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

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March 4, 2009 Major News Stories


Unioil slashes prices anew

Independent oil player Unioil Petroleum Philippines Inc. slashed anew the prices of all its petroleum products, effective 2 PM Tuesday.

LPGMA announces P2/kg price rollback

The LPG Marketers Association (LPGMA) announced Tuesday a price reduction in its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) products effective Wednesday.

Wage adjustment call revived

A MILITANT labor union yesterday kicked off calls to raise wages in light of the worsening economic crisis.

200 colleges, universities to increase tuition 

THE COMMISSION on Higher Education (CHED) yesterday said over a tenth of educational institutions in the country are increasing fees this school year.

Cebu wary of conflict's impact on power

Businessmen here are hopeful that the labor conflict at the SPC Power Corp. (formerly Salcon Power) would not disrupt operations at the Naga power complex, which supplies a third of Cebu's power requirement.

DOLE-Internet-based job firm forge deal

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has partnered with an online recruitment company to help the jobless, especially the new entrants to the labor force and workers displaced by the global crisis, find jobs via the Internet, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque has announced.

PNP, BFP Recruiting additional personnel


Laid off OFWs reaches 5,774 - POEA report

The number of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who lost their jobs due to the global crisis has reached 5,774, data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed.

No. of Pinoy caregivers in Canada halved 

The number of Filipino caregivers being allowed to enter Canada to work has been slashed almost in half.

Dole asked: Stop Doha as male quarters

Migrante International"s Middle East chapter on Tuesday asked Labor Secretary Marianito Roque to look into complaints that part of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Doha, Qatar are being used as male quarters for its staff on the same compound where female distressed OFWs are temporarily seeking refuge.

Top rebel in Central Visayas nabbed 

A top communist rebel leader blamed for extorting "revolutionary taxes" from businessmen in the Philippines has been arrested.  Eduardo Sarmiento headed the regional party committee in the central Visayas region for the Communist Party of the Philippines New People's Army (CPP-NPA) and had standing arrest warrants for various crimes.

DepEd: School not liable for abduction


Cops know second suspect in Jore slay


Comelec: Earlier deadline for COC for 2010 

The deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the 2010 elections has been moved to November 30, this year instead of January, 2010.  Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo explained they decided to impose an earlier deadline for the COCs to give the poll body time to print ballots and other related paraphernalia.

The commission earlier moved the deadline for registration of voters to October 31 this year, instead of the usual December 15 deadline to accommodate the preparations for the full automation of the May 2010 polls.


Senate to tackle automation budget Wed.

With the Senate's expected approval this week of the proposed P11.302-billion supplemental budget for the automation of the 2010 elections, the Commission on Election's on Tuesday said it can now start with the bidding process of election technologies.

Erap calls Binay "next president"


Ombuds to critics: Stop call for resignation

Embattled Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez on Tuesday said she has no plans to satisfy her critics by stepping down from her powerful office.

5 solons sign impeach rap vs Ombudsman

Five partylist representatives placed their signatures on the impeachment complaint filed by former Senate President Jovito Salonga against Ombudsman Merceditas Guttierrez.


Mike Arroyo defends former classmate

First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo is urging proponents of the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to "leave her alone to let her do her job.

Palace to critics: Where's evidence?

Malacañang on Tuesday challenged the critics of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to show proof to back up the impeachment complaints they filed against her.

Dinky: Face raps, don't pick on my hair

Former Social Welfare secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman advised Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to just face the impeachment complaint hurled against her, instead of picking at the former"s hued hair.

Senator asks Ombuds to take leave

Senator Francis Pangilinan on Tuesday dared Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to go on indefinite leave amid the impeachment complaint filed against her at the House of Representatives.

Marcelo: Ombudsman ignoring big fish

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez may have filed more cases than her predecessor, Simeon Marcelo, but she has focused on the small fry and ignored the big fish or those who really need to be punished to deter graft and corruption.

RP recovers P90B Marcos money--PCGG 

The Philippines has recovered at least P90 billion ($1.83 billion) from deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos's family and allies, an official of the Presidential Commission on Good Government said.

Sandigan justice who convicted Erap to SC 

A Sandiganbayan associate justice who convicted deposed President Joseph Estrada for plunder was among the Supreme Court"s top choices for the seat vacated by retired Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna.

Arroyo ally, 2 others top picks for SC 

Court of Appeals (CA) Justices Luis Bersamin and Martin Villarama, along with Sandiganbayan Justice Francisco Villaruz, are the top picks of Supreme Court (SC) justices to replace recently-retired Associate Justice Adolfo Azcuna.

Convicts in Aquino-Galman case pardoned


Nograles pressured to pass right of reply 

House Speaker Prospero Nograles has revealed that he is being pressured by some senators to pass the right of reply bill which the Senate has passed.

Media stands pat vs Right of Reply bill

Members of the media have continued to oppose the Right of Reply bill despite advice not to take a hardline position on the issue.

No reimbursements for 6 of 8 'Euro gens'

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will no longer return the money surrendered to them by six of the eight police officers who attended an Interpol Assembly in Russia late last year.

No retirement benefits for Dela Paz yet

Despite shelling out own money just to complete the payment of the P6.9 million seized from him in Russia, ex-police comptroller Eliseo dela Paz could not enjoy his retirement benefits just yet.

PNP plans to buy more firearms


RP gen"s sons due in US court on March 5

The two sons of retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, former comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), are scheduled to appear on March 5 before the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, according to Jack Gillund, public affairs officer of the US Attorney"s Office of Northern California.

Palace disputes US rights report

Malacañang said it "strongly" disagrees with a US State Department report that said the government has been slow to act on cases of human rights violations.

56 farmers shave heads to protest CARP 

Fifty-six farmers shaved their heads Tuesday afternoon to protest the continued delay in the passage of a bill that seeks to extend the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

P120M paid to Legacy depositors -- PDIC

The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) has disbursed about P120 million to pay claims of depositors from the 12 failed rural banks of the Legacy group of Celso de los Angeles, the head of PDIC said Tuesday.

More charges vs Legacy owner, execs

More charges will be filed against Legacy Group owner Celso delos Angeles and other officials of the firm within the month, an official of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said.

SEC seizes evidence vs. pre-need

The Securities and Exchange Commission confiscated docs from pre-need plan Phil-Asia Care Plans Inc. which will be submitted to a trial court to beef up the regulator's case against the firm.

Beer prices to rise by nearly half 

Unifying tax rates for alcohol and tobacco products will increase beer prices by nearly half, cutting demand and forcing local brewers to shutter their plants.

Cebu-Siargao service starting Wednesday

Starting Wednesday March 4, Cebu Pacific Airlines will serve the Cebu to Siargao route - so far the only carrier to mount this flight - providing easier access to travelers heading for internationally-renowned surfing sites.

Clinton: US to support Palestinian state

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. will pursue the creation of a Palestinian state.

Flood kills 9, displaces 30,000 in Indonesia

Rescue officials say seasonal flooding in central Indonesia has killed nine people and forced 30,000 from their homes.

FAO: 24,000 fishermen die at sea annually

Some 24,000 fishermen die at sea each year, making fishing probably the most dangerous occupation in the world, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

Pacquiao: 2 fights after Hatton, I'll retire

After his upcoming May 2 clash with British superstar Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton, the People's Champion Manny Pacquiao said he will have one or two more fights before calling it quits.

Hatton: I'm bigger, stronger than Pacman

England's world light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton believes he will emerge victorious over Filipino pugilist Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao in their world title bout in Las Vegas on May 2.

Conditioning, speed spell Pacquiao victory

Manny Pacquiao is undaunted in facing a fighter who claims to be "too big" for him, saying his conditioning and speed would overturn whatever advantage Ricky Hatton appears to have. 

Switch in style won't be good for Hatton


Actress cleared of libel, perjury

The Quezon City prosecutor's office has dismissed libel and perjury charges against actress Claudine Barretto, which were filed by an ex-personal assistant whom the actress had accused of stealing.

Pops, Jomari part ways


50 short listed for Australia's 'best job'

From a Canadian who staged a musical on a snowy city street to an Australian who showed off his best asset in a thong, 50 lucky people are now on a short list to become caretaker of a tropical Australian island - dubbed the "Best Job in the World."

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