The latest news stories from the major news organizations in Cebu and Manila in the Philippines, the US and other countries.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 5, 2008 Major Newscast

Malacanang announced the upcoming release of an extra P10,000 bonus to state workers.  Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya as said that the Christmas bonus would cover all regular, contractual, casual, and temporary employees, who have worked in government for at least four months.

'Expect P6 rollback'

A consumers' group said oil companies can be expected to roll back fuel prices by at least another P6 within the next two weeks as oil prices continue to decline in the world market.

Diesel, dapat P24/litro na lang

Oil falls to 3-year low below $45 on weak economy

Oil prices sank to fresh 3-year lows Thursday in Asia as more bleak news from the world's largest economy signaled that crude could tumble below $40 by the end of the year.

Villarete bats for BRT system

Sunog sa Apas 'tinuyo'

Kawani sa Tudela masweldohan na

Kalabira sa babaye nasikpaw

Manila Cardinal wants polls on 2010

Amid speculations that Malacañang is cooking up a "no-election" scenario in 2010, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales on Thursday said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will likely step down from office when her term expires.

Archbishop slams con ass

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has denounced a plan by administration congressmen to amend the Constitution by convening Congress into a constituent assembly.

Palace backtracks on Charter change

Malacañang backtracked from its call for a dialogue with lawmakers to reach a "consensus" on efforts to amend the Constitution, amid mounting criticism from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's foes and allies.

Palace: 'No need for People Power'

Amid threats of fresh waves of street protests against efforts to amend the Constitution, Malacañang said there is "no need for People Power" in the face of "more important matters" the country has to attend to.

Nograles firm on Charter change

Unmoved by snowballing dissent against Charter change, Speaker Prospero Nograles reiterated that revisiting the economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution was the "most urgent demand of the times" and said that he was amenable to either a constituent assembly or a constitutional convention as the mode to achieve this.

House suspends four-day workweek

The House of Representatives is suspending its four-day workweek for December to work on pending legislation before session adjourns on December 20 for the holiday season.

Bolante detention Senate prerogative

House agriculture committee chair Abraham Kahlil Mitra on Thursday said he does not see how the Senate's detention of Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante will make the former Agriculture undersecretary spill the beans on the P728-million fertilizer fund scam.

Time to charge Bolante with perjury

Former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante has been lying left and right on the P728-million fertilizer fund mess and it"s now time to charge him with perjury, a senior Roman Catholic Church official said.

Bolante's wife spends night in Senate

Carol Bolante, wife of embattled former Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante, could spend the night with his husband inside the Senate detention room if she wants to.

Ombuds dared to charge Bolante

Senator to CHED: Explain P854-M

Opposition Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr demanded Thursday an explanation from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on how it uses some P854 million in "pork" funds.

Start search for honest leaders now

Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), called on Filipinos to start looking for honest leaders to support in the 2010 elections as a way to fight graft and corruption.

JDV regrets helping Arroyo during coups, warns vs cha-cha

Former House Speaker Jose de Venecia said he regrets coming to the rescue of President Arroyo when her government was pushed to the brink by mutinous troops and a post-election scandal, and said current moves to amend the Philippine Constitution had one objective:  to keep President Arroyo in power.

Farmer shot dead in Negros Oriental

A farmer belonging to the agrarian reform advocacy group Task Force Mapalad was shot and killed on Wednesday night in the estate of former representative Herminio Teves in Sta. Catalina town, Negros Oriental, Heidi Fernandez, TFM spokesperson said.

'Where is the President's promise?'

In May 2001, four months after she was ushered into power by a popular uprising, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo promised to give to farmers tracts of lands owned by her husband's family in the central Philippines as part of her administration's agrarian reform program.

RP 'most dangerous' for radiomen

An international media organization on Thursday called the Philippines the "most dangerous country in Asia-Pacific for radio broadcasters" and demanded an explanation from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for what it called "her government's lack of protection for journalists."

8 injured as two blasts rock Sultan Kudarat town

PNP, AFP launch pursuit ops vs NPA unit in Negros Occidental

Police and military units in Negros Occidental have launched hot pursuit operations against of a group of New people's Army (NPA) rebels that waylaid a team of policewomen on a training mission.

Duterte seeks release of cop, Army officer held by rebels

Suspected terrorist requests preliminary investigation from DOJ

A Bangladesh national who was arrested last Tuesday in Shariff Kabunsuan for allegedly having links with the terrorist Jemaah Islamiyah today asked the Department of Justice to conduct a preliminary investigation on his case.

Wife: JI suspect cell phone repairman

The wife of a man arrested by authorities on suspicion of being an Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah operative said her husband was not a bomb expert but a cell phone repairman.

NDCC: 16 dead, thousands displaced in floods

Sixteen people died, thousands were displaced while several others remain missing as floods hit Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Southern Mindanao and Cordillera Administrative Region.

After Taiwan layoffs, Korea might decline hiring OFWs

Following the massive lay-offs of workers in Taiwan, a recruitment consultant warned that a similar fate might befall Filipinos in South Korea as Asian economies begin feeling the brunt of the global financial crisis.

Filipinos laid off in Taiwan:  1,263

The number of Filipino workers who have lost their jobs in Taiwan since the start of the global financial crisis has reach 1,263, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) in Taipei said.

Jinggoy for summit on OFW layoffs

In the wake of the global economic meltdown Senate President Pro Tempore Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada called for an emergency summit to address of concerns overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Nine Filipinas escape sex den in KL

Nine female Filipino workers escaped last Tuesday from an alleged sex den here. They were reportedly forced into prostitution by a Filipino recruiter and her Malaysian husband.

Groups ask SC to stop Jpepa

A coalition of trade groups and individuals on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa).

Peso weakens to P49.37

RP to borrow from World Bank for subsidies of poor families

The Philippines intends to borrow as much P25 billion from the World Bank to fund a program that will subsidize health and education expenses of poor families.

Customs Cebu exceeds target P13M

Brother of ex-SKorean president arrested for receiving bribes

South Korean prosecutors arrested the older brother of former President Roh Moo-hyun on Thursday on suspicion of having accepted bribes.

Thai king 'slightly ill'

Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej has a throat infection and is on a drip, the crown princess said on Thursday after he failed to make his traditional birthday eve address amid a crippling political crisis.

4 insurgents killed, 32 jailed in Iraq

The US military says four suspected insurgents have been killed and 32 detained in operations targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq. The largest raid occurred in the disputed northern city of Kirkuk.

S Arabia deploys 100,000 security men for hajj

Bantayan poised to sweep titles

AFP expects 'Dream Match' truce

Although it will be unofficial, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expects an "absolute ceasefire" between the military and rebel groups during the airing of the much-awaited boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya.

Marquez still hungry for Pacman 3

Juan Manuel Marquez doesn't care if Manny Pacquiao goes to hell and back.

DoJ blamed for delay in Taulava case

The Department of Justice (DoJ) should be faulted for the two-year delay in resolving the charges filed against professional cager Paul "Asi" Taulava for alleged violation of the Tax Code, the judge hearing the case said Thursday.

Arroyo gives P1M for 'Ploning'

President Arroyo released P1 million to the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to support the bid of "Ploning," the country's entry to the 81st Academy Awards or Oscars.

Jomari is a good man - Martin

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