Good day. Here are the stories of The Manila Times for Friday, February 9, 2024.

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READ: Go: No ICC warrant for Duterte's arrest

SEN. Christopher "Bong" Go has dismissed rumors that the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant against former president Rodrigo Duterte for alleged crimes against humanity. Go said he had not heard or seen any official confirmation of the warrant, stressing that the I.C.C. has no jurisdiction over the Philippines. The country withdrew its membership from the Rome Statute of the ICC in 2019 after the court announced it would conduct a preliminary investigation of the extrajudicial killings that took place during Duterte's anti-drug campaign. The I.C.C. reminded the Duterte administration that "withdrawal from the court will not change the Philippines' obligations to cooperate in a proceeding which had already begun."

READ: Marcos to BARMM: Reject undemocratic process

SAYING "a stronger Mindanao means a stronger Philippines," President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday called on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) not to allow "forces outside of the democratic process to deviate our dreams and our aspirations." The President's statement came amid the call of his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, for Mindanao to secede from the rest of the Philippines and become an independent state. In his speech at the 17th Meeting of the National Government-Bangsamoro Government Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, the President reiterated his administration's support to the Bangsamoro peace process.

READ: Year of Wood Dragon to bring good luck, prosperity

GOOD fortune will be bountiful during the reign of the Wood Dragon, which begins with the celebration of the Chinese New Year on Saturday. In an interview with The Manila Times Lifestyle, master geomancer Patrick Lim Fernandez of New World Makati's Yin and Yang Shop of Harmony said the good luck will not be limited to those who are born in the Year of the Dragon.

READ: Water levels in Luzon dams continue to fall

WITH no rain falling for weeks, the water level in the nine major dams in Luzon continues to drop, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said on Thursday. Pagasa Administrator Nathaniel Servando told The Manila Times via Viber that despite the falling dam levels, a water shortage and the resulting water rationing "are still remote by this time" because of "proper planning" by the National Water Resources Board.

READ: Comelec taps 166 malls as registration centers

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday said that it will open satellite registration sites in 166 shopping malls nationwide when voters' registration resumes on Monday, February 12. Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia said that the "register anywhere project" (RAP) will be done in partnership with the three biggest mall operators in the country — SM Supermalls, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls and Robinsons Malls — to make registration easier for voters. The RAP will be implemented from February 12 to September 30. Registration sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, including Saturdays and holidays, except when declared otherwise by the Comelec.

BUSINESS: San Miguel-led group outbids rivals for NAIA

Topping business, a San Miguel Corp.-led consortium has submitted a revenue-sharing offer well over competing bids for the 171-billion peso Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) rehabilitation, operation and maintenance project. The Transportation department on Thursday announced that the SMC SAP Company Consortium, composed of SMC's San Miguel Holdings Corp., RMM Asian Logistics Inc., RLW Aviation Development Inc. and South Korea's Incheon International, had proposed to give the government 82.16 percent of revenues from the project. Two other groups submitted much lower revenue share offers and a third was disqualified for not complying with technical proposal requirements, the department added.

SPORTS: Magnolia shoots for series equalizer

Over to sports, buoyed by its first victory in the best-of-seven Finals last Wednesday, Magnolia shoots for another win and try to send the series against San Miguel Beer back to square one as both squads tangle in Game 4 of the PBA Season 48 Commissioner's Cup title series on Friday, February 9, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Game time is 7:30 p.m. After dropping the first two games of the championship series and allowing the Beermen to score over 100 points in each occasion, the Hotshots played with fervor and energy in their 88-80 victory in Game 3 last Wednesday. Magnolia accomplished the win after playing true to its character, being the tournament's top defensive team heading to the Finals.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Rigoberto Tiglao and Francisco Tatad are today's front page columnists, as both of them criticize efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Today's editorial thinks the police must assume the role of the guardians of cyberspace. Read the full version in the paper's opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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