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

Monday, February 9, 2009

February 10, 2009 Major News Stories

'Big 3' hike gasoline prices Tuesday

Seaoil, PTT announce price adjustments

Independent oil firms Seaoil and PTT on Monday night announced yet another round of cutbacks and increase in the price of their pump fuels.  Seaoil would slash the price of diesel products by 50 centavos per liter and kerosene products by a bigger P1 per liter.  Meanwhile, PTT said it would implement a price cut only on its diesel products. Like Seaoil, PTT will reduce diesel by 50 centavos per liter.  However, both Seaoil and PTT would also hike their gas prices by 50 centavos per liter.  Price adjustments in Seaoil products are set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. of Tuesday, while those of PTT will be implemented at a later time at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Alternative fuel vs LPG

Forest wastes like coconut husks, leaves, twigs, and branches can now be used as raw materials to produce charcoal briquette, an alternative source of fuel, particularly for liquefied petroleum gas, according to Environment Secretary Lito Atienza.

Oil prices rise as OPEC delays production 

Hike in rice prices blamed on input costs

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap will be agonizing in the next few months as rice prices have started to rise, one month after the government admitted it will be importing at least 1.5 million metric tons of rice from Vietnam and Thailand.

Arroyo approves labor, business requests

President Arroyo approved Monday several proposals to help ease the impact of the world financial crisis on Philippine employment, including waiving penalties on social security loans of laid-off workers and subsidizing employers' fuel in export zones for transporting employees.

Moratorium sa SSS

DOLE told: Give OFWs access to P1B fund

Laid off overseas Filipino workers should get an "easy access" to the P1-billion livelihood fund earmarked by the Philippine government to help the latest victims of the global economic crisis get back on their feet, the Department of Labor and Employment was told on Monday.

NEDA bucks new tax perks to save firms 

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto on Monday bucked proposals to extend tax perks to companies to keep them from laying off workers.

Nurses eyed to be 'warriors of wellness'

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has announced that the government would hire unemployed nurses to become "warriors of wellness" in poverty-stricken areas.

Flood damage in 3 towns placed at P15M 

4 killed, 2 missing in Negros floods 

Four people died while two others were missing as flashfloods and landslides caused by torrential rain struck Negros Oriental in central Philippines over the weekend, the Office of Civil Defense said.

PDIC to start paying Legacy depositors

BSP vows raps vs 'Legacy scam' brains

Under fire from members of the House of Representatives for failing to pin down Legacy Group owner Celso delos Angeles, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas officials vowed to charge the "mastermind" of the banking scheme that allegedly defrauded thousands of depositors all over the country.

Delos Angeles tags BSP for banks collapse

Businessman Celso de los Angeles on Monday accused a former incumbent officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) of harassment even as the central bank said it has not filed a case against him for the spate of closures of rural banks.

NBI starts probe of 'double-your-money' 

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has started to look into the alleged "double-your-money" investment scheme of the Legacy Group following the filing of complaints of 31 investors.

Court turns over alleged rebel to DOJ

Journalists: Right of reply bills 'too vague'

Journalists on Monday opposed the bill granting a right for redress to persons unfairly portrayed by media, saying its provisions should be made clearer, as its current version could be open to abuse.

Senators: Mr. Arroyo must be at WB probe

First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo must appear as soon as he can before the Senate inquiry into the alleged corruption accompanying infrastructure projects funded by the World Bank, whether he is involved in the anomalies or not, lawmakers said Monday.

Miriam to Mike: Prove inability to attend 

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Monday said First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo should prove that there is just cause for him to be absent from the scheduled Thursday hearing on the blacklisting of three Filipino firms by the World Bank due to alleged bid rigging.

Kiko: Blacklisted firms have WB report

Opposition Senator Francis Escudero on Monday said he would ask the Senate to subpoena the three Filipino construction firms blacklisted by the World Bank as they have copies of the detailed report on alleged big rigging on government projects.

Senator seeks protest against World Bank 

Ombuds probe on NBN-ZTE deal out Feb. 

The Office of the Ombudsman releases the results of its investigation on the NBN-ZTE controversy involving First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo before the end of the month or early March.

Free all Aquino killers—Marcos son

For Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand "Bong" Marcos, all other convicts in the Aquino-Galman double murder case should also be freed, as he criticized the family of the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. for trying to pin the blame on the Marcoses.

Palace denies getting back at Aquinos

A MalacaƱang official on Monday defended the presidential pardon granted to one of the convicted soldiers in the double murder of former senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. and Rolando Galman in 1983, saying that it passed the normal and proper procedures just like other previous clemencies.

DOJ says ISAFP agent spying on Gonzalez

The Department of Justice confirmed Monday that a military intelligence agent was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation last Friday for spying on Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez.

Gov't forces clash with ICRC captors

Government troops, backed by armed civilian volunteers, have engaged members of the Abu Sayyaf believed to be holding three kidnapped workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sulu province.

5 Marines hurt in Sulu clash

At least five Marines were wounded in a clash with the alleged captors of three members of the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) Monday in Sulu, Military Chief Alexander Yano said.

ASG's mortar rounds in Sulu, 10 wounded

Cojuangco farm raided by NPA rebels

More than 50 suspected New People's Army rebels raided Hacienda Nieva, a part of the ECJ (Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.) farms in the village of To-oy, Himamaylan City, at 11:45 p.m. Sunday, police said on Monday.

3 Filipinos freed by Somali pirates

Three Filipino seafarers were among the freed crew of the Chinese fishing vessel F/B Tianyu, which was released by Somali pirates Sunday, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Bayani Mangibin said Monday.

11 barangay personnel positive for shabu

216 cops failed random drug testing in 2008 

Even the police ranks are apparently not safe from illegal drug syndicates. The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday admitted that 216 policemen tested positive in a nationwide random drug testing conducted last year, only 80 of whom were dismissed from service.

Ex-LTO chief Suansing takes over LTFRB

New Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chief Alberto Suansing vowed "good service" and to instill discipline amolng employees of the agency nationwide.

Australian wildfire arson; 166 killed

Female suicide bomber kills 28 in SLanka

A suspected rebel suicide bomber killed 20 soldiers and eight civilians when she blew herself up at a facility where government forces were processing Sri Lankans fleeing the northern war zone.

Roach: Pacquiao-Mosley match possible

Senator Estrada back in hospital

Senate President Pro Tempore Jose "Jinggoy" Ejercito Estrada is in a hospital again, this time due to high fever, his aides said Monday.

Maid's case vs Princess Revilla dismissed

The Pasig City prosecutor's office has dismissed the child abuse charges filed against former actress Princess Revilla, a sister of administration Sen. Bong Revilla.

Imelda offers fortune to meet Obama

Joe E. Lewis  - "I distrust camels, and anyone else who can go a week without a drink."

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