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

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 9, 2010 Major News Stories

Power shortage won't end just yet

The promise of stable power by late this week will not happen.

Flashfloods, landslides threaten 19 barangays

SIX municipalities and three cities in Cebu, including Cebu City, are highly vulnerable to geological and natural hazards, such as landslides and flashfloods.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 revealed the list of "highly vulnerable" barangays in Cebu after conducting a rapid geohazard assessment of 2,773 barangays in Central Visayas, which is now completed.

Click here for Election 2010 updates

Vulnerable areas

A geohazard assessment is needed so local government units (LGUs) can identify areas within their jurisdictions, which are susceptible to floods, landslides, liquefaction and other ground instabilities, such as earthquakes.

Loreto Alburo, MGB 7 director, said some barangays in Cebu City, Balamban, Toledo City, Pinamungahan, Duman-jug, Ronda, Asturias, Catmon and Talisay City were identified as completely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Nineteen barangays in Cebu City are considered "vulnerable." They are Lusaran, Binaliw, Guba, Budlaan, Malubog, Buot-Taup, Busay, Sirao, Taptap, Tagbao, Tabunan, Pung-ol Sibugay,Sudlon II, Sudlon I, Sinsin, Buhisan, Pamutan, Sapangdaku and Adlaon.

In Balamban town, the barangays of Hingatmonan, Lamesa, Luca, Ginatilan, Cabasiangan, Matun-og, Cansomoroy, Gaas, Magsay-say, Cabagdalan, and Duangan are considered highly vulnerable.

In Toledo City, the barangays of Tungkay, Pangamihan, Bagacay, Loay and Das are being considered by MGB 7 as highly vulnerable.

In Pinamungajan, only Barangay Lamac is considered highly vulnerable.

In Asturias, the baran-gays of Agbanga, Baye, Bairan, Kanluangan and Sak-sak are also considered vulnerable.

In Catmon, the barangays identified as highly vulnerable are Amancion, Anapog, Bactas, Bongyas, Ambangkaya, Cabungaan, Canibuang, Duyan, Ginabucan, Panalipan, Tabili and Tinabyonan.
Geohazard mapping

In Talisay City, only Barangay Camp 6 is considered vulnerable, while Barangay Doldol in Dumanjug and Barangay Cansalonoy in Ronda are highly vulnerable.

A geohazard mapping also determines possible settlement sites, properties and infrastructures that will be affected by these geologic factors.

"The geohazard maps and reports, which contain information on the vulnerability of certain areas to various types of geologic and natural hazards, will be provided to the concerned LGUs" Director Alburo said.

Also, as part of the geohazard assessment, a team of geologists from MGB 7 observed the presence of pockets of sinkholes in seven barangays in Tagbiliran City, Bohol.

They said Poblacion 3, Bool, Dao, Mansasa, Cabawan, Tiptip, and Cogon are very vulnerable to the sinkhole phenomena.

DPS wants new garbage trucks and tricycles

The City Hall's Department of Public Services requested the purchase of eight brand new garbage trucks and 15 tricycles worth P33.7 million to be used to improve the collection of garbage in the city.

DPS chief Dionesio Gualiza said he needs more garbage vehicles to augment the existing garbage trucks that always experience mechanical defects that hamper the prompt collection of garbage.

The city produces up to 500 tons of garbage daily, most of which are dumped at the sanitary landfill in Barangay Ina-yawan.

City Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. is scheduled to present a resolution during the city council's session this afternoon requesting for the appropriation of P33,725,000 for the purchase of the vehicles.

According to Gualiza each brand new dump truck costs P3,970,000 or P31,760,000 for the eight units, while each of the tricycles with a garbage bin attached to it is worth P131,000 or 1,965,000 for the 15 units.

Gualiza explained that DPS sometimes lacks garbage trucks because some barangays always borrow their vehicles whenever their barangay garbage trucks will encounter mechanical defects.

"Smooth garbage collection services in the entire city can be achieved only by acquiring and maintaining enough number of garbage trucks every year," Gualiza said.

He also explained that they will use the tricycles to haul garbage from the remote areas because these vehicles can penetrate areas with narrow roads.

"Ang mga drayber niining maong mga tricycles mga garbage personnel nila sila nga gidistino sa lainlaing lugar sa syudad," Gualiza said.

The city already has 15 garbage tricycles but Gualiza recommended acquiring more tricycles to augment the existing ones.

The city has an existing ordinance that requires everybody to segregate their garbage before throwing them to the garbage receptacles, but it is not followed by many residents.

The waste segregation ordinance that prohibits the disposal of garbage not segregated either as biodegradable or non-biodegradable or bans the mixing of hazardous wastes with regular garbage was not fully implemented in violation to the provisions of the Solid Waste Ecological Management Act.

City to buy new van for SWAT team

The Cebu City government will purchase a P1.2-million vehicle for the city's Special Weapons and Tactics team.

Many companies seen to fail to implement wage hike

Dagdag na P22 sa minimum wage ang umentong inaasahan ng mga manggagawa sa Metro Manila. Pero inaasahan na ring higit pa sa doble ang bilang ng mga kumpanyang hindi makakasunod dito.

P40 billion needed to solve classroom shortage problem

Isang linggo na lang bago ang pasukan, pero problema pa rin ng maraming mga paaralan ang kakapusan ng silid paaralan. Halos P40 bilyon naman ang kailangan para masolusyonan ang problema sa kakulangan ng mga kwarto.

CCPO to deploy 90 % of its men in schools on opening of classes

EXPECT to see 90 percent of the Cebu City Police Office's (CCPO) force deployed around public and private schools on Monday.

5T set to join civic-military parade on Saturday

TRAFFIC in uptown Cebu City will be rerouted this Saturday, when some 5,000 city residents and government workers join the civic-military Independence Day parade.

Rerouting on June 12

Some streets in Cebu City will be closed to traffic for a civic-military parade and other activities for the Independence Day celebration on the afternoon of June 12.

The Traffic Patrol Group, the Cebu City Police Office and Citom have announced the closure of Gorordo Avenue (from Archbsihop Reyes Ave. to Gen. Maxilom Ave.), Gen. Maxilom Ave. (M.J. Cuenco Ave. to Fuente Osmeña Rotunda), the Fuente Osmeña Rotunda (the side of Robinsons Department Store), and the right side of Osmeña Blvd. going to downtown (from the Fuente Osmeña rotunda to P. del Rosario St.).

Public utility jeepneys with Route No. 13C shall follow Gov. Cuenco Ave., then turn left to Juan Luna Ave., right turn to M.J. Cuenco Ave., straight to New Imus Road, left turn to Sikatuna St., to Mabini St., right turn to Colon St., and back to its original route.

Passenger jeepneys with Route Nos. 13B, 62B, 62C, 65B and 65C shall use Gov. Cuenco Ave., then turn left to Juan Luna Ave., right turn to M.J. Cuenco ave., straight to New Imus Road, left turn to Sikatuna St., Carbon market, turn left to D. Jakosalem St., right turn to Imus Road, straight to M.J. Cuenco Ave., left turn to Ayala Mactan Road, and proceed to Luzon Ave., their point of origin.

Jeepneys with Route Nos. 04C, 04I, and 17C shall use Gorordo Ave., left turn to N. Escario St., and right turn to Mindanao Ave., proceed to Mactan Road, right turn to M.J. Cuenco Ave., and to their point of destination.

Passenger jeep with Route No. 03B shall follow M.J. Cuenco Ave., straight to New Imus, turn left and back to M.J. Cuenco Ave., right turn to V. Gullas St., left turn to J. Leyson St., left turn to M.C. Briones St., left turn to Lapu-Lapu St., right turn to Jereza St., left turn to M.J. Cuenco Ave., left turn to New Imus Road, straight back to M.J. Cuenco Ave.

Route Nos. 21B and 22B shall be up to Ayala only for loading and unloading of passengers.

Those with Route Nos. 06A, 06B, 06C, 06D, 06E, 07A, 07B, 07C, 07D, 07E, 07F, 07G and 07H shall proceed to V. Rama Ave. turn left to N. Bacalso Ave., then to P. del Rosario St., right turn to Osmeña Blvd. then to their usual route at downtown and Carbon Area. From Carbon Area they will proceed to Osmeña Blvd., left turn to P. del Rosario St., then to N. Bacalso Ave. and V. Rama Ave.

Jeepneys with Route Nos. 14A, 14B, 14C, 15, 04B, 04D, 04E, and 17D shall use Osmeña Blvd. right turn to Llorente St., left turn to Waling-waling St., right turn to B. Rodriguez St., left turn to V. Rama Ave., left turn to N. Bacalso Ave., straight to P. del Rosario St., right turn to Osmeña Blvd. and to Carbon Area

Route No. 14D shall turn to right to Junquera St., then to their usual route at downtown. From Carbon Area they can proceed to Osmeña Blvd., left turn to P. del Rosario St., straight to N. Bacalso Ave., and right turn to V. Rama Ave.

Route No. 12L shall use V. Rama Ave., right turn to M. Velez St., left turn to N. Escario St., straight to Mindanao Ave., right turn to Cardinal Rosales Ave., then to the Ayala loading/unloading area. From there, they shall turn right to Cardinal Rosales Ave, make a right turn to Luzon Ave., left turn to Arch. Reyes Ave., right turn to Gorordo Ave.

Route No. 06H from Ayala traversing along Luzon Ave., left turn to Arch. Reyes Ave., right turn to Gorordo Ave., left turn to N. Escario St., then to their point of origin.

The closure and re-routing will start at 2:30 PM until the parade and other activities end. Motorists, drivers and other road users are advised to follow the traffic signs installed on the rerouting area.

Hospital sues city government over tax

A prominent hospital yesterday filed a case against the Cebu City government, asking the court to stop the city from imposing taxes on a non-profit institution.

Perpetual Succour Hospital Incorporation (PSH) asked the regional trial court to issue a restraining order against the city's move to collect taxes from it. 

PSH, located along Gorordo Street, is a non-stock, non-profit institution formed by the Roman Catholic congregation St. Paul De Chartres (SPC).

It claimed to be free of any tax obligation since it is recognized by the state under the Bureau of Internal Revenue Ruling 185.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña had said that aside from the proprietary schools and hospitals, he will check whether non-stock, non-profit foundations like PSH should be exempted from tax.

"We should (run after them). Maybe that's one of the things I will do if I'm congressman, I'll file a case and break all of these doubtful institutions, whether they're non-profit foundations because I really think it's being abused," Osmeña was quoted as saying by a local paper on October 30, 2009.

According to the petition executed by the PSH, the city wanted that proprietary schools and hospitals pay business taxes.

It said that despite the fact that it is a religious non-profit entity and should be exempt from taxes, the city issued "Certificates of Delinquency, levied the land and buildings of the institution, caused the annotation of warrants on their tax declarations and titles, and set the auction "within 30 days after levy."

The city had reportedly advised the management of the hospital not to dispose of the property as it will be subjected to auction if it will continue to insist on not paying taxes after a month.

In filing the case, the PSH is seeking damages, attorney's fees and litigation expenses of not less than P2 million from the city.

Joavan raises P160T, gets out on bail

JOAVAN Fernandez was released yesterday morning after posting P160,000 as bail for fresh charges of illegal possession of firearms and violation of the gun ban, which ends today.

Vice Gov. Sanchez calls guv order another form of harassment

THE Office of the Governor has given Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr. until the end of the month to return all the vehicles assigned to his office, otherwise he will be charged for insubordination.

Now it's final: Aquino, Binay win in May 10 polls

MANILA, Philippines(UPDATE) Anticlimactically, Senator Benigno Noynoy Aquino III and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay emerged winners in the countrys first automated elections.

Aquino and Binay got the most votes for president and vice president, respectively, on Tuesday as Congress, sitting as National Board of Canvassers, completed the canvass of 278 certificates of votes after eight days.

The joint committee will prepare a report for approval of lawmakers when they convene in a joint session at 2 p.m. Wednesday to proclaim Aquino and Binay.

Aquino garnered 15,208,678 votes against closest rival, former president Joseph Estrada, who got 9,487,837 votes or a difference of 5,720,841 votes.

Coming in third place is Senator Manuel Villar with 5,573,835 votes, followed by administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro with 4,095,839 votes, evangelist Eduardo Villanueva with 1,125,878 votes, Senator Richard Gordon with 501,727 votes, disqualified candidate Vetallano Acosta with 181,985 votes, Senator Ma. Ana Consuelo Jamby Madrigal with 46,489 votes, Nicanor Pelas with 54,575 votes, and JC Delos Reyes with 44,244 votes.

The vice presidential race had been a toss-up between Binay and Senator Manuel Mar Roxas II throughout the entire canvassing in Congress.

But Binay won big votes in Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, Batangas, Makati City, and some Mindanao provinces that gave him the edge of 727,084 votes over Roxas.

In the final tally, Binay got 14,645,574 as against the 13,918,490 votes of Roxas.

Senator Loren Legarda ranked third with 4,294,664 votes, followed by Bayani
Fernando with 1,017,631 votes; Edu Manzano with 807,728 votes; Perfecto Yasay
with 364,652; Jay Sonza with 64,230 votes; and Dominador Chipeco with
52,562 votes.

Estradas lawyer, George Garcia, said his client would issue a message on Wednesday in time for Aquinos proclamation.

Legardas lawyer, Helen Rivilla, said that the senator was extending her warmest congratulations to Aquino and Binay.

Canvassing on Monday was suspended with the lone CoC from Lanao del Sur to be canvassed.

Lanao del Sur had a special elections on June 3 and did not immediately transmit the CoC to Congress, thus the delay in canvassing. About 300,000 voted in the special elections.

Roxas lawyer said that Roxas got zero or just one vote in a number of precincts in Lanao del Sur.

Paranaque Representative Roilo Golez said the revelations by Roxas lawyer was incredible . . . statistically improbable, including results which showed a 96 voter turnout in the province.

Congress canvassed a total of 278 CoCs, including 107 from overseas absentee voting.

On Monday, Congress finished canvassing of the CoCs from Eastern Samar, Mt. Province, Bacolod City and the vote-rich Davao City, which has about 500,000 votes.

Even as the joint congressional canvassing committee, composed of two panels of nine members each from the Senate and House of Representatives, convened on May 25, actual canvassing began only on May 27 because of lawmakers questions on how the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines work and because of allegations of
electronic fraud.

In between actual canvassing the same questions would be raised about compact flash cards, the variance in time stamps of the PCOS machines, digital signatures, and null votes.

The canvassing of some CoCs was also deferred after questions on their integrity were raised. The board of canvassers members from areas under question were called to the session to explain.

Aquino led in his home province Tarlac getting 387,624. He was followed by his cousin, Teodoro, who also hails from the same province with 65,139 votes.

Aquino picked up big wins in the vote-rich province of Cebu, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Negros Oriental. In Manila, Aquino got 298,217 votes closely followed by Estradas 214,517 votes. At third is Teodoro with 72,521 votes.

Aquino also got the most number of votes in Camarines Norte, Zambales, Iloilo province, Batanes, Pasig City, Valenzuela City, Agusan del Sur, Romblon, Taguig-Pateros, Eastern Samar, Bacolod, Mt. Province and Lanao del Sur.

Estrada led in Catanduanes, Kalinga, Aurora, Davao Oriental, Bukidnon, Apayao, Nueva Ecija, Albay, Bohol, Zamboanga del Norte, Rizal, Leyte, Pangasinan, Aklan, Caloocan, Ifugao, Samar, Quezon, Negros Occidental and Davao City.

Estrada was also winner in Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, South Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, Abra, Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, and Cagayan de Oro.

Villar led in Ilocos Sur and Las Pinas City.

Teodoro won in the provinces of Guimaras and Camiguin.

The vice presidential race was neck and neck between Binay and Roxas.

Binay led in Manila, Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite, Camarines Norte, Kalinga, Aurora, Davao Oriental, Apayao, Pasig, Valenzuela, Taguig-Pateros, Nueva Ecija, Antique, North Cotabato, Batangas, Quezon City, Abra, Las Pinas, Basilan, Sulu, Muntinlupa, Pasay, Makati City, Davao del Sur, Malabon, San Juan City, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Cagayan de Oro City, Eastern Samar, Davao City and Lanao del Sur.

Roxas got the most votes for vice president in Ilocos Sur, Zambales, Bukidnon, Iloilo province, Batanes, Agusan del Sur, Romblon, Tarlac, Cebu, Southern Leyte, Tawi-Tawi, Marikina, Cebu City, Pampanga, Surigao del Sur, Bacolod and Mt. Province.
Official tally from Congress after canvassing 278 CoCs, June 8:
Acosta: 181,985
Aquino III: 15,208,678
Delos Reyes: 44,244
Estrada: 9,487,837
Gordon: 501,727
Madrigal: 46,489
Perlas: 54,575
Teodoro: 4,095,839
Villanueva: 1,125,878
Villar: 5,573,835

Binay: 14,645,574
Chipeco: 52,562
Fernando: 1,017,631
Legarda: 4,294,664
Manzano: 807,728
Roxas: 13,918,490
Sonza: 64,230
Yasay: 364,652

Lawmakers told: Attend proclamation, keep speeches short

Be present at the session proclaiming the winners of the presidential and vice presidential race last May 10, and keep your speeches short.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday said these were the main "agreements" by leaders of the Senate and Houses of Representatives in a bid to proclaim the winners by 6 p.m. Wednesday the latest.

"Kung pwede, maikli ang paliwanag ng bumoto para sa ganoon 5 p.m. o pinakamatagal mga 6 p.m. ay ma-ipoproklama na ang bagong pangulo at pangalawang pangulo (If possible, explain your vote briefly so that we can have the proclamation by 5 p.m., or at 6 p.m. at the latest)," Zubiri said in an interview on dzRH radio.

"So yan ang pangako namin sa taumbayan, bukas na bukas tapos na ang proseso at meron na tayong bagong presidente by tomorrow afternoon (That is our promise to the people. By Wednesday the process will be finished and we will have a new president by Wednesday afternoon)," he added.

Zubiri said the secretariats of both houses of Congress had been instructed to issue invitations to senators and congressmen to ensure a quorum on Wednesday.

"Bukas ng hapon sigurado na yan, wala nang palitan ng date. Bigyan natin ang secretariat ng sapat na panahon para makapagtawag ng kasamahan namin sa Kongreso at Senado para may quorum bukas (By Wednesday afternoon we will have a new president, there will be no more postponements. We will give the secretariat enough time to call all members of the Senate and House of Representatives to ensure a quorum)," he said.

He said they already agreed at a caucus Monday to prepare the committee report on Tuesday and hold the proclamation on Wednesday afternoon.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had said the committee report would be presented to Congress in a joint public session on Wednesday.

The Congress will then decide on the fate of the report through viva voce voting where the lawmakers in favor will shout aye while those opposing it will shout nay.

Enrile said those who would like to explain their votes can do so by writing it and it would be inserted into the report.

"Mag-uumpisa kami ng 2 p.m., siguro may 3 oras ang pag-sponsor ng committee report pati pagboto ng ating kasamahan at pagbigay ng paliwanag sa kanilang pagboto. Late afternoon, 5 to 6 p.m. ma-proclaim natin si President-elect Noynoy Aquino and Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay (We will start at 2 p.m. We will allow three hours for the sponsoring of the committee report and the voting, with each lawmaker explaining his or her vote. By late afternoon about 5 to 6 p.m., we can proclaim Presidential front-runner Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino and Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay)," Zubiri added.

All over for Roxas

SEN. Manuel Roxas II asked his lawyers to prepare an electoral protest and not give up on 2.6 million nullified votes that could swing the vice presidential election in his favor.

House hearings yield no evidence of poll fraud

Tinapos na ng House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms ang pagdinig sa mga reklamo ng dayaan ng mga natalong kandidato noong halalan. Pero sa loob ng tatlong linggong pagdinig, walang napatunayang dayaan. Wala ring naiprisintang ebidensya na nagamit ang mga PCOS machines sa manipulasyon ng boto. 

Mudslinging, fight for posts irk Noynoy

MANILA, Philippines - President-elect Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III is annoyed by the jockeying for position, criticism and mudslinging among those opposing his perceived choices for certain posts, who themselves are seeking to be appointed or recommending people for various offices.

Aquino also indirectly turned down the services offered to his government by Justice Secretary Alberto Agra, saying, "Salamat (Thank you)."

The only son of former President Corazon Aquino and the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. was officially declared winner in the presidential race yesterday based on the canvassing of votes done by Congress sitting as the National Board of Canvassers.

He is set to be proclaimed today along with Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay of the United Opposition and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, who won the race for vice president.

Aquino's running mate, Sen. Manuel Roxas II, is studying whether he should challenge Binay's victory.

Aquino said he had been studying various applications and recommendations for the 25 Cabinet positions he had to fill along with some 4,000 to 5,000 other positions that his staff members had initially identified.

Aquino said he was being careful with his choices because he wanted his administration to begin effecting necessary reforms within his first two years in office.

He admitted that it was not easy to recruit people because of mudslinging and backbiting among those jockeying or endorsing others for certain positions.

Aquino said it would be better for the media to wait for announcements coming from him in reporting appointments.

He frowned on descriptions of his former classmates as "Kaklase, Inc.," saying they were not really asking for positions from him even if they had been with him for the last three or four decades.

"What I want is to find those people who can help us and (with) whom I have a high comfort level. They won't probably stay with me three to four decades if we differ in vision or ambition," he said.

Aquino said he would try to get the best minds for the justice, public works and transportation and communications departments because these were very sensitive and reportedly burdened by entrenched corruption.

He said he was waiting for the persons to agree to his offer because they were assets in their companies and would not want to be freed that easily.

Aquino added he was studying carefully the people to be installed at the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

Fielding the right people

He said tax collection efficiency would also be important as well as the drive against smugglers and tax evaders, thus his finance secretary and other members of the economic team would be important.

He said he was considering somebody who had a solid track record in running after smugglers as one of his economic officials.

Aquino also disclosed that he was still weighing his options as regards the Department of Foreign Affairs even as current Secretary Alberto Romulo said he was willing to serve even as clerk under the Aquino administration.

He denied that defeated Liberal Party (LP) Senate bet, Brig. Gen. Danny Lim, who was freed on bail on rebellion charges, was lobbying to be an ambassador or the country's representative to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan.

"Danny Lim will be subject to the one-year ban, but again this person has so many talents he has already demonstrated. The cause for his detention I think it's clear they were after reforms, they were not advocating armed struggle, if at all, withdrawal of support. It shows the amount of maturity of the person," he said.

He said, though, that he would prefer a civilian rather than a military man to head the Department of National Defense.

He said former Supreme Court chief justice Reynato Puno had turned down his offer and would not likely be able to recruit constitutional expert Fr. Joaquin Bernas.

Aquino added that he is looking for a person to appoint at the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) who can really fight entrenched interests.

"There are candidates at the DOTC, DPWH. However, I would like a combination of visionary and a technocrat, and young and old people in this government because you are after idealism," he said.

He said his sisters would not have much influence on his choices for the Cabinet even as his sister, actress and television host Kris Aquino-Yap, admitted that she recommended her friend Boy Abunda to be tourism secretary.

As regards young actor Dingdong Dantes, Aquino said he set up a youth foundation AYOS NA.

"You can see his drive, intensity and credibility can be harnessed for programs for the youth, he said.

Big names, old faces

But the recommendations for government posts are not only coming from people perceived to have an inside track on the new President.

In fact, an official of the civic arm of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said they are thinking of recommending former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Christian Monsod either as environment or agrarian reform secretary.

"The environmentalists, they want to recommend someone to the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources). The name of Christian Monsod is being mentioned for the position of DENR or the DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform)," said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action Justice and Peace (NASSA).

The group earlier thought of Dr. Angelina Galang of Miriam College, but she reportedly declined the endorsement for the position of environment secretary.

"Monsod is active in the issues of climate change and Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper)... On our part, we can see that he is capable of entering the (Aquino) Cabinet," Gariguez said.

The Church official said they do not favor Secretary Horacio Ramos extending his stay as DENR secretary since he reportedly promoted mining.

They are also appealing to the new President to impose a moratorium on mining.

The CBCP-NASSA and the "green groups" have come up with criteria for the DENR chief, whose primary interest, they said, is to protect the environment and not sell the country to mining firms.

He said they are looking for someone who has integrity, credibility and track record and not only educational attainment.

Another person they are considering for DAR is Cherry Bulatao, who once served as the agency's undersecretary.

For the position of agriculture secretary, Gariguez said they are pushing for the appointment of Proceso Alcala, who promotes organic farming. 

The NASSA secretary-general said they submitted the names to the selection committee headed by former education secretary Florencio Abad, the LP's campaign manager.

Gariguez said he is also hopeful that the Aquino administration would put an end to the appointment of traditional politicians (trapos) and retired generals.

"These appointments do not help if we want to professionalize the Cabinet. We are pinning our hopes for changes in the administration of Noynoy," he said.

There were also speculations that former President Arroyo's economic adviser, re-elected Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, would vacate his gubernatorial post to join the Aquino Cabinet.

Salceda, however, said the new President wants him to stay as governor of the province.

Salceda finally put a halt to persistent rumors that he would resign as governor in order to work as full-time Cabinet official.

But he was quick to say that he would continue to extend every possible assistance through consultancy to the Aquino administration, particularly on economic policies.

"Of course we will extend full assistance to Noynoy should he need or ask one," Salceda, an Ateneo classmate of Aquino and Mrs. Arroyo's student, told The STAR.

Pamalakaya: It's payback time

Meanwhile, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), a militant fisherfolk group, scored Aquino for considering one of the top executives of the Makati Business Club (MBC) as a member of his incoming Cabinet.

"Mr. Aquino is playing the game of big business with the highly questionable entry of MBC executive director Alberto Lim into this new administration. This is unfair and totally inimical to public interest," Pamalakaya national chairman Fernando Hicap said in a statement.

Lim refused to say during a radio interview what government position Aquino had offered to him but he expressed willingness to serve the country by joining the new administration in its fight against corruption.

Lim's group supported Aquino in the presidential race and was perceived as influential among the groups that backed the 50-year-old lawmaker in the May 10 elections.

He said he is not sure what position Aquino would offer him although there were reports from some quarters that the incoming Chief Executive is considering him to head either the Department of Trade and Industry or Department of Budget and Management.

"It is payback time for Mr. Aquino and it is happening this early with close associates dividing the spoils among themselves," Hicap said.

He said among the favored blocs in Aquino's camp include, but is not limited to, the Kamag-Anak Inc., a group of Aquino's close relatives who started their career during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, and the Hyatt 10 composed of former Cabinet members and civil society groups formerly allied with Mrs. Arroyo who deserted the latter at the height of the "Hello, Garci" election fraud scandal in 2005.

The group said Lim is the fourth "confirmed" member of Aquino's prospective official family.

Other Aquinos to stay out of Malacañang, says Noynoy aunt

MANILA, Philippines - Relatives of president-apparent Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III will stay out of Malacañang as soon as he is proclaimed by Congress, an aunt of the president-elect said Monday night.

Lupita Aquino Kashiwahara, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's image consultant, made this assurance after saying that she will not play a role in her nephew's administration.

"I'll tell you one thing, when [an] Aquino gets into power, the other Aquinos will have to step back," Kashiwahara said in an interview at the premier of the movie "Emir" at the SM Megamall Cinema 9 on Monday night.

She said the Aquinos do not want to be accused of nepotism. "They're very strict about that."

She said that except for the senator, all the other Aquinos will keep out of Malacañang just like what the family did when the late President Corazon Aquino was propelled into power after a people's revolt in 1986.

"Noong panahon ni Cory, if you noticed wala lahat kami. We were just supportive, in the background, not even near Malacañang or anything like that. Same thing ngayon," Kashiwahara said.

Aside from Kashiwahara, among Aquino's relatives occupying several positions in government are former senator Tessie Aquino-Oreta, head of the Early Childhood Care and Development Council; Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, head of the Philippine Olympic Committee; and his wife, Tingting Cojuangco, president of the Philippine Public Safety College.

Only 12 bets have declared their campaign expenses

As of 5 pm yesterday, only 12 candidates who ran in the last elections have been able to submit their statements of contributions and expenditures to the Commission on Elections.

The rest of the candidates —winners, defeated or disqualified— have until today to comply with the requirement.

These 104 candidates who ran in Cebu City must submit their report today to avoid having to pay the administrative fine ranging from P1,000 to P30,000 for the first offense and up to P60,000 for the second offense.

Winning candidates who failed to submit their expense report shall also be penalized with administrative fines plus they will not be allowed to assume office.

"Failure to submit shall bar the winning candidate to enter the function of his office," said lawyer Edwin Cadungog, election officer for the south district.

"If the winning candidates submit their report after the deadline, I don't know kung unsay decision sa Manila but in my opinion lang, definitely naa g'yud na'y administrative fine. Makalingkod gihapon para nako, kay ngano, failure to submit ra man ang gisulti sa balaod. Wala man ingun nga hangtod sa deadline. Pag-fail ra, wala magsulti og period," Cadungog added.

The first candidate to submit report on his expenses was Victoriano Go who declared P65,000 expenditure where P50,000 of which was donated and P15,000 came from his pocket.

Juan Arenasa spent P600, Danilo Fernan spent P67,800 while Rodolfo Cabrera, a candidate for vice-mayor of the opposition declared that he spent a total of P434,000 where P400,000 came from donated and the rest his personal expenses.

Crescente Busalla, independent candidate for vice-mayor spent only P15,000 for his campaign.

Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan's winning candidate for councilors Rodrigo Abellanosa, Roberto Cabarrubias and Noel Wenceslao spent P525,438, P546,782 and P51,000 respectively.

Abellanosa's expenses all came from his personal funds. Cabarrubias only spent P50,000 from his pocket while the rest were donated. In the case of Wenceslao, he only received P20,000 donation and the rest are from his personal funds.

Danilo Lim declared P66,000 expenses, Anne Marie Palomo and Eugenio Gabuya both spent P65,000 each while Raul del Rosario spent P62,000.

Each candidate was only allowed to spend P3 per voter. So far, no candidate has exceeded the maximum P1.55 million expenses for 518,091 registered voters here.

Comelec to tap volunteers to audit candidates' expenditures

MANILA, Philippines -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will tap volunteers to audit the statements of contributions and expenditures filed by winning and losing candidates in the May 10 polls, an official said yesterday.            

This as only Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and losing senatorial bet Rey Langit and losing vice-presidential aspirant Perfecto Yasay and 12 party-list organizations have submitted their statements so far.  The deadline for the filing is today.            

According to Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan, director of the Comelec-Law Department, the agency does not have the "capability and manpower" to audit the statements so they have to seek the support of volunteers to effectively identify violators.            

Rafanan admitted that in previous polls, the Comelec was not able to evaluate if the candidates' statements were accurate owing to their lack of auditors or accountants.              

He claimed the agency's concern then was only if the candidates have filed their statements or if they filed them on time.            

"Maybe it was the sheer volume or there was no initiative to do it. Whatever they submit, we take it as it is.  That's all," he noted.            

Under the Fair Elections Act, candidates for president and vice president with political parties are allowed to spend P10 per voter while other candidates with political parties can spend P3 for every voter.           

Candidates without any political party, can earmark P5 for every voter.  Political parties and party-list groups, on the other hand, can spend P5 for every voter in the constituencies where they have official candidates.            

Such expenses "shall include those incurred or caused to be incurred by the candidate, whether in cash or in kind, including the use, rental or hire of land, water or aircraft, equipment, facilities, apparatus and paraphernalia used in the campaign."          

With 50,850,9339 registered voters, this means that those who ran for president and vice president were allowed to spent only some P508 million.          

Those who violate this face a fine of P1,000 to P30,000 for the first offense and a fine of P2,000 to P50,000 plus lifetime disqualification from public office for the second offense.            

Rafanan added that the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and the electoral reform group Pera at Pulitika have already volunteered to assist in auditing the statements.          

The official, however, is planning to seek the help the Philippine Institute for Public Accountants and Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants to evaluate the statements.            

A day before today's deadline, only Enrile, Langit, Yasay and party-list groups  ANAK, COFA, COCOFED, PMM, APO, ABO, ATS, ACTS, Alagad, Partido Navoteno, Abono and Kabayan have submitted their statements to the Law Department.            

Enrile claimed to have spent a total of P143,084,448 and received P142,000,000 in contribution while Langit reported an expenditure of P8,220,000.            

Yasay, on the other hand, said that he had incurred an expenditures of P1,902,688 and received a contribution of P1,665,640.             

The party-list group Akbayan had filed a peititon with the Law Department to extend the deadline for the filing of the statement by 15 days or up to June 24, ciuting the "sheer volume of items to be included in the report."            

Rafanan added that there was basis for the petition so he endorsed it to the Comelec en banc for approval.

Comelec defers release of report into ballot folder deal

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has deferred the release of a report into the P690-million ballot secrecy folder contract by two weeks owing to the lack of documents.

Comelec law department head Ferdinand Rafanan, head of the three-man panel that conducted the probe, said results may be released on June 18.

"We're just wrapping up and completing the picture so it will be clear and not sketchy leaving many questions unanswered," Rafanan told reporters in an interview on Tuesday.

The delay in the investigation was caused by the Comelecs Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) which reportedly failed to supply the investigative panel with documents needed to fill some "major gaps" in their findings.

"Meron silang ibinigay, hindi lahat (They give us documents, but not all)," he said.

Comelec chairman Jose Melo earlier admitted that the Comelec en banc and the BAC committed a "lapse" in judgment when it awarded the contract to supply and deliver 1,815,000 pieces of 25-inch long ballot secrecy folders for P690 million to One Time Carbon (OTC) Paper Supply.

The poll body eventually scrapped the contract because it was supposedly "extravagant beyond the ordinary needs of the Commission."

It also said that the number of folders to be purchased exceeded the total number that may actually be used during the elections.

In an earlier interview, BAC chairman Lea Alarkon said that Rafanan has been sending them notices regarding the probe and that committee have complied with these orders.

"We believe we have submitted all the records concerning the procurement... the documents will speak for itself," she said. On Tuesday, Alarkon could not be immediately reached for her comments.

Rafanan said the panel will no longer give details until the investigation has been completed.

"Talagang ethics of investigation yun (This is in compliance with the ethics of investigation)," he said, adding that he does not need a gag order to keep quiet about the issue.

The poll body has also asked the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the ballot folder controversy.

Rafanan said the Ombudsman may release their own findings on June 23. 

US gov't help sought in 'Hello, Nico' probe

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Alberto Agra on Tuesday said his office is asking for help from the United States government to determine who uploaded on the Internet an alleged wiretapped conversation between DILG secretary Ronaldo Puno and a poll official, detailing a plot to rig the May 10 automated polls.

Salceda not joining Aquino cabinet

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Former presidential economic adviser and re-elected Albay Gov. Joey Salceda finally broke his silence over persistent rumors here that he would vacate his gubernatorial post to join the Aquino cabinet.

Salceda instead admitted today that president-apparent Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III wants him to stay as governor of the vote-rich province that gave the Liberal Party bet the highest number of votes, next to Tarlac, during the May 10 elections.

"Nonoy himself wants me to stay as governor so that all the projects that the next administration will give to Albay get properly implemented," he said.

Salceda, who has received several international awards for pioneering disaster risk-reduction programs, finally put a halt to spreading news that he would resign as governor in order to work fulltime in the Aquino cabinet.

Salceda, however, was quick to admit that he would continue to extend assistance to the Aquino administration through consultancy, particularly on its economic policies.

"Of course we will extend full assistance to Noynoy should he need or ask one," Salceda, a former classmate of Aquino at the Ateneo de Manila University and President Arroyo's student, told The STAR.

Salceda, a close ally of Mrs. Arroyo, had left the administration party at the height of the campaign period in April to join the LP as its regional chairman in Bicol.

9 suspected mutineers get temporary freedom

MANILA, PhilippinesNine detained junior officers facing mutiny charges in the military court have been granted temporary freedom, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

In a press briefing, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Arnulfo Brawner said military chief General Delfin Bangit on Sunday approved the release order after their legal counsel, Atty. Vicente Verdadero, asked for the provisional liberty of the nine junior officers.

But Burgos could not say when the nine officers would be freed from their detention center in Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.

He clarified that the nine officers would still be required to attend court martial proceedings.

The nine, all coming from the Philippine Army, are facing mutiny charges for their alleged participation in the failed power grab in February 2006.

Bangit says no coups under Aquino

MANILA, Philippines - Despite his early clash with the incoming administration, Armed Forces chief Gen. Delfin Bangit on Tuesday promised that there will no military adventurism or coup attempts during Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's presidency.

NPA rebels ready to resume talks

by Reuters
MANILA, Philippines - Maoist-led Philippine guerrillas are ready to resume peace negotiations with the new government of Benigno Aquino III, who is set to be proclaimed president this week, a member of the rebel negotiating team said on Monday.

DOJ keeps prosecutors in Ampatuan massacre case

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice on Tuesday denied a motion to replace the members of the prosecution panel handling the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan, Maguindanao massacre case.

Ampatuan 'jail party' earns ire of victims' kin

MANILA, Philippines - Relatives of some of the victims in the November 23 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao on Tuesday urged president-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to appoint a new secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government following news that suspects in the massacre were allowed to throw a party inside Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

NEDA: High veggie prices by last quarter of 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Vegetable prices will increase in the last quarter of 2010 due to the expected prolonged rainy season brought about by the La Niña phenomenon, said Dennis Arroyo, National Economic and Development Authority Director for Policy and Planning.

Gore's Manila visit seen to boost fight against global warming

MANILA, Philippines - The visit of former United States Vice President and anti-climate change advocate Al Gore will hopefully boost the staggering fight against global warming, a local offiicial noted.

MANILA, Philippines Poorer countries that have borne the brunt of climate change's effects will save, not lose, money by putting in place ways to rescue the environment, Al Gore said Tuesday.
The former U.S. vice president spoke to a forum in Manila in one of his first public engagements since he and wife, Tipper, announced they had separated after 40 years of marriage. He refused to answer audience questions about it, and reporters did not have an opportunity for interviews.
In the lecture focused on Asia, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate blamed global warming for droughts and frequent and more destructive typhoons, including those that have left millions homeless in India, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam.
"When there are lots of them, much more frequently and they are bigger on average how can we connect those dots?" he asked. "How long will it take us as a civilization to connect those dots in a way that causes us to demand that our political leaders and political systems react?"
Gore said proposals to store carbon dioxide in the ground are expensive, and the best way is to trap them is in plants. He added that China is a leader in this area, planting more trees than any other country.
"A lot of the most effective ways of saving the environment actually save money," he said during the open forum. "They don't cost money, they save money."
Making vehicle engines more efficient, for example, can save money and gasoline 90 percent of which is wasted in vehicles that have inefficient engines, he said.
Businesses that have gone green have found that they can save a lot of money, he added.
While not discussing his marriage, Gore did mention his family, saying that his son's near-fatal accident in 1989 caused him to realize that people have taken the earth for granted. "I found in that raw place in my heart an ability to feel for the first time that we could lose this and it's worth fighting for," he added.
The audience included outgoing Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo whom Gore met on the sideline of the forum as well as business and political leaders.

$1: P46.630

$1: P46.630

Euro 1: P55.7761

OFWs urge Aquino to alleviate migrants' plight

MANILA, Philippines – President-apparent Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III must prove his worth by resolving the plight of Filipino migrant workers under the previous administration, an advocacy group said on Tuesday.

Obama has strong words as Gulf spill spreads

by by Anna Driver and JoAnne Allen, Reuters
VENICE, Louisiana/WASHINGTON DC, United States - President Barack Obama said he wanted to know "whose ass to kick" over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, adding to the pressure on energy giant BP Plc as it sought to capture more of the leak from its gushing well.

James Yap earns 2nd Player of the Week award

MANILA, Philippines – B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados superstar James Yap earned his second Player of the Week citation in the 2010 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Fiesta Conference.

Celtics see challenge in winning 3 games at home

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Seizing the home-court advantage in the NBA Finals may not be a blessing for the Boston Celtics, a cagey group of veterans who appear to relish the perils of playing on the road.

Following their 103-94 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers that evened the best-of-seven series at 1-1, the Celtics head to Boston for Game Three on Tuesday, the first of three consecutive games in their home confines.

"We did what we had to do to go out and get a split (in Los Angeles)," Boston point guard Rajon Rondo said Sunday after leading the way with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

"It would be tough to go home and win three straight."

For most teams the greatest challenge lies in winning away from home, but not the Celtics, who overcame the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic in consecutive playoff rounds despite lacking home-court edge to open the series.

The trend of thriving as visitors also played out in the regular season where the Celtics had a 26-15 record on the road and finished just 24-17 in Boston.

Fittingly, the Celtics made themselves at home in Los Angeles for Game Two where Ray Allen exploded for an NBA Finals record eight three-pointers and 32 points.

It was a resurgent performance for Allen, who was limited to just 27 minutes because of foul trouble in the series-opening loss.

"It was tough – the last two days (after Game One) were very frustrating," Allen said. "I just tried to focus on making adjustments.

"This was our moment and we had to take advantage of it. We fought harder and things bounced more in our favor."

The Celtics turned the tide beginning with a suffocating defense that forced the Lakers into just 40 percent shooting.

On the offensive side, Boston attacked and this time forced Kobe Bryant into foul trouble.

The Los Angeles leader was forced to sit for much of the third quarter where he picked up a fourth foul, and again the in final period when he was whistled for a fifth.

NBA finals on BTV and Solar TV
The complete schedule:

Game 1 – LA Lakers 103, Boston Celtics 89

Game 2 – Boston 103, LA Lakers 94

Game 3 – Wednesday (June 9)
9 a.m. – LA Lakers at Boston

Game 4 – Friday (June 11)
9 a.m. – LA Lakers at Boston

Game 5 – Monday (June 14)
8 a.m. – LA Lakers at Boston

Game 6 – Wednesday (June 16)
9 a.m. – Boston at LA Lakers

Game 7 – Friday (June 18)
9 a.m. – Boston at LA Lakers

* — Games 6-7 will be played only if neccessary (Series tied, 1-1)

Belo eager for makeover of Noynoy


After having repaired her rift with presumptive-presidential sister Kris Aquino, "cosmetic surgeon to the stars" Vicki Belo has expressed eagerness to help out in the "makeover" of the country's soon-to-be-president, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

Belo's announcement came after the younger Aquino publicly articulated on the matter during and after the recent campaign period.

Belo said she agrees with the "The Buzz" host, and in an interview with GMA News, shared the importance of improving the older Aquino's appearance.

"We don't want a president looking worried all the time," she said.

According to Belo, Aquino would do well to have work done on his hair, eyes, skin, and face.

"His receding hairline makes him appear older. I want to keep him young and a hair transplant can do just that," Belo explained.

For Aquino's eyes, Belo suggested "minor surgery to [get] rid [of] the sagging skin [under his eyes].

"It will make him look fresh once again."

For Aquino's uneven skin tone, Belo suggested that Aquino use Cosmelan, a topical cream that his controversial actress-host sister also uses.

Belo also recommended Botox injections for Aquino to lessen the appearance of the facial lines brought about by age.

Though it's too early to tell if Aquino will take heed of Belo's advice, of late he has seemingly shown a bit of latitude when it comes to propositions offered by her youngest sister, including having to consider some showbiz denizens for government posts.

Also, when international magazine Time, came a calling a few months back, Aquino acquiesced to her sister's request that stylist Liz Uy [also known as the ex-girlfriend of matinee actor John Lloyd Cruz] be brought in for some fashion exertion.

In any case, Aquino bared some fashion sense of his own, announcing recently that he will be wearing a traditional barong Tagalog designed by young, hip Filipino designer JC Buendia during his upcoming inauguration.

Aquino said he personally hand-picked the design –one with the symbolic ribbon closely associated with his parents—from many that Buendia presented to him.

"It's a symbol of the (country's) struggle today, and I want to be sure that I don't lose my ground," he said.

Raps vs Belo over botched butt augmentation dismissed

MANILA, PhilippinesCiting insufficiency of evidence, the Quezon City prosecutors office junked estafa and reckless imprudence raps against Dr. Vicki Belo filed by a dissatisfied client in 2009 over a botched butt augmentation surgery.

In a seven-page resolution dated May 17, assistant city prosecutor Romana Lindayag del Rosario dismissed the complaint against Belo and Drs. Ronaldo Cayetano and Francis Decangchon.

The complaint for estafa, reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries, tax evasion and false, deceptive or misleading advertisement was filed by trader Josefina Norcio last year.

The complainant alleged that a butt augmentation procedure done on her in 2002 caused an infection in her buttocks, requiring her hospitalization and later a medical operation.

Norcio complained of pain seven years after her first butt augmentation procedure and four years after the second injection of hydrogel into her buttocks.

Norcio first sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation, which did its own probe and filed the complaint on Norcios behalf before the Quezon City prosecutors office.

In her complaint, Norcio said she could have died if not for six operations she underwent at the St Lukes Medical Center to remove the hydrogel from her buttocks.

However, Del Rosario noted that the complaint did not prove any deceit or misrepresentation by Belo when Norcio first went to the Belo Medical Group clinic to ask about the butt augmentation procedure.

Nowhere in the complaint-affidavit was it stated with particularity how the said respondent employed deceit to convince the complainant to undergo butt enhancement procedure other than by convincing her that the product to be used, hydrogel, is safe, the assistant city prosecutor said.

Del Rosario pointed out that Norcio was unable to prove that hydrogel was not safe except for a self-serving assertion that the same was the cause of her infection and that she only felt discomfort in 2008.

The assistant city prosecutor added that while a forensic chemical test conducted by the NBI on the material extracted from Norcios butt tested positive for acrolein (a colorless, flammable, poisonous liquid aldehyde) and pus, Norcio was unable to establish a direct link between acrolein and hydrogel.

Taking into account the time or period that has elapsed since the butt augmentation procedure and the manifestation of the alleged infection, there is doubt as to whether the said procedure is indeed the proximate cause thereof, the resolution read.

The resolution noted that Belo, who was charged with reckless imprudence along with the two other doctors, was not the one who performed the operation and that she cannot be charged for the crime.

As to Cayetano and Decangchon, the resolution said there is no probable cause to hold them liable for reckless imprudence resulting in serious physical injuries as Norcio herself admitted that she didnt feel any pain until seven years after the first procedure.

It is doubtful that the proximate cause of the infection is the surgery performed on her by the said respondent doctors, del Rosario pointed out.

Meanwhile the assistant city prosecutor dismissed the tax evasion and false, deceptive or misleading advertisement under the Consumer Act of the Philippines as Del Rosario said these should be ventilated before the proper forum.

Belo argued that it is only the Bureau of Internal Revenue authorized to approve the filing of tax cases under the National Internal Revenue Code, and that it is the Department of Health which has jurisdiction to rule on whether advertisements are false or misleading.

Charice wows biggest crowd at Eaton Centre in Toronto

by by Marieton Pacheco, ABS-CBN News Toronto
TORONTO, Canada – There's no stopping international singing sensation Charice's rise to stardom. This weekend, she wowed the biggest crowd the Eaton Centre mall in Toronto has ever seen.

Sharon Cuneta, Gabby Concepcion reunite on 'Sharon'

MANILA, Philippines - The long wait is finally over. Since their marriage fell apart decades ago, Sharon Cuneta and former husband Gabby Concepcion saw each other again on the set of the megastar's self-titled television show Monday night.

Batangas towns alerted on Taal eruption

CAMP VICENTE LIM, LagunaThe Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) said Tuesday the public has nothing to worry about at the moment, although it had alerted nine Batangas towns after the alert level status of Taal Volcano was raised to level 2 on Tuesday.

We have advised our Batangas PDCC (Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council) to issue a memorandum to all concerned municipalities regarding the alert level 2, said RDCC director Vicente Tomazar by phone.

The nine towns in Batangas province include Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Santa Teresita, Laurel, Lemery, Talisay, Tanauan city, Balite and Mataas na Kahoy.

Officials of the tourist city of Tagaytay in Cavite, from which Taal Volcano is also viewed, were also alerted to prohibit its tourists from descending to the crater and in the Daang Kastila Trail, which is considered to be a danger zone.

Tomazar said if the alert level status hits level 3 under continuous monitoring, that is the time the authorities would activate its contingency plan and enforce the evacuation of residents.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Tuesday raised the alert level status of Taal Volcano from 1 to 2 after signs of possible eruption had been monitored since Monday, Tomazar said.

Taal Volcano had already been on alert level 1 status since November 23, 2005. The changes in the activities of the Taal Volcano are usually sudden, unlike with the Mayon Volcano (in Legazpi, Albay) where (eruption signs) build up, he said.

RDCC monitored 33 eruptions of the Taal Volcano. Its last eruption was on October 3, 1977 but the most violent happened on September 28-30, 1965.

1 comment:

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