Good day. Here are the stories for The Manila Times for Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

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READ: Marcos rules out new bases for US

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Monday the government is not inclined to give the United States access to more Philippine military bases under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. EDCA, signed in 2014, authorizes the United States military to use designated installations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to build facilities and position their equipment, aircraft, and vessels. The initial five EDCA sites include the Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu and Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro City.

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READ: AFP rejects Alvarez call to withdraw support for BBM

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines on Monday rejected a lawmaker's call for the military to withdraw its support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., while colleagues of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez warned him that his action was tantamount to inciting to rebellion. Alvarez on Sunday night urged the AFP to withdraw support for President Marcos, presumably to head off a conflict with China over the West Philippine Sea and said he was merely exercising this right to free speech. Alvarez, a known ally of former president Rodrigo Duterte, made his call during a rally of Duterte supporters in Tagum City.

READ: Transport strike fails to cripple Metro Manila

THE government said on Monday that the first day of the two-day transport strike failed to paralyze Metro Manila. Manibela and Piston announced their plan to hold a two-day nationwide strike starting April 15 to protest the government's Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP). Manibela and Piston have conducted several transport strikes to stop the government from carrying out the PUVMP, the first step of which is to consolidate jeepney drivers and operators into cooperatives or corporations, a move they oppose. Piston has also filed a petition over the PUVMP before the Supreme Court to stop the enforcement of the deadline for franchise consolidation.

READ: Japan may join Balikatan – Marcos

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said he was considering including Japan in the Philippines' "Balikatan" military exercises with the United States. Marcos said the possibility of the Japanese military joining the joint annual drills of Filipino and American troops would be "a good move" toward better defense coordination between the two countries.

BUSINESS: OFW remittances up 3.0% to $2.95B in Feb

Topping business, overseas Filipino worker remittances rose by 3.0 percent to $2.95 billion in February from $2.86 billion a year earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported on Monday. Money sent home via banks alone totaled $2.65 billion, also 3.0 percent higher compared to the $2.57 billion recorded in February last year. The rise in overall or personal remittances was attributed to land-based O.F.W's with contracts of a year or more and sea- and land-based workers with contracts of less than one year. The year-on-year growths improved from the 2.7 percent recorded for both in January.

SPORTS: Malonzo's injury status still uncertain

In sports, Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone is keeping his fingers crossed as wingman Jamie Malonzo figured in a freak accident during the dying seconds of the Gin Kings' 95-88 come-from-behind triumph over NorthPort Sunday night at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Malate, Manila. Scottie Thompson made a long pass from the other side of the court to Malonzo, who appeared to be going for a dunk. But the Filipino American wingman slipped right in front of the Ginebra bench, leaving everyone holding their breath, including Cone.

READ: Opinion and editorial

Antonio Contreras, Yen Makabenta, and Orlando Mercado are today's front page columnists. Contreras says the solution to the Bohol problems could be found in Masungi, Makabenta asks if Congress will ever find the courage to enact an anti-dynasty law, while Mercado calls for the restoration of the B.R.P. Sierra Madre.

Today's editorial looks into the blessing and curse of being overseas Filipino workers. Read the full version in the paper's opinion section or listen to the Voice of the Times.

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