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

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 4, 2009 Major News Stories

House leaders differ on lifting of EO on oil prices

Leaders of the House of Representatives are of two minds when it comes to the lifting of the order putting a ceiling on prices of petroleum products during calamity period.

Fuel price cap to stay as long as Luzon is in a state of calamity, Palace says

A presidential edict capping fuel prices will remain in force as long as Luzon, the Philippines" largest island, is still in a state of calamity.

Power situation remains critical

The power situation in Cebu remains critical as there remains no surplus.

Tom asked to reconsider LRT

Mayor Tomas Osmeña should consider the implementation of the proposed Light Rail Transit as it would not only benefit those living in the province but also Osmeña's constituents in the city, said 1st district Rep. Eduardo Gullas.

PGMA's 'support'

REP. Eduardo R. Gullas yesterday said that President Arroyo is very supportive of the Light Rail Transit-Mono Rail Transit (LRT-MRT) project that she appropriated P100 billion for it.

Gov't employees to get tax-free 14th month pay, P15K cash gift

Government employees nationwide will be able to replace belongings lost in recent floods and typhoons after President Macapagal-Arroyo approved tax-free benefits consisting of a 14th month salary pay and a cash gift of P15,000.

89 OFWs in KSA seek repatriation

A total of 89 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have called on the Philippine government to repatriate them from Saudi Arabia after their employer allegedly committed labor malpractices.

Philippines may face pork shortage this Christmas

The Philippines may face a pork shortage this Christmas after the public and private sectors separately failed to secure supply commitments from abroad.

One or two more storms to go for 2009–Pagasa

At least one or two more typhoons are expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility for 2009, an official from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Tuesday.

'Santi' toll reaches 19—NDCC

Philippine authorities on Tuesday reported three more deaths from typhoon "Santi" (international codename: Mirinae), which battered the storm-weary nation at the weekend, bringing the total number of those killed to 19.

Bacolod fire death toll hits 17—official

The death toll from the fire that hit a Bacolod boarding house and surrounding homes early Monday rose to 17, after the body of a woman was found underneath the rubble, an official said Tuesday.

Marina allows Sulpicio ship to sail today

by By Dennis Carcamo

MANILA, Philippines – The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has allowed a passenger ship of Sulpicio Lines Inc., owner of the ill-fated MV Princess of the Stars, to set sail from Manila to Cebu City today (Nov. 3).

Marina administrator Maria Elena Bautista said they decided to let MV Princess of the South to operate after Sulpicio complied with all the requirements of the board, which include providing protection and indemnity coverage of $1.5 million for the wreck removal, and $1.5 million for the clean up of the oil spill of the sunken ship.

Bautista said 200 Marina and Philippine Coast Guard personnel will be accompanying the trip from Manila to Cebu around 10 a.m. today "to make sure the crew understands safety procedures."

The passenger ship, one of the 16 vessels of Sulpicio Lines Inc., has a capacity of 1,334 people, Bautista said.

Marina lifts suspension on 1 of 7 'grounded' SLI vessels

THE Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has lifted the order suspending the operation of one of the seven roll on/roll off (roro) passenger vessels of Sulpicio Lines Inc.

Candidates may file until December 1

by by Lilita Balane, Newsbreak
Politicians aspiring to join the 2010 polls will have until midnight of December 1 to file their certificates of candidacy, the elections chief announced on Tuesday.

Comelec 'insensitive': Rama

DESPITE the long hours of work that Commission on Elections (Comelec) personnel in Cebu City had put in, Vice Mayor Michael Rama was dismayed with their conduct of the registration.

Atan-Mary Ann tandem floated

Jonathan Guardo for mayor and Mary Ann de los Santos for vice mayor in 2010?

Guardo for mayor?

BUSINESSMAN Jonathan "Atan" Guardo and Lahug Barangay Captain Mary Ann de los Santos are open to run for mayor and vice mayor, respectively, "if there is a clamor" from Cebu City's residents.

691 centenarian voters found in Taguig list

At least 691 voters who are more than 100 years old, majority of them having the same birth dates, are still included in the 2007 voters" list of Taguig, a former lawmaker bared on Tuesday. Commission on Election (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo downplayed this as a mere computer glitch.

PNP to probe role of local execs in robberies

The Philippine National Police is looking into reports that crooked local officials have been using organized crime groups to raise funds for their political ambitions in the 2010 elections.

Bongbong Marcos confirms he'll be Erap's guest senatorial bet

The son and namesake of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos will run for senator in the 2010 elections as a guest candidate of former President Joseph Estrada, the United Opposition's standard-bearer.

Puno may leave Lakas-Kampi

After withdrawing his bid in the vice presidential race, Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno on Tuesday said it was now possible he would also leave the administration party, the Lakas-Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino Christian Muslim Democrats.

Cardinal, others ask for ten-day extension

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and three other church officials asked the two prosecutors handling the libel charges against them for an extension in their submission of counter-affidavits saying that they have just received their subpoena last Friday.

Bacolod lawyers ask judge to reconsider inhibition

Lawyers of the Bacolod Family formally asked Regional Trial Court Branch 10 Judge Soliver Peras to reconsider his decision to inhibit from the parricide case against Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association supreme leader Ruben Ecleo Jr.

NBI finds rubout charge 'ridiculous, demoralizing'

COMMISSION on Human Rights (CHR) officials will head for Compostela today to investigate last week's operation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that killed robbery suspect Alvin Flores

Garcia's wife, sons wearing ankle monitors

MANILA, Philippines - The wife and three sons of accused plunderer, retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, are wearing electronic sensors around their ankles to allow US authorities to monitor their movements, according to a government prosecutor. 

11 officers cleared of mutiny charges freed -- military

The 11 officers earlier acquitted by a military court for charges of mutiny are officially "free men," a spokesman from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Tuesday.

Soldier abducted as alleged NPA rebels raid Army camp

A soldier was abducted by alleged members of New People's Army (NPA) after they raided an Army detachment in Compostela Valley Monday, a military official said Tuesday.

Four Muslim rebels killed in clash—military

Soldiers killed four Muslim extremists and wounded three others in a clash on the southern Philippine island of Basilan on Tuesday, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.

Puno names MILF brigade behind Sinnott kidnap

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno identified on Tuesday the MILF members involved in the kidnapping of Irish priest Michael Sinnott, after announcing that the Philippine government has rejected the MILF offer to rescue Sinnott in Mindanao.

Puno: Gov't rejects MILF offer on Sinnott release

(UPDATE) Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said Tuesday the government has rejected the offer of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to help in the negotiations for the immediate release of Irish priest Fr. Michael Sinnott.

Rescue 'last option' for Irish priest

Police on Tuesday said that launching a rescue operation for kidnapped Irish priest Fr. Michael Sinnott would be the "last option" as the local crisis management committee continues to negotiate for Sinnott's immediate release.

Warning to local, foreign priests: Stay away from kidnap-prone areas

by By Dennis Carcamo

MANILA, Philippines – The Church hierarchy in Cotabato advised foreign and local missionaries to stay away from areas where they could fall prey to kidnapping.

US solons push bill for RP vets" kids to become US citizens

After approving the belated lump sum benefits bill for Filipino World War II veterans, another bill - this time seeking to reunite those war vets staying in the US with their children - is gaining ground among American lawmakers who vouch support for the legislation.

Philippine eagles freed in CDO

BUKIDNON - Two Philippine Eagles, considered an endangered species, were released into the wild forests of Sumilao municipality in Bukidnon after almost a year in captivity.

BIR acting chief lists steps to improve tax take

The Bureau of Internal Revenue's senior deputy commissioner, Joel Tan Torres, said on Tuesday, he has been instructed to assume the functions of the BIR commissioner, pending the appointment of a replacement for Sixto Escuivias IV.

PRC: 386 new customs brokers

MANILA - The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced Tuesday that 386 out of 1,124 passed the Customs Broker Licensure Examination given by the Board for Customs Brokers in Manila, Cebu and Davao last October 2009.

PDIC warns against deposit splitting

MANILA - The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) will no longer cover deposit accounts that were used to split over P250,000 amounts in a troubled bank, the deposit insurance said Tuesday.

Google offers free websites to 200 MSMEs in RP

by By David Dizon,
MANILA - Google on Tuesday offered to build for free websites for 200 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as well as give P2,000 worth of free credits on Google AdWords.

South Korea raises swine flu alert status to highest level

South Korea has raised alert status for swineflu to the highest level as part of its efforts to contain the spread of the virus, which has killed 42 people.

Asean-US summit to discuss Suu Kyi—exec

Detained Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be discussed when US President Barack Obama meets Southeast Asian leaders this month, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Tuesday.

'Mirinae' kills 23 in Vietnam

Tropical Storm Mirinae unleashed severe flooding in parts of central Vietnam, killing 23 people, leaving two missing and stranding families on rooftops, disaster officials said Tuesday.

Oil price slips as traders take profits

World oil prices retreated Tuesday on profit-taking, after recent gains that were underpinned by positive manufacturing data in China and the United States, analysts said.

Pakistan train collision kills 12 - official

A passenger train collided with a cargo train on the edge of Pakistan's biggest city Karachi, killing at least 12 people on Tuesday and injuring more than 30 others, officials said.

Cotto wants to prove his detractors wrong

MANILA -- With his "Fire Power" match up with boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao barely two weeks away, Miguel Cotto has exuded confidence befitting a world champion regardless of the "underdog" many have tagged around his neck.

Solons ignore no-travel resolution

It appears that the man who would stop them is being frustrated at every turn.

Ara Mina seeks Comelec advice vs premature campaigning

Actress Ara Mina on Tuesday went to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Manila to inquire about her limitations as a television personality when she files her certificate of candidacy later this year.

Charles de Gaulle  - "The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs."

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