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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 28, 2009 Major News Stories

DOH asks people: Stop setting off firecrackers

Health officials in Central Visayas appealed to the public to Stop using firecrackers and guns in greeting the New Year after close to 30 people were reported injured by firecracker blasts and stray bullets during the Christmas revelry in the region.

DOH bans firecrackers, fireworks in all facilities

The Department of Health (DOH) warned hospital employees and other health workers against setting off firecrackers and other pyrotechnic materials inside the compound of department-owned facilities.

Sale of firecrackers stopped in Mandaue City

The mayor of Mandaue City has suspended all permits to sell firecrackers in the city in the wake of the Christmas Eve massive explosions that burned down several pyrotechnic stalls here, which killed three persons, including two children.

After Mandaue Fire, Rama to meet firecracker vendors

Following the fire that hit a firecracker zone in Mandaue City last Christmas eve, Vice Mayor Michael Rama will gather today all firecracker vendors in Cebu City to ensure that no indiscriminate selling of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices would be made here as the New Year closes in.

"Pyrotechnics" fire guts part of Davao Sur market

A fire triggered by firecrackers gutted the dry goods section of the public market here around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Cortes wants Umapad dumpsite placed under state of calamity

Mandaue Mayor Jonas Cortes will convene the city's disaster council today to have the closed dumpsite in barangay Umapad placed under the state of calamity.

Dengue claims 40th victim in Cebu City

Dengue continues to sow terror in the city causing the death of an 11-year-old girl from Barangay Camputhaw, raising the number of casualties to 40 since January.

Boy drowns, pal hurt as boat capsizes off Talisay

A 13-year-old boy died of drowning while his companion, also a minor, remains confined at the hospital after the boat they were boarding capsized off the seawaters of Barangay Pooc, Talisay City last Saturday afternoon.

6 confirmed dead in ferry sink—officials

(UPDATE 4) At least six people died after a passenger ferry listed and sank off the coast of Isla Verde in Batangas Saturday evening, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

The six victims were brought to Funeraria Naujan, in the village of Calero, Calapan City, Romeo Gargullo, who resides near the funeral parlor, told The Mindoro Postsaid Sunday.
Among them were female bodies, estimated to be aged 19 and the other 10, found almost 12 hours after the roll-on roll-off ferry sank near San Agapito Verde Island.

Quoting Coast Guard authorities, the radio report of dzMM said the two female bodies will later be taken to the Batangas pier, where relatives await to identify the fatalities.

Oriental Mindoro Vice Governor Estela Felipa Aceron confirmed the number of fatalities. Aceron said 62 have been rescued while 20 others are still missing.

The 199-ton MV Baleno 9 was earlier reported carrying at least 70 passengers and 18 crew members, said Commander Eli Tumulak of the PCG Batangas.

A radio report said, however, that there were hundreds of passengers, many of them were not in the manifesto.

The PCG in Manila said the roll-on roll-off vessel went down at 10:07 p.m. about 1.6 nautical miles southeast of Isla Verde.

Tumulak said that MV Baleno 9, an inter-island vessel operated by Besta Shipping Lines, left the port of Calapan at 9:18 p.m. Saturday.

"Initial inquiry from the survivors of the mishap disclosed that the vessel took in water coming from the bow ramp and severely affected the stability of the vessel causing her to badly list and eventually sank while traversing the area of Verde island passage," the PCG in Manila reported.

Authorities were still trying to determine the cause of the sinking, but some of the survivors were quoted as saying that water seeped into the ferry's bow, causing the ferry to tilt on the side and eventually sink, Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo, Coast Guard spokesman, told radio station dzMM.

A passenger of one of the passing ships which rescued some passengers from the sunken vessel told another radio station that Baleno 9 was hit by big waves while passing through the waters off Verde Island.

Balilo stressed the ferry was not overloaded since it has a capacity for 250 passengers.

He added that the coast guard has dispatched additional search and rescue ships and helicopters to help find and save the missing passengers and crew.

As of this posting, the Batangas police, Coast Guard and personnel of the Besta Shipping, were conducting search and rescue operations.

Navy seeks prayers for search and rescue in ferry sinking

The Philippine Navy sought the nation's prayers on Sunday, as it dispatched rescue teams on board an aircraft and two patrol ships to spot without delay survivors of the latest sea tragedy off Verde Island between the provinces of Batangas and Oriental Mindoro.

List of missing persons in MV Baleno tragedy

Forty-six persons were reportedly missing after MV Baleno sank of Isla Verde, but only 32, according to the Mindoro Post, have been identified.
Missing persons listed in the passenger manifest 
1. Emily P. De Guzman (F)
2. Ronalie Panagsaga (F)
3. Analie Panagsaga (F)
4. Angelica Panagsaga (F)
5. Darius Ibarrolaza (M)
6. Edwardo Vacario (M), 40, Roxas, Oriental Mindoro
7. Tim Apacible (M) 68, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro
8. Mary Gold Duro (F), 25, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro
9. Niel Trinidad (M)
10. Emmanuel Bacalzo (M)
11. Tyre Glen Musni (M)
12. John Rechel Laya (M)
13. Rea Lorraine Musni (F)
14. Cecilia Musni (F)
15. Daryll Musni (M)
16. Jaymark Sulit (M), 17, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro
17. Jimmy Andal (M)
18. Leo Equila (M)
19. Danica Cajayon (F)
20. Joel Pentinio (M) 
Missing persons not listed in the passenger manifest
1. Henry Dacanay
2. Edilberto Cataquiz
3. Jerwin Luna
4. Rica Laguna
5. Rico Lagunda
6. Joel Pintinio
7. RJ Steve Rojas
8. Ronald John Moreno, Ogbot, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro
9. Dulce Amor Moreno, Ogbot, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro
10. Jhong Moreno, Ogbot, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro
11. RJ Moreno, Ogbot, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro
12. Sofia Julia Moreno, Ogbot, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro

List of Baleno 9 survivors

Mindoro Post listed down the following names of survivors based on the record provided by the inter-agency disaster in Oriental Mindoro as of 5:00 p.m. Sunday.

Survivors listed in the passenger manifest

1. Frederick Genove (M), 29, GMA, Cavite
2. Richard Sena (M), 23, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro
3. Placido Granada (M)
4. Kenneth Ronquillo (M), 28, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro
5. Edison Escarez (M), 37, Cuta, Batangas
6. John Loizell Penaranda, (M), 21, Pola, Oriental Mindoro
7. Lanibell Penaranda (F), 18, Isabela
8. Jack Francisco (M), 28, Cubay, Antique
9. Reynaldo Madrigal (M), 38, Socorro, Oriental Mindoro
10. Jenny Sanchez (F) 19, Baruyan, Calapan City
11. Rommel Abela (M), 27, Sto. Niño, Calapan city
12. Alberto Perez (M), 35, Batangas City
13. Joseph Aldava (M) 27, San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro
14. Hermogenes Cano (M) 35, Baco, Oriental Mindoro
15. Danilo Aspecto (M)
16. Jonathan Umali (M) 37, Pampanga
17. Bryan Anglo (M), 16, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro
18. Bernabe Gagani (M)
19. Franklin Diokno (M), 29, Sumagui, Bansud, Oriental Mindoro
20. Rolando Muyot (M)
21. Dennis Balanza (M), Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro
22. Nina Balanza (F), Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro
23. John Paul Balanza (M) Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro
24. Emma Mutya (F), 32, Catiningan, Socorro, Oriental Mindoro
25. Madison Calabria (F), 29
26. Elisa Mendoza (F), 37, Buli, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro
27. Jun Mendoza (M), 26, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro
28. Jimboy Inocencio (M) 43, Ogbot, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro
29. Rudy Gasilo (M) 24, Ogbot, Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro
30. Jestoni Pelaes (M) 23, Socorro, Oriental Mindoro
31. Benedict Arevalo (M), 25, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro
32. Cesar Occidental Jr. (M), 26, Angeles, Pampanga
33. Mark Valliente Rey (M) 28, Gloria, Oriental Mindoro
34. Nomer Milaor (M), 44, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro
35. Jomer Dorde (M)
36. Liezel Dorde (F)
37. Fidel Musni Sr. (M), 48, San Simon, Pampanga
38. Fidel Musni Jr. (M), 23, San Simon, Pampanga
39. Charlon Musni (F), 18, San Simon, Pampanga
40. Bryan Musni (M) 13, San Simon, Pampanga
41. Ken Mark Musni (M), 18, San Simon, Pampanga
42. Freya Musni (F), 4, Pampanga
43. Eris Musni (F), San Simon, Pampanga
44. Eduardo Nagario (M)
45. Helen Jane Narajo (F), 26, Harntic, Antique
46. Flordeliza Sulit (F), 45, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro

Survivors not listed in the passenger manifest

1. Michael Calipay (M), 15, Bansud, Calapan City
2. Arnel Amacio (M), Caloocan City
3. Boboy Rovelos (M)
4. Francisco Barbajaro (M)
5. Edwin Cajalbo (M)
6. Eduardo Quintso (M)
7. Disem Cabuyong (M)
8. Archie Amacio (M)
9. Robin Zamora Rodil (M), 16, Aurora, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro
10. Aurora Centro (F)
11. Mark Jayson Remitado Javier (M), 21, Inarawan, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro
12. Denmark Euster Magpantay (M), Libis, Calapan City
13. Mark Anthony De Torres, (M), Tibag, Calapan City
14. Nelson Obando Madrigal (M), 36, Zone III, Socorro, Or. Mdo

Ferry service of other Besta ships suspended

The Department of Transportation and Communication suspended all the trips of Besta Shipping Lines, owner of Baleno 9, which sank off Batangas Saturday night.  The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has suspended the operations of all remaining vessels of Besta Shipping Lines, the company that owns the ill-fated MV Baleno 9. Marina administrator Maria Elena Bautista made this confirmation in a radio interview Sunday.

Owner to face responsibility in ferry sink

The owner of the roll-on roll-off ferry that sank off Batangas province shortly before midnight Saturday is willing to face the responsibility for incident, according to radio station dzMM.

Ferry runs aground near Dumaguete pier

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities rescued a total of 130 passengers after a ferry ran aground in Dumaguete City in the province of Negros Oriental Sunday morning.

The passengers of MV Shuttle Ferry 8, most of whom came from a Christmas vacation, were rescued from the ferry in a 3-hour operation by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The rescue operation began at 12 a.m. Sunday and ended at 3 a.m.

MV Shuttle Ferry 18 left Dumaguete City for Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte at 6 p.m. Saturday. It was supposed to arrive in Dapitan at 10 p.m.

The ferry's crew, however, encountered a steering problem due to the strong current of the sea, according to the PCG Dumaguete station.

The vessel was brought to a very shallow part of the sea in Barangay Looc in Dumaguete City which is estimated to be 50 meters away from the shore.

As of posting , it is still not clear if all passengers have been rescued.

The MV Shuttle Ferry 18 needs to be inspected by the Special Board of Marine Inquiry before it can be allowed to sail again.

Bodies seen inside wreck of sunken boat in Cavite

Coast Guard personnel on Sunday located the wreckage of the ill-fated M/V Cathlyn-B, which sank off Cavite province before dawn on Christmas Eve. At least 12 bodies were found inside it.

Senate to revive probe on maritime accidents

The Senate will investigate the sinking of a ferry ship off Batangas waters that had left six people dead and more than 20 missing since Saturday night, according to Senator Richard Gordon.

Arroyo orders comprehensive audit of shipping lines

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered on Sunday a full audit of all commercial vessels in the country in light of the two separate sea tragedies that left less than 80 people still missing.

Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the inquiry would ultimately zero in on "the competence of the people who are in charge of regulating the shipping industry."

Bello said Ms Arroyo wanted agencies like the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to "determine the sea-worthiness of all their vessels."

"The President will direct the secretary of transportation and communication to require all agencies like Marina and Coast Guard to conduct a safety audit of all shipping lines," he said.

The Marina and the PCG would apparently be also scrutinized and would be subjected to "audit on the competence of (their) people," according to the Cabinet official.

"In these recent accidents, there were no storms, no overloading, so how come there were still accidents?" he said in Filipino.

Bello said Ms Arroyo was concerned with the possibility of "overlapping jurisdiction and responsibility" of government agencies over the maritime industry.

He said such an arrangement often led to "finger-pointing" during sea tragedies.

"The responsibility of Marina, the responsibility of the Coast Guard should really be determined so we avoid finger-pointing by government officials," he said.

Calmer Philippine volcano still a threat: government expert

LEGASPI-- The Philippines' Mayon volcano may be showing less visible signs of unrest but this could be a deceptive calm before a deadly eruption, the chief government volcanologist said on Sunday.

Tremors hit Southern Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines - Three tremors hit Southern Mindanao over the weekend with epicenters located near Mati in Davao Oriental province.

An earthquake of Intensity 2 shook Davao City and Tagum City Saturday at 1:09 p.m..

Engineer Eleazar Giorgo, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology officer-in-charge in Davao City, said the epicenter of the earthquake was located at 54 kilometers southeast of Mati. The quake was measured at Intensity 1 in Tarragona, Davao Oriental.

Another tremor occurred at 2:59 p.m. Saturday and was measured at Magnitude 5.1. The epicenter of the second quake was reportedly at 26 kilometers southeast of Mati. The quake was felt at Intensity 2 in Padada, Davao del Sur and Digos City.

A third earthquake occurred 4:52 a.m. Sunday and was measured at Magnitude 4. The epicenter of Sunday's tremor was located at 36 kilometers southeast of Mati. It was felt at Intensity 2 in Mati.

No damage or casualty was reported due to the quakes.

City to give P4T aid to seniors

IN time for the New Year, the Cebu City Government will distribute the second tranche of the P4,000 financial assistance for each of the 25,000 senior citizens.

For the additional 7,000 elderly, who were late in complying with the requirements and were not included in the P100 million appropriations the City approved this year, they will receive theirs by January 2010.

The City Council approved the budget of P28 million for the 7,000 senior citizens in a special session last Dec. 21.

Passage came over a month after the city council approved supplemental budget (SB) 7, which contained P50 million for the senior citizens.

Last Feb. 18, the city council passed SB 1, which set aside P50 million for the elderly, pursuant to the objectives of Republic Act 9257 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003.

Registered voters

Of the amount that each senior citizen gets, P2,000 serves as the birthday gift while the other P2,000 is the Christmas gift from the City Government.

Recipients, who must be registered voters, must proceed to their respective barangay sports complexes to receive the amount.

Abellanosa said that starting 5 p.m. today, they will distribute the assistance to the south district urban barangays of Pahina San Nicolas, San Nicolas Proper, Sawang Calero, Suba, Pasil, Calamba, Kalunasan, Punta Princesa, Quiot, Basak Pardo, Cogon Pardo, Kinasang-an, Inayawan and Bulacao.

The next day, Dec. 29, is the turn of the north district barangays of Ermita, Kamagayan, San Antonio, San Roque, Sta. Cruz, Sto. Niño, Pahina Central, Carreta, Cogon Ramos, Busay, Kalubihan, Kasambagan, Banila and Parian.

On Wednesday, Dec. 30, distribution shifts to the south district barangays of Guadalupe, Sapangdaku, Duljo Fatima, Mambaling, Basak San Nicolas, La-bangon, Tisa, and Poblacion Pardo

On the same day, the City will also distribute P2,000 to each of the qualified elderly of the north district barangays of Lahug, Mabolo, Luz, Hipodromo, Apas, Tejero, Talamban, Sambag I, Sambag II, Camputhaw, Tinago, T. Padilla, Zapatera, Capitol Site, Lorega San Miguel and Day-as.

Lawyer warns friends about bogus email

Environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa has advised his friends to disregard an email purportedly coming from him seeking for cash assistance because he was robbed while at the United Kingdom.

4 carolers shot over stolen bread

Four Christmas carolers, including a 12-year-old boy, have been in critical condition at a hospital after an irate baker allegedly shot them over stolen bread in Rosario, Cavite Saturday evening, police said Sunday.

The victims were singing Christmas carols at a bakery owned by Edwin de Rosales, 30, in Barangay Wawa at around 8:15 p.m. when one of them stole some pieces of bread from the store, said Senior Superintendent Alfred Corpus, Cavite police director.

Rosales, who was drunk, shot the victims, said Corpus.

Victims Jolas Benedicto, Jonnel Dollete, Benjamin Jolasca and their 12-year-old companion sustained several gunshot wounds in the body and were brought to the Philippine General Hospital in Manila.

Police are on a manhunt for De Rosales who immediately escaped.

Partylist hits Comelec's 200-voter-limit in registration

A lawmaker is protesting the Commission on Elections (Comelec) policy to limit registration in each center to 200 voters a day, which is not enough to accommodate the estimated two million Filipinos expected to sign up in the extended period for registration.

Enrile: If not Estrada, it's Teodoro for me

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile acknowledged on Sunday that administration presidential bet Gilbert Teodoro could become a good president.

2009 is year of 'problems' – prelate

Amid a year of tragedies, including the massacre of 57 people in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao, Filipinos should not lose hope and should instead be inspired by acts of courage and heroism of ordinary citizens, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said in his New Year's message on Sunday.

Tight security set for probe on rebellion case vs Ampatuans

MANILA, Philippines- Authorities are expected to beef up security around the Department of Justice on Monday when the preliminary investigation on the rebellion complaint filed against more than 600 respondents including several members of the powerful Ampatuan clan starts. 

More agents to secure Andal Jr in 2nd hearing

The rough treatment given by journalists to massacre suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr. will not happen again as more security agents would be on hand to secure him if he attends the second preliminary investigation on the case on Monday.

Grenade thrown at solon's house; no one hurt

Unidentified men tossed an explosive at the residence of Maguindanao Representative Didagen Dilangalen here Sunday night.

Arroyo to decide on Maguindanao state of emergency Tuesday

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will decide on Tuesday whether to lift the state of emergency in Maguindanao where at least 57 people were massacred allegedly on orders of her erstwhile political allies in the province.

New Year lifting of state of emergency in Maguindanao seen

Malacañang may lift before New Year the state of emergency declared over Maguindanao and two other Mindanao areas following the November 23 massacre of more than 50 people, including journalists.

NPA rebels pay tribute to slain journalists in massacre

New People's Army rebels paid tribute to the 31 journalists who were killed in Nov. 23 Maguindanao massacre during the Communist Party of the Philippines' 41st founding anniversary on Saturday.

Arroyo in Baguio, security at The Mansion tightened

President Gloria Arroyo and members of the First Family arrived in Baguio City Saturday afternoon for her annual Christmas vacation and for a Cabinet meeting this coming week.

P42.1M hospital equipment "defective, unused" -- COA

The Commission on Audit has found P42.1 million worth of defective and unutilized medical equipment in various government hospitals nationwide.

11 cocaine bricks found in Northern Samar

Another cache of suspected high-grade cocaine was found in the waters of Samar Island, Sunday, police said.

54 hurt as bus falls at a blind curve in Negros

Fifty-eight passengers of a Ceres bus were hurt after a hitting two electric posts and fell on its side at a blind curve along the national highway of Barangay Zone 15, Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Saturday.

PNP press office robbed

Forensic examiners of the Philippine National Police have completed gathering fingerprints from the press office inside Camp Crame to track down holiday burglars who carted away a television and a stereo system on Christmas Day, a police official said on Sunday..

Australia to hire thousands of skilled OFWs

Thousands of skilled overseas Filipino workers (OFW) are expected to be employed in Australia next year with the scheduled signing of a labor agreement next month, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said Sunday.

Roque said he would flying to Australia on January to sign the agreement for the hiring of thousands of Filipino professionals.

He said the agreement that would be inked with Southern Australia would open good quality and high-paying jobs to Filipino workers.

"Those who would qualify for the jobs would get at least $4,000 monthly salary and there would be no placement fee," Roque said.

The government had earlier reported that Australia is expected to hire about 300,000 Filipino workers in the next three to five years.

Besides Australia , Roque said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is also exploring possible new markets for Filipino professional workers.

He said Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East are expected to hire the most number of skilled Filipino workers, including engineers, construction and hotel workers.

But local recruitment agencies said the expected passage of the amended Migrant Workers Act may lead to downtrend in hiring of OFWs in 2010.

Lito Soriano, a recruitment consultant, said the proposed law approved by the bicameral committee mandates that the country would deploy workers only to countries with existing bilateral agreements with the Philippines. Only 14 out of 194 nations have bilateral relations with the Philippines.

Likewise, recruitment leaders reported that the recent decision of Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to postpone the implementation of the agreement on the establishment of a US military facility in Okinawa may also imperil the hiring of more OFWs in the coming year.

The Philippine government is hoping to capture at least 20,000 jobs for Filipino construction workers in Japan with the start of the construction of the US facility there.

Pinoy to spend 1 year in UAE jail for stealing donation money

A Filipino hospital porter will spend one year in jail in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after a court sentenced him for stealing a donation box with some Dh3,700 (P47,089) last October.

Probe on fire that killed 6 Filipino sailors

(UPDATE) Greece on Saturday announced an investigation into a fire aboard a Greek-flagged ship which killed at least nine crew members, including six Filipino sailors and three Greek officers, off Venezuela.

No Filipino in Detroit air terror try—DFA

No Filipino was on board the flight where a Nigerian tried to detonate an explosive device Christmas Day, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Sunday.

US charges Nigerian with trying to blow up plane

A man who claimed to be an agent of al-Qaeda was charged yesterday with trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day as it was preparing to land in Detroit, officials said.

Palace orders vigilance after terror try in US

After a foiled terrorist attack in the United States, Malacañang ordered the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines Sunday to be vigilant against similar attempts in the Philippines.

Alleged terrorist known but not thought a threat

WASHINGTON - The alleged Christmas Day terrorist had been in one of the U.S. government's many terror databases since November, which is when his father brought him to the attention of embassy officials in Nigeria.

Bomb kills 5 Shiite pilgrims in northeastern Iraq

Iraqi authorities say a blast has killed five pilgrims and wounded 15 in northeastern Iraq during a Shiite religious observance.

Four protesters killed in Tehran clashes: website

by Agence France-Presse
 TEHRAN - Four protesters were shot dead by security forces in central Tehran Sunday as thousands of opposition supporters staged anti-government protests during a Shiite mourning event, a website said.

Pope presses the flesh, visits Rome soup kitchen

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI waded into a crowd of well-wishers in Rome on Sunday, just days after he was knocked down by a woman at a Christmas Eve Mass.

Vatican court to judge Pope assailant within weeks

A Vatican court will judge the woman who launched a Christmas Eve assault on Pope Benedict XVI "within a few weeks", its president said on Sunday.

Family of five hacked to death in China

Police in southwest China have arrested a man suspected of hacking a father and his four children to death, the latest in a string of grisly killings to occur in the nation, state press said Sunday.

Pacquiao firm on 30-day blood test limit

Manny Pacquiao remained steadfast on his demand not to be blood tested within 30 days of fighting Floyd Mayweather in a website statement Saturday while rival promoters tried to save the fight.

Pacquiao still willing to fight Mayweather

MANILA, Philippines – Despite his plan to file a complaint against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and his camp for the doping accusations hurled against him, pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao said he still wants to face the undefeated American fighter.

Donaire hooks up with Viloria's trainer for title defense

Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire, Jr. has hooked up with the trainer of compatriot Brian Viloria for his defense of the World Boxing Association interim super flyweight title against Mexico"s Gerson Guerrero on Feb. 13 in Las Vegas.

Japeth survives dengue; Jamal vows comeback

by by Joaquin Henson, The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - Highly touted forward Japeth Aguilar is out of danger after being hospitalized for dengue but will not be able to rejoin Smart-Gilas when the national team resumes practice tomorrow afternoon at the Ateneo Blue Eagle Gym.

Hayden Kho confirms Bohol getaway with Vicki Belo

MANILA, Philippines – Embattled doctor Hayden Kho confirmed reports that he and his former girlfriend, Dr. Vicki Belo, have recently spent time together in Bohol. In a taped interview done at his new bar along Tomas Morato in Quezon City, Kho shared that while in Bohol Belo mostly talked about her plans for the future.

List of ferry accidents in Philippines

The sinking of the ferry MV Baleno-9 near the Philippine city of Batangas, which has left at least three dead and 22 missing is the latest in a long list of shipping accidents across the Philippines.
Millions of Filipinos, many of them too poor to afford airtravel, use the seas and waterways to travel around the archipelago, on everything from massive steel-hulled ferries to wooden dugouts with outriggers.

But bad weather, particularly during the typhoon season, as well as poor maintenance, overloading of vessels and lax enforcement of safety regulations has often brought disaster.

Here is a list of shipping accidents in the Philippines over the past two decades:

December 26, 2009: Three people are confirmed dead and at least 22 others are still missing after car ferry MV Baleno-9 sinks after water enters the bow.

December 24, 2009: Four people are confirmed dead with 23 others still missing as the wooden-hulled Catalyn B with 73 people on board collides with a fishing vessel at the mouth of Manila Bay.

September 6, 2009: Nine people killed after the Superferry 9 tilts sharply and then sinks near the southern city of Zamboanga.

May 2009: Wooden-hulled Commander 6 cracks open and sinks just south of Manila, leaving 12 dead.

December 2008: The ferry Maejan capsizes off the northern Philippines, leaving 30 dead.

November 2008: Don Dexter Kathleen, small wooden-hulled ferry, capsizes in freak winds off the centralisland of Masbate, leaving 42 dead.

June 2008: The Princess of the Stars ferry sails into a typhoon and tips over near the coast of Sibuyan Island. Of the 850 on board, only 57 survive.

February 2004: Islamist militants firebomb the Superferry 14 near Manila Bay, leaving 116 dead.

April 2000: The cargo vessel Anahanda, overloaded with passengers, sinks off the southern island of Jolo. About 100 of the estimated 150 people on board die.

September 1998: The Princess of the Orient ferry sinks off Batangas City south of Manila. About 150 die.

December 1994: A Singaporean freighter hits the ferry Cebu City in Manila Bay, leaving about 140 dead.

October 1988: The Dona Marilyn ferry sinks off the central island of Leyte, leaving more than 250 dead.

December 1987: The Dona Paz ferry collides with an oil tanker off Mindoro Island near Manila, leaving more than 4,000 dead in the world's worst peacetime shipping disaster.

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