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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 24, 2010 Major News Stories

Petron, Chevron, Phoenix raise fuel prices by P1/liter

(UPDATE 2) Major oil players Chevron Phil. Inc. and Petron Corp., as well as Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, on Tuesday announced a P1 per liter increase in oil prices.

Chevron Communications manager Toby Nebrida said that at 6 a.m., Chevron raised the prices of its E10 and regular gasoline, diesel, and kerosene by P1 per liter.

Petron Corp. said the increase in gasoline, kerosene, and diesel prices by P1 per liter becomes effective 12 p.m.

Phoenix Petroleum Philippines is also implementing a pump price increase of P1 per liter for gasoline and diesel, effective 12:01 a.m. on February 24.

Phoenix, a statement sent via text to reporters, also attributed the increase to an increase in the prices of petroleum products in the world market.

Power shortage in Mindanao get worse; rationing eyed

Power shortage in Mindanao has further worsened, with the supply deficit already surging to as much as 358 megawatts (MW) as of Tuesday, according to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Scrapping of coal-fired power plants, fisheries code sought

The Panaghugpong sa mga Gagmay'ng Mananagat sa Sugbo yesterday called for an investigation into operations of coal-fired power plants as well as for the junking of Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code which they tagged as "a failure."

EARTH HOUR 2010: Advocates hope to retain top ranking worldwide

Philippine Earth Hour advocates are expecting 15 million people, or an increase of five million from last year's number of participants, across a thousand cities as against last year's 647 who would stave off use of electricity for 60 minutes as a symbolic act of changing humanity's patterns of consumption as key to reversing the ill effects of global warming.

Another goal is to maintain the ranking of the Philippines being on top of the list worldwide with the most number of participants at 10 million nationwide.

An estimated one billion people, on a global scale, joined in the previous Earth Hour representing 88 countries as an act of saving an ailing Earth.

Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, as guest speaker, led the formal launching of the Earth Hour 2010 in Cebu yesterday at the Trade Hall B of SM City, the latter being a mover in the genuine upholding of corporate social responsibility among commercial establishments here.

Reyes called for unity in this campaign to curb the impact of global warming.

NFA assures stable rice supply despite El Niño

Dahil sa epekto ng tagtuyot sa mga taniman pinangangambahan ngayong maulit ang krisis sa bigas na naranasan ng bansa noong 2008! Siniguro naman ng NFA na may sapat na suplay ng bigas sa bansa.

"Though there is a deficit in the "palay" products but then we are supported by supply imported from Vietnam and Thailand," said NFA-7 information officer Lucy Rosales. 

Rosales said the rice supply for 2010 was started to be delivered to the country last December.

"There is no need to be alarmed because around 12 foreign vessels came in, bringing the rice importation products from Thailand and Vietnam," Rosales said.

She said that 1.7 million bags are available in Central Visayas which is good for five months aside from the additional 3.9 million bags that are set to arrive.

For the whole year, 5.6 million bags of rice are to be delivered to the region and will be distributed to Bohol, Dumaguete City, Siquijor, and Cebu, and to Samar and Leyte provinces in Region 8.

In Central Visayas and in other parts of Region 8, daily consumption totaled 35,460 bags.

Rosales said that there is an ample stock of rice in the region and that they even rent additional warehouses to stock the supply.

"Even though we have sufficient supply of rice, we need to conserve rice as we conserve also our energy," Rosales said.

NFA rice is sold in Tindahan Natin outlets at P18.25 per kilo compared to commercial rice, which is sold at P32.00 a kilo or higher.

Meanwhile, NFA provincial manager Nestor Rey Alcoseba denied any irregularity in the bidding for the importation of 75,000 metric tons of rice.

 "No, it is not correct, wa'y mga pangan nga gi-lista daan, unfair for our agency but everyone is entitled to their own opinion," said Alcoseba.

 "We posted notices in the website, NFA-7 Bulletin board and also in the Cebu City Hall so as the traders would know about this," he said

 He said that they wanted that the submission to be orderly as there is no ample time to announce it to the traders.

 "We did our best to be able to inform everyone due to time constraint, the traders, wholesalers even had ahead information on us because they keep on track," said Alcoseba.

 Last week, NFA central office published an invitation to participate in the Private Sector Finance tax-free importation of well-milled white rice in a national daily.

Fire leaves 500 families homeless

Yesterday's blaze is one of the biggest fires that occurred this month, exactly five days before the observance of the Fire Prevention Month.

Around a hundred houses were razed by the said fire in barangays Labangon and Tisa, Cebu City, yesterday afternoon.

Residents said that there were those wounded and a 10-year old who went missing, but fire investigators have not confirmed these reports yet as of this writing.

As for City Councilor Gerardo "Gerry" Carillo, chairman of the social welfare services, said that around 500 families were affected in the two barangays.

City Fire Marshal Esmael Codilla pegged the damage at P900,000 which affected 80 to 100 houses.

Codilla said they met difficulties penetrating the fire scene. "Nagkalisod mi og penetrate gyod kay lisod kaayo sudlon sa fire truck ang area sama sa ubang lugar nga among na-alarma," he said.

Carillo quickly ordered his staff to prepare at least 500 meal packs for the dinner of the fire victims. They would likewise be provided today.

Tisa barangay captain Eduardo "Eddie" Cabulao said that the fire victims would temporarily take shelter on a vacant lot near the fire scene and that the city government would provide tents.

The fire broke out at 4:03 p.m. and was placed under control 40 minutes on a third alarm status.

FO3 Antonio Gonzales, arson investigator, said that the cause of the incident is not determined yet but that the fire started at the house rented by one Annie Sembrano, a food vendor.

"Lisod pa kaayo (ma-determine) ang hinungdan gyod sa sunog kay (nag)libog pa mi sa testimonya sa mga tawo," Gonzales said.

Gonzales mentioned of rumors that a cigarette butt was thrown to a pile of firewood at the back of Sembrano's house.

Other stories had it that there were children playing a lighter. But a teary-eyed Sembrano dismissed the rumors saying her three children are already in their 20s.

In an interview, Sembrano said she was cooking food at the back of her house. Afterwards she went inside the house, but to her horror she saw flames engulfing the back of their house.

"Human nako og luto, mibalik ko sa balay. Diha na nako makita nga dako na ang kayo sa among luyo," Sembrano said.

She said she was not able to save any of their belongings.

"Wa gyod ko'y nadala gawas sa akong gisul-ob," Sembrano added.

Sembrano, a widow, said that she is not sure yet if she could rebuild her house in same area as they were just renting the lot.

According to barangay chairman Cabulao, residents were renting the lot to several owners.

Cabulao said last night he would immediately convene the barangay council to pass a resolution declaring the barangay as "calamity area" so that they can release funds for assistance.

At the same time, they would pass a resolution recommending to the City Council the release of financial aid.

Ryan Camero, one of the fire victims, said that the city government assured them help in building again their house.

Last week, four persons were killed in a fire in barangay Capitol Site who were said to be trapped inside an apartment.

Last January 13, one was hurt while at least 15 houses were destroyed in a fire that hit barangay Luz. The next day, another fire hit three houses in barangay Tisa, still here in the city.

Last Saturday, a fire razed 67 shanties in barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City killing an 82-year-old woman.

Properties worth some P9.2 million went up in smoke after a fire destroyed a three-story building on the corner of P. Lopez and Borromeo Street, Cebu City on January 26, while at least 20 houses were reduced to ashes in barangay San Isidro, Talisay City on February 2.

1 of 3 Pinoys expect quality of life to improve: SWS

MANILA, Philippines - One out of every three Filipinos expect the quality of their lives to improve in the next 12 months, according to results of the latest Social Weather Stations survey released Tuesday.

Money sent in by Pinoys abroad may grow by 10%

Money sent home by some eight million Filipino workers abroad is expected to grow by 9 percent this year - more than twice the central bank projection - to $18.91 billion, global credit card brand MasterCard said on Tuesday.

DepEd to schools: Keep graduation rites austere, politics-free

It may be election season, but public and private schools have been ordered to keep graduation rites for Batch 2010 politics-free.

Osmeña to raise shipowners' concerns to GMA

Mayor Tomas Osmeña will bring up to Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo the sentiments of shipowners in Cebu over the alleged unreasonable maritime policies being implemented by Maritine Industry Authority Administrator Elena Bautista.

Writ of execution

ENGINEER Augusto Corro took oath at 8:14 last night to assume the post as mayor of Daanbantayan town, northern Cebu.

He took his oath since a writ of execution was issued by Bogo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 61 Clerk of Court Rey D. Caayon through the order of Judge Antonio Marigomen.

Cebu City RTC Judge Geral-dine Faith Econg administered Corro's oath of office in her sala.

"It is valid because there is a writ of execution. Right or wrong, it is not for me to decide," said Econg before administering the oath, owing to the controversy surrounding the issuance of the writ.

Corro, who was in Daanban-tayan in the afternoon, said he rushed to Cebu City upon hearing of the issuance of the writ.

He was in a pair of jeans, a striped polo shirt and a pair of sneakers. Econg joked that the mayor was not in barong.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) 7 received the writ of execution from the court sheriff of RTC Bogo at 11:15 a.m. yesterday.

"You are hereby commanded to cause the execution of the joint orders of this court...and to allow Engr. Augusto Corro and Dr. Jose de Leon to immediately assume office, respectively, as the duly elected mayor and vice mayor of Daanbantayan, Cebu," the writ read.

The writ and the order for the writ were dated Feb. 22, 2010.

DILG 7 Director Pedro Noval is keen on implementing the writ of execution today, with the assistance of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Lani-o Nerez.

This, despite the opinion of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano that it should have been Comelec Manila that issued the subject writ because all records of the case are already with the Comelec First Division.

The Bogo City RTC has lost jurisdiction of the case, said Mayor Sun Shimura and Vice Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot, who will not step down because they believe the writ of execution is invalid.

Loot questioned the authority of Marigomen in issuing the writ.

She filed contempt and abuse of authority charges against Marigomen before the Comelec Central Office for issuing a writ beyond his jurisdiction.

Loot reiterated shat she and her son will never allow their rival politicians to take over the municipal hall by using the writ that Marigomen issued to them.

 Apart from the motion for reconsideration that her lawyers filed with the Comelec en banc on Monday, Loot said they are still allowed to elevate their case before the Supreme Court.

Loot advised Corro to just wait for the May 2010 elections and allow their constituents to decide who among them should occupy the town's top post.

It was the Comelec First Division that ruled to dismiss the joint petition for certiorari that Shimura and Loot filed against Corro and de Leon. The petition questioned
Marigomen's granting of the motion for execution pending appeal that would have allowed Corro and de Leon to take over the municipality.

But Shimura and Loot secured a restraining order on the implementation.

This was lifted with the Comelec ruling dismissing Shimura and Loot's joint petition promulgated last Feb. 17.

Noval agreed with Castillano's legal opinion but his hands are tied.

"That's true but since the RTC issued a writ of execution, there is nothing I can do but to follow that order.

If I will not follow the order of the court, I could be cited in contempt of court. I cannot question that order," Noval said in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu yesterday shortly after he was furnished a copy of the writ.

But because Marigomen issued the order when all case records are already with the Comelec First Division, Loot said that her Manila-based lawyer Sixto Brillantes is already preparing cases that could be filed against Marigomen like contempt or usurpation of authority.

Her camp has filed a motion for reconsideration on the Comelec ruling yesterday.

But Corro and his lawyer-sister Liza Corro believe that a motion for reconsideration alone will not be enough to stop them from taking over.

Even as he was already installed as mayor, Corro promised a peaceful transition.

"There is an implementing agency to handle this, so they better handle it property. If not, there are still other remedies," said Corro.

Yesterday, Noval prepared to serve the writ and coordinated with Nerez.

"He (Nerez) will be with me in going there considering that Colonel (Vicente) Loot is deputy (regional director of operations of the PRO 7), so I will need a much higher officer and that's Gen. Nerez," said Noval of the husband of Vice Mayor Loot.

Acting CPPO Director Erson Digal assured that if Corro can secure legal orders from a court of law, the CPPO will escort him to the municipal hall so he can assume his post as mayor.

"Kung magpakuyog na siya namo, anha na siya makakita nga wala mi gidapigan (He will see that we are not taking sides)," Digal said.

If Shimura and Loot refuse to step down, Noval said he will "recognize Corro as mayor of Daanbantayan after installing him."

When asked for his first order of business, Corro said "I will issue an executive order informing everybody that I am the one running the show now."

He will order all department heads to do an inventory and an audit.

Corro's camp decided to stall the takeover despite receiving the writ of execution yesterday since President Arroyo was in town for a visit to Malapascua Island.

As Daanbantayan standoff heats up: Arroyo stays away from local politics

So near, yet so far.

Photo is loading...

Despite political tensions rising by the minute in Daanbantayan as to who gets to sit as mayor in the aftermath of a long-drawn electoral protest, President Arroyo refused to get caught in the row as she spent the night in nearby Malapascua, a world famous islanddive site that is part of the divided town.

Arroyo has made it a policy never to get caught in local politics, and the row in Daanbantayan is apparently no exception.

So, the president instead hammed it up with the media on the island the National Geographic Channel once featured as one of the world's best dive sites.

Arroyo is expected to be in Daanbantayan again this morning, but only as a debarkation point from Malapascua and from where she will proceed to the next town of Medellin where she is to inaugurate some projects.

Tom hosting dinner for Mar, barangay executives

While Cebu City officials are preoccupied with the 73rd Charter Day celebration at the City Sports Center tonight, Mayor Tomas Osmeña will be having a dinner with barangay officials allied with him.

Special guest during the dinner is vice presidential candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas, who is expected to ask barangay officials to support his candidacy.

Osmeña clarified that he would be shouldering the expenses for the dinner, which will be held at the sports center's gym.

But the mayor said those invited are only barangay officials who are allied with the Bando Osmeña Pundok-Kauswagan (BOPK).

"There are no Mary Ann and Joel Garganera," he said, referring to Lahug barangay captain Mary Ann Delos Santos and Tinago barangay councilman Joel Garganera, two of his vocal critics.

Osmeña is scheduled to deliver a message to City Hall employees after a Mass at the Cebu City Hall's lobby.

He is also scheduled to give a special award and cash incentives to city treasurer Ofelia Oliva, and a posthumous award to the late Bantay Dagat project director Elpidio "Jojo" dela Victoria, who was shot and killed on April 12, 2006.

Sources at the City Hall said the city will give P160,000 to the family of Dela Victoria.

After the Mass, the mayor and other City Hall officials will pay respect at the monument of Don Vicente Rama along Natalio Bacalso Avenue in front of Pahina Central Fire Station.

At 6 p.m., activities for the Charter Day anniversary will start at the sports center where President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be awarded with the Order of Rajah Humabon.

Aside from President Arroyo, several individuals and groups will be awarded for their valuable contributions to the city.

24,000 government guns still unaccounted for—PNP

A total of 24,000 firearms assigned to local government units and state corporations have remained unaccounted for, the Philippine National Police said on Tuesday.

SC welcomes clarificatory cases on appointive execs running in polls

A spokesman for the Supreme Court admitted that the court would welcome clarificatory questions on when its ruling on appointive officials running in the May elections would take effect.

Arroyo readies replacements for appointed execs in May polls

With or without the Supreme Court ruling that now deemed all appointed officials running in the May polls as resigned, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is preparing to fill up expected vacancies in her Cabinet, Malacañang said Monday.

Comelec changes ballot box design

by By Reynaldo Santos Jr., Newsbreak
Less transparent, the boxes will shield ballots' UV ink from sunlight First, they changed the layout of the ballot. Now, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has changed the design and makeup of the ballot boxes.

Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal on Tuesday showed reporters the official ballot box to be used for the first nationwide automated polls. Made of durable plastic and resembles a big trash bin, it is 36 inches tall, 34 inches long, and 20 inches in width.

3 presidential bets to waive rights to bank secrecy

Senators Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and Ma. Ana Consuelo "Jamby" Madrigal and Olongapo city councilor JC De Los Reyes pledged Tuesday to waive their rights under the Bank Secrecy Law to open their accounts to the public if elected president.

Presidential bets told: Don't trivialize rights issues

Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila De Lima reminded presidential candidates on Tuesday about the importance of human rights issues in the elections during a forum in which only three presidential bets participated.

Hontiveros to appeal SC ruling on Arroyo Congress bid

Not resting her case, Akbayan partylist Representative Risa Hontiveros said she would seek reconsideration from the Supreme Court on its dismissal of her petition to bar President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from seeking a congressional post.

Estrada says rival trying to buy him out

Ousted President Joseph Estrada on Tuesday revealed that another presidential candidate was offering to reimburse his campaign expenses in exchange for his withdrawal from the May 10 presidential election.

Aquino to Marcos: Look around, see progress

Liberal Party standard-bearer Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has taken offense at comments made by the son and namesake of his parents' political nemesis that the Philippines had not progressed since strongman Ferdinand Marcos fled in 1986.

Magdalo soldiers to announce support for Villar, Roxas

(Updated 10:34 PM) A group of junior military officers that staged a mutiny against the Arroyo government is set to announce its support for Senator Manuel Villar Jr. for president and Senator Manuel Roxas II for vice-president.

Arroyo veto sought on 2010 budget terms for ARMM

Officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) sought an audience with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo over a provision in the national budget, which they branded "grossly punitive."

Suspected Abu Sayyaf killed, soldier hurt in Sulu clash

(UPDATE) A suspected Abu Sayyaf extremist was killed while another was wounded in an encounter with Marine soldiers in Patikul town on Tuesday morning.

Grenades thrown at houses of Isabela mayor, kin

A group of armed men lobbed grenades and dynamite sticks in simultaneous attacks at the houses of Burgos Mayor Ramon Tegui and his two relatives in Barangay (Village) Caliguian in Burgos town Tuesday morning.

Ibrado eyes possible successors for AFP post

MANILA, Philippines - Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Victor Ibrado on Tuesday said he is recommending three to four generals that are qualified to succeed him as head of the country's military.

Ibrado, as Armed Forces chief of staff, is chairman of the AFP Board of Generals. The BOG's members are AFP chief Lt. Gen. Rodrigo Maclang, AFP deputy chief Vice Admiral Emilio Marayag, Navy chief Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez, Army chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit and Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena.

DoH chief to keep on distributing condoms to stop HIV-AIDS

Who's afraid of the Catholic Church? Definitely not the Department of Health (DoH).

Health chief will not resign over condoms issue

Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral will not step down from office despite calls from Catholic bishops in connection with the government"s controversial free condoms campaign early this month.

9 beauty products banned for containing mercury

Health authorities on Tuesday banned nine unregistered beauty cream products after finding them to contain excessive amounts of mercury.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the products had more than one part per million of mercury, and pose an imminent danger or injury to the public.

"Accordingly, in the interest of protecting public health and safety and pursuant to Section 12 of Republic Act 9711, the Food and Drug Regulation Officers of this Office ... are hereby ordered to seize immediately the above identified cosmetic products for custody from all outlets or establishments where they may be found," acting FDA director Nazarita Tacandong said in FDA Circular 2010-004.

The seven face cream products listed included:

* Jiaoli Huichusu Whitening Speckles Removal Cream
* Xin Jiao Li 7-Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Cream
* Jiao Li 10-Days Eliminating Freckle Day & Night Set
* Jiao Li 7-Days Eliminating Freckle AB Set
* Jiao Liang Miraculous Cream
* Xin Jiao Liang 7-Days Miracle Package for Spots Refining
* Jiao Mei Miraculous Cream

The two whitening cream products included:

* Jiao Yan Specific Miraculous Cream
* Jiao Li Extra Pearl Facial Cream

Tacandong also urged local government units for assistance in reporting outlets found selling the products.

"All enforcement agencies are hereby deputized to apprehend and cause the appropriate criminal action against all outlets or establishments found selling the above identified products," she said.

SC issues reminder for companies on VAT refund

The Supreme Court reminded companies imposing value added tax (VAT) to include the phrase "zero rated" in its invoice to be able to claim refund from the government.

Coca-Cola, six others allowed to import sugar to ease prices

Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils., Inc. and six other companies have qualified for government contracts to import 16,000 metric tons (MT) of sugar, the government announced on Tuesday.

Joining the soft drink maker are local traders TFN Far East Inc., Food Enterpreneurs and Exporters of the Philippines, Vat-Free Sugar Co., Bee Crescent Blending Corp., Emmanuel Commercial Corp. and Nismo Trading, Inc., the National Food Authority (NFA) said.

Ariston Agrifood Industrial Corp. and Malinta Food Trading and Manufacturing were disqualified for technical reasons.

Dalai Lama says feels love for China

by Agence France-Presse
LOS ANGELES – Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said he feels love in his heart for China, despite concerns about what he describes as Beijing's cultural suppression in his homeland.

Malaysia may hold int"l confab on caning women

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia may organize an international conference on the issue of caning and whether it is an appropriate punishment for women under Islamic law.

Ex-US Vice President Cheney hospitalized

WASHINGTON - An aide to Dick Cheney says the former vice president is in George Washington Hospital after experiencing chest pains.

WHO scientists decide if flu pandemic has passed peak

The World Health Organization (WHO)'s emergency committee of scientists was due to meet Tuesday to decide whether the swine flu pandemic has passed its peak.

Orcollo, Reyes to compete in World Pool Masters

MANILA, Philippines – World-renowned pool players Dennis "Robocop" Orcollo and Efren "Bata" Reyes banner the Philippine contingent that will play at the 2010 World Pool Masters in May.

Leave my nephew alone—Aquino

Leave Joshua alone. Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III made this appeal as he protested at how his political enemies were using his nephew to attack his person.

Maricar Reyes 'intimidated' by Kris Aquino?

Sinagot ng baguhang aktres na si Maricar Reyes ang isyung tinalbugan nya ang co-star na si Kris Aquino sa teleserye nilang "Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo!" Ipinagmalaki naman ni Gretchen Baretto ang regalong sports car ng kanyang partner na si Tonyboy para sa kanilang anniversary!

Hayden Kho pleads 'not guilty' to spread of sex videos

Not guilty! 'Yan ang inihaing plea ng kontrobersyal na celebrity doctor na si Hayden Kho kaugnay ng pagkalat ng sex videos ng actress na si Katrina Halili. Nabuhayan naman ng loob si Hayden nang sumipot sa arraignment ang kanyang ex na si Doktora Vicki Belo.

Angel Locsin finally finds new love?

MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN contract star Angel Locsin and "Parokya Ni Edgar" vocalist Chito Miranda have reiterated that they are not an item. Contrary to rumors, Miranda maintained that Locsin, who is one of his closest friends, is like a sister to him.

Composers seek NBI probe on FILSCAP funds

A group of composers on Tuesday asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the alleged irregular disbursement of funds by the officials of Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Incorporated (FILSCAP).

The group, led by folk singer Heber Bartolome, alleged that some P8.5 million in FILSCAP funds were found to have been irregularly disbursed following an audit. The payout allegedly did not have the authority of the FILSCAP board of trustees.

FILSCAP is an organization engaged in the collection of royalties for the public performance rights of its members. 

Bartolome of "Tayo'y Mga Pinoy" fame said FILSCAP annually collects P100 million from royalties for compositions and works of its 300 members that have been publicly used. It is also responsible for the collection of royalties belonging to members of foreign affiliates.

In his three-page letter, Bartolome claimed that FILSCAP officials have refused to look into the disbursements because they claimed it would be "inimical and prejudicial to the image of FILSCAP."

"Surprisingly, since then to date, nothing of substance had been done," he said. 

He also said that "hundreds of composers are now prejudiced, damaged and injured" by the allegedly fraudulent disbursements made by officers of the FILSCAP.

NBI agent Arnel Dalumpines of the bureau's special task force said the probe aims to establish if FILSCAP officials could be held liable for qualified theft or estafa.

Pregnant woman escapes croc attack

MANILA, Philippines - A 3-month pregnant woman escaped death after she was attacked by a crocodile in a creek in San Mariano town, Isabela province.

HK leader sacks housekeeper over Facebook pics

by Agence France-Presse
HONG KONG – Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang's housekeeper has been sacked after photos of his friends fooling around in restricted areas of Tsang's official residence were posted on Facebook, a report said Saturday.

Stephen Leacock  - "I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so."

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