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

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 6, 2010 Major News Stories

Five other buses grounded: Charges filed vs operator, driver

Charges of reckless imprudence resulting to multiple homicide and physical injuries were filed yesterday against the driver and operator of the bus that figured in an accident last Saturday in Barrio Don Andres Soriano, Toledo City.

Roadworthiness test ordered for city vehicles

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has ordered for the immediate inventory and roadworthiness testing of all vehicles owned by the city government to ensure that everything is functioning well to avoid accidents.

Kaohsiung buses to be used in Metro Cebu only

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama will inspect starting today all city-owned vehicles to make sure they are roadworthy, as he signed an order limiting the use of the City's fleet of Kaohsiung buses to Metro Cebu towns and cities.

Fire destroys four houses in Lawaan

A fire over the weekend destroyed four residential houses in sitio Pungsod, barangay Lawaan 3, Talisay City damaging about P200,000 worth of property.

DILG-7 director assumes as mayor of Compostela

Department of Interior and Local Government-7 Regional Director Pedro Noval formally assumed office yesterday afternoon as acting mayor of Compostela town.

Governor meets PB in inaugural session

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia gave a status report on the implementation of the 12-point agenda of her administration, and asked members of the Provincial Board for their support and cooperation through legislative measures during yesterday's inaugural session of the PB.

Gwen, Greg ask for cooperation

CEBU Province's top two officials pledged at the Provincial Board's (PB) inaugural session yesterday to set aside personal and political differences, for their constituents' sake.

Mandaue SP to meet for inaugural session

The newly elected Mandaue City council will meet for its 12th Sangguniang Panlungsod inaugural session at 2 o'clock this afternoon.

Radaza determined to pursue recla project

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza yesterday said she will push through with the Mactan North Reclamation and Development Project, the project initiated by her husband, former mayor Arturo Radaza and now congressman of the lone district of Lapu-Lapu.

"Tardy" Toledo fiscal won't get allowance

A prosecutor of Toledo City will not receive his allowance this month after the Supreme Court granted the letter endorsed by Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane withholding his allowance.

According to Gubalane the prosecutor did not resolve the cases he handled within the allowed 60-day timeframe.

The prosecutor, who was not named by Gubalane, has 20 cases pending.

Gubalane further said that the prosecutor can receive his allowance after he has resolved the 20 cases.

However Gubalane admitted that there are prosecutors who exceed in the timeframe and they give extension if they evaluate the case. But then if there is no valid reason why the prosecutors did not resolve the case within the timeframe he will immediately endorse a letter to the Supreme Court to withhold the allowances of the prosecutor.

City tourism director now protocol officer

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Tourism Commission director Cinbeth Orellano has been appointed as the new city protocol officer by Mayor Michael Rama.

Teachers still waiting for honorarium for census service

Sa kabila ng katakot-takot na hirap na dinanas ng mga guro sa pagsasagawa ng census nung Mayo, hanggang ngayon, marami pa rin sa kanila ang hindi nakatatanggap ng ipinangakong honorarium mula sa National Statistics Office! Aminado naman ang NSO, posibleng matagalan pa bago nila mabayaran ang mga guro.

QC court junks request for TRO vs sex education

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Education (DepEd) can pursue implementing its sex education program after a Quezon City court refused to issue a stay order.

New DA secretary hopes to end rice imports in three years

The Philippines, currently the world's largest rice importer, hopes to be self-sufficient in the staple in three years, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said Monday.

DA: Sugar shortage 'not that huge'

Despite having briefed President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on the tightness of the current sugar supply, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said his agency would consult farmers first on the need to import 150,000 tons of sugar and could come out with a decision by Thursday.

DoJ stalls Arroyo probe; waits for Truth Commission

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice on Monday said it will wait for the creation of a Truth Commission before starting its investigation on a graft complaint against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Pagcor chief stops P26-million 'illegal disbursement'

On its first day in office, the Aquino government stopped an 'illegal disbursement' amounting to P26 million in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), a Palace spokesman revealed on Monday.
"I was talking to President (Aquino), we were working 'til 1 a.m. Sunday by fone (telephone) and he mentioned that Mr. (Cristino) Bong Naguiat was able to stop a disbursement of P26 million on July 1," Lacierda said.

DPWH chief: Beating corruption a mission

It's no longer "business as usual" at the Department of Public Works and Highways, according to newly appointed DPWH Secretary Rogelio L. Singson.

Justice head to review anti-smuggling campaign

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Monday said she has decided to review existing task forces against smuggling to address irregularities and deliver immediate results in line with the Aquino administration's crackdown on smuggling syndicates and goal of raising more revenues for the public coffers.

New DOTC chief vows "transparency and level playing field"

Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose "Ping" de Jesus has vowed to promote transparency and a level playing field as he takes the top post of one of government's most powerful agencies.

Aquino spokesman seeks more talking heads

Just after five days in office, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda is now seeking reinforcement, asking for more spokespersons to help him deal with the media.

Baldoz takes over as labor secretary

MANILA, PhilippinesCareer labor executive Rosalinda Baldoz officially took over the post of the secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) on Monday morning.

She vowed to focus on overseas workers' welfare, strengthening homeland employment, and boosting the employability of new graduates in line with President Benigno Aquino IIIs promises.

In well-attended rites at the DoLE office in Intramuros Monday morning, former Labor Secretary Marianito Roque turned over his post to Baldoz and cited the leadership advantage of those who have toiled long years in the department.

Our formative years in the department gave us the maturity to lead. If I had not experienced this, I would have had a tough time in the department, said Roque.

Baldoz called the task daunting but promised to immediately buckle down to work.

The new labor secretary is now completing a report on the state of her department as President Aquino had requested all his Cabinet secretaries to do so in their first meeting last week.

She also promised to maintain close engagement with the labor sector, including civil society and workers' organizations.

The President is correct in saying that the people are our real bosses, Baldoz said.

ILO pledges to help Philippines generate decent jobs

The International Labor Organization made a pledge Monday that it would help the Philippine government review its employment policies and strategies in order to create decent, productive employment for Filipinos.

DOH takes steps to professionalize massage therapy

The Department of Health (DOH) has taken steps to professionalize the massage therapy industry and erase the stigma of prostitution unfairly attached to industry practitioners.

Angara: Aquino must reconcile with Villar

Natapos na ang tunggalian sa pagka-pangulo, pero tuloy pa rin ang mainit na labanan sa pagitan ng partido Nacionalista at Liberal sa liderato naman ng Senado! Kung Liberal ang tatanungin, mukhang kumpiyansa sila na si Senador Kiko Pangilinan ang mananaig. Pero, di puwedeng balewalain ang impluwensya ni Senador Manny Villar. Sabi nga ni Senador Edgardo Angara: dapat makipag-ayos na si Pangulong Noynoy Aquino kay Villar, lalo't kung mababawi ni Villar ang Senate Presidency.

House reorganization just a formality

MANILA, Philippines - It seems that the reorganization in the House of Representatives of the 15th Congress is but a formality.

28 apply for lone Supreme Court vacancy

A total of 28 justices from the public and private sectors will try their luck to be part of the Supreme Court.

21 diplomats appointed by GMA to stay put

MANILA, Philippines - Two high-ranking Cabinet members have recommended to President Benigno Aquino III the extension of the terms of envoys whose appointments are co-terminus with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Aquino to consider foreign trips when domestic issues settled

President Benigno Aquino III said today that he will consider going on a foreign trip only after he has addressed urgent "domestic matters."

Aquino orders 'review' of national defense

President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Monday ordered for a "comprehensive review" of the national defense to address its many problems.

Air Force upgrade bill to require P7 billion

THE GOVERNMENT will spend around P7 billion on aircraft and surveillance systems to guard the sprawling archipelago and help fight Moro separatists and Maoist rebels, a senior general said yesterday.

Militants call for junking of RP-US military pact over unexplained deaths

The unexplained death of a Filipino interpreter while working for the US troops in February and the death of the Philippine Army officer a month later have renewed calls among militant groups for the Philippine government to junk its Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the US.

PNP mulls another body to look into media killings

The Philippine National Police is seeking the creation of a multi-sectoral committee that will look into the root causes of media killings in the country and how to effectively put a stop to these, Director General Jesus Verzosa said on Monday.

Ampatuan patriarch allowed to undergo check-up at hospital

A Quezon City court has granted the appeal of Andal Ampatuan Sr. to be examined at a tertiary hospital for a skin disease he supposedly contracted while in detention.

Lanao Sur gov asks abductors to free Yusoph son

Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. has appealed to the abductors of Nuralden Yusoph, son of election commissioner Elias Yusoph, to release the victim as soon as possible.

ARMM bans smoking in government offices

Governor Ansaruddin Adiong of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has banned smoking in any of the offices inside the 10-hectare regional complex here.

Somali pirates hijack ship with 18 Filipinos on board: EU

by Agence France-Presse
BRUSSELS, Belgium - Somali pirates have hijacked a Marshall-flagged chemical tanker carrying 18 Filipino sailors in the southern Red Sea, the EU anti-piracy mission said Monday.

South African gets 30 years for killing Filipina in UK

A fantasist who murdered a Filipino woman he met on a dating website in the United Kingdom was sentenced to 30 years in jail for the crime.
UK-based CourtNewsUK reported Monday that Clinton Bailey, 36, "seduced" victim Leah Questin before killing her and stuffing her body in a suitcase.

"Clinton Bailey, 36, seduced 37-year-old care worker Leah Questin by boasting of his high IQ and luxury lifestyle in his home country of South Africa," the site reported Monday afternoon.

Earlier, the British Broadcasting Co. (BBC) reported the suspect was arrested in the UK for the murder of Questin, whose body was found in a suitcase in a dried-up pond on farmland in Kent.

Questin was a care worker from London, but originally from the Philippines. She had been reported as a missing person on September 12 last year. That day she was seen on closed-circuit television traveling through London.

Questin was believed to have been dead for at least two weeks before the suitcase was found by a dog walker.

$1: P46.450

$1: P46.450

Euro 1: P58.2669

Dollar remittances down by 2.4% on strong peso

As the value of peso went up and gained on the US dollar by 7.4 percent, the money sent home by Filipinos abroad was 2.4 percent lower in peso terms in April.

Gov't loses P1B in revenues to steel smuggling

Government losses related to technical smuggling of steel products have reached more than P1 billion as of the end of May, with some importers valuing their finished product imports even lower than scraps and raw materials.

Energy Department stops Malampaya asset sale

The sale of government's 10 percent stake in the Malampaya-gas-to-power project was put on hold until the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III could decide whether to sell the asset, a Cabinet official said Monday.

Thai security officials seek extension to emergency rule

BANGKOK—Thai security officials on Monday proposed extending a state of emergency imposed across about a third of the country, including Bangkok, in response to opposition protests that turned deadly.

New York airport terminal evacuated after bomb scare—report

NEW YORKOfficials at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport evacuated one of its airport terminals after a bomb scare Sunday on one of the busiest US holiday travel days, ABC television reported.

ABC reported that authorities cleared JFK's Terminal 1, while hazardous materials experts and other emergency crews arrived at the scene.

The reported bomb scare took place on Independence Day, which marks the founding of the United States, and is a US national holiday.

Eight to be charged over Indonesian celebrity sex videos

by Agence France-Presse
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Indonesian police said Monday they would charge eight suspects over a celebrity sex video scandal that has gripped the mainly Muslim nation and fuelled calls for Internet controls.

Bustamante is new king of World 9-Ball Pool

For now, Francisco "Django" Bustamante will no longer be called as someone who plays second fiddle to his more illustrious compatriot -- "The Magician" Efren "Bata" Reyes. He is now the Philippines' newest world champion after stamping his class in the World 9-Ball Championship.

Kobe, Fisher raring to gun for 6th NBA championship

from by
MANILA, Philippines – It has not even been a month since the Los Angeles Lakers defended their NBA championship crown but instead of just relishing their back-to-back victories, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher are already aiming to win a three-peat.

Aquino shoots guns during weekend

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III took time off on Sunday to polish his markmanship skills with some some target practice at Langkaya, Antipolo.

253 sirens confiscated, surrendered in less than a week

(UPDATE) A total of 253 sirens were either confiscated by or surrendered to members of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group in its intensified campaign against sirens as per directive of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

Kris: There's no third party in break-up

Don't take any (and I mean ANY) hula-hula seriously. It's easy to make hula-hula, anybody can do it, and all one has to do is watch showbiz talk shows and religiously read movie/tsismis columns and, voila, manghuhula ka na!

Does Kris Aquino believe in manghuhula ("turbanned" or not)?

I doubt it.

Insisting that there's no third party in her break-up with James Yap, Kris texted this message in reaction to speculations about the cause of it all: "Me? Involved with someone new? Or somebody gay involved with James?"

One manghuhula predicted that Kris would be linked to, according to what Kris heard, "a single, influential, famous and prominent politician." Who could he be? I have a guess but I won't tell you who.

Asked Kris, "Tito Ricky, may I know who this man is? Para I can make sure to stay away from him since pinag-uusapan na kami. Or for all we know, di ko s'ya kilala."

And what about a "younger man" daw?

"Last Friday," said Kris in another text message, "Zsa Zsa (Padilla) warned me na si Coco Martin naman ang pinag-uusapan na ili-link with me. Categorically, I can say that I have been 100 percent FAITHFUL in the five years of our marriage. Wala sa track record ko, Tito Ricky, na magloko. I don't think my soon-to-be ex can say the same thing."

Incidentally, Kris and sons Joshua and Baby James are leaving for a well-deserved vacation abroad any day now. Estranged husband James will be home.

Bad news to Kris detractors who want her to stay abroad for good: Kris and the kids are coming back.

Charice to conquer Vogue magazine

MANILA, Philippines – International singing sensation Charice flew back to the United States Monday morning after her much-applauded rendition of the national anthem at the inauguration of President Benigno Aquino III on June 30.

Lea Salonga purrs for Manila stage comeback

MANILA, Philippines - Tony award-winning performer Lea Salonga is purring her way back to the Philippine stage via the local staging of "Cats," one of the most well-loved and longest running musicals on Broadway.

Online show host is Noynoy's distant niece

MANILA, Philippines - Aubrey Aquino, who had a stint as entertainment and lifestyle reporter on E! Channel, is currently hosting her own show on the Internet. But did you know that she and President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III are related by blood?

Juana Change vows to bust P. Noy's balls if...

MANILA, Philippines - Political satirist Mae Paner, popularly known as "Juana Change," wishes she would not have to lambast President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III in her viral videos, but added she would if he does not live up to his promises. 

Gerald Anderson fainted due to hyperventilation, says Kim

MANILA, Philippines - Actor Gerald Anderson on Sunday afternoon fainted while doing musical variety show "ASAP XV" due to hyperventilation, his on-screen partner, Kim Chiu, said.

Body of chess legend Fischer exhumed in Iceland

REYKJAVIKIcelandic authorities exhumed the remains of chess legend Bobby Fischer on Monday in order to carry out a paternity test to settle a dispute over his estate, a local official said.

"I can confirm that Bobby Fischer's body was exhumed this morning," Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, the sheriff in the southern Icelandic town of Selfoss where Fischer had been buried, told AFP.

"The procedure was conducted in a highly professional and dignified manner," he said, adding that "it was a priority with everybody present to show respect to the deceased."

Fischer died on January 17, 2008 at the age of 64 and was buried in the cemetery of Laugardaelir Church, just outside Selfoss, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Reykjavik.

A doctor and a priest were present when the body was exhumed, Kjartansson said, adding that it was his first time as a sheriff that he had been asked to carry out such a task.

Iceland's Supreme Court last month approved the disinterment of Fischer's body to test his DNA and establish if he was the father of nine-year-old Jinky Young, from the Philippines, as her mother claims.

Fischer's estate is estimated to be worth about $2 million (1.6 million) and is contested by three parties in addition to Young: his sister's two American sons; Japanese Myoko Watai, who claims to be his wife; and the US government, to whom he owed unpaid taxes.

US-born Fischer, who made world headlines when he defeated Soviet world champion Boris Spassky in their Cold War showdown in Reykjavik in 1972, took Icelandic citizenship in 2005 to avoid being deported to the United States.

He was wanted for breaking international sanctions by playing a chess match in Yugoslavia in 1992.

Considered by some as the greatest chess player of all time, Fischer's genius was a troubled one that saw his life run steadily downhill since his moment of glory at age 29.

He was known for his theatrics, his extravagant demands and, despite having a Jewish mother, anti-Semitic remarks, using broadcasts at far-flung radio stations to accuse Jews of everything from his legal woes to an alleged conspiracy to kill off elephants.

His anti-US rhetoric became equally inflammatory over the years, and he landed back in the media spotlight on September 11, 2001 when he rang up a Filipino radio station to hail the "wonderful news" of the terrorist attacks on the United States and launch a profanity-laden anti-Jewish tirade.

In 2004, Fischer was taken into custody at Tokyo's Narita airport for traveling on a passport which Washington said had been revoked.

With Japan deliberating for months on whether to send him to the United States, Iceland came to his rescue, granting him citizenship in tribute to his role in making the small island famous in 1972.

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