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

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 12, 2009 Major News Stories



Palace rules out takeover of oil companies

President Macapagal-Arroyo is not biting into the proposal for a government takeover of the multi-million-dollar oil industry in response to companies' threats of a looming supply shortage in less than two weeks.

Oil firms say no to govt takeover

Tutol ang mga kumpanya ng langis sa panukalang i-take-over ng gobyerno ang pag-aangkat ng langis sakaling magkaroon ng krisis sa langis. Nagbabala kasi si Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile na posibleng magdulot ng food riot ang kakulangan ng suplay ng langis sa Metro Manila. Samantala, pahirapan pa rin ngayon ang supply ng langis sa ilang gasolinahan sa Metro Nanila.


NDCC studying measures to address oil shortage

The National Disaster Coordinating Council on Wednesday said it would soon come up with recommendations on measures that the government could take to address the threat of an oil shortage while some parts of typhoon-battered Luzon remain inaccessible.

Lifting price freeze can lead to abuse - VP De Castro

The government should be cautious before giving in to the request of oil companies to lift the controversial Executive Order 839 that put a cap on oil prices, Vice President Noli de Castro said on Wednesday.

Gov't may extend price control

The government is mulling extending the imposition of price control and ceilings in areas still considered to be suffering the ill effects of the last typhoons.

Think-tank sees investors' flight over price freeze

Tinangkang pakalmahin kanina ni Energy Sec. Angelo Reyes ang umaalmang mga kumpanya ng langis na walang balak ang gobyerno na mag-take-over para matiyak ang supply ng diesel at gasolina.

Pero, may babala ngayon ang Policy Center ng Asian Institute of Management: maglalayasan daw ang mga kapitalista kapag hindi pa rin tinanggal sa linggong ito ang utos ng Pangulo na nagpapako sa presyo ng petrolyo.

Bukod diyan, ang sinasabi ng respetadong think tank, kung may mga nahihirapang magpakarga ngayon, mas masakit ang napipintong pagsirit ng presyo sa oras na tanggalin na ang price freze.

GMA orders Secretary Reyes to avert oil shortage

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - President Arroyo on Wednesday ordered her Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes to avert any oil supply shortage in the country.

Shell testifies vs oil price cap in court

A Pilipinas Shell executive took the witness stand at the Makati Regional Trial Court on Wednesday morning to testify for the scrapping of a Malacañang order that imposed a price cap on oil products.

No oil shortage, just cartel - Bayan

by By Dennis Carcamo

MANILA, Philippines – Militant group Bayan insisted that there should be no shortage of petroleum products in the market since oil companies usually maintain a 45-day inventory.

Council wants fuel dealers to explain oil cost

The City Council will be inviting representatives of the country's leading fuel dealers to one of its session to explain why oil prices in Cebu are much higher compared to those in Metro Manila.

Businesses lose millions to brownouts

Rotating brownouts brought about by the continued power shortage in the Cebu-Negros-Panay have caused millions of losses in terms of income among businesses in Cebu, the Philippine Retailers Association-Visayas revealed.

More brownouts hit Metro Cebu

MORE sporadic brownouts were experienced in Metro Cebu yesterday after SPC Power Corp. (SPC) in Naga, Cebu failed to comply with its load requirements allegedly due to a boiler tube leak.

Tom orders: Prioritize needs of fire victims

Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña yesterday instructed the City Hall officials to quickly attend to the needs of the fire victims in Lahug, despite the fact that barangay captain Mary Ann delos Santos is among his worst critics and political enemies.

UP to bar use of lot

AS if losing their homes to a fire Tuesday night were not enough, more than 250 residents of Barangay Lahug won't be able to rebuild their homes if the property owner makes good with its plan to fence off the area.

Despite typhoons, El Niño is here

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has warned local governments and concerned government agencies to institute measures against the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, which is characterized by extreme temperature rise with little rainfall.

Albay prepares for evacuation from Mayon

The province of Albay started preparing food packs and emergency equipment, including standby vehicles, on Wednesday, for possible evacuation of some 26,178 families from areas near the Mayon volcano due to the increasing probability of an eruption.

NBI has proof it wasn't just R&R: Flores gang had targets in Cebu

The presence of the Alvin Flores Group in Cebu wasn't for rest and recreation as earlier believed.

On death of bodyguard: Cartographic sketches out

Carmen Police yesterday released the cartographic sketches on two persons tagged behind the killing of a retired policeman who worked as security supervisor of Mayor Sonia Pua.

Fiscal charges his chief with 'insubordination'

PROSECUTOR Vicente Mañalac is at it again. He filed a complaint for insubordination against Provincial Prosecutor Jane Petralba before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas last week, accusing her of insubordination.

PB suspends plan to make Balili lot coal ash dumpsite

Cebuano environmentalists can now heave a sigh of relief as far as the Balili property is concerned.

PB suspends ash dumping

THE dumping of coal ash in the former Balili resort in Tina-an, City of Naga lacks an environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

SM offers to pay P50 million advance taxes

The management of SM Prime Holdings Inc. has offered the Cebu City government an advance tax payment of P50 million on condition that the money would be spent for the development of areas surrounding its mall.


Comelec uses special ballots to educate voters

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will use colored paper ballots to educate voters on next year's automated polls.

Comelec commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the special ballots with pre-printed names will have color-coded borders per election office to prevent "overvoting" and having the votes discarded by the machines for the specific office.

"We will print more than 100,000 of these colored ballots, which we will distribute when we start our nationwide voters education soon," said Larrazabal.

By next month, Comelec will distribute to the 16 regional election offices the 20 prototypes of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines and the special colored ballots for its first leg of the voters' education campaign, he said.

Under the automated system, voters will shade ovals opposite pre-printed names of candidates in specially-printed ballots and feed them to the machines for scanning (of ballot images) and counting; the machines will then count the votes and transmit results electronically from polling precincts to Comelec servers (located in Metro Manila) for consolidation.

At present, Comelec is using four of the 20 machines to hold demonstration of automation process for road shows and requests of interested groups, said Larrazabal.

"We cannot deploy all the 20 PCOS machines for voters education yet unless we have the ballots that voters can see and use in the demonstration. It would be more fruitful if the voters would be able to get a feel of the ballots during the demonstration so they can be guided how to cast or shade them and how not to overvote when they see the color coded borders," said Larrazabal.

With the color scheme, candidates running for the presidential post will be bordered by a black line, candidates for senators in green and party lists in blue to guide voters, said Larrazabal.

Comelec earlier warned voters that under the new electoral system, selecting candidates beyond the required number of elective seats will result in an overvote that will invalidate the votes, said Larrazabal, who is the head of the steering committee on poll automation.

For example, if a voter shades 13 names instead of 12 for senator, all 13 votes will be disregarded by the poll machine unlike in manual polls, in which the first 12 choices are manually tallied by the BEI and the 13th choice is disregarded as an overvote, said Larrazabal.

As an added modification, Comelec will assign numbers to each party list candidates to make it easier for voters to cast their choices, said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez.

Party lists that won a representative seat in previous elections are those appearing first in the list, especially with names starting with A since the candidates are listed alphabetically, he observed.

"As part of our new guidelines, we will be assigning party lists specific numbers and acronyms that will be put in the ballot to represent their group. This number and acronym can be used when they campaign so that it would be easier for voters to remember them," said Jimenez.

Since the new ballots would require special markers which could create smudges in the opposite side of the paper, a blank strip at the opposite side of the page corresponding to the position of the ovals for shading, will be provided. This is to prevent blotting of the pre-printed names of candidates found on the other side of the ballot page.

Special papers for the colored ballots will be provided by Smartmatic-Total Information Management and will be printed by the National Printing Office starting next month.

Sulu teachers threaten to boycott 2010 polls

Teachers in Sulu and some parts of Western Mindanao have threatened to boycott the May 2010 elections if the government could not assure their security, especially in remote areas where armed men roam.

Arroyo impeachment 'slim to none', says Nograles

The chances of impeaching President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are "slim to none," Speaker Prospero Nograles said Wednesday, virtually slamming the door to a Senate committee report recommending such action against the chief executive over the botched national broadband network or NBN deal.

12 senators back NBN report vs Mike Arroyo, 10 others

Twelve senators have signed the report by a Senate panel recommending the prosecution of 11 persons, including First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo over the anomalous $329-million national broadband network project.

Lozada, De Venecia III inclusion on NBN raps opposed

Two senators have objected to the recommendation by a Senate panel to include Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada and businessman Jose "Joey" de Venecia III among those who should be charged with graft and corruption over the anomalous $329-million national broadband network (NBN) contract.

JDV III: Gordon playing safe 'in aid of re-election'

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA - Sen. Richard Gordon was allegedly trying to play it safe and helping his re-election bid when he recommended the indictment of nearly all the players in the anomalous US$329-million National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with Chinese telecommunications firm, ZTE Corp., including the first couple and the whistleblowers.

Puno now says PNP should have probed Abalos

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA - Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno admitted on Wednesday that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo did ask him to look into former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Romulo Neri's claim that former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos offered him a P200-million bribe.

ZTE-NBN mess a "learning experience" for RP - Chinese envoy

Despite the controversy hounding the botched $329-million broadband deal between the Philippine government and a Chinese firm, China"s ambassador to the country believes the Arroyo government has done its best to weed out corruption from its ranks.

Quorum lack halts Ombudsman impeach vote

by by Carmela Fonbuena, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak
MANILA - Lack of quorum prevented the House of Representatives on Wednesday from voting on the House committee on justice report declaring the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez insufficient in substance.

Board ignored guidelines on road users' tax – solon

Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza said on Tuesday they got evidence to show that the board administering the use of the road users' tax had questionable undertakings.

Jagmoc will not seek another term

More slots are opened for those who are interested to be included in the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan with the recent announcement of Cebu City north district Councilor Edwin Jagmoc that he is no longer seeking another term.


Chiz, Noynoy touch base

MANILA - Senator Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III said on Wednesday that he met with Senator Francis 'Chiz' Escudero Tuesday midnight and talked about their "individual situations and where we are now."

Zubiri also rejects VP offer

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri has also rejected offers to become running mate of the Arroyo administration's presidential bet Gilbert Teodoro.

Revilla turns down Lakas VP offer

Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. is turning down offers to become the running mate of Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro, the Arroyo administration's candidate in next year's elections

Romualdezes back Gibo, Bongbong in 2010

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez expressed support for the presidential bid of Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro of Lakas-Kampi, as well as the senatorial bid of his cousin, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., who has been allied with the Nacionalista Party.

Villar woos Recto couple

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA -  Senator Manuel "Manny" Villar on Wednesday revealed he has asked former Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto and his wife, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, to defect to the Nacionalista Party (NP).  

Lakas support a 'reward' for Mancao, says Lacson

Cezar Mancao II's bid to run for congressman of Compostela Valley under the Lakas-Kampi party only showed how "strong'' the latter was with the administration, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Wednesday.

Detained colonel hopes next president will free him

Marine Col. Ariel Querubin, a senatorial aspirant in the 2010 elections, is confident he will not end up like Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, according to his stepson, Martin Loon.

Police break up anti-US rally ahead of Clinton visit

Philippines police broke up an anti-US protest near the American mission here Wednesday on the eve of a visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, officials said.

Raps filed vs Abu Sayyaf for beheading of Sulu school principal

Police on Wednesday filed criminal charges against members of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group in connection with the abduction and beheading of school principal Gabriel Canizares.

AFP deploys 600 soldiers to pursue kidnappers

Some 600 soldiers are running after the group that abducted and beheaded a school principal and the kidnapping of four civilians, including two Chinese nationals, in Mindanao, a military spokesman said Wednesday.

Trader with debts kidnapped in Lanao Sur

(UPDATE) A businessman was taken by at least 15 armed men in Mulondo, Lanao del Sur, late Monday night, police said on Wednesday.

AFP welcomes probe into defective ammo

(UPDATE) The Armed Forces of the Philippines has committed its full cooperation in an investigation on alleged irregularities in the procurement of mortar ammunitions in 2008.

Soldier dies in attack by suspected NPA rebels

Suspected New People's Army rebels attacked soldiers in a village in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Tuesday evening, killing a soldier and sending panicked residents scampering for safety, the military said Wednesday.

Activists accuse military of raiding Iligan office

Militants in Lanao del Norte said the raid on their office in Iligan City last November 5 by unidentified men could be part of the military's surveillance operation on suspected left-leaning individuals and groups.

Fire renders 177 families homeless in Cagayan de Oro

Pandemonium struck early Wednesday morning when flames engulfed almost half of a sitio and two adjacent barangays here.

PRC: 1,646 new marine deck officers

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced Wednesday that 1,646 out of 3,643 examinees passed the written phase of the Marine Deck Officers Licensure Examination for the various ranks given by the Board for Marine Deck Officers in Manila this November 2009.

Angara assures passage of 2010 budget by end of the year

Congress will be able to ratify the proposed P1.541-trillion 2010 national budget before the end of the year, way ahead of the start of the campaign period in February, Senator Edgardo Angara assured Wednesday.

950,000 RP jobs lost due to global crisis—ADB

The global financial meltdown resulted in the loss of 950,000 jobs in the country between October 2008 and March 2009, the Asian Development Bank said in the paper, "How has Asia fared in the global crisis? A tale of three countries: Republic of Korea, Philippines, and Thailand."

Telecom agency reorganization pushed

A Senate proposal is urging the organization of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), stating the agency "has not done enough in regulating the local telecommunications industry."

SSS assets reach P254-B

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
  MANILA - The consolidated assets of state-run pension fund manager Social Security System (SSS) have grown by more than P90 billion over the past 7 years, making it one of the country's best-performing government financial institutions.  

RP among National Geographic's 25 travel destinations

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The Philippines has been named by National Geographic as one of the "25 best new travel destinations in the world for 2010," according to the Philippine embassy in Washington.

It was Manny's stage in Las Vegas

The lull in between the official welcome laid out by the MGM Grand for the two boxers facing off on Nov. 14 spoke volumes about how this was going to be more Manny Pacquiao's show than it will be Miguel Cotto's.

Beware of Cotto's left hook, Arum tells Manny

The tickets have been snapped up the moment they hit the selling booths and everyone is expecting crazy figures from pay-per-view revenues.

Pacquiao-Cotto seen as fight between speed, strength

Lakas laban sa bilis ang mamamalas ng buong mundo sa inaantabayanang bakbakan na gaganapin sa Las Vegas, Nevada ngayong Linggo! Sabi iyan ng mga boxing at sports analysts, na nagsasabing magkakaalaman na nga kung ang bilis ni pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao ay matatapatan ng lakas ng Puerto Rican boxer na si Miguel Cotto.


Peping ready to face Angping over graft rap

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA -- Philippine Southeast Asian Games Committee Organizing Committee chief Jose "Peping" Cojuangco said he is prepared to meet PSC chief Harry Angping in court over accusations of mishandling of funds used in the 2005 SEAG.

Guards lift SMB past Purefoods

MANILA -- San Miguel Beer drew big games from its guards and survived Purefoods Tender Juicy's late-game rally for a 92-76 win Wednesday night in the KFC-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Willie won't run in 2010 polls

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA - Willie Revillame, the popular host of ABS-CBN's noontime show "Wowowee,"  has finally decided not to run for Quezon City mayor or any other elective post in next year's polls.

Pacman seals lips on alleged 'affair' with Krista

MANILA - Boxing champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao sealed his lips on the issue romantically linking him to actress Krista Ranillo. Pacman's words stemmed from reports that he was spotted dating Ranillo not only in the country but also in Hong Kong.

Sarah backs off from tandem with Gerald

Record-breaking ang concert ni Sarah Geronimo na pinanood pa mismo ni Asia's songbird Regine Velasquez. Umatras naman ang pop princess sa pelikulang pagtatambalan sana nila ni Gerald Anderson. 

Royette Padilla accused of rape

MANILA - Royette Padilla, brother of action star Robin Padilla, was accused of raping a minor last Monday, November 9.

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