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

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 5, 2009 Major News Stories

Pork prices seen to rise

Nagbabanta ring tumaas ang presyo ng karneng baboy kapag inalis ang EO 839. Reklamo kasi ng mga tindera ng baboy, mahal nilang hinahango ang baboy.pero, hindi naman nila maitaas ang presyo dahil sa EO 839. Kaso, may EO o wala, talagang pataas na ang presyo ng baboy ngayong magpapasko dahil kulang na rin ang supply.

RP eyes rice imports from South Korea, Vietnam

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippines effort to import 275,000 tons (250,000 metric tons) of rice to make up for shortages caused by back-to-back storms has elicited the lowest offers from South Korean and Vietnamese companies, the government said Wednesday.

Salceda: Oil price freeze big mistake

Tinawag ni presidential economic adviser Joey Salceda na matinding pagkakamali at mukhang hindi napag-isipan ang utos ng Pangulo na pumigil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng petrolyo. Ikinagalit naman ito ng mga namamasada. At, nagbanta silang magwewelga!

Salceda: Wealthy few gain from fuel price cap

MANILA - A palace fiat putting a cap on oil prices in Luzon in the wake of calamities should be lifted soon given that only the wealthy benefit from the directive, a presidential adviser said yesterday.

More Filipinos consider themselves poor - survey

The number of Filipino families which consider themselves as "mahirap" or poor has continued to increase this year, a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.

Self-rated poverty — respondents are asked to class themselves as poor, not poor or on the borderline — was at 53 percent in September, up from June's 50 percent and equivalent to some 9.7 million families.

A Palace official blamed the economic slowdown, and raised the prospect of the rate further increasing as two strong storms devastated parts of the country after the poll was staged.

But the result of the latest survey, made exclusive to BusinessWorld, was still lower than last year's peak (59 percent, June) and the Arroyo administration's record of 66 percent (hit three times, the last being September 2002).

RP embassy negotiating for 89 Pinoy caregivers in Riyadh

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is holding talks with the employers of 89 Filipino caregivers who stopped working after accusing their employer of contract violations, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

Pinay's remains stranded in Saudi Arabia

Lack of funds is delaying the repatriation of the remains of a 50-year-old Filipino domestic helper who died in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, more than two months ago.

5.6 magnitude quake hits southern Mindanao

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck southern Mindanao at 2:21 p.m. Wednesday, the United States Geological Survey reported.

40 Isabela villages flooded by heavy rains

Forty low-lying villages here were flooded Wednesday as incessant heavy rains during the night caused rivers to overflow their banks, officials said.

'Santi' death toll up to 27—NDCC

The death toll left by typhoon "Santi" climbed to 27, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said Wednesday.

Vietnam storm death toll rises to 91

HANOI, Vietnam - The death toll from Tropical Storm Mirinae rose to 91 in Vietnam on Wednesday as authorities stepped up rescue and relief operations in the country's central region.

Comelec confident 3M new voter target met

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is "confident" that it had met its target of at least three million new voters during the nationwide registration that ended Tuesday, an official said.

Comelec says 691 Taguig 'centenarians' may vote

The 691 "centenarians" reported in Taguig City may vote in the 2010 elections despite allegations that many of them were ghost voters, a Commission on Elections official said Wednesday.

Comelec to inspect poll machines in China

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will send a two-man team to Shanghai, China to inspect the production of poll machines to ensure these will be delivered in time for next year's polls.

Escudero fears failure of elections

by by Lynda Jumilla, ABS-CBN News
MANILA - Despite assurances from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Sen. Francis Escudero on Wednesday said he continues to harbor fears of a failure of the May 10, 2010 national elections.

PNP to limit security escorts to four per candidate during elections

The Philippine National Police will be limiting the number of security escorts to four per candidate when the campaign period starts for the 2010 national elections, officials said on Wednesday.

Comelec can't ban poll ads in Pacquiao fight—exec

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) cannot regulate political advertisements by 2010 candidates which will be aired during the fight of boxing champ Manny Pacquiao on November 15, an official said.

Comelec split on campaign tax

by by Aries Rufo,
MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is divided on whether to help the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) implement the 5% tax on campaign spending.

Palace backs tax on campaign funds

(UPDATE) With the government facing a multi-billion-peso revenue shortfall, Malacañang threw its support behind the Bureau of Internal Revenue's move to impose a five-percent tax on campaign spending.

Political parties balk at new tax scheme

Political parties balked at a new tax regulation imposing five percent levy on election expenses and contributions, saying it might scare away contributors, especially the small ones.

Tom doesn't think they will run: Atan-Mary Ann tandem a stunt

The idea of a Jonathan Guardo-Mary Ann de los Santos tandem for mayor and vice mayor of Cebu City in the 2010 elections drew mixed reactions from all sides of the political fence.

He's not backing Gibo: Cuenco to stick with Noynoy

Rep. Antonio Cuenco of the South District of Cebu City denies reports that he will be supporting the presidential bid of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro to ensure that he would be appointed ambassador to Italy.

To run or not to run? Escudero remains undecided

A week after leaving the Nationalist People's Coalition, Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero remains undecided whether he would join the 2010 presidential race.

Escudero can will presidential race as independent, says Enrile

Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero can still win the presidency next year even if he runs as independent, Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile said on Wednesday.

Castro for VP slot

Who still wants Chiz? Despite Senator Francis Escudero's rejection of a team up with Senator Manuel Villar, the Nacionalista Party is still talking to the young lawmaker about the possibility of him becoming its vice presidential bet, according to the party's spokesperson.

Lakas-Kampi-CMD to announce slate Nov 19

The administration party Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) will finally make known its slate in a national convention on November 19, a party official said Wednesday.

Lakas-Kampi-CMD now eyeing Manzano, Legarda for VP

From Ate Vi to Edu. With Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos out of the picture and Sen. Loren Legarda yet to give her nod, the ruling coalition is eyeing TV game show host and actor Edu Manzano as its candidate for Vice President.

Groups want an OFW as senatorial candidate

Several Filipino groups in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have called on political parties to field at least one overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the senatorial ticket for the 2010 elections.

CHR pushing for right of detainees to vote like Estrada, Misuari

In pushing for every citizen's right to vote, Commission on Human Rights chairman Leila de Lima said Wednesday that even convicts serving less than a year should be allowed to exercise their right to suffrage after years of being disenfranchised.

Despite warning from DILG: Gungob cuts power supply of Consolacion police force

Despite warnings about the legal implications of his action, Consolacion Mayor Avelino Gungob has cut off the power of the town's police station. It is an act, which he said, was meant to send a strong signal to the police not to belittle his authority.

NBI nabs ex-mayor

A BRIEF ruckus erupted outside a coffee shop at a mall yesterday as National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 operatives forcibly took into custody a former mayor who reportedly resisted arrest by attacking an NBI agent.

Former Compostela mayor Gilbert Wagas was brought to the NBI headquarters in handcuffs, arrested by virtue of a bench warrant issued on July 2, 2003 following his Oct. 8, 2001 conviction for malversation before the Sandiganbayan.

Gilbert was charged with malversation of P376,618.65 in public funds. He was charged with then Compostela municipal treasurer Dominador Maravillas Jr. They pleaded not guilty.

"(The Sandiganbayan) stayed that decision. He is being arrested twice for the same case," incumbent Compostela Mayor Ritchie Wagas said. Ritchie, Gilbert's younger brother, went to the NBI headquarters yesterday afternoon after hearing of the arrest.

In a press conference later, Gilbert said the he is blaming the Duranos for his arrest.

Libel vs. niece of school prexy elevated at RTC

The libel charges filed by lawyer Augusto Go, whose family owns the University of Cebu, against his niece Elizabeth Locke Gotianuy, has already been forwarded and upgraded into a formal criminal case before the Regional Trial Court after the Department of Justice has reversed and set aside the decision of the city prosecutors office in dismissing the case.

3 student-activists freed from detention

THE three young Cebuano activists who were arrested in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental last month were released from detention yesterday afternoon, after a prosecutor dismissed the complaint against them.

Lack of coordination from NBI during shootout slights PRO-7

Did the National Bureau of Investigation commit a breach of protocol when it tracked down robbery suspects in Compostela last October 29?

Gang leader in Greenbelt 5 heist had his face changed

MANILA - The leader of the robbery gang which hit posh Greenbelt 5 mall in Makati City last October 18 was not only slippery to authorities but had his face changed through plastic surgery to evade police detection, a confessed member of the Alvin Flores gang admitted Wednesday.

Alvin Flores Gang robbed wrong store

Maling tindahan pala ang nilooban ng Alvin Flores Gang nang pasukin nila ang Greenbelt 5 sa Makati noong Oct. 18. Ito ang ekslusibong isiniwalat sa ABS-CBN News ng isa sa mga miyembro ng kilabot na grupo na nahuli ng NBI sa isang engkuwentro sa Cebu! Namatay sa engkuwentro ang 4 pang miyembro ng grupo, kabilang ang lider na si Alvin Flores.

Government challenges MILF to produce Al Asree

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - The Philippine government on Wednesday challenged the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leadership to prove its sincerity in offering help to authorities in tracking down kidnapped Irish priest Fr. Michael Sinnott by producing the MILF commander alleged to be detaining the Irish priest.

MILF mulls complaint vs Puno

(UPDATE 2) The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is considering filing a complaint against the Philippine government after Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno tagged a Moro rebel commander as responsible for the kidnapping of Irish priest Michael Sinnott.

New peace czar wants stop to fingerpointing on priest's kidnapping

MANILA - Newly-apponted Presidential Peace Adviser Anabelle Abaya on Wednesday called for a halt in fingerpointing between government officials and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) over the kidnapping of Irish missionary Fr. Michael Sinnott. 

AFP favors gov't rejection of MILF offer to help in Sinnott rescue

Favoring government decision to turn down the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's offer to help free Columban priest Fr. Michael Sinnott, the military said troops on the ground will have more "free hand" in operating in areas the kidnappers were believed to be hiding the priest.

Govt sends more troops to help free Irish priest

MANILA - The Philippines has sent hundreds of armed policemen to the southern region of Mindanao to force the release of a kidnapped Irish priest after rejecting an offer of help from Muslim rebels, officials said on Wednesday.

Military records: 10 bombings per month since January in Mindanao

There have been at least 10 terrorist bombings per month since January this year in strife-torn Mindanao, claiming 50 lives and injuring more than 250 others, according to military records.

PDIC seeks scrapping of rehab for closed banks

MANILA - Banks placed under receivership of Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) should be liquidated outright, the state agency said on Wednesday, as it believes rehabilitation is no longer a viable option for institutions ordered to shut down because of financial distress.

Power companies boost BOC October collection

Duties and taxes paid by several power plants boosted revenues of the Bureau of Customs – Cebu, as it exceeded its target collection for the third quarter by over P150 million.

Taiwan says China starts building first aircraft carrier

Taiwan said Wednesday that its giant neighbor China has started building its first aircraft carrier, a move analysts have said could raise military tensions in the region.

Clinton says MidEast peace talks must include Jerusalem

Middle East peace talks must include the disputed city of Jerusalem, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday after meeting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Quake injures 700 in southern Iran

TEHRAN (AP) – An earthquake struck a key port city in southern Iran early Wednesday, injuring at least 700 people and cutting power and telephone lines, the state news agency reported.

Indian PM sorry after security keeps dying man from care

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apologized on Wednesday to the widow of a man who was prevented from receiving emergency treatment because the premier was touring the hospital.

US-bound solons for Pacquiao fight defended

Speaker Prospero Nograles has taken the cudgels for his colleagues in the House of Representatives who are under attack for flying to the US to watch the bout between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto on November 15.

Palace dissuades lawmakers from watching Pacquiao bout

While admitting that Malacañang is powerless to stop them, a Palace official on Wednesday sought to dissuade lawmakers from going to Las Vegas to watch boxing icon Manny Pacquiao mix it up with Puerto Rico"s Miguel Cotto.

Cotto won't leave anything to chance vs Pacquiao

Miguel Cotto's handlers say they will carefully scrutinize the gloves and hand wraps of Manny Pacquiao before their World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.

Pacman a hit on US late-night show 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

MANILA -- Manny Pacquiao sang his heart out in American late-night show "Jimmy Kimmel Live", endearing himself further to his Filipino and even American fans with his gamely attitude.

Aces foil Realtors' late game rally for 5th straight win

MANILA -- Alaska foiled Sta. Lucia's late game run with a 91-83 victory to keep the solo lead in the KFC-PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

ABS-CBN's 'Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko' launched

by by Trina Lagura,
MANILA – ABS-CBN officially kicked off the Christmas season, with its parol-lighting ceremony and launching of "Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko" Christmas campaign Wednesday night. Kapamilyas gathered at ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City, key Regional Network Group stations, and select ABS-CBN global offices to witness the lighting of a huge Christmas lantern in front of the ABS-CBN main building along Sgt. Esguerra Avenue.

MMFFP urges Comelec to exempt Film Fest actors in poll ban

by By Dennis Carcamo

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Manila Film Festival of the Philippines (MMFFP) executive committee today appealed to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to exempt actor-candidates performing in official Film Fest entries from the election ban.

Comelec in a quandary over Ara Mina's petition

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) legal chief admitted Wednesday they are in a quandary with respect to the petition filed by actress Ara Mina asking the poll body to allow her to appear on television even after she files her certificate of candidacy (COC) later this month.

Rivermaya sues ex-manager over use of band name

MANILA - Local band Rivermaya has filed a P6 million damage suit against their former manager Lizza Nakpil for claiming that she has the sole copyright claim to the band's name.

Facebook usage in RP surges, 13th highest in the world

by By David Dizon,
MANILA - The number of Facebook users in the Philippines continues to surge with over 1.3 million Filipinos registering for new accounts in the social networking site in September alone.

Obama's half brother recalls their abusive father

GUANGZHOU (AP) — President Barack Obama's half brother has broken his media silence to discuss his new novel — the semi-autobiographical story of an abusive parent patterned on their late father, the mostly absent figure Obama wrote about in his own memoir.

Lennon's family donates peace recording to UN

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — John Lennon's widow and two sons are donating the proceeds from the 40th anniversary release of the hit "Give Peace a Chance" to a UN peacebuilding fund used to help countries emerging from conflict, the fund announced Tuesday.

US studies: Low cholesterol may prevent some prostate cancers

Men may protect more than their hearts if they keep cholesterol in line: Their chances of getting aggressive prostate cancer may be lower, new research suggests.

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

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