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

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 20, 2009 Major News Stories

Check paid in Bolo's office

CAPITOL officials handed over a P49.8-million check, the first payment for the 25-hectare Balili property in Naga, inside the office of Cebu Provincial Board (PB) Member Juan Bolo.  Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre said this was aboveboard, and that he was the one who offered to send the check to Bolo's office because the PB member was the only one who could identify the estate's executor, lawyer Romeo Balili.

Talisay clan says they own land in SRP

A TALISAY City clan yesterday warned the Cebu City Government against paying a businessman who sold them a controversial lot in the South Road Project (SRP).  The Abapo clan of Barangay San Roque, Talisay City toldSun.Star Cebu yesterday that they warned Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña from paying businessman Roque Ting. The Abapos said they own the land as well as more than 21,547 square meters in Sitio Sawsawan, Barangay San Roque, Talisay City.

Council approves P200M budget

THE Cebu City Council approved without cuts yesterday the P200.4-million sixth supplemental budget for this year, with large appropriations for aid to barangays and acquisition of lots.

Inspect land, City Council tells committee

THE Cebu City Council yesterday told the City Government's appraisal committee to inspect a 3.2-hectare property the City is buying in Barangay Binaliw.

Tom warns of chaos if towing is stopped

CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña is ready to defend the City's towing operations in court, and warned of a traffic management breakdown if an injunction on the operations of private towing companies is stopped.

Cebu City: Dengue claims 3 more lives

Mayor wants Rama to handle CCMC

SINCE Vice Mayor Michael Rama is against the proposal to close or sell the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), Mayor Tomas Osmeña wants him to take over and address the problems at the city hospital.

Ombuds prioritizes case vs DepEd-7

Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol has assured the public that they will prioritize the complaints lodged against officials of the Department of Education over the alleged anomalous furniture projects in Cebu totalling P45 million.

Prosecutor's office loses phone

One of the two telephone lines at the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor's Office was cut off by the Globe Telecom yesterday because of unsettled bills which reportedly amounted to at least P10,000.

Man hurt in grenade attack

A MAN was injured last night when a grenade was lobbed into his house at the corner of F. Llamas and Tres de Abril Sts. in an apparent attack by hired killers.

NFA shuts 59 stores for overpricing

The National Food Authority (NFA) office in Leyte has closed 59 Tindahan Natin (Our Store) outlets in Leyte and Samar provinces after these were found to be overpricing rice supplied by the agency.

No food for Maguindanao war victims

Some 2,000 families displaced by armed conflict involving two Moro rebel factions in Maguindanao have been crying for help from the government, officials said.

Basilan needs health workers after clash

More health workers will be deployed in Basilan to assist some 3,000 people displaced by the August 12 clashes that killed 23 soldiers and 21 Abu Sayyaf bandits.

DOH cracks down on drug price violators

The Department of Health has ordered some pharmacies and private hospitals to explain why they should not be sanctioned for defying the government price control on certain essential medicines.  Health Undersecretary Alexander Padilla said their monitoring showed that "90 per cent" of pharmacies and hospitals complied with the MDRP, which took effect Aug. 15.

BFAD goes after stores not giving receipts

Drugstores and pharmacies that refuse to issue receipts for medicines, especially those covered by a 50-percent price cut, may face investigation.

BFAD gets more teeth, is renamed FDA

A law granting more regulatory muscle to the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) and renaming it as the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) was enacted Tuesday.  The law boosts the regulatory capacity of the FDA by mandating the establishment of adequate testing laboratories and field offices, upgrading its equipment and personnel, and authorizing the agency to retain income.

PRC announces 1,680 new physicians

'Re-channel P1.2B jet budget to health'

Malacanang should give priority to people's health over the comfort of officials when traveling, and thus re-channel the P1.2-billion budget for the President's executive jet to health service, party-list lawmakers said Wednesday.

Arroyo entourage spent over P37M in US

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her entourage spent more than P37 million in their recent six-day stay in the United States. Still, Malacañang said the party had been very "frugal" with their expenses during the visit.  Arroyo and her group spent $371,000 (roughly P18 million) in Washington DC alone, where the President met with US President Barack Obama at the White House.  The delegation spent the biggest in transportation, with expenses reaching $265,000 or around P13 million.

The P37-million expenditure did not cover the expenses of Cabinet secretaries and the 27 congressmen who joined the President in her US trip. 

The figure only included expenses of Mrs. Arroyo, her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo, Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Lito Lapid, House Speaker Prospero Nograles, two Palace officials and 50 other support staff from Malacañang, the report said.

Arroyo party gave away P6-M tip in US

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her entourage gave away about P6 million in gratuities during the chief executive"s recent working visit in the United States.  Malacañang's deputy executive secretary for administration and finance, Mrs. Arroyo's party spent $66,000 in Washington D.C. and $59,000 in New York for various service tips.  The Arroyo party gave money to bellboys, porters, drivers, convoy escorts, and housekeeping personnel in the US for the services they rendered to the President and her party.

15 students arrested at Malacañang

Fifteen students were arrested on Wednesday when around 200 protesters breached a restricted area leading towards Gate 7 of Malacañang in Manila.

House probe on "violent" dispersal

A young lawmaker on Wednesday sought for a congressional inquiry on the violent dispersal of student protesters who held a lightning rally in Mendiola earlier in the day.

Comelec spending P2B on voter education

Lakas-Kampi CMD still formidable--Palace

Malacañang said that while it did not want to lose the support of former president Fidel V. Ramos, it was confident that Lakas-Kampi CMD would be a "force to reckon with" in the 2010 elections without him.

Lakas-Kampi meet tomorrow

The national executive committee of the Lakas-Kampi party will gather tomorrow for a meeting to discuss the latest political updates and how to deal with former President Fidel Ramos after he rejected the post offered him as chairman emeritus of the merged party.

Jailed general blasts peers in poll fraud

"Shame on those members of the military who allowed themselves to be used in the massive electoral fraud in 2004."  Detained Brigadier General Danilo Lim had this message Wednesday for officers and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who were involved the "massive electoral fraud" and who may again be eyeing a repeat of their activities in the coming 2010 elections.

Let us continue fight of Ninoy, Cory

Witnesses to media killings still at risk

The Philippine government's failure to protect witnesses has contributed to the impunity that characterizes the murders of Filipino journalists, a New York-based media rights watchdog said in a new report.

Lacson wants new Dacer probe stopped

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday asked the Court of Appeals to stop the Department of Justice from re-opening the preliminary investigation into the Salvador Bubby Dacer-Emmanuel Corbito double murder case based on the affidavit of former subordinate Cezar Mancao.

Ex-general Garcia wants conviction voided

Former military comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, accused of amassing some P300 million in ill-gotten wealth, has appealed a perjury conviction in the Supreme Court, saying that only his acquittal would be a fair judgement.

TESDA bids for T-shirt, car plate projects

120 cops get paralegal training on rights

Some 120 police investigators were made to undergo a three-day paralegal training on human rights to prevent violations committed usually in the conduct of arrests and other police responsibilities.

2 MNLF killed, 1 caught in Palawan firefight

Two members of the Moro National Liberation Front were killed while another member was captured when fighting erupted between government forces and some 30 armed men believed to be members of the MNLF early Wednesday morning on the island of Matanguli, Balabac.

El Shaddai's biggest worship place in Asia

El Shaddai, one of the country's biggest charismatic movements, will launch Friday, August 20, the cross-shaped like, multifaceted El Shaddai House of Prayer, considered as the biggest place of worship and prayers in Asia.

P19.2B gov't debt may bankrupt PhilHealth

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation might go bankrupt in the next seven years if the government fails to pay its P19.2 billion debt to the agency, an official said Wednesday.

Gov't deficit in July reaches P34.6-B

Government incurred a P34.6-billion deficit in July due to pump priming and lower revenues amid slower economic activities.

Govt may sell assets to meet deficit target

The government may have to sell assets to stay within its budget deficit target this year, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said, after the fiscal gap ballooned in the first seven months.

Coke, Pepsi on Beijing's worst polluter list

The Beijing plants of United States soft drink giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been listed as among the top 12 factories causing major water pollution in China's capital, the city government has announced.

ASEAN to discuss Suu Kyi amnesty

Suharto's son wants presidency: aide

Bill briefs Obama on N. Korea mission

Bill Clinton gave President Barack Obama a tantalizing insider's account of his talks with reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and his trip to free two jailed US journalists in Pyongyang.

Ahmadinejad unveils new cabinet

Warm welcome for box champ Donaire

Although not as festive as the celebrations for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, Manila City Hall gave new boxing sensation Nonito Donaire a warm welcome on Wednesday.

Marquez no match for Mayweather

5-month old Phil. hawk-eagle rescued

Senator wants 'responsible' not 'safe' sex

Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. is objecting to the use of the term "safe sex" in the proposed reproductive health measure in the Senate, saying it will send the wrong message that the state is promoting promiscuity among adults.

Rep calls for passage of Anti-Child Porn

Mother Lily's job before Regal Films

Redford directs Lincoln assassination pic

Hollywood legend Robert Redford has signed up to direct a historical drama about the assassination of US president Abraham Lincoln, The Hollywood Reporter said Tuesday.

Don Hewitt, television legend, dead at 86

Pablo Picasso  - "Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."

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