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

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 12, 2009 Major News Stories

Seaoil to hike pump prices Monday

Small player Seaoil on Sunday announced that it would increase the prices of its pump products starting Monday morning.

Seaoil's spokesman Rey Jimenez said they would increase the prices of their gasoline, diesel and kerosene products by P0.25 per liter effective 6 a.m. Monday, October 12.

The price adjustment however would not be implemented in provinces affected by typhoon "Pepeng," particularly Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, and Abra. 

Fare hike's chances slim

WITH three rollbacks in fuel prices in the past two weeks, Regional Director Romulo Bernardes doubts whether the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) head office will approve some jeepney drivers' petition for a fare increase.

Deaths in Luzon due to 'Pepeng' now 307, still rising

(Update 1 - 6:50 p.m.) The death toll caused by killer typhoon "Pepeng" (Parma) has risen to more than 300 in the various regions of Luzon, most of it in the Cordillera and Ilocos regions, as more bodies were retrieved from landslide-hit areas in Baguio City, the rest of Benguet province and Mountain Province.

NDCC count: 198 dead, 46 missing due to Pepeng

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said the death toll from typhoon Pepeng has risen to 198, with 46 people still missing, as of Sunday.

40 landslides in the Cordillera claim over 250 lives

(Update 2 - 9:20 p.m.) BAGUIO CITY - Over 40 landslides have decimated communities across the rugged Cordillera mountain range, claiming at least 250 lives with many more missing, after relentless rains brought by Typhoon Pepeng.

4 dams still discharging water

Four water reservoirs in Northern Luzon still had to open spillway gates as of Sunday afternoon, releasing water after its capacity had reached critical level due to rains dumped by typhoon "Pepeng" the past days.

Pantabangan Dam release floods 2 Bulacan towns

Lumubog din sa tubig-baha ang ilang barangay sa 2 bayan sa Bulacan dahil sa pagpapalabas ng tubig sa Pantabangan Dam.

Dam managers probed on water release

Agencies in charge of the dams in Luzon, such as the National Power Corporation, will be asked by the Senate to explain the release of water, which has apparently caused massive flooding in northern Luzon over the weekend.

Landslides threaten 49 Bicol localities - mines bureau

Residents of 48 municipalities and a city in the Bicol region have been advised by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to move to safe ground during heavy rains, due to the high risk of landslides during the typhoon season.

City Treasurer to check books of south terminal

Armed with a letter of authority from the City Attorney's Office (CAO), the City Treasurer's Office (CTO) plans to inspect today the books of province-owned Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT).

Byron eyes dancing porters for CSBT

The dancing bug has bitten deep indeed.

Tom may cut short his leave

Cebu City Mayor on-leave Tomas Osmeña is planning to shorten his leave of absence and maybe return to City Hall anytime soon.  The mayor's leave of absence is set to end on October 30, but Osmeña said he might shorten it and be back at City Hall perhaps in a week or two.

New SRP deal on despite charges filed by province

Cebu City is set to close another deal for the South Road Properties this despite the complaint lodged at the Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas by the Cebu Province.

Apas families fight transfer

AT LEAST 200 barangay officials and residents of Apas, Cebu City held a prayer vigil last night in front of the Central Command (Centcom) gate to protest the impending signing of an agreement to return the property to the Capitol.

New hope for cityhood of Naga, Carcar, Bogo

The third motion for reconsideration filed by Naga, Carcar, Bogo, and 13 other new cities in the Philippines against an earlier ruling by the high tribunal nullifying their city status was accepted by the Supreme Court.

LGUs reminded: Stop illegal mines, quarries

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will only allow mining projects to operate if these can absorb the social and environmental costs, said Assistant Secretary Jeremias Dolino.

Bohol police chief charged over slay try probe

The police chief of this city was charged before the Visayas Ombudsman for allegedly mishandling the investigation into the slay attempt on a former mayor.

Already slapped with administrative charges for gross misconduct and grave abuse of authority at the National Police Commission (Napolcom), Bohol Police Director Senior Supt. Edgardo Ingking is now facing criminal charges for obstruction of justice and dereliction of duty.

The criminal and administrative raps stemmed from the handling of the investigation into an attempt to kill former Panglao mayor, Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan.

Dumaluan was shot by one Teodulo Macalandag at the former mayor's beach resort in Barangay (Village) Bolod, Panglao, last August 25.

In his complaint before the Ombudsman, Dumaluan alleged that Ingking failed to send police investigators to talk to him or assist him.

The former mayor alleged that Inking, instead, offered to help and provide a lawyer to Macalandag, the self-confessed assailant.

Fuel shortage cripples Baguio

Dwindling fuel supplies in isolated Baguio City have forced the government to suspend classes again here from Monday to Wednesday, while work crews strive to open Kennon Road by 3 p.m. on Monday.

Arroyo opens Mansion, VP cottage to survivors

Survivors of landslides that hit Baguio and Benguet last week were given their first taste of life inside the presidential Mansion, after President Macapagal-Arroyo opened its doors to them on Saturday.

Arroyo forms task force to fast-track "Ondoy" insurance claims

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Sunday created a task force to fast-track the at least P11 billion in insurance claims by victims of tropical storm "Ondoy" (international name Ketsana).

Freight costs halt 'coffins-for-veggies' plan

(UPDATE) President Macapagal-Arroyo asked a Pampanga town popular for its coffin industry, on Sunday, to ship at least 100 caskets to the summer capital, in exchange for vegetables from Benguet.

Special commission to rehabilitate RP after killer cyclones proposed

Presidential economic adviser Jose Salceda on Sunday proposed the creation of a special commission that would lead rehabilitation efforts in areas devastated by tropical cyclones "Ondoy" and "Pepeng."

Albay stops GSIS loan payment deductions

The provincial accountant of Albay has advised the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) that starting this October payroll, the province will not be deducting installment payments from provincial government employees who have outstanding loans.

NBI to run after hoarders, profiteers

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has fielded more agents in Luzon to go after traders taking advantage of the recent calamities to jack up the prices of basic commodities, Malacañang announced on Sunday.

Luzon-wide state of calamity may extend till yearend: Palace

THE STATE of calamity in Luzon may remain until yearend to allow effective implementation of relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas affected by two tropical cyclones, Malacanang yesterday said.

5.3 magnitude quake hits south of Sulu

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck at the ocean near southern Philippines on Saturday, the United States Geological Survey reported.

Arroyo, next president face P30B flood rehab

President Macapagal-Arroyo and her successor face the daunting task of rehabilitating and rebuilding areas ravaged by storm Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng in northern Luzon, Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

Nograles: House may OK P10-B additional calamity on Monday

MANILA - House Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr. on Sunday said that the House Committee on Appropriations has approved a joint resolution to allocate an additional P10 billion to calamity funds which have already been depleted caused by tropical storm "Ondoy",  typhoon "Pepeng", and other weather disturbances that have hit the country so far.  

'Allocate P10B extra calamity fund fairly'

Members of Congress from Central Mindanao are pushing for the "balanced and equitable distribution" of the P10 billion in extra calamity funds being proposed in a Malacañang-certified supplemental budget bill.

150 US soldiers helping in relief operations -- AFP

The military said on Sunday that some 150 American soldiers have been participating in disaster relief operations in areas hardest hit by storm Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng.

Pimentel to Congress: Pass log ban bill

MANILA - Congress should "muster the resolve" to approve a bill imposing a total ban on commercial logging to prevent an ecological disaster "more destrcutinve" than the previous weeks' floodings in Luzon, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said Sunday. 

Chiz Escudero for president?

THE NATIONALIST People's Coalition (NPC) is expected to announce Senator Francis Joseph "Chiz" G. Escudero as its presidential candidate today.

Bolante's party pirates members of LP-Capiz

Sen. Mar Roxas has accused former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn "Jocjoc" Bolante of disturbing the peaceful politics in Capiz by deciding to run for governor of the province in the 2010 elections and in the process pirating members of the local chapter of the Liberal Party.

Moro is new peace negotiator

THE GOVERNMENT is having its first Moro chief peace negotiator beginning today in the person of Nabil A. Tan, replacing Avelino I. Razon, Jr. who has resigned to seek the Manila mayoralty post in next year's elections.

Irish priest kidnapped in Pagadian City

(UPDATE) An Irish missionary was snatched by six armed men inside the Columban House in Gatas District in Pagadian City around 7:20 p.m. Sunday.

Chief Supt. Angel Sunglao, Western Mindanao police chief, said the six kidnappers forcibly entered the Columban House and took Father Mechael Sinot at gunpoint.

The suspects then fled with the priest on board a mini van with license plate GBL 687.

Sunglao said the mini van was burned by the kidnappers when they reached Sta. Lucia village.

They then boarded a boat and sailed to the high seas with the victim.

Sunglao said a fisherman later told police he saw the gunmen and the priest heading towards Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.

Boy finds grenade, gets killed in blast

A seven-year-old boy was killed while two others were wounded when a grenade exploded in the village of Garlayan in Maluso town, Basilan, on Sunday noon.

22 Chinese nationals rescued off Boracay

A total of 22 Chinese nationals were rescued on Sunday after their banca sank off Boracay island in Central Philippines.

US, China demand custody of fake Viagra trader

The United States and China appear to be in a custodial tug of war over a suspected Chinese importer of counterfeit Viagra and Xenical tablets, whom the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) placed on "provisional arrest" for extradition to Texas.

50,000 people short of water in south China drought: report

by Agence France-Presse
BEIJING - More than 50,000 people in southern China's Guangdong province are suffering from water shortages as a spreading drought has left farmers' fields dry and cracked, state media reported Sunday.

17 die as river ferry sinks in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — An overloaded river ferry capsized on its way to a Buddhist ceremony in Cambodia, killing 17 passengers in a tributary of the Mekong River, an official said Sunday.

Pakistan commandos rescue 39 hostages, three killed

by Reuters
Attack ends violent week for Pakistan RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - Pakistani commandos stormed an office building Sunday and rescued 39 people taken hostage by suspected Taliban militants after a brazen attack on the army's headquarters.

 Iraq officials: Anbar bombings kill 19, injure 60

BAGHDAD - A series of bombings killed at least 19 people and wounded 60 Sunday in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, said police and hospital officials, a worrying sign that violence may be on the rise in this former hotbed of the insurgency.

Pope elevates 5 new saints, 1 for work in Hawaii

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI canonized five new saints Sunday, including a 19th-century priest whose work with leprosy patients on a Hawaiian island has been hailed by U.S. President Barack Obama as inspiring those helping AIDS sufferers in today's world.

Belgium-born Jozef De Veuster, more commonly known as Father Damien, who himself died from leprosy in 1889 after contracting the disease while working with leprosy patients who were living in isolation on Molokai island.

Official delegations for St. Damien included King Albert II and Queen Paolo of Belgium and, for the United States, Obama's new envoy to the Vatican, Miguel H. Diaz, and Hawaii Sen. Daniel Kahikina Akaka.

Another new saint is Zygmunt Szcezesny Felinski, a 19th-century Polish bishop who defended the Catholic faith during the years of the Russian annexation, which had led to the shutdown of Polish churches.

Two Spaniards were honored — Francisco Coll y Guitart, who founded an order of Dominicans in the 19th century, and Rafael Arniaz Baron, who renounced an affluent lifestyle at age 22 to live a humble life in a strict monastery and dedicate himself to prayer.

The fifth new saint is Jeanne Jugan, a Frenchwoman described by Vatican Radio as an "authentic Mother Teresa ahead of her time." A nun, she helped found the Little Sisters of the Poor, which today runs homes for indigent elderly worldwide. She died in 1879.

Angping wants only 130 RP bets for Laos SEAG

by The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Sports Commission chairman Harry Angping stood firm on sending a smaller delegation – only 130 athletes – to the Laos Southeast Asian Games in December considering that the Philippines is reeling from a spate of calamities that have claimed the lives of hundreds and billions of pesos in property lost.

Olympics site workers face anti-terror scans

LONDON, United Kingdom—Workers on London's Olympic Park will have to go through biometric scanning to access the 2012 Games site in a bid to protect it from terrorists, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Aquinos mark first Ninoy-Cory wedding anniversary after Cory's death

Members of the Aquino family and their close friends on Sunday gathered at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City to commemorate the marriage of slain Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. and the late President Corazon "Cory" Aquino.

YouTube views over one billion a day -- co-founder

The number of video views a day on YouTube has surpassed one billion, the co-founder of the wildly popular video-sharing site said Friday on the third anniversary of its acquisition by Google.

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