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

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 27, 2010 Major News Stories

Bantayan dengue cases not in DOH records?

A member of the Cebu Provincial Board who comes from Bantayan Island has expressed fear that dengue cases in their place may not have been recorded by health officials of the province or of the region.

PB member Jose Ribomapil Holganza Jr., who sits as ex-officio member of the board being the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay, neither confirmed nor denied any dengue cases in Bantayan Island , which is composed of the towns of Bantayan, Sta. Fe and Madridejos.

Holganza told The FREEMAN that some residents in the island prefer to bring their patients to a hospital in Sagay City, Negros Occidental for reason of shorter travel time than bringing them to Cebu City .

From Bantayan Island , Sagay City can be reached by boat in two hours while it takes four to five hours for one to travel from the island to Cebu City . It is also very costly to transport patients to Cebu City since they have to pay at least P1,500 to P2,000 for fuel of the ambulance.

Report coming from the Provincial Health Office states that Minglanilla has the most number of dengue cases in Cebu Province with recorded 120 cases as of Sept. 15 this year.

Toledo City ranks second with 117 cases, followed by Talisay City with 102 cases.

The highest increase in Minglanilla was recorded last month when it had 53 cases.

The list also includes Danao City with 97 cases; Balamban with 88 cases; Liloan, 70 cases; Medellin , 66 cases; Bogo City , 59 cases; Aloguinsan and Argao both with 53 cases and Daanbantayan with 49 cases.

Breast milk and urine don't cure sore eyes - eye doctor

With the rainy season making more people susceptible to most viral infections, the head of Philippine-based American Eye Center on Sunday warned against using a mixture of breastmilk and urine to cure conjunctivitis, commonly known as sore eyes.

Blast rocks bar exams in Manila University

(UPDATE 5) Dozens of students were reportedly hurt after an explosion rocked the De La Salle University in Taft Avenue, Manila on Sunday, according to reports culled by .

At least 24 persons were injured when the explosion occurred past 5:00 p.m., said Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr.

But aside from the explosion, Cruz said there was also an incident of bottle-throwing. He said authorities were still determining the type of explosive used in the blast.

17 victims were brought to the Ospital ng Maynila, 9 at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH); 5 at the manila Doctors Hospital; 3 at the Manila medical center; and 1 at the Manila Adventist Hospital, according to Manila Police District Headquarters.

Among those who were brought to the Ospital ng Maynila were identified by the hospital's Trauma Surgery Division as Joanna Katrina Ledda, Arvin Francis Rosales, Philip Edwin Teelo, Gennilyn Ong, Cyril Ferrer, Kathleen Samba, Azenith Gonzalvo, Jamell Ann Marie and Renald Sudla.

The nine others at the PGH were identified by the hospital's spokesman, Dr. Michael Tee, as Raissa Laurel, 23; Diana Espiritu, 28; Claudine Abrogena, 21; Datu Mohammad Abdul, 23; Generson Mercado, 25; Milanes Rainier, 24; Eunice Abdon, 23; Diane Camita, 23; and Donelle Quilates, 28.

The incident happened on the last day of the bar exam.

De la Salle blast 'unfortunate', says SC spokesman

Supreme Court Administrator and spokesman Jose Midas Marquez has condemned as an "unfortunate incident," the explosion that rocked the De La Salle University in Manila and injured dozens of students on Sunday.

Comelec starts printing voters ID cards

MANILA, Philippines - After a long delay, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has finally gave the go signal for the printing of voters' identification (ID) cards for over 34 million voters nationwide.

In a resolution, the Commission approved the request for printing of voters' ID cars after ensuring that the voters' records have been cleansed of multiple registrants.

"Considering that the ID forms and printers are already available, the Commission resolves to approve the foregoing request for authority to commence the printing of the Voter's ID card of the cleansed records," the Commission said in a one-page resolution.

Comelec Directors Teopisto Elnas (Operations) and Ester Villaflor-Roxas (Technical Matters) have reported that more than 35 million voters have already undergone the processing via the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

According to Elnas and Villaflor-Roxas, the procedure enabled the poll body to identify and remove from the list hundreds of thousands of multiple registrants.

"Out of the 35 million records processed, 738,640 records were found to be true and these records were already forwarded to the field offices for deletion," said the poll directors.

Due to absence of ruling administration: Open, fair barangay elections expected in Compostela

An open and fair barangay election is expected in Compostela town in October in the absence of a ruling administration that may get involved in the affairs of its allied candidates.

No new appointment in government or salary hike

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is now restricted from appointing new officials in the government or ordering a revamp in the Cabinet despite the impending resignation of Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec), in a resolution, announced that appointing officers to any government office, including government-controlled corporations whether permanent of casual would be illegal.

According to the Commission, it is prohibited to make new appointments in any government post within the election period for the October 25 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.

The prohibition covers hiring of any new employee as well as transferring of posts, creating new positions, suspending any elected official and granting salary increases.

After being linked to Jueteng operations, Puno offered last week to tender his resignation upon Mr. Aquino's return from the United States.

No service disruption during 45-day poll ban on appointments -- Palace

For failure to fill up all vacant government positions, Malacañang assured the public on Sunday that services have not been disrupted.

The government is prohibited from making any appointments during the 45-day election period that will last until Nov. 10, 15 days after the Oct. 25 barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) elections.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Sunday Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa issued an order where he had designated next in rank senior officials in government agencies to be officers in charge in the meantime.

``This was done so there will be no interruption in our public service,'' Valte said when interviewed over dzRB radio.

Valte said the Palace would abide the 45-day ban in making appointments in observation of the barangay election next month.

She said she did not know how many government positions still needed to be filled up by the Aquino administration, noting that when the government came in last June 30, it needed to fill up 4,300 positions.

Comelec ordered to reveal 2010 polls' source codes

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reveal the source codes of the Automated Election System (AES) that was used in the 2010 national and local elections. 

In a 7-page decision penned by Associate Justice Roberto Abad, the full court granted a petition for mandamus filed by the University of the Philippines' Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG). 

The source codes are the sets of instructions that the system would follow. 

In filing the mandamus, a petition that seeks to order a government official to do his or her duty, CenPEG said it is the right of the public to know if the instructions given to the system are fail-safe.

School under Dr. Cabahug: One of two MCCs gets CHED's okay

The order of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) granting authority to the Mandaue City Government to operate the college under Dr. Susana Cabahug still would not stop the other college with the same name from operating.

Dr. Paulus Mariae Cañete, director of the Mandaue City College based in barangay Tipolo assured their graduates and studentsthat they have nothing to worry.

He said that the Mandaue City College under him was created based on a city ordinance.

Last September 14, the CHED granted authority to the MCC under Dr. Cabahug after it complied with all the requirements set by the commission.

Creation of economic authority in north Cebu pushed

Cebu fourth district Rep. Benhur Salimbangon is pushing for the creation of Northern Cebu Economic Development Authority to implement and oversee the developments in the northern part of the province.

Cebu journalists' top news sources

Media practitioners in Cebu culminated their celebration of the 16th Press Freedom Week by choosing their top sources of news.

In the list are Cebu Provincial Police Office Erson Digal, Board Member Agnes Magpale, Cebu Business Club President Dondi Joseph, Cebu City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva, Regional Trial Court Judge Meinrado Paredes, Lapu-Lapu Police Director Mariano Natuel, Talisay City Police Director Henry Biñas, Visayan Electric Company Communications Manager Ethel Natera and ALA President Antonio Aldeguer.

Each of them landed on top of the list by each of the 10 beat organizations.Reporters belonging to each beat organization were asked to list five news sources they regularly interview from September 2009 to 2010.

Sources were rated according to standards and good values.

Standards include the journalist's access to the news source, the kind of information the journalist gets from the news source, the news source's transparency in dealing with the journalist and the news source's respect for the reporter's person and work.

Good values refer to the merit or importance the news source gives to the journalist's independence, the news process and non-litigious remedies for sources that news outlets offer."

In the of the list Defense PNP Press Corps (Depp) or police beat reporters are Digal, former Cebu City Police Office and current head head of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) Patrocinio Comendador, former RID chief and now CCPO Director Melvin Ramon Buenafe, Investigation and DetectiveManagement Branch chief George Ylanan and Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 media center chief Romeo Santander.

Members of the Cebu Economic Journalists Association (Ceja) picked Joseph, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Eric Mendoza, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Samuel Chioson, Filipino Cebuano Business Club Inc. (FCBI) President Rey Calooy and Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport-Cebu) Executive Director Fred Escalona.

The Regional Journalists in Cebu (Rejoice) picked Natera, Department of Health 7 Director Susana Madarieta, Department of Social Welfare and Services 7 Information Officer Jaybee Binghay, Environment advocate and lawyer Gloria Ramos and Land Transportation Office 7 Director Raul Aguilos.

Reporters covering local government or the City Hall Association of Reporters in Media (Charm) ranked Oliva as their most admired source followed by Cebu City South District Representative Tomas Osmeña, Cebu City Administrator Jose Marie Poblete, City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

At the Capitol, Magpale, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu Provincial ElectionSupervisor Lionel Castillano, Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez and consultant Rory Jon Sepulveda are the five most admired sources of the Capitol Association of Reporters in Tri-Media (Cart).

The Association of Reporters in Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu in Truthful Excellence (Armalite) or those reporters covering the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, picked Natuel, Mandaue City Police Director Noel Gillamac, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, Arnulfo Quiachon Jr. of the Mandaue City Police Office and Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza.

Biñas, Congressman Eduardo Gullas, Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong, Talisay City Vice Mayor Allan Bucao and Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez were chosen by the members of Media in Cebu South (Mics) or those reporters covering the southern part of Cebu.

Justice beat reporters or members of the Media Alliance for Law, Liberty, Equality and Truth (Mallet) liked the most Paredes, RTC Judge Gabriel Ingles, Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane, Assistant Ombudsman Virginia Santiago and Provincial Prosecutor Jane Petralba.

The Sports Correspondents and Reporters (Score) chose Aldeguer, Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Commissioner Felix Tiunkinhoy, Cebu City Councilor Raul Alcoseba, Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) Chairman Edward Hayco and Danny Villadolid of Cebu athletics.

The organization of Photojournalists and Cameramen (Lens) also had Digal as their top choice, followed by Mendoza of MCCI, Chioson of CCCI, Rey Calooy and Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Filomeno Lim.

The survey for the Most Admired News Sources began in 2008 as the project of the Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists.

Noy, Obama meeting short but sweet

MANILA, Philippines - The long-awaited meeting between President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and US President Barack Obama finally happened.

Although it took only 7 minutes, the meeting ended with full of promise.

On the sidelines of a visit at the Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Cupertino, California, Aquino said he and Obama reached a consensus that they would be meeting again in the near future.

Both leaders talked about a US assistance in cleaning up an ammunition dump in Corregidor.

During the meeting, Aquino brought up another festering issue, which the Philippine leader said was an "issue that occupies a growing concern…the competing territorial claims within the South China Sea, including our own Kalayaan Islands. Such competing claims can serve as flashpoints for conflict as they did in the 1990s."

Aquino to bring home over 10,000 jobs for Filipinos

President Aquino said he would be coming home to the Philippines with more than 10,000 jobs for Filipinos, at the very least.

Mr. Aquino arrived in California over the weekend for another round of business meetings to lure investors to the Philippines.

"I would be disappointed if I would be coming home with only 10,000 jobs," he told reporters after meeting with HP officials.

The HP officials signed a letter of intent to expand its operations in the Philippines.

Fire alarm breaks sleep of weary President Aquino in California

A tired President Aquino woke up to a fire alarm at the Fairmont Hotel after he settled at his room following a grueling week in New York.

US embassy sorry over inverted RP flag

by By Jojo Malig,
MANILA, Philippines – The United States embassy apologized on Sunday over the inverted Philippine flag displayed during the meeting between US President Barack Obama and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on Saturday. 

Aquino dared to explain plan to end poverty

The militant group Bayan pressed President Aquino to reveal his own anti-poverty program, following the high-profile signing of a $434-million grant from the United States to ease poverty in the country.

BI: Chinese still flocking to RP

MANILA, Philippines - The Chinese still top the list of aliens registered with the Bureau of Immigration (BI), an indication of the still strong bilateral ties between China and the Philippines.

Aquino asked to place controversial aide in 'less critical post'

Senator Miguel Zubiri suggested on Sunday that Interior and Local Governments Undersecretary Rico Puno be transferred to "a less critical post" after President Benigno Aquino III refused to let him go.

Pastor backs legalizing jueteng if gov't won't stop it

Televangelist Apollo Quiboloy is supporting the idea of legalizing the illegal numbers game jueteng if the national government cannot eradicate it anyway.

Bogus tech-voc schools' days numbered

MANILA, Philippines - The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said it will soon start closing down "bogus" and "below standard" technical-vocational schools and institutions.

13M Filipino kids live in poverty, deprived of basic needs -- study

Over 44 percent of Filipino children aged 15 and below live in poverty, according to a joint study by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the non-government Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).

Lapid files bill banning overloading of students' school bags

First, there was the "no homework on weekend" policy in a memo by Education Secretary Armin Luistro.

Mikey urged to create insurance fund for guards

MANILA, Philippines – Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo has been urged to draft a law that will set up an insurance fund for security guards, his office said in a statement on Sunday.

NGO blames Arroyo for Pampanga human rights violations

Clark Freeport, Pampanga—A human rights group in Central Luzon is blaming former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for the increased incidence of human rights violations here in her home province Pampanga.

SC appoints new en banc clerk of court

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court has appointed Atty. Enriqueta Esguerra-Vidal as the newest custodian of the full court.

Church group pushes for resumption of gov't-peace talks with communist rebels

(UPDATE) An ecumenical group is asking the Aquino administration to work for the resumption of the stalled peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Aquino thanks Malaysia PM for help in Minda peace talks

President Benigno Aquino III personally thanked Malaysian Prime Minister Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak for his country's help in peace efforts in Mindanao, the Palace said Saturday.

Hajj pilgrimage in peril due to leadership dispute between 2 Muslim elders

Young Moro leaders have asked two of their elders to settle differences over who should head the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) amid worries that the leadership row could affect the agency's work to help locals going into the Hajj pilgrimage next month.

$1: P44.090

$1: P44.090 (P44.12)

Euro 1: P58.5779

Strong quake strikes eastern Indonesia—USGS

A strong, 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Sunday off Indonesia's eastern Aru Islands, the US Geological Survey said. There was no immediate warning of a tsunami.

New bomb raises security concerns in Thai capital

Security was tightened further in Thailand's capital Sunday after a bomb attack, the latest in a series believed linked to the country's fractious politics, hit a target closely associated with the ruling class. No one was hurt and there was little damage.

Asean rights body prepares Human Rights Declaration

The Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights is preparing the drafting of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) for its next meeting in November in Thailand, it was learned.

UN chief to Asian nations: Put more pressure on Myanmar

NEW YORK, United States—United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has warned Asian nations that their credibility could suffer if they do not take a tougher line with the Myanmar junta ahead of a national election in November.

Much room for improvement in human rights, China says

BEIJING-- China said Sunday it had much work to do to improve its human rights record, but a government report gave Beijing passing marks for advancing civil liberties, living standards and Internet freedoms.

China concludes that US chicken is being dumped

BEIJING - China has concluded that U.S. chicken products are being sold at unfairly low prices in China, and will impose antidumping duties of as much as 105.4 percent for the next five years, the government said Sunday.

Pacquiao training shifts to high gear in Baguio City

No more playing around. As the team of Manny Pacquiao arrives in Baguio Sunday, Freddie Roach expects training for the Filipinos' coming title fight with Antonio Margarito to shift into high gear.

Corteza, Lining gain semis berths in China Open

MANILA, Philippines – An all-Filipino final in the China 9-ball Open is likely if Lee Van "The Slayer" Corteza and Antonio "Nickoy" Lining get past their respective opponents in the semifinals.

Veteran cue artist Lining loses to local bet in China 9-Ball Open

Veteran campaigner Antonio Lining succumbed to pressure and lost to local bet Yu Long Zhang, 11-7, in the finals of the China 9 Ball Open tournament Sunday at the Minya Hotel in Shanghai, China.

Lakers' Bynum likely to miss 1st month of NBA season

by Reuters
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum says he will likely miss the first month of the NBA season after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee two months ago.

CGames: Malaysia warns athletes of dengue threat

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia's top sports body Sunday warned its athletes participating in next week's New Delhi Commonwealth Games to guard against the deadly dengue fever infection.

Regine Velasquez's P1.6-M wedding gown disputed

MANILA, Philippines – Cosmetic surgeon Vicki Belo has shot down speculations that the wedding gown of singer Regine Velasquez is worth a whopping $36,000 (P1.6 million), celebrity show "The Buzz" reported Sunday.  Contrary to rumors, the cosmetic surgeon said she shelled out $8,000 (P352,720) for the gown designed by world renowned Monique Lhuillier.

Mariel slams critics, says she's not a flirt

MANILA, Philippines – An exasperated Mariel Rodriguez lashed back at detractors who have criticized her after the TV host's controversial wedding with Robin Padilla in India.

Carol Banawa is back, to record a new album

by by Napoleon Quintos,
MANILA, Philippines - Carol Banawa takes a break from her life as a wife and mother in the United States to come home to the Philippines to record an album under Star Records.

Philippines remembers dead from worst floods for 40 years

MANILA- - Government officials on Sunday urged the public to stay alert to the dangers of natural disasters as Manila remembered the 464 people killed in the worst floods to hit the capital in a generation.

PAGASA: We're ready for another 'Ondoy'

MANILA, Philippines – Government scientists believe that they are now ready to predict the impact of a tropical storm similar to Ondoy that struck exactly a year ago. 

Gov't asked to account for Ondoy fund spending

The Senate wants to know where the P12-billion relief and rehabilitation funds earmarked for the damage caused by typhoon ``Ondoy'' have gone over the last 12 months.

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