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

Monday, November 9, 2009

November 10, 2009 Major News Stories

Petroleum shortage looms—DoE

The country's inventory of petroleum products is just enough for 13 days, as independent oil players halt their importation due to the government's imposition of a price cap, an official said Monday.

Oil firms may halt imports: officials

by Reuters
MANILA - Philippine oil companies may halt imports of refined petroleum products as losses mount from a state-imposed cap on fuel prices, company and government officials said on Monday.

Supply of finished oil enough for 8-13 days: DOE

MANILA - Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes on Monday said supply of finished oil products in the Philippines is enough to last for the next eight to 13 days, but noted that oil imports and refinery of crude oil will boost the country's oil inventory.

Shortage of petrol, LPG supplies seen

Tatagal na lang ng 8 hanggang 13 araw ang suplay ng petrolyo sa Pilipinas! Ito ang inamin ngayon ng Department of Energy sa gitna ng panawagan ng mga oil company na tanggalin na ang Executive Order 839 na nagtatakda ng price freeze sa petrolyo. 

Posible din na magkaroon ng kakulangan sa suplay ng LPG. Ayon sa LPG Marketers Association, ito ay kung tatagal pa hanggang Disyembre ang Executive Order 839. Panukala naman ng Consumer and Oil Price Watch, saluhin na ng gobyerno ang dagdag-presyo sa LPG.

Govt sets stage for fuel price cap revocation

The Philippine government appears to be setting the stage for the lifting of a cap on fuel prices, with the Energy department warning that supplies were running low and the Justice department announcing an agreement with the oil industry was near.

Oil firms to offer discounts in disaster areas

Oil companies are open to giving price discounts on petroleum products as part of a "package of relief" in areas identified to be still reeling from the effects of tropical cyclones that recently hit Luzon, an official said Monday.

Petron gas stations in Lucena resume operations

Petron gasoline stations here resumed their operations on Monday morning after closing shop on Sunday.

Independent LPG dealers eye P33/tank hike in December

Citing rising prices in the international market, independent dealers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are considering a P33 price hike per 11-kg tank in December.

'It is disadvantageous to Cebu': Tomas to sue "LRT backers"

Cebu City Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña is threatening to file graft charges against any government official, who supports and endorse the implementation of the Light Railway Transit (LRT) system in Metro Cebu.

Council authorizes Tom to sue Capitol officials

The Cebu City Council has authorized Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña to take appropriate legal measures before the court to prevent Capitol officials from evicting the urban poor families that are occupying the province-owned lots in the city.

Provincial Board to reopen probe on Balili lot purchase

The Provincial Board will reopen its investigation into the controversial purchase of the Balili property in Tinaan, Naga due to "new evidence."  PROVINCIAL Board (PB) Member Juan Bolo denied yesterday that he had given P50,000 to Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre as tax payment, but still the ad hoc committee hearing was re-opened yesterday.

Biggest chunk of Capitol budget for CICC payment

The Cebu Provincial Board yesterday approved on third and final reading the province's second supplemental budget for the year amounting to P148 million, of which P136 million is for the payment to the contractor of the Cebu International Convention Center.

The P136 million, according to provincial attorney Marino Martinquilla, is for the payment of the CICC additional works upon the order of Regional Trial Court Branch 6 judge Ester Veloso, who last September 22 ordered Capitol to pay WT Construction Inc. P257,413,911. 73 for the additional workers covering site development, structural, architectural, electrical and plumbing on the facility, which was used for the 2007 ASEAN Summit.

During the discussion some PB members said they might get into trouble if they approve it, but Martinquilla assured them that the approval is in "pursuant to judgment of the court," and that the PB will only be complying with the court's order, "otherwise, the province and its officials will be held in contempt".

He added that the amount has to be paid, otherwise the province would be paying P2.57 million per month in interest if the Supreme Court sustains the RTC ruling.

In that order, the province is required to pay an annual 12 percent interest to be computed starting from Jan. 22, 2008 upon the WTCI's filing of the civil case until the capital amount would be fully paid, said Martinquilla.

Gastardo wants to be Gwen's running mate

Now that Vice Governor Greg Sanchez is out of the One Cebu party, Provincial Board member Jose Ma. Gastardo said he is willing to become Governor Gwen Garcia's running mate in the May 2010 elections.

Bodyguard executed

A BODYGUARD of Carmen Mayor Sonia Pua was shot dead while sitting by the road yesterday afternoon.

Bodyguard of Carmen town mayor executed

M1 Security Agency that is reportedly owned by the Puas.

He used to be assigned with the Regional Intelligence Office.

Gungob, barangay captain argue over quarrying

Consolacion Mayor Avelino Gungob and of one his barangay captains got into a heated argument over quarrying in barangay Panoypoy Wednesday. Both had the incident recorded in the police station.

Thursday morning Panoypoy barangay captain Dennis Balaba arrived at the police station to report that the day before Gungob went to his barangay and he requested the mayor to stop the ongoing quarrying as advised by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

But the mayor told him to let the DENR personnel to come to his office. Balaba said he refused and Gungob allegedly got angry and pointed directly at his face accusing him of opposing projects beneficial to the town.

Gungob then allegedly tried to punch him but was pacified by his bodyguard, Consolacion Traffic Commission officer Antonio Gutierrez.

GMA here to sign House bills

President Gloria Arroyo is scheduled to visit Cebu today for a re-enactment ceremony of two House bills.

The Philippine Information Agency-7 said Arroyo is set to arrive at 1:30 p.m. today, then head to the MIP lounge of the Mactan Cebu International Airport for the start of the ceremony.

The president will sign the re-enactment of Republic Act 9726 also known as an Act separating the City of Lapu-Lapu from the 6th Legislative district of the Province of Cebu to constitute the lone district of Lapu-Lapu City.

She will also sign the enactment of RA 9744 also known as an Act converting the Cebu State College of Science and Technology System in Cebu City and all its satellite campuses located in the Cebu province into a state university to be known as the Cebu Technological University.

DoH investigates anomalous flu test equipment

The Department of Health (DoH) disclosed that the allegedly anomalous flu-testing machine deal exposed by a labor group this weekend is already being investigated by the agency since August.

Boy , 10, gets sideswiped by Mike's car

A 10-year-old boy was treated for minor injuries at the Cebu City Medical Center after he got sideswiped by a government-owned Toyota Innova Wagon assigned to Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama last Sunday.

House approves 2010 budget on third reading

On its first day of resuming session after a month's break, the House of Representatives immediately passed the proposed P1.541-trillion budget next year on its third and final reading.

Poll machines still worry Comelec chief

Until all the 82,000 machines to be used in the first nationwide automated elections are delivered and tested, Commission on Elections Chairman Jose Melo would be having sleepless nights.

Comelec, Smartmatic start survey of provinces

Officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) have started surveying the provinces to check the reliability of power supply, Internet connectivity and mobile phone signals to ensure that the 2010 elections would go on smoothly.

SC told: Poll automation contract breached

by by Reynaldo Santos Jr., Newsbreak
Comelec says preparations and requirements are on track A citizens group, which is appealing a Supreme Court (SC) decision upholding the contract for the automation of the 2010 elections, on Monday said it found new grounds to seek the cancellation of the deal between the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic.

Melo doubts teachers' mass leave on election day

MANILA - Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo doubts the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) will be able to carry out its threat to stage a mass leave by its 30,000 members on election day next year.

ACT is demanding that teachers rendering poll duty each be given P2,000 per day.

But Melo says they can only afford to pay P1,000 to each teacher.

Keep calm, police tells public over blasts

Philippine National Police chief Jesus Verzosa tried to downplay public fears over two explosions that occurred in Quezon City and Mandaluyong City on Monday dawn.

Twin explosions rock Metro

Pinasabugan umano ng isang lalaking sakay ng taxi ang harapan ng Puregold Supermarket sa Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City! Pero ayon sa PNP, walang dapat ika-alarma ang publiko. Isa pang pagsabog ang nangyari naman sa compound ng San Miguel Corporation sa Ortigas, Mandaluyong City! Hinihinalang mga miyembro ng gang o fraternity ang nasa likod nito.

Nur seeks 3-day special registration in Sulu

Nur Misuari, a former governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), has asked the Commission on Election (Comelec) to conduct a three-day special registration in 19 towns in his home province of Sulu.

Misuari to seek Sulu governorship again

by by Jesus F. Llanto, Newsbreak
Asks Comelec to hold special voters' registration in the province   MANILA - In 2001, his supporters attacked a police station and torched houses in Sulu. In 2007, he wanted to become governor of that province, but the voters rejected him. Now, former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chief Nur Misuari wants to give it another try because there's supposedly a clamor for him to do so.

Lacson confirms VP offer from Escudero

Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson revealed on Monday that he was offered to become the running mate of fellow senator and presidential aspirant Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero in next year's elections.

7 more senatorial bets for Liberal Party

Seven more names have been mentioned, including television host Edu Manzano and Sonia Roco, as possible senatorial candidates of Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's Liberal Party in the upcoming elections, his campaign manager disclosed on Monday.

Half-sis advises Arroyo to step down in 2010

"Give other people a chance." This was the advice that Cielo Macapagal-Salgado gave her younger half-sister, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is rumored to be planning to run for congresswoman in Pampanga"s second district in next year's election.

Arroyo not keen on granting Jalosjos pardon

President Macapagal-Arroyo might not be inclined at all to grant an absolute pardon to convicted rapist Romeo Jalosjos, acting Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera told reporters on Monday.

Arroyo orders manhunt for Jolo killers

(UPDATE 4) President Macapagal-Arroyo ordered on Monday a massive manhunt for the group that beheaded school principal Gabriel Canizares in Jolo, Sulu.

Police forms task force on Jolo killing

Police on Monday formed a special task force that will look into and arrest suspects behind the abduction and beheading a school principal in Jolo, Sulu.

Body of beheaded Jolo principal found

The body of murdered public school head teacher Gabriel Canizares was found near a military camp in Patikul town, Sulu, on Monday, five hours after, and two kilometers away from the place where his severed head was found.

MILF chief's arrest linked to teacher's beheading

The arrest of a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander over the weekend could have spurred the beheading of the abducted principal in Jolo, Sulu, Philippine National Police chief Jesus Verzosa said Monday.

MILF considers gov't's conciliatory statements

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been somewhat mollified by the conciliatory statements given by Palace officials, after Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno accused the rebel group of having a hand in the abduction of Irish priest Michael Sinnott.

Military tapped to help rescue Sinnott

Local officials overseeing efforts to free kidnapped priest Fr. Michael Sinnott are asking for help from the military in rescuing the missionary, a spokesman for the Zamboanga del Sur Crisis Management Committee bared Monday.

Gov't probes munitions from Israel

by Reuters
MANILA - The Philippine government has initiated an inquiry into what it says was defective ammunition for mortars provided by an Israel-based defense manufacturer last year, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said on Monday.

Plunder, graft raps eyed vs Ebdane et al. in road tax mess

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Monday asked the Senate to work for plunder and graft charges against former Public Works secretary and presidential aspirant Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. and members of the Road Board for allegedly misusing the road user"s tax.

Miriam wants plunder raps filed vs 'Dodie' Puno

MANILA - Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno's brother, Rodolfo 'Dodie' Puno, may face plunder raps for alleged misuse of funds from the road user's tax.

DFA asked: Conduct inventory of OFWs in jail

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should conduct an inventory of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in jail and to set more frequent visits to monitor their situation and ensure their protection, a group that helps OFWs in distress urged.

Clinton asked to speak on Arroyo's rights record

Militant groups have challenged US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to "take a stand on the human rights record of the Arroyo administration."

DILG forms 'decentralization' committee

The Department of Interior and Local Government on Monday announced the creation of a committee tasked to oversee decentralization of tasks among government agencies.

Somalis to visit RP to discuss piracy

Senior government officials of strife-torn Somalia will visit the Philippines this month to discuss cooperation in fighting maritime piracy and protecting territorial waters, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Monday.

New arrest warrant served vs Legacy head

Hinainan ng bagong warrant of arrest ng NBI si Legacy Group president Celso delos Angeles na naka-confine sa St. Luke's Medical Center.

Rain-triggered landslides kill 14 in Indonesia

JAKARTA (AP) – An official says rain-triggered landslides have killed 14 people and left many more missing on Indonesia's Sulawesi island.

APEC execs told: Look after region's poor

SINGAPORE—Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has urged fellow Asia-Pacific leaders meeting here this week to explore new economic growth models that will benefit the poor, summit documents showed Monday.

Colombia to seek UN help as Chavez readies army for war

by Agence France-Presse
BOGOTA - Colombia said Sunday it would seek UN help after Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez instructed his military to ready "for war."

Huge crowds celebrate Berlin Wall anniversary

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev Monday on the bridge where many East Germans had their first taste of freedom, as tens of thousands toasted the Berlin Wall's fall 20 years ago.

Strong quake shakes Fiji—USGS

SUVA—A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 hit off the Pacific island nation of Fiji late Monday but it was too deep to generate a destructive tsunami, US geologists said.

Nokia recalls 14 million phone chargers

HELSINKI—Mobile phone giant Nokia issued on Monday a global recall for 14 million faulty chargers made by a subcontractor this year.  Nokia issued a global recall for 14 million faulty chargers made by a subcontractor.  The chargers could cause an electrical shock and would be replaced without charge.  Nokia said the potentially dangerous charges were models AC-3E and AC-3U, manufactured between June 15 and August 9; and the AC-4U model, manufactured between April 13 and October 25.

Pacquiao: I have a lot to prove to Cotto

MANILA – Manny Pacquiao is counting down the days until he proves himself to Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto and the rest of the world that he is the rightful pound-for-pound king.

Cotto to Pacman: Fighting me is a big mistake

by By Dino Maragay

MANILA, Philippines – Wrong move, Manny Pacquiao.

Nograles thinks he helps Pacquiao win

MANILA - There is no stopping House Speaker Prospero Nograles from flying to Las Vegas to watch Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao fight current WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on Saturday (Sunday in the Philippines).

Dionisia Pacquiao on detractors: 'They're just jealous'

MANILA - Dionisia Pacquiao, the 60-year-old mother of famed boxer Manny Pacquiao, said she loves being famous, but admitted that it does come with downsides.

Kris, Bongbong meet at Binay couple's birthday party

(UPDATE) TV host Kris Aquino and Rep. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., children of two of the country's major political families, led the VIP guests who gathered at a Makati mall to celebrate the birthdays of Mayor Jejomar Binay and his wife Ellen on Monday night.

Estrada, Mancao meet at Pasig party

Ousted President Joseph Estrada and former Senior Supt. Cezar Mancao on Monday evening faced each other for the first time since the controversy of the Dacer-Corbito double-murder case broke out.

Estrada and Mancao, were seated a few seats from each other at the same table during the birthday dinner of Ferdinand Topacio, the latter's lawyer, held at the Nipa Hut restaurant in Pasig City at 8:30 p.m. Monday.

The two did not shake hands but acknowledged each other's presence by waving to each other.

During the occasion, Estrada was also installed as honorary chairman of the transport group "Pasang Masda".

Also present were former Energy secretary Vince Perez and former Negros Occidental Rep. Jacinto "Jing" Paras.

Facts about the Berlin Wall

BERLIN - The Berlin Wall went up in the early hours of August 13, 1961, and was constantly modified and reinforced until it fell 28 years later, having cost the lives of at least 136 people who tried to cross it.

Report: North Korea's Kim has 6 special luxury trains

SEOUL (AP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il — known for shunning air travel — has six luxurious special trains equipped with conference rooms, bedrooms and high-tech communication facilities, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday.

"Lovesick" carabao fatally gores farmer in Iloilo

A "lovesick" carabao fatally gored its owner after he refused to let it mate with a female carabao in Iloilo province over the weekend

Chinese men pay hefty price for chance at love

BEIJING - Money can't buy you love – but in one Chinese city it can get you an introduction to beautiful, well-educated single women.

China police hunt for 2M unsafe condoms

BEIJING—Police in central China have closed a factory manufacturing fake and unsterile condoms and are tracking down over two million of the unsafe contraceptives already on the market, state press said Monday.

Brazilian girl's short skirt gets her expelled

by Reuters
SAO PAULO - In Brazil, famed for its tiny bikinis and carefree attitude, a university student has been expelled after violent protests by students outraged at the short outfit she wore on campus.  The Universidade Bandeirante (Uniban) said it had expelled the student, Geysi Villa Nova Arruda, 20, for "flagrant disrespect of ethical principles, academic dignity and morality."

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