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

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 21, 2009 Major News Stories

No bread price hikes this Christmas - bakers' group

There will be no increase in the prices of bread this holiday season despite the recent hike in the prices of sugar and liquefied petroleum gas, an industry leader assured Sunday.

Japan to hire Pinoy nurses, caregivers

After the global financial crisis reportedly affected industries, with some countries stopping their hiring of workers including nurses and caregivers, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration announced that the second batch of recruitment for nurses and caregivers to Japan would start soon.

18T persons in CV hired through CLEEP

More than 18,000 individuals have been employed by various agencies under the government's Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program in Central Visayas.

City to spend P.5M to cut down "dangerous" trees

The Cebu City government plans to spend half a million pesos to cut down 22 giant palm trees, locally known as "Buli", in 13 barangays in the city to ensure the safety of the people living near these gigantic trees.

Taping of gun muzzles set today

The Cebu Provincial Police Office will hold its annual taping of gun muzzles today at the headquarters to preempt cops from firing indiscriminately during the holidays.

Gwen not invited, but not barred from Sinulog

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia can still dance in the upcoming Sinulog grand parade if she wants, according to Sinulog executive director Ricky Ballesteros.

Comelec ready for new voters

CEBU City's election officers are expecting more registrants to converge in their offices starting today to take advantage of the five-day extension of registration.

Comelec urged to print exact number of ballots

Hinimok ng iba't-ibang grupo ang Comelec na magpa-imprenta ng karagdagang balota para sa mga hahabol pa sa voter's registration! Nauna kasing sinabi ng Comelec na hindi na ito kailangan dahil hindi naman daw lahat ng nagpaparehistro ay bumoboto tuwing halalan. 

KUSUG bets ask BOPK to let it be for 2010 polls

Two congressional aspirants of Kugi Uswag Sugbu (Kusug) are appealing to the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) to stop the move of having their party delisted.

Kusug's South District congressional candidate Jonathan Guardo and North District bet Mary Ann de los Santos have asked BOPK to let the elections roll.

The two congressional aspirants, however, believed that their group can never be delisted since Kusug is a legitimate and a registered party in the Comelec.

Mayoral bet Alvin Garcia and other substitute candidates may lose their slots after their party reportedly failed to submit a letter of authority to Comelec to nominate candidates.

But de los Santos is confident that it does not create a big impact to their party since she never encountered that kind of problem in the last elections.

Rama wants Comelec to rule on disqualification petition before printing of ballots

CEBU City Vice Mayor Michael Rama said the administration party will request the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to resolve their petitions against certain candidates before the printing of ballots.

Lito O., not me, is 'kiss of death'

VICE Gov. Gregorio Sanchez laughed off Emilio Mario "Lito" Osmeña's statement that he is former councilor Hilario "Junjun" Davide III's "biggest mistake in this campaign."

Court to hold 1st hearing on Ampatuan Tuesday -- SC

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court is expected to start hearing the multiple murder charges against Andal Ampatuan, Jr., on Tuesday, according to deputy court administrator and Supreme Court spokesperson Midas Marquez.

17 more counts of murder to be filed vs Ampatuan

State prosecutors handling the Maguindanao massacre have found probable cause to charge Andal Ampartuan, Jr., with 17 more counts of murder in connection with the Maguindanao massacre.

Lawyer reveals reasons on defending Ampatuan Jr

Kontrobersyal na naman si Attorney Philip Sigfrid Fortun! Siya ang tagapagtanggol ni Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr -- ang pangunahing suspek sa Maguindanao massacre. Kinwestyon ng karamihan ang kanyang intensyon. At sa unang pagkakataon, inihayag ni Fortun sa ABS-CBN ang saloobin at ang kanyang dahilan sa pagtanggap sa kaso.

Already known as a top caliber defense litigant, Fortun was thrown into the limelight when he defended then-President Joseph Estrada during the impeachment trial.

His clients also include Sen. Panfilo Lacson whom he defended from accusations of involvement in the Kuratong Baleleng case.

Fortun also defended former congresswoman Imee Marcos who was acquitted in a tax fraud case.

He is also a defense lawyer in the rebellion case of former Marines Col. Ariel Querubin who is now running for a senatorial post in the 2010 elections.

GenSan wants Ampatuans detained somewhere else

The city council has passed a resolution opposing the continued detention of the Ampatuans at the General Santos City headquarters of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) .

Irate media who hit Ampatuan violated rights -- CHR

Mediamen who supposedly hit Maguindanao massacre prime suspect Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. went "overboard" in expressing their outrage over the brutal killing of their colleagues last Nov. 23, the head of the country's human rights commission said on Thursday.

Groups welcome acting governor of Maguindanao

Various women and religious organizations in the country have lauded the appointment of the first woman governor of the troubled Maguindanao province.

Toto's revenge: to name puppies after Ampatuans

Buluan Vice Mayor Ismael "Toto" Mangudadatu is set to avenge the death of his wife and two siblings in the Maguindanao massacre by naming puppies after two suspects in the grisly mass murder.

Noynoy, Mar lead MBC's survey on 2010 polls

The Liberal Party tandem of Sens. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and Manuel "Mar" Roxas II has topped a recent survey conducted by a group of more than 800 businessmen on the presidential and vice presidential preference.

The December 8 to 18 survey by the Makati Business Club (MBC) showed Aquino with 67 percent - a whopping 47 percent lead over Lakas-Kampi-CMD's Gilberto Teodoro Jr., who got 14 percent.

Placing third and fourth were Sens. Manuel Villar with seven percent, and Richard Gordon with three percent, respectively. Former President Joseph Estrada, whose candidacy is still up for legal debates, ranked fifth with one percent.

The report said 14 percent did not answer the survey or were undecided.

For the vice presidential race, Roxas got the largest slice of the pie with 71 percent, followed by former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Bayani Fernando with 10 percent, Sen. Loren Legarda with three percent, and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay and actor Edu Manzano with one percent each.

Seven percent gave no answer for the vice presidential preference survey, according to the report.

The survey also showed that the three prime issues that businessmen want the next administration to address are corruption, which got 79 percent, peace and order with 35 percent, and infrastructure with 24 percent.

The report said only 13 percent of the entire MBC membership answered the survey, which was sent through mail.

'Pacquiao rejected last-minute Lakas-Kampi nomination'

The ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD sent its nomination at the last minute to world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who had filed his candidacy for congressman of Sarangani, but this was snubbed by the Filipino boxing hero.

MCIAA's income exceeds P1B

THE Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) has announced that as of Nov. 30, it has already reached for the first time, P1 billion in gross revenue collections.

RP gov't slammed over signing of Copenhagen Accord

Environmentalists youths accused the Philippine government of bargaining their future for a few billion pesos of climate aid when it supported the non-binding Copenhagen Accord during the 15th Conference of Partice (COP 15) in Copenhagen.

Top UN scientist urges binding climate pact

NEW DELHI-- The head of the Nobel-winning UN panel of climate scientists has said the outcome of the Copenhagen summit was a start but urged countries to work quickly towards a legally binding pact.

183 Pinoys in China's jails for drug trafficking

The Philippine Embassy in China has expressed serious concern over the increasing number of Filipino "drug mules" carrying illegal drugs into China despite repeated warnings by the Philippine government.

Cold snap strands thousands of European travelers

PARIS-- Tens of thousands of European travellers were stranded Sunday in rail stations, traffic jams and airports as heavy snow and ice caused massive disruption at the start of the Christmas holiday season.

Dubai World could repay bank loans in full

DUBAI-- Top Dubai officials have been in talks with creditors in London on the possible repayment of all the banking debt owed by the troubled subsidiaries of the Dubai World group, a newspaper said on Sunday.

Fourteen hurt in Taiwan quake

TAIPEI— Fourteen people suffered minor injuries after a strong quake jolted Taiwan over the weekend, rescuers said Sunday.

5 missing after boat sinks off South Korea

Five fishermen were reported missing Sunday after their boat sank off South Korea's southeastern port of Busan, officials said.

PBA: Coca-Cola snaps Alaska streak

MANILA, Philippines - Coca-Cola snapped Alaska's 5-game winning streak with a masterful 105-92 victory Sunday night in the KFC-Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

UV Chorale bags top prize in MBC nat'l choir contest

The University of the Visayas Chorale once again soared high after it was proclaimed the grand champion in the Manila Broadcasting Company National Chorale Competition 2009 held at the Aliw Theater in Manila the other day.

Sharon Cuneta's nanny dies

(UPDATE) She is no ordinary nanny. Who's the other yaya who had starred in movies and in TV commercials? Who's the other yaya who, in death, would be interred at the Santuario de San Antonio in posh Forbes Park.

Arroyo on vacation in Hong Kong with grandchildren

MANILA, Philippines - President Arroyo is in Hong Kong spending a private vacation with his family reportedly to fulfill a promise to her grandchildren, her spokesman said Sunday.

Katrina Halili: I forgive Hayden Kho but...

MANILA, Philippines – Actress Katrina Halili may have already forgiven controversial doctor Hayden Kho, but she said she is not withdrawing the criminal case she filed against him. Halili, who accused Kho of violating Republic Act (RA) 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, maintained that the doctor must face the consequences of his actions.

Johnny Delgado's wife busies self with new film

MANILA, Philippines – Director Laurice Guillen had to work the day after the funeral of her husband, critically acclaimed actor Johnny Delgado, but she was positive that he would approve of it. In her live interview on "The Buzz" Sunday, Guillen said Delgado knew about her film, "I Love You, Goodbye," Star Cinema's entry to the 2009 Metro Manila Film Festival, and he loved its story.

Review: 'Avatar' delivers on the hype

by By Tom Charity, CNN
(CNN) - James Cameron has done it again. For maybe the third time in his career, the immodest Canadian has made "the most expensive movie ever," confident that showmanship never goes out of style.

"Avatar" blasts off to No. 1 start with $73M

LOS ANGELES - Audiences are trekking to see James Cameron's science-fiction saga "Avatar," which has opened as the weekend's No. 1 film with $73 million domestically.

House passes bill synchronizing Philippine time

The House of Representatives has passed a bill synchronizing the standard time nationwide so Filipinos can celebrate the new year in unison.

Alert level 4 raised as volcano seen to erupt in days

(UPDATE 2) The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has raised the alert level on Mayon Volcano from three to four after it exhibited abrupt increase in seismicity, accompanied by rumbling sounds and other factors indicating a possible eruption in days.

Mayon's eruption disrupts schooling of 24,536 pupils

The volatile activity of Mayon volcano in the province of Albay has disrupted the schooling of 24,536 pupils and that number is expected to increase in the event of an explosive eruption.

Ted Turner  - "Sports is like a war without the killing."

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