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Thursday, November 26, 2009

November 27, 2009 Major News Stories

Floods hit Naga City; 2 dead in Dumanjug

Floods hit 15 barangays of Naga affecting 81 families while two fatalities were reported in the southern town of Dumanjug due to rains brought by tropical depression Urduja.

Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong told the reporters yesterday that the affected barangays were Bairan, Jagimit, Patag, Alpaco, Tangjagimit, Uling, Lanas, Balirong, Mayana, Lutac, Pangdan, Mainit, South Poblacion, Cogon and Tinaan.

He said that the flood started at around 6 p.m. in Uling, a mountain barangay of the city, and the water subsided only at past 11 pm.

Traffic was snarled on the highway as the flood made the bridge in barangay Tinaan impassable.

The waters also destroyed the hanging bridge in barangay Mainit and the spillway in barangay Lutac. There were also reports of electric posts that fell.

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Delia Tibay, city social welfare officer, said that they received initial reports that four houses were washed away while three others were partially damaged.

A house in barangay Pangdan was also damaged due to a landslide.

The owners of the four totally damaged houses were Jessica Lenampo, Cleofe Lenampo, Dolores Repono and Oscar Abalorio.

The three partially damaged houses were owned by Mardeliza Panilagao, Mary Jane Villena and Nora Geraldez.

The totally damaged house in Pangdan is owned by William Pacres.

According to Tibay that a total of 81 families or 316 individuals including children were affected in barangay Tinaan and South Poblacion.

She said that she received reports of three more partially damaged houses in barangay Patag.

Tibay said that the affected families were housed at the sports complex in Sindulan, Tinaan Chapel and the badminton court near the city hall in barangay Poblacion.

But early morning yesterday the evacuees returned to their respective barangays.

Officials also said that a car and some livestock were also carried away by the floods.

Demetrio Alinsonorin Jr., barangay captain of Jagimit, said that he believes that a "buhawi" or water spout hit their area because of the big holes that he noticed on the ground.

Mayor Chiong met with the village chiefs of the affected barangays at his office to assess the situation.

Sr. Supt. Jesus Gaquing, provincial police director, yesterday visited the affected areas.

He ordered the chief of the Naga police, Supt. Anthony Bagarinao to send personnel to the affected barangays to assist and help secure the place.

The provincial police director added that he asked help from Provincial Engineering Office, the Philippine Army's 53rd Engineering Brigade and the City of Toledo for help.


Two persons died in Dumanjug town during the storm.

The first fatality was identified as Reynaldo Zozobrado, a resident of barangay Ylaya.

SPO1 Reynaldo Sala of the Dumanjug police said that the victim died of electrocution.

Sala said that a branch of a mango tree hit the electric wires causing them to fall on the victim's house.

While Zozobrado was trying to secure the members of his family, he accidentally touched the live wire.

He was brought to the Barili District Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival.

The second fatality was identified as Modesto Pasiluna, 13, of barangay Bitoon, who was found floating on the river.

It was reported that the victim was asked by his parents to gather firewood, but he never came back.

Also affected by flooding were Carcar, Barili and Aloguinsan.

Red Alert

Perhaps learning from previous calamities, the police have been put on red alert to respond to any eventuality.

In fact, police officials including Chief Supt. Lani-O Nerez, director of the Police Regional Office-7, were at the area affected by flooding Wednesday night.

'Urduja' kills 3, displaces thousands in Northern Mindanao

MANILA - Three people, including two babies, have been reported dead and thousands displaced in Northern Mindanao due to landslides and floods caused by tropical depression Urduja.

NBI seizes 3 trucks used in Consolacion quarrying

Three dump trucks owned by the Municipal Government of Consolacion were seized by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office after these were allegedly used in the illegal quarry operations of Mayor Avelino Gungob.

RP to get 9M doses of H1N1 flu vaccines

The Philippine government will receive a total of nine million doses of vaccines against the Influenza A (H1N1) virus from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the coming months.

Massacre witness surfaces, tags Ampatuan

A witness in the carnage in Maguindanao that claimed the lives of at least 57 people has surfaced and claimed that he was merely "following orders" and identified Andal Ampatuan Jr. as the alleged mastermind, according to an article posted on the Al-Jazeera news website.

"Anyone from the Mangudadatu clan – women or children – should be killed... We don't ask why, we just followed orders," the witness who identified himself as "Boy" told Al-Jazeera correspondent Marga Ortigas in an interview posted on the network's website Thursday.

"Boy" said that the orders came directly from Andal Ampatuan Jr., Datu Unsay mayor, and whose family was also an ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Ampatuan Jr. is the son of Maguindanao Governor Andal Sr., both belonging to the powerful Ampatuan clan in Mindanao. The younger Ampatuan was charged with multiple murder before the Department of Justice Thursday when he was surrendered by a member of his family to authorities. He was tagged by, among others, the wife of his family's political rival, Buluan Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu, before she was killed last November 23, along with 56 others.

"Boy" admitted that he was one of the 100 armed men who stopped the six-vehicle convoy of the Mangudadatus who were on their way to file the certificate of candidacy of the Buluan mayor. Also in the convoy were Mangudadatu's two sisters, two lawyers, and journalists who were to cover the event.

The group was massacred in a mountainous area, said "Boy," adding that all the slain women were raped, and the journalists who were part of the convoy, also killed so that no one would talk about the incident.

The bodies of the victims were in shallow graves that were dug using an excavator, according to the report.

"Boy" said the whole process lasted little more than an hour before they abruptly abandoned the scene following a warning that members of the military were nearby, the report added.

"We didn't get to finish, which is why the excavator was left there," he said. "Someone called and said soldiers were on their way. I feel they have connections among the soldiers."

But "Boy" denied killing anyone, saying he just stood while the massacre was being carried out. He told Al-Jazeera that he was now in hiding for fear of his life.

Still alive when buried

AMPATUAN, Maguindanao—The killers tried to hide the crime by running a heavy backhoe, again and again, over the victims's bodies and vehicles, before covering them with dirt, police investigators said.

Prime suspect in Maguindanao carnage arrives in Manila

(UPDATE) Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., the prime suspect in the murders of at least 57 people in Maguindanao, is now being detained at the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila, NBI Director Nestor Mantaring said Thursday evening.

Ampatuan detained at NBI, blames MILF for massacre

Andal Ampatuan Jr., the prime suspect in last Monday's grisly massacre in Maguindanao province, was flown to Manila Thursday night and brought to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) office in Manila to be detained pending investigation.

Ampatuan charged with multiple murder at DoJ

(UPDATE 6) Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. has been formally charged with multiple murder before the Department of Justice over Monday's slaughter of at least 57 people in Maguindanao.

Devanadera: Ampatuan Jr was arrested, did not surrender

Inaresto, at hindi sumuko si Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. 'Yan ang binigyang diin ngayon ni Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera.  Nilinaw rin ni Devanadera na itinuturing nang suspek sa Maguindanao masaker si Ampatuan! At ngayong nakakulong na siya sa NBI, inilagay naman sa watchlist ang iba pa niyang kamag-anak.

Andal Jr. says he is innocent

(UPDATE) The prime suspect in the election-linked massacre of 57 people in the southern Philippines denied on Thursday that he organized the killings.

400 Ampatuan bodyguards under probe -- PNP

Now that Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. has been taken into custody, the Philippine National Police faces the daunting task of building up cases against close to 400 armed bodyguards of his father, Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr.

DoJ seeks transfer of Maguindanao massacre case to Manila

Citing security concerns, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will ask the Supreme Court to transfer the trial of the Maguindanao massacre case from Mindanao to Manila.

DoJ forms legal panels to handle Maguindanao massacre

(UPDATE) The Department of Justice has created a 14-member legal team to handle the Maguindanao massacre case.

Ampatuan surrender not enough for Mangudadatus

The Mangudadatu clan said Thursday it was still not satisfied even with the surrender of Datu Unsay town mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., prime suspect in Monday's massacre of at least 57 people, including journalists, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao Monday.

Chopper with Ampatuan, Dureza fired upon

MANILA - Presidential Adviser for Mindanao Affairs Jesus Dureza on Thursday said that the helicopter which transported him and Maguinadanao massacre suspect Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. from Maguindanao to General Santos City was fired upon by unidentified persons from the ground. 

Arroyo hints at stepping down in 2010

MANILA - President Arroyo on Thursday led the nation in mourning the victims of a bloody election-related massacre in Maguindanao province while giving her first hint that she is ready to step down as President next year.

Arroyo still 'friends' with Ampatuans

President Macapagal-Arroyo is still keeping her political ties with the powerful Ampatuans of Maguindanao despite their expulsion from the ruling party and the filing of multiple murder charges against Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. over Monday's massacre of at least 57 people.

Raps vs Ampatuan 'just the beginning'—Palace

Malacañang exulted on Thursday over the surrender of Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. in connection with the Maguindanao massacre, ruling out any special treatment for him.

Ampatuan raps a good start—CHR

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairman Leila de Lima described on Thursday as a "good start" in seeking justice for the victims of the mass murder in Maguindanao the government's taking custody of Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr., a prime suspect in the massacre of at least 57 people in Maguindanao last Monday.

IBP seeks swift arrest, arraignment of those responsible for massacre

The national organization of Philippine lawyers recommended the swift arrest and arraignment of those responsible for a massacre in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao.

Arroyo allies, critics thumb down death penalty revival

Both allies and critics of the Arroyo administration thumbed down proposals to reimpose the death penalty as outrage over the Maguindanao massacre that claimed at least 57 lives triggered calls for the revival of capital punishment.

Gov't in tightrope act over massacre -- Teodoro

The administration is walking the tight rope of needing to be forceful while at the same time being careful not to ignite another conflict in an already volatile situation.

Teodoro not bringing in massacre witnesses yet

An initial plan to bring supposed witnesses in the Maguindanao massacre to Manila was aborted Thursday due to continuing concerns over safety, according to former Defense Secretary and administration presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

DILG chief wants Ampatuans suspended

(UPDATE) Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno on Thursday said he wants the entire provincial government in Maguindanao investigated and local officials suspended over the Maguindanao massacre.

ARMM police chief relieved, CVOs dismantled

Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa has ordered the dismantling of all civilian volunteer organizations (CVOs) and the relief of the regional director of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao over the Maguindanao massacre.

Gun permits in Maguindanao, 2 areas revoked

MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday said it is revoking gun permits in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces and Cotabato City after they were placed under a state of emergency earlier this week.

Ampatuan cousin asks gov't to respect due process

Energy Undersecretary Datu Zamzamin L. Ampatuan has appealed to the public to respect the due process of the law as Andal Ampatuan Jr. has voluntarily submitted himself to the government.

Press freedom? 27 journalists killed in Maguindanao

Two still unaccounted for MANILA –At least 27 journalists were among those killed in the Maguindanao massacre, an incident that marked the darkest day in the history of Philippine journalism.

The CenterLaw Philippines, a public interest law group, said that of the 27 journalists, two remain missing, based on interviews with their families. They are Reynaldo "Bebot" Momay of the Midland Review in Tacurong City, and Lindo Lupogan of Davao City.

Meanwhile, of the 25 other journalists, 10 were from General Santos City, 10 from Koronadal, three from Tacurong City, and one each from Cotabato and Davao.

List compiled by the Center for International Law

1. Ian Subang, Socsargen Today, General Santos City
2. Lea Dalmacio, Socsargen News, General Santos City
3. Gina De la Cruz, Saksi News, General Santos City
4. Maritess Cablitas, News Focus, General Santos City
5. Rosell Morales, News Focus, General Santos City
6. Henry Araneta,  Radio DZRH, General Santos City
7. Neneng Montaño, Saksi News, General Santos City
8. Alejandro "Bong" Reblando, Manila Bulletin, General Santos City
9. Victor Nuñez, UNTV, General Santos City
10. Mark Gilbert "Mac-Mac" Arriola, UNTV, General Santos City
11. Bal Cachuela,  Punto News, Koronadal City
12. Ernesto "Bart" Maravilla,  Bombo Radyo, Koronadal City
13. Ronie Perante, Gold Star Daily correspondent,  Koronadal City
14. Joel Parcon, Prontiera News, Koronadal City
15. Jun Legarte,  Prontiera News,  Koronadal City
16. Rey Merisco, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
17. John Caniban, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
18. Arturo Betia,  Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
19. Noel Decena, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
20. Rani Razon, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
21. Jhoy Duhay, Gold Star Daily, Tacurong City 
22. Andy Teodoro,  Central Mindanao Inquirer, Tacurong City
23. Jimmy Cabilo,  Midland Review,  Tacurong City
24. Napoleon Salaysay, Mindanao Gazette, Cotabato City
25. Jun Gatchalian, Davao City 

Unaccounted for:

1. Reynaldo "Bebot" Momay,  Midland Review, Tacurong City
2. Lindo Lupogan,  Davao City

The list also shows, with the exception of one case, the journalists' news organizations and main base. 

1. Ian Subang, Socsargen Today, General Santos City
2. Lea Dalmacio, Socsargen News, General Santos City
3. Gina De la Cruz, Saksi News, General Santos City
4. Maritess Cablitas, News Focus, General Santos City
5. Rosell Morales, News Focus, General Santos City
6. Henry Araneta, Radio DZRH, General Santos City
7. Neneng Montaño, Saksi News, General Santos City
8. Alejandro "Bong" Reblando, Manila Bulletin, General Santos City
9. Victor Nuñez, UNTV (senior correspondent), General Santos City
10. Mark Gilbert "Mac-Mac" Arriola, UNTV (cameraman), General Santos City
11. Bal Cachuela, Punto News, Koronadal City
12. Ernesto "Bart" Maravilla, Bombo Radyo, Koronadal City
13. Ronie Perante, Gold Star Daily correspondent, Koronadal City
14. Joel Parcon, Prontiera News, Koronadal City
15. Jun Legarte, Prontiera News, Koronadal City
16. Rey Merisco, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
17. John Caniban, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
18. Arturo Betia, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
19. Noel Decena, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
20. Rani Razon, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City
21. Jhoy Duhay, Gold Star Daily, Tacurong City
22. Andy Teodoro, Central Mindanao Inquirer, Tacurong City
23. Jimmy Cabilo, Midland Review, Tacurong City
24. (missing) Reynaldo "Bebot" Momay, Midland Review, Tacurong City
25. Napoleon Salaysay, Mindanao Gazette, Cotabato City
26. Jun Gatchalian, Davao City
27. (update as of 5:15 pm: confirmed dead) Lindo Lupogan, News Media Gazette, Davao City
28. (update as of 8:00 pm: confirmed dead) Jolito Evardo, UNTV (driver), General Santos City
29. (update as of 8:00 pm: confirmed dead) Daniel Tiamzon, UNTV (asst. cameraman and editor), General Santos City

Comelec halts network survey in Maguindanao

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has suspended indefinitely its survey of available network infrastructure in Maguindanao province following Monday's massacre of 50 people that included relatives of a local official and journalists.

No stopping 2010 polls in Maguindanao: Comelec

MANILA - The Commission on Elections on Thursday said there is no stopping elections in Maguindanao next year despite Monday's massacre that claimed the lives of 57 people in Ampatuan town.

Namfrel wants early polls for ARMM

Poll watchdog National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) wants the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) done a week earlier than the May 10, 2010 elections.

Massacre witnesses to be in Gibo's custody

Dumating din sa General Santos City si Lakas-Kampi-CMD chairman Gilbert Teodoro Jr. para sa kanya i-turnover ang mga testigo sa Maguindanao massacre. Bukas nakatakdang mag-file ng kanyang certificate of candidacy si Buluan vice mayor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu para gobernador ng Maguindanao, at mismong si Teodoro ang sasama sa kanya.

'Palace knew this could happen in Maguindanao'

by By Lilita Balane, Newsbreak
Biazon recalls warning aired by locals 3 months ago The head of the Senate defense committee revealed on Thursday that Malacañang had been warned as early as 3 months ago that bloodshed in Maguindanao would be inevitable if the government failed to address the tension between the warring political clans.

US halts development projects in Maguindanao

MANILA - The US government is temporarily ceasing several development projects in Maguindanao in the wake of politically-motivated mass killings between two warring clans.

SC ruling favors rich candidates --Comelec

by By Lilita Balane, Newsbreak
Poll body's monitoring shifts from premature campaigning to election spending The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday expressed disappointment with the Supreme Court ruling that decriminalizes premature campaigning, saying it would give unfair advantage to moneyed candidates.

Serge Osmeña files COC

MANILA - Former Senator Serge Osmeña, who was previously allied with the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), and then recently with the Liberal Party, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) as an independent senatorial candidate on Thursday. 

12 Filipino seafarers stranded in Greece to go home

Twelve Filipino seafarers stranded in Greece since July 2009 are now being prepared for their repatriation, the Philippine embassy in Athens said Thursday.

RP seeks release of fishermen in Myanmar

The Philippines Embassy is seeking the release of 14 Filipinos detained last week for allegedly fishing illegally in Myanmar waters.

Another acquittal in Marcos-era graft case

MANILA -- The Sandiganbayan acquitted Ben Conti, a former official of the Ministry of Local Government under the Marcos government, of a graft charge concerning a scheme involving P93.5 million government funds.

Saudi floods kill 77 while Muslims perform hajj

MOUNT ARAFAT, Saudi Arabia - Muslim pilgrims holding white umbrellas against the blazing sun clambered up a rocky desert hill for prayers Thursday during the annual hajj, following a day of torrential rains that killed at least 77 people.

UN agency warns of amphetamine threat in Asia

United Nations drug experts warned Thursday that Asia is facing a rising threat from illegal amphetamine-type drugs, even as the problem from plant-derived drugs such as heroin and cocaine has eased.

Obama to unveil his Afghan plan Tuesday

by Agence France-Presse
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama will announce his new Afghan strategy in an address to the nation Tuesday from the prestigious West Point military academy, the White House said.

Too much hype not needed to sell a fight - Pacquiao

MANILA -- Seven-time world champ Manny Pacquiao said the record pay-per-view buys of his "Firepower" match with Miguel Cotto has proven there's no need for "trash talk" to sell a fight.

Iverson announces NBA retirement

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, United States—Allen Iverson, a 10-time NBA All-Star who guided Philadelphia to the 2001 NBA Finals, announced plans to retire Wednesday in a statement released on a website.

Kidd rises to 2nd in NBA all-time assists in Dallas win

by Agence France-Presse
HOUSTON, California – Jason Kidd moved into second place on the NBA's all-time assists list while Jason Terry scored 27 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks past Houston 130-99.

Krista goes half-naked for sexy calendar

MANILA - Actress Krista Ranillo has bared nearly all in a liquor brand's sexy calendar.

Pacquiaos face intrigues together

MANILA – Pound-for-pound king Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and wife Jinkee flew together here amid speculations on the boxer's reported illicit affair with young sexy actress Krista Ranillo.

Allow media to have guns during polls – Manila vice mayor

Manila Vice Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso wants journalists exempted from the election gun ban relative to the 2010 polls.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach  - "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

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