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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 30, 2009 Major News Stories

Death toll from Ondoy rises to 240—NDCC

The death toll from huge floods in the Philippines has risen to 240, the government said on Tuesday, up 100 from the previous day's tally.

'Ondoy' damage P4.6B and counting—NDCC

(UPDATE 2) The massive flooding triggered by tropical storm "Ondoy" (international codename: Ketsana) has now reached P4.6 billion in damage, said the National Disaster Coordinating Council in its damage assessment as of 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Storm hits RP rice, more imports unlikely

by Reuters
MANILA - A weekend typhoon in the northern Philippines destroyed more than 180,000 tons of paddy rice, or nearly 3% of projected fourth-quarter output, but is unlikely to prompt more imports, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

374,890 people now in evacuation centers—NDCC

The number of people sheltering in makeshift evacuation centers following devastating floods in the Philippines has more than tripled to 374,890, the government said on Tuesday.

More 'Ondoy' dead, wounded, missing

Below is the updated list of "Ondoy" victims based on a report by the National Disaster Coordinating Council as of 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Cordillera Autonomous Region: 
Ronnie Bahala, 21, Kabuagao, Apayao [Drowned]
Ronie Catib, 29, Kubagao, Apayao [Drowned]
Quiniling tello, 3, Bugyas, Benguet [Landslide]


Roberto Pacao, 55, Bocaue Bulacan [Drowned]
Angelica Arajo, 5, Bustos, Bulacan [Drowned]
Benjamin Juliano, 31, Bustos, Bulacan [Drowned]
Rodel Casino, 30, Guiguinto, Bulacan [Drowned]
Ramon Demistrosa, Meycauayan, Bulacan [Drowned]
Furtunato Saturnino, Meycauayan, Bulacan [Drowned]
Faustino Policarpio, Mecauayan, Bulacan [Drowned]
Jan Joven, 17, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan [electrocuted]
Erick Portugal, 19, Bocaue, Bulacan [Drowned]
Abet San Pedro, Bocaue, Bulacan [Drowned]
Ligaya Lacap, 40, Marilao Bulacan [Drowned]
Carmelita L. Viray, 38, Marilao, Bulacan [Drowned]
Feliza M. Acap, 78, Marilao, Bulacan [Drowned]
Hergogenes L. Viray, 78, Marilao, Bulacan [Drowned]
Lito SR. Estrada,26, Marilao, Bulacan
Agustin Margallo, 22, Norzagaray, Bulacan [Due to landslide]
Eddie (last name not identified), 4, Norzagaray, Bulacan [Due to landslide]
Ervin Marlon (last name not identified), Norzagaray, Bulacan [Due to landslide]
Jasmin (last name not identified), 8, Norzagaray, Bulacan [Due to landslide]
Jasper (last name not identified), 4, Norzagaray, Bulacan [Due to landslide]
Armano Brilio, from Meycauayan, Bulacan
Lily Guanzon, from Meycauayan, Bulacan
Roberto Guanzon, from Meycauayan, Bulacan
Felomena Ramos, from Sta. Maria Bulacan
Rannie Sagutao Erellano, from Sta. Maria, Bulacan


Mark Galang, 15, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Marco Galang, 10, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Riza Portacio, 28, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Sonny Boy Portacio, Jr., 8, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Sonnylyn Portacio, 5, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Raiza Portacio, 4, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Catalina dela Cruz, 83, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Mary Anne Dela Cruz, 10, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Marlon Dela Vruz, 11, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Sherly Dela Cruz (pregnant), 31, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
Manilyn Dela Cruz, 12, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]
McGayver Dela Cruz, 6, Arayat Pampanga [Due to landslide]

Ronel C. Morsia, 27, Calaca, Batangas [hit by fallen tree]

Aurelio Flistado, 50, Calauag, Quezon [Drowned]

Archie Perez, 24, Novelete, Cavite [hit by collapsed wall]
Caroline Perez, 28, Kawit Cavite

Mario Blanco, from Sta. Cruz, Laguna
Rafols David, from Calamba
Myrna Bonon dela Cruz, 6, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna
Kyla dela Pena, 6, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna
Edemar Dumalaon Escalano, 35, San Pedro Laguna
Cpl. Adriano Rigua of Philippine Army [military personnel killed during rescue mission]
CCA Reno Olagir [military personnel killed during rescue mission]
CCA Florencio Deguino [military personnel killed during rescue mission]
CCA Pedro Multifalcon [military personnel killed during rescue mission]
CCA Joel Hernalin [military personnel killed during rescue mission]

Tanay, Rizal: 
Allan Paul Flores
Aldre Ave Floresl
Victoria Tubera
Edwin Antonio
Almira Amuin
Fernando Agno
Lea Ayo
Daisy Arenas
Apple Joy Aranes
Crisanta Aranes
Lani Nemerga
Milagros Jarin
Andrea rose Sayaman
Roselle Abajon
Rosana Abajon
Puti Agno
Zenaida Hagupit

Antipolo City, Rizal: 
Anthonette Lawid Vega
Nicole Calagay Delda
Jackielyn Vega Lawid
Nicole Arddales Colagong
Geraldine Dela Rama
Deogracia Gedraga
Lileth Rumd Yusabia
Anan Rose Teresita
Jonathan Antana
Jasmin Natana
Aprilyn caber Lascherry
Beth Roque
Antonio Hallado
Jo Marie Pidal Faunillo
Noel Visaya

Angono, Rizal: 
Baby Icaro
Elisabeth Icarao
Arlyn Raymundo
Evelyn Persia
Jeremy Buenaventura
Sherwim Ranada
Jovelyn Belardo
Melisa Belardo
Diego Corales
Mark Dennis Naciloan
Christine Naciloan

Names of missing victims: 

Pihet Cabiag, of Kabayan, Benguet [Covered by landslide]

From Ilagan, Isabela
Florante Ramirez
Alberto de Gamo 
Wilson Que 
Johndel de Gamo 
Ignacio Raga 
Larry Villaflor 
Bebot Sequina
Esterio Mejala
Arman Mejala
A certain "Ricky"

From Bocaue, Bulacan
Christopher Nieto, 32
Rex Baltao, 34

From Sta. Cruz, Zambales
David Maceda
Darmie Amindain
Marvin Amindain
Ronnie Maca
Anthony Miraflor

Names of injured victims: 
Reinan Galicia, from Sta. Cruz, Laguna
Salvador Garcia, from Bacoor Cavite [Electrocuted]
Tito Simpoda, from Kabayan, Benguet [Covered by landslide]
Marcelo Simpoda, from Kabayan, Benguet [Covered by landslide]
Galeba Tobiangon, from Kabayan, Benguet [Covered by landslide]

Water, instant noodles fly off grocery shelves

There is neither panic-buying nor hoarding. Bottled water and instant noodles have just become the new supermarket and grocery stars.

DoH warns surprise checks for overpriced drugs

The Department of Health (DoH) will monitor pricing of medicines for anti-leptospirosis and water-borne diseases foreseen to be in demand in the wake of floods caused by tropical storm Ondoy, an official said Tuesday.

DOH: Government hospitals to remain open despite flood damage

Floods from Saturday"s record-setting rainfall in Manila damaged at least four government hospitals in the nation"s capital, but all of them will remain open to serve the health needs of residents, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.

'Give leave credits to calamity-hit workers'

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque on Tuesday encouraged employers to assist workers in coping with the emergency by granting their workers affected by the floods brought by Ondoy with paid emergency leaves.

Displaced OFW kin can avail of special loans

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said Tuesday it has opened a fast-track calamity loan facility for the families of active OWWA members affected by tropical storm Ondoy.

House employees to get P5,000 in calamity aid

Each employee of the House of Representatives will get P5,000 in cash assistance to tide them over the calamity brought about by tropical storm Ondoy over the weekend, Speaker Prospero Nograles announced Tuesday.

Arroyo, Cabinet give 2 months' pay for 'Ondoy' victims

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her Cabinet agreed Tuesday to donate their salaries for two months to victims of storm "Ondoy."

Hundreds of flood survivors turn up in Malacañang

by Agence France-Presse
MANILA - Hundreds of Philippine flood survivors poured into the presidential palace on Tuesday after President Gloria Arroyo threw open the seat of government as part of disaster relief efforts.

Long lines at Palace 'relief' center irks Arroyo

President Macapagal-Arroyo didn't like what she saw on the first day of her unprecedented order to open Malacañang to common folks: a long stretch of poor villagers peeking through the gates of the Kalayaan compound under the intense noon heat.

Catholic Church to hold 'special collection' for Ondoy victims

by Aries Rufo, Newsbreak
The Archdiocese of Manila will hold a "special collection" for victims of tropical storm Ondoy, even as pledges of financial support from international relief agencies pour.

EU gives €2M for Ondoy victims

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, has given 2 million euros (about P140 million), so far the biggest amount of disaster relief assistance for the victims of typhoon Ondoy.

China gives $100,000 more for Ondoy victims

China on Tuesday gave an additional $100,000 (about P4.7 million) in cash for humanitarian disaster assistance to victims of typhoon Ondoy.

Australia to help RP flood victims

SYDNEY — Australia will give up to a million dollars (US$874,920) in aid to the Philippines as it faces a humanitarian crisis caused by the worst flooding in decades, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Tuesday.

United Nations assures RP disaster aid

United Nations top officials led by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday assured Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo of assistance for the families of the people who perished and were displaced in the floods caused by typhoon "Ondoy" last Saturday.

6 bodies found in Taguig waterway

Six more bodies believed to be victims of drowning at the height of storm "Ondoy" turned up in a waterway near the Laguna Lake in Taguig City on Tuesday, police said.

2 more flood victims found dead in Las Piñas

Two bodies believed to be those of people who drowned in the floods spawned by typhoon "Ondoy" over the weekend were fished out of a river in Las Piñas City on Tuesday.

8 killed in Mindanao flash floods

Flash floods triggered by tropical storm Ondoy killed at least eight people in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat province on Saturday.

3,000 people, one toilet in Cainta evacuation center

by Agence France-Presse
MANILA - Angry flood survivors in Cainta, Rizal queued here Tuesday for tinned fish and noodles while another line built for a single toilet at a gymnasium that was turned into an evacuation center.

Arroyo orders forced evacuation in flood-prone areas

(UPDATE) This time, there's no reason not to be ready. President Macapagal-Arroyo ordered on Tuesday the "preemptive" evacuation in areas likely to be hit by yet another weather disturbance expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility either Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Floods a wake-up call for climate change

The massive floods that inundated the Philippine capital were a chilling reminder of the need to seriously address climate change, experts said, warning that the lives of millions were at stake.

Sierra Madre group blames Arroyo for Ondoy disaster

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could have averted the disaster brought by storm Ondoy if she acted to stop rampant corruption at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which was believed to have abetted illegal logging, a Quezon Catholic priest and head of the Sierra Madre protection group said Tuesday.

Found guilty on P188T graft

A FORMER collector of the Cebu City Treasurer's Office was found guilty of malversation of public funds for pocketing about P187,707.95 in 2004.  Rebecca Mahusay, a former utility worker and designated collector at the treasurer's office, was convicted of violating Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code for failing to remit taxes she collected to the city's coffers.

Lapu now a lone district

THE Senate passed on third reading Monday the bill converting Lapu-Lapu City into a lone district without discussion in the floor.

2 US soldiers, 1 RP Marine killed, 2 hurt in blast

(UPDATE 2) Two US Navy soldiers and a member of the Philippine Marines were killed while two others were injured when a landmine exploded near a Marine detachment between the villages of Kagay and Luamsaing in Indanan, Sulu, around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, a military spokesman said.

Sulu police identify dead American, Filipino soldiers

The Sulu police have released the identities of the two American soldiers and a Filipino Marine trooper, who were killed by a roadside bomb in Indanan, Sulu Tuesday morning.  Senior Superintendent Alibuddin Esmail, Sulu police chief, identified the US soldiers as Staff Sergeant Jack Martin and Sergeant First Class Christopher Shaw. The Filipino soldier was only identified as a Private First Class Estrada.

Sulu explosion spells 'doom' for VFA - Biazon

Muntinlupa Representative Rufino Biazon urged the suspension of military exercises between the Philippines and the United States after a landmine explosion that killed two American soldiers and member of the local Marines.

US conducts own investigation of Sulu blast

The United States Embassy in Manila on Tuesday confirmed the deaths of two American servicemen and a Filipino soldier, and the wounding of two other Filipino soldiers when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Sulu.

Erap won't back out of presidential bid—Jinggoy

by Purple Romero, Newsbreak
Former president Joseph 'Erap' Estrada will not back out from the presidential race, dashing hopes that there will be a common opposition candidate for the 2010 elections. Sen. Jinggoy Estrada told reporters that his father will stand pat on his plans to join the presidential derby, sending signals that alleged fresh attempts between his father and another opposition contender, Sen. Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino, to unify the opposition have gone kaput.

Comelec approves Lakas-Kampi merger

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday ruled as legal the merging of administration parties Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) and Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).

House panel junks impeach rap vs Ombudsman

(UPDATE 2) The House of Representatives' committee on justice has junked the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

CA judge is SC justices' nominee for high tribunal

(UPDATE) Court of Appeals Justice Martin Villarama was the top choice of the Supreme Court justices when it came to who among applicants for a seat in the high tribunal should be in the Judicial and Bar Council's short list for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's consideration.

Arroyo orders lifting of duties, fees on foreign donations

MANILA - President Arroyo on Tuesday, in her latest directives to address the devastation brought by Tropical Storm "Ondoy" and provide aid to tens of thousand still in evacuation centers, has ordered the Bureau of Customs not to impose duties on relief goods that will come from donors abroad.

RP to import 20,000-T of pork to avert shortage

MANILA - An expected tight supply of pork in the coming holiday season amid low production has prompted the government, private traders and even hog raisers to agree to import an additional 20,000 metric tons (MT) this year. 

100,000 in Vietnam flee from typhoon

by Agence France-Presse
HANOI - More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from the path of Typhoon Ketsana as it bears down on central Vietnam, an official said Tuesday.

Typhoon Ketsana kills 31 in Vietnam

DANANG—Typhoon Ketsana slammed into Vietnam Tuesday killing at least 31 people in floods and landslides and causing almost 170,000 to flee their homes, officials said.

USGS reports 7.9 magnitude earthquake off Samoa

APIA—A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.9 struck off the South Pacific island nation of Samoa on Tuesday, triggering a tsunami warning and sending coastal residents fleeing to higher ground.

Guinea troops kill at least 157 in stadium bloodbath: opposition

CONAKRY, Guinea - Guinea junta troops shot and killed at least 157 people, wounded more than 1,000, and raped women when they broke up a huge rally in a stadium, opposition leaders said Tuesday amid deadly new unrest.

'Win over Cotto to make Pacman an all-time great'

MANILA -- Well known ring announcer Jimmy Lennon said a win against WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto will definitely make Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao an "all-time great" in boxing.

Filipino superfly contender eyes upset vs Vasquez

MANILA -- Undefeated Filipino super flyweight Drian Francisco is banking on his abilities to score an "upset" against a more experienced Roberto "La Arana" Vasquez when they face at the Cuneta Astrodome this coming Saturday.

Orlando Magic sticks with Van Gundy

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has reached a deal on a contract extension with the National Basketball Association team.

Crocs in Pasig floodwaters?

Crocs in the floodwaters of Pasig? "Nothing to worry. The crocodiles are still in their cages as reported by the zoo keeper," Pasig City Mayor Robert Eusebio on Tuesday assured the public.  Stories swirled that the ferocious animals from Pasig's RainForest Park have gone out of their cages as floodwaters hit the zoo over the weekend. offers aid to Ondoy victims

MANILA – Filipino American international singer of Grammy Award-winning group The Black Eyed Peas has heeded the appeal of the Philippines for international aid.

Facebook removes Obama poll question

SAN FRANCISCO - The US Secret Service is trying to identify the people who launched an online poll at Facebook asking whether US President Barack Obama should be assassinated.

Gemma Mendoza: Advertisers should note 'Ondoy' audience in cyberspace

In a chat with Ricky Carandang of ANC's Business Nightly, Gemma Bagayaua Mendoza, deputy editor for research and systems of and Newsbreak, noted how millions of Internet users flocked to various social networking sites to help augment government's rescue and relief efforts for Typhoon 'Ondoy' victims. While interactive social networking and news sites continue to grapple for profitable business models, Mendoza said 'Ondoy' provided another opportunity for marketers and advertising companies to realize that audience traffic and their target market is available in cyberspace.

2nd tropical storm forming off RP: weather body

GENEVA - A second tropical cyclone is forming and may reach the Philippines, already reeling from a storm that killed at least 246 people over the weekend, the World Meteorological Organization said Tuesday.

RP-Taiwan deal to upgrade Pagasa

The government of Taiwan is providing the Philippines with 15 automatic weather stations (AWS) worth P13.5 million, in an effort to boost the capability of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) to forecast weather.

Jonathan Swift  - "May you live every day of your life."

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