SONA 2016 UPDATES

WATCH | Maiden batch of Pinay cleaners to fly to Japan this month

MANILA -- Once a closed country to migrant household workers, Japan has recently opened its doors to help its graying population and dwindling workforce. And in a few weeks, the pilot batch of…

Nasty or nice? Study links personality to brain shape

PARIS, France - Personality traits such as moodiness or open-mindedness are linked to the shape of one's brain, a study said Wednesday.

Researchers said…

House to press passage of comprehensive tax bill

MANILA, Philippines -- Notwithstanding public criticism, the House of Representatives will push the passage of a comprehensive tax bill that will increase the excise taxes on petroleum products and…

Personal remittances for Jan.-Oct. 2016 reach US$24.4B

MANILA - Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) for the first 10 months of the year reached US$24.4 billion, equivalent to a 3.9 percent growth year-on-year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas…

TRUE HEROES SEEK NO HONORS | Cuba to legislate Fidel Castro's dying wish: No monuments in his name

SANTIAGO DE CUBA - Cuba will respect Fidel Castro's dying wish that no statues be erected in his honor and no streets be named after him, President Raul Castro said Saturday.

RECUERDO | A panty, a napkin, and badgering a looter on the day after Typhoon Yolanda

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines - At the neighborhood grocery store in Tacloban City the other day, I headed to the sanitary napkin section to buy a pack of my trusted brand.

As I picked up the…

Personal remittances climb to US$19.5B in first 8 months of 2016

MANILA - Personal remittances of Overseas Filipinos in August 2016 increased by 16 percent year-on-year to reach $2.6 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Officer-in-Charge Nestor A. Espenilla…

Dominguez: 5.1% GDP expansion in H2 enough to sustain 2016 growth targets

MANILA - The country needs only to sustain a 5.1-percent expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) for the second semester to achieve the government's growth target of 6 to 7 percent for 2016.

WAR ON DRUGS | 'Bato' to probe case of drug assets allegedly killed by Antipolo cops

MANILA – The Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald M. Dela Rosa, on Monday vowed to give justice to the mother of a witness, who was allegedly executed by Antipolo policemen,…

Personal, corporate income tax cuts eyed, but higher VAT, new taxes seen

MANILA – The Duterte administration is poised to lower personal and corporate taxes to allow wage earners to have a bigger take-home pay, but new taxes and the expanded VAT could diminish…

WATCH | Vintage Duterte: Hilarious moments at the SONA

VIDEOS PREPPED BY NEIL FRANCIS PORTUGAL

... Still on the Digong SONA, to the uninitiated, President Duterte's constant shifting between prepared text and ad libs in his speech may come off initially…

AFP chief Visaya orders SOMO against NPA; pullout from lumad zones pressed

MANILA - AFP Chief of Staff General Ricardo Visaya on Tuesday directed all unit commanders to enforce right away a suspension of military operations (SOMO) against the New People’s Army…

Caraga activists cheer SONA but voice concern over killings

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines -- Around 6,000 activists from the five provinces of the Caraga region gathered in Butuan Monday for a street march and rally to mark the first state of the nation address…

LOOK | Change: Duterte to grant interviews again, gives journos post-SONA tour of Bahay Pangarap

MANILA, Philippines -- It appears President Rodrigo Duterte is beginning to thaw towards media, telling journalists who covered his campaign that he plans, in the coming days, to resume giving interviews…

Ilocos farmers slam Laoag LGU for withholding permit to rally during SONA

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines -- A farmers’ group in Ilocos Norte blasted the Laoag City government for ignoring their request for a permit to stage a rally during President Rodrigo Duterte’s…

FULL TEXT | The first SONA of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte

MANILA, Philippines -- The full text of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first state of the nation address:

"Kindly sit down. Thank you.

Allow me a little bit of informality at the outset.…

Duterte seeks constitutional amendments to help ease people’s plight

MANILA, Philippines – In one of the most applauded part of his State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to lower the personal and corporate income tax to help ease the people’s…

Duterte vows no mercy on criminals

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte vowed Monday to show "no mercy" in his bloody war on crime, warning criminals that priests and human rights advocates cannot protect them from being…

Philippine stocks sustain rally above 8,000-level

MANILA, Philippines -- The local stock market sustained its rally above 8,000-level on Monday, still bolstered by corporate earnings and as President Rodrigo Duterte laid his agenda in his first State-of-Nation…

WATCH, DUTERTE'S SONA | President cracks whip on criminality

MANILA - When he launched into his State of the Nation speech on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte asked for "a little bit of informality at the outset" to observe that the "the guys" behind him, Senate…

Duterte orders DICT to accelerate fiber plan, work on free public Wi-Fi access

MANILA — Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte has instructed the newly created Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to study the formulation of a new national broadband strategy…

Duterte 'confusing, contradictory' on rights – HRW

MANILA, Philippines -- President Rodrigo Duterte sent out "confusing" and "contradictory" messages on human rights in his first state of the nation address on Monday, an international watchdog said.

SONA 2016 | Duterte ready to go once federal govt in place

MANILA, Philippines -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged Congress to immediately work on the federal system of government he wants for the country, saying he would be ready to step down and…

SONA 2016 | Duterte declares unilateral cease-fire with Left

(UPDATE 2 - 5:01 p.m.) MANILA - Saying attaining permanent peace before his term ends is his cherished goal, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared, effective immediately, a unilateral cease-fire…

Arroyo back in House, vows to support Duterte's legislative agenda

MANILA, Philippines -- Three days after her release from more than four months in hospital detention, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo showed up for work at the House of Representatives Monday…

SONA 2016 | Change: Ralliers, cops share 'taho' and other views from the street

MANILA - For decades, the image of the annual state of the nation address has always been a diptych -- flashy fashion and equally flashy words inside the Batasan Pambansa; outside, face-offs…

Rain, thunderstorm possible in time for Duterte's SONA - Pagasa

MANILA, Philippines -- It just might rain on President Rodrigo Duterte’s parade on Monday with the state weather bureau saying thunderstorms could break in time for his first state of the nation…

AFP ready to 'protect' SONA demonstrators

MANILA - Military personnel deployed alongside policemen along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City are ready to “protect” and “maintain order” among militants, who have…

SONA, PREVIEW | It lasts at least 38 minutes, awakens 'patriot' in us, can make one cry: Andanar

MANILA - President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's first State of the Nation Address (SONA) to be delivered Monday (July 25) is a "very powerful" speech that will "awaken the patriot" in Filipinos and…

SONA, SAMA NA | Duterte invited to join marchers before addressing Congress

MANILA - Will the first Mindanaoan to become President also make history by being the first chief executive to join the marchers at the rally that marks the State of the Nation Address?

FEAR FACTOR | Drug users' plea: Help us but, please, not through intimidation

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERWIN MASCARIÑAS, InterAksyon

Butuan City - Many of the drug dependents and pushers who have recently yielded to authorities and swore to mend their ways shared…

ALL IN 21 DAYS | Caraga cops seize P29M worth of illegal drugs, process 14,000 drug users

Butuan City - The Police Regional Office 13 (PRO13) in Caraga Region disclosed that, in the first 21 days of this month (July), law enforcers have seized some PhP 29 million worth of illegal drugs…

PRRD SONA | QC Hall advises motorists to take alternative traffic routes

MANILA - To avoid vehicular traffic inconveniences on the day President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, the Quezon City Department of Public…

OPINION | How to make the SONA meaningful

Change is coming, they say. Thus, change must also come to the annual SONA of the President. Here are some suggestions on ways to make this year's SONA truly different and meaningful. 

1.…

WATCH | What to expect in President Duterte’s first SONA

MANILA, Philippines -- Content rather than fashion.

This will be the focus of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s first no frills State of the Nation Address (SONA), which is set on July 25,…

Resumption of talks with Reds pushed back over prisoner release, SONA - report

MANILA, Philippines -- The resumption of formal peace talks between government and communist rebels will be pushed back slightly because of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first state of the nation…

TOKTOK-HANGYO | Tarlac cops conduct 'Oplan Tokhang'

Tarlac City - Elements of the Provincial Police Office and the Tarlac City Police started implementing on Friday the national law enforcement initiative labeled Oplan Tokhang.

Tokhang is…

Pacman wealthiest in House 6 years running

MANILA, Philippines -- Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao has retained his title as the richest member of the House of Representatives, a distinction he has held in all his six years in the chamber,…

MAR: Poe should come clean on her personal background

MANILA, Philippines - Presidential aspirant Manuel "Mar" Roxas has come out to ask: Who really is Senator Grace Poe, his rival, and what else should the public know about her?

Roxas said…

Personal remittances from OFWs reach $2.2 billion in January 2016: BSP

MANILA, Philippines - Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos increased by 3.2 percent year-on-year in January 2016 to reach $2.2 billion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco…

Personal remittances sustain growth in November 2015; year-to-date level reaches US$25.2B

MANILA - Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached US$2.4 billion in November 2015, representing a year-on-year growth of 3 percent. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances…

VIDEO | Church plans to ban personalized wedding vows

MANILA – Personalized wedding vows have become a trend among young couples lately. The Catholic Church, however, plans to ban the practice. Mon Gualvez reports for the January 6, 2016 edition…

Ilocos Norte town has two mayors

SOLSONA, Ilocos Norte -- This Ilocos Norte town has two mayors after the suspended chief executive refused to vacate his post.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, acting on the recommendation…

Personal remittances at $17.9B in first 8 months of 2015

MANILA - Overseas Filipinos remitted a total of US$2.3 billion in personal remittances in August 2015, bringingpersonal remittances for the period January–August 2015 to $17.9 billion,…

Bloomberg: FBI recovers private emails from Clinton server

WASHINGTON - The FBI has recovered emails from a private server used by Hillary Clinton while secretary of state that she said were deleted because they involved personal matters, Bloomberg reported…

ADB lowers 2015 growth projection for PHL, citing slow public spending in Q1

MANILA - Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) cut its 2015 growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.0 percent from 6.4 percent due to slow public spending in the first quarter of the year.

Personal remittances reach $15.7 B in January-July 2015

MANILA - Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached $2.3 billion in July 2015, bringing the total over the seven-month period to $15.7 billion, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas…

NO RETREAT | Angara remains optimistic about passage of tax reform law

MANILA – "I am an optimist. I believe in the better angels of our nature. I think that even those who are skeptical would come around and join our cause."

With these words, Senator…

2 weeks after TSONA, administration has yet to give credible reply - Binay camp

MANILA - Beyond the swardspeak that initially characterized the comments on Vice President Jejomar Binay’s True State of the Nation Address (TSONA) delivered two weeks ago, no credible…