Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Sunday, March 12, 2023.

READ: 2 firearms from Teves home raid examined

Two firearms suspected of being used in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and other victims were recovered in one of the houses of a lawmaker who has been tagged as a suspect, according to a report from the police in Region 7. The two assault rifles, magazines, bandolier with plate and ammunition that were seized from the residence of Negros Oriental Third District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. at Sitio Palasanun in Barangay Cansumalig, Bayawan City have been forwarded to the Scene of Crime Operatives (SOCO) for appropriate forensic examination, police said. At the same time, three more people were arrested during the simultaneous raids at the houses of Teves on Friday on the strength of a search warrant issued by the Regional Trial Court in Mandaue City. Negros police said that the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Degamo is now on “the final stretch of their investigation.”

READ: Negros Oriental task force formed

Meanwhile, the Department of National Defense (DND) has put into motion the verbal order issued by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to suppress lawless violence in Negros Oriental following the assassination of its governor on March 4. DND Officer in Charge Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. flew to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental on Saturday to discuss with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) officials the creation of the joint task force group. According to Galvez, who was accompanied by AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino and PNP OIC LtGen. Rhodel Sermonia, Special Task Force Negros (STFN) will help ensure that incidents of violence in the island province will end after the fatal shooting of Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others. He said its aim is also to speed up the suppression of impunity in the entire island and give justice to the families and loved ones of the victims. The STFN has designated Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. as the chairman and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla and Galvez as co-vice chairmen. The respective agency heads of the PNP, AFP and National Bureau of Investigation were designated as task force commanders.

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READ: Palace nixes UN body on comfort women

MALACAÑANG has refuted the claim of a United Nations panel that the Philippines has failed to provide reparations for Filipino women who suffered sexual abuse by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War 2. In a statement, Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the Philippine government recognized the suffering of the victims, but noted that “some reparations have been made and the Supreme Court has adjudicated on the matter.” Garafil issued the statement following findings of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) that the country violated the rights of victims of sexual slavery committed by the Japanese Army in World War 2. The Palace official said the government will study the “views” of the UN body, and “submit a written response within the time frame of six months as provided under the optional protocol to the Cedaw.”

READ: DoST: New GRS to boost disaster mitigation

The Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DoST-ASTI) inaugurated on Friday its third ground receiving station (GRS) adjacent to the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT-U) campus in P.D. Monfort, Dumangas, Iloilo. A GRS improves weather forecasting, which is an important aspect of disaster mitigation. The Iloilo GRS has a 3.5-meter movable dish that is capable of tracking satellites in real time. Its collated information is processed by the Knowledge Center for Weather, Atmospheric, Astronomical and Geophysical Observation center near the earth station. The facility is capable of receiving data and imagery from relevant satellites, including the Philippine-developed microsatellite Diwata-2, as well as future satellites that will be developed by Filipino engineers.

BUSINESS: Economist bullish on rebound of FDIs

Over to business, an economist is optimistic about the rebound of foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the Philippines given the continued recovery of the domestic economy. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Friday the 23.2-percent decline of net FDIs to $9.2 billion in 2022 compared to the previous year, and 76.2-percent drop of the net inflows in December 2022 to $634 million, both of which were traced to higher base effects. In a report, Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said upticks of interest rates overseas, along with the general trend of elevated inflation rate globally, likely contributed to investors’ worries, thus the drop of inflows going to the Philippines. But as the economy continues to recover, Ricafort said “net FDIs could still be sustained among the highest since the pandemic started.”

SPORTS: La Salle sweeps FEU to stay unscathed

Headlining sports, De La Salle University stayed spotless after defeating Far Eastern University (FEU), 25-16, 25-18, 25-21, on Saturday, March 11, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament at the PhilSports Arena. Angel Canino continued her superb rookie campaign with 13 points, eight excellent receptions and seven digs to lead the way for the league-leading Lady Spikers, who rose to a 5-0 record. Thea Gagate put up 13 points while Jolina de la Cruz and Leila Cruz chipped in 10 markers, respectively, in La Salle’s balanced attack orchestrated by Mars Alba, who dished out 19 excellent sets.

Opinion and editorial

Marlen Ronquillo is today’s front page columnist, as he discusses in details the functions of the iconic Filipino jeepneys.

Today’s editorial discusses the issues regarding hazing in fraternities. Read the full version in the paper’s opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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For The Manila Times, this is Paulo Dimaapi.