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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 13, 2010 Major News Stories

At least eight more human remains have been recovered from the ruins of a passenger ship that capsized and sank off Romblon at the height of a killer storm in 2008.

Radio dzXL reported Wednesday the bodies from the MV Princess of the Stars were turned over to a forensic team of the Public Attorneys Office for identification.

PAO chief Persida Acosta said the PAO forensic group, which she said is independent," has started preliminary skeletal examinations on the remains.

She said the PAO will also aim to retrieve more than 300 bodies to undergo a similar procedure.

The MV Princess of the Stars capsized amid the rage of Typhoon Frank off Sibuyan Island in Romblon province on June 21, 2008.

It was believed carrying more than 800 passengers, but more than 500 passengers remain unaccounted for.

41 of 53 poll results from province done

BEFORE, bleary-eyed candidates and their supporters spent two to three days after the elections waiting for official results.

This time, at least 41 of 53 cities and towns in Cebu already sent their results to the Provincial Board of Canvassers less than 24 hours after the voting closed.

At 4:55 p.m. yesterday, the canvassers made their first announcement of a winner: Rep. Eduardo Gullas, reelected as congressman of the first district. He won 92.90 percent of the votes in six cities and towns.

All other winners of the congressional districts have yet to be proclaimed. But partial, unofficial results based on 78 percent of the election returns showed the incumbent House representatives in the lead.

Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia won 99,526 votes based on that tally, against 51,440 votes for Dr. Cora-Lou Kintanar, in the second district. Garcia's son Rep. Pablo John led with 83,984 votes, compared to 56,459 for Dr. Antonio Yapha Jr., who once served three terms as the third district's congressman.

In the fourth district, the partial tally showed Benhur Salimbangon got 114,786 votes, against 50,405 votes for Celestino Martinez III. In the fifth district, the tally showed 148,675 votes for Rep. Ramon Durano VI, compared to 22,784 for Jesus Durano Jr.

Only two new faces are expected to represent Cebu in the House, starting June 30: Luigi Gabriel Quisumbing of the sixth district and Mayor Arturo Radaza of the new district of Lapu-Lapu City.

At least 31 of the winning mayors are allied with Lakas-Kampi-CMD and One Cebu.

The canvassing, while much faster than before, also had a few hitches.

The consolidation and canvassing system of the municipality of Tabogon failed to electronically transmit the results.

The results had to be delivered, physically and manually, in a compact disc, which arrived at 6:35 p.m.

Among the results that have yet to reach the provincial canvassers, as of 6 last night, were those from Bogo City and Compostela town. It was also in Compostela where the first petition was filed for a manual recount.

8.33% of results transmitted to national board of canvassers

MANILA, Philippines Only 8.33 percent of results nationwide have been transmitted to the National Board of Canvassers Wednesday.

As the Commission on Elections NBOC re-convened late Wednesday morning, it reported that several provincial board of canvassers (PBOCs) were either still in the process of transmitting their consolidated results while some have yet to transmit the results.

Provinces or areas that have completely transmitted results to NBOC were:

Region 1: Ilocos Norte, IIocos Sur and La Union.
Region 2: Quirino
Region 3: Bataan
Region 4-A: Cavite
Region 4-B: Marinduque 
NCR: Pasig, San Juan, Valenzuela, Malabon, Makati, Muntinlupa, Paranaque
Region 5: Albay
Region 6: Guimaras
Region 7: Siquijor
Region 8: Biliran
Region 10: Camiguin

With the canvassing of results for the senatorial and party-list races progressing smoothly, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday said that Congress should schedule the canvassing of results for the presidential and vice presidential contests earlier.

"I see nothing that prevents them from doing it earlier so they should be able to do that," Comelec spokesman James Jimenez told reporters in a chance interview.

The Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), will consolidate the votes and proclaim the winners for the senatorial and party-list races.

Winners are expected to be proclaimed by Friday, May 14, Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said.

On the other hand, a joint session of the outgoing Congress, sitting as the NBOC, will serve as the canvassing board for the position of president and vice president.

They are set to convene on May 31, almost three weeks after the senators and party-list representatives have already been declared.

But Jimenez admitted that Congress cannot be compelled to follow Comelecs suggestion.

He likewise said that it is up to the Congress as sitting NBOC to decide what method it wishes to use in canvassing.

"That is their prerogative. If they want to do it slower, if they want to use different methods for the meantime, were perfectly fine with that," he said.

"They formulate their own rules of canvass. Right now, we don't know whether they will use our automated system or they will opt to use the Certificates of Canvass (COC) that will be brought to them," he added.

The poll body is currently using an electronic canvassing system to process and consolidate all the COC from the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBC).

The NBOC will base its proclamation on the COCs sent by the PBC, which will receive COCs from the city and municipal board of canvassers.

On Wednesday, the NBOC came out with partial canvassed results where the leading senatorial candidate is Senator Jinggoy Estrada.

The tally was based on 8.33 percent of the certificates of canvass (COC) to be sent by the Provincial Board of Convassers (PBC).

Comelec to hold hearings on failed, postponed polls

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Wednesday it will start a series of hearings on why Mondays elections in some areas either failed or were postponed.

Voting was postponed in some precincts in Iloilo, Saranggani, and Western Samar, while elections in some areas in Basilan and Lanao del Sur were declared a failure. The commission said it would start hearing the cases on Wednesday afternoon.

On May 10, the Comelec recommended that elections be declared failures in 11 municipalities in the Visayas and Mindanao because of open hostilities by private militias and, in some cases, members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) did not show up to supervise the polling precincts.

The towns involved were Masiu, Lumba-Bayabao, Lumba-Unayan, Tubaran, Marogong, Bayang, and Sultan Dumalondong in Lanao del Sur; Albarca and Sumisip in Basilan; Guimbal in Iloilo; and Pagsanjan in Samar.

The Comelec has 30 days to reschedule elections in those places once the reasons for failure have been remedied.

An election is considered a failure when it is not held on scheduled, or when it has been "suspended before the hour fixed by law," according to the Omnibus Election Code.

The election may also be suspended, for a number of reasons, even after the voters have cast their ballots, or during preparations and the transmission of the election returns."

Foreign observers decry poll cheating in Lanao del Sur

CAGAYAN DE ORO - Nine foreign observers revealed Wednesday attempts to rig the May 10 elections in Lanao del Sur through vote-buying.

The Commission on Elections on Monday declared a failure of elections in 7 Lanao del Sur towns including Masiu, Lumba Bayabao, Lumba Caunayan, Bayang, Tuburan, Sultan Marogong and Lumbatan because there were no teachers. The Comelec has 30 days to reschedule elections in those places once the reasons for failure have been remedied.

Atty. Gil Boehringer, a foreign observer from Australia, said his group was surprised to see many people being given ballots that were already shaded last Monday. 

Another observer, Francis Añover, said vote-buying in the province "was very open" on Election Day.

"I stayed there for 20 minutes. There was a man standing in front of me and giving out the paper with the face of a candidate and underneath was P500," Añover said.

The foreign observer mission said it will submit its findings to the Commission on Elections and foreign embassies.

PPCRV update for presidential, VP

MANILA, Philippines(UPDATE) Partial unofficial precincts count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) covering 67,851 out of 76,475 precincts (88.72 percent):


Benigno Aquino III: 13,614,286
Joseph Ejercito Estrada: 8,629,588
Manuel Villar: 4,929,790
Gilberto Teodoro Jr.: 3,630,533
Eduardo Villanueva: 1,012,275
Richard Gordon: 462,380
Jesus Nicanor Perlas: 48,412
Jamby Madrigal: 41,597
John Carlos Delos Reyes: 39,603

Vice President

Jejomar Binay: 13,285,103
Manuel Roxas: 12,492,280
Loren Legarda: 3,734,690
Bayani Fernando: 927,159
Eduardo Manzano: 698,410
Perfecto Yasay: 326,960
Jose Sonza: 56,940
Dominador Chipeco: 46,841

Roxas, Binay camps trade barbs as VP race heats up

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) The race to the vice presidency heats up as the camps of Senator Manuel Mar Roxas and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, the frontrunners for the second highest position in the land, trade accusations with the contest threatening to go down the wire.

In the partial tally of the Commission on Elections as posted on on May 11 (the Comelec has stopped the canvass for president and vice president to avoid preempting Congress which will proclaim the winners), Binay leads Roxas by over 800,000 votes or12,025,429 to 11,213,563.

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) canvass also posted on as of May 12, also showed Binay ahead, 13,294,054, to Roxas 12,501,290.

The word war started when Dr. Marichi Ramos, a campaigner of Binay in Negros Occidental, admitted on Wednesday that she passed on a text message alleging an attempt to rig the returns in Western Visayas in favor of Roxas due to a sudden surge in votes for the senator.

The same text message forwarded by Ramos to the Philippine Daily Inquirer also said that Sigma Rhoan lawyers headed by former defense secretary Avelino Nonong Cruz and former Negros Occidental governor Daniel Lacson were trying to rig the election returns in Negros Occidental. The text message also warned about alleged attempts to commit fraud in Ilonggo bailiwicks of Western Visayas.

But Provincial Election Officer Jessie Suarez quickly denied Ramos claim, saying the returns from the towns and cities have shown a higher turnout rate.

Senator Franklin Drilon and one of the leaders of the volunteers for the Liberal Party in Negros Occidental disputed the allegation, with Drilon accusing Binay of allegedly conditioning the minds of the people "with irresponsible and unfounded insinuations."

Ramos claimed that Suarez told their camp about a low turnout of voters in Negros Occidental and only more than 500,000 voters had voted.

But Suarez denied this, saying that of the 1.5 million voters of Negros Occidental, 80 percent had voted.

Ramos also claimed that on Tuesday night she recorded 300,000 plus votes for Roxas and about 106,000 for Binay at the Provincial Canvassing center at the Capitol in Bacolod City but she left the room to check the reported commotion in the Bacolod canvassing in another venue.

She said that when she returned about two hours later, she noted a sudden surge of votes for Roxas by 100,000 recorded by the provincial board of canvassers from Victorias City, which she considered improbable.

Suarez, however, disputed the allegations of Ramos.

The Commission on Elections records showed that during the time Ramos said the surge occurred, the provincial board of canvassers had received a lot of returns, including those coming from Kabankalan City, Silay City, Moises Padilla, Ilog, Isabela, Hinobaan and Murcia, between 8:30 p.m. and a little after 11 p.m., he pointed out.

Suarez said the provincial board of canvassers received the returns from Victorias City at 3 a.m. Wednesday, contrary to the Ramos' allegations that the city poll results were being tallied at the time the surge occurred Tuesday evening.

"We are just doing our job. If they can show, even just one iota of proof [of cheating], I will resign," Suarez said.

Meanwhile, Drilon told a press conference later Wednesday that Binay continued to spread intrigues even when the campaign was over.

"He should stop conditioning the minds of the people with irresponsible and unfounded insinuations. This is a closer race than he would want the people to believe," said Drilon, also former president of the Liberal Party now headed by Roxas.

The truth is, Drilon said, Roxas would claim victory in the end by a "hairline."

He pointed out in a separate statement that 22 percent or up to roughly 6-7 million votes have yet to be transmitted to the servers of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Manila and have yet to be tallied, based on Comelecs own pronouncement to stop its tally after accounting for 78 percent of votes cast.

"The voices of around five to six million voters have not yet been included in Comelecs own tally. This gives us the confidence that Mar will win after all of this," he said.

"Comelec stopped its tally after counting 78 percent of total votes cast, in deference to Congress who is mandated by law to canvass the votes for President and Vice President. Once the votes from our bailiwicks are fully transmitted to Comelec, we are hoping that Mar will catch up and take the number one spot," he stressed.

If 15-20 percent of the 76,340 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines have yet to transmit votes, Drilon said, then roughly 5-7 million votes have yet to be tallied, assuming an average of 500 voters per PCOS, and a 75 percent voter turnout nationwide.

He said Binay's camp might have "done their own math," and has seen the reality that the Makati mayors lead could disappear into thin air once the votes from the bailiwicks of Roxas were taken into account.

"They are now very, very worried that they could lose. And the best way for them to discredit any possible surge from us is to throw wild and outrageous accusations of so-called special operations in Mindanao," said Drilon.

Drilon reported that in Iloilo, Roxas has a lead of around 310,000 votes, with eight towns and a component city yet to be canvassed.

He said he also received information from former National Power Corp. president Jesus Alcordo in Cebu that Roxas won by roughly 1.05 million votes over Binay in the vote-rich province; and from Negrenese businessman Bitay Lacson that Roxas lead there was more than 500,000 votes.

"This already gives Mar more than one and a half million votes from these Visayan bailiwicks alone, as against Binays lead which now stands at roughly 800,000 votes," Drilon pointed out.

Roxas is from Capiz and his mother is Judy Araneta Roxas Araneta. He has been leading in the Western Visayas poll count.

But Lacson, one of the leaders of the Aquino-Roxas volunteers in the province, on Wednesday said people who have been making accusations of cheating should better back up what they were saying "because if that is not fair to us then we will also do what is necessary to protect our reputation."

"Let it be said that as early as three weeks ago we were the ones who were calling for a parallel manual count," he said, adding that their camp wanted to see the canvassing over as soon as possible "as we are all tired."

Lacson also maintained that if there were malfunctioning PCOS machines, the complaints should be addressed to the Comelec.

On the other hand, Comelec Western Visayas director Ray Rene Buac on Wednesday assured that elections results could not be changed undetected despite the delays in the transmission of results from Western Visayas, a bailiwick of Roxas who has been behind Binay by 800,00 votes in the vice presidential race.

"Any discrepancy with the transmitted data will be immediately noticed," Buac told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) in each precinct is required to print an initial eight copies of the election return (ER) from the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine before they transmit simultaneously to servers of the municipal or city board of canvassers, provincial board of canvassers and the national board of canvassers.

After the transmission, the BEIs print an additional 22 copies of the ER.

"The possibility of tampering and changing the data without being detected is almost impossible," Buac said.

But he added that "Until all the winners are proclaimed, let us all be vigilant."

Arroyo to run for speaker, says brother-in-law

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, PhilippinesNegros Occidental Representative Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo Jr. (5th District) said on Tuesday night the allies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would have the numbers to elect her as Speaker of the House.

Asked if the President, who won her congressional bid in the 2nd district of Pampanga, would go for the speakership, the Negros solon said, "Yes, I think she would."

In Negros Occidental, three of the winners in the congressional race, Representative Arroyo of the 5th district, Julio Ledesma IV (1st district) and Alfredo Maraon III (2nd district) belong to the Lakas-Kampi-CMD while another winner, former presidential spokesman Anthony Golez belongs to the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) but is close to the President.

Golez won in the Bacolod City congressional lone district with 58,708 votes over Renecito Novero who got 45,083.

Three other congressional winners, Albee Benitez (3rd district), Jeffrey Ferrer (4th district) and Genaro Alvarez(6th district) belong to the NPC.

In Iloilo, incumbent 1st district Representative Janet Garin (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) runs unopposed while in the 2nd district, controversial Augusto Syjuco Jr. (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), who ran into graft and corruption complaints when he was the director-general of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, is ahead by a wide margin over Ramon Arenas Jr. (NPC), son of socialite Rosemarie Baby Arenas.

Another Arroyo ally, Arthur Defensor Jr. (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) is also winning in the 3rd district over former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rene Villa (LP).

Incumbent 4th Representative Ferjenel Biron (Nacionalista Party) is winning over Iloilo Gov. Niel Tupas (LP).

The 5th district race is really for oppositionists to Arroyo: Representative Niel Tupas Jr. (LP) is winning over his cousin, Iloilo Vice Gov. Rolex Suplico (NP).

President Arroyo also has two allies in Bohol, Bohol Governor Erico Aumentado (Lakas-Kampi-CMD), who won in the 2nd district congressional race, and Arthur Yap, (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) who ran unopposed in the 3rd district. However, it is not yet known if Rene Relampagos (Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino) who won in the 1st congressional district would support the speakership bid of the President.

In Cebu, five of the winning candidates in the congressional race, Rep. Eduardo Gullas of Alayon-NP (1st district), Rep. Pablo Garcia of Lakas-Kampi (2nd district), Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Lakas-Kampi (3rd district), Rep. Benhur Salimbangon of Lakas Kampi (4th district), Rep. Ramon Durano VI of NPC (5th district) and Arturo Radaza of Lakas-Kampi (Lapu-Lapu lone district) were closely allied with the President Macapagal-Arroyo. Gullas and Radaza have been proclaimed winners.

In Capiz, Representative Antonio del Rosario (LP) won in the 1st congressional district while Jane Castro (Lakas-Kampi), wife of outgoing Representative Fredenil Castro won in the 2nd district.

But there are victories for the Liberal Party (LP): Television host Lucy Torres Gomez, who ran under the Liberal Party, was proclaimed 10:30 a.m. Wednesday as the duly elected congressional representative for Leyte's fourth district, edging out her closest rival by more than 24,000 votes.
Gomez, 35, replaced her husband Richard, who was earlier disqualified on residency issues.

In Cebu City, the congressional candidates of the Bando Osmea Pundok Kauswagan, which is affiliated with the Liberal Party, won handily over their opponents.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmea edged out Jonathan Guardo while Rachel Marguerite Del Mar, daughter of Representative Raul del Mar, also won over Lahug Barangay Captain Mary Ann de los Santos.

However, in the past, both Osmea and Del Mar's father were allies of President Arroyo.

Malacañang to bets: "Time to move on"


It is time to move on.

This was the advice of Malacañang to losing former Cabinet members who are seeking elective posts.

"Let's respect the will of the people. Let's put this behind us and move on. The nation had spoken," Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza said advising some Cabinet members who lose from their respective electoral races, including Mrs. Arroyo's longest serving Cabinet member, former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and former Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera.

Ermita sought reelection as congressman in Batangas' first district, while Devanadera ran for congressional seat in the first district of Quezon.

Others who lost in the elections were former presidential chief legal counsel Raul Gonzalez, and former presidential peace adviser Hermogenes Esperon.

Mendoza said that the election results were not so bad since some of the relatives of the current Cabinet men emerged as victors, including his own son, Mark who won in the fourth district of Batangas and the son of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Roman who topped the congressional race in Pasig City.

He also there is no way to question the poll results since the May 10 polls were proven as extremely credible and fraud-free elections. "The elections have been credible and peaceful automation."

Despite poll results that favored the opposition, Malacañang earlier advised winning candidates to buy their new barongs and ternos and a pair of new shoes which were worn out during the campaign in preparation for their oath-taking next month.

Arroyo proclaimed as Pampanga congressman

MANILA, Philippines - President Arroyo has been proclaimed the winner in the congressional race for the second district of Pampanga.

Aquino ready to take on family's burden

by by Karl Malakunas, Agence France-Presse
TARLAC, Philippines - Sitting inside a museum displaying the bloodied clothes his democracy hero father was wearing when assassinated, Benigno Aquino admits that for a long time he did not want to be president.

Imelda vows to vindicate Marcos name

by Agence France-Presse
MANILA, Philippines - Former first lady Imelda Marcos on Wednesday vowed to vindicate the family's scandal-tainted name following her election to the Philippine House of Representatives by a landslide.

PCGG: Justice, not vengeance, should govern Marcos settlement

MANILA, Philippines - An official of the Presidential Commission on Good Government on Wednesday advised the incoming administration to work with the Marcos family in the recovery of the late dictator's ill-gotten wealth.

Arroyo appoints Corona as new chief justice

MANILA, PhilippinesPresident Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Renato Corona as the incoming chief justice upon the retirement of Chief Justice Reynato Puno on May 17.

Corona was appointed associate justice by Arroyo on April 9, 2002. He graduated law from the Ateneo Law School in 1974. While studying, he also worked full time in the Office of the Executive Secretary. He ranked 25th in the 1974 Bar examination out of 1,965 candidates.

After law school, he studied Master of Business Administration at the Ateneo Professional Schools and in 1981, he was accepted to the Master of Laws program in Harvard Law School, where he focused on foreign investment policies and the regulation of corporate and financial institutions.

In 1992, he joined President Fidel Ramos as Assistant Executive Secretary for legal affairs. Two years later, he was promoted Deputy Executive Secretary and eventually became the Presidential Legal Counsel.

After Ramos, he was invited by then Vice President Arroyo to become her chief of staff and spokesman. When she assumed the presidency in 2001, he became the Presidential Chief of Staff, spokesman, and later as acting Executive Secretary.

He became a faculty of Ateneo Law school, teaching Commercial law, Taxation and Corporation law.

He was born on October 15, 1948 in Tanauan City, Batangas. He is married to former Cristina Roco and they have three children.

This is the first time that there is a chief justice in waiting. Before, presidents announce their choices for the chief justice post upon the retirement of the sitting chief justice.

The appointment of Punos replacement has been the most contested, with some saying that President Arroyo can no longer make the appointment due to the ban under Section 15 Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that only temporary appointments can be made within two months before the national elections.

But the Supreme Court in its March 17 ruling said that positions in the Supreme Court are exempted from the appointment ban.

Constitution expert Joaquin Bernas also said that there can be no appointment without a vacancy.

Can Noynoy void Corona's appointment as chief justice?

MANILA, Philippines - Liberal Party's Benigno Aquino III, whom partial and unofficial counts show will likely be the next president, has said that he wouldn't recognize the chief justice that President Arroyo would appoint before her term ends.

Doctor puts an end to Plazas' reign over Butuan City

BUTUAN City, Philippines - The Plazas reign over Butuan City is over after the local election office proclaimed late Tuesday night a doctor as the city's new mayor.

Doctor Ferdinand Amante Jr. was proclaimed before midnight after winning by a landslide against former mayor Leonides Plaza, wife of incumbent Mayor Democrito Plaza II.

Amante got 65,663 votes while Plaza lost with onlhy 56,763 votes.

Local observers said Amante's victory was phenomenal because it puts an end to the Plazas decades-old hold on Butuan City.

Meanwhile, reelectionist Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Jose Aquino III will remain in his seat after winning for the 2nd time against congressional candidate Angelo Jimenez.

Aquino won by a landslide with 78,902 votes against Jimenez's 38,517.

Losing mayoral bet's followers torch 4 schools

ZAMBOANGA CITY Suspected armed followers of a losing candidate in Akbar town in Basilan province torched four schools during separate attacks in four villages after election officials proclaimed the candidate's rival in the mayoral race.

Basilan police chief Senior Supt. Antonio Mendoza said the first school was torched on the evening of May 11 "and three more schools were burned on Wednesday dawn, May 12."

The schools that were burned down in Akbar town were the Kaddayan Elementary Schools in Kaddayan village, Mangalut Elementary School in Barangay Mangalut, Pagengan Primary School in Barangay Pagengan and Upper Sinangkapan Primary School.

Mendoza did not identify the losing politician.

Top 15 senatorial bets in Comelec tally, as of 4:56 p.m.

MANILA, Philippines Senator Jose Jinggoy Estrada remains number one in the Commission on Elections partial, official tally of the senatorial race as of 4:56 p.m., May 12.

The Comelec has canvassed 30 certificates of candidacy out of 276.
Below are the top 15 senatorial candidates.

1. Jinggoy Estrada 3,715,333
2. Ramon Revilla 3,649709
3. Miriam Defensor-Santiago 3,427,585
4. Franklin Drilon 3,087,445
5. Juan Ponce Enrile 3,076,935
6. Ferdinand Bong-bong Marcos Jr. 3,047,020
7. Pia Cayetano -2,805,462
8. Vicente Sotto III 2,408,467
9. Ralph Recto 2,264,930
10. Sergio Osmena III 2,263,524
11. Teofisto Guingona III 2,168,619
12. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel 1,904,276
13. Lito Lapid 1,858,028
14. Gilbert Remulla 1,832,388
15. Rozzano Rufino Biazon -1,757,645

Comelec tally of 20 leading party-list groups as of 4:58 p.m.

MANILA, Philippines(UPDATE) Following are the partial, official results of leading party-list groups based on 30 of 276 certificates of canvass tallied by the Commission on Elections as of Wednesday, 4:58 p.m.:

1. Ako Bicol Partylist 616,562
2. Buhay Hayaan Yumabong - 392,793
3. Coalition of Association of Senior Citizens Philippines Inc. 233,742
4. Gabriela Women's Party 227,068
5. ABONO 203,008
6. Akbayan 194,082
7. Cooperative NATCCO Network Party 190,826
8. Bayan Muna 165,824
9. Abante Mindanao Inc. 160,404
10. Citizen's Battle Against Corruption 158,976
11. Alliance for Barangay Concerns Party 134,319
12. Atong Paglaum 115,295
13. Advocacy for Teachers' Empowerment 111,588
14. Kabataan Partylist 97,603
15. Anakpawis 88,760
16. 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy 83,770
17. Alagad Partylist 70,372
18. Butil Farmers Party 65,724
19. An-waray 61,867
20. LPG Marketers Association Inc. 61,545

Remaining ERs to come in trickles—PPCRV

MANILA, Philippines After a burst of results in the first two days of counting, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said it expected the remaining election returns to come in trickles.

I have asked that [when the PPCRV canvassing would last] and I was told that its not going to be very fast. . . . They [Commission on Elections] were saying that the last few percentage points would be very, very difficult because that would come from the distant regions, Ana De Villa Singson, PPCRV media director, told reporters in an interview Wednesday.

Comelec officials and its automation partner, Smartmatic Inc., visited the tally center of the PPCRV at the Pope Pious center in Manila Wednesday and met with officers of the group.

Partial unofficial tally coming from PPCRV as of 4:24 p.m. covers election results from 68,897 precincts out of the 76,475 precincts all over the country, or 88.78 percent.

What they [Comelec and Smartmatic] are saying is that its really slowing down already because some of the things were getting are no longer straight from the PCOS [precinct count optical count] machines, some of them are already being transmitted through the canvassing offices, Singson explained.

She said the PPCRV could not make a tally of all the election returns because of the failure of elections in some areas.

The group is an accredited citizens arm of the Commission on Elections that was granted the right to the 4th Copy of the election returns.

When asked about the alleged delay in transmission of election returns from Western Visayas, the supposed bailiwick of Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Senator Manuel Roxas II, Singson said she did not observe such.

Roxas has been trailing Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay by about 800,000 votes in the vice presidential race.

I will check [transmission] for Region 7, but I remember for Visayas transmission rate, its about 90 percent already so thats fairly good. . . . The lowest is ARMM [Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao], not Western Visayas, Singson said.

Random Manual Audit may take a month to complete, PPCRV says

The Random Manual Audit (RMA) of 1,145 precincts nationwide might take over a month to finish partly because of delays in the delivery of the reports to the Commission on Elections in Manila, the RMA Technical Working Group (TWG) said late Wednesday.

According to the RMA-TWG Chair Henrietta De Villa, the areas that have already completed their RMA as of May 11 are Zamboanga del Sur (1st legislative district), Zamboanga City (1st legislative district), and Pampanga (1st to 4th legislative districts).

The RMA-TWG has received 51 RMA results so far, a mere five percent of all precincts that were required to undergo RMA, De Villa said.

She explained that officers conducting the RMA in the rest of the provinces are waiting for the rest of the precincts in their district to finish their respective reports before sending these to the Comelec, stalling the TWG's evaluation.

"[We urge them] not to wait for the other reporters baka kasi nagtitipid sa cost of sending, kaya aantayin lahat ng report na matapos sa kanilang [district] eh isang taon pa kami mag-aantay niyan (They might be scrimping on the cost of sending, thats why theyre waiting for all reports to finish in their district. But well be waiting the whole year for that)," De Villa told reporters.

De Villa urged each precinct to send its reports to Comelec in Manila as soon as it finishes with its RMA.

Five precincts for each of the 229 legislative districts nationwide were chosen to undergo the RMA, which would check the results produced by the poll counting machines against the manually counted ballots.

"I would say [at the rate things are going], [we will take] about a month [to finish]. If we receive it by Friday or even next week, [all mechanisms are activated now anyway] to look into the report [so that we can quickly give an] evaluation," De Villa said, explaining that once the TWG finds substantial" discrepancies in the report, it will recommend the opening of all ballot boxes in the district concerned.

She stressed, however, that discrepancies in the results do not necessarily reflect inaccuracies in the reading of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

She also said that RMA reports do not show whether discrepancies were caused by overvotes or any unusual marks which might have been considered by officers as valid but the machine did not actually read.

"They can't give any appreciation or discretion on the variance [between the PCOS results and the manual count]. May variance pero hindi naman marami (Theres variance but not a lot)," De Villa said

The TWG has already asked the National Statistics Office to create a program to determine the acceptable margin of variance between results from the manual and automated counts, beyond which the rest of the precincts from the district would undergo a manual count.

"This is why automated should be it. Mahirap, 'di matantya ang oras dahil mano-mano (Its difficult, we cant estimate the time required because its done manually). They list down unusual markings without any discretion kaya matagal (and thus it takes time)," she said.

De Villa added she received a call from a member of former President Joseph Estradas camp, informing her of 200 discrepancies in one of the precincts in Metro Manila.

"They did not describe the discrepancy. Anybody can claim 200 discrepancies, but the best thing is to wait for all reports from Manila [to verify if they indeed exist]. It could happen that what has been manually recognized as a vote, the machine could not have recognized," she said, adding that no details on the precinct number and area was reported by the Erap camp.

De Villa also said that the TWG has already asked Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle to direct all provincial election supervisors (PES) and election officers to hasten the transmittal of reports.

The RMA team in a certain legislative district will give to their PES the report of their minutes and audit returns. And then the PES is supposed to bring that and send that to the Comelec national office. The national office will give that to the TWG," she said.

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Moody's says Aquino victory favors Philippine credit ratings

MANILA, Philippines -- International credit watcher Moody's Investors Service said  that the clear victory of Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III in the Philippine presidential elections,  sets a favorable tone for the country's credit fundamentals.

Philippine Airlines sees losses third year in a row

MANILA, Philippines -  Philippine Airlines expects to post losses for a third year, as the impact of a slow global economic recovery, lower passenger traffic and internal problems beset the country's flag carrier.

Five terrorists killed in raids in Indonesia: police

by Agence France-Presse
JAKARTA - Five suspected terrorists were killed in two raids in Indonesia on Wednesday, police said, during the latest in a series of anti-terror operations nationwide.

Thai army cutting electricity, water supplies to protest zone

BANGKOK (AP) – The Thai army said Wednesday it will begin limiting supplies of water, food and electricity to anti-government protesters camped in central Bangkok as part of new measures to clear the streets.

Army spokesman Col. Sansern Kaewkamnerd said security forces "will not use force at this stage," raising concerns of more violence in Thailand's two-month political standoff if protesters refuse to disperse.

"This is a full-scale measure to limit the freedom of protesters and to close down the area 100 percent, starting at midnight," Sansern said.

The new measures were announced a day after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva warned protesters who have paralyzed Bangkok's central business district to leave by Wednesday.

The anti-government protests have crippled the capital's ritziest shopping district, forced the closure of several luxury hotels and devastated the economy, particularly the vital tourism sector.

"Electricity and water supply, as well as food, will be limited," Sansern said, warning that residents who live in the neighborhood's upmarket high-rise apartments should consider alternate accommodations.

Chances of a negotiated settlement to the standoff appeared to be unraveling.

Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said late Tuesday that the prime minister had rescinded his compromise offer to hold early elections on Nov. 14 as part of a reconciliation plan.

"He said there will no longer be any more compromises or conditions,"

Panitan told The Associated Press late Tuesday. "Their refusal to stop the protest meant that the conditions that were set are being canceled, including the election date."

Pacquiao ready to fight Mayweather after poll win

by Agence France-Presse
MANILA, Philippines - World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao announced Wednesday that he wanted to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. for his last professional fight after launching a political career in the Philippines.

Pacquiao plans big party after 1st poll victory

MANILA, Philippines – Sarangani's new lone representative to the House of Representatives Manny Pacquiao is planning a grand celebration for his supporters following his apparent victory in the May 10 elections.

'Django' wins WPBL tourney in Canada

MANILA, Philippines – Former World No. 1 Francisco "Django" Bustamante ruled the inaugural event of the World Professional Billiard League called the Super Series of Billiards at the Mc Phillips Station Casino in Winnipeg, Canada over the weekend.

Kings foil upset bid of Barakos

Games Friday (Araneta Coliseum)
5 p.m. — Coca-Cola vs Talk ''N Text
7:30 p.m. — Rain or shine vs Alaska

Many times in the past, the never-say-die Ginebra squad scored come-from-behind victories.

The Kings did it again Wednesday night, but it was one win coach Jong Uichico felt was not worthy to be included in the team's long list of great escape stories.

"It was not a Ginebra way. I've been here for four years, but the team that we have now is different," a visibly dejected Uichico said moments after the team rallied back from a nine-point deficit with less than three minutes to beat Barako Bull Coffee, 93-90, in the PBA Fiesta Cup last night at the Araneta Coliseum.

"I can't figure out why. We have to figure it out. We can't go on winning like this way, if we want to have a good conference, it can't be this way," he added.

"We're barely winning, we're escaping. We've got to get things together," said Uichico, who needed the heroics of former MVP Eric Menk to dodge the upset bid of the Barakos.

Down 81-90 after Barako's Al Vergara buried a three-pointer that capped a searing11-1 run, Menk rattled off five straight points – a pair of free throws and a three-point play off a foul by Rob Reyes – to help ignite the Kings' mighty comeback.

After Barako Bull Coffee failed to convert on its possession, Celino Cruz nailed a triple then the two teams traded miscues before import Mildon Ambres scored on a putback off a Willie Miller missed jumper that gave Ginebra a 91-90 lead with 18.6 seconds left in the game.

The Coffee Masters had a chance to regain the lead, but import Sammy Monroe was called with a double-dribble violation that all but dashed away their hope of posting their first back-to-back win.

Fouled by Gerwin Gaco, Miller made two fouls shots for a 93-90 advantage with 6.5 ticks left. Vergara's desperate three-point shot at midcourt was short as time expired.

Ambres, Ginebra's second import after Awvee Storey, had 27 points and 20 rebounds, while Menk contributed 20 points and five boards.

First Game

Ginebra 93 — Ambres 27, Menk 20, Hatfield 10, Miller 9, Helterbrand 9, Wilson 7, Caguioa 6, Cruz 3, Villanueva 2, Tubid 0, De Ocampo 0.

Barako Bull Coffee 90 — Monroe 27, Juntilla 23, Najorda 16, Gaco 8, Dimaunahan 7, Alonzo 4, Vergara 3, Reyes 2, Menor 0, Duncil 0, Aljamal 0, Hubalde 0.

Quarters: Quarters: 24-20, 45-38, 70-63, 93-90.

Yap fights through distractions, gets Player of the Week award

MANILA, Philippines – Despite his busy schedule helping his brother-in-law campaign for the presidential election, Derby Ace's James Yap still managed to help his team score 2 straight wins in the 2010 Philippine Basketball Association Fiesta Conference.

Celtics 120, Cleveland 88: Celtics Dominate, and Cleveland Crowd Boos James

James could not score much Tuesday night, or penetrate the heart of a disciplined Boston Celtics defense. For one of the few times in a storied seven-year career, he could not save the Cavaliers or lift his hometown or steady himself.

The Cavaliers were humiliated on their home court, in a 120-88 rout, and are now one defeat away from playoff elimination and an anxious offseason. James is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent on July 1. The Knicksthe Nets and others are lining up to woo him.

James has guarded his intentions, but it is generally assumed that an early playoff exit can only push him toward the door. He is precariously close.

The Celtics hold a 3-2 lead in this second-round series and can close it out Thursday night in Boston. If they do, it could mean that James has played his last home game in a Cavaliers jersey.

"Didn't even think about that," James said flatly. "I feel like Game 6 is a huge game for us." He added, "Me sitting here saying it's potentially our last game here this season, it wouldn't be me, it wouldn't be our team."

A Cavaliers victory in Game 6 would bring the series back to Quicken Loans Arena for Game 7 on Sunday. They have already won at the TD Garden, in a Game 3 rout. That seems like a long time ago, and another team.

The Celtics have won the last two games handily, by crowding the lane and holding James in check. They are also enjoying a renaissance by their veteran core.

Ray Allen tortured the Cavaliers with quick-release 3-pointers, scoring 25 points. Kevin Garnett had 18 points and 6 rebounds. And Paul Pierce, who meandered through the first four games, at last found a rhythm, finishing with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists while checking James throughout. The game was never close in the second half.

The Cavaliers shot just 41 percent from the field Tuesday. Only Shaquille O'Neal, who had a team-high 21 points, had any sustained success.

"Our backs are against the wall now," O'Neal said. "We just got to win two in a row."

If this was James's farewell, it was memorable for all the wrong reasons. He scored just 15 points, the fourth lowest total of his playoff career. He missed his first seven shots and finished 3 for 14 from the field. He had 7 assists but never really got his teammates rolling, despite his considerable playmaking gifts.

It again raised doubts about the health of James's right elbow, but he would not admit any problems. He smirked the first time he was asked and talked around it the next two times it came up. He credited the Celtics' defense and said he simply missed open shots.

"I'm not an excuse guy," James said. "The fact that I spoil a lot of people with my play, you have a bad game here or there, you have three bad games in a seven-year career, it's easy to point that out."

He added: "I put a lot of pressure on myself to be out there and try to be great, be the best player on the court. And when I'm not, then I feel bad for myself, because I'm not going out there and doing the things that I know I can do."

The crowd booed repeatedly as the Celtics' lead ballooned from 10 points to 20 in the third quarter. It booed every desperate misfire by James and Mo Williams, and every defensive lapse, as Allen buried the Cavaliers with 3-pointers.

Fans started toward the exits with 8 minutes 16 seconds left in the game, the Celtics leading by 92-68. Those who stayed booed again at the final buzzer. James flipped his white headband into the crowd as he walked through the home team's tunnel. He did not look up.

It was another testy game. Williams and Rajon Rondo jawed at each other and drew technical fouls in the final minutes. O'Neal and Kendrick Perkins got double-technicals after facing off in the second quarter.

The game was played amid renewed speculation that James is ready to leave the Cavaliers, the only team he has known. It was sparked by comments from the author Buzz Bissinger, who wrote a book with James last year.

"I am not privy to any special information, but my gut tells me he will leave the Cavaliers whether they win the N.B.A. championship or not," Bissinger told "He has aspirations beyond basketball. He wants to be a billion-dollar athlete. He likes challenges and bright lights."

Bissinger said he thought James would join the Knicks, "if they get the right supporting cast," but he called that "a big if."

The speculation will only grow louder as the exit door gets closer.

List of celebrity winners

MANILA, Philippines – Below is ABS-CBN News' compilation of proclaimed celebrity winners in the May 10 national elections as of posting time.

MANILA, Philippines – Below is ABS-CBN News' compilation of celebrity winners, some of whom have already been proclaimed, in the May 10 national elections as of posting time.

1. Lani Mercado- Revilla- congresswoman, lone district of Bacoor, Cavite
2. Angelica Jones- board member, 3rd district Laguna
3. Gary Estrada- board member, 2nd district, Quezon province
4. ER Ejercito- governor, Laguna
5. Maita Gomez- mayor, Pagsanjan
6. Yul Servo- councilor, 3rd district, Manila
7. Daniel Fernando- vice governor, Bulacan
8. Dan Fernandez- congressman, Laguna
9. Lou Veloso- councilor, 6th district, Manila
10. Jericho Aguas-Genasky- councilor, Angeles City
11. Roderick Paulate- councilor, 2nd district, Quezon City
12. Alfred Vargas- councilor, 2nd district, Quezon City
13. Precious Hipolito- councilor, 2nd district, Quezon City
14. Gian Carlos-Sotto- councilor, 3rd district, Quezon City
15. Mon Ilagan- mayor, Cainta
16. Teri Onor (Nora Aunor's impersonator) - board member, 1st district, Bataan
17. Christopher de Leon- board member, 1st district, Batangas
18. Guia Gomez- mayor, San Juan 
19. Marjorie Baretto- councilor, Caloocan
20. Roselle Nava- councilor, 1st district, Parañaque
21. Lucy Torres-Gomez, congresswoman, 4th district, Ormoc City, Leyte.

The man behind @PCOSMachine

MANILA, Philippines - He joined the T.G.I.S. gang, became a Candy Cutie, formed a boy band, and ended up in the top 10 at the 2009 bar examinations. Click here to get to know the man behind overnight Twitter star @PCOSMachine.

Yves Gonzalez was bored, and everyone was blaming the lifeless PCOS machine for breaking down and working slower than expected.

He felt sorry about the poor machine, who was taking all the blows without even having a chance to defend itself.

The next thing you know, @PCOSMachine was born.


The man behind the machine. (Left) Gonzalez covers his face with a photo of the PCOS machine. (Right) Gonzalez introduces himself to the public as the creator of @PCOSMachine. Credit: ANC


"I was thinking, the machine didn't really have a voice, it was just a machine, so you can't really blame it. It's just like blaming other things that aren't really alive. So I thought, maybe we should have a voice for the PCOS machine," Gonzalez said in an interview at "Mornings @ ANC."

Gonzalez initially thought of creating @PCOSMachine as a joke, a prank, even.

Want proof? Here's @PCOSMachine's first tweet: "Can somebody please send me water? I'm overheating and I'm thirsty after eating all these ballots. ktnx."

The funny and witty tweets became a hit with Filipino Internet users. Just a few hours after @PCOSMachine came to life, the account had thousands of followers (as of posting time, it has 10,855 followers).

Even people from Smartmatic, the company where the PCOS machines used in the 2010 polls are sourced, began to follow the Twitter feeds.

Gonzalez was blown away. "At first it there was 100, then 200 [followers], then the next thing I know, my phone won't stop ringing...I didn't really think that it would become this big."

Celeb status

Because of the Twitter account he created, it's safe to say that Gonzalez has become an overnight Internet star.

It should be noted, however, that he is popular in his own right. discovered that Gonzalez was part of Candy Magazine's Candy Cuties in 2001. Here's a photo of him in his youth, as posted in Twitpic:


A 'cute' machine? Gonzalez is one of the Candy Cuties way back in 2001. Credit: Twitpic


Before that, Gonzalez was part of popular youth-oriented show "T.G.I.S." and soap "Anna Karenina." He was even part of a boy band, called "Casanova." (View a video of one of the band's performances here)

On top of all these, the 27-year-old tech whiz finished 6th in the 2009 bar exams, as seen in article.


Although he wasn't a registered voter, Gonzalez felt proud that he was able to do something for the country's first fully-automated polls. "At least I cooled some tensions, maybe."

But since the elections are over, @PCOSMachine may take a backseat in the next few days as the 27-year-old lawyer is planning to "get back to his real life."

"But it's still up to them, if people say I should maintain it [account], I'll try. That is, if they [still] want to follow," he assured.

Asked about the emergence of other Twitter accounts of the same nature, such as "Jejemon ballot box" and "signal jammer," Gonzalez said: "I don't really mind. I understand that they're just trying to see if they can accomplish the same thing that my account did."

Gonzalez has his personal Twitter account, called Doblezeta, so people can still follow his daily activities. He usually tweets about tech, gadgets and "something interesting I see on the street."

Unlike most users, he doesn't talk much about "what I ate for breakfast."

In his Twitter page, Gonzalez revealed that his childhood dream is to work for ABS-CBN, something that he confirmed during his TV guesting.

"ANC...hire me?" he jokingly said. -- By Karen Flores, Interview by TJ Manotoc, ANC

HALALAN 2010: Latest partial official results
Posted at 05/10/2010 11:26 PM | Updated as of 05/12/2010 7:36 PM

[Updated as of 7:25pm Philippine Standard Time, May 12, 2010]


The following are the latest partial official results of the May 10, 2010 National Elections from the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), and ABS-CBN, which has a copy of the 21st official election results.


Tally of votes for PRESIDENT also available here.





 Tally of votes for VICE PRESIDENT also available here.


Votes for SENATORS (Top 15)


Tally of votes for SENATORS also available here.

The other senatorial aspirants garnered the following votes based on Comelec tally as of 15:57 Philippine Standard Time, May 11, 2010.

REMULLA, Gilbert6,611,100
LIM, Danilo6,453,729
ROCO, Sonia5,959,493

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