TODAY'S HEADLINES

Mary Jane sends out handwritten appeal for pardon to Indonesia's President Joko Widodo 25-Apr-15, 3:24 PM | Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com

Indonesia defiant as UN leads condemnation of looming executions of Mary Jane, 7 others 26-Apr-15, 12:11 PM | Agence France-Presse | InterAksyon.com | Carla Lim, News5

ASEAN Summit to urge 'self-restraint' in South China Sea dispute - draft 25-Apr-15, 7:47 AM | Dan Martin, Agence France-Presse

Beijing moves toward 'de facto control of S. China Sea' - Philippines 26-Apr-15, 1:21 PM | Agence France-Presse | InterAksyon.com UPDATE 1:40 P.M.- Beijing is moving toward "de facto control" of the South China Sea, the Philippines warned on Sunday as it called on fellow Southeast Asian countries to "stand up" to their massive neighbor.

Indonesia defiant as UN leads condemnation of looming executions of Mary Jane, 7 others 26-Apr-15, 12:11 PM | Agence France-Presse | InterAksyon.com | Carla Lim, News5 UPDATE 2:02 PM-Indonesia has signalled it will push ahead with the execution of eight foreign drug convicts, despite a growing wave of global condemnation led by UN chief Ban Ki-moon. VP Binay, back in Manila from Jakarta, said he was told Veloso won't be executed while her 2nd petition pends.

Indon daily urges Widodo to end 'shameful travesty' of executions 25-Apr-15, 9:11 AM | InterAksyon.com An Indonesian newspaper has urged President Joko Widodo to grant clemency to 10 death convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, and do away with the death penalty altogether, calling it 'state-sanctioned murder.'

1,200 killed in Nepal quake, deadly avalanche on Everest 26-Apr-15, 1:18 AM | Paavan Mathema, Agence France-Presse A massive earthquake killed more than 1,200 people Saturday as it tore through large parts of Nepal, toppling office blocks and towers in Kathmandu and triggering a deadly avalanche at Everest base camp.

ASEAN Summit to urge 'self-restraint' in South China Sea dispute - draft 25-Apr-15, 7:47 AM | Dan Martin, Agence France-Presse The ASEAN Summit will urge 'self-restraint' in the South China Sea but avoid directly criticizing Chinese actions that have fanned tensions in the contested waters, a diplomatic source with knowledge of a draft statement said Friday.

'People-centered ASEAN' possible only with social agenda - People's Forum 25-Apr-15, 10:42 AM| Veronica Uy, InterAksyon.com The theme of the 2015 ASEAN Summit - 'Towards a People-Centered ASEAN' - can only become a reality with a social agenda that sets policies to benefit people in the region and not only corporations, groups attending the ASEAN People's Forum here said.

US wants access to 8 Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot 25-Apr-15, 11:55 AM| Reuters The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea.

Widodo to lose standing as rights champion as Dinky says only 'miracle' will save Mary Jane 25-Apr-15, 9:35 AM| Veronica Uy, InterAksyon.com Indonesian President Joko Widodo will lose his standing as a champion of human rights in Southeast Asia if Filipina Mary Jane Veloso is executed, a member of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights said Friday.

Aquino expected to hold bilateral talks with Vietnamese PM during ASEAN Summit - Palace 26-Apr-15, 2:40 AM| Philippines News Agency President Benigno Aquino III is expected to meet with Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for a bilateral talk during the 26th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Malaysia.

Sevilla turns over Customs helm to Lina; Tiangco says P3-B 'pressure' forced Sevilla departure 24-Apr-15, 5:28 PM| Lina Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com | Video Report by Mia Reyes, News5 UPDATED WITH VIDEO-Alberto Lina on Friday returned to the Bureau of Customs he once headed, promising to pursue reforms begun by outgoing Commissioner John Sevilla, who cited 'political pressure.' Rep. Toby Tiangco said Sevilla may have been under pressure to help shore up the LP campaign kitty.

HEROISM | Last living Czech defender of Bataan awarded 25-Apr-15, 7:03 AM| InterAksyon.com For his gallantry in defending Bataan alongside Filipino and US troops against Japanese invaders during World War II, this Czech national was bestowed meritorious awards by his country and the Philippine government in a fitting ceremony recently.

 
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