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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 15, 2010 Major News Stories

Pacquiao not retiring yet; Floyd Jr among candidates for next bout

We have not yet seen the end of Manny Pacquiao, the great boxer. The Filipino boxing sensation categorically denied that he'll retire from boxing for good and concentrate instead on his new job as congressman of the province of Sarangani.

Pacquiao: 'I don't need Mayweather'

Manny Pacquiao, the newly crowned super welterweight champion of the World Boxing Council, said he did not need Floyd Mayweather but expressed openness to fighting him.

Time for Mayweather to put up or shut up: Roach

by By Mark Lamport-Stokes, Reuters
ARLINGTON, USA - Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach issued a challenge to Floyd Mayweather on Saturday, saying the time had come for the undefeated American to decide if he would face the Filipino in the ring.

Margarito taken to hospital, cornermen blamed

Even as he admires the toughness of Antonio Margarito, Freddie Roach can't help but put the blame on the Mexican's corner for the damage he suffered at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. Roach insisted that the 12-round bout with the World Boxing Council (WBC) super-welterweight championship at stake should have already been stopped as early as the end of the eighth round and not allowed to go the full distance.

Malacañang: Pacquiao's win showcases Filipino talents

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Malacanang lauded the win of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, saying his victory just goes to show that Filipinos can excel in any field.

Report: After meeting, PNoy rushed to hotel to watch Pacquiao fight

President Benigno Aquino III, despite his busy schedule in Japan, was able to watch the much awaited match between Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and Mexican-American Antonio Margarito.

Aquino congratulates Pacquiao over the phone

President Benigno Aquino III called up Sunday Filipino champ Manny Pacquiao to personally congratulate him for his victory over Mexican boxer Antonio Margarito.

Solons delighted with Pacquiao win

MANILA, Philippines – Lawmakers were united in their praise for their colleague, Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, who defeated Mexico's Antonio Margarito to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight title for his 8th world crown.  

NBI: Suspect in drug buy-bust could be Rep. Singson's travel buddy

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested on Saturday three suspected drug dealers, one of whom is believed to be the man seen together at the airport with Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson when he left the Philippines for Hong Kong last July.
Authorities identified two of the suspects who were arrested during a buy-bust operation inside a five-star hotel in Ortigas as Benjamin Leo-Bin, a Filipino-Chinese with aliases Benjamin Bokbok-Yu and Richardson Bondoc Ang; and Arthur Olarte.

Ruel Lasala, NBI deputy director for intelligence services, said Leo-Bin could have been the person caught on a closed-circuit camera accompanying Singson as the lawmaker bypassed immigration inspection at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) four months ago.

Singson was later arrested at Chek Lap Kok International Airport in Hong Kong on July 11, when authorities found 26.1 grams of cocaine and two tablets of diazepam, commonly known as Valium, allegedly in his possession.

The Filipino-Chinese suspect's name also appeared on the same passenger manifest of the Hong Kong-bound flight that Singson took that day, investigation showed.

"Pero vinavalidate pa namin iyan... kasi si Congressman [Singson], doon na-capture sa Hong Kong. Siya naman [Leo-Bin], etong dalawang ito, dito ang transaksyon nila. Kaya di pa namin matantya. Iba ang situwasyon nila," Lasala said at a news briefing.

(We're still validating all these, since the congressman was captured in Hong Kong, while Leo-Bin, these two, their transactions are here. So we're still looking into it. Their situations are different.)

Unlike the NBI, however, Singson's father, Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson, said he was certain the arrested suspect had something to do with his son's arrest.

"Matagal na naming pinag-sususpetsahan iyan. Wala lang kaming ebidensya. Kaya masaya ako nahuli iyan. Dapat huwag nang pakawalan iyan. (We've long suspected that person. Only, we have no evidence. So I'm glad he was arrested. He shouldn't be released.)

The Ilocos Sur governor also offered to give monetary incentives to the NBI officials who facilitated the drug suspects' arrest.

The Hong Kong court hearing the younger Singson's drug case has earlier allowed the lawmaker to post a HK$1.5-million (P8.7 million) bail, after determining that cocaine found in his possession weighed 6.7 grams, not 26.1 grams as earlier alleged. 

The Singson camp said it would ask the court to downgrade the charges from illegal trafficking to illegal possession.

Meanwhile, the third suspect arrested in the Ortigas buy-bust operation, a woman, was not presented to the media pending further investigation.

Authorities meanwhile described Olarte as someone who poses as a rich businessman and an operative of the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group when making illegal drugs transactions.

The three were arrested after an undercover NBI agent posed as a buyer of a kilogram of cocaine worth P500,000. During the arrest, agents also seized two more kilograms of cocaine hidden in the suspects' car.

Aquino reappoints state fiscals

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino is keeping his predecessor's assistant chief state prosecutors.

Presidential deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte announced the reappointment of Assistant Chief State Prosecutors Richard Anthony Fadullon, Miguel Gudio, Jr. and Pedrito Rances.

Aquino is also keeping Antonio Arellanio and Horacio Gonzaga as regional state prosecutors.

Zenaida Ferrer, Peter Medalla and Bibiano Reforzado were also reappointed as assistant regional state prosecutors.

Thousands rally vs illegal mining, logging in Agusan Sur

Thousands of residents in Agusan del Sur are calling for an end to illegal mining and illegal cutting of trees in the province.

Fil-Chinese trader kidnapped in Maguindanao

by By Jasper Acosta, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – A 68-year-old Filipino-Chinese businessman was abducted by around 4 armed men in Barangay Poblacion, Datu Piang in Maguindanao province at about 5 p.m. Sunday, police said. 

Army mulls victorious Pacquiao as peace negotiator

Buoyed by the latest victory of its most famous reservist personnel, the Philippine Army is eyeing a new role for eight-time world boxing champ Manny Pacquiao as a peace negotiator.

Govt workers to receive other half of 13th month cash starting Monday

The government is set to release starting Monday, November 15, the second half of the 13th month pay of its employees, including an additional P5,000 cash gift.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is still determining if it could give out a possible Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) this year, which would depend on the savings of the government and the availability of funds.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the DBM is still studying if the year-end fiscal position of the government could allow them to recommend to the President an additional "holiday bonus" to government workers in the form of the PEI, which is similar to the P10,000 incentive given by the previous administration.

Abad said the 13th month pay and cash gift is different, as it had already been provided for in the 2010 budget. He said a total of P14.9 billion had been released by the DBM to fund the remaining half of the 13th month pay of the government employees.

The first half was released in April in anticipation of the school opening and enrollment.

Under Budget Circular 2010-01, those entitled to these additional pay are: civilian government personnel occupying regular, contractual or casual positions who may be appointive or elective; military personnel; and uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine Coast Guard and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.

Those with pending cases are so entitled to the bonus and cash gift, while those who would later be found guilty after the bonuses and cash gift are given would have to refund or return the amount that they received. Those who would only be meted a reprimand no longer needs to return the cash gift and bonus.

The Circular also stated that those who have worked in government for less than four months in government by October 31 would only get a percentage of the P5,000 cash gift.

The Circular said those who have worked for three months but less than four months in government would receive a P2,000 or 40 percent of the cash gift while those who worked for two months but less than three months would get 30 percent of the P5,000 or P1,500.

Those who worked in government for one month but less than two months would receive 20 percent of the cash gift or P1,000 while those who have worked for less than a month of government would get 10 percent of the P5,000 or P500.

The same Circular stated that those who have been separated or retired from government from May to October would also receive a P5,000 cash gift and a percentage of their second tranche of the 13th month pay.

Those who were separated or retired from government in May would receive 15 percent of their bonus; those who retired in June would receive 30 percent; those in July would get 45 percent; those in August would receive 60 percent; those in September would get 70 percent; and those in October would receive 90 percent.

Those who are not entitled are to the bonus and cash gift are those hired without employee-employer relationships and paid from non-Personnel Services appropriations. These includes consultants and hired experts; laborers hired through job contracts or those paid on piecework basis; and student laborers and apprentices.

Employees of local governments and government firms are also entitled to these benefits, but these will have to come from their respective local government or corporate funds.

Aquino calls for simple Christmas parties in gov't agencies

The ``tuwid na daan" (straight and right path) mantra of President Benigno Aquino III will be applied to the Christmas parties being planned by government agencies.

Cebu City to hold Christmas party for the elderly

Senior citizens in Cebu City will have all the reasons to be happy this Christmas because the city government has organized a grand Christmas Party for all members of the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs.

Oposa: Stop illegal fishing by Christmas

Lawyer and environmentalist Antonio Oposa is determined to wipe out illegal fishing in the province and said a successful campaign would be the Christmas gift authorities can give Cebu.

Imported meat sold in Central Visayas markets?

If AGHAM Partylist Rep. Angelo Palmones is to be believed, the imported pork products being sold in markets in Central Visayas are expired.

Vidal hopes Vatican will name new cardinal for PH soon

Retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal has expressed hope that the Holy See would soon designate a new cardinal in the Philippines.

"Unity" with Garcia to save PB's pork ? Magpale

Provincial Board Member Agnes Magpale admitted that "unity" with Governor Gwendolyn Garcia is the only way to save their Legislative Assistance Fund, local version of pork barrel, and staff who are threatened of losing their jobs due to outsourcing policy of the Capitol.

Seminar for newly elected brgy officials

The Cebu City council is urging the Department of Interior and Local Government to conduct an early training for the newly elected barangay officials in the city before they assume office on November 30.

To observe roses parade, visit landfill: Three Cebu City councilors to go abroad

Three Cebu City councilors are scheduled to travel abroad before the yearends, one will attend seminars in two Asian countries while two others will observe the world famous Pasadena roses parade in the United States of America.

Councilor Nida Cabrera, who chairs the committee on environment, is scheduled to attend a seminar workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia and a study visit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on November 18 and 19 and 20 to 23, respectively.

Councilors Edgardo Labella and Rodrigo Abellanosa on the other hand will be off for California in December to observe the world famous tournament of roses parade in Pasadena.    

Cebu City agriculturist Joey Baclayon will be with Labella and Abellanosa for the said travel starting December 26 to January 6, 2011.

Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said Cabrera's travel will be paid for by Friedrick Ebert Stiftung and Berjaya Corporation Berhad.

Friedrick Ebert Stiftung invited Cabrera to attend the workshop on Gender Responsive Budgeting in Jakarta, Indonesia on November 18 and 19.

On November 20 to 23, she will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the working visit and project familiarization of the Bukit Tagar Sanitary Landfill. The visit is also sponsored by Berjaya Corporation Berhad.

Cabrera said the regional workshop in Indonesia aims at exchanging and analyzing experiences in advocating and implementing gender responsive budgeting in Southeast Asia.

In Malaysia, there will be a dialogue session and working visit to the Bukit Tagar Sanitary Landfill site for familiarization of the project.

Last September, the Berjaya Corporation Berhad, a Malaysian company, presented to Mayor Michael Rama and to the members of the Solid Waste Management Board their proposed development of an engineered sanitary disposal facility for solid waste management in Cebu City. Labella and Abellanosa's mission in Pasadena is also to observe how their roses parade is being done hoping that this can be applied in the city's own flower festival.

"There is a need to observe and witness the spectacular and world-famous Pasadena Rose Parade to personally get information from the organizers how the event is planned and presented, hence, the city could also come up, or at least approximately, with a more elaborate Flower Festival," said councilor Alvin Dizon, the proponent of the resolution authorizing the travel.

The city's flower festival is held every month of October since it was launched in 2009.

5 courses for Consolacion college

The Commission on Higher Education in Central Visayas has authorized the Community College in Consolacion town to operate and offer five courses starting this second semester for school year 2010 to 2011.

CHED 7 granted the authority last October 29 after the college complied with all the requirements. The authority was signed by Amelia Biglete, Director IV of CHED 7.

Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Consolacion Community College made the official announcement the other day in a meeting with the Board and school officials.

Alegado said she made representation to CHED 7 after the college was denied permit when it opened last June during the term of then mayor Avelino Gungob, Sr. CHED-7 Order No. 7, Series of 2010, states that Consolacion Community College in Consolacion, Cebu may offer Bachelor of Elementary Education, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Bachelor of Secondary Education.

Alegado, however, said that there is a need for the Municipal Council to amend the ordinance that created the college, especially the provision on the appointment of officials of the school, to usher in better administration.

Vice Mayor Aurelio Damole, said the proposed amendments are now the subject of study by the committee on education. 

After foreclosure: Former owners to be given a chance to buy properties

The committee on budget and finance said the City Council needs to study the proposal of creating an ordinance that will authorize the sale of the foreclosed residential properties by the city government to the previous owners or their heirs.

After indiscriminate firing: Policeman "punched, pointed gun" at man

Two siblings accused a policeman of firing indiscriminately, and then punched and pointed a gun at one of them yesterday afternoon in Ponce Dos, Barangay Carreta, Cebu City.

Mary Jane Sarnejo Basoy, 35 and her younger brother Nelson Sarnejo, 34, both residents of Carreta, went to the Waterfront Police Station yesterday to report one "Goyot" Bercero.

Sarnejo told the police that he was inside the house of his elder sister around 4 p.m. yesterday when he suddenly heard a burst of gunfire. This prompted him to run outside to check.

Once outside, he saw Bercero, whom he and Basoy identified as a policeman assigned at the Waterfront Police, holding a gun. Sarnejo immediately concluded that it was Bercero who fired the gun so he confronted the cop.

"Akong giingnan nga nganong nagpasalba man ka? Daghana ra bang bata diri, makaigo unya ka," Sarnejo said. (I asked him why he fired his gun, as there were many children around.)

The policeman, Sarnejo further alleged, punched him on the face and pointed the gun at him. He believed it was a caliber .45 pistol that the cop was holding.

Basoy went out of the house and, seeing the gun pointed at her brother, intervened. She then told Bercero that she would call the police.

"Ingon siya nga 'Nganong manawag man mo og pulis nga pulis man ko? Akong giingnan nga buang man ka nga pulis, manawag mi og lain," Basoy said. (He asked why we were calling the police, when he was a policeman. We told him we needed another.)

The suspect fled on foot and was no longer around when the responding policemen arrived. Basoy said Bercero is frequent in their barangay to visit a neighbor. She said they have seen him fire his gun indiscriminately several times now.

SPO3 Ernesto Caballero, duty desk officer of the police station, identified the suspect as PO1 Bercero who was assigned at their station some time last year when the latter was still undergoing the Field Training Program (FTP).

Caballero could not recall Bercero's first name, and he advised the victims to report the incident to the Regional Internal Affairs Service based at the Police Regional Office 7 in Camp Osmeña to verify the suspect's first name so sanctions could be imposed against the suspect.

Foreign visitors flock to Philippines despite hostage fiasco

Visits by foreigners to the Philippines rose this year despite travel warnings and a bloody hostage fiasco that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead, the immigration bureau said Sunday.

Starting Monday, 'Pilipinas Kay Ganda' will greet tourists

Starting Monday, the Philippines will adopt "Pilipinas kay Ganda" as its new slogan in what Malacañang described as a bid to "reinvigorate" the country's tourism campaign.

Aquino pulls aside Obama at APEC

YOKOHAMA, Japan - President Aquino said the United States has asked for "understanding" for its negative travel advisory against the Philippines as it promised to review its procedures for such pronouncements.

On Sunday, Aquino managed to get a word with US President Barack Obama at the sidelines of the 18th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting here, even though the United States did not grant the Philippines' request for a bilateral meeting.

"Naibanggit natin kay President Obama iyong ating mga agam-agam doon sa mga travel advisory na nagmula sa Estados Unidos, at ipinangako naman niya na titingnan po at himingi rin po ng pag-unawa doon sa mga nata-target, sa kanilang mga mamamayan," the President said in an interview after meeting with the Filipino community at the Futaba High School here.

Aside from the United States, 5 other countries -- the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and France -- have cautioned their citizens on traveling to the Philippines supposedly because of a terror threat.

The Philippines has complained against the negative travel advisory, saying it was based on raw, unverified information that came from the US.

Earlier, the president also personally conveyed the same sentiments to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Aquino: Major infrastructure projects launched next week

At least 10 infrastructure projects will be formally launched on November 18 under the government's public-private partnership (PPP) program, President Benigno Aquino III disclosed at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Japan.

5 hurt as jewelry store thieves lob grenade inside SM mall

(UPDATE 2) Five persons, among them a three-year-old child, were hurt after robbers lobbed a grenade inside the SM Bicutan mall in Parañaque City Sunday night, just as they were raiding a jewelry shop inside the mall.

Aquino retains Tampinco as Napocor chief

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has made formal the appointment of National Power Corp. President Froilan Tampinco.

Aquino ignores call to remove peace adviser, gives her one more job

President Benigno Aquino III not only ignored a House of Representatives plea to fire his chief adviser on the peace process, he even gave her another government post.
Secretary Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, was named oversight officer of the National Commission on Indigenous Filipinos in the latest batch of appointments announced by Malacañang on Sunday.

'Morong 43' sees hope in Monday meet with Malacañang

Nine months after their arrest, and five appeal letters later, relatives of the 43 health workers arrested on suspicions of being rebel trainees early this year are set to hold a dialogue with Malacañang on Monday morning.

OFW families may now collect suicide insurance

Families of overseas Filipino workers who commit suicide are now entitled to insurance benefits, according to insurance companies.

OFWs may lose Taiwan jobs as firms buck mandatory insurance - recruiters

Criticism against the compulsory insurance policy of the Philippine government for overseas Filipino workers continue to mount, with Taiwanese employers also threatening a moratorium on hiring Filipino workers unless the policy is scrapped.

$1: 43.760

$1: 43.760

Euro 1: 59.6472

Muslim pilgrims begin annual rituals without incident

by by Ali Khalil, Agence France Presse
MECCA - Hundreds of thousands of Muslims began the main rituals of the annual pilgrimage on Sunday, heading from Mecca to the camp of Mina with no major incidents reported since they descended on the holy city.

Myanmar's Suu Kyi begins long-awaited freedom

by By Aung Hla Tun, Reuters
YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi began her first day of freedom in seven years on Sunday with plans to meet her defunct political party after military rulers released her from house arrest.

Myanmar's Suu Kyi, newly free, calls for talks

YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, freed from seven years of house arrest, told thousands of wildly cheering supporters Sunday that she would continue to fight for human rights and the rule of law in the military-controlled nation. She called for face-to-face talks with the junta's leader.

PNoy welcomes Aung San Suu Kyi's release

President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday welcomed the release of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, describing it as "a positive step in the direction towards democracy."

Release other political prisoners, PHL urges Myanmar

Even as it hailed the release of dissident and 1991 Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi as a "momentous development," the Philippines urged Myanmar on Sunday to follow this up by releasing 2,200 "prisoners of conscience."

Deadly Indonesian volcano eases off

Indonesia's most active volcano began to ease off Sunday after killing 242 people in a series of violent blasts over more than two weeks, a volcanologist said.

APEC leaders commit to pursue free trade, address currency issues

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Leaders of the 21 member-economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation have committed to continue pursuing free and open trade and investment in the region – the main objective of the economic bloc – admitting that ``more work remains to be done'' in terms of achieving its goals.

World economy needs 'profound reform'—pope

VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday called for "profound reform" of the world economy in the wake of last week's G20 summit in Seoul, calling on rich economies not to gang up against poorer states.

Hollywood celebrities tweet Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines- Hollywood stars aired overwhelming support and admiration for Manny Pacquiao after the Filipino boxing champion clinched his historic 8th world title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Pacquiao fans: Where's the knockout?

Some fans of Manny Pacquiao who beat Mexican Antonio Margarito in 12 rounds in Texas were disappointed that their champion did not knock out the Tijuana Tornado.

Mommy Dionesia passes out after son's victory

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Dionesia Pacquiao, mother of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, lost consciousness during the Pacquiao-Margarito bout in Dallas, Texas on Saturday (Sunday Philippine time).

PH gets 2 dancesport bronze medals in Asian Games

GUANGZHOU—As the losses piled up and forced the Philippine delegation to look forward to the coming competitions in the 16th Asian Games, a couple from a dark horse team came out to give the country something to cheer about Sunday.

Charlea Lagaras and Ronnie Vergara—real-life sweethearts competing in a sport that thrives on romance, real or makeshift—bagged two bronze medals in dancesport at the Zengcheng City gymnasium here.

"This is big because it is the first time dancesport was included in the Asian Games and we gave the Philippines a medal right away," said Vergara, who teamed up with Lagaras to win the Latin cha-cha-cha and paso doble bronzes in an event dominated by host China.

The Chinese dominated the second day of dancesport, sweeping the 10 golds at stake in the first-time Asiad event, to hike its golden haul to 34 at press time.

The Philippines, competing with modest goals, finally made it to the medal tally with the two bronze medals.

"There are no words I can say right now but I'm just really, really happy," Lagaras said.

The third place finish was a salve of sorts for a delegation reeling from setbacks since Saturday.

The beating continued Sunday, with a hard-fighting tennis team getting the boot from top seed Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals, the swimmers getting knocked off their events in the heats and the shooters failing to climb up the standings.

After Yang Tsung-hua tripped a game Treat Conrad Huey, 7-6 (5), 7-5, and Taiwanese No. 1 Lu Yen-hsun bounced out Cecil Mamiit, 6-2, 7-6 (3), the country's top netter began looking forward to doubles competition where the country is expected to fare better.

The country's billiards team also faltered in the face of up-and-coming opposition. Late Saturday night, top cue artists Roberto Gomez and Efren "Bata" Reyes were booted out of the 8-ball singles by relatively unknown Indians.

Gomez's loss to Sumit Talwar was more painful. Both were tied at 5 in the race-to-7 affair when Talwar fouled. Gomez cleaned up to reach the hill but failed to call his shot, putting the Indian back on the table en route to the hill and a run out in the last rack.

Shooter Mark Manosca finished 45th in a field of 52 in the men's 10m air pistol qualifying round after a 551 total while Alyanna Chuatoco completed a 364 and wound up 44th in the women's field.

The good news is Manosca, 18, and Chuatoco, 16, are first-timers in the Asiad and are here to gain valuable experience in big-time tournaments.

The country's judo icon, John Baylon, bowed out in his first match, losing to Kim Jae-bum of South Korea while Karen Ann Solomon won her opener against Lebanon's Louize Bourached but lost to Korean Hwang Ye-sui in the quarterfinals then bowed to Tsend Ayush of Mongolia in the repechage.

Youth Olympian Jessie King Lacuna finished fifth in his heat in the men's 200m freestyle with a time of 1:53.42, 4.35 seconds behind Korean sensation park Taehwan's 1:49.15.

Erica Totten, meanwhile, clocked 5:01.59 in the women's 400 individual medley, 16 seconds behind heat winner Li Xuanxu of China.

In men's triathlon, Nikko Huelgas finished 11th in a 19-man field with a time of 2:01:54.21 while compatriot Neil Catiil was 14th after timing 2:05:28.59. Yuichi Hosoda of Japan topped the event with a time of 1:52:15.56

Cyclist Apryl Eppinger wound up 13th out of 16 entries in the women's sprint qualifying and was a notch below the cut line after clocking 12.624 over 200m.

The country's boxing team finally arrived here Sunday, the same day the delegation received news of Manny Pacquiao's scintillating victory over Antonio Margarito in Dallas, Texas.

The national boxing team, bankrolled by Smart, is also being counted on to deliver gold medals for the country, with its benefactor hoping to reap the fruits of a sponsorship program that allowed the national pugs to aggressively prepare for this quadrennial meet.

``It's payback time,'' said Ricky Vargas, president of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines and vice chair of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. ``Of course it will be disappointing if we don't win a medal.''

Vargas said the target would be to win at least one gold, especially since Smart Sports has poured nearly P300 million in financial support to boxing, basketball, taekwondo and cycling.

While track cyclists have gone zilch so far, the country hopes to strike in road racing.

Basketball barely survived a Kuwait team playing under the International Olympic Committee banner due to a suspension of its national Olympic committee by the IOC for government intervention. National coach Rajko Toroman was far from happy with the result.

"We didn't play the way we expected,'' said Toroman after rallying to beat the Kuwaitis, 76-69 Saturday. "We were the bigger team and we couldn't find our rhythm. We couldn't shoot from the outside and weren't able to break their zone. It gave our next opponent a hint to play us with a zone."

Wushu Sec-Gen Camacho sends injured Labador home

Wushu Federation of the Philippines secretary general Julian Camacho decided on Sunday to send home athlete Denver Labador because of a foot injury that will make him miss out on his sanshou event at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

Sizzling Kings dump Aces, extend streak to 5

The Ginebra Gin Kings continue to sizzle. The Gin Kings banked on their deadly backcourt unit to outplay the struggling Alaska Aces, 81-68, and extend their winning streak to five games in the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Hurting Cardona lifts Bolts to a close win over Express

Make way for Meralco's own version of Mr. Clutch. Mac Cardona, the Bolts' main source of firepower, reaffirmed his role as the team's go-to-guy by scoring seven of his team's last eight points and carrying Meralco to a tense 95-93 win over Air21 Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

New dad Steve Nash announces divorce

by Agence France-Presse
PHOENIX, Arizona – Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash said the he and his wife, Alejandra, who gave birth to their son on Friday, are in the process of a divorce.

Hornets stay unbeaten, improve to 8-0 (AP)

New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul (3) calls a play against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010.

Thanks to dramatically improved defense, the unbeaten New Orleans Hornets are a totally different team from last season. So are the Portland Trail Blazers, with All-Star guard Brandon Roy rendered ineffective by a chronically sore left knee. David West and Marco Belinelli each scored 18 points Saturday night and the Hornets improved to 8-0, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 107-87.

Surging Celtics beat Grizzlies in OT (AP)

Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen (20) shoots while defended by Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, in Memphis, Tenn.

After a four-city road trip, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers wasn't exactly thrilled to see an overtime game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Rivers' team was coming off an impressive road win at Miami heading into Saturday's game at the Grizzlies, who trailed by as much as 11 points before tying it up late in the fourth quarter.

Bosh non-factor in Heat win over Raptors (AP)

Miami Heat 's Chris Bosh reacts to a call by one of the officials in the NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors in the first  quarter of  in Miami, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010.

Chris Bosh shook the hands of his former Toronto teammates before the game, did more cordial chatting at halftime and made plans to meet up with some of them for a postgame meal. And in between, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade showed the Raptors why Bosh wanted to be with them in Miami. Wade scored 31 points, James added 23 points and 11 assists and the Heat snapped a two-game slide with a 109-100 win.

Wall hurts foot as Wizards lose to Bulls (AP)

Chicago Bulls ' Taj Gibson defends as the Washington Wizards ' John Wall (2) drives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, in Chicago.

John Wall lumbered out of the locker room with a walking boot protecting his injured left foot, weary after chasing around Derrick Rose all night. It was his third game in four days, too. Welcome to the NBA, kid. Rose scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half, outplaying Wall and leading the Chicago Bulls to a 103-96 victory over the banged-up Washington Wizards on Saturday.

Spurs roll to sixth straight victory (AP)

San Antonio Spurs ' Tony Parker , left, of France, shoots between Philadelphia 76ers ' Spencer Hawes , right, and Elton Brand during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 116-93.

Just over a week after signing a four-year contract extension, Tony Parker showed the San Antonio Spurs why he is well worth the move. The point guard scored 24 points and capped a big surge in the first quarter that sent the Spurs past the Philadelphia 76ers 116-93 Saturday night for their sixth win in a row.

Salmons sparks Bucks past Warriors (AP)

Milwaukee Bucks ' John Salmons (15) puts up a shot against Golden State Warriors ' Vladimir Radmanovic , right, in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov, 30, 2010, in Milwaukee.

John Salmons is quickly getting into excellent shape. Salmons scored a season-high 26 points, including a basket with 50.8 seconds left that led the Milwaukee Bucks over the Golden State Warriors 79-72 Saturday night. Salmons missed the entire preseason with an injured right knee and then started off the season shooting poorly.

Pacers extend Cavs' struggles at home (AP)

Cleveland Cavaliers ' Ramon Sessions (3) fouls Indiana Pacers ' Darren Collison (2) trying for a steal in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, in Cleveland. The Pacers won 99-85.

The prospect of playing against LeBron James always brought out the best in Danny Granger. James has moved on to Miami, but Granger still enjoys playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Granger scored 34 points and the Indiana Pacers beat the short-handed Cavaliers 99-85 on Saturday night, handing Cleveland a four-game home losing streak for the first time since March 2003.

Jazz rally once more, down Bobcats 96-95 (AP)

Charlotte Bobcats ' Nazr Mohammed (13) drives to the basket as Utah Jazz 's Al Jefferson , center, and Paul Millsap , right, defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, in Charlotte, N.C.

The Utah Jazz are making a habit of comeback victories. Deron Williams hit a running hook shot from seven feet out with 0.8 seconds left to cap a fourth-quarter rally and give the Jazz a 96-95 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night. Williams finished with 17 points and nine assists for Utah, which overcame a 16-point halftime deficit to win its fifth consecutive game and fourth.

It's Aquino's call to find new stylist in view of budding romance -- Palace

Only President Benigno Aquino III could decide if he wanted to find another stylist after admitting to a budding romance with his current one, Liz Uy.

PNoy-Liz 'romance' makes it to Japan Times

YOKOHAMA, Japan - Attending the 18th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting here, President Aquino was among only 3 leaders to land on the pages of Japan's newspapers. But there was just one thing: the story was not about his official acts, but about his romantic liaisons.

Aquino appeals anew for private love life

YOKOHAMA, Japan – Due to the frenzy that resulted from his confirmation two days ago that he has been dating his stylist Liz Uy – which even the Japanese media picked up – President Benigno Aquino III is now asking people to just let him enjoy his love life without much scrutiny.

Cigarette butts second top polluter in PH -- DENR report

With over 17 million Filipino smokers around, it is no wonder that cigarette butts are the number 2 in the list of the country's top polluters.

PCSO: No winner yet for Grand Lotto P423-million jackpot

No one won the P423 million jackpot during Saturday night's draw for the Grand Lotto 6/55 game, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said.

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