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

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 25, 2009 Major News Stories

Was purchase done in haste?

Group asks court to summon Recto

A group advocating the protection of petroleum product consumers asked a Manila court to summon resigned Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto to testify and bolster their petition before the court for a temporary restraint on the so-called "Big 3" oil companies' price hikes.

Bill on labor tenure will hurt foreigners

48 abused maids in Saudi return to RP

Another batch of runaway Filipino household workers who suffered various abuses at the hands of their employers returned home from the Middle East on Monday, the Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration (OWWA) said.

No raps vs 18 in Saudi gathering

The Saudi Arabia Prosecutor's Office has dropped the case against the 18 Filipinos arrested for a prohibited mixed male-female gathering last August 14.

Hostage Filipinos condition unknown

The United States military has assured the family of the 22 Filipino seamen being held by Somali pirates for the past five months are still alive but the exact health condition of the crew could not be ascertained.

Allow DepEd deals to build more schools

Senator Edgardo Angara has proposed a bill seeking to allow the Department of Education to go into deals with private contractors to put up school buildings in an attempt to stave off the decrease in public school classrooms.

PRC: New metallurgical, mining engineers

Day off proposed for employees to register

Employees should be given one day off with pay to allow them to register for the May 2010 election, a party list lawmaker proposed on Monday.

Arroyo in Pampanga for 24th visit

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made her 24th visit in Pampanga on Monday, this time to interact with about 50 scholars of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Marcos urges abolition of Namfrel

Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday called for the abolition of the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), saying it should instead be replaced by an election watchdog group composed of Church representatives.

Villar again tops new SWS survey

Senator Manny Villar has again emerged as the top choice for president next year in a survey by the Social Weather Station which he himself commissioned.

In the survey, Villar posted a 22-percent approval, followed by former president Joseph Estrada with 19 percent and Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero with 18 percent.

Vice President Noli De Castro ranked fourth in the survey with 14 percent, fifth was Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas with 10 percent, Senator Loren Legarda came at sixth place with 6 percent, while Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay shared the seventh place with 3 percent.

At the bottom were Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando with 1 percent and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro with only 0.3 percent.

Noynoy will not dissociate from parents

Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Monday said he would never dissociate himself from his parents despite calls from Malacañang.

Erap faces arrest if he runs in 2010 polls

The possible candidacy of former President Joseph Estrada in the 2010 presidential polls took another twist: his former lawyer says Estrada, ousted by a military-backed uprising in January 2001, will be arrested for violation of the conditional pardon granted him following his conviction of plunder in 2007.  His former lawyer, Allan Paguia, said on Monday that Estrada would be violating the conditional pardon granted to him by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo shortly after the former Philippine leader was convicted of plunder in 2007. 

Reject stay of US troops in RP

Leftwing organizations on Monday dared the 2010 presidential aspirants to make a categorical stand for Philippine sovereignty and reject the continued stay of troops in the country.

AFP snubs Senate probe on Basilan clash

Government security officials snubbed a Senate hearing on the proposal to suspend the resumption of peace talks with Moro rebels following the recent clash in Basilan that killed 23 soldiers.

Tax exec fails lifestyle check, can't travel

An official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue who failed the government lifestyle check cannot travel after the Bureau of Immigration placed him on its hold departure list.  Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan issued a hold departure order against BIR Deputy Commissioner Danilo Duncano.

Cabinet face enquiry on Manila Bay fiasco

Malacañang on Monday said President Macapagal-Arroyo wanted to know why six of her Cabinet officials purportedly failed to comply with the Supreme Court order to clean up the Manila Bay.

No winner of P103-M SuperLotto pot

No one was able to win the P103-million jackpot in Sunday night's draw of the 6/49 SuperLotto game, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office said on Monday.

GSIS sacks IT head over 'irregular' deals

State pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) on Monday said it has fired the senior vice president of the agency's Information Technology Services Group (ITSG) for allegedly entering into illegal and questionable deals with Questronix Corp. and IBM Philippines.

Bankers say RP on upside of recovery

Govt spending helps RP avoid recession - survey

Venezuela wins Miss Universe 2009

Miss Venezuela, Stefania Fernandez, won the Miss Universe 2009 beauty pageant held in Nassau, Bahamas.

Bianca won't close doors to showbiz

NHI not keen on proposed Cory Day

The National Historical Institute (NHI) is not keen on declaring a Cory Aquino Day, saying there are other ways to memorialize the late former President than giving Filipinos another holiday.

Vilma, Piolo get Aquino siblings' nod

Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and actor Piolo Pascual have the approval of the Aquino siblings to portray their parents – slain former senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. and the late former president Corazon "Cory" Aquino – in the planned Cory biopic.

2 RP films screened at Montreal filmfest

Two Filipino films - Dukot and Last Viewing - will be screened at the 2009 Montreal World Film Festival scheduled for August 27 to September 7.

Pinoy flavor in all White House food—chef

White House chef Filipino American Cristeta Pasia Comerford can whip them all when it comes to cooking. But she believes she injects the Pinoy flavor in whatever cuisine she prepares for the United States First Family and their guests.

Optimism among Filipinos still high: study

More Filipinos believe that their personal quality of life will improve in the next 12 months compared to those who think it will worsen, a Social Weather Stations survey said Monday. The same survey also showed that 43 percent of Filipinos admitted their personal quality of life had deteriorated in the past year.

Boy raises €1,000 for RP orphans

Kyle Baleva, 12, was able to raise 1,000 euros for orphaned children in his mother country the Philippines by completing the 30-kilometer-per-day hike of the world's biggest hiking event the Nijmegen International Four-Day Marches last July 24.

Ramadan ban on rock band urged

The country's conservative Islamic party on Monday called for Danish band Michael Learns to Rock to be banned from performing next month, saying it was an insult to Muslims during Ramadan.

Global cost of new cancers $305B in 2009

DUBLIN – The total economic burden of new cancer cases worldwide in 2009 will be $305 billion, according to a study presented to an international cancer conference here Monday.

Joan Crawford  - "I, Joan Crawford, I believe in the dollar. Everything I earn, I spend."

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