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

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 24, 2010 Major News Stories

Attacks probably linked, PNP admits

TASK Force Ting is exploring at least two angles in the murder of hotelier Manuel Ting, which authorities believe was not an isolated attack.

"The manner of execution and the grouping of the shots indicated that the suspect (in Manuel's killing) is good in shooting," said Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Lani-o Nerez.

Manuel died after getting shot at least 10 times in the head and body while driving his car in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City around 6 p.m. last Tuesday.

His younger brother Nicolas remains in a hospital after surviving a separate ambush last Monday night in Mandaue City.

Nerez said the attacks on Manuel, 72, and Nicolas, 69, did not appear to be isolated nor random cases. The triggermen clearly had specific targets and planned the attacks well, he said.

Nerez, however, believes the attack will not harm the tourism industry in Cebu.

He designated Senior Supt. Ramon Melvin Buenafe commander of the task force that was immediately created to solve the attacks.

Among the angles being checked is if the killing was related to the businesses of Manuel, who owns several companies and
is president of the Cebu Parklane International Hotel.

The task force is composed of the Regional Intelligence Division, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Cebu City Police Office and Mandaue City Police Office.

They met yesterday at the regional police headquarters to share their leads.

Cenelyn Manguilimotan, Parklane's general manager, briefly told reporters at Manuel's wake that the family welcomed the creation of the task force and will cooperate with the police in the investigation.

Nerez said the task force is trying to come up with a sketch of the lone gunman, who reportedly did not wear a mask, when he fired at Manuel.

Nerez and Cebu City Police Director Patrocinio Comendador Jr., in separate interviews, said they will invite several persons who could help the task force in the investigation.

The police detailed security to both brothers' families.

A police team was detailed at the hospital where Nicolas is recuperating from the wounds he suffered. Another team was deployed to the funeral parlor to secure Manuel's family.

FAMILY ASKS PUBLIC NOT TO SPECULATE: Policemen eye Tings' rivalry in two attacks

A conflict between brothers is being considered by police as one of the three possible motives in the two successive shootings in Cebu that killed a businessman and injured his brother.

But Nixon "Jojo" Dizon, son of one of the victims, immediately squashed the speculation that sibling rivalry may have caused the two incidents of ambush, which evoked apprehensions among local businessmen.

"We are asking all those who speculate to wait for the police investigation," said Dizon in response to theories that the two families may have been out to get each other because of a longtime squabble.

He stressed that the quarrel was not to be considered a family rift, as it was contained only between the late Manuel Ting and his father, Nicolas. The children of the two are in good terms and have shown respect for each other, including their uncles.

"The rift between my father and Maning is a common knowledge and everybody knows that. Kaming mga anak wala manghilabot. Di ko ganahan sabungon mi. Nagproblema na gani mi ilaha pa gyud pun-an among problema. Dili lang unta ta magpataka og istorya," stressed Dizon.

Manuel Ting, 72, was on board his car when waylaid by a lone gunman near the corner of F. Llamas and Katipunan Sts. in Barangay Tisa past 5 p.m. the other day. He was shot and hit four times on his head and several times on other parts of his body. Twenty-six empty shells, apparently of caliber 9 mm, (not 22 as reported yesterday), were recovered from the crime scene.

The night before that, Manuel's younger brother, Nicolas, 70, was injured when he was ambushed in Barangay Cabancalan, Mandaue City.

Chief Supt. Lani-O Nerez, director of the Police Regional Office 7, said that the task force created to solve the two separate incidents of ambush will check if there were previous complaints involving Nicolas and Manuel Ting.

Nerez, however, said yesterday that it was too early to say that sibling rivalry was behind the attacks. This is why they will check the family's background so they can be enlightened on the two other angles that they are looking into - business-related and grudge with someone else.

"Dugay na nang ilang away-away, but ang question sad nganong karon ra (shooting incident)?" said Nerez, who refused to elaborate.

Task Force Ting is led by Sr. Supt. Ramon Buenafe, the current head of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID). It is exerting all efforts to identify the suspects of both incidents and eventually, the mastermind, Nerez said.

With the creation of the task force, the Mandaue City Police (MCPO) will just focus on the arrest of the suspects.

MCPO director Sr. Supt. Noel Gillamac said he got an assurance from Dizon, former Mandaue City Police consultant, that they will give their full cooperation once their father is discharged from the hospital. Nicolas is currently recuperating at the Chong Hua Hospital.

Based on the manner Manuel was killed, Nerez concluded that the incident was well-planned and that the gunman, whom the policemen believe was hired, was a professional killer.

For his part, CCPO Director Patrocinio Comendador surmised that there may be one to three masterminds behind Manuel's slay. He described the assassin as determined to kill the hotel owner.

"This is what we do in every investigation. We don't want to create a false perception. As much as possible, we want to give the facts," he said, adding that he is not giving any deadline for the task force to solve the case as he wants the probers to consider even the tiniest details.

The PRO 7 director said they are giving the families time to mourn on Manuel's death and to attend to Nicolas even as the police investigation continues. He disclosed that the family and relatives of the victims are cooperating with the investigators, although they have yet to talk to Nicolas himself.

The members of the task force are the police offices of Cebu City and Mandaue City, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and the PNP Crime Laboratory 7.

Nerez said the National Bureau of Investigation is also welcome to join them.

The incidents are reportedly causing fear among businessmen, and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry asked the police to solve the case immediately as this could be bad for the city's tourism industry.

Nerez, however, assured that the incidents are isolated. He does not think it will affect tourism.

Brothers' feud 'not a motive'

THE family and some friends of Manuel and Nicolas Ting yesterday said the brothers' rift was "common knowledge" but ruled it out as a possible motive in their back-to-back attacks.

"Impossible gyud kaayo na nga mahitabo. Dili man sila violent nga pagkatawo. Wala masuko si Jojo sa mga pamasangil kay limpyo man among konsensya (That's impossible. They are not violent. My husband Jojo is not angered by these allegations because our consciences are clean)," said Mandaue City councilor-elect Emmarie Ouano-Dizon, a daughter-in-law of Nicolas.

Both gunmen remained at large yesterday. A police team went to Carcar City in pursuit of a potential suspect, but failed to pick him up, a police source said. There were several witnesses present when the brothers were attacked, both of them while driving their cars.

Councilor-elect Dizon told radio DyLA yesterday there is a feud between the brothers, but it has not extended to their children.

Dizon also said the family decided to be "very careful with our movements," because the Ting family appears to be the target of the attacks.

She said Manuel, 72, and Nicolas, 69, are both good men with no known enemies. The family decided not to inform Nicolas about the attack on his brother, until he recovers.

Although the rift between the brothers is "common knowledge," Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama said does not believe their conflict could lead his close friends to attack each other.

"The conflict is not being hidden but it's not also being emphasized as a cause toward such a kind of ending for both of them. Everywhere, nahibaw-an man na ang ilang (people know about their) conflict. Even the children know there is that rift but they cannot imagine na muabot ug ingana (that it could come to this)," Rama told reporters.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the twin attacks are "a very distressing matter" and a reminder for local government units (LGUs) to pay more attention to peace and order.

"A proper and speedy investigation should be conducted as soon as possible, so that the perpetuators will face justice," the governor said.

Citing the use of security cameras on both Mactan-Mandaue Bridges, the governor said LGUs that take similar precautions can help the police find information they can use in their investigations.

Garcia said the recent resurgence in vigilante-style attacks—in which suspected or newly released criminals are gunned down—"is bringing a bad image to Cebu."

She called on citizens to do their part, by reporting any information that might help the authorities stop such attacks. The governor heads the Regional Peace and Order Council.

Interviewed separately, Rama said he is very close to both Nicolas and Manuel and their families, and has traveled with them and joined family affairs.

Rama, who heads the City's Police Coordinating and Advisory Council, would not say yet if he is confident the crimes will be solved, but said he hopes the killers will be identified immediately.

Even if it is an isolated case, he said businessmen and vulnerable individuals should still be careful in their dealings.

He also urged those who may have knowledge about the shooting incidents and those behind it to come out in the open and offer any tip that may lead the police to arrest the killers and the mastermind.

"Be it isolated or not, dili gyud ta mukompyansa kay makita man nato na (let's not take safety for granted because) anyone is vulnerable... I hope this will be solved because if this drags on, it will be an issue for the entire Cebuano community," Rama added.

JD's vehicles pass LTO test, CPPO to submit report today

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 yesterday said all 31 vehicles of JD Rent-a-Car passed the latest roadworthiness test, ordered as part of the responses after its bus fell from the Transcentral Highway last June 13.

LTO 7 Director Raul Aguilos said about 20 JD drivers are still undergoing training and will keep doing so until they pass a written test to measure their comprehension of basic traffic laws and defensive driving.

The Cebu Provincial Police Office will submit today their final investigation report on the Balamban road accident.

JD Rent-a-Car's franchise was suspended for 30 days after its bus, driven by owner Jaime Batoon, fell into a ravine. Batoon and 20 Iranian passengers died, and several others were injured.

All its other vehicles were then subjected to tests by the Motor Vehicle Inspection Center.

As to the Toledo City accident, where four people died and eight others were injured, Aguilos said he is waiting for whatever order the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)will issue against CNT Trucking.

"However, we would like to make sure their vehicles undergo the roadworthiness test and their drivers pass a drug test and a written test as well," Aguilos added.

Four persons were killed and eight others injured after a trailer truck lost its brakes and hit a crowd selling toys and other goods on the eve of a fiesta in Barangay Poog, Toledo last Monday.

Meanwhile, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Erson Digal said the task force headed by the Provincial
Investigation and Detective Management Branch has wrapped up its investigation, which will be submitted to the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7.

Digal, however, declined to disclose the details yesterday.

Following the tragedy in Cansumoroy, Balamban, last June 13 and the vehicular accident in Toledo City last June 21, PRO 7 Director Lani-o Nerez said he plans to meet with the Department of Public Works and Highways, LTO and the Highway Patrol Group to come up with preventive measures for the motorists' safety.

Nerez said he will ask the DPWH to set up reflectorized road signs so motorists can see where they are heading, even at night.

These road signs, he said, should be placed in Balamban and Toledo, as well as other roads with blind curves in Central Visayas.

Nerez supported the plan of Cebu City Police Office Director Patrocinio Comendador to designate a "vehicle check-up
station" along the road in Ayala Heights, Barangay Pung-ol Sibugay and in the Balamban area.

This way, motorists can check on their brakes before heading for the steep portion of the Transcentral Highway, Nerez said.

Police to check vehicles in dangerous roads

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 will put up what they call "check up stations" in various roads not only in Cebu but the entire Central Visayas.

'Watch out for trailer vans': dads to Citom

THE Cebu City Council wants the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) to "cast an extra eye" on trucks and trailers carrying container vans within the city.

This, after a trailer truck's two container vans atop it fell off, killing four persons and wounding eight others in Barangay Poog, Toledo City last Monday.

Councilor Edgardo Labella said Citom should monitor trucks and trailers in the city to ensure container vans are properly attached to safety locks while being transported within the city.

Labella said the use of container vans in the city for the transport of commodities is a common sight since there are hundreds of cargo forwarding businesses here.

Domestic and international seaports also mean the movement of such heavy trailers and container vans in the city.

In his resolution approved by the city council in its last session yesterday, Labella said an unlocked or untied container van on a moving truck or trailer is "undeniably a threat" to public safety.

"There is a strong possibility the container van can be thrown off or dislodged from the truck or trailer if the latter suddenly stops or is maneuvering a bend or rough road," said Labella.

Labella cited Section 14 of Article 22 of the Revised Traffic Code of Cebu City that prohibits the operation of a trailer truck carrying container vans without safety locking devices in any streets of the city.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office distributed goods to the families of the fatalities and the injured persons in Toledo City.

The families of the fatalities and those who were hurt received sacks of rice, canned goods and boxes of coffee, costing around P12,000.

For today's feast of St. John the Baptist: Bus operators fear stone throwing

Operators and drivers of southbound buses are worried against the practice of some people who throw things at passing vehicles today, the feast of St. John the Baptist, prompting them to call on the authorities to give them protection.

DepEd shelves plan to upload sex education modules

The Department of Education (DepEd) has shelved a plan to upload sex education modules on its website.

City looks into utility bills of public schools

The principals of the various public schools in Cebu City have been ordered to look into the possibility that some unscrupulous persons are illegally tapping their water and power connections, because the city had paid P29.7 million for the schools' electrical and water bills from January 2009 until April this year.

CITY VET WARNS: Officials who snub programs face raps

The head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries in the city yesterday warned that the department would not hesitate to file charges against barangay officials who continue to snub programs being implemented by DVMF.

Ecleo to undergo coronary bypass

To support their claim of a heart disease, a cardiologist from the Makati Medical Center yesterday said that Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association supreme master Ruben Ecleo needs to have a coronary bypass.

Ex-SK chairman indicted for malversation

A former Sangguniang Kabataan chairman of Barangay Camputhaw was indicted for malversation of public property after he allegedly failed to return a sound system issued to him during his incumbency.

The Office of the Ombudsman Visayas filed the criminal case before the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City against former SK chairman Daryl Jared Surian. Anti-graft investigator Euphemia Bacalso found probable cause to indict Surian of the crime following the preliminary investigation.

The anti-graft body has recommended P40,000 bail for Surian's temporary liberty.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Barangay Captain Lorenzo Basamot after Surian refused to return a Cititronic sound system and its accessories issued to him by the barangay during his incumbency as SK chairman from July 2002 to October 2007.

The barangay demanded for the return of the sound system worth P206,511 after Surian's term ended in 2007. However, the former SK chairman denied having received the equipment.

City council approves 56 resolutions and 3 ordinances in last session day

Until its last session day the members of the outgoing Cebu City council proved themselves productive with the passage of the 56 resolutions and three ordinances.

Outgoing officials bid peers, city constituents goodbye

CEBU City's last-term lawmakers bade farewell to public service during the body's last session yesterday.

Some of the outgoing city councilors said they will continue serving the public in their private capacity, but some said they are still willing to work at City Hall and continue to serve the public if mayor-elect Michael Rama decides so.

Councilor Arsenio Pacaña said he is willing to help the new administration of Rama, who will sit as mayor on July 1, if the latter needs his services.

In his farewell speech, Pacaña thanked the people who gave him the opportunity to serve, particularly outgoing Mayor Tomas Osmeña, who chose him to be included in the councilor slate in the 2001 elections.

He also thanked the constituents of the south district who supported him and allowed him to serve as councilor for nine years.

"They have constantly challenged me to put my best foot forward to serve efficiently and effectively," said Pacaña, who chairs the council's committee on tourism.

Pacaña said he is also grateful to his colleagues in the city council "though their colors and shapes changed from 2001 to 2010" for bearing with him and his lack of experience in parliamentary procedures.

Pacaña particularly thanked reelected Councilor Edgardo Labella, who he said, taught him parliamentary procedures.

"He (Labella) made me an MA, mura'g abogado," Pacaña jokingly said in his speech.

Councilor Nestor Archival also expressed his gratitude to Osmeña for making him part of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) and for short-listing him as one of the councilor bets in the 2001 polls.

"I have fulfilled my dream, to be a good public servant. With their trust, I was moved forward to do better; with the responsibilities they entrusted, I grew to be a better public servant," said Archival, who chairs the council's committee on


He also thanked his fellow councilors for being supportive and argumentative, saying they helped him do the best he can for the people of Cebu.

During his privilege speech, Archival said he will continue to serve the city with his advocacy of being a steward of the environment.

"I know pretty well that life is short and there's no time to relax and regret. We must move to inspire ourselves and others to live a lasting legacy," he said.

Pacaña and Archival also thanked Rama, who they said is the father of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, for his help in their political careers.

Rama thanked the councilors and said the council showed the meaning of democracy with all the interpellations and discussions on different pieces of legislation.

The council unveiled the Legislative Award of Excellence at the session hall. The body was named the "National Awardee of 2006 and 2009 Local Legislative Award for Highly Urbanized/Independent Component Cities Category."

This, Rama said, will remind the incoming council, which includes seven new faces, to do well in making legislation.


In Lapu-Lapu City, Vice Mayor and City Council Presiding Officer Mario Amores did not have a prepared farewell speech but still decided to deliver a message to his colleagues.

There was also no program prepared for him and there was no photographer assigned to take the last photo of the members
of the 11th City Council.

"It is never who gets the credit, but it is who does all things worth doing...and that is a precious word that I am going to leave to you," he said in an impromptu speech that lasted 22 minutes.

Of the 12 City Council members, including the two sectoral representatives, only Amores and City Councilor Junard "Ahong" Chan, who ran but lost to First Lady Paz Radaza in the mayoralty race, are on their last term.

Chan did not attend the session, saying in a letter that he had "equally important" business to attend to.

But he expressed dismay on the absence of a "simple yet heartfelt tribute" supposed to be afforded to outgoing members of the City Council.

"Like Dr. (Mario) Amores, I can only wish to be afforded a simple yet heartfelt tribute for my little yet noble contribution as one-time councilor of the city," he said in his letter.

Radaza-Chan rivalry continues

Both Lapu-Lapu City Mayor-elect Paz Radaza and city Councilor and defeated mayoralty candidate Junard "Ahong" Chan were given until June 29 to submit their memoranda to the Commission on Election (Comelec)-Manila in connection with Chan's prayer to nullify the proclamation of the Radazas and to disqualify the Radazas from assuming office.

'Singson to DPWH; Cadiz or Laguesma to DOLE'

MANILA, Philippines - More names have come up as possible heads of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Department of Health (DOH) under the administration of President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

A source in the Aquino camp disclosed the names of the following individuals: 

  • former Integrated Bar of the Philippines President (IBP) Jose Anselmo Cadiz or former Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma as secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE);
  • Maynilad Water Services, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rogelio "Babes" L. Singson as secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways; and,
  • former Health Secretary Jaime Galvez Tan back as secretary of the DOH.

Aquino lawyer

Cadiz, who served as IBP national president from 2003 to 2006, represented Aquino's Liberal Party in a case before the Supreme Court that sought to quash the merger between Nacionalista Party and the Nationalist People's Coalition.

The petition was granted in May, paving the way for Liberal Party to retain its dominant minority status.

His law group is allegedly one of the "satellite" arms of "The Firm" or the Villaraza, Cruz, Marcelo and Angangco Law Office. He is a Sigma Rho fraternity member.

Sources, however, said it was not his connections to "The Firm" that got him a post in the Aquino Cabinet, but his close relationship with Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo.

Cadiz himself represented Aquino and Robredo in a Supreme Court case involving the reapportioning of the districts of Camarines Sur into a new one.

The high court eventually upheld this law, Republic Act 9716, which paved the way for the president's son, Rep. Diosdado 'Dato' Arroyo, and Arroyo ally, Rolando Andaya, to seek elective posts in Camarines Sur without being pitted against each other.

Robredo himself is being eyed to head the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Cadiz's name was one of those also floated for the Department of Justice (DOJ) portfolio.

The Aquino camp supposedly chose Commission on Human Rights chief Leila de Lima as secretary of the DOJ. She confirmed Tuesday she will be joining the new administration, but did not say which post.

As of posting, however, Aquino was reportedly also considering former Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma to head the DOLE.

Laguesma spent his whole career in government in the DOLE bureaucracy. He was appointed secretary of the labor during the short-lived Estrada administration.

He once headed the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCBM), the office which seeks to preventively settle labor disputes through mediation.

Singson to DPWH?

Singson, on the other hand, joined Maynilad after its reprivatization in 2007 under new owners, DMCI-Metro Pacific Consortium.

Prior to joining the country's largest water concessionaire, Singson was the chairman and president of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

He was involved in the conceptualization and implementation of the country's biggest property privatization—Fort Bonifacio.   

He also helped monitor foreign-assisted Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects during the transition from the Marcos government to the administration of Aquino's mother, Corazon.

Galvez-Tan back to DOH?

Galvez-Tan, meanwhile, became health secretary during the Ramos administration after a Catholic Church lobby succeeded in easing out Health Secretary Juan Flavier from the Department of Health (Doha) due to his strong support and advocacy for artificial birth control.

Many have clamored for Galvez-Tan's return to the DoH.

A rural health physician, he became a consultant for the World Health Organization, different attached agencies of the United Nations, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the United States Agency for International Development.

He is currently the vice chancellor for research at the University of the Philippines Manila and the executive director of the National Institute of Health.

Others widely believed to have already been chosen are: 

  •     Aquino campaign manager Florencio "Butch" Abad as budget secretary;
  •     Makati Business Club president Alberto Lim as tourism secretary;
  •     President Cory Aquino's former Presidential Security Guard chief Voltaire Gazmin as defense secretary;
  •     Cesar Purisima as finance secretary;
  •     Guillermo Parayno as Bureau of Customs chief;
  •     Kim Henares as Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner;
  •     former Nestle CEO Johnny Santos as Philippine ambassador to the US;
  •     Manila Water Corp.'s Jose Rene Almendras as energy secretary; and,
  •     Jaime Aristotle Alip as agriculture secretary.

Aquino is also expected to retain Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo for a year, while Horacio Ramos and Greg Domingo are expected to be one-year benchwarmers in the environment and trade departments.

Aquino's running mate, Sen. Mar Roxas, and former Bukidnon Rep. Nereus Acosta are expected to take over the two positions once the one-year appointment ban on losing election candidates lapses.

Aquino's spokesperson Edwin Lacierda has described these leaks as "speculations," adding that the president-elect would be the one to announce his Cabinet members.

Incoming Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said he expects Aquino to announce his Cabinet this week.

DLSU president accepts DepEd post under Aquino admin

Bro. Armin Luistro, the president of De La Salle University (DLSU) in Manila, has accepted President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III"s offer to become the Education secretary under his administration.

Binay meets Aquino, declines Cabinet post

MANILA, Philippines(UPDATE 3) Vice president-elect Jejomar Jojo Binay has refused to accept any Cabinet position from the incoming administration so as not to burden President-elect Benigno Noynoy Aquino III.

In a statement after his meeting with Aquino Wednesday, Binay said he declined to accept any Cabinet position so as not to burden the President and allow him to focus on the many challenges facing the nation.

Aquino confirmed that he offered Binay government positions but the outgoing Makati Mayor "declined."

"Several positions were offered but the VP declined assuring us however of his support," Aquino said in a text message to

Asked if the local government portfolio was among the posts offered, Aquino said: No.

Binay, who said he first conveyed his message to Aquino Monday evening, has publicly expressed his desire for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) post.

But Binay assured Aquino of his friendship and support and readiness to extend any assistance whenever needed.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Binay described the meeting as social and cordial.

Asked why the meeting lasted for more than an hour, Binay said: E, bastat social and cordial talagang mahaba yan. Pagka hindi social maiksi lang (Since its a social and cordial meeting then expect it to be long. If its not social then its short), Binay said.

The outgoing Makati mayor also refused to say who initiated the meeting.

Hindi importante kung sino ang nag-propose. Bastat kami ay nag-meeting. Ayos na yon (Its not important who proposed the meeting. We met. And thats it), he said.

Binay evaded all questions about the Cabinet issue.

Asked if they discussed during the meeting the Cabinet issue, Binay said: No. We just had

Pressed further if he would accept other post in the Aquino administration if offered, the vice president-elect said Siguro. Tingnan na lang natin sa mga susunod na araw (Maybe. Lets see in the coming days).

Binays camp had said that the DILG remained the first and only choice of the Vice President-elect.

But Aquino, in an earlier interview with reporters, said that while he respects Binays preference, at the end of the day, it's my Cabinet.

"I'm responsible for how it performs," Aquino said.

"And I think, I should be accorded the right to choose who I want to serve as my alter ego," he said.

DILG not among posts Aquino offered to Binay

President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has offered vice president-elect Jejomar Binay several positions in government, except the interior and local government portfolio.

Binay spent P217M during campaign - records

Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay spent P217 million during the campaign for the May 10 automated elections, but he still has P13 million left from contributions, records of the Commission on Elections show.

'No room for jueteng in Aquino administration'

by By Cet Dematera

The incoming Aquino administration would not tolerate the conduct of the illegal numbers game "jueteng," Naga City mayor Jesse Robredo said.

QC cops ready security plan for Aquino victory party

MANILA, Philippines A total of 1,989 policemen from the Quezon City police district are set to secure the victory party of president-elect Benigno Noynoy Aquino III and vice president-elect Jejomar Binay on June 30 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, the city police chief said on Wednesday.

Chief Superintendent Benjardi Mantele said he has created Task Group Quezon, which will also be composed of eight sub-task groups. The task group will be in constant coordination with the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and other concerned agencies, he said.

Mantele and his deputy chief, Senior Superintendent Audie Arroyo, will oversee the command post at the Quezon shrine as well as personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection.

The security personnel will be composed of policemen in plain clothes for covert security, traffic policemen, and fire fighters, Mantele said.

Arroyo defends record in farewell speech

MANILA, Philippines--President Gloria Arroyo, in a farewell speech Wednesday, defended her scandal-tainted record, just a week before the hugely unpopular leader steps down from office.

In a brief address Arroyo also called on the nation to unite behind her successor, president-elect Benigno Aquino III who won the May 10 elections by campaigning on a vocal anti-Arroyo platform.

"I feel confident that we are leaving this nation much stronger than when I came to office," she declared as she listed her achievements.

Arroyo said she made unpopular economic decisions but this resulted in continued economic growth throughout her nine years in office even when economic crises swept the globe.

"Look around you in our cities, as you drive by office towers that have changed the skyline... in our provinces, as you drive along the roads, bridges and the ports where we have made massive investments," she told the public.

Arroyo made no mention of the frequent accusations that she was guilty of massive corruption and vote fraud, in an address aired on government television and radio.

Such accusations have made Arroyo one of the most unpopular presidents in recent history and Aquino's landslide victory last month is widely seen as a product of the anger against her.

Aquino has vowed to have Arroyo investigated for alleged anomalies committed during her presidency and has accused her of leaving him many problems to handle, from a growing budget deficit to widespread poverty.

However, Arroyo urged Aquino to retain some of her policies, saying "each successive government must build on the successes and progresses of the previous one, advance the programs that work, leave behind those that don't."

Arroyo said that, after she steps down on June 30, she would be "leading a quieter public role" -- referring to her seat in the House of Representatives.

Arroyo won election as the representative of her home province in the May 10 elections. Critics charge that she ran for the position mainly to protect herself from government investigations after her presidency is over.

DND chief: Bangit a victim of politics

MANILA, Philippines - Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales on Wednesday said newly-retired Armed Forces chief Gen. Delfin Bangit was a victim of politics by the incoming administration of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

Aquino told: Don't be afraid of military

Naghahanda na si outgoing Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales na bumuo ng isang government-in-waiting na pupuna at magmamasid sa papasok na Aquino administration. Pinayuhan din niya si Aquino na huwag katakutan ang militar dahil isang propesyunal na AFP ang kanyang mamanahin.

Militants to Aquino: Sue Arroyo, free political prisoners

MANILA, Philippines -- A militant women's group on Wednesday held a rally outside President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's home in Quezon City, demanding the release of all women and political prisoners and the immediate prosecution of his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

On board a vehicle, some 20 members of the group Gabriela managed to sneak in front of Aquino's residence at Times Street at around 10:30 am to hold a short program.

In a statement, the group reminded Aquino of his promise to go after Arroyo and her minions.

"We take him to task on that promise and like the rest of the country, we expect no less from him," said Joms Salvador, deputy secretary-general of Gabriela.

"If Aquino would be truthful to his promise of leading the people to 'daang matuwid,' [straight path] he should jail the culprit and free the innocents. He should work for Arroyo's imprisonment and free women and all political prisoners," Salvador added.

Salvador said there are 61 women out of 344 political prisoners under the Arroyo administration

"These women political prisoners suffered from the hands of their captors and many of them were sexually abused."

"They are also in a most detrimental condition where they are continually made vulnerable to all forms of harassment, be these sexual, physical or emotional," Salvador further stated.

Another group of protesters, leaders and members of the Philippine Airlines Employee's Association, also staged a rally to seek Aquino's intervention on the brewing labor dispute at the Philippine Airlines.

In a decision dated June 15, acting Labor Secretary Romeo Lagman found the planned mass lay off of some 30, 000 PAL employees' "contracting out" to be lawful and based on a valid exercise of management prerogative.

The PAL union wants the incoming Labor Secretary to be given the right to study and decide on the issue "according to procedure and on a just basis."

In a letter to Aquino, the union also asked for the cleansing of corrupt officials in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and reform of the policy regarding contractualization.

Abalos pleads not guilty in NBN-ZTE deal

MANILA, PhilippinesFormer Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to a bribery charge in connection with his alleged involvement in the scuttled $329-million National Broadband Network deal with Chinese firm ZTE.

The arraignment was held before the Mandaluyong Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 59, which is hearing the corruption of a public official case, said Abalos' lawyer Salvador Panelo.

Panelo said he thought there should not have been a finding of probable cause in the case, only the Office of the Ombudsman pushed the charges "to appease the public clamor."

The charge against Abalos stemmed from a statement by former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director-general Romulo Neri in a Senate inquiry when Abalos allegedly told him: "Sec., may 200 ka dito (Secretary, you have 200 here)."

Neri said he assumed Abalos, who allegedly brokered the NBN-ZTE deal, had meant P200 million.

But Panelo said Neri was just guessing, and that a court case could not prosper on that speculation alone.

Neri told: Don't confuse loyalty with honesty

MANILA, Philippines - Re-elected Sen. Pia Cayetano on Wednesday criticized outgoing Social Security System president Romulo Neri for expressing regret in joining government.

Bishop to Neri: Tell everything on NBN-ZTE deal

by By Dennis Carcamo

Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz has reiterated his call on embattled Social Security System president Romulo Neri to tell all about the controversial NBN-ZTE deal.

Aquino's LP to get vital House committees, says Tañada

President-elect Benigno Aquino III will have a say on the selection of committee heads in the House of Representatives to ensure a smooth legislative agenda and to "protect" him against future impeachment moves, the spokesman of his party, the Liberal Party (LP), said on Wednesday.

LP to focus on becoming dominant party in House

MANILA, Philippines Building up numbers to become the dominant political party in the House of Representatives, the Liberal Party (LP) will take in 30 to 40 new members this week, Quezon province Representative Lorenzo "Erin" Tananda III said.

The congressmen, who are mostly from the Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats, will take their oath on Friday at 4 p.m. in Quezon City, added Tanada, who is also LP spokesman.

"These congressmen have undergone the process... They have to acknowledge, too, that there is a process within the party, and initially, no one is objecting to the membership of these congressmen," he told reporters in an interview Wednesday.

With the new members, the LP numbers will increase to 85, which will be a big boost to the speakership bid of Congressman-elect and Quezon City Mayor Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr.

"That would be our number and based on congressman-elect Belmonte's position, he's comfortable with that number," Tanada said.

"But it does not mean we will stop there, as I've said, a lot of applicants are being processed," he added.

Tanada earlier said that Belmonte is already a shoo-in for the Speaker, as more lawmakers, including partylist representatives expected to either jump to LP or forge an alliance with the party.

Lakas-Kampi-CMD will field Albay Representative Edcel Lagman to contest the speakership.

MVP, Razon donated P15M each to Erap campaign

MANILA, Philippines - Big businesses and businessmen are among the contributors to former President Joseph Estrada's 2010 campaign kitty, his Statement of Election Expenditures and Contributions submitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) shows.

Gov't urged to call as terror act kidnap of poll exec's son

MANILA, PhilippinesThe government must treat the abduction of the son of an election commissioner in Marawi City as an act of terrorism, the spokesman of the Anti-Terrorism Council said Wednesday.

Ricardo Blancaflor said the abduction of Nuralden Yusoph was not an ordinary crime of kidnapping.

As compared to ordinary kidnap-for-ransom crime, the demand (of Yusophs kidnappers) is to coerce the government to do an illegal act, Blancaflor told reporters during his visit to Camp Crame.

To nullify the election results is a government action. Its simply cannot be done, he continued.

Yusoph, 22, son of Commission on Elections commissioner Elias Yusoph, was reportedly seized by unidentified men just as he stepped out of a mosque near his residence in Marawi on Sunday night.

Local religious leaders in Lanao del Sur have been designated to negotiate with the abductors, who had asked the elder Yusoph to cancel the election results in four Lanao del Sur towns in exchange for his son.

Blancaflor, who led the ceremonial destruction of some P5 million worth of counterfeit products in Camp Crame, said the police must file a case for violation of the Human Security Act against Yusophs abductors.

But its really the call of the local police commanders in the area, he said.

He also acknowledged that the government cannot invoke the said law in arresting the abductors without warrant as its implementation was suspended until July 10.

Under the law, Blancaflor said a person cannot be sued for violating the Human Security Act 60 days before and after the elections.

Muslim elders negotiate with Yusoph kidnappers

LANAO DEL SUR, Philippines – Muslim elders have been sent to convince the kidnappers to release the son of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Elias Yusoph, a police official said Wednesday.

4 killed, 2 hurt in Basilan ambush

by by Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga
ZAMBOANGA City, Philippines - Four persons were killed while 2 others were wounded when armed men opened fire at a public utility jeepney (PUJ) in Maluso town in Basilan Wednesday afternoon.

Palace keeps state of emergency in Maguindanao

MANILA, Philippines - President Arroyo has decided to keep a state of emergency in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and Cotabato City, which was imposed last year after the November 23 massacre in Maguindanao.

Aquino to decide on state of emergency in Mindanao: Palace

Threat remains in Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato CityTHE ADMINISTRATION will leave with the incoming Aquino leadership the decision on whether or not to lift the state of emergency in three areas in Mindanao that was declared seven months ago, a Palace official said in a briefing yesterday.

Davao prosecutor allows 2 massacre witnesses to recant

MANILA, Philippines -  A Davao City prosecutor is facing administrative sanctions for allowing two government witnesses to recant their affidavits implicating the Ampatuans in the November 23 Maguindanao massacre where 57 civilians, including at least 30 journalists were killed.

Mangudadatu: De Lima as DOJ chief will speed up resolution of massacre case

Maguindanao Governor-elect Datu Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu on Wednesday said appointing Commission on Human Rights chairperson Leila de Lima as chief of the Department of Justice (DOJ) will speed up the resolution of the multiple murder case filed in connection with the killing of his wife and 56 other people last year.

Filipino Muslims forbidden to smoke, trade cigarettes

MANILA, Philippines - A religious ruling or fatwa has been issued by the Supreme Council of Darul Ifta of the Philippines stating that smoking cigarettes is "haram" or forbidden. Muslims are thus not allowed to manufacture, buy, sell, trade or promote tobacco since doing is "aiding someone in committing a sin."

De Lima won't handle Jonas Burgos probe

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The chairwoman of the Commission on Human Rights on Wednesday said she will no longer be handling a CHR probe on the disappearance of missing activist Jonas Burgos after she accepted an offer by President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to join his Cabinet.

SC reminds PNP: Find missing WB consultant

MANILA, Philippines--A day after being lambasted for lapses in the Jonas Burgos case, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and its investigation arm was reminded to pursue a plan of action on the disappearance of a World Bank consultant in 2007.

Malaysian caught with 10 kilos of shabu at NAIA

MANILA, Philippines - Customs personnel arrested Wednesday a Malaysian national who was caught with 10 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu in his luggage upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.

Labor group seeks probe on contractualization in TV networks

MANILA, Philippines – A labor activist group on Wednesday urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to look into the alleged practice of contractualization in television networks and other media outfits.

Russia needs Pinoy medics, engineers, chefs

by By Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau Chief
LONDON – A Philippine lawmaker will soon embark on parliamentary visits to Russia to further boost trade relations between the 2 countries.

DFA: No corruption in ePassport, MRP projects

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday defended itself against accusations of corruption, particularly involving its machine-readable passport (MRP) and the electronic passport (ePassport) projects.

$1: P46.050

$1: P46.050

Euro 1: P55.8807

Gov't may increase sugar imports by 50,000-T

by Reuters
MANILA, Philippines - The government may increase planned additional sugar imports to 150,000 tons from the 100,000 tons announced two weeks ago to ensure the country will have enough buffer stocks, an official said on Wednesday.

New VOR ready by July

MANILA, Philippines--A new air traffic navigational aid that will replace the one that conked out over the weekend will arrive in July, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said.

Tourism scoreboard: P62B investments, 3M jobs

MANILA, Philippines - Investments in tourism in the Philippines reached P62 billion in nine years (2000-2009), a recent study conducted by The Asian Foundation (TAF) and the Centre for Research and Communications (CRC) revealed. These investments created 3 million tourism-related jobs in various communities.

Obama relieves McChrystal of Afghan command

WASHINGTON—(UPDATE) US President Barack Obama relieved General Stanley McChrystal of his duties Wednesday over disparaging remarks in a magazine article, replacing him as Afghan commander with General David Petraeus.

Indonesia police raid terrorist hide-out; 1 dead

JAKARTA, Indonesia - An elite anti-terrorism squad arrested Indonesia's most-wanted man and two other suspects Wednesday after raiding their hide-out on the country's main island of Java, police and witnesses said. At least one person was killed and several weapons seized, including a bomb in a backpack.

Death toll in China flooding climbs to 211

BEIJING - The death toll from summer flooding across a wide swath of southern China climbed to 211 on Wednesday, as a river in Jiangxi province overflowed its banks but did not cause any additional casualties, authorities and state media said.

41 dead, up to 1,000 missing in Brazil floods

by Agence France-Presse
BRASILIA - Raging floods in northeastern Brazil have killed at least 41 people and left as many as 1,000 missing, officials said Tuesday, while firefighters described entire towns being wiped off the map. Dramatic television pictures showed survivors scrambling to rooftops to avoid being swept away, clinging desperately to lines of rope as rescuers in helicopters rushed to pluck them from the muddy floodwaters.

Mega-fight decision is near – Arum


Whether the November 13 super fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will happen will be known in the next few days, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said Wednesday afternoon.

"We will have a resolution to this within the month," Arum said from San Antonio, Texas, where he is promoting a card this weekend starring Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., now being trained by Freddie Roach.

Arum didn't even sound alarmed that the red-letter day is less than five months away.

"Patience, patience, patience," said Arum, who has been in the thick of negotiations with Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) regarding what is expected to be the richest fight in boxing history.

Owned by Oscar De La Hoya, GBP is representing Mayweather in the negotiations that also involves GBP Chief Executive Officer Richard Schaefer and Top Rank president Todd DuBoef, who is Arum's stepson.

It is widely believed that the purse split and the Olympic-style drug testing are the main talking points in the talks.

Pacquiao remains firm that he will not agree to a 60-40 percentage split in favor Mayweather since he has already made a concession by agreeing to be tested randomly until 14 days before the fight.

Donaire preps for fight vs Puerto Rican 'Tyson'

MANILA, Philippines – WBA interim super flyweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. has been testing himself against bigger sparring mates as he prepares to defend his title against Puerto Rican Hernan "Tyson" Marquez.

Asian gaming demand greater than five Las Vegases—US tycoon

Asians' love of gambling is so strong that the equivalent of five Las Vegases in the region will not be enough to satisfy demand, American gaming tycoon Sheldon Adelson said Wednesday.

B-Meg beats Ginebra, moves closer to semis seat

MANILA, Philippines - B-Meg Derby Ace moved closer for at least a playoff for the 2nd automatic semifinal spot after a masterful 101-83 conquest of Barangay Ginebra Wednesday night in the KFC-PBA Fiesta Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

No mercy: Top seed TNT trounces lowly Barako

Already assured of the top seeding and outright Final Four berth, Talk 'N Text vented its ire on Barako as the Tropang Texters coasted to an easy 112-101 triumph over the helpless Energy Coffee Masters on Wednesday in the PBA Fiesta Cup.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson 'leaning toward retiring'

There might not be a run at another three-peat for Phil Jackson. The Lakers' coach said Wednesday he was thinking about retirement, a surprising statement less than a week after the Lakers won their 16th championship.

"I'm leaning toward retiring, but I haven't made up my mind," he said.

Jackson, 64, will continue to undergo medical tests and come up with a final decision next week, he said. He has had both hips replaced and has a chronically sore knee. He also has been bothered by kidney stones.

"Some of it's about health," he said. "That's the way I feel right now. I've had vacillating feelings about it.

"I have to sit on it and do the right thing for myself. I wouldn't say that I'm 95% or 50% sure. This is what I feel right now."

Jackson, who made $12 million last season, said a possible pay cut was not a factor.

"It's certainly not about money," he said. "It's not the issue."

Bryant might have surgery, Fisher hopes to be back

Kobe Bryant saw the assembled media throng and laughed.

"I thought I was done with you guys after the parade," he said. "I was duped."


Bryant was still in a joyful mood six days after the Lakers won the NBA Finals, talking openly about his medical future and making effusive pleas for the returns of Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher.


Bryant was at the team's training facility Wednesday in El Segundo for his end-of-season meeting with Jackson and Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.


He said he would soon compile a timetable for possible surgery on his sore right knee or, more likely, a torn ligament in his right index finger.


"There will probably be something invasive," he said. "I don't expect it to be anything major. Once we drained the knee, it was fine. Fine enough. The finger, though, was a constant problem. It was always around."


Like the rest of his teammates, Bryant stumped for Jackson's return, saying the team would be "drastically different" without him.


"We all want him back and he knows that," Bryant said. "I stressed that to him over and over. Our personality of the team is made up of his composure … his thought process."


What if Jackson decides to retire?


"I don't even want to think about that right now," Bryant said. "It's killing my buzz."


Bryant said he had not decided whether to play for the U.S. in the world championships in two months in Turkey, though it is not considered likely.


Bryant also put in some kind words for Fisher, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in a week. It's safe to say he wants Fisher back.


"It's crucial," Bryant said. "I don't think that's much of an option for him to go anywhere else."


Fisher, 35, also wants to be back, but how much of a pay cut would he be willing to take from the $5 million he made this last season? He said his first option was to return to the Lakers, but he would also listen to offers from other teams.


"I'm not chasing money, so I'm not looking at just trying to stretch out a deal artificially," Fisher said. "But at the same time, I have a strong feeling about what my value is to a team. Based on how I feel, I can sign a 'forever' deal."

Pacquiao wants lessons on political boxing from Chavit

VIGAN CITY, PhilippinesAfter attending his classes on local governance at the Development Academy of the Philippines on Monday, boxing champion and Sarangani Rep.-elect Manny Pacquiao immediately flew to Ilocos Sur to attend the 69th birthday bash of his friend, Governor-elect Luis Chavit Singson.

Pacquiao, however, said he came here not only to greet Singson but to learn political boxing from the veteran politician.

He has been in service for so long. I will learn a lot from him as a public servant and its a privilege to be his friend," Pacquiao said in Filipino.

Pacquiao planed in from Metro Manila, where he was taking a crash course on local governance as preparation for his first term as the Sarangani representative. He came in with his wife, Jinkee.

I want to bring livelihood programs to my people. I will file a bill for the establishment of a provincial hospital and a provincial college or university [in Sarangani]," he said.

Pacquiao said he would also look after the welfare of his fellow athletes.

Singson, Pacquiaos constant companion in his boxing training and fights, described Pacquiao as one of the most intelligent and humble boxers he met.

But he gave Pacquiao an initial jab. Its difficult to balance boxing and politics. I wish you would slow down or minimize on the other things you are doing. Look after the welfare of your constituents," he told Pacquiao.

Singson, considered kingpin of Ilocos Sur and the leader of the Singson political clan, said politics and boxing are almost the same.

You should have discipline," he said. You should study and learn from your enemies.

He also said a killer instinct would be necessary for boxing as well as for politics. He asked Pacquiao to learn to walk the talk. Huwag kang masyadong madaldal. Kailangang gawin mo ang sinasabi mo (Avoid talking too much. You should do what you are saying)."

Pacquiao was not the only celebrity to grace Singsons birthday party. President Macapagal-Arroyo, an ally of Singsons, attended the party and led the oath taking of elected officials in the province.

Television host Willie Revillame also mingled with the crowd.

GMA book publisher doesn't want to be named

MANILA, Philippines - Palace officials are proud of what President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has achieved in her 9-year presidency, but the publisher of a book about how she beat the odds apparently does not share the sentiment.

James: It's up to Kris to decide

Matapos kumpirmahing nagkakaproblema ang mag-asawang Kris Aquino at James Yap, sinabi ni Boy Abunda na nag-alsa balutan ang "Queen of Talk." Sa eksklusibo namang panayam kay James Yap, sinabi niyang ipauubaya niya kay Kris ang desisyon sa kanilang relasyon. 

Kim Chiu denies 'break-up' with Gerald

by by Reyma Buan-Deveza,
MANILA, Philippines - Young actress Kim Chiu wants an end to rumors that she and long-time onscreen partner Gerald Anderson have already called it quits.

John Lloyd: Revelation of relationship with Shaina freed me

Para raw nabunutan ng tinik sa dibdib ang "Box-office King" na si John Lloyd Cruz sa pag-amin niya sa relasyon nila ni Shaina Magdayao. Pero si Ruffa Gutierrez, ibinunyag na hindi pa rin natitigil ang komunikasyon nila ni John Lloyd! 

San Juan issues rerouting scheme for wet fiesta Thursday

MANILA, PhilippinesAll roads to San Juan City will be wet on Thursday as residents celebrate their feast day by the traditional drenching of passing motorists, bystandersand each other.

Some roads, on the other hand, will be closed to traffic.

On Wednesday, officials released the rerouting schedule to accommodate the festivities of the Wattah Wattah festival.

N. Domingo St. will be closed to traffic from the corner of F. Blumentritt to Pinaglabanan Rd. while A. Lake, F. Roman and A. Luna streets will be closed to traffic from N. Domingo St.

All vehicles, including buses and trucks, coming from Ortigas Ave. and the northern part of Santolan Rd. bound for Manila shall take Granada St., Quezon City westbound, left to Aurora Blvd. to their destination.

Vehicles coming from Manila to Ramon Magsaysay Blvd. bound for Ortigas Ave. shall proceed straight to the north toward Aurora Blvd. right to Gilmore St., then to Granada St. and to Ortigas Ave.

Vehicles coming from Ortigas Ave. and north of Santolan Rd. bound for San Juan proper shall take Santolan Rd. southbound, then right to M. Paterno St., left to N. Domingo, right to J. Ruiz, left to Aurora Blvd.; and from Santolan Rd. southbound, turn left to Jose Gil St., left to N. Domingo..

Vehicles coming from Araneta Ave. and N. Domingo St. bound for Ortigas Ave. and Santolan Rd. areas shall take N. Domingo northbound, turn right to F. Blumentritt, left to O. Arellano St., then right to Pinaglabanan.

All public utility jeepneys (PUJs) on the San Juan-Kalentong route shall take F. Blumentritt, turn right to Lope K. Santos, left to Atty. Mendoza, left to D. Santiago, and left to Blumentritt going to Gen. Kalentong.

PUJs on the San Juan-Cubao route shall take N. Domingo Street, right to J. Ruiz, left to R. Lagmay, right to G. Reyes and left N. Domingo toward Cubao.

PUJs on the Divisoria-San Juan route shall take V. Mapa, turn left to Old Sta Mesa, straight to N. Domingo, turn left to Araneta Avenue, right to Aurora Boulevard, right to G. Reyes and left to N. Domingo.

Going back to Divisoria, PUJs shall take N. Domingo, turn right to J. Ruiz and left to Aurora Blvd.

From Crame to San Juan, PUJs shall cross Ortigas from Boni Serrano Avenue, go straight to Santolan Rd. up to Pinaglabanan, left to Jose Gil, right to Ejercito St., left to F. Sevilla, right to J. Basa, right to Lope K. Santos, cross N. Domingo, go straight ahead to Lozada, left to R. Lagmay, right to F. Roman, left to C. Leyva and Left to A. Luna to the terminal.

From San Juan to Crame, PUJs coming from the terminal shall turn right to R. Lagmay and right to G. Reyes St.

Now scientists read your mind better than you can

by By Maggie Fox, Reuters
WASHINGTON - Brain scans may be able to predict what you will do better than you can yourself, and might offer a powerful tool for advertisers or health officials seeking to motivate consumers, researchers said on Tuesday.

They found a way to interpret "real time" brain images to show whether people who viewed messages about using sunscreen would actually use sunscreen during the following week.

The scans were more accurate than the volunteers were, Emily Falk and colleagues at the University of California Los Angeles reported in the Journal of Neuroscience.

"We are trying to figure out whether there is hidden wisdom that the brain contains," Falk said in a telephone interview.

"Many people 'decide' to do things, but then don't do them," Matthew Lieberman, a professor of psychology who led the study, added in a statement.

But with functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI, Falk and colleagues were able to go beyond good intentions to predict actual behavior.

FMRI uses a magnetic field to measure blood flow in the brain. It can show which brain regions are more active compared to others, but requires careful interpretation.

Falk's team recruited 20 young men and women for their experiment. While in the fMRI scanner they read and listened to messages about the safe use of sunscreen, mixed in with other messages so they would not guess what the experiment was about.

"On day one of the experiment, before the scanning session, each participant indicated their sunscreen use over the prior week, their intentions to use sunscreen in the next week and their attitudes toward sunscreen," the researchers wrote.

After they saw the messages, the volunteers answered more questions about their intentions, and then got a goody bag that contained, among other things, sunscreen towelettes."

"A week later we did a surprise follow up to find out whether they had used sunscreen," Falk said in a telephone interview.

About half the volunteers had correctly predicted whether they would use sunscreen. The research team analyzed and re-analyzed the MRI scans to see if they could find any brain activity that would do better.

Activity in one area of the brain, a particular part of the medial prefrontal cortex, provided the best information.

"From this region of the brain, we can predict for about three-quarters of the people whether they will increase their use of sunscreen beyond what they say they will do," Lieberman said.

"It is the one region of the prefrontal cortex that we know is disproportionately larger in humans than in other primates," he added. "This region is associated with self-awareness, and seems to be critical for thinking about yourself and thinking about your preferences and values."

Now, Falk said, the team is looking for other regions of the brain that might add to the accuracy of the technique.

While the findings can be important for advertisers seeking to hone a motivational message, they can be equally important for public health experts trying to persuade people to make healthier choices, Falk said.

The team is now preparing a report on experiments to predict whether people would quit smoking after seeing motivational messages.

President Arroyo's farewell address

Transcript of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's farewell address, delivered on June 23, 2010, at the Malacañang Palace, and broadcast nationwide.

My fellow Filipinos:

We come together tonight as we approach a hallmark of democracy for our great nation: the smooth transition of power to a new leader. We have just come through a historic election. It was open and it was modern. As a result, we were able to declare winners in hours and days rather than weeks and months.

The face of politics in our nation has changed forever. Tonight I once again congratulate president-elect Aquino and vice president-elect Binay.

Nine years ago I came to the presidency at the time of great turmoil in our nation. I accepted the challenge to the office when it was thrust upon me. At that time our country was reeling from political intrigue and a distressed economy we set to work to reform our economy and invest in our people. Along the way we had to make unpopular choices such as raising taxes but we did so against the odds for a very simply reason. We had to have new money for more and better health care, education, and job creation. We needed new and better roads, bridges, ports and a technology backbone to attract new businesses and investors to create new jobs. Through hard work, determination and a clear plan of action we helped achieve many of these objectives. As a result we have had 37 quarters of uninterrupted economic growth even against the head winds of a major global recession.

Look around you in our cities, as you drive by the office towers that have changed the skylines. Look around you in our provinces, as you drive around the roads, bridges, and Ro-Ro ports where we have made massive investments. This is the face of change. Eight-five percent of our people now have access to PhilHealth insurance. Over a hundred thousand new classrooms have been built and 9 million jobs have been created. We developed the call center industry almost from scratch. Today we have almost 500 thousand centers and BPO jobs when only 5 thousand existed when i took office yet these accomplishments are merely part of the continuum of history.

The gains I made were built on the efforts of previous leaders. Each successive government must build on the successes and progress of the previous one. Advance the programs that work, leave behind those that don't. I feel confident that we are leaving this nation much stronger than when I came to office but I leave that for history to judge.

Tonight I call on everyone to unite behind our new leaders. I am optimistic and I am hopeful about our future yet until every Filipino child is born to a family free of poverty. We cannot rest. We must always set our sights on the future, and keep an eye on improving our economy, investing in people and building bridges -- not just bridges of iron and steel, but bridges between people, generations, and government. The bridges we must build to the future must rest on the hard work, grace and compassion of our people -- the people of our nation, our greatest asset. You are the backbone that drives our nation forward everyday: from the fisherman to the farmer to the taxi driver and the teacher. We are a nation of industrious and hard working people. I thank each and everyone for your contribution to have the Philippines achieve our potential.

This time next week, I will be moving in a new phase in life, leading a quieter public role. We are all in a journey together as our nation moves forward. Let us all join hand in unity and walk confidently towards a better tomorrow. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for giving me the honor and privilege of serving you. Malaking karangalan ang makapaglingkod sa sambayanan bilang Pangulo sa inyong lahat na napagsilbihan ko sa mahirap ngunit makasaysayang landas. Maraming, maraming salamat.

New documents surface on Hitler's jail time

BERLIN - Adolf Hitler enjoyed special treatment while jailed in 1924, being allowed hundreds of visitors - sometimes unsupervised - including some 30 to 40 to celebrate his 35th birthday, according to a treasure trove of documents that have surfaced from the prison near Munich where he was held.
The 500 documents from the Landsberg prison were recently found by a Nuremberg man among the possessions of his late father, who had purchased them at a flea market in the 1970s, according to Werner Behringer, whose auction house in the Bavarian city of Fuerth will offer them for sale next month.

Behringer said they were packed among a bundle of books on World War I that the man had bought, and his 55-year-old son, who has requested anonymity, never knew of their existence.

"His father probably didn't know what he had there," Behringer told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Robert Bierschneider, an archivist with the Bavarian State Archives in Munich, said he had examined images of the documents that Behringer sent to him, and that they had stamps and notations that matched with others from the same prison at the time.

"The documents appear to be genuine, but to do a real examination we need to have the originals in our hands," he told the AP.

The documents are to be auctioned on July 2, with a starting price of euro25,000 ($30,677).

Though only one document is signed by Hitler himself, and much of the information about his time in prison is otherwise available, they do provide an intriguing window into his early days as Nazi leader.

Hitler was imprisoned in Landsberg after the Nazi's abortive bid to seize power in 1923 in the notorious "beer hall putsch" coup attempt in Munich. It wasn't until a decade later, in 1933, that the Nazis would eventually come to power through parliamentary elections.

Despite being sentenced to five years in prison, Hitler was granted early release and ended up only serving about nine months of his sentence.

His right-wing politics and German nationalism won him some high-placed friends among the German establishment, including World War I hero Gen. Erich Ludendorff. Ludendorff came to visit Hitler several times during his imprisonment, and the Prussian general was allowed to see the former Austrian corporal unsupervised for as long as he wanted, the documents show.

The documents include some 300 to 400 original cards listing Hitler's other visitors, including the 30 to 40 who were allowed in to celebrate his birthday with him on April 20, 1924 — only 19 days after he was put behind bars.

"His time in prison was more like a holiday," Behringer said.

Prison director Otto Leybold gushed about Hitler in a memo about the inmates on Sept. 18, 1924, saying he was always "sensible, modest, humble and polite to everyone — especially to the officers of the facility."

Hitler spent much of his time in prison writing his infamous manifesto "Mein Kampf," or "My Struggle," detailing his ideology and ambitions, but the documents also show he had time for more prosaic thoughts.

In a typed copy that prison authorities made of a letter Hitler wrote to a Munich car dealer, the future dictator says he is having a hard time making up his mind about whether to purchase a newer model Benz 11/40 or the older 16/50 because he had concerns that the higher RPM's of the motor in the former might mean that it would have more mechanical problems.

"I can't get a new car every two or three years," he wrote.

He also noted that he had many court costs to pay once he was released and asked the dealer if he might arrange a discount for him, indicating that he had his eye on a particular 11/40 on the salesman's lot. 

"In any case, please reserve the gray car that you have in Munich until I have clarity about my fate (probation?)," Hitler wrote.

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