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

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 9, 2009 Major News Stories

Shell raises LPG price

Pilipinas Shell increased the price of its liquefied petroleum gas on midnight Wednesday.

Oil prices slump under $63 a barrel

Oil prices dived underneath $63 per barrel on Tuesday, hitting the lowest levels since May, amid heightened concerns about energy demand in a struggling global economy.

Order to open books of Big 3 oil firms stays

An order from a Manila judge directing the Commission on Audit and the Bureaus of Internal Revenue and Customs to examine the "Big 3" oil companies' books of accounts stays.

July 27 a working holiday, Palace clarifies

Malacañang clarified on Wednesday that the Iglesia Ni Cristo Day it declared for July 27 would be a special "working" holiday.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita made the clarification after the Palace on Tuesday issued conflicting statements about the holiday.

One statement said July 27 would be a "non-working" holiday while another one said it would be a "working" holiday.

In making the declaration, Malacañang said it was recognizing the INC's role not only in the spiritual and moral formation of its followers but also the church's contributions to nation-building.

July 27 is the INC's founding anniversary.

The INC has been known to deliver a solid bloc of votes to national candidates whom it deems fit to be in public service.

H1N1 grips 2 Baguio universities

An unusually large number of students marked absent since June has led government doctors to a few confirmed cases of Influenza A(H1N1) infection in at least two Baguio universities, the Department of Health (DoH) said here Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, the Saint Louis University ordered a week-long shutdown of all classes at the college, high school, and elementary levels to enable work crews to sanitize their campuses.

The other university with confirmed A(H1N1) cases is the University of Baguio which suspended its high school and elementary classes for 10 days last month. The DoH did not say how many students tested positive for the virus but indicated that they had all recovered.

3 arrested for rob-slay of priest in Cebu

Police arrested Wednesday morning three persons, including two teenagers, who robbed and killed Reverend Fr. Jovencio Rabusa in Talisay City on Monday night.

Superintendent Henry Biñas, chief of the Talisay City Police station, identified the gunman as Russel Ravanes, 29, and resident of the village of Cansojong in Talisay City, where the priest was robbed and shot dead.

The other two suspects include a 15-year-old boy (the Philippine Daily Inquirer is withholding names of minors tagged in crimes) and Gerard Tradio, 18, also from Cansojong village.

Ravanes, interviewed by reporters Wednesday, confessed to shooting Rabusa.

He said he and his companions only wanted to rob the priest but he shot him when Rabusa "ran away."

Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez lauded the police for their effort to arrest the suspects.

Robbery with homicide charges are being prepared against the suspects.

The remains of Rabusa were brought to southern Cebu town of Naga, where he served as a member of the team ministry for several years.

His body will be brought to his hometown in Badian on July 10 and will be buried on July 15.

1 suspect tests positive for gunpowder

ONE of the two arrested suspects in the killing of a worker and robbery of an LBC Mandaue branch tested positive for gunpowder burns.  Supt. Mutchit Salinas of the PNP Crime Laboratory said that laboratory results showed both hands of suspect Jhunmar Isales, 19, had traces of gunpowder nitrates.  Isales, Steve Go, 31, and two other suspects also faced charges of robbery with homicide.

Assistant Prosecutor Bienvenido Mabanto recommended the filing of the charges against the four. No bail was recommended.

Bolo tells lawyers to ask for docs on Balili 

CEBU Provincial Board (PB) Member Juan Bolo yesterday told the two environmental lawyers that the deed of sale of the Balili property could be secured by anybody since the document is a public record.

Poll duty in 2010 easier, safer for teachers

With the automated system, it will be easier and less dangerous for teachers on election duty in 2010, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo said Wednesday.

Extend overseas voting enlistment to Dec.

To achieve its target of having one million overseas absentee voters for next year's election, the Commission on Election (Comelec) should extend its period of registration from August 31 to December 15 this year, a member of the House of Representatives said on Wednesday.

'Hyatt 10' to Arroyo: Don't push your luck

Former Cabinet officials on Wednesday marked the fourth anniversary of their resignation with a Mass and statement twitting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on her alleged attempt to perpetuate herself in power.

Hyatt 10 raises martial law amid blasts

A group of former Arroyo Cabinet officials on Wednesday accused Malacañang of setting the stage for a state of emergency or even martial law in the wake of the recent bombings in Mindanao.

De Venecia: Martial law likely under Arroyo

Martial law, rather than Charter change, is more likely to happen under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's rule, a former member of her inner circle said.

Palace bet fave in CBCP presidency

SONA security: 9,000 cops, 2,000 soldiers

Around 9,000 policemen, backed by 2,000 soldiers will be deployed to secure Metro Manila during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27, the police commander in the capital said.

Terror suspects sighted in Metro – general

Security forces in Metro Manila were placed on the highest alert in the wake of bomb attacks in the south, as a military commander warned that al Qaeda-linked suspects were monitored in the capital.

Bomb recovered in Zambo del Norte

Cotabato offers P1M for info on bombing

The Cotabato City council has offered a P1-million reward for anyone who could provide information leading to the identities and arrest of persons responsible in the bombing on Sunday.

200 forces deployed to Iligan

At least 200 policemen were deployed to Iligan City, one of several areas in Mindanao hit by explosions that killed six and injured over 50 people Tuesday.

Arroyo adviser: Don't blame MILF

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino Razon Jr. warned the military against quickly blaming the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the wave of bombings in the south.

Biazon: NSC must address blasts

Senator Rodolfo Biazon has proposed the convening of the National Security Council (NSC) to address the spate of bombings in the country as he criticized the government for its failure to explain these incidents to the people.

UN suspends Minda missions after blasts

UN agencies have suspended all aid missions to the southern Philippines due to safety concerns after a series of bombings that left about a dozen dead and 100 injured, officials said Wednesday.

Palace: Safe passes for leftist rebels back

Malacañang has agreed to lift the suspension on the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) effective July 17 in an effort to further convince communist rebels to return to the negotiating table, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's peace adviser said Wednesday.

7 killed as cultists clash in Negros Oriental

At least seven people were killed and another -- a village chairman -- was wounded in a clash between two groups of cultists in a remote village in Negros Oriental early Wednesday.

An undetermined number of armed persons attacked the "Pulahan," a religious cult headed by Felipe Condes, chairman of the remote village of Kalamtukan in Bayawan City, at around 1 a.m. The clash took place at Sitio Tower, about 30 kilometers deep in the mountains of Bayawan.

The attackers—armed with shotguns, handguns and hand grenades—belonged to a rival group called the "Mac Force," according to Superintendent Roy Abella, Bayawan City chief of police.

Abella said that the father and son of Condes and five other people were killed in the clash.

The village chief was seriously injured and was confined at a hospital in Bayawan, according to Abella.

Senior Superintendent Augusto Marquez, Jr., the provincial police director, has directed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the Scene of the Crime Operatives to proceed to Bayawan City to help in the investigation, according to Abella.

Davao Death Squad man ready to tell all

A man with detailed information on the summary killings by the vigilante group Davao Death Squad surfaced and would be helping a citizens' group put an end to summary executions in the city, a priest active in the campaign against vigilantism said on Tuesday.

Doctor hurt in grenade blast

A doctor was wounded after a hand grenade exploded inside her vehicle in Misamis Oriental province on Wednesday, a police official said.  The grenade exploded as the victim, Doctor Rosa Batoktoy started the engine of her jeep outside her house in Manticao town, said Chief Superintendent Danilo Empedrad, Northern Mindanao police chief.

Batoktoy was injured on the right leg while the vehicle was severely damaged, Empedrad said, adding the motive for the attack was being investigated.

P2B for reproductive health untapped

Close to P2 billion allocated for last year's reproductive health programs in the country remained untapped, a health official said Wednesday.

3 freed Filipino seamen back in RP

The three Filipino crew members of the hijacked ship MV Pompei arrived safely in Manila Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

Customs collection off target by P20 B

The Bureau of Customs Tuesday said it failed to meet its target collection for the first half of 2009 by almost P20 billion.

Cigarette companies skirt advertising ban

Indonesia votes in presidential poll

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono looked set for re-election Wednesday as Indonesia went to the polls in only its second direct presidential election since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship.

US missiles kill 48 in Pakistan Taliban

No wushu lineup yet for Laos SEA Games

The Wushu Federation of the Philippines is yet to name its lineup for this year's Southeast Asian Games, according to secretary general Julian Camacho.

Jackson 'riddled' with needle marks

Michael Jackson's body was riddled with needle marks when he died, indicating possible use of a powerful sedative at the center of the investigation into his death.

MJ's doc denies giving dangerous drugs

Michael Jackson's dermatologist said he had sedated the pop star in the past for painful medical procedures but had never given him dangerous sedatives like Propofol to use.

Mystery surrounds Jackson burial location

The location of Michael Jackson's final resting place remained shrouded in mystery Tuesday hours after a glittering public memorial to the King of Pop.

NBI can probe breast job leak, says chief

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) can investigate the leak of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's hospital records even without an order from the Department of Justice, NBI Director Nestor Mantaring said.

Grown-up Harry Potter stars at premiere

The stars of the sixth Harry Potter film walked up the red carpet in London Tuesday to a rapturous welcome from thousands of fans who braved pouring rain for the world premiere of the new movie.

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