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

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 20, 2009 Major News Stories

DTI releases retail prices of basic goods

The Department of Trade and Industry has released more of its suggested retail prices for basic commodities. It said the list should help consumers know if retailers are taking advantage of the lifting of price controls.

Fish, veggies to cost more due to oil price hike

With the latest oil price increases, the public should prepare for the eventual rise in the prices of fish and vegetables sold in the markets.

Resolution on complaint against oil firms out soon

The Department of Energy will release its decision on the complaint filed by the provincial government against the Big Three fuel companies soon.

Arroyo govt failed to create the millions of new jobs it promised

The Arroyo administration was unable to create the millions of jobs it promised to generate during the past five years, a report made by the Philippines" socioeconomic body said.

RP job creation backlog: 3.5-M

MANILA - Despite high hopes that the Arroyo administration will be able to create a million jobs every year starting 2004, the updated Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) 2004 to 2010 showed that job generation remained below target.

Ombudsman to probe its probers for "leak"

Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol is launching another investigation into the controversial Cebu International Convention Center, but this time it will be against his own investigators, who could have leaked the information that he allegedly gave instructions to look for evidence to clear Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

City Hall to buy Hipodromo lot

Officials of the Cebu City Government and owners of the parcel of lot in Barangay Hipodromo that is occupied by the urban poor families for the past 15 years are scheduled to meet today as the city has already decided to pay the lot based on the court-declared "just compensation."

Printing of notice vs. former monk not libelous: Vidal

THE publication of a notice announcing that a former monk was no longer connected with his congregation is not libelous, the lawyer of Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said yesterday.

Mañalac dares Petralba to a debate

After filing a case for insubordination against provincial prosecutor Pepita Jane Petralba last week for not complying with his memo to have his cubicles cleaned, the controversial state prosecutor Vicente Mañalac yesterday made another "hilarious" move that made him and the office he represent a laughing stock of the lawyers and the public in general.

Police confirm arrest of alleged mastermind in killing of Koreans

Police Regional Director Lani-O Nerez yesterday confirmed the arrest of the alleged mastermind in the killing of two Koreans whose bodies were dumped in Naga last weekend.

Resto bar ordered closed anew

Mayor Tomas Osmeña has ordered the re-closure of the controversial Bakak Resto-Bar along Pelaez Street after the city found out the establishment resumed operations even without permits and clearances.

Filing of candidacies start Friday—Comelec

Prospective candidates in the 2010 elections can start filing their certificates of candidacy this Friday, November 20, at the offices of the Commission on Elections nationwide, officials said Thursday.

All systems go for filing of COCs - Comelec

It"s all systems go for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the 17,888 public seats available in the 2010 elections, a Commission on Election (Comelec) official said on Thursday.

Comelec vows to be strict on nuisance candidates

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will be strict in accepting the certificates of candidacy (CoC) from nuisance candidates when filing starts Friday, an official said Thursday.

Comelec to tap 400,000 teachers for 2010

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday that it will be tapping 400,000 teachers to serve as Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) in the 2010 automated elections.

Arroyo urged to extend armed forces chief's term

Three senators have signed a manifesto urging President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to extend the term of Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Victor Ibrado until June 30 next year.

Ermita: No shortcuts in replacing AFP chief Ibrado

There will be no shortcuts in replacing Armed Forces chief Gen. Victor Ibrado, Malacañang assured Thursday amid reports that a ranking military officer associated with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be installed next month.

Protests greet new defense chief at military HQ

(UPDATE) Barely a week after National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales was appointed acting defense secretary, protesters massed the gates of the national military headquarters in Quezon City.

Greg says doors closed, bridges burned, won't reconcile with Gwen

SAYING he felt insulted by their statements, Cebu Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez said he is closing his doors to the possibility of reconciling with the Garcias.

In 2010, he will "definitely" not run for governor, but may seek reelection, with or without a party. Another option is to concentrate on his business.

But Sanchez admitted he is also considering running under the Liberal Party (LP) because his "heart is with the Aquinos" and he would like to support presidential aspirant Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III because of his honesty and integrity.

Sanchez said that because he favors the rescission of the entire contract for the Capitol's purchase of the former Balili resort in Naga, he drew the ire of the Garcias.

"I must voice out what I feel. In my view, dry land and (land covered by) seawater aren't worth the same, that's why I voted for the rescission," Sanchez said.

He also repeated that the trans-axial highway development he had pushed was not acted upon.

"I completed the pre-feasibility studies and sent these to the executive even with the belief that it (the project) is going to the grave," Sanchez said.

In his statement, he said the rules, policies and decisions of One Cebu "are dictated by One Family and no consultation was being done within the party, which is supposed to be the ideal thing to do."

Pablo John, however, said Sanchez has admitted that he has been talking to the Nacionalista Party, Liberal Party and Panaghiusa long before he thought about leaving One Cebu.

Sonny blocks LP ties with BOPK, says Tomas not even a Liberal

IT WAS a mistake for the Liberal Party (LP) to designate Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña as LP chairman for the city, former senator John Henry "Sonny" Osmeña said yesterday.

Gibo: The presidency or retirement in 2010

MANILA - For Gilbert Teodoro Jr., there are only 2 options after the 2010 elections: the presidency or retirement from politics.

Wife, partymates promise a 'new Gibo'

He may have been one of the earliest to announce his presidential ambition, but as far the real electoral battle is concerned Gilbert Teodoro has just begun.

Arroyo to party: Let's have Teodoro elected

(UPDATE 3) No less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recognized the "big and arduous" task ahead for her political party as she issued what could be her last marching orders – that its members work hard to ensure the victory of its standard-bearer Gilberto Teodoro in the May 2010 elections.

Arroyo twits opposition on 'hakot' crowd

It may have been hounded with defections, but President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Thursday that Lakas-Kampi-CMD members are "genuine leaders" unlike the "hakot" crowd of other political parties.

Local Lakas execs barred from using local travel funds

The Bohol provincial director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday that local elected officials who attended the national convention of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD on the same day should not charge their travel expenses to local funds.

Osmeña to LP: If Ralph's in, I'm out

MANILA - Former Senator Sergio 'Serge' Osmeña said he would only return to the Liberal Party's (LP) senatorial slate if the party kicks out former Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto.

Recto to Osmeña: I did nothing wrong

MANILA - Former socioeconomic planning secretary Ralph Recto on Thursday said he was surprised by news that former senator Sergio Osmeña is bolting Liberal Party because of him.

Possibility of LP alliance with militants dims

The possibility of the Liberal Party teaming up with militant lawmakers waned after they met with the party's standard bearer, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Wednesday evening to discuss their political plans, according to Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo.

Villar, Bongbong to seal alliance on Friday

The once dominant Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) of Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and the Nacionalista Party of Senator Manuel Villar Jr. will seal their alliance Friday in a bid to boost the latter's presidential bid.

Imee, Irene talk about Bongbong's campaign

Kanya-kanyang papel ang mga Marcos sa kampanya ni Ilocos Norte representative Bongbong Marcos na sinasabing makikipag-alyansa sa partido ni Senador Manny Villar.

Escudero may run for VP, says solon

After bolting the party that built him up to be a presidential candidate, Sen. Francis ``Chiz'' Escudero may just decide to run for vice president, according to a party-list representative who is a close friend of Escudero.

Chiz hits Loren over stand on Villar

Nagsa-sanga na ang kontrobersiya sa resolusyon sa C-5 investigation ng Senado ngayon ang dating magka-partner sa Nationalist People's Coalition na sina Senador Francis Escudero at Senador Loren Legarda na ang nagba-banggaan. May posibilidad din na tuluyan na rin silang magkalaban sa pagka-bise presidente.

Ebdane determined to run for president

Although he doesn't have any influential backers or funds, former Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. said on Thursday his bid to become president was on course.

Ebdane to name VP, senatorial bets on Nov 29

Presidential candidate Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. on Thursday said he would reveal his running mate and senatorial bets on November 29.

Sotto resigns as DDB chairman

Former Senator Vicente Sotto III has resigned as chairman of the Dangerous Drug Board to run for senator under the Nationalist People's Coalition party.

Congressman to Pacquiao: Politics is not boxing

MANILA -- Sarangani Rep. Erwin Chiongbian on Thursday said he is unfazed by the reported congressional bid on boxer Manny Pacquiao in the province.

Ladlad accuses Vidal of swaying Comelec against accreditation

Ang Ladlad Party, which represents homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender, yesterday said Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and Human Life International-Pilipinas country director Rene Josef Bullecer were the people behind the non-accreditation of their partylist by the Commission on Elections.

Pimentel wary of Congress' weeklong break

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. is sensing something "fishy" in the Congress" one-week break, saying it might be related to the deliberations on the proposed P1.415-trillion national budget for 2010.

'Project Reach' aims to bring back out-of-school kids

Despite classroom, teacher and book shortages, the Department of Education (DepEd) is pushing for the implementation of "Project Reach," which aims to bring back to the public school system some 5.6 million out-of-school children and youth nationwide.

EC donates 7M euros anew for Ondoy victims

The European Commission this week approved a grant of seven million euros (or approximately P490 million) in humanitarian assistance for the victims of Tropical Storm Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng in the Philippines.

NDF wants peace talks before 2010 polls

by By Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau
Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo "Jamby" Madrigal and the National Democratic Front on Wednesday urged the Philippine government to restart peace talks with communist rebels in the country before the May 2010 elections.

Soldier hurt in Dumaguete ambush—military

A trooper was injured Thursday when heavily armed men on ambushed a truckload of Army soldiers in Sitio (sub-village) Pandan, Barangay (village) Hibaiyo, Guihulngan town, some 130 kilometers north of here, a military official said.

Suspected New People's Army guerrillas attacked a military truck along the highway of Barangay Molobolo, Vallahermoso in Negros Oriental Thursday morning, wounding a soldier and a civilian.

'Don't pay ransom', military tells victims' kin

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday appealed to the families of the four kidnap victims, including three abducted Chinese nationals, not to pay ransom allegedly being demanded by the kidnappers believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group.

Palace: No secret MOA on Mindanao

Malacañang on Wednesday allayed fears that the government was drafting a comprehensive peace agreement with the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front in secrecy.

RP economy to grow faster on remittances, services

Increased remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and a strong services sector are expected to make the Philippine economy grow at a faster rate during the third quarter this year.

Oil falls to near $79 amid mixed economic signs

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) – Oil prices slipped to near $79 a barrel Thursday in Asia amid mixed signals over the strength of the global economic recovery.

US court hailed for naming new judge on Marcos funds

A Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) official has hailed the US Court of Appeals decision to rebuke the district judge who handed down the historic 1995 ruling awarding $1.9 billion to victims of human rights violations in the Marcos era.

PDIC chief wants to simplify claims processes

MANILA - The unprecedented spate of closures of Legacy banks last year has prompted the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) to review and simplify its claims processes.

Afghan president sworn in to second 5-year term

KABUL (AP) – Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai promised Thursday to prosecute corrupt government officials and end a culture of impunity, speaking during an inauguration closely watched by the international community for signs that his administration is moving beyond the cronyism and graft of the past five years.

Obama says talks under way on Iran sanctions

SEOUL (AP) – President Barack Obama said Thursday the United States has begun talking with allies about fresh punishment against Iran for defying efforts to halt its nuclear weapons pursuits.

Indonesia clamps down on suspected terrorists

Indonesia's counter-terror chief called Thursday for greater power to hold suspects, warning that Islamist extremists remained active despite the death of terror mastermind Noordin Mohammed Top.

Arroyo to lead hero's welcome for Pacquiao

A grand hero's welcome at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila awaits Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao upon his return to Manila on Friday.

Pacman win motivates Sonsona for first title defense

MANILA – Spurred by Manny Pacquiao's recent victory over Miguel Cotto, a well-motivated "Marvelous" Marvin Sonsona will step into the ringagainst Mexican Alejandro Hernandez for his first title defense at the Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada this weekend.

Pacquiao goes on the record on Mayweather

MANILA – Newly-crowned World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has finally proclaimed his desire to clash with former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

EENT doc: 'Nothing to worry about Pacquiao's ear'

MANILA – Supporters of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao need not worry about the right ear injury that the Filipino boxing superstar sustained during his "Firepower" fight against Miguel Cotto last Sunday (Saturday in Las Vegas), a doctor assured.

Marquez accepts Hatton challenge: report

MANILA – Juan Manuel Marquez and Ricky Hatton, who both lost in their bouts this year to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, respectively, will reportedly have a face-off next year.

Actor Johnny Delgado succumbs to cancer

(UPDATE) Actor Johnny Delgado died Thursday of complications from lymphoma. He was 61.

Father of Michael Jackson accuser commits suicide

NEW YORK – The father of a boy who alleged he was sexually molested by pop star Michael Jackson shot himself in the head in his luxury New Jersey apartment, police said Wednesday.

Baguio photos of Pacquiao, Krista surface

MANILA – The alleged affair between Manny Pacquiao and Krista Ranillo continues to heat up. Despite the denial and "no-comment" remark from both camps, pieces of evidence - photos and video – that purportedly prove the romance between the two have surfaced on the Internet.

Who is Krista Ranillo?

MANILA – Actress Krista Ranillo (born Cristalle Lauren Tupaz Ranillo) is the talk of the town these days because she is being linked to Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.

Jinkee's parents slam Manny over alleged affair

MANILA - "Because you hurt our daughter, we will boycott your film (Whapakman)."

Pinky Webb breaks up with Edu Manzano: report

MANILA - TV host and vice-presidential candidate Edu Manzano and broadcast journalist Pinky Webb have ended their relationship of five years, the Philippine Star reported Thursday.

Customs file complaint vs. ivory smugglers

Customs police on Thursday lodged a complaint against two suspects over the alleged illegal importation of about 3.5 tons of elephant tusks from Tanzania, the justice department said.

Hillary Clinton gushes over 'crush' on British official

NEW YORK – Talk about Washington and London's special relationship. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has admitted she has a "crush" on Britain's youthful-looking, 44-year-old foreign minister David Miliband, according to an interview published in US Vogue magazine.

Pagasa tracks new weather disturbance

State weather forecasters are tracking a shallow low-pressure area (SLPA) off Mindanao that may possibly intensify into a cyclone.

Ogden Nash  - "The trouble with a kitten is that when it grows up, it's always a cat."

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