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

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 9, 2009 Major News Stories

Ferry survivors want more financial support

Survivors of the ill-fated SuperFerry 9 on Tuesday called on the shipping line for more financial support to cover their lost properties and cash that they failed to save when they abandoned ship.

SuperFerry 9 passenger says 'rescued' baby girl missing

A passenger of the ill-fated SuperFerry 9 has sought the help of concerned government agencies to help her find her 11-month-old daughter, who went missing after she handed the baby to rescuers while they were being scooped out of the waters off Zamboanga Peninsula on Sunday.

Aboitiz to check ships, cleanup waters

Aboitiz Transport System Corp. said Tuesday that it has accounted for the crew members and passengers of its SuperFerry 9 and was going to re-inspect its other ships and clean up the waters off the Zamboanga Peninsula where the its vessel capsized and sank in good weather last Sunday.

Shipping firm appeals grounding of vessels

The Aboitiz Transport System Corp., owner of the ill-fated SuperFerry 9, has asked the Maritime Industry Authority to reconsider its decision to suspend travel of the shipping firm's fleet of sea vessels.

3 SuperFerry ships get suspend order mid-sea

The Maritime Industry Authority has allowed three SuperFerry vessels of the Aboitiz Transport Systems Corp. to sail to Manila as the suspension order issued by the agency reached them on Tuesday, at mid-sea.

Marina's handling of ferry sinking hit

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz chided the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) on Tuesday for acting only after tragedy strikes, saying the authorities should be on their toes to prevent sea accidents in the first place.

Princess repeat?

SEN. Rodolfo Biazon urged investigators on the sinking of the Superferry 9 to verify a reported increase in the ship's capacity, which could help explain why it capsized.

Comelec: Aboitiz suspension won't affect transport of poll equipment, materials

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is not alarmed by the suspension on the operations of Aboitiz Transport System Corp. (ATSC) even though a subsidiary of the company is tasked to transport the ballots and counting machines that will be used in next year's elections, officials said Tuesday.

10M Filipinos unemployed—survey

An estimated 10 million adult Filipinos who are looking for work (25.9 percent) are unemployed, according to the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations.

Garment factory workers stage sit-down strike

More than a hundred workers of the Alta Mode garments factory at the Mactan Export Processing Zone started a sit-down protest the other day against the forced leave implemented by management that allegedly discriminates union members."

Salcon labor row now with DOLE

The Department of Labor and Employment has assumed jurisdiction over the ongoing labor dispute between the management of the Salcon Power Corporation and its union.

UN agency to probe labor rights abuses in RP

The International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations' arm for labor concerns, is sending a fact-finding mission to the Philippines to investigate complaints of trade-union rights violations in the country.

60 OFWs in Maldives appeal for help

Around 60 overseas Filipino workers in the Maldives had dreamt of providing a better future for their families in the Philippines. But, they are now the source of worry of their relatives in the country. "Agahan lugaw? Magbubuhat ka ng semento ang kakainin mo lugaw? Napakahirap po ang kalagayan nila doon," said Myrna Grimaldo, the wife of Randy Grimaldo.

House panel OKs 5-centavo tax on text

(UPDATE) The House committee on ways and means on Tuesday approved a measure imposing a five-centavo excise tax on every text message, but said this would not be passed on to the consumers.

DOH readies new round of drugstore inspections

After closing down some drugstores for defying an order to halve the prices of 43 essential medicines, the Department of Health is preparing for another round of inspections next week, this time on small and medium-sized pharmacies.

Make sure pork is safe and cooked, DOH reminds public

While it reassured the public that there is no outbreak of the Ebola Reston virus, the Department of Health reminded consumers Tuesday to make sure their pork is properly inspected and thoroughly cooked.

PDIC denies payment to 4,164 Legacy deposit claims

MANILA - The state deposit insurer has denied payment for 4,164 claims, amounting to P204.07 million, received from depositors of 12 bankrupt Legacy rural banks.

PDIC pays more than half of the Legacy Bank claims

State-run Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) has paid almost 63.27 percent of the P2.26-billion approved claims to Legacy Bank amid missing bank records and alleged fraud cases, president Jose C. Nograles said.

Rural, not urban, studes top nationwide test

For the third straight year, students from the provinces outdid their city counterparts in the National Achievement Test (NAT) for Grade 6 pupils, and education officials are blaming urban congestion and the ubiquitous malls for this.

'No compensation from Larrañagas yet'

MANILA - The mother of rape victims Mary Joy and Jacqueline Chiong claimed Tuesday that she has not received compensation from the Larrañaga family, boosting her hope of blocking the impending transfer of Francisco Juan "Paco" Larrañaga to Spain.

Gullas to Bolo: Resignation from Provincial Board will be honorable

Cebu Province 1st District Rep. Eduardo R. Gullas has urged Provincial Board Member Juan Bolo to resign from his post and not just his committee chairmanship amid the controversy in the purchase of the Balili property in Naga.

Environmental advocates keen on talks with Naga town executives

Environmental lawyers who have actively protested against the presence of a coal-fired power plant in the town of Naga see the need for them and the members of the local government unit to meet in order to discuss further actions to curb more ill effects that the plant has allegedly posed to the health of residents and to the environment.

Georgia says she'll run

ENCOURAGED by the support she's getting from the grassroots, Georgia Osmeña has decided to run for Cebu City mayor against Vice Mayor Michael Rama, the standard-bearer for her brother Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña's party.

'Ruiz's assets go up from -P26T to P3.5M'

THE net worth of Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz (Cebu Province, 6th district) rapidly increased by 1,000 percent from 12th Congress to 13th Congress, according to a consultant of Mayor Jonas Cortes said.

Lawyer cleared of 2 charges

A PROSECUTOR yesterday recommended the dismissal of complaints filed by a traffic police officer against a lawyer for oral defamation and obstruction of justice.  Prosecutor Victor Laborte rejected, for lack of probable cause, the complaints of oral defamation and obstruction of justice that Chief Insp. Andres Bayarcal, chief of the Traffic Patrol Group of the Cebu City Police Office, filed against lawyer Danilo Pilapil.  City Prosecutor Nicolas Sellon approved Laborte's recommendation.

PDEA agents harassed us: cops

SIX Cebu City police officers have accused Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 agents of harassing them inside a beach resort in Pinamungajan town.

"We are evaluating the evidence and gathering the statements of witnesses," CCPO Director Patrocinio Comendador said.

Comendador said Senior Insp. Sarah Jean Recla, City Intelligence Branch deputy chief, informed him about the actions of a team of PDEA 7 agents, led by Intelligence Officer 2 Mark Maramba.

Recla, together with three other policewomen and two policemen, went to a beach in the mid-western town over the weekend to celebrate after they came out as overall champion in the recently concluded Regional Director's Cup.

No red tape in 3 agencies; LTO poor performer - CSC

The Civil Service Commission-7 recognizes the excellent performances of the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-ibig), the Metro Cebu Water District and the Department of Foreign Affairs in eliminating red tape, and points at the Land Transportation Office-7 as "having poor performances in some areas of its services."

CNU building not in school records

The Commission on Audit has found out that a building worth P1.9 million constructed inside the compound of the Cebu Normal University along Osmeña Blvd. was not recorded among the school's property.

SC upholds poll automation—Comelec chief

(UPDATE)The Supreme Court has ruled that the automation of the 2010 elections is legal, Commission on Elections Chairman Jose Melo told Tuesday.

Voters urged to check registration status

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has urged voters to verify before October 31 the status of their registration to know if they need to enroll their biometrics or reactivate their registration to vote in the 2010 polls, an official said.

Aquino clan to rally behind Noynoy

Members of the Aquino clan, including those serving in the Arroyo administration, will rally behind Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III if he decides to run for president in 2010, former Senator Agapito "Butz" Aquino said Tuesday.

Aquinos still not keen on Noynoy's Palace bid

(UPDATE 2) Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has remained mum on plans to run in the 2010 presidential race, saying his sisters were still not "enthusiastic" with the idea.

Noynoy to announce 2010 plans Wednesday

Kasabay ng ika-40 araw ng pagkamatay ng inang si dating pangulong Cory, bukas na pormal na idedeklara ni Sen. Noynoy Aquino ang desisyon niya, kung kakandidato nga ba sa pagkapangulo.

To be or not to be? Noynoy to make announcement on 09-09-09

Will Noynoy finally announce his expected presidential bid on September 9? A media advisory sent by the senator's camp said he would make an announcement on Wednesday at Club Filipino"s Kalayaan Hall. September 9 marks the 40th day of former President Corazon Aquino"s death. The venue is the same hall where his mother was sworn in as the 11th president of the Philippines.

Roxas: Aquino will run for president in 2010

Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II on Tuesday said he is convinced that Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III will run for president in 2010.

'Noypi' formed to back Noynoy Aquino

Several groups Monday formed a new coalition to support the presidential bid of Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, calling themselves "Noypi," which means "Noynoy Para sa Pilipinas."

Estrada eyes 'unity' talks with Noynoy

Former President Joseph Estrada again called on opposition parties on Tuesday to get their act together and said he will run for president next year if the opposition fields "more than two candidates" for the country's top post.

Lacson vows to tell all on Monday

Aside from telling what he knew about the killing of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito, Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Tuesday he would reveal as well who former president Joseph Estrada was as a leader, with elections just around the corner.  Lacson vowed to tell the truth about these two subjects during his privilege speech in the Senate set on Monday, September 14.

Estrada nonchalant about Lacson bombshell

Former President Joseph Estrada said on Tuesday he was not at all worried with Senator Panfilo Lacson's threat to "unmask the real Erap" in a privilege speech set for Tuesday afternoon.

Ramos, De Venecia lead party 'originals' meet

Former president Fidel Ramos and Pangasinan Representative Jose de Venecia on Tuesday led a gathering of "original" members of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) and agreed to coalesce with a political party that they would choose for the May 2010 presidential election.

Legarda denies giving up 2010 bid

Senator Loren Legarda on Tuesday denied she has given up her presidential ambition to give way to Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero's 2010 bid.

Villar company man admits hand in C-5 insertion

MANILA - A former executive in one of Sen. Manuel Villar's real estate companies admitted that he proposed the insertion of P400 million – not P200 million – in the 2008 national budget to fund the controversial South Luzon Expressway to Sucat leg of the C-5 road extension project.

Anastacio Adriano, the former senior vice-president and chief operating officer of Adelfa Properties Inc. (API), said that he requested for the inclusion of P400 million in the 2008 General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the construction of the Las Piñas-Parañaque link road.

Adriano, who gave this testimony during the Tuesday hearing on the ethics complaint against Villar, corroborates that of Senate budget office chief Yolanda Doblon.

Rich wife fattened my net worth

The embattled elder son of President Macapagal-Arroyo produced new documents on Tuesday showing that his personal fortune zoomed in 2002 after he married a scion of an old-rich family.

Kamag-anak Foundations, Inc.?

The president's husband has a foundation named after his official title – First Gentleman – and is listed as incorporator in the KGMA Foundation, as are sons Jose Miguel and Diosdado. KGMA also includes presidential brother-in-law and Negros Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, as incorporator.

Ombudsman to protect SALN confidentiality in new rules

Amid growing public scrutiny about the wealth of President Arroyo"s family, the Office of the Ombudsman has issued stricter rules on the release of Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALNs) filed in their office supposedly to "protect the confidentiality" of the public document and the government employees and officials who submitted them.

Arroyo says her foreign trips keep RP afloat

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday made a belated defense of her much-criticized foreign trips, claiming her international engagements were largely the reason behind the country's 34 quarters of "uninterrupted growth."

Election of Charter delegates deferred

Ensuring that Charter change would not happen before the May 2010 presidential polls, the House committee on constitutional amendments agreed to hold the election of delegates to the constitutional convention in October next year.

Salonga asks Supreme Court: Inspect US camps

Former Senate President Jovito Salonga and several groups asked the Supreme Court to order an inspection of United States camps and facilities mentioned in the affidavit of Mary Nancy Gadian, whistleblower of alleged anomaly in the Visiting Forces Agreement.

NDFP proposes 3 steps to salvage peace talks

The communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has proposed three steps to salvage peace negotiations with the Philippine government from an impending collapse.  Fidel V. Agcaoili, NDFP spokesman, suggested that the government and NDFP peace negotiators, assisted by their respective lawyers, meet in Oslo within the last week of September to draft and sign a written agreement on how both sides would comply with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) and immediately remove impediments on rebel panelists and consultants which should be protected by the accord.

P2.93B in illegal drugs seized-PDEA

One year's worth of operations yielded close to P3 billion worth of seized illegal drugs and dismantled some 61 local and international syndicates, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported Tuesday.

Cagayan mayor suspended over salary row

The antigraft court Sandiganbayan ordered the 60-day suspension of a Cagayan mayor over allegations he prevented the release of the salaries of five municipal employees some two years ago.

Gabriela wants Singson fired

Women's group Gabriela called on the Arroyo government on Tuesday to fire Deputy National Security Adviser Luis "Chavit" Singson for brutally beating up his former live-in partner, Rachel Tiongson.

Tiongson's plan to file rights rap welcomed

Rights Commissioner Leila de Lima has welcomed the plan of the former common-law wife of deputy national security adviser Luis "Chavit" Singson to file battering charges before the Commission on Human Rights.

Gag order vs 'Chavit,' common-law wife

A Quezon City family court has issued a gag order prohibiting both the camps of Rachel Tiongson and Deputy National Security Adviser Chavit Singson from issuing any statement regarding Tiongson's assault case against Singson.

Gonzales absolves Chavit, says did not use govt facilities

Inabswelto ni National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales ang kanyang deputy na si Chavit Singson sa isyu ng paggamit ng makinarya ng gobyerno para tiktikan ang dating live-in partner at boyfriend nito. Nanindigan din si Chavit na hindi siya magbabakasyon sa trabaho tulad ng iminumungkahi ng Malacañang.

Gonzales wants more time before deciding on Singson"s fate

National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales on Tuesday said he wanted more time to decide what action to take against his deputy, Luis "Chavit" Singson, for allegedly beating his former live-in partner.

House withholds OK from greyhound racing

The House of Representatives has agreed to hold in abeyance its approval of a second franchise for greyhound dog racing after animal protection groups prevailed upon the Senate to defer action on the first franchise.

Suu Kyi's party hopeful for her release

The party of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said on Tuesday it was hopeful that she would be unconditionally released after a court agreed to hear an appeal against her recent conviction.

Obama says US on road to economic recovery

The United States is on the "road to recovery" nearly one year after teetering Wall Street giants sparked global panic and worldwide financial woes, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

South Korean man accused of raping 125 women

South Korean police said Tuesday they have arrested a man accused of raping 125 women over the past nine years.

Pacquiao says he's serious about Cotto fight

MANILA – "The People's Champion" Manny Pacquiao has clarified reports that he is slacking in his preparation for his Nov. 14 fight against WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.

Marquez drinks his pee for fights

MANILA – Peculiar training regimens were brought out in the open during the second episode of HBO's Mayweather vs. Marquez 24/7, courtesy of Juan Manuel "Dinamita" Marquez.

I'm not too old to win, says 'Bata'

MANILA – For Efren "Bata" Reyes and Francisco "Django" Bustamante, winning the World Cup of Pool title the second time around is such a sweet thing.

New PBA chair Alvarez wants pro teams to tighten up belts

Two of the 10 participating teams in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) have been feeling the economic pinch and newly-installed chairman Lito Alvarez wants the league to implement cost-efficient ways for teams to survive the financial crisis.

Grizzlies owner meets with Allen Iverson

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The owner of the Memphis Grizzlies and the team's staff met with Allen Iverson on Monday, moving closer to a deal bringing the veteran guard to a young team.

SSS raps TV host over workers' contributions

The Social Security System has filed charges against a television host-dancer for allegedly not remitting her employees' contributions to the pension fund.  SSS accused Regine Tolentino (Regine Vera Perez in real life) of violating provisions of the Social Security Act of 1997.

NBI sees negligence in botched Belo butt job

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is leaning towards a finding of negligence by the Belo Medical Group (BMG) clinic and its staff in the case of a botched butt augmentation surgery, in which a former patient claimed she almost died.

Woman who drowned with lover named

Homicide investigators identified on Tuesday the woman who drowned with her lover late Sunday afternoon while kissing by the breakwater at Port Area in Manila.  Corazon Bartolome, 40, a resident of the North Cemetery in Sta. Cruz, was positively identified by her 23-year-old son Charlie who proceeded to the Saint Harold Funeral Parlor to verify the identity of the body and claim the body for burial.

Bartolome's lover, who was identified only as a certain "Alan," of Juan Luna Street in Binondo, remains unclaimed at the funeral parlor.

The lovers were swept away at around 3:30 p.m., Sunday, by a big wave which slapped across the breakwater of Manila Bay near the Baseco Compound in Port Area.

Alan's body was fished out of the water several minutes later, while Bartolome's body was retrieved some 15 hours later, at 6 a.m., Monday, at the portion of Manila Bay at Block 2 Old Site, Baseco Compound in Port Area after she was found floating on the water by 26-year-old housewife Lizalyn Tarroyo.

Based on SSS reports, Tolentino is the owner of Regine's Children's Wear, a clothing store for kids, which is located at 47 Victoria St. in the village of Damayang Lagi, Quezon City.

Maid sues tycoon's brother for abuse

Another former maid of businessman Mariano Tanenglian's family has filed criminal charges against him, his wife, and his children for alleged maltreatment, serious illegal detention, slavery, and frustrated homicide.

Noynoy: Kris to leave my love life alone

MANILA – Actress-host Kris Aquino has promised Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to keep her mouth shut when it comes to her older brother's personal life.

Kris: I'll pay for Noynoy's wedding!

Kung noon gusto ni Kris Aquino na huwag nang mag-asawa at maging single na lang for life si Noynoy, ngayon, sinabi ni Kris na siya pa ang aako sa gastos kung ikakasal ang kapatid! 

Kris wants Noynoy to undergo hair loss treatment

MANILA - Actress-host Kris Aquino tried to convince her older brother, Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, to undergo a treatment meant to prevent excessive hair loss.

Pusan film fest unveils record line-up

This year's Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) in South Korea will feature a record 355 movies from 70 countries including 98 receiving their world premiere, organizers said Tuesday.

Tropical depression 'Maring' threatens W. Luzon

MANILA -  The weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) on Tuesday evening said that the low pressure area west of Dagupan City has developed into a tropical depression and has been named "Maring."

Mayon Volcano shows increased activity - Phivolcs

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said that there has again been an increase in the activity of Mayon Volcano. 

Stephen Leacock  - "I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so."

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