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

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 12, 2009 Major News Stories

New LPG price reduction dims

Solon sees P0.05 texts, P500 handsets 

A member of the House of Representatives sees the continued decline of the costs of text messaging to as low as five centavos and of carrier-subsidized handsets to P500 in the coming months.  Catanduanes Representative Joseph Santiago, chairman of the House information and communications technology committee said the effective text messaging rate is now between 16 to 18 centavos, based on the current promotional campaigns of service providers.

Strike looms at Keppel shipyard

Oplan Red Plate nets Toledo City councilor

Osmeña to give sack of rice to DPS men

No automation if Nov mock poll fails

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) will require a 99.9995 percent accuracy rate for the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines that will be used in the May 2010 national polls.

Comelec set to sign specs for automation 

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to sign a resolution on the terms of reference (TOR) for the bidding of automated machines for the 2010 elections.

Comelec requires bonds from bidders

Vendors interested to join the bidding of poll tech machines for the 2010 elections are required to give bidders' bond, while the winning vendor required to give an additional performance bond to the Commission on Elections.

Bills curbing poll fraud Ok'd

Key Arroyo men laud Teodoro

Key aides of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were all praises Wednesday for Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., who has declared his intention to run for president in 2010, but only if he has the backing of the incumbent.

Gordon considering presidential bid

Senator Richard Gordon said he is considering running for president in 2010 and that he has already a "senatorial slate" in mind.

Visayas bizmen sign up for moral force

Some of the city's businessmen have undertaken a signature campaign to support Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno's moral force movement, especially if he should seek the presidency in 2010.

Vice-President Noli de Castro topped the latest Pulse Asia survey with 22 percent closely followed by Sen. Francis Escudero with 19 percent and Sen. Manuel Villar with 18 percent.

DepEd to handle teachers' honorarium 

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday said it would request to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to turn over to them the compensation for teachers who would render poll duties during next year's elections.

'Dismantle private armies before elections'

Fifteen months before the 2010 elections, President Arroyo ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to dismantle private armed groups and crack down on loose firearms.

Enrile files bill to increase House seats

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile filed on Wednesday a bill that seeks to increase the members of the House of Representatives from 250 to 350 "to ensure proper presentation in the legislature."

CBCP, senators meet on CARP extension

Catholic Church leaders and farmers will meet with senators on March 16, Monday, to lobby for an extension of, and reforms in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

PDIC files fraud raps vs. CDL Angeles

Embattled Legacy Group owner Celso Delos Angeles Jr. is facing yet another legal battle as the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) filed estafa or fraud charges against him.

DoJ team vows no delays in Legacy probe

The head of the Department of Justice task force handling the cases filed against Celso de los Angeles and other officials of the Legacy Group has ordered prosecutors handling the preliminary investigation to shun pleadings that will unnecessarily delay the proceedings.

Noli denies protecting Legacy owner

PAGC begins probe of SEC's Martinez

The Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) has begun investigating allegations of corruption against SEC Commissioner Jesus Martinez ahead of his retirement on Thursday.

SEC chair won't resign due to Legacy 

Planholders eye complaint vs Zialcita

Disgruntled planholders of the Legacy Group are set to file an ethics complaint against Paranaque Rep. Ed Zialcita for allegedly receiving money as consultant of Legacy owner Celso delos Angeles.

Peer pressure on Zialcita mounts in House

The House committee on banks and financial intermediaries is considering having Parañaque Representative Eduardo Zialcita confront former officials of the Legacy Group who accused him of receiving a P100,000 monthly consultation fee from Legacy owner Celso de los Angeles.

'Ombuds will finish her term until 2012'

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez will finish her term until 2012, contrary to what Senator Francis Escudero said that she has only seven months left in office as she is only serving the unexpired term of her predecessor, Simeon Marcelo, an official said.

PNP admits logistics problems

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday admitted facing logistical problems and called on local government units (LGUs) to support the agency's integrated transformation program.

DPWH official, 2 others hurt in gun attack

A ranking official of the Department of Public Works and Highways and his two staff were wounded after unidentified gunmen peppered their vehicles with bullets in Manila this afternoon.

Arroyo: 'Tracker teams' on media killers

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered police to form "tracker teams" to hunt down suspects in the killings of journalists in the wake of fresh violence against media men.

MNLF: Only 2 options to free ICRC workers

The government has only two options to free the three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) kidnapped in Sulu -- pay their Abu Sayyaf captors a P50-million ransom, or attempt a "very dangerous" rescue operation.

Misuari wants M'danao conflict resolved 

Reds target 4 military men for rape-slay

Communist insurgents are targeting four military men for their alleged role in the abduction, rape and murder of Rebelyn Pitao, daughter of a regional commander in the communist New People's Army.

Another Dacer-Corbito suspect back in RP 

Former police Senior Superintendent Glenn Dumlao would be extradited to the Philippines from the United States next week, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said Wednesday.

Pagdating ni Mancao, isisikreto

Orly Mercado named ambassador to Asean

Newly named ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Orlando Mercado took his oath before President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Malacañang Wednesday.

No "green card" for Pinoy workers in CNMI

No "green card" or US permanent residency status will be granted to overseas Filipino workers and other foreign laborers by virtue of their years of legal employment in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) when the transition to federal immigration begins on June 1, 2009.

Assad: US could mediate Syria-Israel talks

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his country could hold direct peace talks with Israel if the United States acted as an arbitrator.

OPEC concerned about fall in oil demands 

Victorious Nietes welcomed in Manila

Fresh from a successful title defense last month, World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight champion Donnie Nietes was welcomed today at a courtesy call with Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who praised the Cebu-based boxer for giving honor to the country.

PSC dissolves swimming task force

Liquidate P74M in '05 SEAG

The Commission on Audit (CoA) has given the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Philsoc) a 15-day ultimatum to liquidate over P74-million the body received from the government in staging the SEA Games in 2005.

4th quarter gives Tropang Texters 1st win

Talk 'n Text poured everything in the fourth quarter when it scored 44 points on the way to a 133-111 rout of Coca-Cola and barge into the win column of the Motolite-PBA Fiesta Cup at the Astrodome Wednesday night.

Tom calls Burden "Miss Cellphone"

23-foot crocodile kills 10-year-old in RP 

A 10-year-old girl was decapitated by a crocodile in a Philippine lake after the creature knocked over her canoe, police said today.

Human robot smiles in Japan classroom

Japan's robot teacher calls roll, smiles and scolds, drawing laughter from students with her eerily lifelike face. But the developer says it's not about to replace human instructors.

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