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

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 23, 2010 Major News Stories

As dengue cases rise, 3 children share each bed in city's hospital

WITH the increasing admission of dengue fever cases this month, on some days up to three children have to share one bed in the pediatric ward of the Cebu City Government's hospital.

Palace leaves dengue fever problem to DOH, local execs

The proper authorities can still very well manage the surge of dengue fever cases in the country and thus, there is no need for the Palace to step in, a Palace official said on Sunday.

PAG-ASA warns of possible flooding

The weather bureau yesterday warned the residents in the southern part of Cebu province and in Negros Oriental against possible flooding in their areas due to the expected rains next month.

DepEd reminds schools of storm guidelines

The Department of Education is reminding schools of the guidelines that ought to be followed by public and local decision makers in the event of a typhoon.

According to DepEd Order Number 28, Series of 2005, classes in pre-schools are automatically suspended or cancelled when the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration raises a signal number 1.

When PAGASA raises the signal to number 2, classes in pre-schools, elementary and high schools must be suspended or cancelled.

The so-called "localized suspension" is allowed in the absence of storm signals like during weather disturbances, DepEd said.

The decision may be handed down by the school principal, division superintendent or local government executive.

Still, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said the final decision on whether or not a child may attend school lies with the parents.

Luistri said local suspension and parental decision are allowed since parents and officials on the ground have a better idea about the situation in their areas.

"We have existing policies that allow DepEd officials and local government executives to suspend classes at their level. This will avoid leaving our children on the streets when heavy rains and strong winds hit certain areas," Luistro said in a statement.

DoTC to require over P1-M kitty for safety of provincial buses

AN ORDER requiring all bus operators to have a cash flow of over P1 million will be implemented soon as assurance of financial stability that would somehow prevent accidents on the road particularly in the provinces, an official of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) said.

Prospective OFWs told: No recruitment fee for Guam jobs

The Philippine Embassy in Guam reiterates the "no recruitment fee" policy of the United States for foreign workers as it continues to receive reports that Filipino applicants paid manpower agencies substantial amounts for placement or recruitment fees.

OFWs can still pay Pag-Ibig membership through POEA

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration clarified it has not suspended the collection of Pag-Ibig Fund membership fees from overseas Filipino workers, as reportedly ordered by Vice President Jejomar Binay in his capacity as chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.

5 recruitment agencies summoned over 16 stranded OFWs

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has summoned five recruitment agencies who caused 16 Middle East-bound overseas Filipino workers to be stranded in Singapore due problems in their connecting flights.

RP post in Kuwait looking for kin of Filipino who killed self

The Philippine Embassy in Kuwait is looking for the family and relatives of a Filipino worker who reportedly committed suicide there in May this year.
In a report in Kuwait-based Arab Times, the Embassy identified the worker as Victorio Belarmino Rioveros, 49 years old and a native of Sta. Cruz town in Marinduque province.

Rioveros' death certificate indicated that he died of asphyxia. The Arab Times report said he was found hanging from a tree in Salmiya district last May 30.

50 Pinay beauticians in Kuwait accuse employer of abuse

Some 50 Filipina workers employed as beauticians in Kuwait have sought the Philippine Embassy's help against their employers whom they accused of illegal recruitment, oppressive labor practices, and physical and sexual abuse.

OFWs in CNMI join protest vs budget bill

CAPITAL HILL, Saipan - Overseas Filipino workers and their US citizen children in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) joined a peaceful rally to protest the passage of a budget bill that increases lawmakers' discretionary fund by 50 percent even as many government employees will get up to 25 percent salary cuts.

Aquino may veto bill postponing barangay polls

President Benigno Aquino III, hopeful that the barangay elections will push through this year, may veto a bill seeking to postpone the said polls to May 2013, a Malacañang official said Sunday.

Aquino may ask Congress to pass law appointing village execs

To break the impasse on whether or not to push through with the village elections this October, the private think tank of former justice secretary Alberto Agra said President Benigno Aquino III could instead call on Congress to pass a law that would provide appointment rather than election of barangay officials.

Village polls, budget top LEDAC agenda

Policy paper seeks appointment of officialsTHE OCTOBER barangay elections and next year's budget will top the agenda of the first Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting of the administration, a Palace official said yesterday.

Comelec secures ballots for Soco's protest

TO ensure the integrity of the ballots in Cebu, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has directed the ballot boxes to be sealed.

6 Comelec officials fight suspension order

MANILA, Philippines - Six officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) asked the Court of Appeals (CA) for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the Office of the Ombudsman from suspending them for 6 months pending a probe on their alleged involvement in the the P690-million ballot secrecy folder scam.

US firm to evaluate conduct of May 10 polls

by By Mayen Jaymalin

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has finally chosen a US-based group to undertake the much awaited evaluation on the country's first ever automated elections.

LTFRB to run after "kabits"

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will start a campaign this week against owners of public utility vehicles (PUV) that do not have a garage for their units.

Byron uses Gwen's slogan on her

"Buhat mao'y pasultion, dili sulti mao'y pabuhaton."

Governor asked to address traffic near Mandaue-Mactan bridge

Concerned by the worsening traffic going to the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge, Provincial Board Member Arleigh Jay Sitoy has authored a resolution asking the provincial government to help solve the problem.

City proposes P3B infra list

THE Cebu City Government will submit today a resolution seeking support for six projects, which are intended to decongest traffic and which will cost at least P3 billion.

P48M for road concreting projects

The City Council has approved the program of works and estimates for 16 road concreting projects in different barangays here, mostly those in the mountainous areas.

Markets improvement to cost P58M

The Cebu City market administrator has proposed at least six projects amounting to P58 million to improve the conditions of the markets in the city.

Woman found dead inside motel

A woman, on her mid-20s, was found dead inside a motel in Barangay Guizo, Mandaue City yesterday morning.

The unidentified woman was already in advanced state of decomposition when Hidden Lodge attendant Christopher Sarmiento found her alone inside the room. Homicide investigator Dionisio dela Peña said they are still looking into the possible cause of death.

 Dela Peña said the woman was still wearing underwear including her pants and shirts when the room boy found her. The police however could not find the victim's shoes. Except for the bruises there were no other injuries found on the woman's body.

De la Peña said that the attendants of the motel told them that room where the victim was found was allegedly occupied by a man, who checked-in alone last Saturday evening.

The room attendants allegedly did not notice the girl when the unidentified man checked-in. They did not also notice him leaving the room.

According to the police, Sarmiento discovered the dead body when he checked on the room to inform the occupant that he already exceeded the time limit. However, nobody answered in the room.

The room boy found that the room was left open prompting him to peep. Sarmiento told the police that he saw the unconscious woman lying on the floor prompting him to check.

When he found that she was no longer breathing, Sarmiento immediately called for help and immediately reported the incident to the police. 

Policeman arrested for indiscriminate firing

A policeman was arrested in Lapu-Lapu City for allegedly firing his gun indiscriminately after an argument with his estranged wife yesterday morning.

Police Officer 3 Alvin Quimbo, assigned in Talamban Police Station, is detained at the Lapu-Lapu City police while a criminal complaint for alarm and scandal is being prepared for filing today at the prosecutor's office.

On top of the criminal complaint, Quimbo will also face an administrative investigation before the Internal Affairs Service.

Ouano pushes for review of juvenile justice law

To further strengthen the implementation of the curfew on minors, Cebu Provincial Board Member Thadeo Ouano (sixth district) is pushing for a review for possible amendment on the Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.

Four conferred Knights of St. Sylvester

Four men were conferred the title of Knights of the Order of St. Sylvester while 10 priests were awarded the title of Monsignor at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral yesterday.

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal personally awarded the Medal of the Order of St. Sylvester to University of Cebu president Augusto Go, Francisco Lebron, Dr. Manuel Lim and Chong Hua Hospital chief executive officer Leo Lim Liu.

Liu was escorted by his wife, Norma Liu, who was conferred Dame of St. Sylvester in 2007.

The medal of the Order of St. Sylvester is awarded to individuals for their invaluable support to the Roman Catholic Church for at least 15 years.

Awards of the order are generally made upon the recommendation of diocesan bishops, or of apostolic nuncios.

The 10 parish priests who can be now called monsignors are Raul Go, Sindulfo Iriarte, Antonio Medida, Marnell Mejia, Vicente Rey Penagunda, Antonio Quintana, Daniel Sanico, Trinidad Silva Jr., Vicente Tupas, and Rey Montesclaros.

The 10 new monsignors were among the hundreds of parish priests who underwent an elimination process before they finally qualified for the title. 

Yesterday's ceremony was part of the celebration of the 415th founding of Cebu as a diocese and 75th year as an archdiocese.

Last week, Vidal also conferred the Cross of Honor for service to the Church and the Pontiff (Cross Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice) to 32 Cebuano papal awardees who have also rendered invaluable service and contributions to the Roman Catholic Church.

Palace to submit proposed 2011 budget to Congress Tuesday

Malacañang's proposed P1.645-trillion national budget for 2011 will be submitted to Congress on Tuesday, in time for the constitutional deadline of one month after Congress opens its session.

Purisima wants Ombudsman's assurance on graft cases

The Finance Department is planning to meet with Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez filing graft complaints against several government officials whose alleged crimes are have pictured the Philippines as an hostile place in which to do business.

RP to host regional meet of Asian ombudsmen

by By Michael Punongbayan

Graftbusters from 10 Asian nations are expected to arrive in the country this week to attend a two-day regional conference of the Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA) which is being hosted by the Philippines.

Senate widens probe into GOCC execs' fat paychecks

The Senate finance committee is expanding the probe into fat paychecks and excessive perks executives of government-owned and controlled corporations supposedly received as the current administration scrambles for revenues and to cap a burgeoning deficit.

Lacson kin seek suspension of warrant vs senator

(UPDATE) The family of Senator Panfilo Lacson on Sunday called on President Benigno Aquino III to order a re-investigation into the Dacer-Corbito case and the suspension of a warrant of arrest issued against the senator.

Mancao pleased with cancellation of Lacson's passport - lawyer

Former Police Senior Superintendent Cezar Mancao III is pleased with the cancellation of the passports of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, the principal suspect in Dacer-Corbito double murder case, according to his lawyer.

Mancao lawyer favors house arrest for Lacson

MANILA, Philippines - The legal counsel for former policeman Cesar Mancao, is in favor of a house arrest for fugitive Senator Panfilo Lacson who is wanted for the murder of public relations executive Bubby Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

No new rumblings in the military – Honasan

Senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan, who led several failed coup attempts against the administration of the late former president Corazon C. Aquino, said on Sunday he has not heard rumblings in the military that should be a cause for concern to President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

NPA admits killing 8 cops, village official in Samar

The New People's Army operating on Samar Island has claimed responsibility for the ambush and execution of eight policemen in Catarman, Northern Samar, Saturday.

Cop killed, 2 DENR men hurt in NPA attack in Surigao Sur

A police officer was killed and two local environment officials were wounded when communist rebels protesting the presence of the military in forest areas, harassed a convoy of police, Army and personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Saturday.

Deadly communist attack could derail talks

MANILA – The Philippines on Sunday condemned a communist rebel attack that killed eight policemen and a local official, and said the incident could derail planned resumption of peace talks.

AFP's new tactic in Mindanao: A war without bullets

"Wage war without firing a shot" is the current battle cry of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as it tries out the new approach to peace under the Aquino administration, a top Marine officer said over the weekend.

Lt. Gen. Ben Dolorfino, commander of the AFP's Western Mindanao Command, noted that in Maguindanao and other parts of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the decades-old Moro insurgency has not only resulted in the deaths of thousands and the loss of properties, it has jeopardized the future of thousands displaced by the fighting.

As an Islam convert christened "Mohamad," Dolorfino urged security forces and the community to unite, "no longer winning the war but winning the peace."

He enjoined men in uniform and local leaders to be role models in winning the hearts and minds of the people.

"We have to work together like broomsticks in sweeping away poverty, poor governance, malpractice, abuses, arrogance, greed and other animosities that have hindered peace and progress," said Dolorfino.

House bill seeks to prevent textbook errors

A lawmaker from southern Philippines has filed a bill seeking to improve the Department of Education's (DepEd) system of producing textbooks to prevent erroneous contents by amending a 15-year-old law.

Surigao del Norte gov wants entrepreneurship taught in schools

Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas has sought the attention of the Education Department in the region to include entrepreneurship in basic education curriculum, particularly in secondary education.

PSALM denies milking wholesale electricity spot market

The state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. said on Sunday its inability to cover the contract costs of power facilities was due to the low tariff it collected for its independent power producers and not because it was milking from its operations at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

Nuclear power in Mindanao pushed

A leading Mindanao exporter said Mindanao might need to tap nuclear power as an important source of clean, cheap and efficient energy to solve the problem of power shortage on the island.

British tax expert: abolish fees on business permits

by By Perseus Echeminada, The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines can experience an economic boom once it pushes the abolition of regulatory fees on the multi-layered procurement of business permits, a major source of corruption and a stumbling block in tapping the underground economy, a British tax expert said.

Domestic air passengers rise 10.5% in first half

by By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes , Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - The number of domestic air passengers has increased 10.5% to 8.4 million during the first half of 2010 from 7.6 million in the same period last year, according to data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

OFWs purveyors of new technology

Apart from sending billions of dollars home, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have turned into modern wizards, showing family members and friends the ways of modern technology, according to a study commissioned by money transfer company Western Union.

Thousands evacuated after floods in China, N.Korea

by Agence France-Presse
BEIJING – More than 120,000 people have been evacuated in northeast China following serious floods that have already left four dead and forced the relocation of thousands in neighboring North Korea.

China closes factories as green deadline looms

by Agence France-Presse
BEIJING - China, facing the risk of embarrassment if it misses a looming environmental deadline, has ordered thousands of companies to close high-polluting plants as its leadership vies to retool economic growth.

2 US soldiers killed in Afghanistan – NATO

KABUL – (UPDATE) Two US soldiers were attacked and killed by militants in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, NATO said.

16 wounded in violent demo over Iraq power rationing

NASIRIYAH – Dozens of Iraqis violently protested in the southern city of Nasiriyah to demand better power supplies, wounding 16 people including 10 policemen, witnesses and officials said on Sunday.

Pacman regales young fans

by By Dante Navarro, The Philippine Star
SINGAPORE – He came here unannounced but Rep. Manny Pacquiao's arrival spread like wildfire and stirred a lot of interest, particularly among boxing participants in the first Youth Olympic Games here.

Don King: 'Mayweather will KO Pacquiao'

MANILA, Philippines – Boxing promoter Don King thinks that Manny Pacquiao will lose to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., even predicting that the Filipino star will go down by knockout.

Trades involving TNT, Meralco, Air21 legal -- Barrios

Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Sonny Barrios believes the series of trades made by Talk N Text, its sister team Meralco and Air21 over the past few days were done legally.

Jackie Chan wants kung fu as Olympic sport

BEIJING, China—Hollywood martial arts star Jackie Chan has called for wushu, better known outside China as kung fu, to be recognized as an official Olympic sport, state media reported Sunday.

Willie insists ABS-CBN wanted him back on 'Wowowee'

MANILA, Philippines - Former "Wowowee" host Willie Revillame insists that there was an agreement between him and the ABS-CBN management that he'd go back to the noontime show on July 31, even after network executive Linggit Tan denied the said deal.

Still hurt, Pokwang says 'sorry' to Willie

MANILA, Philippines - Comedienne Pokwang, reacting to reports that her "Wowowee" co-host wanted her out of the noontime show, apologized to Willie Revillame in the hopes of settling the issue once and for all.

Robin, Mariel refuse to comment on marriage rumor

MANILA, Philippines – Sweethearts Mariel Rodriguez and Robin Padilla arrived together in Manila from India at past 12 a.m. on Sunday.

Pinay model Alex Escat tops Google search in RP

MANILA, Philippines - Filipina model Alexandra Escat hogged the Google searches of netizens in the country last week after making the front page of a British tabloid for being "touchy-feely" with 50-year-old Prince Andrew, a man twice her age.

State-owned NBN 4 to feature Pinoy indie films

The programming of state-owned television station National Broadcasting Network 4 (NBN 4) and radio station Radyo ng Bayan will be improved to promote Filipino movies and music, a Malacañang official said on Sunday.

LJ Moreno marries star cager Jimmy Alapag

Manila, Philippines - Young actress LJ Moreno is now married.

Looking for true love? Take your time: study

by By Zachary Goelman, Reuters
Couples who get to know each other before being intimate have a better chance of having a lasting relationship, but in some cases even a casual fling can lead to true love, according to a new research.

Stallone's 'Expendables' retains crown with $16.5M

LOS ANGELES - Sylvester Stallone's "The Expendables" has fought off an onslaught of newcomers to finish on top of the weekend box office again.

Woman buries brother, discovers dead son

by Reuters
PARIS – A French woman discovered her 42-year-old son had been buried in the same cemetery where she was attending her brother's funeral, after she had tried to invite him to the ceremony, a newspaper said Friday.

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