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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 21, 2009 Major News Stories

Church calls on flock to offer special prayer against calamity

The Catholic Church called on Filipinos to offer a special prayer to spare the country from further devastation as a third storm to hit the country in as many weeks intensified and moved towards northern Luzon.

370,000 Pag-IBIG members avail of calamity loan

Nearly 370,000 Pag-IBIG Fund members, whose houses were damaged by cyclones "Ondoy" and "Pepeng," can now start rebuilding their homes after their applications for calamity loans were approved by the housing fund agency.

DoLE to survey job prospects for skills match

The labor department has started a survey of employment drivers for the next decade to arm students with better skills in order to curb unemployment and job mismatch, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said.

DOLE: Good traits make Pinoys preferred abroad

Foreign employers hire Filipino workers not because they would take on any job despite the cheap pay, but because of their unrivaled skills and good characteristics, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said Tuesday.

Price is right for anti-lice shampoo, says Department of Education

A Department of Education official said on Tuesday there was no overprice in the procurement of anti-lice shampoo and medical equipment by the DepEd, and that critics were comparing prices of different products.
DepEd had a P900,000 budget to buy 75,000 sachets of citronella shampoo but no payments had been made because the Bureau of Food and Drugs was still reviewing the product.

The nerve,' says Nograles to oil firms

Speaker Prospero Nograles lambasted Tuesday Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes for his inaction on the recent price increase on fuel products imposed by oil companies.

Chevron to hike pump prices Tuesday noon

Following the announcements of its two major competitors, oil giant Chevron Philippines (formerly Caltex) on Tuesday likewise said it was hiking the prices of its petroleum products.

Prices of Chevron's Gold, Silver, E10 and regular gasoline will all go up by P1.25 per liter. 

Meanwhile, prices of diesel and kerosene will respectively increase by P2 and P1.50 per liter.

Yap on rice prices: Leave the market alone

MANILA - Arthur Yap stressed that the National Food Authority (NFA) should raise rice prices as dictated by the market instead of giving subsidies. This, he said, will encourage local farmers to boost production and increase their profitability.

City denied access to terminal accounts

A team from the Office of the City Treasurer failed to inspect the Books of Accounts of the Cebu South Bus Terminal, but instead was only made to inspect the concessionaires at the controversial terminal.

Villarete: BRT not just for Cebu City

Cebu City Planning and Development Office head Nigel Paul Villarete yesterday refuted the statement that the Bus Rapid Transit System is only for Cebu City and that the Light Rail Transit is feasible for other areas of the province.

BOPK to support 'Noy-Mar' in 2010

Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan will be supporting the tandem of Senators Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III and Manuel 'Mar' Roxas II of the Liberal Party for president and vice president in 2010.

'Overpriced' basketball boards: Ombudsman asked to investigate

Cebu City opposition leaders Mary Ann de los Santos and Jonathan Guardo have formally asked the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas to investigate the alleged "basketball corruption" in the entire North District following the "overpriced" procurement of basketball boards and lighted signboards.

Resort owner sues embassy official, 8 others for burial of skeletal remains

The operator of a mountain resort in San Fernando, Cebu has filed a multi-million peso damage suit against an official of the Japanese embassy in Manila and eight other Japanese members of a non-government organization over the alleged burial of skeletal remains in the resort without permission.

The skeletal remains are reportedly those of Japanese soldiers who fought during World War II.

Norma Reynaldo, proprietor of Hidden Paradise Mountain Resort, filed the P9.5-million complaint for damages against Tomochika Uyama, officer of the Japanese Embassy, and Suminori Arima, Mitsuo Watanabe, Usan Kurata, Hiyoro Tabe, Hidekazu Nishimura, Hidaya Chiba, Masako Enari and Hiroyuki Moyino, all employees of Kuentai Investigations.

Kuentai Investigations is a non-government organization based in Lapu-Lapu City.

Pullout of guards

CONSOLACION Mayor Avelino Gungob can be charged with abuse of discretion if he makes good his threat of forcing the entire police force to leave his town.  Gungob earlier said he wanted the police officers to vacate the police station, which is situated on the first floor of the municipal building, after Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Jesus Gaquing pulled out two of his bodyguards.

1 soldier hurt, 2 Cebuanos fall in Negros Oriental encounter

One soldier was injured and three students from Cebu were arrested in an alleged encounter between the elements of the 79th Infantry Battalion and the New People's Army in Sitio Pulang Yuta, Barangay Mayabon, Zamboangita, Negros Oriental last Sunday evening.

Private First Class Angelo Mones sustained injuries to his abdomen and right fingers when the alleged communist rebels fired shots at him when he tried to stop the two motorcycles being used by the suspects during a checkpoint.

During the shootout, the three alleged NPA members reportedly fell to the ground that led to their arrest.

Arrested were Maria Carla Alvarico, 22, alias "Janet Macarasig," a licensed nurse of Velez hospital and resident of Plaridel St., Barangay Umapad Mandaue City; Carlo Cabahug, 22, an Associate Computer Technician student of the University of San Carlos and resident of Maguikay, Mandaue City and Absin Glen Felamer, 22, alias "Bryan," a political science student of the University of Cebu and resident of Plaridel, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.

212 Laguna flood evacuees downed by suspected food poisoning

(UPDATE) At least 212 evacuees showed signs of poisoning after eating food that allegedly came from a Christian group's feeding program here Monday night, police said Tuesday.

Saudi pharma firm donates medicines to Sagip Kapamilya

by by Charles Tabbu, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau, Jeddah
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - A well-known pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Saudi Arabia will send a ton of medicines to ABS-CBN's Sagip-Kapamilya to help the reported growing number of typhoon victims with leptospirosis and other diseases.

Military to MILF: Don't send out troops to 'rescue' abducted priest

The Armed Forces of the Philippines appealed to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) not to send out troops in the recovery efforts for abducted Irish priest Michael Sinnott since it could cause a "bigger problem," a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Media warned vs racism in Sinnott coverage

MANILA - Muslim spiritual leaders, or ulamas, on Tuesday appealed to journalists to guard against racism in reporting the abduction of Irish priest Fr. Michael Sinnott, and urged them not to use the terms "Islamic militants" or "Muslim terrorists" in describing his alleged kidnappers.

Columbans say no malice in letter seeking US help to free Sinnott

Colleagues of Roman Catholic priest Michael Sinnott clarified Tuesday that they were not dissatisfied with the actions undertaken by the Philippine government to secure the release of the abducted clergyman.

3 dead in Marawi blast

(UPDATE) At least three people were killed and 21 others injured after a grenade was thrown at people registering to vote for national elections in Marawi City Tuesday afternoon, military officials said.

Broadband whistleblower seeks printed record for automated polls

Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada, key witness in the bribery scandal over the botched $329-million national broadband network deal, said the automated election system to be implemented in the May 2010 national elections should have a printed record of votes.

Presidential aspirants vow to prosecute Arroyo for graft if there"s proof

At least five aspirants for the presidency in the 2010 elections said Tuesday they won"t hesitate to prosecute incumbent President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo if there is evidence showing she amassed ill-gotten wealth while in power.  Participating in the FOCAP forum were Sen. Richard Gordon, Sen. Francis Escudero, former President Joseph Estrada, environmentalist Nick Perlas, and Olongapo City Councilor John Carlos Delos Reyes.

Lakas tentatively sets national convention Nov. 12

The administration party Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) has tentatively set for November 12 its national convention that would formalize its choice for standard-bearer and the rest of its slate for the May 2010 election, a party official said Tuesday.

Gov't party not bothered by labor support for Ebdane

The administration coalition is unperturbed by a labor group's endorsement of Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr.'s presidential bid, and vows to stick it out with Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.

No missing road board funds, says Ebdane

Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. on Tuesday belied allegations that the Road Board, which he heads, misused P56.5 billion of road user"s tax since 2001.

Estrada vows to launch war against communists, Muslim rebels

Former president Joseph Estrada vowed Tuesday to launch an all-out war to end decades of deadly Muslim and communist insurgencies should he be re-elected as president next year.

Estrada favors legalization of 'jueteng'

Deposed president Joseph Estrada on Tuesday said he favored the legalization of the illegal numbers game "jueteng" to help ease the plight of the poor in the country.

Kin of driver slain in Palace convoy crash get cash

Malacañang has extended cash assistance to the family of the taxi driver killed by a wayward security vehicle for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Silay City on Friday last week and the driver's injured passenger.

Ombudsman withdraws SC nomination, cites delicadeza

Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez said on Tuesday she withdrew her name from consideration for a Supreme Court seat out of a sense of "delicadeza" (propriety).

SC dismisses with finality graft charges vs Imelda brod

MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed its earlier ruling to dismiss a graft complaint filed against former Ambassador Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez junking a motion for reconsideration filed by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Croc allegedly on the loose in Pulupandan

NEGROS Occidental – Panic gripped residents in a village in the town of Pulupandan in Negros Occidental following the alleged sightings of crocodiles in the Bago River.

No more RP recession this year -- World Bank

The World Bank said it no longer expected the Philippines to sink into recession in 2009, noting that the country's macroeconomic fundamentals proved to be better than earlier anticipated.

UN official says RP poverty `unacceptable'

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Poverty in the Philippines remains at an "unacceptable" level years after it joined dozens of other countries in pledging to reduce the number of impoverished people by half by 2015, a U.N. official said Tuesday.

Aghanistan to hold election run-off Nov 7

by Agence France-Presse
Decision comes after UN probe finds 'massive' vote fraud KABUL - Afghanistan will hold a second round of its presidential election on November 7 after incumbent Hamid Karzai failed to win a clear majority in the fraud-tainted contest, officials said Tuesday.

Indonesia's Yudhoyono sworn in for 2nd term

by Agence France-Presse
JAKARTA – Liberal ex-general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was sworn in as Indonesia's president on Tuesday after winning a second five-year term with promises of economic growth and political reform.

Review confirms AIDS vaccine may have worked

by Reuters
Doctors who surprised the world of AIDS research with a study showing a vaccine prevented some HIV infections released details of their findings on Tuesday and said careful review showed they held up. Full details of the study, which showed the experimental vaccine prevented nearly one-third of infections among 16,000 ordinary Thai volunteers, were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Newsweek reporter released in Iran, arrives in London

WASHINGTON - Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari, who has been detained in Iran since June, has been freed and has arrived in London, the magazine announced on Tuesday.

'Pacquiao to devour Cotto'—Peñalosa

MANILA – Filipino veteran prized fighter Gerry Peñalosa is certain that Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao will prevail in his Nov. 14 fight against Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.

Fan wants life ban on Arboleda

PBA to craft stringent measures MANILA, Philippines - Alain Katigbac, the PBA fan beaten by Burger King guard Wynne Arboleda, wants his attacker banned for life from the PBA and other cage leagues.

Filipino lifters bag 7 golds in World Masters

World champions Erlinda Pecante and Antonio Taguibao stamped their class anew to help the Philippines to a seven-gold romp in the recent 2009 World Masters Powerlifting Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

PSC chair Angping accused of pocketing funds

A criminal complaint has been filed with the Office of the Ombudsman against Philippine Sports Commission chair Harry Angping for allegedly misappropriating P3 million in collections from the Asian Junior Wrestling Championships held in the country last July.

Noynoy Aquino to act as sponsor in Roxas-Sanchez wedding

Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III will not only witness but will also serve as one of the principal sponsors at his ex-girlfriend's wedding next week.

Mar, Korina reveal 'ninongs, ninangs'

MANILA - The Philippines' chief justice, prominent civic leaders, and ABS-CBN's chief executive officer (CEO) will be among the "ninongs and ninangs" or godparents at Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and Korina Sanchez's wedding.

Mar, Korina donate P2.2M for relief ops

MANILA – Sen. Manuel Roxas II and broadcaster Korina Sanchez on Tuesday donated a total of P2.2 million to six organizations for continued relief assistance to thousands of people affected by tropical storms Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma).

Roxas takes leave of absence from politics to focus on wedding

Senator Manuel Roxas II has taken a leave of absence from politics to focus on his upcoming wedding next week.

International single in the works for Pacman

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Napasabak sa pagkanta ng Ingles si Manny Pacquiao na pumirma na bilang international recording star! At ang kanyang unang Hollywood single, isang love song!

PBB update: Housemates try to replicate YouTube hit

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Gugulatin ng PBB Double Up housemates ang sambayanan sa kanilang task -- ang magsayaw ng nakaunderwear lang, at hubo naman ang iba! Kakayanin kaya ito ng housemates o may aaayaw?

Former nurse's aide in US becomes Ugandan king

For years, Charles Wesley Mumbere worked as a nurse's aide in Maryland and Pennsylvania, caring for the elderly and sick. No one there suspected that he had inherited a royal title in his African homeland when he was just 13.

Bird, planes and trains no challenge for Chinese mimic

by Reuters
BEIJING - Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it a train? No, it's Chinese mimic Cheng Jiaqiang who can imitate about 100 sounds from birds singing and horses galloping to planes taking off and trains trundling along the tracks.

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

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