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

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February 25, 2009 Major News Stories

Taxi operators: Return P10 compulsary tip

An official of taxi operators group said they would insist from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) the re-implementation of the P10 add-on in the taxi fare.

Oil falls below $38, following stocks down

Oil prices extended losses for a second day in Asia, falling below $38 a barrel, as a loss of investor confidence that the global economy will recover soon swept across stock and crude markets.

12,000 laid off workers have new jobs

Twelve thousand of the 39,000 Filipinos who have been laid off since late last year have found new jobs or started their own business, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said.

131,000 bagong trabaho sa agrikultura

DOLE sends "preemptive" team to SKorea 

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has sent a three-member team to South Korea to help overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) facing retrenchment there to find other employment.

74 OFWs lose jobs in South Korea

Free education for kids of laid-off OFWs 

Despite efforts of the Overseas Workers" Welfare Administration (OWWA) at giving out loans to deserving laid-off overseas Filipino workers, a lawmaker is urging the government to give scholarships to their children.

P360B for subsidies urged

SC fines retired justice P500,000 for leak

Ruling both 'darkest and shining moments' for judiciary The Supreme Court (SC) decision permanently barring retired Justice Ruben Reyes from holding public office and imposing a half a million peso penalty for breach of confidentiality and leakage of internal documents is both the High Court's darkest and shining moments.  A Supreme Court investigating panel has found sufficient evidence pointing to retired Associate Justice Ruben Reyes as the one who leaked the unpromulgated decision on the citizenship case of Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong.

Bill tagged 'terrorism vs RP media'

Major media organizations and outfits came together Tuesday and vowed to campaign against the passage of the Right of Reply, calling the measure an "act of terrorism against the media" and urging the public to join them in opposing what they said was a patent violation of the Constitution.

Ombuds told of bid rigging in 2006

The Office of the Ombudsman knew of the alleged anomalies in the National Roads Improvement and Management Program Phase 1 (NRIMP-1) as early as three years ago, the World Bank told the Senate in a technical briefing Tuesday.

WB might stop loans to RP, says Lacson

Executives of the World Bank hinted Tuesday they may stop lending to the Philippines if Philippine authorities do not act on its report on alleged bribery and collusion in its projects.  A World Bank (WB) investigation on collusive practices of Filipino and foreign contractors on WB-funded projects has resulted in stricter procurement rules on all WB-assisted projects in the Philippines.

Ombudman rejects "resign" calls

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez on Tuesday rejected calls for her to step down from her post for alleged inaction on the fertilizer fund scam.

Ombuds: Fertilizer probe result out March

In response to accusations by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee over her alleged inaction on the $728-million Fertilizer Fund scam, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez announced that her office will release its investigation report as early as this week or no later than the first week of March.

Senate minority to come up with own report 

The minority bloc in the Senate is set to come up with its own report on the multimillion fertilizer fund scam following the blue ribbon's findings exonerating President Arroyo from the said anomaly.

Arroyo: 'Too much politics'

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo rued what she called "too much politics," a day after the Senate blue ribbon committee called her to task over the P728-million fertilizer fund controversy.

Arroyo denies link to jueteng in Pampanga

2 of 3 Pinoys want Arroyo removed as pres

Two of three Filipinos are in favor of having President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo removed from office, according to a survey by militant think tank IBON Foundation.

Only 10,000 euros returned to PNP

More than four months after the retired comptroller of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was arrested by customs officials in Moscow for carrying almost P7 million worth of undeclared currency with him, only around P615,000 of the money has been returned to the PNP's bank account.  PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome said retired police general Eliseo dela Paz has returned only 10,000 of the 105,000 euros seized from him when he was apprehended at the Moscow airport in October last year.  Bartolome said the PNP has given Dela Paz until February 28 to return the 95,000-euro balance or face civil charges, and that a demand letter was sent to the former comptroller early this week.

'No ransom policy' remains vs kidnappers

Police and military officials have reiterated that they will continue to follow a no ransom policy amidst the spate of kidnapping incidences in Mindanao.

900 vets file claim for benefits on first day

PVAO: Filvets' benefits thru ATMs

Seeing the hardship of Filipino World War II veterans in applying for their long-awaited US benefits, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office is pushing to have the cash money coursed through ATMs.

Cebu war vets start receiving aid from US

Rep. Hontiveros announces senatorial bid

Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel on Tuesday announced that she would be running for senator in the 2010 national elections.

Absentee voting for journalists pushed 

Sen. Manuel Villar filed a resolution seeking to give media practitioners access to absentee voting.

Bayan Muna: Probe CAFGU funds 'misuse'

Ash Wednesday: Time to repent

Peso slides to P48.22:$1 as jitters intensify

BOC monitors meat, poultry products 

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has ordered the strict monitoring of shipments of meat and poultry products in connection with the reported cases of foot and mouth and bird flu diseases in China, Belgium and Canada.

BIR misses P67-B collection target in 2008

The Philippines' main revenue agency missed its 2008 target by a new record high, highlighting the government's fiscal vulnerability amidst the global economic slowdown.

Thousands demand: Dissolve Parliament

Thousands of protesters surrounded the prime minister's office Tuesday demanding Thailand's Parliament be dissolved and new elections held.

UN chief to Myanmar: Free all prisoners

Declaring his willingness to visit Myanmar again, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the country's military government on Monday to follow up its recent prisoner release by freeing all political detainees and quickly resuming talks with the opposition without preconditions.

325,000 jobs lost since Aug '07—ILO

At least 325,000 jobs have been lost in the financial sector since August 2007, the International Labor Organization said on Monday, warning that even more jobs could go in the coming months.

Recession may end in '09; Stocks climb

Arum assures Peñalosa-Lopez fight is on

Ex-NBA star to jail for drunk driving

Ex-NBA star Charles Barkley will serve five days in jail after pleading guilty Monday to two counts of drink driving, an American radio station reported Monday.

Piolo admits past bond with KC

Hunk actor Piolo Pascual revealed that he had a past relationship with KC Concepcion.  In an interview with SNN: Showbiz News Ngayon", Pascual said "yes," when asked if had courted Sharon Cuneta's eldest daughter.  Concepcion revealed that her budding romantic affair with Pascual was cut short when she decided to finish her studies in Paris.

Jake Cuenca to get security after stoning

Actor Jake Cuenca said he is now contemplating on getting security aides for himself and his family after his Ford Expedition was stoned and damaged outside his residence in Mandaluyong.

Belo's quip on Abunda: Joke only

Vicki Belo can't understand what the fuss is about.

Lapid seeks court OK on US trip

Senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid asked the Sandiganbayan First Division on Tuesday to allow him to leave for the US to spend the Senate's summer recess with his family for more than a month.

Charice shines at post-Oscars party

Clooney meets Obama on Darfur trip

Actor George Clooney apparently had a good reason for skipping out on Oscar night: He had a meeting with President Barack Obama.

Britney's dad testifies for restraining order

Britney Spears' father testified for nearly 90 minutes about why he felt a long-term restraining order should be issued against three people, including the singer's former manager and an ex-boyfriend.

Talk 'dirty' to me

Calcium lowers cancer risk in older people

A study in nearly half a million older men and women bolsters evidence that diets rich in calcium may help protect against some cancers. The benefits were mostly associated with foods high in calcium, rather than calcium tablets.

Ruffa, other victims of abuse speak out

NASA study shows 2008 was Earth's ninth warmest year since 1880

Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2008 was the coolest year since 2000, but also was the ninth warmest year since continuous instrumental records were started in 1880.

Henny Youngman  - "When I told my doctor I couldn't afford an operation, he offered to touch-up my X-rays."

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