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

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 11, 2010 Major News Stories

Shutdown of diesel, thermal plant units to reduce power by 30MW

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines said yesterday the Visayas grids are expected to lose another 30 megawatts of power following the shutdown of two units of the Cebu Diesel Plant and one unit of Cebu Thermal Plant, both of Salcon Power Corporation.

Place Mindanao under state of calamity, Arroyo urged

(UPDATE) The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) on Wednesday recommended that a state of calamity be declared in Mindanao in light of the power crisis being experienced in the region.

Declaration of state of calamity to help solve Mindanao power crisis

Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes said Wednesday the government was banking on the President's declaration of a state of calamity in Mindanao to help solve the worsening power situation in the island.

Arroyo still not declaring Mindanao state of calamity, says Palace

Malacañang on Wednesday said it was still awaiting word on whether President Macapagal-Arroyo will adopt a recommendation by the National Disaster Coordinating Council for her to declare a state of calamity in Mindanao so that the government could plug the power crisis there.

Census office to hire teachers

by By Flor Z. Perolina

The National Census and Statistics Office (NCSO) will hire 222 public school teachers in Mandaue City as enumerators for the May 17 to June 11 census of population and housing in the city.

This was revealed last Tuesday by Engr. Emmanuel Abellana, District Statistics Officer during the convening of the City Statistical Coordinating Board led by Mayor Jonas Cortes.

Abellana said the enumerators will conduct a house to house census, each with a target output of 17 houses daily.

Aside from these enumerators, NCSO office will also hire 44 team supervisors and 9 census area supervisors, all teachers and another 9 assistant area supervisors who are not teachers.

The board is tasked to assist the enumerators in terms of security, census materials, and transportation, among others.

Abellana said the one week training for area supervisors and their assistant will start on April 14 who will in turn train the enumerators.

Virginia Zapanta, vice chair of the board and City Division Superintendent said her teachers are always ready to assist the census.

Hired teachers will be receiving P367 for the Area supervisors, P338 for the assistant area supervisor, and P279 for the enumerators as they will also be given free meal allowances per day.

Abellana identified the subdivisions and the most problematic area based on the last census in 2007.

In view of this, Mayor Cortes offered assistance by instructing Archt. Florentino Nimor, head of City Planning and Zoning Department to hold meetings with subdivision officials.

Nimor, who also heads the Housing, Urban and Development Office, will also meet with urban poor leaders to ensure easy access for the enumerators.

They will also tap the barangay captains.

Mayor Cortes also expressed concern over the results of the last census wherein the population growth rate of the city at 2.7 percent is much lower than the 2000 census which was 6.3 percent.

But Abellana said this result has many factors which include the less influx of settlement areas compared to the nearby cities such as Lapu-Lapu.

However, the population of the city increased remarkably from 258,000 in the year 2000 to 318, 5777, he said.

CIIS Chief Koko Holganza denies amassing wealth

LAWYER Rico Rey "Koko" Holganza yesterday denied he amassed ill-gotten wealth while working as chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Cebu.

Businessman Hans Ernest Tan Aparice III has asked the anti-graft office to probe Holganza, a former city councilor turned customs official, accusing him of living a lifestyle impossible to sustain with a government worker's pay.

Aparice attached pictures of Holganza's supposed mansion and a three-story building, both in Cebu City, in his letter complaint submitted Tuesday.

He pointed out how Holganza's Statement of Assets and Liabilities places his monthly income at P14,000. He asked that the anti-graft probers go and visit his two properties.

Aparice also questioned Holganza's status as head of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), a unit Holganza has led for three years, while allegedly not being an organic member of the organization.

Holganza believes Aparice is a fictitious person and a pseudonym of those who want to destroy his reputation.

While Aparice alleged in his affidavit that he has a trucking and importing business, he is not in the list of the Cebu Truckers Association nor in the records of the Port of Cebu as an importer.

"If this Aparice is really non-existing and his unfounded accusation will be published in the newspaper, it will bring injustice not only to me but my entire family. This is a case of character assassination," Holganza said.

Holganza explained that while it is true that he has a residential building on Macopa St., Barangay Basak, Cebu City, this was constructed in 1997 and 1998 or before he joined BOC.

He said the property in Bantayan is owned by the entire Holganza family.

"As you very well know, my late mother and the family owned more than 100 hectares of land in Bantayan. That's not a secret. Is it a sin to inherit properties from my deceased mother?" Holganza said.

On the alleged mansion in Sto. Niño Village, Holganza said he has no idea about it.

"I don't own such property. I live simply and I have done nothing wrong in public service," said Holganza, a one-time number one councilor of Cebu City. He also ran as congressman but lost in the 1998 elections.

Holganza is the son of Ribomapil Holganza Sr., who was imprisoned during Martial Law.

Holganza, who was in Manila, said he doesn't know the alleged complainant, who only gave Subangdaku, Mandaue City as his address.

"Subangdaku is too big to trace if this Aparice really exists. I hope the Office of the Ombudsman will look if this person is real before responding to the unfounded accusation," Holganza said.

He also appealed to the media to spare him from black propaganda of unscrupulous persons because he has a family reputation to protect.

"Anybody can accuse anybody. Even if the case will be dismissed, of which I'm sure, as these are lies, the damage has been done by mere publication of the false accusation," Holganza said.

Aparice, who pointed out that Holganza joined the customs bureau as a legal officer, said CIIS officials are wondering why the official heads the department.

"The issues create a great void insofar as public service is concerned, with several 'organic members' of the CIIS feeling demoralized and openly saddened," Aparice claimed.

Court stops vote on Guadalupe

by By Fred P. Languido

The Regional Trial Court has issued a 20-day non-extendible temporary restraining order against the Commission on Elections (Comelec) enjoining the poll body from proceeding with the scheduled plebiscite on Saturday for the creation of a new barangay out of Guadalupe.

After hearing the arguments of both parties yesterday during the hearing of the civil case for prohibition filed by Labangon barangay councilman Victor Miñoza Buendia against the Comelec, RTC Branch 58 Judge Gabriel Ingles found the petition to be meritorious.

"The petitioner has established that he will suffer an irreparable injury if the subject plebiscite will be allowed to proceed as scheduled on March 13, 2010," Ingles said.

In granting the temporary restraining order Ingles said he wanted to protect the basic right to suffrage of the petitioner and the residents of Rosalina Village, who will be disenfranchised if the plebiscite will push through as scheduled without resolving the case with finality first.

South district election officer Edwin Cadungog admitted before the court yesterday that residents of Rosalina Village had been allowed to register as voters of either barangay Labangon or Guadalupe.

According to Ingles, this is an indication that even the Comelec is not certain to which particular barangay the village belongs, Labangon or Guadalupe.

Cadungog also said that residents of Rosalina Village, who are registered voters of Labangon will not be allowed to participate in the plebiscite because only qualified voters of Guadalupe can vote under the law.

According to Cadungog, there was a problem in the crafting of the law creating the new barangay because the boundary was not properly set.

"Wa maayo og plantsa ang balaud anang dapita," Cadungog said.

Ingles said that this means that the village can be made part of the new Barangay Banawa-Ingles without a prior determination of whether it is part of Labangon or Guadalupe and also disenfranchising some of the voters including the complainant.

Ingles said this is in violation of Section 10 Article X of the Constitution which states that, "No barangay may be created, or divided, merged, abolished or its boundary substantially altered except in accordance with the criteria established in the local government code and subject to approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political unit directly affected."

Lawyer Julius Ceasar Entise, Buendia's legal counsel, argued that Labangon is directly affected by the creation of the new barangay because one of its sitios is being included in the Republic Act 9905 creating the Barangay Banawa-Ingles out of Guadalupe.

Entise said it is clearly a violation of the constitutional right of his client and the other residents of Rosalina Village who are registered in Labangon because they will not be given the chance to participate if the plebiscite will push through.

Cadungog said they will adhere to the court decision even if the preparation was already set for the conduct of the plebiscite.

The officials of the United Banawa-Englis Association Incorporated, who are pushing for the creation of the new barangay, were disappointed by the development.

Jeffrey Cartilla, one of the vice presidents of the organization, said they were very much disappointed by the court ruling considering that they have long been working for it.

Cartilla said they were holding an emergency meeting last night to plan their legal move. He said among the options is to provide documents to the court showing that original map of the barangay which allegedly include Rosalina Village.

Cartilla blamed barangay Captain Eugenio "Jing-Jing" Faelnar's alleged negligence resulting to barangay Labangon's taking some of their sitios.

It was learned yesterday that aside from Rosalina Village there are two other sitios included in the law to be part of the new barangay that are currently part of Labangon. These are the Santa Ana and the Paseo de San Ramon in Banawa.

Buendia, the number one councilman of Labangon, earlier filed a petition for prohibition with prayer for TRO and writ of preliminary injunction against the Comelec to stop the plebiscite.

Buendia claimed that he will be disenfranchised because he is not a registered voter of Guadalupe and he might also lose his position in Labangon.

The court has scheduled the hearing of the application for writ of preliminary injunction on March 16, 19, 23 and 26 all at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon.

Buendia said that he is not for or against the split of Guadalupe, all he wants is clarification since not only would he be affected but also the residents.

Buendia said that most residentsof the around 42 houses in Rosalina Village are registered in barangay Guadalupe.

Buendia also clarified that there is no one behind his move to complain against the Comelec, which would delay the plebiscite.


Mayor Tomas R. Osmeña and barangay captain Eugenio "Jingjing" Faelnar welcomed the court's ruling temporarily stopping the scheduled plebiscite on Saturday.

Both Osmeña and Faelnar said the people should respect the court's decision.

Osmeña said "It's a legal issue that I think should be left to the lawyers and the courts. Congrats, however to the residents of Rosalina Village who are voters of Labangon and find themselves included in the proposed new barangay. Is that democracy? Just asking."

Faelnar also said "Well, we cannot question the wisdom of the court. The court found merit on the injury it might cause to the right of a person asking the temporary restraining order."

Meanwhile, congressional aspirant Jonathan Guardo yesterday asked Osmeña, his main opponent in the city's south district in the May 10 elections, to make a stand whether he is for or against the split.

Osmeña earlier said he will not say whether he is for or against to the proposed creation of the new barangay so it will not influence the voters.

Guardo said Osmeña is just playing safe, because whenever he will say he is for the split, those persons who are against will get mad on him, and vice versa.

"Isip siya ang maisip nga amahan sa syudad, angay g'yod siya nga mohimo'g stand," he said.

Osmeña quickly reacted by saying that it is not his intention to satisfy Guardo.

Vidal: Money given by politicos go to Caritas

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal disclosed yesterday that there are candidates, who are sending him money through emissaries.

However, the Cardinal said that he acknowledges the money sent to him and forward it immediately to Caritas, a church-based foundation helping the needy.

Vidal also said that the money is not meant to get the cardinal to give them favors.

"No, it is their good will to help the Archdiocese, it is for Caritas, for poor people in Cebu," stressed Vidal.

He also clarified that he does not endorse candidates as some interpret his receiving them as some sort of a blessing that is meant to help sway voters.

"They came here to ask for blessings but some of them misinterpret it that I endorsed them," said Cardinal Vidal.

"I only give blessings because they ask for it," added Vidal.

"I hope I'm doing right and I am preserving my status of non partisanship."

For 27 years here in the Archdiocese of Cebu, no one questioned me on my part about a candidate.

He also stressed about his influence during terms of former President Ferdinand Marcos and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but explained that his recommendation for people to occupy certain offices is only a suggestion. 

Comelec needs to print 38 million more ballots

About 12 million special paper ballots have been printed for the May 10 polls and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) needs to produce 38 million more before the May 10 polls.

But the daily average production of 650,000 ballots remains short of the 793,430 needed daily output to ensure all 50,000 ballots are ready by April 25, Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said Wednesday.

To meet the target, at least a fifth printer needs to be leased as its printer churns out only 162,500 ballots per day, he said.

The new printer will arrive by March 20, said Cesar Flores, president for Asia-Pacific of Smartmatic-Total Information Management.

"We are getting a fifth printer to increase the printing output and have all ballots ready for shipment by April 25," Larrazabal said, adding, "We are also considering a sixth printer to augment the current capacity."

"If we have printed the ballots too close to the April (25) deadline, we could ship them by air instead of land to speedup deployment," he said.

No additional cost will be incurred by the Comelec for getting additional printers as rental cost remains within the P7.2 billion automation deal with technology partner Smartmatic, said Flores.

Over the weekend, Kodak personnel from the US arrived at the National Printing Office to calibrate its machines and increase printing output, Larrazabal said.

Over 5,000 ballot boxes delivered

The Commission on Elections on Wednesday received 5,012 plastic ballot boxes, the first batch of the 76,000 plastic ballot boxes to be used for the May 10 polls, an official said.

Success of RP elections could herald automated polls in Asia

An international electoral watchdog is coming over to witness the country's first automated elections, and said the success of the polls could herald the coming of automated elections in other parts of Asia.

Arroyo vows 'smooth transition to new gov't'

(UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is "deeply committed to smooth transition to a new government" and is counting on the Armed Forces of the Philippines "to help us prove that our democracy works for the future of our nation's children."

Arroyo made this assurance Wednesday at the formal turnover ceremony of the AFP where newly appointed chief Lieutenant General Delfin Bangit took over from General Victor Ibrado who retired today.

"We remain deeply committed to smooth transition to a new government," Arroyo said in her speech, maintaining that she made the right decision in choosing Bangit.

"We can count on the AFP to help us prove that our democracy works for the future of our nation's children," she said, referring to the national polls on May 10 that will pave the way for a new president.

"The people come first. Our accomplishments and progress to date must be passed on to new leaders to continue the forward march of progress," she said.

Arroyo also said that there should a concrete plan to attain development.

"We can't put food on the table with just hope. We need detailed plan of action... and turn them into tangible results," Arroyo said.

Arroyo's comments follow months of accusations from opposition politicians and other critics that she is seeking a way to stay in power after her term ends, even though she is required by the Constitution to step down.

Critics say Arroyo could secretly be plotting to derail the national elections, then maneuver to remain president amid the ensuing chaos.

Arroyo has also taken the unprecedented step of running for a House of Representatives seat in the May elections.

Her critics have alleged she may be aiming to become Speaker, giving her a platform to orchestrate a change of Constitution that would allow her to become the nation's first prime minister.

"We do not trust the president," Butch Abad, campaign manager of the opposition Liberal Party, told Agence France-Presse.

"She has shown on many occasions that she is hell-bent on remaining in power. This administration has not given us reason to believe otherwise."

Abad cited widespread allegations that Arroyo cheated to win the 2004 elections, partly through the influence of generals who were assigned to oversee crucial voting areas.

PNP chief vows to thwart attempts to derail polls

Lieutenant General Delfin Bangit will not get any support from the head of the Philippine National Police should the newly designated military chief help ensure President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's hold on power.

New AFP Chief: No illegal orders from the President

(UPDATE 2) Lieutenant General Delfin Bangit, the newly appointed military chief, said Wednesday that he has not received "illegal orders" from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and vowed that he would not allow himself to be used for partisan politics.

Qualified local absentee voters urged to register

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has urged government employees and security forces with poll duties on May 10 to register for local absentee voting after the poll body moved to March 15 the deadline for filing of applications, an official said Wednesday.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said government employees and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police rendering election duties can vote ahead, between April 24 to 26.

As of last week, the Comelec has received only 6,000 applications for local absentee voting compared to over 50,000 applications for the 2007 polls. About 40,000 cast their ballots then.

Applicants can file their application to the Comelec committee on local absentee voting or CLAV. The CLAV will then verify and submit the list of approved applications to concerned city or municipal election officers not later than April 20.

Under Republic Act 7166 and Executive Order 157, local absentee voters are only allowed to vote for national candidates.

Villar, Noynoy apologize to Quiboloy

MANILA, Philippines - The camps of presidential candidates Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and Manny Villar apologized Wednesday to influential religious leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy for failing to attend a presidential forum of Quiboloy's church in Davao City Tuesday. 

Loren: Roxas made offers in exchange for support for LP tandem

(Updated 7:49 PM) Days after her running mate was alleged to have tried to buy out other presidential contenders, Sen. Loren Legarda on Wednesday claimed her fiercest opponent in the vice presidential derby made overtures to withdraw her electoral bid.

Jamby claims getting P1-B offer for dropping charges vs Villar

(Updated 1:07 p.m.) Independent presidential candidate Senator Maria Ana Consuelo "Jamby" Madrigal on Wednesday claimed she was offered P1 billion to stop her from filing charges of corruption, among others, against Senator Manuel "Manny" Villar. Senator Loren Legarda, Villar's running mate, described the allegation as unthinkable and preposterous.

SC junks disbarment cases against Santiago

The Supreme Court has dismissed a disbarment case filed against reelectionist Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, saying the complaint was based on hearsay and speculation.

Sandigan eyes turnover of 'Boracay Mansion' to BTR

The antigraft court Sandiganbayan is hoping to turn over to the Bureau of Treasury (BTR) next week former president Joseph Estrada's P143-million "Boracay Mansion" after no buyer showed up when it was auctioned more than a month ago.

Lacson protégé seeks US court's protection vs RP govt

Former police offer Michael Ray Aquino has filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus with a United States court, according to information reaching the Philippine justice department.

Isabela governor appeals for food aid

With corn and rice farms across Isabela drying up due to El Niño, Gov. Grace Padaca is appealing for aid for the hundreds of thousands of residents who are at risk of going hungry.

CA junks habeas petition of 43 Morong health workers

(UPDATE 3) The 43 detained health workers accused of being communist insurgents will remain in jail after the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition for habeas corpus filed by their relatives.

Morong 43 to appeal case to Supreme Court

The Court of Appeals decision dismissing the habeas corpus petition of the 43 health workers will be elevated to the Supreme Court, lawyer Romeo Capulong said.

62 cops face administrative charges over Maguindanao massacre

The relatives of the slain journalists in Maguindanao on Wednesday filed administrative charges before the National Police Commission against 62 policemen for their alleged involvement in the massacre of 57 people last November.

Passport services available in 18 regions—DFA

Filipinos in the provinces need not go to Manila to get a passport as passport services are available in the 18 regional consular offices nationwide, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

DFA said seven such offices in the cities of Butuan, Bacolod, Batangas, Baguio, Puerto Princesa, General Santos, and Cotabato were opened in the last two years.

The other regional consular offices are in the cities of San Fernando in La Union, Tuguegarao, San Fernando in Pampanga, Lucena, Legaspi, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Zamboanga, Cagayan De Oro, and Davao.

Filipinos "only have to go to the DFA regional office nearest to them and avail of the same fast and efficient services," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said.

"We are also bringing consular services closer to our Filipino people through the fielding of mobile passport services, which are regularly being undertaken in cities and municipalities around the country and Metro Manila," he added. 

In the last two months alone, January to February 2010, the DFA Office of Consular Affairs conducted 34 mobile passport services which served around 14,000 passport applicants throughout the Philippines.

The DFA recently opened to the public the new Consular building located in Bradco and Macapagal Avenues in Aseana Business Park, near the Mall of Asia. The new facility is the home of the ePassport, electronic authentication system, electronic visa system, and digitalized consular records system.

Meanwhile, the DFA reminds passport applicants to avail of the appointment system to ensure quick and comfortable service. Applicants can check the passport requirements and secure an appointment by logging in at passport website or calling hotline (02) 737-1000. They may also call the DFA helplines at telephone numbers (02) 831-8971, (02) 551-4437, (02) 551-4402, (02) 834-4855 and (02) 834-4424.

Applicants are no longer required to bring photographs since they will have their pictures taken using ePassport data-capturing machines.

Only those with confirmed appointments will be accommodated at the new facility. No escorts are allowed to accompany the applicants inside the premises at this time.

City issues SWU tax ultimatum

The Cebu City government has already sent a letter to Southwestern University (SWU) telling the school officials to pay its P34.7 million unpaid tax obligations from 2000 to 2007 or the city will be compelled to auction its properties.

Philippine exports rise at fastest pace in 15 years—NSO

(UPDATE) The Philippines said Wednesday that exports rose at their fastest pace in nearly 15 years in January as the Southeast Asian nation reaped the benefits of an improving world economy.

Indonesia president confirms Bali mastermind killed in raid

CANBERRA—Indonesia's president Wednesday confirmed the killing by police of a suspected Bali bombing mastermind and, in a historic speech to Australia's parliament, vowed to hunt down Islamist extremists.

Dalai Lama: China aims to annihilate Buddhism

The Dalai Lama says Chinese authorities are using repression in Tibet in a deliberate attempt to annihilate Buddhism there.

China, India give qualified nod to climate deal

China joined India on yesterday in giving qualified approval to the Copenhagen climate accord calling for voluntary limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

Pacquiao hype, hysteria gain ground as 'The Event' nears

The hype and hysteria surrounding Manny Pacquiao continues to gain ground as The Event heats up.

Pacquiao to bank on speed to beat Clottey

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach, believe that the Filipino boxer's speed will compensate for his "lack of size" when he goes up against the bigger Joshua Clottey of Ghana on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Champ Pacquiao remains cautious on foe Clottey

Be it Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto or even Juan Manuel Marquez, it"s never the practice of Manny Pacquiao to take his opponents lightly. More so now against the bigger and stronger Joshua Clottey.

Clottey: I'm gonna crush Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Despite his admiration for Manny Pacquiao, Joshua Clottey said it will be all business when both of them step into the ring on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Pacquiao going to end up in hospital—Clottey cook

(UPDATE) Joshua Clottey trusts fellow Ghanaian Kwaku Gyamfi with his life.

Roach doesn't want Pacquiao to share his fate

MANILA, Philippines – Four-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach made it clear that he does not want Manny Pacquiao to end up just like him after retirement. That is why he wants the 7-division boxing champion to leave the sport while he is still on top of his game.

WBC orders Mayol-Romero rematch

The World Boxing Council has ordered a rematch between Filipino champion Rodel Mayol and Mexican Omar Nino Romero in the aftermath of the technical draw result when the two boxers fought last February 27 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Boxer Z Gorres starts over with soap business

MANILA, Philippines – The fight continues for fallen boxer Z "the Dream" Oliveros Gorres. He will not be able to return to the ring, which is why he and his wife, Datches, have turned to starting their soap and detergent business.

Kris Aquino joins brother in Zamboanga sortie

Celebrity talk show host Kris Aquino, for the first time in the official campaign period, joined her brother, Liberal Party candidate Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III here Wednesday – and her appearance made an immediate impact as she was mobbed when she arrived at the airport.

Kris helps Noynoy woo Zamboanga City vote

ZAMBOANGA CITY-Thousands of supporters, some of them clad in yellow, went wild as showbiz celebrity Kris Aquino took the stage Wednesday night at the Joaquin F. Enriquez sports complex in this famed port city of the South.

Kris worried over Noynoy's drop in survey ratings

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Kris Aquino admitted on Wednesday that they are worried about the result of the recent survey which puts Senator Manny Villar close to her brother, Liberal Party's presidential bet Senator Noynoy Aquino.

Ruffa Gutierrez says sorry to Noynoy Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – After accepting Kris Aquino's public apology, it's now Ruffa Gutierrez's turn to say sorry to senator and presidential candidate Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

'Miss You Like Crazy' premieres in Vancouver

MANILA, Philippines – A premiere of the latest romance-drama movie of on-screen couple Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz was recently held for Filipino fans in Vancouver, Canada.

Bishops asks actors not to push for condom use

Catholic bishops implored movie stars on Wednesday not to endorse condoms, saying they must remain good examples and should safeguard "the morality of the people."

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