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

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 18, 2009 Major News Stories

Keep medicine receipts vs drugstores

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III asked consumers to keep receipts of medicines they buy from drugstores to help identify those who are not complying with the Cheaper Medicines Act.

Capitol sued for ignoring requests

TWO lawyers charged Capitol officials yesterday, citing their failure to respond to calls for an explanation over their agreement with the Korean owners of a coal-fired power plant for the operation of a coal ash dump site and the Balili property mess.  Impleaded in the affidavit-complaint are Gov. Gwen Garcia, Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez and members of the Provincial Board, except Agnes Magpale.

Bolo 'cleared'

THE executor of the Balili Estate cleared Capitol officials and Provincial Board (PB) Member Juan Bolo from allegations that they received commissions in the purchase of the P98-million property.

Council sets aside P13.5M for Ting lot

EVEN if businessman Roque Ting backs out of the compromise agreement, the P13.5 million intended for the payment for his property will remain in the proposed sixth supplemental budget (SB).

'Cease, desist'

WORK has been ordered stop inside inside Casa Rosita Homes in Sitio Tabayng Lawom, Barangay Tisa, Cebu City following the collapse of a concrete fence that killed a 49-year-old woman last Sunday.

COA rejects proposed land swap deal

The Commission on Audit has rejected Mayor Tomas Osmeña's proposal to swap the 3,682 square-meter lot presently occupied by the Banawa Elementary School in barangay Guadalupe with the city-owned lot adjacent to the gate of the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in barangay Lahug.

BOPK, opposition list prospects

BARANGAY captains, a councilor's wife and nongovernment organization (NGO) workers are reportedly among those in the short list of prospective candidates of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kaus-wagan (BOPK).  Among those mentioned to be included in the short list of prospective candidates for councilor during a recent BOPK meeting are Luz Barangay Captain Nida Cabrera, Guadalupe Barangay Captain Eugenio Faelnar and Zapatera Barangay Captain Jose Marino Benedicto.

Department of Social Welfare and Development 7 Information Officer Jaybee Carillo, wife of Councilor Gerardo Carillo, and NGO worker Alvin Dizon were also reportedly included.

Among those who have been invited by Kusug are Dr. Potenciano Larrazabal III, Sambag I Barangay Captain Jerry Guardo, Tinago Councilor Joel Garganera, former city councilor Danilo Fernan and Kasambagan Councilor Byron Piramide for the north district.

For the south district, former Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman Anthony Jones Luy, former Poblacion Pardo barangay captain Danilo Lim, Ron Duterte and basketball player Dondon Hontiveros were invited to run.

Talisay cops elude NBI entrapment

Three Talisay City policemen eluded an entrapment operation set up by the National Bureau of Investigation a few meters away from their station yesterday noon after they were accused of extorting money from the family of a drug suspect they arrested last Friday.

Sandigan junks Ecleo's plea to ruling

The Sandiganbayan has dismissed the appeal of former San Jose, Surigao Del Norte mayor Ruben Ecleo Jr. to reverse his graft conviction, saying the court found no "compelling reasons to change" its ruling.  Ecleo was sentenced to 31 years imprisonment while co-accused former municipal planning and development coordinator Anadelia Navarra and private contractor Ricardo Santillano of PBMA builders were each sentenced to 21 years in prison for the anomalous construction of a public market.

Extend new voters registration

Concerned about the low turnout of new registrants for the May 2010 election, a lawmaker on Monday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to set up more satellite registration centers in schools, barangays (villages), and communities to encourage first-time voters to register.

More party list aspirants for 2010

Various groups representing indigenous people, children and urban poor trooped to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday in a bid to join the 2010 elections for party list representation.

231 party-list groups apply for 2010 polls

P1 pork barrel for each solon proposed

A member of the House of Representatives on Monday proposed a P1 allocation for each lawmaker's pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to ensure that the fund would not be used for the 2010 election campaign.

Court asked: Cite health chief in contempt

Lawyer Ernesto Francisco asked the Manila City Regional Trial Branch 22 to cite in contempt Health Secretary Francisco Duque for disobeying the court's order not to come out with infomercials.

Last Saturday, Duque came out with his "OK-DOH-KA" ads in Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin, estimated to cost P2million.

The ads came out despite the temporary restraining order issued by Manila RTC Branch 22 Judge Marino Dela Cruz late Friday.

Named respondents in his petition for injunction, mandamus, and temporary restraining order were Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita for President Arroyo, Vice President Noli De Castro, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr., Agrarian Reform Secretary Pangandaman, Tesda Director General Augusto Syjuco, and Pagcor chairman Efraim Genuino.

Police slowly account for loose firearms

The Philippine National Police is slowly accounting for loose firearms, bringing down the number from 1.1 million to 1.09 million, after more than a month of implementing an intensified campaign against illegal guns.

Stronger protection for OFWs urged

There should be stronger government protection for the estimated 10 million Filipinos working abroad, especially against abuse by their employers or host countries, Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II said Monday in a statement.

OWWA to Legarda: OFW funds are intact

Romualdez's ties to Palace revealed

Girlfriend woes ill-equipped soldiers

While the government assistance to the families of the 23 slain soldiers was welcome, the live-in partner of Private First Class Elfie Igcalinos, one of those who died in last Wednesday's Basilan clash, said it would have been better if the soldiers were better equipped to fight the Abu Sayyaf.

Cebuano Marines slain in Basilan honored

As commander of the marine reservists, Mayor Tomas Osmeña yesterday said he will honor the two Cebuano marines who were among those killed in the recent encounter between the government troops and the extremists in Mindanao.

Police assess ground troops in Basilan

Amid the ongoing clashes between government troops and the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan, the Philippine National Police has yet to deploy additional reinforcements in the province, adding that continuous assessments were being made to determine the need for more troops.

No need to lift truce with MILF

The ceasefire agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will not be suspended even as members of the secessionist group helped fight the military during last week's clash in Basilan, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. said Monday.

Suspend talks resumption with MILF

Senator Rodolfo Biazon wants the government to suspend the resumption of peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) following the secessionist group's involvement in the recent Mindanao clashes that left 44 soldiers and Abu Sayyaf extremists dead.

Get Pacquiao's help to stop Mindanao war

World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, being an ambassador for peace and understanding, should be tapped by the government to help solve the continuing armed conflict in Mindanao, Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said on Monday.

Bicam approves rights bill

The congressional bicameral conference committee has approved a reconciled bill criminalizing torture, involuntary disappearances and other forms of human rights abuses.

Arroyo off to Palawan for airport launch

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to fly here Monday afternoon to inaugurate the newly renovated Puerto Princesa International Airport.

Remittances hit record $1.5-B in June

ePassport online applications start Aug. 26

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will accept applications for ePassport through the online appointment system starting August 26, Wednesday.

DFA Office of Consular Affairs advises interested applicants to set an appointment through the DFA website.

Until the DFA's ePassport system has achieved full capacity, only 100 ePassports will be issued daily, on a first-come-first-serve basis. From August 26 to September 30, only passport applications for renewal will be accepted.

Before submitting their online appointment application, applicants are requested to fill up the required fields on the online appointment page at the DFA website. Otherwise, the online appointment process will not proceed. After internal verification, the DFA will inform the prospective applicant of his/her schedule by electronic mail. Subsequently, the applicant will confirm his/her availability by sending a reply.

Personal appearance is required for prospective ePassport applicants. Until an announcement is made, all ePassport applications during this period shall be filed by the applicant personally to the exclusion of third parties.

Interested applicants will be required the following: old passport, one photocopy of old passport data page, a valid identification card, and the duly accomplished passport application form.

An applicant may use the current machine readable passport (MRP) application form for this purpose, which is also available in the DFA website.

Current MRP holders are firmly advised that their MRPs remain valid and are compliant with global standards.

Thousands seek Royal pardon for Thaksin

More than 30,000 "Red Shirt" supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra handed in a petition seeking a royal pardon for the fugitive former premier, further underscoring Thailand's deep political rifts.

Magnitude-6.8 quake strikes off Japan

Japan's Meteorological Agency says a magnitude-6.8 earthquake has struck off the country's southern coast, and has issued a tsunami warning.

Two title belts up for Manny

Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz said yesterday the WBC belt is studded with 400 diamonds and the winner will pay $40,000 to own it.

Chinese coach feels heat after Iran loss

China's national basketball coach Guo Shiqiang came under pressure from the nation's rabid fans and sporting press Monday after Iran thrashed his team 70-52 in the Asian Championship final.

Cockfighting aficionados eye House seat

A group of cockfighting aficionados is seeking a representation at the House of Representatives through the party-list system, which provides representation to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of the society.

11 year old scores Obama interview

Rains over Luzon, Visayas

A shallow low pressure area is expected to bring rains over parts of Luzon and Visayas, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Charles de Gaulle  - "The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs."

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