. He also said that it is still possible for the Philippines to go with China but that the country should not be too dependent on its Asian neighbor. "We are dealing with (several) issues diplomatically. It is still possible for us to go with China, but about the economic viability of our relations or the economic dimensions if we were to go against China. You know, we can't say that we are dependent on China," Bersamin said. "China might be our trading partner or supplier, or it gives us some products that we may need, but we should not be too dependent on China. I don't think China will even want us to be dependent because China knows that we have a multilateral approach," Bersamin added. Bersamin's statement comes when the Philippines is facing increasing pressure from China in the South China Sea. China has been militarizing islands and reefs in the disputed waters despite a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that invalidated its claims. When asked if he thinks China needs the Philippines more than the Philippines needs China, Bersamin said that the Philippines has exclusive rights to the fisheries and natural resources in that area. "Perhaps China is acting this way because they know that in the eyes of other countries, we are the ones who should be recognized as having the exclusive right to own these fisheries and natural resources in that area," Bersamin said. "That's probably why China is acting like that. But beyond that, we do not want to have a conflict with China. We do not want to provoke a conflict with China because we can coexist with China." Ka Tunying, meanwhile, said that more countries are siding with the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea dispute because the current administration is being more transparent about what China is doing. "The biggest news today regarding China's aggression is that more countries are siding with us because this administration is becoming transparent about what China is doing in the WPS (West Philippine Sea). Did you notice that during the previous administration, they intentionally did not report what China was doing because we didn't want to upset China back then?" Ka Tunying asked Bersamin. Bersamin said that he was not paying much attention to the issue during the previous administration. Still, he said that he wants to avoid comparing the two administrations' foreign policy directions. "I don't want to compare," he said. "We leave that to the Presidents to make those decisions, the directions that they take," he added. Despite the dispute, the Philippines and China have maintained close economic ties. Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that China has become the Philippines' primary trade partner, representing a significant portion of the nation's exports and serving as the leading provider of imported products. As of May, exports reached a total of $6.44 billion, with China carrying out 16.6 percent of total exports during the month. Import costs, meanwhile continued to surpass export receipts, hitting $10.84 billion during the month. China was also the country's biggest source of imported goods, supplying 24 percent of the country's total imports. The post Bersamin: ‘Phl can live without China’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2023

US sues eBay for selling products that harm environment

The US Justice Department sued eBay on Wednesday for allegedly selling restricted pesticide products and devices that defeat motor vehicle emission controls. The complaint against the online marketplace was filed on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a federal court in New York. It accused the San Jose, California-based company of selling hundreds of thousands of products in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and other environmental protection legislation. "The complaint filed today demonstrates that EPA will hold online retailers responsible for the unlawful sale of products on their websites that can harm consumers and the environment," Assistant EPA Administrator David Uhlmann said in a statement. US Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim said "laws prohibiting the sale of products that harm human health and the environment apply to e-commerce retailers just as they do to brick-and-mortar stores." According to the complaint, eBay has sold more than 343,000 devices which defeat motor vehicle pollution emission controls and at least 23,000 unregistered, misbranded or restricted-use pesticide products. In a statement, eBay said it would "vigorously defend itself" against the charges. "We dedicate significant resources, implement state-of-the-art technology and ensure our teams are properly trained to prevent prohibited items from being listed on the marketplace," the company said in a statement. "Indeed, eBay is blocking and removing more than 99.9 percent of the listings for the products cited by the DOJ, including millions of listings each year." The post US sues eBay for selling products that harm environment appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 27th, 2023

Fools in suits

When a ranking Department of Agriculture official was asked in a recent Congress hearing what steps the agency had taken to break the rice cartel, he replied that he did not believe that a “mafia” existed. Coming from a high DA official, the statement revealed that nothing was being done to stop the syndicate that everyone in the industry knows about since, to the authorities, it does not exist. In the reenacted Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016, smuggling, hoarding, profiteering, and forming cartels for agricultural and fishery products are considered economic sabotage and are non-bailable offenses for which a long jail term could be meted out. The strengthened law, however, lacks strong teeth against government officials who are in cahoots or protect the syndicates. Contained in the proposed bill is a provision indicating that any government officer or employee found to be an accomplice in the commission of the crime will “suffer the additional penalties of perpetual disqualification from holding public office, exercising the right to vote, from participating in any public election, and forfeiture of employment monetary and financial benefits.” The bill is pending in both houses of Congress. With the slow grind of justice in the country, a public official looking for a fast buck will not hesitate to risk his job in exchange for a huge payback. The recent series of events showed the markets are being manipulated by the big players in the sugar, vegetable and rice businesses. These syndicates are known to be deeply entrenched due to their connections with government bigwigs who facilitate their domination of the markets either through edicts or the use of public resources. In the most ridiculous situation, the recent spike in onion prices was found to be artificial since farmers were even throwing away their harvests because of low farmgate prices, thus there was no reason for prices to surge. Later, it was exposed in a congressional hearing that a cartel had succeeded in manipulating the onion market to create a condition that would require its importation, from which its members would make a killing. The warehouse and storage facilities are controlled by the mafia which makes it easy to create artificial conditions to which the market reacts by raising retail prices. The ultimate goal is to coax the government to allow importation from suppliers in overseas markets that are also flooded with the commodity, The cartel rakes in profits from both the high markup and the kickbacks from the overseas suppliers desperate to sell their surplus. The woeful victims are the Filipino farmers whom the cartel boxes out of the market. In extreme cases, these farmers just throw away their harvest since they cannot afford to transport their products without the middlemen who are also in the pocket of the cartel. The same goes for the rice industry, where the market was manipulated for a different reason, which was to kill the rice tariffication law that kicked the National Food Authority out of the import business. Rice prices then surged to as high as P56 a kilo, which pushed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to impose price ceilings. The NFA used to have a  monopoly on importation, but that resulted in acrimonious confrontations at the apex of government. The tariffication law, in turn, opened importation to all grain traders and relegated the NFA to buying rice from local farmers. Under the new anti-smuggling bill which has the endorsement of Mr. Marcos, an Anti-Agricultural Economic Sabotage Council headed by the President or his designated permanent representative will be formed. The proposed body will have the power to investigate and file charges, as well as freeze violators’ funds, properties, bank deposits, placements, trust accounts, assets and records. The creation of the body looks good on paper but in the real world, it might just add another layer of bureaucracy and source of corruption unless the cartel, which DA officials claim does not exist, is dismantled. Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile has a simple solution for breaking the cartel, which is for the government to confiscate all the rice overstock and let the owners of the warehouses prove that their huge inventory is legitimate. Such a move would prompt the traders to release more rice into the market to avoid confiscation. The imposition of the price cap on rice indicated that the prices are artificial since the markets are now selling at lower than the manipulated prices despite conditions being constant. An expected bumper harvest is also prompting the prices to go back to normal, after the attempt of the cartel to create a price shock to support their effort to return to the old ways. To know the real situation, President Marcos goes out of his way to see what is on the ground. His underlings, particularly at the Department of Agriculture, should do better. The post Fools in suits appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023