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

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 23, 2010 Major News Stories

Almirante son posts bail, claims self-defense

The son of former provincial board member Antonio Almirante Jr. posted a bail of P20, 000, yesterday at the Regional Trial Court Argao, Cebu.

Antonio Almirante III filed a motion to reduce the bail from P40,000 the recommended bail bond for his temporary liberty.

Judge Maximo A. Perez signed the release order of Antonio III at around 5:00 p.m. yesterday. Antonio III is accused of shooting to death his brother, Allan, inside their house last Tuesday.

Prosecutor 1 Ferdinand A. Collantes downgraded the case of Antonio III from murder to homicide after he examined it and concluded that there was no intent to kill.

During the inquest proceedings, Antonio III said that Allan told him "Pusila ko" (Shoot me) twice, while approaching him with a knife.

Respondent admitted he shot his brother but stressed it was all in self defense.

Antonio III's father, lawyer Attorney Almirante Jr., will stand as his lead counsel.

Both father and son refused to talk to the media.

It was Police Senior Inspector Reyman Tolentin of Argao Police Station who filed the complaint before the Provincial Prosecutors Office. Tolentin filed a complaint for murder but Prosecutor Collantes downgraded the case into homicide.

Last Tuseday at around 9:45 a.m., the Argao Police Station received information regarding a shooting incident inside the house of Almirante's family.

Police officers proceeded to the house and saw Allan lying on the floor, bloodied and dead. The police recovered three empty shells of a 9mm caliber as well as an improvised stainless steel knife.

Police revealed that the victim was armed with a knife, went wild and challenged his brother.

Almirante III took the gun only to intimidate his brother, but Allan continued attacking him so he fired.

In an affidavit executed by SPO1 Jaime Mendoza of the Argao Police Station said that Mrs. Alma Mendoza, a daughter of the former PB member, informed him that his brothers were fighting in their family home in Sitio Suba, Poblacion.

He furthered stated that the respondent voluntarily surrendered and admitted shooting his brother to defend himself.

Almirante III said he could no longer recall where he placed the gun. 

Mastermind in Carcar City killing falls

The suspected mastermind in the death of a businessman in Carcar City was arrested by the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) operatives at the vicinity of a hospital in Cebu City yesterday afternoon.

Jay Camotes, 33, was arrested by elements of Theft and Robbery Section of CCPO by virtue of an alias warrant of arrest for resistance and disobedience to a person in authority issued last July 1 by Judge Grace Ytil of the Municipal Trial Court of Carcar City.

The complainant was SPO1 Eduardo Bagul of Carcar City police after an encounter with the suspect almost two years ago, SPO1 Meliton Agadier said.

The Carcar City Police filed a murder case against Camotes for allegedly masterminding the shooting to death of Eric Uraca in July 12.

Uraca, 34, was shot dead while carrying his two-year-old child outside his motorcycle shop on Rizal Street, Carcar City. Ronilo Montalla, the alleged gunman, and Lupe Gicalem, who drove the getaway motorcycle, were arrested a few hours after the shooting.

Sr. Insp. Bonifacio Garciano, chief of TRS, who led the operation, said they received information that the suspect was in a hospital in Cebu City yesterday for his continuous medication of the gunshot wound in his leg which he got when he accidentally fired his gun some time last year in Carcar City.

They then implemented the warrant furnished to them by the court and used it as a basis in arresting Camotes.

Garciano said they recovered a 9mm pistol and a pack of shabu from the suspect.

The suspect claimed that the firearm is licensed but since he was not able to present pertinent documents to prove its legality, a case for illegal possession of firearm, including possession of illegal drugs will be filed against him, Garciano said.

The suspect is now detained at the CCPO stockade and will be turned over to the municipal trial court for the murder case he is facing.

Rookie cop charged with homicide

The rookie policeman who accidentally killed a fellow police officer while playing with his service firearm was charged with homicide before the Regional Trial Court in Cebu City.

Police Officer I Ronie Barangian was indicted for killing PO1 Ronnie Barrita last Tuesday evening. Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Raul Cristoria has recommended P30,000 bail for his temporary liberty.

Cebu City Police Office homicide section originally filed a complaint for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide against Barangian but the prosecutor's office upgraded the complaint to homicide.

Barangian admitted having killed Barrita but said it was an accident. According to him, he did not mean to hurt Barrita saying the latter has been a good friend to him.

Rutchel Zapanta, 21, who witnessed the incident, said that she went to see her friend PO1 Mari June Bohol at Pier 3 where he and Barrita were assigned.

Zapanta said she went with Bohol and Barrita to see Barangian at Sanciangko Street. When they arrived at the area she saw Barangian and PO1 Adam L. Perpetua already in a drinking session.

According to Zapanta, Bohol ordered two bottles of Red Horse beer and some junk foods, while they waited for the rain to stop.

While she sat on the plastic bench beside Bohol, she saw Perpetua slept on the other plastic bench, while the victim and the respondent were standing on the side joking with each other with their firearms.

Zapanta said moments later a burst of gunfire rang out and she saw Barangian holding a handgun in front of the victim who already fell down.

The victim reportedly asked the suspect in vernacular, "Gikablit man nimu."

The victim was immediately rushed to the nearby Cebu City Medical Center but later expired.

Bohol said he saw Barangian pointed his firearm in the neck of Barrita who prodded the suspect to pull the trigger. "Sige kablita sano," was Barrita's alleged words to Barangian before the gun went off, killing Barrita.

The incident prompted Police Regional Office-7 chief Lani-o Nerez to recommend Barangian's dismissal from service.

Nerez warned all field training policemen to practice what they were taught in the recent gun safety seminar. One of these was not to play with the gun even if the firearm was not loaded.

He said this incident serves as a lesson for other FTP policemen, who are still temporary members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), and even those who are already organic members.

Alleged killers of taxi driver arrested

Four members of the street gang called "Crips," three of whom juveniles, have been arrested by the police for their alleged involvement in the killing of a taxi driver last Wednesday dawn in Upper Tingub Road, Mandaue City.

Capitol willing to talk with city

Could this be the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel?

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday said that the provincial government is willing to reopen negotiations regarding the fate of the close to 5,000 families living in province-owned lots.

The governor said that Capitol has confidence on the administration of new Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, thus the reopening of the negotiations.

"I am seeing light at the end of the long and dark tunnel and this light I believe can radiate to so many other aspects in the relationship between the Province of Cebu and the City of Cebu especially when it involves the lives of over 4,000 families that are affected by 93-1," said Governor Garcia.

Garcia admitted that the case of 93-1 is not as simplistic as former Cebu City mayor and now Cebu City South District Rep. Tomas Osmeña makes it appear.

The governor said whenever he (Osmeña) talks 93-1, he has one sentence to say, "I cannot turn my back on 4,000 residents."

Garcia further said that Osmeña continues telling a lie over the issue.

"Kon bakak balik-balikon og bakak usahay mutuo nang tawo nga tinuod," said Garcia.

She stressed that the issue over the lots covered by Provincial Ordinance 93-1 is not simply citing its many complications.

The 93-1 residents or families have different categories, "dunay mga naka- fully pay, within the speculated period, after several extensions, dunay naka-partially pay until we no longer extended, the term of payment, unya dunay wala gayud mamayad," the governor said.

Furthermore, she said these lots are scattered in different areas throughout the City of Cebu.

"We have started to issue already the ownership documents to those that had fully paid, and we will continue to do that as verification continues," Garcia said.

The governor also said that the provincial government is willing to listen to the side of the city government especially now that it is under the leadership of Rama.

Rama was tagged responsible for the calling off of the proposed land swap deal after his privilege speech that caught the ire of the Provincial Board.

Then Vice Mayor Rama raised his objection to the deal, saying it was very disadvantageous to the city government.


Mayor Rama was reportedly delighted to know the plan of the province to reopen negotiations.

He said that this could put a closure to the matter.

"We are happy that she is open again for negotiation. Even before she made the pronouncement I already talked with the stakeholders since I want acceleration in the closure of the issue," Rama said.

The mayor, however, said that while he welcomes the development, he will have to refer this to the City Attorney's Office to study the technical and legal details.

Osmeña refused to comment on the issue but said that he will let former city Administrator Francisco "Bimbo" Fernandez speak on behalf of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK).

"It was Mike and Pesquera (former Councilor Joy Pesquera) who blocked the land swap. Anyway, it should be Bimbo (who was the point man who negotiated for the city and the occupants) who is the best man to comment on the matter," Osmeña said in a text message.

Osmeña and Garcia have been at odds with each other since the province backed out from the land swap proposal that was almost successful had Rama did not deliver a speech accusing the province of "dawat limpyo."

Fernandez told The FREEMAN in a phone interview that Osmeña assigned him to represent the BOPK because 93-1 is a BOPK issue for 15 years already.

"We are happy they are willing to negotiate. Negotiation is always very good so kung makapangita ta'g paagi na mutually acceptable, nga di masakripisyo ang 5,000 ka mga lumulupyo diha, then we will make our position on that," Fernandez said.

Ombudsman summons airport brass

The officials of Mactan Cebu International Airport were summoned to appear before the Ombudsman Visayas this morning to officially start its inquiry into the exorbitant severance pay granted to former tourism regional director Patria Aurora Roa.

Assistant Ombudsman Virginia Palanca Santiago has ordered MCIA general manager Danilo Augusto Francia, Evelyn Ramirez, corporate secretary of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) board, legal officers Allan Talisaysay and Glen Napuli to appear before her.

The members of the four-man investigating team created by Francia to look into the supposed "leak" of the severance pay documents of Roa to the media were also called to attend this morning.

Airport police chief Bonifacio Pusta, who heads the team created by Francia, is expected to appear including MCIA public affairs manager Ahmed Cuizon.

Cuizon is reportedly among those subjected for investigation by Pusta's team because he was believed to have leaked the documents to the media.

Santiago directed Ramirez to bring all the documents related to the release of the P500,000 severance pay to Roa. The legal officers were required to attend this morning's inquiry because they were the ones given instructions by Santiago to relay to Francia her verbal order not to release the check to Roa pending the result of the anti-graft body's fact-finding investigation.

Despite Santiago's instruction, the check was personally delivered by Ramirez to Roa.

Roa used to be a member of the 11-man MCIAA board in her capacity as regional director of the Department of Tourism. She has retired few months ago.

 "Tan-awon nato og unsay ilang justification sa paghatag og P500,000 nga severance pay. Daghan usab ko og ipangutana nila atul sa inquiry," Santiago told The FREEMAN.Senior state auditor Anecita Pilapil, who is assigned to supervise the audit of all government transactions including that of the MCIAA, said that severance pay granted to MCIAA board is not allowed under the state audit procedures.

Francia however insisted that their charter allows it.

According to him, the MCIAA charter authorizes them to provide decent retirement benefits to their officials and employees, including the members of the board.

Pilapil said the Commission on Audit (COA) has already resolved a similar issue when it disallowed the severance pay that MCIAA granted to former DOTC Undersecretary Carina Valera in 2003.

Gordon Allan "Dondi" Joseph, a private sector representative to the MCIAA board, said they are questioning the position of the state auditors. 

NBI summons treasury man, 2 others

The National Bureau of Investigation has summoned three persons to give light to the missing 28 checks at the Cebu City Medical Center.

City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez said that the NBI informed him that it has called Bert Colong of the Office of the Building Official (OBO), Mary Grace Lopez of the City Treasurer's Office and a representative from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. who is charged of the issuance of checks to hospitals particularly CCMC, to be investigated.

NBI is conducting the criminal investigation on the reported fraud.

Colong was the City Hall employee who earlier came out and admitted that he rediscounted six of the 28 stolen checks and tried to deposit it in his account.

He obtained the checks from a certain Concha Ruth Adlawan, the same person who introduced herself as an employee of Philhealth who is tasked to pick up the checks from the CCMC so it could be stamped with Philhealth seal as part of the new system.

Colong paid P84,000 to Adlawan in exchange for the six checks. But when he tried to deposit it in his account, bank personnel were quick to spot the alterations on the checks prompting the Land Bank of the Philippines to reject it.

The City Attorney's Office considered him as vital witness to trace those who are involved in the fraud.

The involvement of Lopez was only discovered when Evelyn Archua claimed that it was not her who actually released the check but Lopez, a detailed employee of the CTO at the billing section where Archua is the head.

According to Atty. Gloria Lastimosa-Dalawampu, Lopez is the one in-charge of all Philhealth transactions and not Archua. Her client only said earlier that she released the check because she felt it normal to assume the responsibility being the head of the office.

Dalawampu said that Archua is technically not responsible for the act of Lopez because the latter was not under her direct supervision. Lopez was detailed under the administrative office directly under the chief of hospital, Dr. Myrna Go.

Dalawampu said that they have evidence to prove that Lopez released the checks to Adlawan.

The investigating body created by Mayor Michael Rama to determine the administrative liability of those who are involved in the case will convene on Monday to start the formal investigation.

Bernaldez, a member of the committee, said that they will verify with Philhealth all the names of the patients who availed of the insurance to check on the possibility that some names may be fictitious.

"If we can verify that there are fictitious names on the list, we can say that there really is an anomaly there. Because why would Philhealth issue checks as payment for non-existent patients?" Bernaldez said. 

Rep. Radaza asks Ombuds to reverse causeway ruling

Lapu-Lapu City lone district Rep. Arturo Radaza has sought the reversal of the Ombudsman resolution that found him and city attorney Vincent Joseph Lim liable for graft for ordering the demolition of a causeway in Barangay Agus sometime in 2007.

Vendors' group opposes Rama's new policy

A vendors' organization plans to hold a picket in objection to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama's "one-side vending policy."

The Power United Vendors (PUV) headed by Macoy Mañacap, a vendor in Colon St., also accused those implementing the new policy of failing to give vendors equal treatment.

A vendor who requested not to be named suspects politics is involved.

"Wala mi tagai ug arrangement pagkahuman sa ilang demolish, pero ang uban nga naninda gi tagaan man. Murag ang ilang trabaho gisagulan man ug politika, naa man silay gipaboran. Mao na amu gi hangyo nga tagaan unta mi ug maayong pwesto kung ila ming ipa demolish," the vendor said. (They did not provide us with any alternative place to sell in after we were demolished, but the others were given. It seems politics is involved.)

Rama is implementing the "one-side vending policy" particularly along Colon St. and other busy streets in the city. This is to clean up the streets and improve their appearance, as well as decongest these areas.

Mañacap told The FREEMAN that they will question the new policy before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.

If the City really plans to implement this, they call on the City to give equal treatment for all vendors.

A vendor who has been in the business for 30 years now said that they were not even informed in advance before members of the Squatters Prevention Encroachment Elimination Division (Speed) conducted the demolition last July 7.

"Gi diretso ra man mi ug demolish, wa jud sila nagpahibaw daan ana. Nakurat nalang mi nga nabalhin among stall sa kilid apan wa silay gipakita nga notice namo nga naa silay katungod na mag demolish sa amo nga mga manindahay," she said. (We were very much surprised to see our stalls already being transferred as we were not given prior notice.)

The vendor also said that they are disappointed by the implementation of the new policy because through the years, they were free to sell their wares without interference from City Officials.

"Karon ra jud mi gi ingnani, kay sa mga ming labay nga mga opisyales sa Sugbu wa man mi hilabti, gi sugtan raman mi diri nga mamaligya," she added.

The Freeman tried to get statements from Speed but its chief, Noel Artes, said they will answer all the vendors' concerns in a meeting with the vendors' group today.

Guv, Rama defend new Cebu City beautification head

The last time Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama landed in the news, it was all about disagreements on issues involving the Capitol and the City Hall.

But this time, Garcia and Rama have apparently found a common ground in defending the appointment of philanthropist Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung as head of the Super Beautification Council and implement the clean up and improvement of Cebu City's sidewalks, streets and landmarks.

Rama clarified that the appointment of Yeung is part of his administration's approach on tapping the private sector in managing the city.

Rama was reacting to the comments of former mayor and now Congressman Tomas Osmeña who said that Yeung has no qualification to be appointed in the position, and that Rama failed to consult the parks and playground commission (PPC) before he created the SBC.

"It is a private initiative under the spider web approach. It should be separated from the parks and playgrounds commission," Rama said.

"They (PPC) are involved with parks, playgrounds and the islands. But when you talk about the sidewalk, kanang sa Osmeña boulevard, it can be another. The one who beautify that sidewalk before if I'm not mistaken was the national government. It's not the local government," he added.

Garcia, a close friend of Yeung, said the new mayor of Cebu City is Rama and he should be the one to decide what's good for the City.

"And as the mayor he calls the shots no matter who gets hurt," said Garcia.

Garcia said Yeung was unfairly attacked by the former mayor. Yeung, she stressed, is a well known philantropist who shares her blessings with the poor people in Cebu.

Yeung's Operation Smile, according to the governor, has changed the lives of thousands of children not only in Cebu but also neighboring provinces.

"The media report constantly refers to Mariquita as a close friend of mine and I am proud to call her a friend, in fact she is my best friend," Garcia said. "What binds us together, among many other things, is a deep and abounding love for Cebu," she added.

She further said that Yeung shared her support to the different programs and projects undertaken by her administration.

"I am very glad that Mayor Michael Rama has chosen her to head a committee to beautify the city of Cebu," Garcia said.

Garcia said Yeung can share her success with the City Government of Cebu.

"I look forward to finally seeing Cebu City regain its former beauty and charm, because sadly there has been so much neglect by the past administration, the city is dirty," said Garcia.

Rama had announced of his plan to set up the council and place Yeung in charge. The new body's first priority will be to beautify sidewalks on both sides of Osmeña Boulevard from Sanciangko St. to the Provincial Capitol.

Yeung's family is engaged in real estate development and owns property in Cebu City's mountain barangays. She is the sister of fourth district Rep. Benhur Salimbangon.

Rama said that he just wants to practice his principle in promoting maximum people's participation in the City's activities and programs.

Besides, Yeung will not be receiving any honoraria from the City Government for heading the commission. He also clarified that he has not convened the PPC yet so there is no reason he must consult first with its members.

Market vendors protest BIR receipt plan

MANILA, Philippines - Public market vendors are opposing the Bureau of Internal Revenue's (BIR) plan to compel them to issue receipts to make sure that they pay the right taxes.

Customs files smuggling complaint against importers

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) filed a smuggling complaint on Thursday against two businessmen, the first case filed by the agency under President Benigno Aquino III's administration.
The complaint was filed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Eduardo Saguid and Nestor Ignacio, proprietors of Gold Mind Trading and Quick Flo Trading, respectively. 

The two businessmen allegedly imported P300 million worth of electronic products and general merchandise for the past six months, Customs officials said. 

However, the traders "paid only minimal duties and taxes for their numerous shipments," BOC Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said, citing findings of Customs deputy commissioner Gregorio Chavez.

Aquino given 2 options on Trillanes case

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Thursday said she has given President Benigno Aquino III two options on how to deal with the coup d'etat case against detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Court junks Trillanes' plea to attend Senate session

(UPDATE) The Makati court handling Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's rebellion case over his purported involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny junked, on Thursday, his motion for temporary release to be able to attend the inaugural session of the 15th Congress.

Enrile claims he is choice of colleagues to lead Senate

FORMER SENATE president Juan Ponce Enrile confirmed yesterday his bid to regain the chamber's leadership as the two leading contenders could not muster a majority vote.

Miriam to pick Kiko over Enrile as Senate president if Villar backs out

Saying she prefers young blood, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said on Thursday she would rather pick the much younger Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan over veteran lawmaker Juan Ponce Enrile - should the Senate presidential race become a two-way contest between the two senators.

Palace steers clear of battle for Senate presidency

Malacañang on Thursday steered clear of the battle for the Senate presidency, but said it hoped for a "friendly'' chamber.

Arroyo claims association with guards and tricycles drivers for years

Of course he knows security guards and tricycle drivers, according to Ang Galing Pinoy party list Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo. In fact, he told the Inquirer in a telephone interview, he began his new term in the House of Representatives on Thursday by meeting with them and discussing their concerns.

Mikey Arroyo's party-list case haled to SC

Injunction sought on congressman-nomineeA PARTY-LIST group filed yesterday a motion with the Supreme Court (SC) to prevent Juan Miguel "Mikey" M. Arroyo to represent security guards, drivers and vendors under a party-list group in the House of Representatives.

Cabinet inputs make it harder for Aquino to cut SONA speech

President Benigno Aquino III is on the third draft of his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), but Cabinet members' numerous inputs are giving him a hard time to keep it short and simple.

'Low conviction rate implicates Ombudsman'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Former Akbayan party-list representative Risa Hontiveros on Thursday said Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez should be removed from her position, not because she is close to former President Arroyo, but because of her failure to safeguard the interest of the Filipino people.

Robredo moves to stop corruption at BFP

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo on Thursday ordered the Bureau of Fire Protection to immediately stop issuing a Fire and Life Safety Assessment Report (FALAR) prior to the issuance of a fire safety inspection certificate (FSIC) to business establishments.

Robredo ordered BFP chief Director Rolando Bandilla to implement the order, after the Interior Secretary received unverified reports that some BFP officials have "volunteered" to prepare the FALARs for FSIC applicants for a fee.

"This is contrary to this administration's advocacy of honest governance," Robredo stressed.

He explained that the FALAR prerequisite was not contained in Republic Act 9514 (Fire Code of the Philippines) but only in a memo issued by former Fire Director Rogelio Asignado in 2005.

"Since RA 9514 made no mention of the FALAR requirement, plus the fact that the same law has already institutionalized FSIC requirements, requiring the submission of the FALAR would only be a surplusage," Robredo said.

At the same time, Robredo also ordered Bandilla to investigate reports that some uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the BFP are selling fire extinguishers and other fire suppressant equipment to those applying FSICs.

"If reports are true, this will constitute illegal and/or immoral pecuniary interest, which will duly affect the integrity of the BFP and the Department," he said.

Letter to P. Noy from Right to Know. Right Now! Coalition

An Appeal for Inclusion of the Passage of the Freedom of Information Act as one of the President's Priority Measures for the 15th Congress.

$1: P46.495

$1: P46.495

Euro 1: P59.3427

RP may halve rice imports in 2011

by Reuters
MANILA, Philippines  - The country may cut its rice imports by as much as 50%  next year as the world's largest rice buyer lifts local production to attain self-sufficiency in the grain by 2013, the agriculture minister said.

Banks' resources rise 8.7% to P6.52 trillion

The country's banking sector sustained the rise of resources in May in what the central bank chief claimed to be proof of its resilience, amid lingering risks in the external environment, mainly the debt crisis in the European zone.

US looks to deepen Southeast Asia commitment: Clinton

HANOI, Vietnam - The United States looked Thursday to deepen its renewed commitment to Southeast Asia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told her regional counterparts.

Fil-Am nominated as Chief Justice of California Supreme Court

An American jurist of Filipino descent, Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye on Wednesday was nominated by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as chief justice of the California Supreme Court.

Typhoon Chanthu lashes flood-hit China

CHONGQING—Typhoon Chanthu lashed southern China on Thursday with punishing winds and heavy rain in the latest weather challenge for a country in which flooding has killed 700 people this year.

Pacquiao: Margarito fight would be great

MANILA, Philippines – Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao seemed to prefer to fight Mexican Antonio Margarito on November 13 instead of having a rematch with Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao 5th in Sports Illustrated's top 20 highest-earning int'l athletes

MANILA, Philippines – Seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is the lone boxer in the 2010 Sports Illustrated 20 highest-earning international athletes list.

He is ranked No. 5 in the list ruled by former tennis World No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland.

The 2010 list featured Pacquiao alongside 7 football players, 5 motor sports racers, 3 tennis players, 2 baseball players and 2 NBA stars.

Pacquiao dropped from No. 3 in 2009 to No. 5 in 2010 with $38 million coming from salaries, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees.

His boxing purse from July 2009 to June 2010 was taken into consideration. In such time period, Pacquiao successfully defeated Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto on November 14 and Ghanaian Joshua Clottey last March 13.

Federer, meantime, zoomed to the top from No. 9 last year with $61,768,110. The 16-time grand slam champion, currently the world No. 3, replaced British football star David Beckham at the top spot.

Los Angeles Galaxy's Beckham slumped to No. 3 with $40.5 million while Argentine Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona moved up to No. 2 with $44 million.

Another football superstar, Portugese Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid came in at No. 4 with $40 million.

The list indicated that Pacquiao earned more than the following:

  • baseball players Ichiro Suzuki of Japan and Miguel Cabrera of Venezuela;
  • tennis luminaries Maria Sharapova of Russia and Rafael Nadal of Spain;
  • NBA cagers Yao Ming of China and Dirk Nowitzki of Germany; and,
  • footballers Kaka of Brazil, Thierry Henry of France, Ronaldinho of Brazil and Carlos Tevez of Argentina.

The Sarangani province congressman also gained more earnings than Formula One racers Valentino Rossi of Italy, Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain, Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, Jenson Button of Great Briatin and Fernando Alonso of Spain.

Seattle Mariners' Suzuki ($37 million), Fiat Yamaha Team's Rossi ($35 million), Houston Rockets' Yao ($34,378,325), men's tennis world No. 1 Nadal ($27,466,515) and McLaren-Mercedes' Hamilton ($26.7 million) rounded up the Top 10 of the Sports Illustrated 20 highest-earning international athletes list.

Mayweather among 'fortunate' US athletes

Sports Illustrated, meanwhile, also released its Fortunate 50 list of the top-earning American athletes with golfer Tiger Woods leading the pack with $90,508,163. (Read: Tiger's endorsements down $22 million - report)

His fellow golfer, Phil Mickelson, was at No. 2 with $61,660,757 while undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. came in at No. 3 with $60,250,000.

Mayweather, who was supposed to figure in a super showdown with Pacquiao, returned to the Top 5 with earnings from fights with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19 and compatriot Shane Mosley on May 1.

Just like Pacquiao in the international athletes ranking, Mayweather was the only boxer in the 2010 Fortunate 50 list.

Other top-earning American athletes came from the National Football League (15), National Basketball Association (16), Major League Baseball (13) and NASCAR (3).

LeBron James, now of the Miami Heat, was at No. 4 ($45,779,912), Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees was at No. 5 ($37 million), and free agent Shaquille O'Neal was at No. 6 with ($36 million).

O'Neal even earned more than his former teammate, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, who came in at No. 7 with ($33,034,375).

At No. 8 was Derek Jeter of the Yankees ($31 million), followed by No. 9 Peyton Manning of Indianapolis Colts ($30.8 million) and No. 10 Dwyane Wade of the Heat ($27,779,912).

The complete list of the Fortunate 50 is available on the Sports Illustrated website.

Wesley So grabs solo lead in Swiss chess tourney

MANILA, Philippines – Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So of the Philippines defeated Israeli GM Maxim Rodshtein to grab the solo leadership board after the 3rd round of the 43rd Biel International Chess Festival Young Grandmasters tournament.

Sharon hurting over 'betrayal' of Tito Sotto

MANILA, Philippines - Megastar Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan admitted Thursday that she is hurting over the lack of support for her husband, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, in his bid to become Senate President.

Korina Sanchez ready to go back to ABS-CBN

MANILA, Philippines – After taking a leave of absence for more than a year, veteran broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez wants to fully resume her radio and television career on ABS-CBN.

Korina says ready for a baby

Handa na ang news personality na si Korina Sanchez na magka-baby! Nauunawaan naman ni Korina ang desisyon ng kaibigang si Kris Aquino sa pakikipaghiwalay nito sa basketbolistang mister na si James Yap.

Pacquiao excited to attend SONA

MANILA, Philippines – World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao said he is excited about attending President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

Pacquiao to appear in US action film?

MANILA, Philippines – Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao might appear in an American martial arts action movie, an online report said.

Quoting Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, FanHouse reported that a film company is eyeing the Sarangani congressman to be part of an American action film. His appearance will be a "small, perhaps cameo role," the report said.

Koncz told Fanhouse: "[There's] a company that is interested in doing something with Manny. They want to do some action movie with Manny, but not as the main character."

"I told them that because of our time constraints, we'll consider a proposal where he's a guest in the movie and I'll present it to Manny. I told them we don't have the time to do anything more than that. They produced Dr. Dolittle and worked with Eddie Murphy." Koncz added.

Aside from his boxing career, Pacquiao also appears in many television shows, movies and TV commercials in the Philippines.

He is currently hard at work after being elected congressman of Sarangani province.

In a previous interview, Pacquiao said he would refrain from doing films so as to focus on his new job as a legislator.

His last movie, "Wapakman," was a box-office bomb last year.

Talking ATMs for the visually-impaired?

MANILA, Philippines - A lawmaker is pushing for the passage of a measure that will allow the visually impaired to easily access any Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

Quezon Province 4th District Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III is urging colleagues for the early passage of House Bill 221 or the so-called "ATM Access for the Visually Impaired Act."

The bill seeks to direct banking institutions to provide ATMs that conduct transactions by means of an audio transmission system.

The bill also provides for the upgrading of ATMs to incorporate the system.

"Making ATMs accessible to the visually-impaired sends a strong message that any physical disability should not be a bar to the enjoyment of such modern conveniences as these can easily be adapted to their special needs," Tañada said.

He said giving them access to such technology would also allow for their "integration into mainstream society."

In other countries, the most common audio transmission system being used is the talking ATM.

It is a type of machine that provides audible instructions to the user who can't read the screen. To secure the transaction, a headphone jack is provided.

In the Philippines, the George Ty-led Metrobank is known for providing talking ATMs.

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