PNP pronounces war against illegal gambling.
With the war on drugs temporarily on hold, the PNP announced its new focus: illegal gambling. According to President Duterte, gambling adversely affects barangays throughout the country, and PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa vowed to fight it in all its incarnations, from "jueteng" to online gambling. However, the new campaign may test the resolve and resources of the PNP which is reeling from the ongoing effort to remove corrupt officers.
Solicitor General acquits Napoles in illegal detention case.
Janet Lim Napoles may remain in prison yet another 40 years for orchestrating the pork barrel scheme, but she did receive a break of sorts yesterday from the Office of the Solicitor General. Accused of illegally detaining former associate-turned-whistleblower Benhur Luy, Napoles was found not guilty in a legal decision which may have as yet unknown political consequences. According to legal experts this constitutes “a policy shift in how the Duterte administration wants to deal with Napoles, Luy, other state witnesses, and the lawmakers who had been indicted” in the pork barrel scandal.
Plunder may return to list of heinous crimes.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez urged for plunder to be put back on the list of crimes punishable by the death penalty. The move comes after a committee hearing on a lease contract between PAGCOR and Vanderwood Management Corporation revealed that the gaming corporation had made an advance payment totaling P 234 million without Vanderwood fulfilling its obligation to build the facility. Alvarez believes that the death penalty would deter government corruption.
Russia launches test missile in violation of nuclear treaty.
Confusion prevails in the relationship between Russia and the United States. A day after US national security advisor Michael Flynn tendered his resignation over his potentially compromised position with the Russian ambassador, Russia launched a cruise missile in violation of a long-standing international treaty. In spite of President Trump’s overtures towards Putin, the Kremlin continues with its aggressive moves, the latest being the dispatch of a spy ship towards international waters off the coast of Delaware.