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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 19, 2009 Major News Stories

'Ramil' remains almost stationary but continues to intensify

MANILA - Typhoon "Ramil " (International codename "Lupit") on Sunday has remained almost stationary but continues to intensify while hovering over warm areas of the Pacific Ocean.

Luzon braces for 'Ramil'

MANILA - Philippine authorities Sunday put rescue teams on standby and stockpiled emergency supplies as the country braced for Typhoon Ramil (international code name Lupit) in the wake of two storms which left more than 900 people dead.

Typhoon to spare Manila, north braces for disaster

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Disaster-response agencies packed tons of food aid, readied a helicopter and prepared a massive evacuation plan in the mountainous north Sunday as another typhoon threatened the country after back-to-back storms killed more than 750 people.

DSWD pre-positions relief goods for typhoon Ramil

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Sunday that it has been "pre-positioning" relief goods in anticipation of typhoon "Ramil" and has put on hold the government's relief caravan for the victims of typhoon "Pepeng" in northern and Central Luzon.

Emergency battalion deployed today

by By Dennis Carcamo

MANILA, Philippines - The newly-activated Army contingent or emergency battalion has been deployed today (Oct. 18) to respond to calamities, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said.

Tom may still give ok to LRT

The proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) System in Metro Cebu can still get an endorsement from Mayor on-leave Tomas Osmeña despite his criticism to the project.

Can City stall LRT?

CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña will not endorse the proposed Light Rail Transit-Mono Rail Transit (LRT-MRT) project in Metro Cebu, until the study on a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for Cebu City is finished.

Apas residents, Capitol to meet on November 5

The provincial government hopes that the residents of barangay Apas living inside Camp Lapu-Lapu will be present for the November 5 meeting with the governor to give their proposal.

Groups vow to push fight vs. power firms

FOUR environmental groups said they will expand their opposition against the construction of two coal-fired power plants of the Korean Electric Company-SPC Power Corp. (Kepco-SPC) consortium.

No need to replace Davide if he resigns from council

The Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) may no longer replace Cebu City Councilor Hilario Davide III if he tenders his resignation to pursue plans of seeking another office.

Bid for governor matters less than campaign for Noy

CEBU City Councilor Hilario Davide III yesterday said his possible candidacy for governor of Cebu is just "secondary" to his commitment to campaign for Sen. Aquino.

Responsible parenthood classes to start with 1,600 young couples

Amid the controversy on the Reproductive Health Bill, the Cebu City Council passed a resolution binding the memorandum of agreement with the Population Commission for a program on educating selected young couples from all the barangays about responsible parenthood through natural methods.

103,000 GSIS members affected by ``Ondoy'' granted P20,000 loan each

The Government Service Insurance System said it has granted 103,000 of its members P20,000 each in emergency fund just a week since the launch of a loan program for those affected by tropical storm "Ondoy."

Students ask for tuition leeway after disasters' onslaught

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Humiling ng konsiderasyon sa kanilang mga kolehiyo at unibersidad ang mga estudyanteng biktima ng bagyo! Sana raw, payagan silang makapag-exams kahit hindi pa nakakapagbayad ng kanilang matrikula!

Private sector asked to help typhoon-hit schools

MANILA - Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has issued a plea to the private sector to come to the aid of public schools hit hard by storm "Ondoy" and typhoon "Pepeng."

DepEd chief frowns at schools as evacuation centers

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has appealed to local government units not to consider public schools as primary option for evacuees in cases of calamity.

Teachers asked to refund pay received while absent

The Commission on Audit has strongly recommended that the 1,770 public elementary school teachers in Cebu and in other parts of the region be made to refund a total of P3 million in salaries that they have received from 2004 to 2007 even if they were absent.

DA assures enough pork supply for Christmas in RP

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has assured consumers of sufficient pork supply for the Christmas season, as it expects the importation of some 20,000 metric tons of pork in the last quarter.

Task force to probe insurance complaints

The Department of Justice has created a task force of 41 prosecutors to look into the complaints of typhoon victims whose insurance claims for their damaged property and motor vehicles were not being honored by their insurers.

P32B needed to house 500,000 squatter-families

The government needs more than P32 billion in the next 10 years to provide decent relocation and housing for more than 500,000 families in Metro Manila's squatter colonies, according to an interagency committee.

Loren to set example by picking litter on streets

Unless the weather is stormy, Sen. Loren Legarda will be picking up litter in the streets of Metro Manila this week.

Senate work on nat'l budget to go on during break

The Senate finance committee will continue to deliberate on the proposed P1.54-trillion national budget for 2010 during the Congress break and expects to wrap up discussions before sessions resume next month, according to Sen. Edgardo Angara.

Vatican 'very concerned' about Sinnott's kidnap

One week after the abduction of the ailing Irish missionary priest Michael Sinnott, people close to him have become even more concerned about his health, although authorities are still hopeful they would be able to "establish contact" with the kidnappers in due time.

Appeals, prayers launched for abducted Irish priest

by Agence France-Presse
MANILA - Philippine authorities and church officials on Sunday launched fresh appeals for the safety of an elderly Irish priest they fear may be in dire need of medical attention eight days after he was abducted by unknown gunmen.

Zambo Sur gov: Abducted Irish priest needs his medicines

The top Zamboanga del Sur official is calling on the abductors of Father Michael Sinnott to allow the delivery of medicines that the Irish priest needs.

Palace: Gov't trying best to rescue kidnapped Irish priest

Government authorities today said they are doing their best to rescue the 79-year-old Irish priest Michael Sinnott abducted in the country's restive south one week ago.

Military in a quandary over Sinnott's "locations"

Abducted Irish priest Fr. Michael Sinnott was reported to be in three different provinces in southern Philippines, making it extra difficult for the military to conduct search and rescue operations.

N. Cotabato tightens security for EU, Spain envoys

Security has been tightened all over North Cotabato ahead of the scheduled visit of two foreign dignitaries from the European Union and Spain who will look into the situation of people in various evacuation sites in the province and in Maguindanao on Tuesday.

US officials meet with MILF on peace talks

Washington officials again held a secret meeting with leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the jungles of Maguindanao, reaffirming their support to the peace talks between them and the Philippine government.

Aquino, Mar swear in actor Montano as LP-Bohol chief

Actor Cesar Montano was sworn in as chairman of the revived Liberal Party-Bohol, on Saturday, in the presence of Senators Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and Manuel "Mar" Roxas II.

Arroyo to visit Pampanga... again

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will visit yet another town in her home province of Pampanga on Monday, with Malacañang insisting it is part of her bid to bring government to the people.

No charges says kin of driver killed in Arroyo convoy mishap

by By Barbara Mijares, ABS-CBN News Negros
OP to shoulder burial expenses The family of 52-year old taxi driver Mario Belenario who was killed in a mishap with one of the vehicles of President Arroyo's convoy in Silay City last Friday said that they will not be filing charges for his death.

Dacer daughters link Erap in murder case

The United States-based daughters of slain publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer are set to formally indict former President Joseph Estrada in the murder case of their father.

Losses due to typhoons tax deductible, says BIR

MANILA - Business taxpayers whose enterprises have been damaged by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng may file for income tax deduction for the losses they incurred, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said during the weekend.

Teves mulls single-tax regime

MANILA - Finance Secretary Margarito Teves is considering a shift in tax regime where the rate for corporations and households is one and the same.

6 more power plants for sale in 2010

MANILA - The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) will bid out six power plants next year following the conclusion of privatization efforts for the year with the successful sale of the 55-megawatt (MW) Naga Land-Based Gas Turbine last Friday.

Arctic ice cap to disappear in 20-30 years: study

LONDON - The Arctic ice cap will disappear completely in summer months within 20 to 30 years, a polar research team said as they presented findings from an expedition led by adventurer Pen Hadow.

World economies hold climate talks in London

LONDON - Representatives of the world's biggest carbon polluters begin two days of informal talks in London on Sunday to map out common ground 50 days before a key UN climate conference in Copenhagen.

Maldives leader turns stuntman to fight climate change

MALE - Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, who staged the world's first underwater cabinet meeting at the weekend, is emerging as the global stuntman in the battle against climate change.

Bomb kills 5 near Baghdad cafe, say police

BAGHDAD - Iraqi police say five civilians have been killed in a bomb explosion near a popular cafe in a primarily Sunni district of Baghdad.

Bomb kills US soldier in Afghanistan: NATO

KABUL - A bomb attack killed a US soldier in Afghanistan on Sunday, the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

Despite Nobel, Obama finds Mideast peace elusive

WASHINGTON - He has pushed and cajoled in grand statements and closed-door meetings, but President Barack Obama -- a newly-minted Nobel Peace Prize winner -- is finding Middle East peace remains elusive.

One millon protest abortion reforms in Spain: organizers

More than one million people took to the streets of Madrid Saturday to condemn plans by the socialist government to liberalize the abortion laws in the overwhelmingly Catholic country, organizers said.

7 killed, 20 injured in Puerto Rico bar shooting

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Gunmen opened fire into a bar and killed at least seven people, injuring 20 others, Puerto Rico police said Sunday.

Pacquiao leaves Baguio amid "Ramil" threat

To make sure that no amount of rain or typhoon wind will hamper his training camp, Manny Pacquiao will leave Baguio City sooner than expected and wrap up his Philippine training in Manila.

SEAG champs to get more bonuses–Angping

There appears to be more bonuses coming for gold medalists in the Laos Southeast Asian Games.

PBA: Ginebra thwarts Purefoods rally, grabs lead share

MANILA - Barangay Ginebra blew a 13-point lead late in the third period but regrouped just in time to escape with a 95-87 win over Purefoods Tender Juicy and grab a share of the lead of the KFC-PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Whoppers, Arboleda issue public apology to hurt Gilas fan

Burger King and its starting guard Wynne Arboleda issued a public apology to Smart Gilas fan Alain Katigbak on Saturday after the player attacked him at courtside during the two teams' PBA Philippine Cup match Friday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum.

Quiambao opens up about verbal abuse during marriage

I experienced verbal and emotional abuse, says Quiambao Three years after her marriage to a Hong Kong-based Italian businessman fell apart, Miriam Quiambao, the 1999 Miss Universe first runner-up, finally opens about the verbal and emotional abuse she endured during their two-year marriage. 

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