• Philippine president pardons U.S. Marine jailed for transgender killing
    MANILA, September 7 (Reuters): Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday pardoned a United States Marine convicted of killing a transgender woman in the country nearly six years ago, sparking condemnation from activists who described the move as a "mockery of justice". Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was jailed in 2015 for killing Jennifer Laude near a former U.S. navy base. A trial court signed off on his early release last week for good conduct, but was
  • Twin bombings kill 15, wound scores in Philippine south
    MANILA, August 23 (Reuters): Twin blasts including a suicide bombing killed 15 people and wounded 75 others on a restive southern Philippine island on Monday, among them security forces and civilians, with Islamist militants suspected of being behind the attack. The bombs went off within an hour of each other in the main town on Jolo island, a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic State-linked group that has intensified its campaign in recent years through the use of suicide bom
  • ASEAN can overcome COVID-19 pandemic: Duterte
    Manila, August 8 (IANS): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Saturday expressed optimism that the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can overcome the COVID-19 pandemic through joint efforts. "We are confident that the ASEAN way of partnership and mutual aid will help us overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and move forward with our community-building endeavors," Duterte said in a brief statement on the bloc's 53rd founding anniversary. Duterte added
  • Philippine president approves controversial anti-terror bill
    MANILA, July 3 (Reuters): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved tough anti-terrorism legislation on Friday that critics fear will be used to target his opponents, stifle free speech and promote authoritarianism in one of Asia's most liberal democracies.   The law grants police and military sweeping powers to tackle security threats, but legal experts warn its overly broad articles could open the door to discriminatory enforcement, privacy infringements and s
  • Philippine doctors shield families with 'quarantent', safe spaces
    MANILA, June 30 (Reuters): After taking a job in a hospital's COVID-19 emergency room, Philippine doctor Jan Claire Dorado planned to move out of the family home to protect relatives from the risk of infection.   But Dorado's parents insisted the 30-year-old keep living at home, so her father constructed a makeshift isolation area in a storage room there.   Now, when she returns from work at one of the country's main hospitals treating coronavirus
  • Philippine journalist sued again for cyber-defamation
    MANILA, JUNE 19 (IANS): Philippine journalist Maria Ressa has a second cyber-defamation lawsuit pending, filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng on February 13 because of a tweet published a year earlier by the director of Rappler, the outlet reported on Friday.   Ressa was already convicted of cyber-defamation Monday following a lawsuit also filed by Keng in 2017 due to an article published by Rappler in May 2012, in which the businessman was linked to drug trafficking and human
  • Philippines' Duterte U-turns on scrapping of U.S. troop deal
    MANILA, June 2 (Reuters): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has suspended his decision to scrap a two-decade-old troop deployment agreement with the United States due to political and other developments in the region, his foreign minister said on Tuesday,   The termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which is central to one of Washington's most important alliances in Asia, was due to take effect in August and was Duterte's biggest move yet towards
  • Philippine leader answers call of workers begging to go home
    MANILA, May 25 (Reuters): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has given his government a week to process some 24,000 repatriated Filipino workers stuck for weeks on cruise ships or in coronavirus quarantine, so they can finally go home.   Thousands are aboard cruise vessels off Manila Bay or stuck in hotels and crowded health facilities, some growing frustrated having tested negative for the coronavirus and completed the mandated 14-day quarantine.   Overseas Fil
  • In Philippine slums, heat, hunger take a toll under lockdown
    MANILA, May 25 (Reuters): One by one, Michelle Asinto's six children take the plate of rice doused in soy sauce and eat their share before passing it on.   This is what a meal can look like in the slums around the Philippine capital Manila. Under lockdown since March 16, many families have lost regular incomes and forced to survive on government aid that can be sporadic and often not enough.   "Every day we just wait for our ration but it only comes