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

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 6, 2009 Major News Stories

Petron to raise LPG prices in Visayas, Mindanao

Petron Corp. on Thursday announced that it will increase the bulk price of liquefied petroleum gas by P3.50 per kilogram effective 6 a.m. Friday.

Spokesperson Virginia Ruivivar said the price increase will be reflected only in the Visayas and Mindanao regions while LPG price in Luzon will remain at its current price level.

The price increase was brought by increase contract prices for November, she added.

Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera meanwhile said Malacañang is considering a partial lifting of the freeze order in Luzon.

Devanadera said oil companies, transport groups, as well as various chambers of commerce would meet again with the Department of Justice-Department of Energy Task Force On Oil Deregulation next week to discuss the possible modification of EO 839, considering its impact on the business sector.

She said the task force and the business groups would discuss whether the emergency situation that led to the implementation of EO 839 is still present or not.

"We have emphasized early on that this EO is only temporary. The possible lifting of the oil price freeze in some areas are all part and parcel of the original game plan," the Justice chief said.

Until such time, Devanadera said the implementation of the temporary freeze on oil prices will in effect.

Palace rebuffs oil companies anew on price issue

Malacañang maintained its hardline stance against the oil companies on Thursday as it rejected their appeal for a dialogue with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the possible recall of her order freezing fuel prices.

Oil firms seek audience with Arroyo over EO 839

Executives of oil firms sought an audience with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Thursday in a bid to have her lift an executive order freezing fuel prices in Luzon.

Court nixes contempt case vs energy chief

The Manila City Regional Trial Court has turned down a bid to cite Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes in contempt for his failure to attend last week's court hearing on the alleged conspiracy of oil firms to jack up petroleum prices.

Bus owners eye own terminal

The Cebu South Mini-Bus Operators Association (CSMBOA) has formally asked the City government to allow them to operate their own terminal.

Ban on substandard Christmas lights urged

MANILA - The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is urging the government to place a ban on the sale of substandard Christmas lights as these are potential fire hazards.

DTI helpless vs sale of substandard Xmas lanterns

Trade officials on Thursday admitted they are helpless against makers of substandard parols (Christmas lanterns) being sold ahead of the Christmas season, saying such finished products are not covered in the agency"s inspection rules.

Businesswoman dies in Barili rob

Three people, including the wife of a former town vice mayor, were killed in two separate robbery incidents in Cebu Province the other day.

Family of Alvin Flores sends lawyer to check body's identity

The family of bigtime robbery group leader Alvin Flores who was killed in a shootout late last October sent a lawyer to Cebu yesterday to verify the body which remains at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes along Junquera St., Cebu City.

CHR asks NBI for reports on operation, crime scene

A COMMISSION on Human Rights (CHR) 7 investigator yesterday asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to submit records of their operation in Compostela town last week that killed a robbery suspect and three of his alleged accomplices.

Consolacion cops get power, phones back

The Consolacion Police Station had its power connection back yesterday after it was cut off the other day on orders of Mayor Avelino Gungob, Sr.

NBI brings Wagas to Sandiganbayan

Former Compostela Mayor Gilbert Wagas has been brought before the Sandiganbayan in Manila yesterday morning after he was served a warrant of arrest the other day.

Densely populated areas of Centcom lot to be retained

After a three-hour closed door meeting with Governor Gwen Garcia yesterday afternoon, officials and members of the Alliance of Barangay Apas Community Association (ABACA) left the conference room smiling after arriving at a "win-win solution" with the province.

City tears down 8 houses in Mabolo

Eight houses that were illegally constructed in an abandoned road in Barangay Mabolo were demolished yesterday by the City Hall's Squatters Prevention Encroachment and Elimination Team.

Capitol warns SM on SRP deal

Saying that if it does not want to end up like the Filinvest Land Inc. which now has a pending case before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas, the provincial government yesterday warned SM Properties that it should carefully review the contract it will sign with Cebu City for the sale of a portion of the South Road Properties.

Atan, Mary Ann visit Pasil Fish Market

Opposition leaders Jonathan "Atan" Guardo and Lahug barangay captain Mary Ann de Los Santos yesterday made true their earlier announcement that both of them will visit different barangays to promote their "OUR City" advocacy.

Bad weather forces cancellation of 14 flights

Fourteen flights to and from Cagayan, Isabela, Batanes, Palawan and Tacloban City were cancelled Thursday as the bad weather triggered by the northwest monsoon battered many parts of the country.

Thousands evacuated as monsoon rains trigger floods in northern Luzon

Nearly 7,000 families have been evacuated as part of preemptive action against possible flooding which may be triggered by the continuous rains brought by the northeast monsoon, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said Thursday.

Comelec extends CoC filing to Dec.1 midnight

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday extended by one day the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacies (CoC) for the 2010 elections.

Comelec: Issue on registered centenarians 'only in Taguig'

For the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the issue on the discovery by a group of 691 over-100-year-old voters reportedly registered in Taguig City is an "isolated" case, even as it assured the public on Thursday that the matter has nothing to do with any attempt at electoral fraud.

Party-list groups asked to bare names of nominees

Party-list groups seeking to participate in the 2010 elections should be prepared to make public the names of their nominees, the Commission on Elections said Thursday.

Proposed campaign tax will prevent poll overspending--execs

An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday the proposed withholding tax on political campaign expenditures would help prevent candidates from overspending and using illegal funds.

'5% campaign tax gives admin bets edge'

MANILA - The 5% tax on campaign contributions is discriminatory as it would give administration candidates an advantage over the opposition, according to former Education Secretary Florencio 'Butch' Abad, who is now the campaign manager of Senator Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III.

Palace: What's the fuss over taxing campaign funds?

Malacañang is wondering why there is so much fuss over the Bureau of Internal Revenue's proposed five-percent withholding tax on campaign contributions, which it said is nothing new.

Palace mum on Pampanga house

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's spokespersons have turned mute not only over her political plans but also about the ownership of a house in Lubao, Pampanga, that has further fueled speculation she is bent on running for Congress representing the district where the house is located.

VP or Speaker? Allies start charting Arroyo's future

Retirement from politics could be something remote for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Eight months before she vacates Malacañang, leaders of Mrs. Arroyo's political party have started planning for the political future of the President. They think it will be best for her to run as congresswoman or even become the running mate of Gilberto Teodoro Jr., the administration party standard bearer.

Gibo-Loren tandem could be bloody for locals

by by Carmela Fonbuena and Jesus Llanto,
Ruling party will have to consider NPC members in its arbitration for local bets MANILA - While a coalition between administration party Lakas-Kampi-CMD and the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) seems logical, even very likely, at the national level, the alliance is not expected to be just as smooth in local bailiwicks. 

Nograles to Gordon: Name 2010 poll saboteurs

House Speaker Prospero Nograles on Thursday dared Senator Richard Gordon to identify the congressmen who he said are out to sabotage next year's automated elections.

Freed child rapist files plea for absolute pardon

Former Zamboanga del Norte representative Romeo Jalosjos has asked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to grant him absolute pardon that would allow him to run again for public office 12 years after he was convicted of raping an 11-year old girl.

PNP to tighten grip on loose firearms

Ipinababalik ng PNP ang parusang habambuhay na kulong para sa mahuhulihan ng hindi lisensiyadong baril! Maghihigpit na rin sa paglilisensiya ng baril at patitindihin ang kampanya kontra sa loose firearms lalo na't palapit na ang halalan.

Top officials meet in Zambo on Irish priest abduction

by by Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga
ZAMBOANGA - Two members of President Arroyo's Cabinet and top police and military officials converged Wednesday in Zamboanga City to discuss their plan to recover Father Michael Sinnott from captivity. 

MILF won't surface leader linked to kidnap

by Agence France-Presse
COTABATO - Philippine Muslim rebel leaders on Thursday refused a government demand to force one of their members accused of kidnapping an Irish priest to come out and personally deny the allegation.

MILF: 'Take back your words or we won't secure Sinnott'

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front threatened to stop its efforts to secure the release of abducted Irish priest Michael Sinnott if Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno will not retract his claim that the secessionist group is behind the kidnapping. But Puno is standing by his statement. "I"m willing to eat my words if I"m wrong," he said.

Residents flee amid reports of Moro rebels massing in jungle

The residents of two barangays (villages) in Tulunan town, North Cotabato province, have fled their homes because of reports that Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels were massing nearby.

Blast hits Lanao Norte power transmission tower

An improvised explosive device (IED) planted by a still unknown group exploded before dawn Thursday damaging power transmission tower in Lanao del Norte, a military official said.

LTO Iligan exec, brother shot dead

The assistant chief of the Land Transportation Office here and his brother were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the village of Tubod Thursday morning, a police official said.

Ali Datumanong, 50, and his younger brother, Akra who was driving, were on their way to the LTO office at around 8:15 a.m. when fired upon by two men, who were riding in tandem on a motorcycle. The gunmen then fled the scene.

Gunmen ambush bus; 2 passengers die

ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE - Two passengers died and 8 others wounded when a group of gunmen ambushed a provincial bus in Gutalac town on Wednesday.

US govt favors extradition of ex-RP police officer linked to Dacer slay

The United States government has found probable cause to extradite former Philippine police intelligence officer Michael Ray Aquino who is being linked to the November 2000 killings of publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer, and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

PCGG: No 'midnight sale' of gov't assets

Despite Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr.'s warning about "midnight sales" of government properties, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) will go on with its plans to dispose P140 billion worth of sequestered assets, according to a PCGG official.

Legacy execs sued for defrauding woman of P5M

The Department of Justice has filed another complaint of syndicated estafa or fraud against banker Celso Delos Angeles Jr. and five other executives of the controversial Legacy Group of Companies, this time for allegedly defrauding a woman of her P5-million investment in an educational plan.

Connivance between BIR, big taxpayers seen

Connivance between the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and several big companies is the reason behind the government"s failure to reach its income targets, according to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo"s adviser on revenue enhancement.

Taiwan hit by 6.0-magnitude quake – gov't

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit central Taiwan on Thursday, the government said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

UN to pull 600 foreign staff from Afghanistan

(UPDATE) The United Nations announced Thursday it was evacuating more than half its international staff from Afghanistan after a deadly Taliban attack on a guesthouse for UN workers.

Thailand recalls envoy to Cambodia over Thaksin job – PM

Thailand recalled its ambassador to Cambodia Thursday after Phnom Penh gave a job to fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, further raising tensions between the countries.

UN: 50 peacekeepers punished for sex abuses

GENEVA - The United Nations says at least 50 peacekeepers have been punished by national authorities over the last three years for committing sexual abuses on U.N. missions.

14 Pinoys, seven Ukrainians on captured Greek ship: EU

BRUSSELS - A Greek cargo ship hijacked by pirates in the south Somali basin was carrying a crew of 14 Filipinos and seven Ukrainians, the European Union's naval mission to the region said Thursday. 

Manny Pacquiao holds media workout

Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao held a media workout Nov. 4, Wednesday, at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, California ahead of his Nov. 14 "Firepower" bout against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.

Confident Cotto speaks up on Pacquiao-Mayweather

MANILA – Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto may be the co-headliner with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao in the Nov. 14 "Firepower" bout, but Floyd Mayweather's name surfaces every now and then as boxing fans wonder if a Pacquiao-Mayweather match will ever push through.

Belo, 2 others face criminal raps over botched butt job

(UPDATE) The National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed four criminal cases against cosmetic surgeon Vicki Belo and two other doctors for the alleged botched butt enhancement procedures on a 40-year-old businesswoman.

Mommy Dionisia shows off her talent

MANILA -- After her son's "sensational" performance in ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Show, "Mommy" Dionisia Pacquiao showed the press where Manny's singing talent came from. Dionisia sang the song "Paper Roses" during a press conference promoting her movie "Tanging Pamilya", which she co-starred with former president Joseph Estrada and comedienne Ai-Ai de las Alas.

Yeng Constantino denies lesbian rumor

by by Reyma Buan-Deveza,
MANILA – Rock Princess Yeng Constantino may not wear high heels and sexy clothes like other girls, but she said this does not mean that she is a lesbian. Constantino made this clarification amid rumors about her sexual preference. The "Pinoy Dream Academy" season 1 grand winner said the rumors may have stemmed from the fact that she doesn't love to dress up much.

Roderick Paulate's ma dies

MANILA - The mother of veteran actor Roderick Paulate has passed away. She was 86. On Wednesday night, Fr. Tito Caluag officiated a Mass for Paz Paulate at Arlington Memorial Chapel in Quezon City.

Boat on historic sail drops anchor in Dumaguete

The Diwata ng Lahi (Fairy of the Race), a replica of a historical Balangay wooden boat used by Indo-Malay families in their vast sea travel during pre-Hispanic times, sailed into the calm waters of the Dumaguete port, Wednesday, on its way to Mindanao and beyond.

Malaysia rejects call to release 10,000 Bibles

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The Malaysian government has refused to release 10,000 Bibles confiscated for using the word "Allah" to refer to God, a banned translation in Christian texts in this Muslim-majority country, an official said Wednesday.

Michael Jackson soundtrack zooms to No. 1

MANILA – Certified chart-topper Michael Jackson, whose "This Is It" film was declared the No. 1 worldwide, scored another hit with the movie's official soundtrack. The "This Is It" OST is on top of the Billboard 200 with 373,000 copies sold during the week ended November 1, Nielsen SoundScan reported.

Robbie Williams confirms reunion

by Bang Showbiz
Robbie Williams has confirmed he is working with "Take That: again.  The "Bodies" hitmaker - who left the group in 1995 and embarked on a successful solo career - has revealed he has been meeting up with former bandmates Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and Mark Owen to work on a secret project.

Bottles turned into blankets for disaster victims

TAIPEI - A plastic bottle thrown into a Taipei recycling bin could be reincarnated as a blanket to warm disaster victims in any of 20 countries, thanks to a unique project by the world's largest Buddhist charity.

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

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