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

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 28, 2009 Major News Stories

Big 3 oil firms raise prices by P2/L

The so-called "Big 3" major oil players Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., Petron Corp. and Chevron Philippines Inc. announced that they will raise oil prices by as much as P2 per liter effective Tuesday.

At 12:01 a.m., Shell will increase the prices of gasoline, diesel, and kerosene to "reflect the increase in international product prices," said Roberto Kanapi, vice president for communications.

Petron Corp and Chevron will also implement the same price adjustments at 6 a.m. Tuesday, said Petron spokesperson Virginia Ruivivar and Chevron communciations manager Toby Nebrida.

DOE sets hearing on case vs. 3 oil firms

The joint Task Force on Oil Deregulation against what is called "predatory" oil price manipulation has set a clarificatory hearing on the case filed against the three oil big companies.

Department of Energy Undersecretary Roy Kymako, co-chairman of the joint task force of the DOE and Department of Justice, said the hearing will be conducted this Thursday relative to a criminal complaint filed by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for alleged violation of the Oil Deregulation Law.

Kyamko informed that the venue for the hearing will be at the conference room of the Central Command in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City.

Prior to that, Petron objected to the holding of hearing in Cebu saying that clarificatory hearing, if any, must be held at the office of the investigating panel in Manila.

ERC rules on pre-paid electricity metering

Manhunt on vs 3 escapees in Cebu

Cebu police have launched a manhunt for the three prisoners who escaped early Sunday from the thee jail in Carmen town, 40 kilometers north of here.

Awards for cops on hold following escape

AFTER receiving praise for the series of arrests they made, members of the Carmen Police Station are now in hot water after five detainees escaped from their detention cell Sunday dawn.

Punta cops, tanod, tipster awarded for robbers' arrest

The Police Regional Office-7 awarded Punta Princesa Police Station chief, Sr. Insp. Gilberto Abellar, SPO4 Gualberto Oroc, SPO1 Alejandro Batobalonos, PO3 Rene Labiaga, PO2 Robert de Castro, PO1 Renato Berido, PO1 Ronilo Quirante, and PO1 Galil Aiza Nacario with the Medalya ng Kagalingan yesterday morning following the immediate arrest of Noel Davis, Jeromy Polistico, Frederick Ybañez and Kirby Abanilla the other Tuesday.

Was Capitol 'hoodwinked' on lot?

CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia was "most likely hoodwinked" by unscrupulous individuals in purchasing the 25-hectare Balili property in Naga town, Cebu, a Capitol legislator said yesterday.

Part of P98M Naga property submerged?

The Provincial Board has directed the provincial attorney and the appraisal committee to appear in its session next week after the purchase of a P98 million property in Naga City by Capitol has reportedly aroused "opinions and observations."

Rama to meet with COA over Sinulog fund

Vice Mayor Michael Rama is scheduled to meet today with the officials of the Manila-based Commission on Audit again to personally request them to allow the Cebu City government to give financial assistance to the Sinulog Foundation Inc. for the next year's Sinulog activities.

Guide booklets on public service out

To expedite the basic services for the people of Cebu City and to prevent red tape at any department in City Hall, its officials have decided to print thousands of booklets to be distributed to the residents to serve as a guide on how to avail of the services of the city's frontline offices.

Managers of printing shop charged

The National Bureau of Investigation yesterday filed two counts of falsification of public documents charges against two suspected members of an organized group engaged in the manufacture of fake business permits, diplomas, transcripts of records and other public and private documents.

FG: GMA in Palace only until 2010

Critics wary over Arroyo's post-2010 plans

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's failure to make clear her political plans after her term ends in 2010 has left his critics wary.

"I think it's very clear that she's stepping down when her term ends," said the First Gentleman, adding that this should placate those who think her wife is hungry for power and wants to extend her stay in office.

Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel Arroyo, the President's eldest son, said that it was "nowhere in the President's agenda" to stay longer in power beyond her mandate in 2010.

Speaker Prospero Nograles said Arroyo's declaration that she is stepping down in 2010 should stop all speculations about term extension.

Bayan Muna party list Representative Teodoro Casiño noted that Arroyo "failed to categorically state her plans for 2010" leaving much space for speculation.

"Has the campaign period started? It certainly seems so, judging from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Sona where she bashed her critics and presented herself and her government as the best thing that ever happened to the country," Casiño said in a statement.

Muntinlupa Representative Rufino Biazon said he was expecting Arroyo to say her goodbyes in her last Sona, similar to what President Corazon Aquino did in her last Sona.

Representative Joel Villanueva of the party list Citizen Battle Against Crime (CIBAC) said Arroyo made a similar declaration that she would not seek the presidency, but made a turnabout and ran in the May 2004 presidential election.

Minority Leader and San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora said the President had not been truthful about the real state of the nation.

Quezon province Representative Lorenzo Tanada III said the President failed to mention her administration's agenda on human rights.

Parañaque Representative Roilo Golez lauded the President for stressing that she remains President up to the last day of her term "to disabuse the people's minds about her becoming a lameduck."

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., who has announced plans to seek the presidency next year, said the speech was "excellent" because it detailed the administration's accomplishment especially on the peace process.

Senators unimpressed by Arroyo's tirades

Senators expressed disgust and frustration over President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's tirades against the opposition during her State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, saying she should have instead focused on how her government addressed the country's problems.

"It's unbecoming of the President… a cheap shot. I thought there should be no politics?" said Senator Pia Cayetano, the lone member of the new opposition group in the Senate who attended the Sona.

Senator Loren Legarda agreed, saying "It's unnecessary. Hindi statesman yun e [That wasn't statesman-like]."

Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., who boycotted the Sona, said Arroyo's assault on the opposition only showed her insecurity.

But Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile defended the President, saying the latter was just responding to the criticism.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said the President also left out a very important statistic -- how much was stolen from public coffers during her administration.

Sen. Chiz Escudero said Arroyo's speech was a "glass half-filled speech with scant mention of the glass half-empty' part of the picture" for failure to mention the issue of corruption and human rights situation in the country.

Roxas shrugs off Arroyo tirade on meds

Senator Manuel Roxas shrugged off President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's scathing remarks against him in her State of the Nation Address (Sona).  Roxas told the President: "Gawin na lang niya ang trabaho niya na pababain ang presyo ng gamot."

Arroyo's Sona digs vs Roxas flatters LP

Senator Manuel Roxas II scored good points from the jab thrown against him by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address (Sona) Monday, the senator's party mates in the Liberal Party (LP) said.

Muntinlupa Representative Rufino Biazon said that the President made Roxas appear as the most formidable among all the opposition presidential candidates when she singled him out in her tirades.

In her speech, Arroyo took a dig at Roxas for criticizing her over the implementation of the Cheaper Medicines Act.

"To those who want to be president, this advice: If you really want something done, just do it, do it hard, do it well, don't pussy-foot, don't say bad words in public," Arroyo said.

Mixed reactions from business groups

US envoy lauds Arroyo for ensuring polls

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney lauded President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for speaking out her mind in her ninth State of the Nation Address (Sona) and for reiterating that there will be elections next year.

Terrorism tops Arroyo-Obama agenda

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said terrorism and other security issues would be high on the agenda of her meeting with United States President Barack Obama later this week.

'10 Afghan OFW-casualties shortchanged'

In her meeting with United States President Barack Obama, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is urged to initiate a discussion on the unpaid insurance of the 10 overseas Filipino workers who have died or were injured in Afghanistan in a helicopter crash last July 19.

Broadcaster shot dead in Surigao Sur

A radio broadcaster was shot dead by still unidentified suspects in Surigao Del Sur province past midnight Monday, a police official said.

Godofredo Linao, of 94.5 Magic Love FM radio, was about to board his motorcycle when he was shot to death by unidentified suspects on the provincial road in Purok 1, Barobo town at past 1 a.m., said Senior Superintendent Nestor Fajura, operations chief of Region 13 police.

Police immediately activated Task Force Usig to look into the attack and to coordinate with the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas for the investigation.

Recoverd from the crime scene were four empty shells from a caliber 45 pistol, Fajura said.

Aquino's cancer spreads, says son

Former President Corazon Aquino's cancer has spread from her colon to her liver and other organs in her body, her son, Senator Benigno Aquino III said.

Aquinos still hoping for Cory's recovery

RP fighters head for Bangkok Games

The skyrocketing number of Influenza A(H1N1) cases in Thailand has reached pandemic proportions and should now become a cause for alarm for the Philippine delegation to the 1st Asian Martial Arts Games.

Holyfield's Ethiopia bout postponed

Former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield's exhibition match in Ethiopia has been postponed for September, his opponent Sammy Retta told AFP on Monday.

Solons use SONA dresses with messages

Even the cause-oriented turned fashionistas for a day, if only to celebrate President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's last State of the Nation Afddress.

Gabriela Representative Liza Maza arrived in the morning session in an off-white terno made of 10-year old cheesecloth (katsa). The bodice and butterfly sleeves were sprinkled with glass and bamboo beads. The skirt featured an acrylic painting by social realist artist Boy Dominguez that showed a smiling President Arroyo sewing gold thread that weaves around the throats of poor people.

Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquiel breezed in wearing a Greek-inspired white sequined backless gown by Joel Azebuche that she offset with a red clutch with rhinestone detail, a red belt with a flower buckle and blood red nailpolish.
Along the strap of her left shoulder Baraquiel pinned a smalll yellow ribbon for former president Corazon Aquino. "This small ribbon is for her healing, relief and peace of mind," she explained.

'PGMA', 'SONA' are hot topics on Twitter

The just-concluded State of the Nation Address (SONA) became one of the most-discussed topics on microblogging site Twitter reaching its peak during President Gloria Macapal-Arroyo's speech.

Arroyo's Inno Sotto gown at Sona

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wore a reddish pink Filipiniana gown by designer Inno Sotto on her ninth and last State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday afternoon, Malacañang said.

Obama campaigner preaches new media

The time of using "old media" is now passé and must be complimented by new media tools. This new approach helped Barack Obama win the presidential elections last year, according to his new media operations manager.

Filipinos named Unesco Peace Artist

The Philippine Madrigal Singers will be named Unesco Artist for Peace tonight in a ceremony at the Unesco headquarters in Paris.

ABS-CBN to air Miss Universe 2009 live

US obesity could cost $147B a year

America's expanding waistlines have nearly doubled medical spending on obesity-related conditions which could reach $147 billion a year, a study said Monday.

'Transformers' P350M in 33 days

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," the country's biggest film to date, easily rolled past the P350 million mark after only 33 days at the box office.

Mayon shakes anew after a day's lull

After experiencing quakes of up to 13 in the previous days, Mayon volcano slumped into a lull and reflected no single volcano-related earthquake on Sunday, then came to life again with seven volcanic earthquakes during the past 24-hour observation period.

2009 State of the Nation Address

Thank you, Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Before I begin my report to the nation, please join me first in a moment of prayer for President Cory Aquino.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach  - "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

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