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

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 8, 2010 Major News Stories

Consumers can expect 50-centavo price cut on LPG

CONSUMERS may expect another 50-centavo-per-kilogram (kg) price cut on cooking gas prices this week, a bulk seller of the basic commodity said.

Gov wants Eastern Visayas to have own power grid

Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone has pushed for a separate power grid for Eastern Visayas due to the power shortfall being felt across the Visayas.

Bakers to hike bread prices on Monday

Local bakers will increase bread prices on Monday, as originally planned, despite a government appeal to temper price increases.

CHED eyes limits on repeaters' re-take of nursing exams

The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) in Western Visayas wants to limit the rights of repeaters to re-take the nursing licensure examination.

Fewer Filipino nurses sought work in US in '09

As the United States still had to allow the massive influx of foreign nurses to its shores due to a severe lack of nurses, the number of Filipinos that sought to enter America's nursing profession plunged by 26 percent in 2009, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said in a statement Sunday.

200 OFWs stopped work over contractual violations in Saudi

More than 200 overseas Filipino workers employed by a construction firm in Saudi Arabia stopped working on Saturday to protest labor contract violations allegedly committed by their employer, a group representing the interests of OFWs said Sunday.

Pinoy jobseekers warned vs dubious job offers in UK

Filipino jobseekers were warned Friday against dubious job offers in the United Kingdom, especially those coursed through the Internet.

Additional pay for garbage workers approved

The City Council has approved the P10.2 million budget that would compensate for the amount needed to fully pay the salary of garbage personnel from barangays implementing the solid waste management program.

WWII vets have 1 week left to apply for one-time benefit

All claims from Filipino WWII veterans for benefits created by the 2009 Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 must be received by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) by February 16, 2010.

Organic farming pushed to mitigate El Niño

The Cebu Provincial Agriculturist Office adopts mitigating measures to help pad the adverse effects of the El Niño phenomenon especially to small farmers in the various municipalities.

Number of dog bites up as deaths decrease

A total of 3,731 persons were bitten by dogs in different barangays of Cebu City last year, although only one of them died of rabies.

In 1999, there were only 1,096 persons bitten mostly by stray dogs, but while there were only less number of victims, Adlawan said five of the victims had died of rabies virus.

Records also show that in 2000, the number of reported dog bites had climbed to 1,796 with nine deaths. In 2001, the number of persons bitten by dogs rose to 1,955 with five deaths and increased to 2,058 with 10 deaths in 2002.

When Adlawan assumed office in 2002, she quickly conducted an information campaign and encouraged the dog bite victims to be immediately injected with anti-rabies and anti-tetanus vaccines.

Tomas refuses to renew CCAIB chief's appointment

PRO-LIFE advocate Rene Josef Bullecer will no longer be heading the Cebu City Anti-Indecency Board (Caib), after the mayor decided not to renew his appointment.

This time, the mayor wants a woman with strong maternal instincts to sit as chairperson of the board and to have representatives of the different religious groups as members.

Father keeps child in well for 16 hours

A FATHER was arrested for jumping into a deep well with his nine-month-old son and staying there for about 16 hours.

Romeo Vargas Tambo-boy Sr., 35, reportedly began acting strangely since his wife died while giving birth.

Five minutes after midnight last Saturday, he reportedly left the house in Sitio Bahada, Barangay Poblacion, San Remigio town with his son Romeo Jr. in tow.

At 7:05 a.m., Tambo-boy's mother Esperanza, 80, reported to the police station that her son was nowhere to be found.

Relatives and neighbors began looking for him but their efforts were futile.

It wasn't until 2:30 p.m. that someone discovered they were inside an abandoned deep well, at least 13 feet deep.

Police, relatives and neighbors all helped get them out of the well. Both were reportedly very weak as the sunlight fell directly on them by the time they were rescued.

They were taken to the Severo Verallo Memorial Hospital but the baby was referred to another hospital in Cebu City.

PO2 German Bulawit of the San Remigio Police Station could not say what the baby's condition was as of press time.

He said they will also refer Tamboboy to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center's psychiatric ward.

Bulawit said Tamboboy did not utter a word after his arrest and only blinked at them if they asked him a question.

Esperanza told police that Tamboboy has not accepted his wife's death and has been acting strangely ever since. Still, they are preparing to file a case for child abuse against Tamboboy.

DND chief rejects raps vs. Army officers over massacre

Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales has rejected calls to charge military officers perceived to be liable for failing to prevent the Nov. 23, 2009 Maguindanao massacre of 57 people, mostly journalists.

CA allows FG to present affirmative defenses in media suit

The Court of Appeals ordered the Makati Regional Trial Court to hear First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo's "affirmative defenses" before pushing through with the trial of the P12.5-million damage suit that journalists filed against him.

Comelec starts printing ballots, but only for training

Ngayong araw ang idineklarang petsa ng Comelec para sa pagsisimula ng pag-imprenta ng 50 milyong opisyal na balota para halalan! Ito'y matapos na maudlot nang dalawang beses na! Pero nang puntahan ng ABS-CBN news team ang National Printing Office kanina, sa halip na official ballots, training ballots pa lang pala ang hinahabol na maimprenta!

Expect less infomercials by Tuesday... hopefully

For the past few months the public has been bombarded with infomercials and political ads. But the playing field will once again be leveled when the campaign period for national candidates starts on February 9.

Campaign posters banned in public schools

Election campaign posters will be banned from walls and other properties of public elementary and high schools when the campaign period starts this Tuesday.

No partisan political activity, AFP chief reminds troops

MANILA, Philippines - Gen. Victor Ibrado, Armed Forces' chief, reiterated on Sunday his warning to military officers and men not to engage in partisan political activity as the campaign period for the May 10 elections starts Tuesday.

Violators of Comelec gun ban now at 704 -- police records

THE NUMBER of violators of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)-imposed gun ban has now reached 704 since it took effect on Jan. 9, police records showed.

Parties have 'til Feb. 12 to apply for copies of poll results

The Commission on Elections has given accredited national and local political parties until Feb. 12 to file applications for the privilege of getting copies of the election returns (ERs) and certificates of canvass (COCs).

Bishops wary of alleged Arroyo-Villar alliance

Senior Catholic leaders on Sunday voiced concern over rumors that Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manuel Villar Jr. is President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo"s secret candidate in the May 10 elections.

Villar to beat Aquino in 2-cornered fight based on Pulse Asia survey

MANILA, Philippines - Nacionalista Party's standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar has re-claimed his previous number one spot in voters' choice for president after garnering a 46 percent rating against the 45 percent of Liberal Party's Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III in the latest Pulse Asia poll.

Noynoy losing support of masses, surveys show

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III has been losing support from the lower-income sectors of society as Senator Manny Villar's massive marketing campaign aimed at winning the hearts of the poor pays off.

Arroyo-less admin proclamation rally looms

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may or may not grace the proclamation rally of administration presidential bet Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on Tuesday in Antipolo City, a Malacañang official said on Sunday.

Lakas-Kampi machinery can still boost Teodoro's bid

Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone said the Lakas-Kampi CMD machinery could still boost the presidential candidacy of former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. even if he has been lagging in the popularity surveys.

Cojuangco's wife not endorsing Teodoro's 2010 bid

Presidential bet Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro has lost the support of the wife of business tycoon Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, who was 'hurt' by his defection from the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC).

Ombudsman action sought on cases vs TESDA chief

Socialite Rosemarie "Baby" Arenas has called on the Office of the Ombudsman to resolve pending cases against her family's political rival, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Augusto Syjuco, including a complaint for plunder.

Lacson's lawyers to contest arrest warrant on Monday

Senator Panfilo Lacson"s lawyers will ask a Manila court on Monday to revoke its arrest warrant on the opposition lawmaker, who faces charges for the murder of veteran publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

CHR probes killings of politicians in Zamboanga Sur

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has started an investigation into the spate of killings in Zamboanga del Sur, where at least four supporters of the Liberal Party had died.

NPA rebels burn equipment in Masbate

Suspected communist rebels bombed and burned two units of heavy equipment at a construction site in a village in Balud town on the island province of Masbate at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday, a Philippine National Police (PNP) official said.

Kin to seek habeas corpus for arrested doctors

(UPDATE 2) The relatives of 43 doctors and health workers detained by the military supposedly because of their links with the communist National People's Army are filing a petition for habeas corpus before the Supreme Court on Monday, one of the relatives said.

AFP chief on a 'goodbye' tour among troops

Amid calls for an extension of his term until after the May elections, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Victor Ibrado has started visiting military camps around the country to bid the troops farewell.

PAO changing rules to accommodate poor clients

The Public Attorney"s Office is coming out with new guidelines to accommodate more poor Filipinos in need of legal aid.  At present, a client's gross family income must not exceed P14,000 to qualify for assistance. But Acosta noted that while wages have since increased, the rules do not consider automatic deductions on wages.

2 Pinoys die in Cyprus fire

CYPRUS - Two Filipinos reportedly perished in a fire inside their rented flat in Cyprus. The victims were identified as Nardino "Nardy" Nuquid, 35, of Pampanga and Mary Rose Castanas-Saldiva, 39, and a native of Samar.

Singapore eyes talks with Manila for pork imports

Singapore wants to resume talks for pork imports from Manila, which voluntarily suspended what was supposed to be its first pork export due to the Ebola Reston virus in 2008, the National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc. (NFHFI) said at the weekend.

Strong quake strikes off Taiwan, Japan

TAIPEI – A strong earthquake of at least 6.3-magnitude struck under the seas off Taiwan and Japan Sunday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

'Mass casualties' feared in US power plant blast

A huge explosion Sunday at a power plant in the northeastern US state of Connecticut has left several people injured and caused possible fatalities, emergency officials told AFP.

Internet down in Iran ahead of demos

TEHRAN – Iran said on Sunday its Internet connections will remain slow this week due to technical problems, ahead of anticipated protests by opposition supporters.

US troops detain Afghan police chief

KABUL – US forces have detained a senior police officer in northeastern Afghanistan for alleged corruption and links to insurgents, an Afghan official and NATO said Sunday.

India tests nuclear-capable missile

BHUBHANESWAR –India successfully tested a nuclear-capable missile on Sunday, a defense source said, days after proposing a resumption of talks with arch-rival Pakistan.

Sports meet turns into political rally for Villar

Education officials, coaches and athletes participating in the 2010 Cagayan Valley Regional Athletic Association (Cavraa) meet have expressed disgust over the conversion of the event's opening program into a campaign rally for a political party in Nueva Vizcaya.

The officials, who asked not to be named for fear of antagonizing political leaders here, said they were embarrassed that a number of politicians took advantage of the event on Friday to praise Sen. Manuel Villar Jr., the Nacionalista Party standard bearer, and other candidates in the May 10 elections.

Pinoy boxers to slug it out on Valentine's Day

Limang pinoy boxers ang makikipagbakbakan sa Valentine's Day sa Las Vegas, Nevada para sa Pinoy Power 3. Kumpiyansa ang kampo nina Gerry Peñalosa at Bernabe Concepcion na sila'y muling magka-kampeon laban sa mga pambato ng Puerto Rico.

Peñalosa, Concepcion gear for Pinoy Power 3

by by Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News
LOS ANGELES, California – Gerry Peñalosa is in his final days of hard training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles preparing for a fight in Las Vegas in Nevada.

Alcano leads Philippines to World Team Cup finals

MANILA, Philippines – Ronato "Ronnie" Alcano, known in the pool world as the "Volcano," led Team Philippines into the finals of the World Team Pool Cup Championship in Hannover, Germany.

Pinoys reach finals of World Team pool meet

The Philippines proved its status among the top pool nations in the world as beat Russia, 4-1, to reach the finals of the first World Team Championship Saturday in Hannover, Germany (Sunday in Manila).

No walkout as Ginebra Kings dethrone Texters

Barangay Ginebra dethroned Talk 'N Text fair and square Sunday night, 113-100, to advance into the semifinals of the KFC-PBA Philippine Cup.

Giants finish off Painters, set semis duel with SMB

James Yap scored a game-high 28 points as Purefoods beat Rain or Shine, 95-85, to win their best-of-five quarterfinal series, 3-2, Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Mariel Sorino is PBB Double Up's last evictee

MANILA, Philippines – So near yet so far. Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Double Up housemate Marielle Sorino was so close to making it to the Big Five but the public decided otherwise. The struggling mom from Davao was evicted from the PBB house Saturday night after receiving the lowest number of votes (3.34%).

Charice hurting over word war between mom, grandma

MANILA, Philippines – A hurting Charice has find herself in the middle of the public bickering between her mother, Raquel Pempengco, and grandmother, Tess Relucio, over past unresolved family issues. In her taped interview on "The Buzz," Charice said she hopes the issues will be resolved soon.

Pacquiao mulls legal action vs rumormongers

Tila napipikon si Manny Pacquaio sa mga patuloy na nagkakalat ng intriga tungkol sa kanila ni Krista Ranillo. Sa isang panayam ng Startalk, hinamon ng Pambansang Kamao ang mga nagkakalat ng balita na maglabas ng ebidensiya.

Aquino visits dying man to fulfill wish

Away from the eyes of the media, Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III quietly dropped by the hospital room of a dying man to grant his wish to see him up close.

Over P150-M Super lotto jackpot still elusive

Nobody won Sunday night's Super lotto jackpot that had reached P153,095,252.40, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office said.

Guinness cites bat cave in Samal

The Guinness World Records has recognized the bat sanctuary in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) as the world's largest for any colony of Geoffrey's Rousette Fruit Bat (Rousetteus amplexicaudatus), a conservationists' group said.

"Dear John" bumps "Avatar" with $32.4M debut

LOS ANGELES - A sci-fi love story has given way to an earthbound romance at the weekend box office.

Top bets for president grow wealth despite poll expenses

It has always been a mystery why presidential candidates are committing financial suicide during the campaign by spending sums running from P2 billion to P6 billion for a position that would earn only P60,000 a month or at most P4.68 million in six years. The PCIJ takes a closer look at this, with the focus on the top five aspirants for the upcoming polls.

Jonathan Swift  - "May you live every day of your life."

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