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

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 6, 2010 Major News Stories



No work, no classes in Cebu

TODAY is a special non-working public holiday throughout Cebu to celebrate the province's 441st founding anniversary. There won't be work and classes in all levels.

PPCRV ready for barangay, SK polls

The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting is once again preparing to "take an active" role in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October.

Luigi files bill to postpone SK, barangay polls

Rep. Gabriel Luis "Luigi" Quisumbing (Cebu, 6th district) has filed a bill to move the elections for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and barangay officials to October next year.

Aquino to meet DA chief on rice distribution

MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino will be meeting immediately with officials of the Department of Agriculture on the possible distribution of excess stocks of imported rice to poor Filipinos across the country.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala is expected to discuss with Mr. Aquino the recommendation to distribute the rice overstock to communities particularly devastated by calamities. 

Lacierda said that concerned agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development will also be tapped for purposes of farming this out, by way of the DSWD's feeding program. 

He said Alcala will seek Mr. Aquino's approval after meeting with DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman and National Food Authority Administrator Lito Banayo. 

Banayo earlier said they are formulating guidelines to distribute excess NFA rice stocks with the DILG, expressing interest in selling and distributing them to target poor communities. 

The DSWD also expressed interest in acquiring the excess NFA rice for their supplemental feeding program for malnourished children.

In addition to towing: CITOM revives tire-clamping

Traffic authorities in Cebu City have decided to revive the controversial clamping of vehicles that will be caught park in areas not designated for parking.

To talk with Capitol RE 93-1 lots: City forms body for renegotiation

The Cebu City Government has formed a committee tasked to talk with Capitol on the fate of the families affected by Provincial Ordinance 93-1.

RTC judge jails stenographer

A COURT stenographer was jailed yesterday for direct contempt after indicating in her pleading that a judge owed a lending company money.

Beatriz Espartero, stenographer of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 24, was found by Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Judge Rosabella Tormis guilty of direct contempt.

Tormis penalized Espartero for "filing a pleading that was not only irrelevant but filled with malice, and personally directed against the undersigned judge."

Interviewed by reporters in her office before police officers brought her to the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center, Espartero said Tormis's decision was "too personal."

Espartero said Tormis immediately ordered her arrest and detention because the judge was embarrassed when she disclosed in her pleading that she owed a lending company.

She said there was nothing derogatory in the motion for reconsideration she filed on a case handled by Tormis because what she stated there were "all true."

Espartero said she is considering filing administrative charges against the judge for abuse of discretion either before the Cebu City RTC or the Supreme Court after serving her sentence.

SPO4 Mario Revilla and SPO4 Zenardo Pastoriano of the Fuente Police Station served the decision on Espartero past 3p.m. yesterday.

Revilla confirmed last night that they committed Espartero to the city jail late yesterday afternoon. She expected to be released this afternoon.

The case stemmed from a complaint for collection of P42,000 filed by Victor Yu, reportedly a moneylender, against Espartero. Last July 13, Judge Tormis directed Espartero to pay Yu the amount.

Espartero, however, filed a motion for reconsideration before Tormis and criticized her decision, even accusing the judge of bias. She said in her explanation that Tormis angrily threw the records of the case on her table.

She said that Tormis was the one who said that she also borrowed money from Yu. She said that the judge even told her she decided to transfer to another lending company because of the high interest rates Yu imposes on loans.

Espartero said it was public knowledge in the Palace of Justice who owed lending companies.

She said that because of the situation, she sought Tormis's inhibition from her case "for delicadeza's sake."

"There is no legal ground of insisting to resolve this case as her trust and integrity are questioned by the defendant," said Espartero.

However, Tormis said in her two-page order that "being a court employee, defendant should have known how to behave herself towards the court."

"However, instead of showing respect and high regard to the court, defendant displayed arrogance, demeaning not only the presiding judge, but the court as well."

Tormis said her decision was not out of vindictiveness but was done "to preserve the integrity of the court which has been maligned" by Espartero.

Tormis said the issues whether she borrowed money from a lending firm and sings psalms every mass at the Palace of Justice are "private matters" and have nothing to do with the case. Espartero referred to her "nice voice for the Lord" in her pleading.

By disclosing the issues in her pleading, Tormis said Espartero is "making it more clear that she has no respect to this court."

Apart from one day of imprisonment, Tormis also ordered Espartero to pay P200 as fine for the offense committed.

DPWH engineer on his way home killed in attack in Talamban

AN official of the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) 7 died after being gunned down last night in Talamban, Cebu City.

Engineer Ciriaco Salazar, 49, was on his way home to Villa del Rio I in Barangay Bacayan, Cebu City when attacked past 7 p.m.

He died of multiple gunshot wounds before reaching the North General Hospital.

PO2 Edario Manatad, of the Cebu City Police Office Homicide Section, said one of the slugs tore through Salazar's left arm and embedded itself in his chest.

Salazar was a district engineer III of the DPWH 4th Engineering District.

He was driving his Red Isuzu Crosswind with his wife, Dolores, as passenger on their way home to Villa del Rio last night.

Near the foot of the bridge in Sitio Tigbao, Talamban, a motorcycle with two men got near Salazar's side of the vehicle and shot him repeatedly.

Salazar was hit while his wife survived unscathed.

A foreigner who was driving near the area brought the two to the hospital.

Policemen from the Homicide Section and the Talamban police station recovered three empty shells from a .45 pistol and one slug in the area of the attack.

SPO4 Alex Dacua, team leader of the responding homicide investigators, said they are still establishing the motive of the attack.

Businesswoman stable, names potential suspects

THE businesswoman who survived an ambush in Mandaue City has identified potential suspects, but investigators have yet to confirm her suspicions and figure out what provoked Wednesday morning's attack.

Debbie Yu, 55, was in stable condition yesterday. Her driver remained in the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Cebu City, a police official said.

For now, Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac, Mandaue City police chief, said he does not see the need to form a task force to investigate the ambush.

Isolated

But while Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes agrees with Gillamac that the attack was isolated, it also prompted him to discuss a plan to revive the assignment of at least one policeman to every barangay.

Yu, who owns DRBG Import Export Inc., was aboard her Toyota For-tuner driven by Sonny Mahilom, when two men on a motorcycle attacked them in Sitio Pilit, Bara-ngay Cabancalan, Man-daue City at 8:55 a.m. last Wednesday.

The gunmen were believed to have used KG-9 submachine pistols. The shots hit Mahilom in different parts of his body and head. Yu escaped, but was injured after hitting her head on the pavement when she jumped out of her vehicle.

Both victims underwent operations Wednesday night.

Invitation

Senior Insp. Elmer Fernandez, chief of the Investigation and Detective Management Branch of the Mandaue City Police Office, said one person was invited to help in the investigation, but cannot be considered a potential suspect.

Some leads are also being traced to identify the culprits.

Fernandez said he is glad the families of Yu, 55, and Mahilom, 28, cooperated and gave information that guided police investigators.

While the police are not discounting other angles, Fernandez said the strongest possible motive for now is that the attack may be business-related.

The Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) has three witnesses, at least.

Gillamac said they also found the name of the registered motorcycle owner, but that the vehicle had been sold to another person. The latest owner remained unidentified yesterday.

Authorities said the businesswoman gave them the names of possible suspects.

Gillamac also said his office is doing its best to solve the case, and assured investors the shooting was isolated.

An employee, who asked not to be named, said DRBG exports fresh squids, but that Yu also reportedly lent money.

Residents near the crime scene pointed to where the gunmen positioned themselves, in the shade of a big Talisay tree.

Although he was hit in the head, Mahilum managed to maneuver the vehicle 200 meters, then ordered Yu to jump. She landed near the gate of her plant. The vehicle then rammed a backhoe some 300 meters from the scene of the shooting.

Eric Arcilla saw Yu sprawled on the road and rushed her to the hospital. By the time he came back, Mahilum was already brought to the hospital by someone else.

Mayor Cortes urged the police to solve the case quickly, pointing out the peace and order situation is one factor potential investors weigh.

The mayor will meet with barangay officials and the police to discuss the return of the "community cops" program, where a police operative was assigned to ccompany barangay tanods in their patrols and checkpoints.

Gillamac said they are studying the mayor's plan.

Cops know who killed Compostela ex-mayor

The police have already identified the man who gunned down former Compostela mayor Joselito Reynes last Monday night.

Senior Supt. Erson Digal, director of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, said the case will be filed on Monday.

Digal said the suspect is a former employee of the victim who disappeared from Compostela immediately after the incident in Barangay Estaca past 10 p.m. last Monday.

Digal said five of the six people they invited for questioning positively identified the said suspect as the one who shot and killed Reynes, 62.

3 siblings killed in Negros Oriental blast

(UPDATE) Three siblings died, including a six-year-old girl, early Thursday morning in a blast inside their house in a mountain village in La Libertad, Negros Oriental.

The police identified the fatalities as Judelyn, 6, Marvin Jr., 15, and Sherlyn, 17, all surnamed Binoy and residents of Sitio Tubod, Barangay Itogo, La Libertad, some 100 kilometers north of Dumaguete City.

Senior Inspector Errol Besario, La Libertad chief of police, said the victims' parents, Marvin and Josy Binoy were bringing their goats to the pasture, leaving their children who were having breakfast.

One of their children, Rogelyn, 8, went after her parents and was spared from the explosion.

The police investigators theorized that Marvin Sr. might have owned an improvised explosive device that accidentally exploded, immediately killing his three children.

There were no witnesses to the blast incident since the nearest house was located a kilometer away.

When the police arrived at the house of the victims, the Binoy couple was no longer around since they had brought their dead children to the Barangay Pitogo proper.

Only Rogelyn was left and was the one who gave information to the police.

The police also found that the place was already cleaned so no shrapnel was recovered.

The police also saw holes inside the house, including those found on a pot.

Earlier, Lieutenant Colonel Ramil M. Bitong, commanding officer of the 11th Infantry Battalion, said a still unidentified assailant lobbed a hand grenade at the house of the Binoys.

Bitong said he immediately informed the police after he learned about the incident from commander of the military detachment in the area.

6 workers rescued from Zambo City illegal recruiter

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has rescued six workers who fell victim to an unlicensed recruiter, who in turn brought them to an unregistered manpower agency in Zamboanga City.
"Yesterday (August 4), the DOLE regional office No. 9 in Zamboanga City had rescued six of eight workers from Palo, Leyte who were recruited on July 28 by an agent and brought to Zamboanga City, where they were turned over to a manpower agency that in turn supplied them to a canning factory in the city," said DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a statement posted on the department's website.

The rescue was prompted by a letter from the parents of eight workers airing complaints about unpaid wages and benefits. 

The companies involved were Northwest Manpower Services in barangay Ayala, and Aquatic Food Corporation in Recodo, both in Zamboanga City.

"Our labor inspectors have verified the complaint to be valid. The agent who recruited them is not licensed and the manpower agency that placed them to the canning factory is unregistered," Baldoz said.

The six rescued workers were identified as Roland Roche, Fedelito Villones, Jogie Villones, Jay Alimangohan, and Erwin Casinillo, all of barangay Pilit, Sta. Fe town, Leyte. 

They are presently staying at the DOLE Region 9 dormitories and will soon return to their hometown after filing with the courts their complaints against the two companies, the release stated.

Baldoz said Northwest will be closed pending legal action against it, while Aquatic Food will be made to directly pay the wages and other monetary benefits due to the workers.

Following the rescue, the DOLE regional office ordered surveillance operations in all piers, bus terminals, and other entry and exit points in coordination with local authorities.

Further, regional director Ponciano Ligutom issued an advisory to all employers warning them not to engage or enter into contract with contractors of subcontractors who are not registered with the DOLE.

"You are reminded to cease and desist from entering into a service contract agreement if the contractor or sub-contractor is engaged in labor-only contracting, which is prohibited," said Ligutom.

Labor-only contracting refers to an arrangement where the contractor or subcontractor merely recruits, supplies or places workers to perform a job for an employer, where, for instance, the contractor does not exercise control over the work of the employee.

The DOLE said it was the first rescue they made under the Labor Enforcement and Action Program (LEAP), designed to conduct regional inspections to ensure that establishments comply with labor standards.

Last August 1, the DOLE started implementing LEAP, which aims to raise compliance to labor standards, such as the minimum wage; 13th month, holiday, premium, overtime, and night differential pay, and leave and other benefits.

The department plans to inspect over 60,000 establishments throughout the country under the program, more than half of which are targeted to be inspected by the end of November this year.

No job for domestic workers in Sudan, says RP post

The Philippine Embassy in Cairo has warned against accepting job offers for domestic workers in Sudan, saying such work is not allowed in the country.

LP-Cebu officials to meet P.Noy next week

The leaders of the Liberal Party in Cebu are set to meet with President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III in Manila next week to discuss with him the political situation in the province.

Truth Commission members may be named next week

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Thursday that the 3 remaining vacancies in the 5-man Truth Commission may be filled up by Malacañang next week.

Lacierda said in a radio dzMM interview that former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, the chair of the commission, has already submitted a list of 8 to 10 nominees to President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

"Hopefully, within next week lalabas ang mga pangalan ng 3 other members ng Truth Commission," the president's spokesman said.

Retired Supreme Court associate justice Romeo Callejo has already accepted the offer to sit as a member of the commission.

Palace asked: Do you want Ombudsman out or not?

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros asked Malacañang to clarify its position regarding Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez's term, saying it contradicts the administration's anti-corruption drive.

Casiño dismayed by Palace signal to let Ombudsman serve until 2012

One of the party-list lawmakers who endorsed the impeachment complaint against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez on Thursday expressed dismay over a Malacañang official's remark that the former can stay until 2012.

New Tesda chief cancels procurement deals worth P112 M

Barely warming his seat, the new chief of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), Joel Villanueva, said Thursday he has cancelled P112 million in allegedly anomalous procurement contracts and ordered an investigation into the agency's failure pay a total of P1 billion to several training centers and schools to fund vocational scholarships.

Villanueva, former CIBAC sectoral representative and a known critic of the past administration, found at least two allegedly overpriced deals at the state-run vocational institution on his first day as Tesda chair on Wednesday.

"I'm no longer surprised. Right now, the biggest problem is the image problem. I've been hearing about hundreds and thousands of complaints," Villanueva told the Inquirer in a telephone interview on Thursday.

First on Villanueva's strike list was a P73-million procurement of desktop computers, laptops and other electronic components for the e-Tesda project, the agency's online portal where Internet users may sign up to browse training opportunities and related services.

Villanueva canceled the bid just before it was to be awarded.

"We saw that there was a huge overpricing... P10 million at least. I asked our legal department if I can actually hold it in abeyance and there was no problem, so I did," Villanueva said.

He said the bid prices were higher than the prevailing market rates as the prices of IT products, including those included in the procurement, had already gone down.

A P39-million deal for the delivery of training tools also caught Villanueva's attention. The amount, which covered the procurement of dough cutters, among other things, also reeked of price padding, the Tesda chief said.

For one, the dough cutters were procured at a unit price of P14,400, some 120 times the actual price of P120.

The questionable procurement was already the subject of a report released by the Commission on Audit but was still a go before he sat at Tesda's helm, he said.

A check with Tesda's regional training centers also showed that items covered by the project were never delivered while others were of poor quality or did not meet specifications.

"We were discussing that we had P39 million in payables but I said that we should cancel it and stop paying. For me, that was not a bad first day at all," Villanueva said.

Villanueva said he has also ordered an investigation into some P1 billion worth of training scholarships that Tesda owes its training centers and several partner schools.

"While I recognize the need of some schools for scholarships, this amount was not appropriated in the budget so I immediately ordered an investigation into this matter," Villanueva said.

The Tesda chief ordered his legal department to look into how these three cases came about.

To prevent a repeat of these incidents, Villanueva plans to make Tesda's bidding procedure more transparent, including broadcasting the bidding through live-streaming online.

"I won't mind if they put my office in the Big Brother house (the reality TV show). I have nothing to hide," he said.

DepEd mulls Wiki-style textbook review

The Department of Education (DepEd) is considering partially crowdsourcing the evaluation of public school textbooks by posting manuscripts of these online for public scrutiny.

SC mum on reported Hacienda Luisita deal

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has refused to comment on reports that Hacienda Luisita, Inc. (HLI) has entered into a settlement with its farmers for the distribution of the sugar estate.

Luisita deal with farmers set to be signed Friday

A compromise agreement that would give farm workers of the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac the option to choose between getting free land and keeping their stocks in the corporation, on top of P150 million in financial assistance, is set to be signed on Friday, sources from both camps said.

Luisita farmers want all of 4,915 hectares

Farm workers waging a 21-year-old campaign to own the land occupied by the sugar estate of President Benigno Aquino III's clan in Tarlac will not settle for only 1,400 hectares of the 6,453-hectare property.

Aquino wants Luisita problem resolved - Lacierda

President Benigno Aquino III has told his cousins involved in the management of Hacienda Luisita to resolve the issue with its farm workers amicably, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters on Thursday afternoon.

Armed men attack Bukidnon farmers, 2 hurt

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – Two farmers were injured when armed men fired at their group which had occupied a ranch owned by an alleged supporter of President Benigno Aquino III in Maramag town in Bukidnon.

Arroyo likely to keep Lakas chairmanship

Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is likely to keep her post as chairperson of the Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats as the party reorganizes to fill up vacant posts and sets it agenda in both houses of Congress.

Arroyo wants to be replaced as Lakas-Kampi chair

Former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to be replaced as chairperson of the opposition party Lakas-Kampi-CMD. A source said Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez is being eyed to take over the post, with Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez as the new party president.

Sen. Santiago extends sick leave over new illness

Senator Miriam Defensor -Santiago went on extended sick leave owing it to "newly-diagnosed hypothyroidism."

PNoy supports bill vs govt projects named after politicians

President Benigno Aquino III has nothing but support to the proposal to criminalize the practice of naming government projects after public officials and persons associated with them, his spokesman said Thursday.

Half of 2011 bar exams in multiple choice format—Corona

Starting next year, part of the bar examinations will be in multiple choice format, but this will not necessarily make the test easier, according to Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Zambo mayor confirms 1 dead in airport blast

Isa ang patay at anim ang sugatan sa pagsabog sa labas ng airport alas sais ng gabi kanina. Isinugod naman sa ospital ang mga sugatan. Inaalam pa ng mga otoridad kung anong uri ng pampasabog ang ginamit sa pagpapasabog. Makakausap natin si Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat upang magbigay ng resulta ng inisyal na imbestigasyon sa insidente.

Sulu gov hurt in Zamboanga airport blast; 1 killed

(UPDATE 4) A man was killed while several others were wounded, including Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, when an explosion rocked the arrivals area of an international airport here Thursday evening, authorities said.

Sulu gov suspects he's target of Zambo blast

Dalawa na ang patay sa pagsabog sa Zamboanga City airport kaninang alas sais ng gabi. Tumaas na rin sa 24 ang sugatan. Isa sa mga nasugatan ay si Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan. Malakas ang suspetsa ni Governor Tan na siya ang target ng pagsabog. Tinitingnan naman ng mga otoridad ang anggulong suicide bomb attack ang nangyari.

US envoy cancels south Philippines visit after bomb attack

The US ambassador to the Philippines called off a planned trip to the country's restive south after a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up and injured 14 people at an airport there late Thursday.

GMA a defense witness in massacre trial: source

MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was listed as 1 of the witnesses for the defense in the Maguindanao massacre trial.

De Lima orders probe into fiscal's killing

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has ordered an immediate investigation into the shooting of Lanao del Norte Provincial Prosecutor Macadatar Marsangca, who was gunned down Wednesday morning by two motorcycle-riding gunmen in Iligan City.

Sotto seeks free rehabilitation for drug dependents

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III filed a bill that will provide drug rehabilitation free, or at least affordable, drug rehabilitation for members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

'Gang eyes dumping cocaine on RP'

by By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News
A big international syndicate from South America is eyeing the Philippines as a market for cocaine sold at a cheap price, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III revealed without naming the syndicate.

Kin mourns death of Filipino soldier killed in Afghanistan

by By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau
CHULA VISTA, California – The family of a Filipino soldier is still in a state of shock and intense sorrow for the loss of their kin who was killed in action in Afghanistan.
The remains of Staff Sgt. Conrad Mora of the United States Army arrived in San Diego on July 31, 2010. Mora, 24, was killed by an improvised explosive device during the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regimen in Galat, Afghanistan on July 24th. He was among the 4 soldiers who died in their mission during their routine clearance patrol in Galat.

Filipina dies in car crash in Cayman Islands

A 24-year-old Filipina died in a car collision in Cayman Islands past midnight on August 3, the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. confirmed.
Welfare officer Alberto Duero identified the victim as Feder Ann Faustino, whose car collided with another car along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway in Cayman Islands around 12:30 a.m.

Faustino was onboard a Honda Civic with a still unidentified person when their car collided with a Toyota Prada, according to a separate article on the news site Cayman 27

Duero said Faustino sustained severe head injuries and was declared dead on arrival at Johnson Hospital. 

Saudi king donates 100 tons of dates for Filipino Muslims

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud has donated 100 metric tons of dates for Muslims in the country, especially those in war-torn Mindanao, in time for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

$1: P45.020

$1: P45.020 (P45.22)

Euro 1: P59.4358


De Lima inhibits self from PAL dispute with pilots

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima will inhibit herself from the ongoing negotiations between the management of Philippine Air Lines (PAL) and resigned pilots of the flag carrier after she learned that one of the pilots is a close relative.

Govt pulls out of PAL talks with pilots

Believing that the worst is over, Malacañang on Thursday announced it will no longer broker negotiations between Philippine Airlines (PAL) and the 25 pilots whose resignations seriously affected the flag carrier's operations.

RP's economic growth may top 6% - NEDA chief

by Reuters
MANILA, Philippines - The economy could grow faster than the government's target of 5 to 6% this year, with growth expected to strengthen to at least 7% in 2011, the economic planning secretary said on Thursday.

2 firms charged with smuggling for misdeclaring rice as mung beans

The Bureau of Customs on Thursday filed smuggling charges against a customs broker and officers of two Manila-based companies for misdeclaring a white rice shipment as mung beans, defrauding the government of over P10 million in duties and taxes.

DOF wants plunder for big-time smuggling

MANILA, Philippines - Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima wants plunder charges filed against smugglers who attempt or are able to get away with non-payment of import duties and taxes P50 million and up.

Pakistan floods hit 4 million

KARACHI, Pakistan - Pakistan began evacuating half a million people from flood-risk areas in the south on Thursday as the overall number hit by the country's worst floods in living memory rose to more than four million.

Myanmar dissident quits as head of democracy party

YANGON, Myanmar - The head of one of Myanmar's newly formed pro-democracy parties resigned Thursday and said he would boycott the country's first elections in two decades because they would not be free and fair.

400 children, including Filipinos, face deportation from Israel

Some 400 children, including an undetermined number of Filipinos, may be deported from Israel along with their parents for failing to meet the qualifications set by the Israeli government for them to legally stay in the country.

Donaire-Montiel in Cotto-Chavez undercard?

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – Nonito Donaire, Jr. could finally fight Mexican Fernando Montiel this year possibly in the undercard of the Miguel Cotto vs Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. event in December.

World Arnis Open begins on Friday

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – More than 30 international arnis masters are flocking to Manila to join the World Arnis Open this weekend.

Beermen, Aces dispute 100th PBA championship

With 30 championships between them and a 100th league title up for grabs, expect the best-of-seven finals showdown between San Miguel Beer and Alaska as something special.

Duel of best, oldest

MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Beer and Alaska Milk, the league's oldest and most dominant teams, renew their rivalry as they dispute the PBA Fiesta Cup crown in a best-of-7 series starting with Game One at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday.

Junjun Binay tight-lipped on Kris

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr. is still avoiding making comments on speculations about him and actress-television host Kris Aquino.

'Pilipinas Win na Win!' contestant takes home P1-M cash prize

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – "Pilipinas Win na Win!," ABS-CBN's newest afternoon game and variety show, has its first millionaire.  Contestant Von Belinario from Bulacan on Tuesday won the P1-million jackpot prize while playing in one of the show's segment called "Open Susi-Me."

Piolo reconciles with Sharon, KC

by by Reyma Buan-Deveza, abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - Hunk actor Piolo Pascual has ironed things out with Megastar Sharon Cuneta and her daughter, young actress KC Concepcion.

Tax case vs John Lloyd Cruz junked

A Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court has junked a tax case against actor John Lloyd Cruz filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue for Cruz's alleged failure to show his account books.

Pacquiao denies saying he'll sue ABS-CBN

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines -- Boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao denied a report he was going to file a P30 million libel suit against ABS-CBN for showing the wrong photo of his sister linked to illegal gambling.

'Glee's' lead star talks about Charice

by abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – "Glee's" lead star Lea Michele said she and international singing sensation Charice's characters might end up as best friends.

Legarda, Brillante Mendoza team up for climate change docu

Senator Loren Legarda has teamed up with internationally acclaimed director Brillante Mendoza to produce a 30-minute instructional documentary that hopes to educate Filipinos on how they can help mitigate the effects of climate change.

I'm no midnight appointee, Justice official says

Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar clarified that he is not a midnight appointee of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as reported by a broadsheet.

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has fired more than 970 government officials appointed by his predecessor, saying their taking office violated a constitutional ban on new appointments during the election period that began on March 10.

Executive Order No. 2, released Wednesday, said the appointments were made "in complete disregard of the intent and spirit of the constitutional ban" and deprived the new administration of the power to make its own appointments.

"To strengthen the civil service system, it is necessary to uphold the principle that appointments to the civil service must be made on the basis of merit and fitness," the order said.

"It is imperative to recall, withdraw, and revoke all appointments made in violation of the letter and spirit of the law.

"Midnight appointments are hereby recalled, withdrawn, and revoked. The positions covered or otherwise affected are hereby declared vacant."

The President ordered Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. to designate officers-in-charge to perform the duties of those whose appointments had been revoked until replacements hadbeen named.

The order identified three types of midnight appointments:

• Those made on or after March 11, including all appointments bearing dates before the constitutional ban but in which the appointee accepted or took his oath or assumed office after March 11

• Those made before March 11 but took effect after the ban, or appointments to office that would be vacant only after March 11

• Appointments and promotions made during the period 45 days before the May 10 elections.

The only exemption are for temporary appointments in executive positions "when continued vacancies will prejudice public service or endanger public safety."

Chief presidential legal counsel Eduardo De Mesa said the appointments were contrary to the principle that an outgoing administration must act only as a caretaker.

"The sheer number of these appointments gives basis to the opinion or to the belief that they were made for the purpose of depriving the next president of the prerogative of making these appointments," de Mesa said.

De Mesa, quoting a Supreme Court decision, said the outgoing administration during the election period hac been "enjoined from performing acts that would embarrass or obstruct the policies of the successor or negate the successor's executive prerogative to exercise his appointing power."

He said the number of firings could go up depending on the investigations to be done by department and agency heads.

But the spokesman for former President Gloria Arroyo, Elena Bautista-Horn, said no appointments were made during the prohibited period.

"In our definition, a midnight appointment is made during the [prohibited period]. Under the Constitution, that starts on March 10. The Aquino administration may be using a different definition," she said.

She appealed to President Aquino to allow the affected officials to stay until the end of the year out of compassion.

A document, "Summary of Key Midnight Appointments as of June 2," posted by the anti-Arroyo Former Senior Government Officials group, listed the following:

• National Irrigation Administration Administrator Alexander Reuyan, appointed March 23 to a four-year term

• PNOC Development and Management Corp. Board members Franco Loyola, Jinky Palmares, and Emil P. Jurado, appointed March 25

• Development Bank of the Philippines board member Ester Alano Laconico-Feria, appointed March 8 but assumed office April 7 for a one-year fixed term

• GSIS Family Bank chairman Benedicto Jose Arcinas, vice chairman and president Emmanuel Dalman, and board members Lorenzo Sixto Lichauco, Jesus Santos, Esperanza Ocampo, Eduardo delos Angeles, Mahalia Linda Operario, Benedicto Jose Arcinas, all appointed April 29;

• Clark International Airport Authority Chairman Nestor Mangio and board members Alexander Cauguiran, Jesus Nicdao, Rafael Lazatin-Angeles, Alfonso Cusi, Benigno Ricafort, Silvestre Manuel Punsalan Jr., Romeo Dyoco Jr., and president Victor Jose Luciano, all appointed May 17;

• Philippine Reclamation Authority board member Ramon Revilla Sr., appointed Feb. 23 but assumed office March 19 to a three-year term;

• Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority Vice Chairman Renato Ebarle, appointed March 5 but who had not yet assumed office as of May 19; and Edgar Bagarinao, appointed March 5 but assumed office April 13, both with six-year fixed terms.

• Home Guaranty Corp. board member Maite Defensor, appointed March 5 but who took her oath April 28 for a five-year fixed term;

Another list from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism named 13 officials who were appointed or promoted on June 10, a day after Congress proclaimed Mr. Aquino president. These were:

• Defense Undersecretary Proceso Domingo, appointed to the rank of Career Executive Service Officer or CESO 1

• Public Works Regional Director Angelito Twano to CESO III

• Presidential Management Staff Director Susan Solo to CESO III

• Agriculture Regional Director Remedios Ongtangco to CESO III

• National Food Authority Department Manager Mercedes Yacapin to CESO IV

• Department of Education Regional Director Teofila Villanueva to CESO III

• Philippine Orthopedic Center Chief of Medical Professional Staff Luisito Maano to CESO V

• Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar to CESO I

• Science and Technology Undersecretary Graciano Yumul to CESO I

• Interior and Local Government Regional Director Evelyn Trompeta to CESO II

• Trade and Industry Provincial Director Desiderio Belas to CESO III

• Presidential Management Staff Directors Irene Calingo and Josephine Raynes to CESO III.

Earlier published reports also cited the following cases:

• National Police Commission commissioners Constancia de Guzman and Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Alejandro Urro, whose appointment papers were signed March 7 but took their oath only on March 25

• Chief presidential legal counsil Natividad Dizon, who was appointed before March 10 but was promoted as head of the Board of Pardons and Parole three weeks after the ban took effect

• National Museum chairman Hilarion Henares and museum director Jeremy Barns

• Vice chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board Rommel Garcia.

• Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority board member Alvin Capino.

Capino and Jurado, who are also Manila Standard columnists, said they would vacate their positions.

Jurado said he was appointed March 5, five days before the election ban, to a three-year term, but he resigned last week because he did not intend to be reappointed.

Capino said he would resign as soon as his replacement was named.

1 comment:

文王廷 said...

先將一個人的生活過好,才有能力過好兩個人的生活................................................

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