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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 30, 2009 Major News Stories

Prices prescribed for pork, chicken, sugar

MANILA - The government yesterday announced suggested retail prices (SRP) for pork, chicken and sugar during the holiday season, to be implemented in Metro Manila initially.  The SRPs, effective yesterday, are as follows: P41-P43 per kilogram for white sugar, P135-P145/kg for whole dressed chicken, P160-P165/kg for pork kasim and P170-P175/kg for pork liempo.

Most families still feel poor

51%, or 9.4 million households, consider themselves mahirap MANILA - The number of families who consider themselves poor or "mahirap" remains in the majority despite declining slightly in the wake of recent typhoons, a special Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed. The results of the survey, made exclusive to BusinessWorld, showed that 51% or 9.4 million families nationwide considered themselves as poor as of October, slightly lower than the 53% or 9.7 million in September.

Fire destroys four houses in Mandaue

At least three houses were razed while another was partially damaged in a fire that hit sitio Kamatis in barangay Pacnaan, Mandaue City yesterday afternoon.

Record number of nursing grads take board exam

MANILA, Philippines—A record number of nursing graduates are taking the professional licensure examination today and Monday.

Cabillon to seek help of forensic experts

The former monk who has filed libel charges against Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and five others will be seeking help of forensic experts to prove that he is innocent of the charges of estafa that was filed against him.

Death toll in Maguindanao massacre reaches 64

AMPATUAN, Philippines (Xinhua) - The death toll in the stunning mass killing of people, including journalists this week in the restive southern Philippines reached 64, state officials reported Saturday.

11 new witnesses to strengthen case vs massacre suspects

(Updated 5:43 p.m.) At least 11 new witnesses will come forward to bolster the government"s case against the people behind the grisly massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao province last Nov. 23, with Malacañang saying the filing of multiple murder charges against prime suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr. is "just the beginning" of efforts to get to the bottom of the carnage.

AFP monitors massing up of Ampatuan supporters

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Sunday, it has been monitoring the massing up of supporters of the Ampatuan political clan, which has been implicated in the Maguindnao massacre.

PNP to seize Ampatuan's 19 guns

The Philippine National Police is seeking to confiscate all 19 guns registered to Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. over his alleged connection with the slaughter of 57 people in Maguindanao last week.

Ampatuan: Brod's innocent; we'll fight suspension

(UPDATE) Governor Zaldy Uy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) came to the defense of his brother, Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., who has been charged with masterminding the Nov. 23 killing of at least 67 people – most of them journalists.

Ampatuan, who was later joined by his father Andal Sr., said the family would do everything to prove that Andal Jr. had nothing to do with the carnage.

He said they tapped at least 40 lawyers – led by Siegfried Fortun, to help them in the case.

Ampatuan also vowed to oppose the plan of government to suspend him and other officials identified with the Ampatuan clan over the massacre.

Ampatuan supporters in show of force, hold rally

(UPDATE 3) Allies of a political clan linked to the bloody massacre of at least 57 people last week rallied to their defence in the lawless southern Philippines on Sunday.

ARMM head consolidates forces, meets with 20 mayors

(UPDATE) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), brother of the prime suspect in the Maguindanao massacre that killed at least 57 people, is meeting with at least 20 town mayors of Maguindanao.

A hot, restless night for Ampatuan at NBI jail

Datu Unsay mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr, the prime suspect in the Maguindanao massacre, reportedly had a restless Saturday night at the detention facility of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Recorder in Maguindanao killings not yet found – DOJ

Department of Justice officials handling the investigation of the Maguindanao massacre on Sunday said they have yet to receive evidence of an audio recorder that could have taped the gruesome carnage last week.

CHR brings 2 forensic experts to massacre site

UPDATE) Two foreign forensic experts will help in the investigation into the November 23 killing of at least 64 people here, according to Commission on Human Rights Chair Leila de Lima.

CHR not keen on arming journalists in poll hotspots

Despite last Monday"s gruesome massacre in Maguindanao that killed 30 journalists, the Commission on Human Rights still doesn"t recommend arming journalists covering election hotspots.

Kin of Ampatuan town massacre victims afraid to seek justice

They of course want to have justice for their slain loved ones. However, despite the outpouring of assistance, most of the relatives of the Ampatuan town massacre victims are reluctant to pursue legal action because they fear the perpetrators of the crime.

MILF not involved in massacre—govt negotiator

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is not involved in the slaughter of at least 57 civilians, government chief peace negotiator Undersecretary Rafael Seguis of the Department of Foreign Affairs said Sunday.

Martial law sought in Maguindanao

Quezon City Representative Matias Defensor Jr. wants President Macapagal-Arroyo to declare martial law in Maguindanao to prevent the escalation of violence in the province but some legislators are cool to his proposal.

Arroyo asked to take over ARMM

It's President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and not Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno who should have taken administrative control over the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao [ARMM] following the Nov. 23 massacre in Maguindanao, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr., said on Sunday.

The official list of 30 media martyrs of Maguindanao

There were 30 and not just 27 reporters and media workers who were killed in a manner brutal beyond description in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, last Monday, November 23.

1. Adolfo, Benjie, Gold Star Daily, Koronadal City

2. Araneta, Henry, Radio DZRH, General Santos City

3. Arriola, Mark Gilbert "Mac-Mac," UNTV, General Santos City

4. Bataluna, Rubello, Gold Star Daily, Koronadal City

5. Betia, Arturo, Periodico Ini, General Santos City

6. Cabillo, Romeo Jimmy, Midland Review, Tacurong City

7. Cablitas, Marites, News Focus, General Santos City

8. Cachuela, Hannibal, Punto News, Koronadal City

9. Caniban, John, Periodico Ini, General Santos City

10. Dalmacio, Lea, Socsargen News, General Santos City

11. Decina, Noel, Periodico Ini, General Santos City

12. Dela Cruz, Gina, Saksi News, General Santos City

13. Dohillo, Eugene, UNTV, General Santos City

14. Duhay, Jhoy, Gold Star Daily, Tacurong City

15. Gatchalian, Santos, DXGO, Davao City

16. Legarte, Bienvenido, Jr., Prontiera News, Koronadal City

17. Lupogan, Lindo, Mindanao Daily Gazette, Davao City

18. Maravilla, Ernesto "Bart," Bombo Radyo, Koronadal City

19. Merisco, Rey, Periodico Ini, Koronadal City

20. Momay, Reynaldo "Bebot" Momay, Midland Review, Tacurong City

21. Montaño, Marife "Neneng," Saksi News, General Santos City

22. Morales, Rosell, News Focus, General Santos City

23. Nuñez, Victor, UNTV, General Santos City

24. Perante, Ronnie, Gold Star Daily correspondent, Koronadal City

25. Parcon, Joel, Prontiera News, Koronadal City

26. Razon, Fernando "Rani," Periodico Ini, General Santos City

27. Reblando, Alejandro "Bong," Manila Bulletin, General Santos City

28. Salaysay, Napoleon, Mindanao Gazette, Cotabato City 

29. Subang, Ian, Socsargen Today, General Santos City

30. Teodoro, Andres "Andy," Central Mindanao Inquirer, Tacurong City

Still unaccounted for: Evardo, Jolito, UNTV General Santos City

The 30 media workers killed in Ampatuan, Maguindanao bring to 134 the number of journalists killed in the Philippines since 1986.

Of the total, 74 cases or more than half, were recorded from 2001, or under the watch of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

CBCP to issue guidelines for Catholic voters Monday

The influential Catholic Bishops" Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will release its guidelines for Catholic voters on how to choose their candidates in the 2010 elections.

Cebu needs 3T poll machines

CEBU would need over 3,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines for the May 2010 elections.

DFA, COMELEC ink MOA on automated polls in HK, Singapore

MANILA – Two government agencies signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the conduct of the automated election system in Hong Kong and Singapore for the 2010 presidential elections. 

Davide, Sanchez file COCs for governor, vice governor

The candidates of the Liberal Party for the top positions of Cebu Province filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) yesterday.

Aside from Davide and Sanchez, Ariston "Balodong" Cortes III, brother of Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, has also submitted his COC for congressman for the 6th district.

Maambong for Consolacion mayor

The mayoralty race in Consolacion town is now a four-cornered fight with the announcement of Provincial Board Member Victor Maambong to run for the town's top post in next year's elections.

Maambong, who is running under the One Cebu Party of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, will be running against his uncle, incumbent Consolacion Vice Mayor Ember Alinsug, Councilor Aurelio Abinales, and former vice mayor Teresa Alegado.

With Manny Pacquiao as runningmate Georgia Osmeña files COC for mayor

Georgia Osmeña, the younger sister of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, made true of her promise to run for city mayor in next year's elections.

8 Osmeñas to run

GEORGIA Osmeña filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) yesterday morning and asked Cebuanos to also vote for her brother Sergio "Serge" Osmeña III and cousin Emilio "Lito" Osmeña, who are both running for senator.

My being Osmeña is incidental: poll bet

THOUGH a member of the Osmeña clan, Timoteo Emilio "Timmy" Osmeña Oppus said he will bank more on the legacy of his father than on the fame of his middle name in seeking public office.

He filed his certificate of candidacy for Cebu City north district councilor last Friday, becoming the eighth Osmeña to signify his intent of running in the May 10, 2010 elections.

His mother Teresita, he said, is a half-sister of former Cebu governor Emilio "Lito" Osmeña, who is running for senator like his cousin Sergio Osmeña III, brother of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, who is eyeing the south district representative seat.

Oppus's father is Captain Antonio Oppus, former general manager of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Ex-Cebu gov files candidacy for senator

Former Cebu Gov. Lito Osmeña filed at the Comelec central office in Manila, his certificate of candidacy for senator on Sunday afternoon.

Tom won't back Lito's bid for Senate

Mayor Tomas Osmeña has finally decided that he will not support the candidacy of his cousin, former governor Emilio "Lito" Osmeña, if the latter will pursue his earlier announcement to run for senator.

Pacquiao ready for Congress

Pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao said that he will file his candidacy for a congressional seat in Sarangani on December 1.

David backs out of lopsided race vs Arroyo

Heeding the counsel of family and friends and in protest of a lopsided fight, University of the Philippines professor Randy David has ditched his plan to challenge President Macapagal-Arroyo in case she runs as representative of this Pampanga's second district.

Environmentalist files candidacy for President

Environmentalist Nicanor Perlas filed his certificate of candidacy for president at the Commission on Elections central office in Manila on Sunday afternoon, and vowed to lead the country away from the "politics of impunity."

Ebdane quits presidential race

(UPDATE 2) Former public works secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. on Sunday withdrew from the presidential race due to lack of funds.

Fernando may withdraw from race too

Although he has been speaking to different camps for his 2010 bid, outgoing Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Bayani Fernando revealed on Sunday that he might choose not to run at all.

3 incumbent senators in NP senatorial slate

Senator Manny Villar's Nacionalista Party (NP) on Sunday revealed its senatorial bets for 2010 which included three incumbent senators.

The NP identified nine of its senatorial bets asSenators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., and Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Colonel Ariel Querubin.

Lawyer Adel Tamano, former labor undersecretary Susan "Toots" Ople, Gwendolyn Pimentel (daughter of Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr.), and Ramon "Mon-Mon" Mitra (son of the late Speaker Ramon Mitra).

Maza, Ocampo formalize Senate bids

(UPDATE) Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Representative Liza Maza marched from Liwasang Bonifacio to the Commission on Elections office in Intramuros and filed their certificates of candidacy at around 11 a.m. Sunday.

Miriam endorses Villar

(UPDATE 2) Re-electionist Senator Miriam-Defensor Santiago, who is also a guest candidate of former President Joseph Estrada, has endorsed the presidential bid of Senator Manny Villar.

Lakas-Kampi loses Misamis gov Ocampos to LP

Another close political ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo deserted the ruling Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats coalition and joined the Liberal Party, which is fielding Senators Benigno Aquino III and Manuel Roxas II as presidential and vice presidential bets.

Misamis Occidental Governor Loreto Leo Ocampos, also president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP), told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Saturday that he decided to jump ship because of "so many reasons."

In Kidapawan City, North Cotabato Vice Governor Emmanuel Piñol filed his certificate of candidacy for the gubernatorial race. Piñol was a three-term governor before sliding down to the vice governorship in the 2007 elections.

Like Ocampos, who also supported President Arroyo on some issues, Piñol decided to run under the LP.

At least 58 die in Bangladesh ferry accident: police

by Agence France-Presse
NAZIRPUR, Bangladesh – Rescue workers struggled to find survivors Saturday after at least 58 people died when a Bangladesh ferry overloaded with people returning home to celebrate a Muslim holiday capsized.

Death toll in Russian train disaster revised to 25

MOSCOW— Twenty-five people were killed in the wreck of a Russian passenger train, a government minister said on Sunday, after officials had previously put the death toll at 26.

At least 73 dead in Congo boat accident: Red Cross

by Reuters
KINSHASA – At least 73 people were killed and others missing after a logging boat sank in a lake in western Democratic Republic of Congo, a Red Cross official said on Saturday.

Death toll from floods in Saudi reaches 106

RIYADH (AP) — A Saudi official says the death toll from the unusually heavy rains that hit western Saudi Arabia has reached 106.

Hajj winds up without feared mass swine flu outbreak

MECCA - The annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage to Mecca wound up on Sunday without the feared mass outbreak of swine flu, Saudi authorities said, reporting a total of five deaths and 73 proven cases.

Dogs diagnosed with swine flu in China—report

Two dogs in Beijing have tested positive for swine flu in the second case of animals catching the disease in China along with pigs in the northeast, Chinese media said Sunday.

Rumsfeld decision allowed Bin Laden to escape: Senate report

WASHINGTON - Osama bin Laden was "within the grasp" of US forces in late 2001 but escaped because then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected calls for reinforcements, a hard-hitting US Senate report says.

Pacquiao endorses athletes' group for party list

by By Jesus F. Llanto, Newsbreak
Manny Pacquiao on Sunday endorsed the group Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA), even accompanying its leaders to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office to file their manifestation of intent to participate in the party-list system of elections in May 2010.

2 Filipinos enter World 10-Ball semifinals

An all-Filipino final looms in the 2nd World 10-Ball Championship after Lee Van Corteza and Antonio Lining advanced to the semifinals opposite different foreign rivals at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

8 Filipinos advance in World Ten Ball

MANILA – The Philippines has the most number of players still in contention in the ongoing World Ten Ball Championship. A total of eight Filipino cue artists made it to the Round of 32.

Beermen extend winning run

MANILA - San Miguel Beer extended its winning run to 8 games after walloping Burger King, 100-85, at the start of the second round of elimination of the KFC-PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Rob Stumvoll evicted from Big Brother house

by by Napoleon Quintos,
MANILA - Rob Stumvoll is the latest evictee in Pinoy Big Brother Double Up. The "ladies man from Austria" got the lowest number of text votes (4.32%) among fellow nominees for eviction Rica Paras (38.55%), Jason Francisco (35.81%), Carol Batay (15.11%), and Patrick Villanueva (6.21%).

A grateful Angel returns home

MANILA – Movie and television actress Angel Locsin returned home Saturday night after attending the 37th International Emmy Awards in New York in the United States.

Stephen Leacock  - "I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so."

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