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

Monday, June 28, 2010

June 29, 2010 Major News Stories

Phoenix raises price of diesel by P0.50/L

Independent oil player Phoenix Petroleum will increase the price of diesel by P0.50 per liter effective 6 a.m. Tuesday, the firm said in an advisory sent to media.

Cebu's power woes still far from over

Cebu experiences another rotating brownouts as power shortage strikes again the Cebu-Negros-Panay grid where shortage run as high as 250 megawatts in the morning peak and 159 megawatts in the evening peak, because some power plants were either operating in a derated capacity or not operating at all.

Amid the power shortage, power distributor Visayan Electric Company Inc. has resorted to a rotating brownouts in the different areas within their franchise area.

In the morning, VECO spokesperson Ethel Natera said that they were advised by the National Grid Power Corporation to interrupt 178.47 MW as its share and have de-loaded 82 MW at around 2:00 in the afternoon.

An official from the Department of Energy, who requested not to be named, said that Cebu's eight power plants, with a total capacity of 500 MW is only operating at a 372 MW.

This is because some of the power plants are no longer operating like the land-based gas turbine in the Naga Complex that has a capacity of 50 MW.

On the other hand, the Bohol Diesel Plant with capacity of 20 MW and the Panay Diesel I and 3 with a combined capacity of 45 MW were no longer contracted due to high cost of fuel in operating them.

The CNP grid's projected demand yesterday evening is 1,046 MW but the grid's capacity was only expected at 887 MW, thus a projected power deficiency of 159 MW was expected.

Cebu Thermal Power Plant II is still out in the grid and the two units of Palimpinon Geothermal Power Plant in Negros Oriental were operating in a derated capacity after they encountered trouble. These power plants were expected to be synchronized in the grid last Sunday evening.

Another factor that led to power shortage is that the Diesel Power Plant I in Naga is operating at a derated capacity of less than five megawatts. This plant has a capacity of 30 MW. Diesel Power Plant II, which has a capacity of 50 MW is likewise not operational.

"Karaan na gyud ang ato-ang mga planta. Mao na nga anytime pwede sila mawa sa system," the energy official said.   (FREEMAN NEWS)

KILLING OF FORMER FISCAL: Police: Driver is a suspect

The Talisay City police noted inconsistencies in the statements of the driver of former Regional State Prosecutor Hernando Masangkay and they are looking at the possibility that he had something to do with the death of the retired government official.

3 charged in murder try

The three men accused of trying to kill a marketing manager of Taiheiyo Cement were charged with attempted murder before the Regional Trial Court yesterday.

Jerome Noel, 41; Orlando Sagnoy, 30; and Roberto Tercero, 27, were charged with attempted murder for the ambush of Nestor Zamora.

In addition, Noel and Sagnoy are facing charges for possession of illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms.

The bail recommended for the three was P80,000 for illegal possession of firearms, P120,000 for attempted murder and P200,000 for possession of illegal drugs.

Only Noel offered bail but his release order was not signed by judge Meinrado Paredes because he had a meeting so Noel was brought to the Cebu City Jail together with the other two suspects.

TING'S BURIAL TODAY: Police beef up security

Hotelier Manuel Ting will be laid to rest today, exactly a week after he was killed in an ambush, but no single suspect has been arrested nor charged by the police.

East Timor foreign minister stranded at Mactan airport

East Timorese foreign minister Zacarias Albano da Costa has been stranded at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport where his plane was diverted after it was unable to land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Monday.

Taking Singapore Airlines flight SQ 916, Da Costa was supposed to arrive at NAIA Terminal 1 at around 5:45 p.m. on Monday.

"We expect his plane to be in Manila before midnight (of Monday)," Connie Bungag, officer in charge of the public affairs department of the Manila International Airport Authority, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Bungag said as of Monday night the plane has been refuelling and would be leaving Mactan soon.

Some 30 flights at the NAIA were unable to land and were diverted to Mactan and the Clark airports due to bad weather and the conking out of the navigational equipment used to guide landing planes at around 5 p.m.

Da Costa is attending incoming President Benigno Aquino III's inauguration on Wednesday.

East Timor President Jose Ramos Horta was able to arrive at NAIA on Monday evening after a two-hour delay due to bad weather and the unavailability of the navigational equipment.

Danao coal mine failed to follow safety regulations: DOE report

THE Department of Energy-Visayas said the coal mine operated by Adelina Bayo Hermita did not follow safety regulations.

This could be a possible ground for the mine's closure, said Energy Resource Development and Utilization Division (ERDUD) Chief Engr. Eduardo Amante yesterday.

"They were lenient in implementing (safety regulations)," he said.

Three miners died after they accidentally fell into a hole of a coal mine, about 100 feet deep, last Thursday in Barangay Lawaan, Danao City.

They were Ramonito Tagalog, 42, Michael Valdez, 46, and Junrey Bayo, 28.

The three descended the hole using a drum but the cable that held the drum snapped.

The accident occurred at 12:30 p.m. and was reported to the police at 3:45 p.m.

Amante said it was improper and unsafe for the miners to use the drum.

The DOE-Visayas wrapped up its investigation last Saturday after interviewing four workers who were present during the accident.

An ERDUD team asked drum operator Jaime Castro and miners Marcial Quimbo, Ileuterio Singson and Linard Craskit to relate what happened.

The office will decide on the fate of the coal mine, which started its operations last December.

The mine was placed under suspension after the DOE inspected the site.

But Amante said ERDUD will make a final decision once it receives the reply of Hermita within 10 days, starting last Friday.

"As of now, let us be fair because they haven't aired their side yet," Amante told Sun.Star Cebu. "We will take a look at their report," he added.

Engr. Antonio Nacario, who prepared the report, said ERDUD's recommendation will be included in the report.

Nacario said they recommended the implementation of "coal mine safety rules."

"We'll try to finish and submit our report to our head office this week," Nacario said in a text message.

He said the report will be sent to the head office after DOE Visayas Director Antonio Labios signs it.

If Hermita fails to submit her reply, Amante said the suspension of the coal mine's operation will not be lifted.

"If they can't submit within 10 days, they cannot operate. It would be illegal if they will continue," he said.

Lawmaker wants compulsory, free kindergarten classes

MANILA, Philippines - A lawmaker on Monday urged the Philippine government to provide compulsory and free kindergarten classes for children before entering Grade 1 instead of extending the basic education system from 10-12 years.

LTO: Supply problem for motorcycle license plates looms

With the growing number of people buying motorcycles, the Land Transportation Office admitted Monday that it faces a possible supply shortage of license plates for the two-wheeled vehicles.
LTO chief Alberto Suansing made this admission even as he assured motorists his office's supply of security paper is starting to stabilize.

"May problema sa amin ang supply ng motorcycle (license) plates. Maraming mga bumibili ng motorsiklo. Noong nakaraang taon, 2009, dalawang milyon na motorsiklo meron tayo (We face a possible problem regarding the supply of license plates for motorcycles, especially with the rising number of motorcycle purchases. Last year alone there were two million registered motorcycles in the country)," Suansing said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He also lamented there had been many accidents involving motorcycles, many of the cases involving the drivers' lack of caution.

Citing data from his office, Suansin said many get killed or injured because they did not wear the proper devices such as helmets.

"Ginagawa natin, meron kaming education program na nagpapaalala [na] magsuot ng helmet ... Ang motorsiklo parang sasakyan na apat ang gulong (What we are doing is that we have an education program to remind motorcycle riders to wear safety devices like helmets. Motorcycles should be treated like four-wheeled vehicles)," he said.

Meanwhile, Suansing said the supply of security paper used for LTO documents should start to stabilize in the coming weeks.

He said his agency already acquired the security paper used in making receipts.

"Ang resibo, meron, ang supply ay naisaayos namin. Ang sticker natin nag-stabilize na rin ang supply (Our supplies of receipts and stickers are stabilizing)," he said.

He said motorists who are still without such receipts should text his office at 0918-9447951, and include in the text messages the plate numbers of their vehicles and where they had the vehicles registered.

Suansing said the LTO earlier had potential supply problems with security paper due to their failure to hold a bidding for the procurement of official paper forms.

DILG: Low earning LGUs can have common landfill

The Department of Interior and Local Government has advised local government units with less revenue collections to "unite" and create a common landfill so they can comply with the requirements of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

Rama to evaluate performance of dep't heads

Cebu City mayor-elect Michael Rama will not immediately replace any department head at the City Hall when he assumes office starting tomorrow.

Rama wants to convert fish market into park

Mayor-elect Michael Rama announced yesterday that he plans to convert the existing fish market along C. Padilla Street in Barangay Pasil into a tourist attraction.

Osmeña belies giving conditions to Rama

Outgoing Cebu City Mayor and Congressman-elect Tomas Osmeña belied reports of his supposedly giving three conditions to his successor, mayor-elect Michael Rama, for him to leave the latter alone in running the affairs of the City Hall.

Oath taking of Cebu City's officials to be streamed live

The oath taking ceremony of the new Cebu City officials will be streamed live on Wednesday in strategic areas around the city where LCD projectors will be installed so many can witness the event.

PGMA honored with her pa's statue in Danao City park

The officials of Danao City yesterday honored outgoing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the inauguration of the newly completed park and boardwalk which was named after her late father, former president Diosdado Macapagal.

Purisima to DOF; Noy bares Cabinet today

MANILA, Philippines - President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III is set to name today the members of his official family, who will include Cesar Purisima as finance secretary.

Aquino will make the announcement as he prepares for his inauguration tomorrow as the country's 15th president.

Outgoing Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said he met yesterday with Purisima to brief him on the economy but that the latter came as a member of the transition team and not as the next finance chief. But reliable sources confirmed that Purisima has accepted the finance portfolio.

"We talked about the general situation of the fiscal sector. Basically, we talked about what needs to be done," Teves said.

"The government has to return to fiscal consolidation and balance the budget by 2016," Teves recalled having told Purisima.

Purisima was a member of the so-called Hyatt 10, comprising officials who bolted President Arroyo's Cabinet at the height of the "Hello, Garci" controversy in 2005.

Teves said Purisima had also expressed interest in the Millennium Challenge Corp., a US government corporation working with developing countries.

Teves also said that Purisima has committed to review the recommendations of the current administration.

"I think he would like to give himself a chance together with the economic team to review our recommendations and come up with a new recommendation to the new president," Teves said, referring to his discussions with Purisima.

"There are things that we need to do because we want to go back to the path of fiscal consolidation and balancing the budget in a few years, so we need more resources for us to be able to do that and to allow us to achieve that objective," Teves said.

To address the widening budget gap, the Finance department is pressing the incoming administration to raise the value-added tax rate to 15 percent from the current 12 percent.

The budget deficit has widened to P162.1 billion or already above the first half deficit ceiling of P145 billion.

Purisima, who was appointed trade secretary in 2004 and later finance secretary in 2005, came from one of the country's biggest auditing firms, Sycip, Gorres & Velayo.  

A close ally of Sen. Mar Roxas II, Purisima had played a major role in the campaign of the Aquino-Roxas tandem.

Inauguration preparations

The incoming president has finished writing his inaugural speech which, according to Manuel Quezon III, spokesman for the inaugural rites, would be direct to the point and would only take eight to 10 minutes to deliver.

Aquino had said he would stress in his speech the need for Filipinos to work together because he could not do things alone.

The next commander-in-chief also rehearsed for the departure honors ceremony at the Armed Forces of the Philippines' headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

This is part of the inauguration rites at Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

Quezon said the participants also had a dress rehearsal at the grandstand.

Aquino is scheduled to visit today the tombs of his parents, the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino, at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque.

After the inauguration, the President will convene his first Cabinet meeting after administering their oaths at Malacañang Palace.

Aquino has named Quezon City Administrator Paquito Ochoa as executive secretary, Corazon Soliman as secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Teresita Deles as presidential adviser on peace process, and Edwin Lacierda as presidential spokesman.

The others who will reportedly be named to the Cabinet are Julia Abad as Presidential Management Staff (PMS) head; Makati Business Club executive director Alberto Lim as tourism chief; lawyer Kim Jacinto-Henares as Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner; Lt. Gen. Voltaire Gazmin as defense secretary; and Commission on Human Rights chairperson Leila de Lima as justice secretary.

Aquino's Cabinet members will also reportedly include former Education secretary Florencio Abad as budget secretary; Horacio Ramos as secretary of environment and natural resources department for one year after which defeated senatorial candidate Neric Acosta will take over; Alberto Romulo for foreign affairs; Jose Rene Almendras for energy; Jaime Aristotle Alip for agriculture, Guillermo Parayno as Bureau of Customs commissioner; and outgoing Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo for the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Romulo confirmed that Aquino has asked him to remain in his post while the De La Salle University said its president, Bro. Armin Luistro, has accepted Aquino's offer for him to be education secretary.

Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral had met with Aquino in his Times Street residence in Quezon City but there was no confirmation if she was retained.

The choices for labor secretary reportedly include former Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Jose Anselmo Cadiz and former labor chief Bienvenido Laguesma.

Meeting with AFP

Aquino also met with military officers yesterday at Camp Aguinaldo but military spokesman Lt. Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said the meeting focused on the preparations for the inaugural rites tomorrow.

"It was very short. He (Aquino) had the opportunity to meet with the senior military officers," Burgos said in an ambush interview.

"It was just a rehearsal. The visit was just about the turnover ceremony. There were no problems during the rehearsals," acting AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Nestor Ochoa told The STAR.

"He (Aquino) already knows the program. He is familiar with the rites. He just wants to be informed about the sequence of the program," he added.

Respect his choice

Sen. Francis Escudero said the public should respect Aquino's choices of Cabinet officials.

"Let us respect and accept the decision of the president-elect," Escudero said.

Escudero swore in yesterday Makati Mayor JunJun Binay, son of vice president-elect Jejomar Binay. The senator had endorsed the elder Binay's vice presidential bid.

He said Binay's decision to decline Aquino's offer of Cabinet posts was meant to give the new president a free hand in choosing members of his team.

"I respect the decision of vice president Binay that the president has a free hand to choose the members of his cabinet and there is a lot of things to do in his job as vice president," Escudero said.

"I believe that they have a good relationship," Escudero said, squelching speculations that Binay had a falling out with Aquino.

Aquino to 'take' Cabinet post after choices back out

President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III will be forced to take charge of one of his Cabinet portfolios after some of his choices backed out at the last minute.

Aquino said that some of his handpicked candidates who had already accepted his offer to be part of his official family had second thoughts about leaving their current institutions.

"We were really thrown off track," said Aquino.

Aquino said that there were at least three Cabinet posts that he had not filled up, as of Monday.

"I might be taking one of the Cabinet portfolios in the interim, while we are doing background checks on very important departments that up to now has two candidates," said Aquino in an interview at Camp Aguinaldo.

Aquino said he could not blame those who were reluctant to join him in government service because he could not promise them of "heaven."

Bomb experts, K-9 units to secure Aquino inauguration

MANILA, Philippines - The Armed Forces will be deploying teams of bomb experts and K-9 units to help secure the inauguration of incoming President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III at the Quirino grandstand in Manila on Wednesday.

Aquino hears AFP's issues in Camp Aguinaldo visit

Ngayong gabi, dumalaw sa Kampo Aguinaldo si incoming president Noynoy Aquino para sa security briefing at rehearsal para sa inaugural rites. Plano naman ni Aquino na magdagdag ng mga sundalo matapos marinig ang kanilang mga problema. Pero sa kabila ng mahigpit na schedule at seguridad, naisingit pa rin ni Aquino ang pagdaan sa music store para bumili ng paborito niyang CD!

PNP conducts security dry run for Aquino inaugural

The Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted a dry run of its security measures for the inauguration of President-elect Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino III on Monday, two days ahead of the historic assumption of the country's 15th head of state.

Noynoy completes writing 8-minute inaugural address

On the weekend before he takes his oath as the 15th president of the Philipipines, Benigno Aquino III has finished writing his inaugural address to be delivered on Wednesday, June 30.

Tarlac village exec is Bible-bearer in Aquino's inauguration

While initial plans of incoming President Benigno Aquino III to take his oath before a Tarlac barangay captain did not materialize, a village official from Aquino's home province will just the same share the stage on inauguration day.

PAGASA: Scattered rains may mar Noynoy inauguration

Scattered rainshowers may mar the inauguration of President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III as the country's 15th president on Wednesday, state weather forecasters said late Monday.

Binay to snub Noynoy's street party?

MANILA, Philippines - If Vice-President elect Jejomar Binay had his way, he'd rather have an intimate gathering with his family and friends after the inauguration.

Aquino inaugural to breach the P10M tab—Palace

The supposedly austere inauguration rites of President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III is set to breach the P10-million budget set aside by the outgoing Arroyo administration.

No active soldiers in shadow Cabinet – Gonzales

MANILA, Philippines – Outgoing Defense Secretary Noberto Gonzales denied that he is recruiting active soldiers to join his shadow Cabinet.

Biazon asks AFP to probe soldiers in Gonzales' party

Senator Rodolfo Biazon called on the military on Monday to look into reports that some military officers and enlisted men were "card-bearing" members of the Partido Demokratikong Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP), the political party of outgoing Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales.

Church readies 12-point agenda to Aquino

MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Church will present its 12-point agenda to President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III during the Holy Mass in his inauguration on June 30, a Church official said.

"Ihahayag dito ng mga lider ng simbahan ang kanilang 12-point agenda or demandspara kay President elect Noynoy Aquino. These are the advocacies being pursued by Church leaders based on Catholic teachings," said Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila, a socio-civic arm of the Church.

Pascual said the Mass, to be held at the Manila Cathedral around 7:30 a.m., will be celebrated by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and concelebrated by bishops Deogracias Iniguez and Teodoro Bacani and other priests.

"This is for the success of (the Aquino) administration. The Church will continue her critical collaboration with the state for the benefit of the country and the poor," Pascual said.

He said they also expect other Church-based organizations to come to the mass.

Comelec proclaims 33 party-list reps; Mikey Arroyo excluded

After more than a month, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has formally proclaimed 33 of the 57 new party-list representatives.
In separate certificates of proclamation, the Comelec en banc — sitting as the National Board of Canvassers — proclaimed 33 new party-list representatives from the 28 winning organizations.

However, the poll body has not yet proclaimed the representative of Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP), the party-list group which named presidential son and outgoing Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo as its first nominee. 

AGP was earlier awarded one congressional seat with 269,009 votes.

Comelec chairman Jose Melo had said that Arroyo would not be allowed to sit until all the pending disqualification cases against him have been resolved. He likewise said that AGP has the choice to replace Arroyo with its other nominees if they want to.

AGP's second and third nominees are Dennis G. Pineda, son Pampanga Governor-elect and known Arroyo ally Lilia Pineda, and Bacolor Mayor Romeo "Buddy" Dungca. 

On the other hand, its fourth and fifth nominees are Jerold Domonick S. David and Ryan M. Caladiao, both of whom are from Pampanga, Arroyo's home province.

Among those who have been proclaimed by the Comelec as new party-list representatives are:

  • Coalition of Association of Senior Citizens in the Philippines — 1,292,182 votes (2 seats)
    - Godofredo V. Arquiza
    - David L. Kho

  • Akbayan Citizen's Action Party — 1,058,691 votes (2 seats)
    - Walden F. Bello
    - Arlene J. Bag-ao

  • Gabriela Women's Party — 1,001,421 votes (2 seats)
    - Luzviminda C. Ilagan
    - Emerenciana A. De Jesus

  • Cooperative Natcco Network Party — 943,529 votes (2 seats)
    - Jose R. Ping-Ay
    - Cresente C. Paez

  • ABONO — 766,615 votes (2 seats) 
    - Robert Raymund M. Estrella
    - Francisco Emmanuel R. Ortega III

  • Bayan Muna — 746,019 votes (2 seats)
    - Teodoro A. Casino
    - Neri J. Colmenares

  • An Waray — 711,631 votes (2 seats)
    - Florencio G. Noel
    - Neil Benedict A. Montejo

  • Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines, Inc. (AGAP) — 515,501 votes (1 seat)
    - Nicanor M. Briones

  • Anakpawis — 445,628 votes (1 seat)
    - Rafael V. Mariano

  • Kabataan Party-list — 417,923 votes (1 seat)
    - Raymond V. Palatino

  • Abante Mindanao, Inc. (ABAMIN) — 376,011 votes (1 seat)
    - Maximo B. Rodriguez, Jr.

  • Act Teachers — 369,564 votes (1 seat)
    - Antonio L. Tinio

  • You Against Corruption and Poverty (YACAP) — 335,635 votes (1 seat)
    - Carol Jayne B. Lopez

  • Ang Kasangga sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (Ang Kasangga) — 296,368 votes (1 seat)
    - Teodorico T. Haresco

  • Bagong Henerasyon (BH) — 292,875 votes (1 seat)
    - Bernadette R. Herrera-Dy

  • Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano, Inc. (AGBIAG) — 262,298 votes (1 seat)
    - Patricio T. Antonio

  • Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) — 238,675 votes (1 seat)
    - Mark Aeron H. Sambar

  • Arts Business and Science Professionals — 257,301 votes (1 seat)
    - Catalina G. Leonen-Pizarro

  • Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) — 244,623 votes (1 seat)
    - Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza

  • Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya Para sa Mamayan, Inc. (AGHAM) — 241,898 votes (1 seat)
    - Angelo B. Palmones

  • Democratic Independent Workers Association (DIWA) — 238,675 votes (1 seat)
    - Emmeline Y. Aglipay

  • Kapatiran ng mga Nakulong na Walang Sala — 234,717 votes (1 seat)
    - Ranulfo P. Canonigo

  • Kalinga Advocacy for Social Empowermennt and Nation Building Through Easing Poverty, Inc. (Kalinga) — 229,198 votes (1 seat)
    - Abigail faye C. Ferriol

  • Alagad Party-list — 227,116 votes (1 seat)
    - Rodante D.Marcoleta

  • 1 Ang Pamilya — 217,032 votes (1 seat)
    - Reena Concepcion G. Obillo

  • Alliance of Volunteer Educators — 214,760 (1 seat)
    - Eulogio R. Magsaysay

    The Comelec did not also proclaim the party-list nominee for the group Alliance for Barangay Concerns Party (ABC), which was earlier allotted one seat for garnering 469,093 votes.

    The proclamation of eight winning party-list groups was also stalled due to pending petitions for cancellation of registration. These are: 

  • Ako Bicol Political Party (Ako Bicol)
  • Buhay Hayaan Yumabong Party-list (Buhay)
  • 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy (1-CARE)
  • Citizens' Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC)
  • LPG Marketers Association, Inc. (LPGMA)
  • Ang Asosasyon Sang Manguguma Nga Bisaya-Ow Mangunguma, Inc. (MBIS-OWA)
  • Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC)
  • Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD)

    On the other hand, Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said they cannot yet proclaim the other winning party-list groups because they are still waiting for the results of the special polls in some areas where elections were earlier postponed.

    The Party-list System Act (Republic Act 7941) says that those who received at least two percent of the total votes cast for the party-list system shall be entitled to one congressional seat each while those who received more than two percent of the votes shall be entitled to additional seats in proportion to their total number of votes. 

    However, each party-list organization shall not be awarded more than three seats in Congress.

    The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that 20 percent of the seats in Congress or 57 seats be allotted for the sectoral representatives.

    Sarmiento said by the time President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III delivers his State of the Nation Address, the party-list representatives would have all been completed. 

  • Comelec mulls buying 487 PCOS units for $4M

    The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday said it is considering buying 487 of the 82,200 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines used in the May 10 automated polls for $4 million or about P185 million.

    Locsin: No to automated elections in 2013

    MANILA, Philippines - The chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms on Monday opposed a plan to automate the May 2013 mid-term elections after proving that there was systematic cheating in the local polls last May 10.

    Militants deliver 'grave marker' for Arroyo, De Castro despite rains

    The sudden downpour Monday afternoon failed to dampen the resolve of militant urban poor, who gathered at Mendiola in Manila, to deliver an effigy of a grave marker for President Macapagal-Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro.

    Noli, Arroyo Cabinet leave office with lower satisfaction ratings

    Vice President Manuel "Noli" de Castro Jr. and the Cabinet of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stand to leave office with yet another drop in their satisfaction ratings, a survey of pollster Social Weather Stations indicated.
    Conducted last March, the survey — the results of which were publicly disclosed on Monday — showed De Castro suffered a "record-low" satisfaction rating while the Arroyo Cabinet's rating declined from the fourth quarter of 2009.

    "Vice-President de Castro's latest net satisfaction rating of moderate +14 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied) is 9 points down from the moderate +23 in December 2009," said the survey. "It is a new personal record-low since his previous record-low of +22 in May 2005."

    SWS terminology for Net Satisfaction Ratings include: +50 and above, "very good"; +30 to +49, "good"; +10 to +29, "moderate", +9 to -9, "neutral"; -10 to -29, "poor"; -30 to -49, "bad"; -50 or lower, "very bad."

    Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile also received a net satisfaction rating of +19, then Chief Justice Reynato Puno net zero, and House Speaker Prospero Nograles with -19, the survey said. 

    Its pre-election survey undertaken from March 19 to 22 found 47 percent satisfied and 33 percent dissatisfied with the performance of de Castro; 46 percent satisfied and 27 percent dissatisfied with that of Enrile; 31 percent satisfied and 31 percent dissatisfied with Puno; and 21 percent satisfied and 40 percent dissatisfied with Nograles, the SWS said. 

    Compared to December 2009, Enrile's net satisfaction rating stayed at moderate +19. It is has been moderate over the past four quarters, SWS said.

    Nograles' latest net satisfaction rating barely changed from poor -20 in December 2009 to -19 in March 2010. His net satisfaction rating has been poor since March 2008.

    Puno's net satisfaction rating has been at neutral levels since March 2007, with his latest score at net zero, similar to +1 in December.

    On the other hand, the survey found 50 percent satisfied and 25 percent dissatisfied with the performance of the Senate, or a moderate net +25, two points down from +27 in December 2009.

    There were 37 percent satisfied and 30 percent dissatisfied with the House of Representatives, for a neutral net satisfaction rating of +7, similar to +9 in the previous quarter.

    The survey found 41 percent satisfied and 32 percent dissatisfied with the performance of the Supreme Court, or a neutral +9, nine points down from moderate +18 in the previous quarter.

    It also found 31 percent satisfied and 38 percent dissatisfied with the Cabinet as a whole, or a neutral -7, six points down from -1 in the previous quarter.

    "The net satisfaction rating of the Cabinet has been neutral since August 2005, except in March 2006 and March 2008 when it was at poor -10," SWS said.

    SWS said its March 2010 Social Weather Survey was conducted from March 19 to 22, using face-to-face interviews of 2,100 registered voters.

    The voters were divided into random samples of 300 in Metro Manila and 600 each in Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

    Sampling error margins of ±2.2 percent for national percentages, ±6 percent for Metro Manila, and ±4 percent for Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, applied to the survey.

    DoH chief says she would be reappointed

    Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral on Monday hinted that President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III had reappointed her head of the Department of Health.

    Paderanga accepts NEDA post: source

    MANILA, Philippines - University of the Philippines (UP) Economics Professor Cayetano "Dondon" Paderanga has accepted President-elect Benigno Aquino III's offer to become socio-economic planning secretary of his incoming administration.

    Imelda, Bongbong to take oath Tuesday at SC

    Former First Lady Imelda Marcos and son Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will take their respective oaths on Tuesday as congresswoman and senator, respectively, before Supreme Court Associate Diosdado Peralta.

    PCGG recovers over P28B in assets but more funds needed, says Sabio

    PRESIDENTIAL Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Chairman Camilo L. Sabio has wrapped up his term by revealing that the agency recovered over P28 billion worth of ill-gotten government assets under his watch, bringing the agency's total acquisitions to over P85 billion.

    Puno bids DILG goodbye, evades media

    Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno on Monday bade farewell to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), saying that whoever would take his place would find the government office in "good shape."

    Agra bids farewell to DOJ; prosecutors absent

    MANILA, Philippines - Public prosecutors were a no-show at the Department of Justice flag-raising ceremony on Monday, the last to be attended by acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra.

    New justice chief vows speedy massacre trial

    MANILA, Philippines - President-elect Benigno Aquino's chosen justice minister vowed Monday to speed up the prosecution of a powerful Muslim clan accused of carrying out the Philippines' worst political massacre.

    Zaldy Ampatuan elevates Agra decision to CA

    by By Timi Nubla, ABS-CBN News
    MANILA, Philippines - Suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Zaldy Ampatuan has questioned before the Court of Appeals (CA) the move of Acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra affirming the governor's role in the Maguindanao massacre.

    Jail office recommends Ampatuan Sr.'s transfer to hospital

    The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology recommended that former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. be transferred to the Armed Forces Medical Center (V-Luna Medical Center.)

    Four suspects tagged in Maguindanao massacre witness killing

    (UPDATE 2) The siblings of Sweb Dalanda Bedo, alias Jesse—a potential witness in the massacre in Maguindanao who was killed several days ago—identified four suspects reportedly working with the victim as security aides of a politician in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, a police official said on Monday.

    Counsel: Killers of massacre witness linked to Ampatuans

    A lawyer of the families of the victims in the Maguindanao massacre on Monday linked the Ampatuan clan to the killing of self-confessed gunman and possible witness "Jessie". Suspects are known to be employees of the Ampatuans, said lawyer Harry Roque, who represents families of slain journalists in what is considered as the Philippines" worst, single-day, election-related violence.

    Yusoph abductors now want ransom

    MANILA, Philippines – The abductors of the son of Comelec Commissioner Elias Yusoph reportedly now want a "big amount of money" in exchange for his freedom.

    Comelec: No 'ransom' for kidnapped exec's son

    MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections on Monday reiterated that it will not accede to "ransom" demands of abductors of the son of Comelec Commissioner Elias Yusoph.

    2 Pinoys killed, 1 injured in Oman car accident

    MUSCAT, Oman - Two Filipinos were killed while another suffered injuries after being hit by a speeding vehicle in Seeb, Oman Thursday night.

    Filipina linked to scams arrested in US

    Federal authorities arrested last week Mary Ann Smith, a Filipina who is wanted in the Philippines, for allegedly defrauding immigrants trying to bring family members in the United States.

    Passport appointment now only 1 month away--DFA

    A week after the Department of Foreign Affairs opened its satellite office at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, a recruitment leader on Monday said there is "no improvement" in the passport processing for overseas Filipino workers.

    Group hits planned 'midnight conversion' of Arroyo-owned Hacienda Bacan

    Militant group Akbayan on Monday criticized the supposed last-minute plan to convert from agriculture to industrial the 157-hectare Negros Occidental land owned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's family.

    $1: P46.395

    $1: P46.395

    Euro 1: P57.4971

    NAIA's VOR system bogs down again

    The navigational guidance system that conked out at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) two weeks ago became inoperable anew on Monday, forcing several flights to be diverted to other airports. As of 5 p.m. Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued another Notice to Airmen informing pilots that the Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Radio Range (VOR) station is undergoing maintenance up to 2 a.m. of June 29. The VOR had to be shut down reportedly because foreign technicians from the VOR manufacturer had to replace the parts installed in the system that were borrowed from the Subic airport VOR station. At the same time, as the foreign technicians started to work on the VOR, a strong downpour doused most parts of Metro Manila that resulted in extremely poor visibility. With the system down, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) were once put into place for landing aircrafts. But due to the bad weather condition, several arriving flights were forced to divert to the Clark airport in Pampanga. As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, eight international and domestic flights had alredy been diverted to Clark while awaiting for the weather in Manila to improve. The diverted flights include Emirates Air EK332 from Dubai, Cathay Pacific flight Cx919 from Hong Kong, Philippine Airlines flight PR858 from Cebu, Cebu Pacific flights 5J456 from Iloilo, 5J996 from General Santos, 5J906 from Caticlan, SEAIR flight 2P074 from Virac, and Zest Air Z2231 from from Caticlan. PAL flight PR210 from Sydney, Australia carrying Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos Horta was supposed to land at 5:05 p.m. in Manila but had to circle the Manila airspace until the weather improved. However, with the aircraft reportedly running low on fuel, it finally attempted landing on Runway 24 at 6:20 p.m. The aircraft landed safely at 6:28pm and docked at bay 49 of Naia Terminal 3.

    Union appeals DoLE ruling on PAL outsourcing

    MANILA, Philippines - The labor union of the country's flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL), has filed a motion for reconsideration of a Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) decision that allowed PAL management to outsource its critical operations, resulting in the possible mass layoff of some 3,000 employees.

    Sugar supply problem to hound incoming Aquino administration

    The incoming administration of President-elect Benigno Aquino III will have to deal with higher sugar prices, because this year's harvest would be delayed by up to two months, a trade official said Monday.

    More than 100 trapped in China landslide

    BEIJING—More than 100 people were buried or trapped in a landslide triggered by heavy rain in southwest China on Monday, a local official said, in the latest weather-related disaster to hit the nation.

    First Atlantic storm kills 10 in Central America

    The first major storm of the Atlantic season was entering the Gulf of Mexico on Monday after unleashing landslides and floods that killed at least 10 people in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

    Ex-Panama dictator Noriega goes to trial in France

    PARIS - Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega embarks on a new legal battle Monday when he goes to trial in Paris, accused of using French bank accounts to launder kickbacks from a Colombian cocaine cartel in the late 1980s.

    China's Communist Party membership grows to 78 million

    BEIJING - China's Communist Party, the world's largest political party, grew even bigger last year as more people sought membership seen as a ticket to the ruling class elite and a means for getting ahead.

    HK police seize $22 million bets in World Cup bust

    HONG KONG - Hong Kong police have seized $22 million worth of illegal betting slips in a raid over the weekend as World Cup fever builds in the former British colony.

    PBA safe in the hands of Chito -- Barrios

    Chito Salud, son of former Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Atty. Rudy Salud, is now ready to become the next commissioner of the league, according to outgoing commissioner Sonny Barrios.

    Pacquiao sworn in as congressman

    (UPDATE) – World champion boxer Manny Pacquiao was sworn in as congressman of his impoverished Philippine province on Monday, vowing to be even more effective in government than he is in the ring.

    Nothing preventing Pacquiao from moving to LP, spokesman says

    The Liberal Party has no problem with boxing champ and Sarangani congressman-elect Manny Pacquiao's reported plan to join the party, the party spokesman said Monday.

    Kris Aquino a no-show at ER Ejercito's oath-taking

    MANILA, Philippines – Best friends Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda failed to attend the star-studded oath-taking of Jeorge "ER" Ejercito, nephew of ousted president Joseph Estrada.

    Noynoy shouldn't be distracted by Kris-James issue, Palace says

    The incoming Philippine president shouldn"t allow himself to be distracted by the marital problems of his younger sister, the country"s so-called Queen of Talk.

    James Yap still mum on breakup with Kris

    Even as Kris Aquino - popular talk show host, actress, and youngest sister of President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III - has confirmed the end of her marriage, the camp of husband James Yap remains mum on the issue.

    Shalani to wear a Rajo Laurel creation on Noynoy's inaugural

    Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad is all set for June 30, the day her boyfriend, President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, will take his oath as the 15th president of the Philippines.

    Liz Uy: From fashion editor to presidential stylist

    by By Ces Oreña Drilon, ABS-CBN News
    MANILA, Philippines - During the election campaign, incoming President Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III's wardrobe staples were the trademark Cory yellow T-shirt and jeans, and plain black short-sleeved polo with a tiny yellow ribbon woven on the breast worn over slacks.

    Aquino: No alcohol, just guns and cigarettes

    Criticized for smoking, President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III can at least take pride in being the only other President in the country's history who does not drink.

    The other Philippine President who was a "non-drinker" was former President Emilio Aguinaldo, according to the materials that the Aquino camp has distributed to the media.

    "He is only the second President (Aguinaldo was the only non-drinker previously) who does not drink," it said.

    Still, his smoking habit has made Aquino the fifth "public smoker" to be President after former Presidents Manuel Quezon, Manuel Roxas, Carlos Garcia, and Joseph Estrada.

    "If you include the pipe/cigar smoking of (Jose) Laurel, (Fidel) Ramos and (Diosdado) Macapagal and his daughter (Gloria Macapagal) Arroyo) who were all occasional (social) smokers, Aquino III is the eighth President who's a smoker," it noted

    Various groups have called on Aquino to quitsmoking but the newly-elected leader had rejected them, saying he would only do so at the proper time.

    Aquino's record on smoking and drinking were just among those listed by his camp as a backgrounder for his inauguration on June 30.

    His camp also listed many firsts for Aquino like being the first unmarried President, the first President without children, the first deputy speaker of the House of Representatives to later become President, the first marksman to become President since Ferdinand Marcos and the first President since 1992 inaugurated into office without having been vice president first.

    Aquino is also the first President to have graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University.

    He will be the second President to be sworn in by a Filipino associate justice after his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino.

    Jejomar Binay, meanwhile, is the first city mayor to be elected Vice President.

    At 66, Binay is also the oldest to be elected for the post.

    "The vice-president can hold a Cabinet portfolio but that is purely up to the President whether he gives the Vice President a Cabinet portfolio or not," according to Aquino's camp.

    The issue of giving Binay a Cabinet post generated controversy when the latter publicly expressed his desire to be at the helm of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

    But Aquino insisted that it is his prerogative to choose the members of his Cabinet.

    So as not to burden Aquino, Binay eventually decided not to accept any Cabinet posts from the incoming administration.

    Lani Mercado sworn in as congresswoman

    MANILA, Philippines – Incoming 2nd District Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado on Monday morning took her oath of office in Bacoor.

    Among 15 presidents, Noynoy holds many "firsts"

    He will not be the country's first president bearing the Aquino surname, but President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III will be the first among Philippine presidents in many other areas.
    Aquino, who will take his oath as the country's 15th president on June 30, is the first bachelor president and the first to have no children. He is also the first to use the suffix III, according to a primer by inaugural spokesman Manuel L. Quezon III.

    Aquino is the first to have a birthday in February. A Tarlac congressman for nine years, he is also the first deputy speaker of the House of Representatives to have been later elected president. 

    Aquino is the son of the late President Corazon Aquino, who was swept into office following the ouster of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the country for two decades. 

    According to Quezon, Aquino shares one similarity with Marcos: they are both marksmen. Aquino is a sharp shooter, while Marcos belonged to the University of the Philippines rifle team. 

    Aquino is the first Liberal Party presidential candidate to have been won since Diosdado Macapagal, the father of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Aquino is also the first president since Macapagal not to have changed political parties. 

    While he is criticized for his smoking habit, Aquino won't be the first president to have enjoyed cigarettes: Quezon's own grandfather Manuel L. Quezon, Manuel Roxas, Carlos P. Garcia, and Joseph Estrada were all known smokers. 

    But Aquino will be considered the eight president who is a smoker if one counts the occasional pipe or cigar smoking of Jose P. Laurel, Fidel V. Ramos, Macapagal, and Macapagal-Arroyo. 

    Aquino is a smoker but he doesn't drink alcoholic beverages. This makes him the second president who does not drink alcohol, the other being Emilio Aguinaldo, according to the inaugural spokesperson.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...



    About Me

    My photo
    RP's Best Radio Station