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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 22, 2009 Major News Stories

LTFRB: No automatic fare hike after 'big' fuel price hikes

There will be no automatic fare hike after fuel firms raised on Tuesday prices of their products by as much as P2 per liter, a transportation official assured Wednesday.

Energy chief summoned to testify for oil firm

Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes has been summoned by a local court to testify in a hearing on alleged oil price manipulation.

Nograles seeks more incentives for small oil players

Speaker Prospero Nograles is urging government to give incentives to the country's small oil players like reduced importation cost to make them more competitive against the "big boys," which he has accused of "abusive pricing."

2 long weekends in November

MANILA - Two long weekends are set next month as President Arroyo declared non-working holidays for November.

Province unfazed by threat to sue over CentCom transfer

The provincial government is not threatened by the plan of Apas residents to bring to court the issue regarding the transfer of the CentCom headquarters to Lapu-Lapu City from barangay Apas. 

Drop LRT for city, Pablo says

IF Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña blocks a proposed rail system, Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia suggested dropping the Light Rail Transit (LRT) component and pursuing instead a Mono Rail Transit (MRT) from Mandaue City to Sogod in the north and Talisay City to Dalaguete in the south.

Davide steps down from council

Cebu City Councilor Hilario ;Junjun' Davide III bid farewell to the city's legislative body yesterday to embark into a bigger challenge of leading the campaign of the Liberal Party in the Province of Cebu.

Tommy willing to reconcile with Sonny, Tony and Totol

Cebu City Mayor On-Leave Tomas Osmeña is in the mood for reconciliation.

He said that he is willing to reconcile with estranged cousin and former Senator John Henry 'Sonny' Osmeña, South District Rep. Antonio Cuenco and lawyer Aristotle 'Totol' Batuhan, a former stalwart of the opposition Kugi Uswag Sugbo (Kusug).

He however said that such reconciliation can only happen if the three would not block the reality of his pet project – the South Road Properties (SRP).

New prosecutors for libel charge vs Vidal

Two new prosecutors were assigned to handle the libel suit filed by ex-monk Venancio Cabillon against Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.  It was decided that prosecutors Jerome Abarca and Ma. Luisa Ong take over.

Completion of north coastal road "41% ahead of target"

The Cebu North Coastal Road Project is expected to be completed this December which is eight months ahead of the target date of completion.

Nerez: Tanods can't undertake police mandate

Police Regional Office-7 director Lani-O Nerez finally "gave a piece of his mind" by confirming his support for Cebu Provincial Police Office director Jesus Gaquing should Consolacion Mayor Avelino Gungob insist to have his police bodyguards back.  Gungob made the threat when his two police escorts, PO3s Sherwin Leyson and Joehrahmie Espinosa were reassigned after several residents in Consolacion filed a complaint regarding them before the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas.

Ecleo lawyer: No bribery attempts

The defense counsel of the celebrated parricide case against Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association supreme master Ruben Ecleo Jr. has denied the alleged attempts to bribe the complainants to withdraw the case.

SC drops complaint against Judge Econg

THE Supreme Court dismissed the administrative case filed against Judge Geraldine Faith Econg, who used to handle the parricide case against religious leader and former town mayor Ruben Ecleo Jr.

'Ramil' now expected Thursday night or early Friday

Typhoon "Ramil" (international name: Lupit) was expected to make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning even as it slightly slowed down over the Pacific, the weather bureau said Wednesday.

11 rubber boats deployed to Northern Luzon for 'Ramil'

As typhoon "Ramil" (international codename: Lupit) nears the country, the Philippine National Police has deployed 11 rubber boats to key provinces in Northern Luzon to assist in possible rescue operations for residents trapped in floodwaters.

Unicef readies $200K worth of essential supplies to NLuzon

Although typhoon "Ramil" (international name "Lupit") has kept weather forecasters guessing if it would hit or spare the country on Wednesday, Unicef has already pre-positioned $200,000 worth of supplies to northern Luzon in preparation for a possible landfall of the tropical cyclone.

Leptospirosis deaths rise to 132

MANILA - Leptospirosis has claimed the lives of 132 people in 15 hospitals in Metro Manila, up from the 104 deaths recorded on Saturday.

DOH races to stop leptospirosis outbreak

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Bobombahin ng tubig-dagat ng Department of Health ang mapuputik na lugar sa Metro Manila! Pwede rin pala kasing makuha sa putik ang sakit na leptospirosis na dumadami pa ang nadadale.

Quakes hit Eastern Visayas, Mindanao areas

(UPDATE) Two separate minor earthquakes hit Eastern Visayas and Mindanao Wednesday morning.

Probability of strong quake in RP 'close to zero'—Phivolcs

The "probability" of a strong earthquake happening in the country is "close to zero," an official of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvocs) told a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Emergency council OK'd

THE HOUSE of Representatives has approved on second reading a measure that seeks to create an ad hoc Cabinet-level council that would be convened during public health emergency situations, similar to the National Disaster Coordinating Council but with police powers.

PNP to require specialized training for private security guards

Private security agencies will soon be barred from rotating their personnel in different posts.

MILF 'zeroes in' on Sinnott abductors

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is now "zeroing-in on the location and identities" of the people currently holding 79-year-old Irish priest Michael Sinnott of the Missionary Society of St. Columban who was seized from a convent in Pagadian City on October 11.

Alleged kidnapper calls up DENR, says abducted workers safe

(UPDATE 2) A man claiming responsibility for the abduction of seven employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Butuan City contacted the agency there and assured of the safety of the victims, a police official said Wednesday.

Sulu blast kills Marines officer, wounds one soldier

by By Leila Vicente, ABS-CBN Zamboanga
ZAMBOANGA CITY – An officer of the Philippine Marines was killed after an improvised bomb exploded while leading a foot patrol in Patikul town in Sulu province Wednesday morning.

American on trial for abuse of 2 Filipino girls

A 64-year-old American citizen was arrested and arraigned last week in Miami, Florida, for allegedly travelling to the Philippines in 2007 and 2008 to engage in sex with two Filipino girls.

Comelec extends voters' registration hours

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will extend the hours for voters' registration nationwide starting this Thursday until the end of the month to accommodate the surge of "last-minute" registrants, a spokesman said.

'Errors' in Comelec reso on COC cited

by by Aries Rufo,
MANILA - A poll lawyer has questioned a recent resolution issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) and certificate of nomination (CON), saying it was filled with at least 12 errors and inconsistencies.

Erap seeking presidency again amid legal questions

(Updated 7:33 p.m.) As throngs of supporters cheered in Manila's Tondo district Wednesday, former President Joseph Estrada officially declared that he will run for the presidency in the 2010 elections, despite objections to his political comeback. Supporters say his candidacy is legal, but rivals are expected to challenge this before the Supreme Court and invoke a constitutional ban on a second term for any president.

Estrada scoffs at questions on his eligibility to run for president

Former President Joseph Estrada on Wednesday dismissed as harassment all questions on his eligibility to run for the presidency in the 2010 elections.

SC denies Puno endorsing Estrada 2010 bid

Supreme Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez clarified Wednesday that Chief Justice Reynato Puno was not endorsing the candidacy of former president Joseph Estrada or any politicians joining the 2010 race.

CBCP mum on Estrada re-election bid

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines will not give a position on Joseph Estrada's plan to run again for president in next year's elections.

Palace denies Atienza jumped ship

Malacañang on Wednesday denied reports that Environment Secretary Lito Atienza has jumped ship and joined the camp of former President Joseph Estrada.

Is Mike Defensor defecting? Palace doesn't know

MANILA - Malacañang on Wednesday fended off rumors of the possible defection by known administration ally Mike Defensor, saying that the former presidential management staff chief has yet to reveal his political plans.

Ebdane resigns from DPWH to run for president in 2010

(UPDATE) Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane has submitted his resignation letter to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo even as Palace officials urged him to resign if he were serious about running for president in the 2010 elections.

Dacer children to file charges vs Estrada next week

The Dacer siblings have deferred the filing of criminal charges against former president Joseph Estrada over the death of their father, publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer, and driver Emmanuel Corbito.

Don't vote for 'unprepared' presidential wannabes—Binay

In an apparent swipe at the presidential bid of Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay said the Filipinos should never vote for presidential wannabes "unprepared" to rule the country.

Legarda: 'I'm staying with the opposition'

Senator Loren Legarda vowed Wednesday she would not jump ship should she decide to run in the 2010 polls.

Ex-PNP chief joins NPC for Manila mayoralty bid

Former Philippine National Police chief Avelino Razon has joined the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) in preparation for his mayoralty bid for the city of Manila in the May 2010 election.

65th anniversary of Leyte Landings celebrated

Rain marred the commemoration of the 65th Leyte Gulf Landings held here on Tuesday but this did not dampen the spirit of the celebrators who included President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and 10 of the oldest living World War II veterans in Eastern Visayas.

PLDT buying 75% of ABC5

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. group has ventured into the television broadcasting business with the acquisition of a 75-percent stake in ABC Development Corp., the owner and operator of ABC Channel 5.

Toyota unveils new Lexus supercar

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Toyota Motor unveiled Wednesday a new Lexus two-seat supercar, the LFA, with a 4.8-litre engine and a price tag of about $375,000.

Pepsi to spend P2-B to boost production

MANILA - The local manufacturer of beverage giant Pepsi Co. is planning to spend P2 billion to increase its production of non-carbonated drinks.

PGMA off to Thailand on Friday

MANILA - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will leave on Friday to attend the 15th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits at the seaside resorts of Cha-am and Hua Hin in Thailand on Oct. 23 to 25.

'Common sense' for Obama to wait for Afghan polls: Kerry

WASHINGTON - US Senator John Kerry Wednesday said it was "common sense" for President Barack Obama to wait until after Afghanistan's run-off election before making fateful decisions on deploying more US troops.

15 dead, up to 50 trapped in India train crash—reports

NEW DELHI – (UPDATE) A express train ploughed into the back of another in northern India early Wednesday, killing up to 15 people and leaving up to 50 trapped in the wreckage, television channels reported.

Migrant workers face abuse in SKorea: Amnesty

by Agence France-Presse
SEOUL - Many migrant workers in South Korea are abused, trafficked for sexual exploitation or denied wages despite the introduction of rules for their protection, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

Pacquiao foe Cotto fired up with underdog tag

Trainer Joe Santiago said his ward Miguel Cotto is further motivated and fired up to beat Manny Pacquiao by analysis and predictions that the Filipino superstar's blinding speed and power are too much for him to handle.

PBA won't ban Arboleda for life

MANILA - Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Renauld "Sonny" Barrios on Wednesday said the league will not impose a lifetime ban on veteran Burger King guard Wynne Arboleda after suspending him for mauling a fan.

PBA: Talk 'N Text dismantles Smart Gilas

MANILA - Talk 'N Text came out with a perfect game plan in dismantling Smart Gilas national team, 103-70 and notch its second straight win in the KFC-Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Surigao del Norte opens surfing tilt

by by Trini Velasco, ABS-CBN News Northern Mindanao
SIARGAO ISLAND, Surigao del Norte - The local government of Surigao del Norte and the Department of Tourism opened the weeklong activities of 15th Siargao International Surfing Cup in General Luna, Siargao Island on Wednesday.

Mar steals a kiss from Korina

MANILA – Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II has caught broadcaster Korina Sanchez by surprise when he unexpectedly kiss his fiancée during their wedding rehearsal at Sto. Domingo Church Tuesday night.

Aiza becomes midwife amid storm

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Kung ang maraming celebrities, tumutulong sa relief mission, si Aiza Seguerra, nagpaanak naman ng buntis noong kasagsagan ng bagyong Pepeng!

Edu bids farewell to 'Game KNB?'

by by Chan Chan Torres,
MANILA - Dinalaw ng si Edu Manzano sa last taping day niya sa "Pilipinas, Game KNB?" noong Lunes. Sa aming pagpunta sa studio ay napanood din namin ang masayang pagsasama-sama ng mga previous winners na muling naglaro para sa victims ng bagyong Pepeng at Ondoy.

Ronnie Ricketts is new OMB chief

MANILA - Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced Wednesday the appointment of actor Ronald "Ronnie" Ricketts as the new chairman of the Optical Media Board, replacing Edu Manzano.

Pacquiao has new record deal

MANILA - People's Champ Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao will not let himself be the last in the music scene.

'La Diva' to sing RP anthem in Pacquiao-Cotto bout

by by Reyma Buan-Deveza and Trina Lagura,
MANILA - Karylle, Lani Misalucha, Sarah Geronimo, Ciara Sotto, Geneva Cruz, Kyla, and Martin Nievera. These great Filipino singers made history when they were chosen by pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao to sing the country's national anthem in his fights that drew millions of viewers around the world. For his upcoming match with Miguel Cotto, Pacquiao picked not only one but three artists to sing "Lupang Hinirang" in Las Vegas.

It's Maricar Reyes' time to shine

by by Heidi Anicete,
MANILA - Matapos ang sunod-sunod na television appearances, tuloy-tuloy na nga ang pag-angat ng career ni Maricar Reyes sa show business dahil walang tigil ang pagdating ng mga projects nito. Maliban sa teleseryeng "Lovers in Paris," muli'y isasabak ang talento ng naturang artista sa paparating namang pelikula ng Box Office team-up na sina John Lloyd Cruz at Bea Alonzo.

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