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

Monday, February 16, 2009

February 17, 2009 Major News Stories

President Arroyo is breaking tradition this year by failing to include February 25, the date of the first EDSA People Power Revolution, in the list of public holidays. According to Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo, the Arroyo administration has a list of activities lined up on February 25 to celebrate the 1986 bloodless revolt that ousted President Ferdinand Marcos and installed Corazon Aquino to power.

Transport groups divided on fare rollback

A rollback in jeepney fares may not materialize as some transport groups say diesel prices have gone up again. Obet Martin of PASANG MASDA said jeepney drivers are not sure whether or not to support a move to bring down the minimum fare in jeepneys. He said their group will only reduce fares once diesel settles at P24-P25 per liter in all gasoline stations and not only in selected ones.

Hearing on fare petition set Wednesday

Seaoil to hike gasoline, diesel prices 

Independent player Seaoil Philippines on Monday announced it would increase its gasoline and diesel prices on Tuesday.  It will hike its gasoline prices by P0.50 per liter and its diesel prices by P0.25 per liter.  The price hike will take effect 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. 

DOE to firms: Explain latest oil price hikes

Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes on Monday ordered oil companies to explain in writing the adjustments in the prices of gasoline, diesel and E10 they implemented over the weekend amid the stability in the prices of crude oil in the world market.

Palace rejects scrapping of Oil Deregulation 

Malacañang on Monday told critics to wait for the result of the economic managers' review on the Oil Deregulation Law but rejected calls to scrap it.

Oil higher on OPEC talk of more cuts

Oil prices rose to near $38 a barrel Monday as OPEC members said over the weekend they were considering more production cuts to adjust to weakening global demand for crude.

Filipino workers' 2008 remittances up 13.7% 

Filipinos working overseas sent home $16.4 billion in 2008 - 13.7 percent more than in the previous year - despite the global economic downturn, the Philippine central bank said today.

NARS won't make nurses attractive abroad

The government"s Nurses Assigned in Rural Areas (NARS) program might be laudable in giving Filipino nurses the job experience they need but hospitals abroad require nurses to have training in specialty areas that are only available in urban hospitals, a recruitment leader said.

Most displaced workers can't find jobs 

Workers fired from regular jobs face not only outright income losses but also diminished employment prospects, and potentially catastrophic and fatal health risks. They are also likely to stop sending children to college because they can no longer borrow money.

DOJ panel subpoenaes Legacy founder 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has subpoenaed the officers and employees of Legacy Group in connection with the alleged diversion of funds using fake loans that led to the firm's collapse.

SEC to consolidate claims vs Legacy

Arroyo to extend term, former allies warn

A group of former senior government officials (FSGO) on Monday warned that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may prolong her stay in Malacañang beyond 2010.

Arroyo names 22 new envoys, generals

Malacanang has named three new ambassadors and promoted a fresh batch of 19 senior military officers led by the chief of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas, vice-chairman of the bicameral Commission on Appointments, disclosed Monday.  The CA under the leadership of Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile has just received the appointment papers of the three new envoys, along with those of the 19 new generals.  The 19 senior military officers endorsed by Malacañang for CA confirmation for the first time were led by Majors General Romeo Prestoza, Rudival Cabading, Arthur Mancenido, Eduardo Oban Jr., and Arturo Ortiz.

Prestoza is former head of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and now chief of the ISAFP.  Likewise endorsed for CA confirmation for the first time were Brigadiers General Allan Bontuyan, Renato David, William Esplana, Teodoro Evangelista, Carlos Luces, Roberto Morales, Nicolas Ojeda Jr., Felizardo Simoy, Pedro Ramon Sinajon Jr., Alger Tan, and Jose Tony Villarete; Vice Admiral Leonardo Calderon Jr.; and Commodores Rosauro Arnel Gonzales Jr. and Efren Tedor.

Terte ang bag-o nga hepe sa PRO 7

Abu Sayyaf holding kidnapped Sri Lankan 

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front confirmed Monday that a faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group is now holding captive Sri Lankan peace worker Umar Jaleel.

123 die in gov't evacuation centers

At least 123 people who fled to evacuation centers to escape Muslim rebel attacks in Mindanao have died due to various illnesses, the head of the Office of Civil Defense said on Monday.

Short people may join the Army now

The military has lowered its height requirement for recruits to attract shorter people who may have the technical skills it requires of soldiers.  Favoring skills over stature, the Philippine Army now welcomes men and women at least 5 feet or 1.52 meters tall. Formerly the minimum height was 5 feet, 4 inches for men and 5 feet, 2 inches for women.

Pinoy veterans unhappy with US benefits

While President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and government officials are praising the approval of the U.S. stimulus bill that grants benefits to Filipino World War II veterans, some of the veterans themselves are unhappy with the compensation package.  Section 10-02 of the Stimulus Bill, which recognizes the military service of Filipino veterans, grants a lump-sum of $15,000 (or about P705,000) for U.S. based veterans and $9,000 (or about P434,000) for those living in the Philippines.

Biyaya sa beterano nilinaw ng PVAO

WB country director agrees to meet Senate 

Provided that it will be held in an informal technical briefing, World Bank country director Bert Hofman agreed to meet with the Senate to discuss the purported collusion among contractors bidding for WB-funded road projects.

Katiwalian ni FG di alam ni GMA, WB report

Pangilinan files resolution to scrap VFA

Independent Sen. Francis Kiko Pangilinan filed a Senate resolution calling for the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement as anger simmered over the US embassy's refusal to hand over a Marine convicted of raping a Filipina.

House to probe 'bansot' GMA rice

Clinton praises US-Asia ties

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- the first American top diplomat in half a century to start her job with an Asia trip -- praised US ties with the region after arriving in Japan Monday.

South Korea's 1st Catholic cardinal dies

Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, a tireless advocate for democracy who opposed South Korea's military dictatorships, died Monday. He was 86.

Bomb kills 4, wounds 11 in Baghdad

Iraqi police and medical officials say four people have been killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad's Sadr City.

Peñalosa predicts late-round KO vs foe

WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Penalosa said he is looking to a late-round knockout win over Mexican German Meraz in their ten-round tune-up fight at the Cebu Coliseum on Saturday.

Pacquiao bout may turn into bloodbath

Porter out as Suns' coach, Gentry in

Terry Porter didn't last a season as head coach of the Phoenix Suns. Following Mike D'Antoni was just too tough of an act to pull off.

We're also victims: Globe official

Mariel: I'm not pregnant

Actress-host Mariel Rodriguez vehemently denied reports that she is pregnant by her showbiz sweetheart Zanjoe Marudo.

'Ruffa and Ai' energizes ABS-CBN morning 

Actress-host Ruffa Gutierrez and actress-comedienne Ai-Ai delas Alas shared their happiness with the success of the pilot episode of their morning show Ruffa & Ai, this Monday, February 16.

Robin happy for brother Rustom as "BB"

Action star Robin Padilla says there is nothing wrong in brother Rustom's preference to become BB Gandanghari. What is important is Rustom's happy, Robin says.

Jackie Chan film too violent for China

Jackie Chan, the comical kung fu king, is starring in a new movie so violent that its director decided not to release it in mainland China, which doesn't have a film ratings system.

Mike Ditka  - "If God had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn't have given us arms."

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