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

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 9, 2010 Major News Stories

No minimum wage hike by Labor Day

METRO MANILA workers should not look forward to a May Day wage hike announcement as decisions on petitions filed by labor groups will take time, government officials yesterday said.

ARAW NG KAGITINGAN: Today is a regular holiday

Today marks the 68th commemoration of the Day of Valor or the "Araw ng Kagitingan," a tribute to the Filipinos and American soldiers who heroically fought against the Japanese who occupied the Philippines during World War II.

Cops leading probe into fatal firewall collapse

The police are now the main investigators into the collapse of a firewall of a department store undergoing construction in Barangay Tisa that killed five and injured six construction workers the other day.

'I acted on guv's orders'

CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia should also be included if there will be criminal and administrative charges on the purchase of the Balili property, Provincial Board (PB) Member Juan Bolo said yesterday.

BALILI LOT CONTROVERSY: Province seeks return of P37.8M

The Province of Cebu has gone to court to seek the refund of P37,810,400, which represents the amount paid for parcels of the controversial Balili property that were found to be submerged in seawater and were mangrove areas.

Capitol threatens to sue man who posted criticisms online

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia threatened to file a complaint against a resident of Davao City who claimed to be a cousin of the late Argao tourism officer Theodore Villarimo and posted a letter on the Internet about how the negligence of the province led to his cousin's death.

Gwen to file charges vs. ex-Argao tourism officer

CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia will file charges against Todd Lucero Sales for writing the unsigned article condemning her alleged "gross and intentional neglect" of the medical needs of Argao's residents.

Nerez wants Loot to stay despite transfer request

Despite the request of Daanbantayan candidate Augusto Corro Jr. to have Sr. Supt. Vicente Loot transferred, the director of Police Regional Office-7 wants Loot to stay.

Rama asks BOPK to remove its posters in illegal areas

Vice Mayor Michael Rama asked his fellow candidates under the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan to remove their posters that were placed by their supporters in prohibited areas.

Japan to deploy 26 observers to RP's first automated elections - Manila Times

Poll execs told to delete multiple entries from voters' list

from Breaking News
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MANILA, Philippines The Commission on Elections (Comelec) ordered its poll officers to manually cross out from the computerized voters list (CVL) individuals with multiple or double registration records ahead of the May 10 elections.

Under Comelec Resolution 8817 promulgated on April 5, all election officers are directed to manually cross out from the Election Day CVL, posted CVLs and supplemental list of voters the names of 704, 542 double or multiple registrants as previously ordered in Resolution 8791, Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer told

For the manual deletion of multiple registration records, election officers (EO) must indicate on top of the crossed-out name the annotation: Per Resolution 8791 followed by the EO's signature, the resolution stated.

For the May elections, we have to make do with the manual crossing out of the double registrants from the CVL because the official deletion from the CVL would have to undergo hearings by the Election Registration Board (ERB) to be held after the May national elections, said Ferrer. reported that the National Capital Region has the highest number of multiple registrants at 156,133, followed by Cavite with 47,016; Davao del Sur, 34,557; Nueva Ecija, 32,030; Rizal province, 28,663; Cebu with 23,602; Laguna with 20,107; Pampanga 21,758; Negros Occidental, 18,800; Iloilo, 15,783; Pangasinan, 14,734; South Cotabato, 14,637; and Batangas, 13,413, according to Comelec records.

Quoting Comelec minute resolution 09-0696, Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said in another interview that the poll body would retain only the multiple registrants latest record if enlisted in a different district, city or municipality while those found to have multiple registrations in the same district, city or municipality would be allowed to vote using their original registration.

For double or multiple registrants with records found within the same district, city, municipality, their original registration shall prevail over subsequent registrations, the minute resolution stated.

All board of election inspectors (BEIs) are in turn mandated not to allow these multiple registered voters to cast their ballots in precincts where their records had been canceled, Sarmiento said.

The purging of the voters' lists is to make sure that each voter can only vote once even if he or she has multiple records, said Sarmiento.

No way of checking for fake, genuine ballots in overseas voting, Comelec says

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may have no way of checking whether ballots cast by Filipinos in Hong Kong and Singapore are genuine or not, two days before automated elections begin for Filipinos abroad.

5 poll officials to resign amid ballot folder controversy

Five executives of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will be resigning from the poll body"s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) in light of the controversy generated by the botched multi-million ballot secrecy folder deal.

BAC chairman Lea Alarkon said that five of them would be resigning from the committee so that there would be no doubts in future procurements that the poll body will be making for the May 10 automated elections.

Ombudsman to probe ballot folder controversy

On its own initiative, the Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday announced it would conduct an investigation to determine whether there is anything anomalous with the Commission on Elections" allegedly overpriced ballot secrecy folders to be used in the May polls.

Six localities ask to be placed under Comelec control

At least three province, a city and two towns are seeking to be placed under the control of the Commission on Elections following a spate of violent incidents there ahead of the May 10 elections, according to a senior election official.

AFP, PNP ready for May 10 polls


Police and military leaderships are now preparing to reposition their respective aircrafts and sea vessels to ensure the security on the transport of PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan) machines and other election materials that will be used for the May 10 nationwide automated polls.

Director General Jesus Verzosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said that all the air and sea assets of the police will be available for use once the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) deemed it necessary for their use.

"That is part of our security preparations for the elections because we were tasked by the Comelec to provide security in the transport of the machines," said Verzosa.

This was echoed by General Delfin Bangit, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), who said that their choppers, planes and sea vessels may see action when the transport of PCOS machines start early next month.

"We are trying to reposition our assets like helicopters, planes, and available ships so that it can help in some of the exigencies that will arise," said Bangit.

What they are concerned of, Verzosa said, is the transportation of PCOS machines and election materials to the far-flung areas, especially those in election hot spot areas and islands and coastal area parts of the country. (Aaron Recuenco)

Army vows to remain non-partisan in May elections

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte - Army chief and Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu has vowed to ensure a non-partisan Philippine Army amid rumors of failure of elections and the rise of a military junta.

In his first visit to troops here since assuming the highest army post last month, Mapagu, however, reminded soldiers to stick to their mandate of helping ensure honest, peaceful and credible elections next month.

There is no truth to talks about failure of elections or a military junta. Stories like that are just rumors, which are orchestrations of some individuals, he said.

Mapagu said the rumors were being spread by people, who would likely benefit if elections were to fail. He did not elaborate.

They want to divide us by pitting us against the PNP (Philippine National Police), he said referring to the supposed rift between the police chief, Director General Jesus Versoza and the Armed Forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit.

Mapagu said the military is not biting the rumors.

The army chief also said he would see to it that soldiers will remain within their mandate of protecting the votes and ensure that elections push through.

We are now concentrating our efforts in helping the PNP dismantle private armed groups (PAGs) and the (New Peoples Army) because if these armed groups harass and coerce our voters, we wont get the true sentiment of the people (in choosing leaders), Mapagu said.

He also asked soldiers to always uphold the law and respect human rights while warning them of punishment if they violate laws.

As soldiers, we should be the epitome of law-abiding citizens. Gone were the days when we acted like masters. We are now public servants who should serve the people, Mapagu said.

Revilla, Jinggoy still ahead in latest survey


With just a month before the May 10 elections, Senators Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada continue to lead in the latest Pulse Asia survey.

They are followed by 12 other senatorial candidates who also have a statistical chance of winning if elections were held during the survey period.

The non-commissioned nationwide survey conducted last March 21 to 28 ranked Revilla (53 percent) and Estrada (52.1 percent) 1st and 2nd, respectively, among the 61 senatorial candidates in the May polls.

The survey fieldwork used face-to-face interviews with 3,000 respondents, who were asked to indicate their preference on a Commission on Elections (Comelec) duplicate ballot.

Revilla and Estrada were followed in the list by three incumbent senators, namely Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (46.2 percent) who is in 3rd to 4th places, Senator Pilar Juliana "Pia" Cayetano (42.7 percent) who ranked 3rd to 6th, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (42.1 percent) who occupies the 4th to 6th slots.

The survey results also ranked in 4th to 6th places former Senate President Franklin Drilon (41.1 percent).

In 7th to 8th places is former Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman Vicente "Tito" Sotto III (35.1 percent), while former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Chairman Ralph Recto (32.5 percent) ranked 7th to 9th places.

Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (30.6 percent) is in 8th to 10th places and former Senator Sergio "Serge" Osmeña III (27.9 percent) ranks 9th to 10th places.

Other probable winners based on the survey results are Senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid (23.9 percent, 11th to 13th), Bukidnon Rep. Teofisto "TG" Guingona III (22.7 percent, 11th to 14th), businessman Jose "Joey" de Venecia III (21.4 percent, 11th to 15th), and lawyer Gwendolyn Pimentel (19.6 percent, 12th to 16th).

"In a best case scenario, these four individuals would land within the winners' circle of 12 senators from 11th to 12th places, but their lowest statistical rankings (13th to 16th) would put them out of the running for a senatorial seat," Pulse Asia said.

Meanwhile, one in 10 registered voters or 10.7 percent does not express support for any senatorial candidate.

Pulse Asia noted that there are no significant changes in the voter preferences of these senatorial candidates between February and March 2010.

During this period, the most marked movements are recorded by Santiago (-3.2 percentage points) and Drilon (-3.9 percentage points).

Among those outside the winners' circle, lawyer Alexander Lacson and Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim enjoy improvements in their voter preferences (+5.1 and +4.3 percentage points, respectively).

Meanwhile, electoral support for Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon and Akbayan Partylist Rep. Ana Theresia "Risa" Hontiveros-Baraquel declined (-4.2 and -5.1 percentage points).

The survey results also showed that 10 party-list groups succeeded in meeting the 2 percent threshold for them to represent the marginalized groups in the Congress.

Among these probable winners, only two party-list groups would gain the maximum of three congressional seats, namely Gabriela (7.81 percent) and Bayan Muna (7.25 percent).

For the partylist elections, most registered voters expressed lack of knowledge about the party-list system.

Noynoy: Psych claims smack of detractors" desperation

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija - Presidential aspirant Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Thursday laughed off the information circulating on the Internet regarding his mental condition.

Villar elated by Comelec OK of NP-NPC alliance


Senator Manuel Villar Jr. on Thursday welcomed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) decision approving the alliance of the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the Nationalist Peoples' Coalition (NPC).

This developed as the NP demanded that Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Sen. Benigno Aquino III and his running mate Sen. Mar Roxas apologize not only to the NP-NPC but to the Filipino people for engaging in dirty tricks and black propaganda.

Villar, the NP's standard-bearer, said the poll body's decision disputes rivals' claim that the NP-NPC coalition is bogus.

"We're glad the Comelec made the right judgment. Kami naman talaga ay tunay na koalisyon. Sinasabi ko nga sa mga kababayan natin ay kapag sinuri n'yo ang ginagawa ng NP at NPC, makikita n'yo na kami ang tunay na oposisyon," Villar said. (We are really the true coalition. As I have been telling the people that if you just scrutinize what the NP and NPC are doing, you will see that we are the real opposition.")

The NP-NPC had also applied for a dominant minority status.

Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle confirmed the approval of the merger Wednesday, saying "we already signed the resolution."

He said the Comelec rejected the opposition filed by the Liberal Party because they failed to provide evidence that the merger of the two political parties was a sham.

"We're hoping that the LP will respect the Comelec's verdict and the fact that the NP-NPC merger is a true alliance and not for show," he said.

Meanwhile, the Comelec, has yet to decide on which party to proclaim as the dominant minority party, which will be entitled to the sixth copy of the election returns (ERs) and a server showing the election results as they are transmitted.

According to Comelec, the dominant minority party status is given to the group that has the highest number of incumbent elective officials and candidates for national and local positions.

Comelec records show that LP will be fielding 5,934 candidates in the May polls while NP will be fielding 5,565 and NPC 2,373.

"I have already ran for national posts thrice but now is the dirtiest campaign being waged by our rivals, (apparently referring to LP), said NP-NPC vice presidential bet Sen. Senator Loren Legarda who, along with the party's senatoriables, issued a strong statement condemning the Liberal Party (LP) which they claimed have been employing dirty tactics and smear drive instead of campaigning based on good platform and good governance.

In a press conference Thursday, Legarda, who appeared in a fighting mood, along with NP senatorial bets Reps Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Ramon Mitra Jr, and Atty. Adel Tamano, said the LP should apologize to the NP-NPC coalition and the Filipino people for condoning what they described as black operations in the course of this campaign period.

Incidentally, the NP found an ally in their predicament about the so-called black propaganda after a UP professor and political analyst Benito Lim stated that the use of dirty tactics like what the LP is doing in the campaign is the style of a party that lacks real platforms for the good of the people.

Lim also said only unprincipled politicians resort to dirty tactics thinking this would help them in their campaign.

6 of 10 Pinoys unaware of party-list system - Pulse Asia

Barely a month before the country holds its first nationwide automated elections, majority of Filipinos are still "not aware" of the party-list system, a recent survey by Pulse Asia showed.

Admin allies dominate party-list race

MANILA, Philippines - Administration allies are likely to dominate the party-list elections based on the March 21 to 28 survey of Pulse Asia.

Casiño counted only 7 among the 20 re-electionist party-list groups to be among the current minority in the House of Representatives. These are party-list groups Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Akbayan, Anakpawis, An Waray, Kabataan, and CIBAC.

Among the key allies of the president in the winning circle are: 1-UTAK, whose nominee is former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes; BUHAY, whose nominee is El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde; and, Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD), currently represented by retired general Jovito Palparan.

Arroyo gov't set to ink pact with MILF before elections

MANILA, PhilippinesThe government is determined to seal an agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front before the May 10 national elections, the governments chief peace negotiator said Thursday.

Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said an interim agreement would be signed before the elections, but he doubted a final agreement would be hammered out before Ms Arroyo steps down on June 30.

"We'll ask [Malaysia] to continue helping us conclude an interim agreement on governance under the peace compact,'' he told reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Seguis was part of the official delegation that traveled with President Macapagal-Arroyo to the 16th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit which opened in Hanoi Thursday afternoon.

"We could not have a final pact at this time. It will take some time,'' he said an hour before their 11 a.m. take-off.

The government is trying to hammer out an agreement to end the nearly 40-year-old Moro rebellion for self-rule in Mindanao before Ms Arroyo ends her nine-year term.

According to Seguis, the interim agreement with the MILF seeks to resolve "issues on legislative and constitutional processes.''

"Between substance and process, we are focusing more on process,'' he said, referring to the legislative means of addressing the key concerns of the separatist group. He did not elaborate.

The interim agreement would contain a governance framework, which would be the basis for the continuation of peace talks in the next administration, officials had said earlier.

The MILF has been pushing for the establishment of a federated state for the Bangsamoro people in a draft agreement it worked out with government at the resumption of talks in Kuala Lumpur in late January.

The government offered "enhanced autonomy'' for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and maintained that the Constitution should be the basis for any move to expand the Bangsamoro territory.

On the MILFs request, the resumption of negotiations in February was put off for March.

The Inquirer tried but failed to reach MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and Annabelle Abaya, presidential adviser on the peace process, for comment.

Abaya had said the government was open to proposed changes in the Constitution, but could not guarantee their approval in Congress or in a plebiscite.

The government put forward proposals that are doable by the Executive Department, including "enhanced autonomy,'' but did not venture into specific actions that require amending the Charter, she said.

By "enhanced autonomy,'' Abaya said the government offered willingness to enhance the powers and functions of ARMM through "executive action.''

This included enhancing the ability to release their share of national revenues, facilitating the entry of economic, trade and tourism assistance, and providing technical support in drafting agrarian laws and programs as well as assistance in the Sharia justice and educational systems, among others.

QC court asked to reinstate rebellion raps vs Ampatuans

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to reverse its decision dismissing the rebellion charges against members of the powerful Ampatuan clan implicated in the Maguindanao massacre.

Transfer of 43 health workers to Camp Crame set

MANILA, Philippines Thirty-eight of the 43 health workers who were tagged as Communist rebels would be transferred to a civilian detention center at the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Camp Crame on Thursday, a militant group said.

The move to transfer the detainees from the 2nd Infantry Division headquarters of the Philippine Army in Camp Capinpin, Tanay to Camp Crame was ordered by the regional trial court Branch 78 in Morong, Rizal.

Renato Reyes Jr., secretary general of Bayan (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan), in a phone interview, said lawyers, relatives, and members of human rights groups left for Tanay early Thursday morning to accompany the court sheriff to serve the court order at Camp Capinpin.

But only 38 will be transferred to Camp Crame, as the remaining five will reportedly be used as state witnesses by the Army, Reyes said.

This is good because their transfer has been long delayed. They should have been moved to a civilian facility but it was delayed for over two months, Reyes said.

The 43 health workers were arrested in Morong, Rizal last February.

Reyes said they were not expecting any problems with the transfer of the 38 health workers.

In the first place, it was the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] who filed the motion to have them transferred so there shouldnt be any problem. The family and supporters of the health workers are also happy because they [health workers] will be under relatively improved detention conditions, he added.

2 bodies recovered from China ship fire

MANILA, Philippines – Rescuers have found the remains of 2 missing Filipino seafarers in a vessel that caught fire in China.

DFA: 2 more seafarers from sunken ship due Thursday

After 15 of their colleagues arrived last Wednesday, two more Filipino crew of a ship that sank off Spain last March are due to arrive home Thursday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Franklin Belano and Roldan Macatangay are expected to arrive Thursday morning from Amsterdam.
"(Belano and Macatangay) were accompanied to the Philippine Embassy in The Hague by a representative of SCUA Rotterdam B.V., their vessel's insurance company, who met them upon their arrival in Rotterdam on April 3. They were then immediately issued travel documents," the DFA said on its website.

According to the DFA, the two part of the crew of the sea vessel "Kea" were rescued in Rotterdam by another ship, MV Sapphire.

The DFA quoted Belano and Macatangay as saying that waves caused by bad weather battered their ship near the Atlantic coast of Galicia, Spain.

Because of this, the ship suffered mechanical trouble and substantial damage including gaping holes in the hull.

Its captain sent out a call for help and ordered the crew to abandon ship.

Within a short time, two ships within the vicinity and a rescue helicopter from the Spanish maritime authorities arrived.

The two swam to the MV Sapphire while the others were rescued by the helicopter and the other ship.

On Wednesday afternoon, 15 of the 19 seafarers arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

They are Renato Aguirre, Pablo Ventura, Corteza Carlitos, Jerome Dinoy, Dante Evalle, Ronnie Matias, Freddie Nunez, Arron Pamplona, Jonebit Rizan, Saturnino Romarante, Percy Leba, Eufronoio Libaton, Jovencio Pallado, Junniel Petracorta and Orlando Dacayanan. . [See: 15 Pinoy seamen from sunken ship arrive home]

Welcoming them were DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) Executive Director Enrico Fos, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Carmelita Dimzon, and representatives of the local manning agency and indemnity insurance company.

The "Kea" sank in Cape Villano in Galicia, Spain. It left St. Petersberg port in Russia and was en route to Columbia on March 29. It had 19 Filipino seafarers on board; 17 of them were rescued. 

Patients hold fellow mental patients hostage

A raucous group of patients at the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong City took hostage 28 fellow patients for more than two hours Thursday night with no apparent provocation, according to the police.

Arroyo takes up Spratly dispute in talks with Vietnamese leader

Vietnam and the Philippines have agreed to find a "win-win solution" to their territorial dispute over parts of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, Trade and Industry Secretary Jesli Lapus said Thursday.

PGMA changes mind, opts to finish ASEAN Summit

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has changed her mind about returning earlier than scheduled on Friday from the ASEAN Summit in Vietnam.

Stocks, peso shed gains ahead of long weekend - Manila Times

After posting a strong close of 44.80 at the Philippine Dealing System on Wednesday, the local currency finished at 44.95 to the dollar, or 15 centavos weaker on Thursday.

$1: P44.950

$1: P44.950

Euro 1: P59.8111

Raising VAT from 12% to 15%

Because of the scale of the budget shortfall, the government is continuously seeking ways to improve its income. Finance Secretary Margarito Teves is suggesting that the next administration raise the value-added tax from the current rate of 12% to 15%. But Teves says the VAT increase will only work if it comes with a corresponding decrease in income tax to ease the burden on employees and businesses. The VAT was last raised in 2005.

Gov't alarmed by tour cancellations due to EU ban on carriers

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines should promptly resolve the European Union's (EU) ban on Philippine air carriers, since the move has already triggered "an alarming number of tour cancellations from Europe," the Tourism department said in a statement yesterday.

Thai authorities launch media clampdown to quell unrest

Thailand's government Thursday shut down dozens of websites and a television channel loyal to "Red Shirt" protesters who have occupied Bangkok's commercial hub, defying a state of emergency.

Estimated 200 people buried in Brazil mudslide: officials

An estimated 200 people were buried in mudslides near Rio de Janeiro after record flooding in the region, local fire chief Pedro Machado told AFP Thursday.

Obama and Medvedev sign treaty to cut nuclear arsenals

US President Barack Obama and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev signed a landmark treaty Thursday committing their nations to major nuclear arms cuts.

Qatari diplomat tried to light shoe bomb on US jet—reports

WASHINGTON US federal air marshals subdued a Qatari diplomat who tried to detonate a shoe bomb aboard a flight from Washington to Denver late Wednesday, US media reported.

Authorities have identified the passenger as Mohammed al-Modadi, who has full diplomatic immunity as the third secretary and vice-consul of the Qatari embassy in Washington, ABC News reported.

Officials said United Airlines flight 663 carrying 157 passengers and six crewmembers from Washington's Reagan National airport landed safely in Denver following the disturbance, the NBC network reported.

3 Filipino boxers advance in China Open semis

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines' welterweight Wilfredo Lopez made it to the semifinal round of the inaugural China Open boxing tournament in Guiyang, Guizhou. He became the third Filipino to secure at least a bronze medal in the competition.

10 Filipinos enter Fujairah World 8-Ball KO stage

MANILA, Philippines – Ten out of 12 Filipino cue artists, including Dennis Orcollo and Jeffrey de Luna, made it to the knockout stage of the Etisalat WPA World 8-Ball Pool Championship 2010 in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

N.B.A. Roundup: Warriors' Don Nelson Sets Career Victories Record

from NYT > Pro Basketball by By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

"Lenny's been an idol of mine for a long time," Nelson said.

Stephen Curry had 27 points, 14 assists, 8 rebounds and 7 steals, and Anthony Tolliver scored a career-high 34 points to help secure the victory for Nelson.

The Timberwolves cut a 27-point deficit to 108-104 with 43.6 seconds left. But the Warriors closed out the game at the free-throw line, and Ronny Turiaf poured a celebratory cup of Gatorade on the 69-year-old Nelson as he was engulfed by his players.

Nelson has built a reputation as a mad scientist, experimenting with lineups and offenses to cater to teams that were not the biggest, strongest or most talented. His first head coaching job was with Milwaukee in 1976, when he replaced Larry Costello 19 games into the season. He has also coached the Dallas Mavericks and theKnicks, and returned to Golden State in 2006-7, when he led the eighth-seeded Warriors to an upset of top-seeded Dallas in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

HARRINGTON DONE AS KNICK? Knicks forward Al Harrington will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Thursday and will need three to four months to recover. By the time he is healthy, he will almost certainly be wearing a new uniform.

Harrington is one of 10 Knicks who will become free agents in July. The Knicks, who have their sights set onLeBron James and other marquee players, have little interest in re-signing him.

With Harrington out, the Knicks fell at Indiana, 113-105. Danny Granger scored 33 points, and the Pacers led by as many as 20 in the first half. Toney Douglas scored 20 points for the Knicks, who had won two straight. Danilo Gallinari had 17 points and David Lee added 16 points and 16 rebounds. HOWARD BECK BOSH HAS FACIAL SURGERY Toronto's All-Star forward Chris Bosh had surgery to repair a facial fracture sustained when he was accidentally struck by the elbow of Cleveland's Antawn Jamsion on Tuesday night. Bosh's recovery is expected to take "weeks," Dr. Paul Marks, the Raptors' medical director, said. Things got worse when Hedo Turkoglu left Toronto's game Wednesday night, a 115-104 loss to Boston, late in the first quarter after bumping heads with Celtics guard Tony Allen. Turkoglu sustained a nasal contusion and was taken to hospital for a CT scan. (AP)

BUCKS 108, NETS 89 John Salmons had 22 points as Milwaukee beat the visiting Nets, the Bucks' second straight victory without the injured center Andrew Bogut. Devin Harris scored 18 of his 25 points in the first quarter for the Nets (11-67), who will finish with at least a share of the N.B.A.'s worst record. (AP)

NUGGETS 98, THUNDER 94 Chauncey Billups scored 31 points and Carmelo Anthony had 24 as Denver rallied from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit at Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 33 points. (AP)

OFFICIALS MISSED LATE FOUL The N.B.A. said that officials missed a foul in the final seconds of Utah's 140-139 overtime victory against Oklahoma City on Tuesday night. "On the final play of last night's Oklahoma City-Utah game, the officials missed a foul committed by the Jazz's C. J. Miles on the Thunder's Kevin Durant during a 3-point shot attempt," Joel Litvin, the league's president for basketball operations, said in a statement.(AP)

Carmen Soo dating Bianca Gonzalez's ex?

MANILA, Philippines - Malaysian actress Carmen Soo denied rumors that she is dating Bianca Gonzalez's former boyfriend, director Lino Cayetano.

Filipino internet users most engaged in social media: survey

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino internet users are the most engaged in social networking online, a leading online audience measurement service said Wednesday.

20 short films aim to show real issues in May polls -

20 short films aim to show real issues in May polls
"AmBisyon 2010" is a collection of 20 short films produced by ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel) "to show the real issues at stake" in the coming elections.

Asteroid to pass near Earth on Thursday—NASA

WASHINGTON—A recently discovered small asteroid will pass by the Earth on Thursday, but poses no risk of striking, US space scientists said.

Friday: heavy rain shower, Max Temp: 31°C (88°F), Min Temp: 26°C (79°F)

Max Temp: 31°C (88°F), Min Temp: 26°C (79°F), Wind Direction: NE, Wind Speed: 10mph, Visibility: good, Pressure: 1012mb, Humidity: 61%, Sunrise: 05:36PHT, Sunset: 17:54PHT

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