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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 17, 2010 Major News Stories

Pork producers warn vs. imported meat

The declining demand for local pork brought about by the flooding of lower priced imported pork products in various wet markets in the city is killing the livelihood of commercial and backyard hog raisers, but it could get worse.

According to the Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative President Rolando Tambago, it is reported that imported pork is not properly handled in wet markets.

According to CEVIPPCO, locally-produced meats stay fresh within 12 hours even without refrigeration unlike imported pork products. Imported pork products should stay fresh from the source and should not be displayed in an open space as fresh meats. Once imported products are thawed, these could be conducive for bacterial growth that may cause food poisoning and other health problems.

Tambago said that since these are frozen products, they need to be kept in the same frozen condition during sale until cooked.

"Supposed to be imported pork products are only for meat processing. And the wet markets where these products are usually sold do not have the facilities to handle frozen products," Tambago said.

This statement was confirmed by Ermita councilwoman Maria Buanghug, chairwoman of the Cebu City United Vendors Association.

"Lisod i-handle sa mga members sa CCUVA ang imported pork products kay walay proper nga storage. Wala ma'y freezer," Pino told The FREEMAN.

"They must be aware unsa ilang gipamalit. They must look into the quality of the pork products for their own food safety and health protection," the organization said.

Cebu City Veterinarian Dr. Alice Utlang agreed with CEVIPPCO in regulating the importation of pork products.

"It's true. Daghan man unta ta og baboy apan hinay og halin tungod sa imported products nga nakig-compete na man. Ang ihaw nius-os gyud compared last year," Utlang said.

She said that certain requirements such as laboratory exam results and safety nets for importation are to be followed since imported products should only be intended for meat processors and other foodinstitutions. She also urged the National Meat Inspection Service to verify the allegation and to regulate the proliferation of imported pork products.

"How come naabot man na sa wet markets. Naa man kaha'y guidelines," Utlang said.

Dr. Alvin Leal of NMIS said they are doing their responsibility as a regulatory agency. He also challenged Utlang and CEVIPPCO to present concrete evidence so they can take action.

But CEVIPPCO held NMIS responsible.

"Silay' moadto sa merkado. Ilaha man nang trabaho. Sila unta'y mangita'g evidence," Tambago said.

In a position paper submitted by CEVIPPCO to the House of Representatives and Department of Agriculture, records show an average of 12.7 percent volume reduction of hogs in the four major cities of Cebu alone for the last two years despite the increasing population.

It also means that a total of about P4.8 million per year will be lost as potential revenue on slaughtering fees assuming P110 per head will be collected.

Based on surveys at public markets, cuts of imported pork products are being sold from P85 to P120 per kilo in which local farmers cannot compete due to the high cost of inputs which include feeds and other priories.

Live prices of hogs in Cebu have decreased to as low as P76 per kilo while some pig farms are forced to sell way below production cost.

"Grabe karon. Starting October, pick-up unta na ang demand pero wala gyud. Kita pay mohangyo sa mga mamalitay," CEVIPPCO secretary Jessica Pahinado said.

Tambago said that a congressional hearing is set on Monday to create a council to strictly monitor the importation of frozen meat products.

Meanwhile, vendors in the Carbon market confirmed selling imported meat but denied claims it is expired.

Prices differ by P5 to P10 per kilo between local and imported meat, but most consumers who want to save go for the cheapest meat they can get from the market.

This is apparently the case despite the warning of nutritionists that imported meat nowadays are of questionable origin.

In the Carbon market a meat vendor who asked not to be named admitted that almost all meat stalls sells imported pork sourced from an importer in Mandaue City. But contrary to the claim of AGHAM Partylist Rep. Angelo Palmones, their products are not expired.

In one stall, a vendor showed boxes of imported meat with the label that says it was produced on July 2010 and will expire in July 2011.

"Kung mag-order mi didto sa Mandaue og 60 to 100 boxes, dili ra man maabtan og upat ka adlaw, hurot dayon. Amo man sad nang isulod sa freezer para ma-preserve kay kung dili ma-preserve, malain man ang dagway," he said.

He assured that their products are properly stored, otherwise, they will not be granted a permit from the NMIS.

He said that most customers prefer imported meat because it costs less despite the slight difference in taste.

For example, a kilo of a local pork belly costs P175, which is more expensive than a kilo of imported pork belly at P145. A kilo of imported hind leg costs P120 while the local hind leg costs P130. These cheap meats are imported from Canada.

"Kami nga mga tarong, mo-discourage man mi sa customer na mopalit og mga imported na lain na ang baho ug lain na ang dagway. Daghan na sad bitaw sa amoa diri nga nabawi-an og permit kay wala man sila'y tarong na storage," he said.

Another vendor said that those selling imported meat but with no storage facilities like her make sure that meats are dispatched within the day that it gets exposed.

"Kung madugay man gud siya, bati na ang lasa kay dugay na baya na gikatay didto sa gawas. So hutdon gyud na dapat once kuhaon na sa freezer. Kung dili mahurot, ilabay kay lisod naman na mahalin," she said.

OFW deployment to Guam to start late 2011 — POEA

The deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for the US military construction projects in Guam will begin late next year, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA).

Cebu City vice mayor opposes K+12

Cebu City Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young is against the government's plan to add two more years in the basic education system, saying this would only lead to an increase in students dropping out of schools.

Cebu City councilors want uniform deal with schools

Two Cebu City councilors push for a uniform compromise deal between the City Government and the schools that are proposing different schemes in the payment of their tax dues.

17,261 teachers pass LET

A total of 17,261 teachers out of 76,652 test takers have passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET), Professional Regulation Commission announced on Tuesday.

For elementary teachers, 7,737 of 39,508 examinees (19.58 percent) passed the examination.

Thirty-one Accelerated Teacher Education Program (ATEP) graduates, meanwhile, passed out of 430 examinees (7.21 percent).

At the secondary level, 9,493 teachers out of 36,714 examinees (25.86 percent) passed the LET given last September 26 in 15 testing centers across the country.

Moratorium on new nursing, teaching courses--CHEd

The Commission on Higher Education has imposed a moratorium on the opening of new programs in business administration, nursing, teacher education, hotel and restaurant management, and information technology education, effective school year 2011-2012, it was learned Tuesday.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said the decision contained in CHEd Memorandum Order (CMO) 32, Series of 2010, issued on 30 September 2010 is part of the government's efforts to shift focus to college courses that will land graduates in gainful employment.

"The moratorium, I believe, is a decisive action on the part of the CHEd to mitigate potential oversupply of graduates in certain disciplines, and in the process, to encourage incoming students to opt for courses that offer the best chances of employment after graduation," Baldoz said.

In imposing the moratorium, the CHEd cited the proliferation of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) offering undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration, nursing, teacher education, hotel and restaurant management, which, it said, "if allowed to continue unabated, would result in the deterioration of the quality of graduates."

"The validation of the outcome of the Evaluation of Graduate Program in the Philippines (EGEP) confirmed the weakening of graduates from the business administration and teacher education program all over the country," the CHEd said.

"The result of the Licensure Examination for Teachers and Nurses administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) also showed a gradual decline in the performance of teacher and nursing education graduates," it added.

Moreover, it pointed to the "problem of mismatch currently being experienced by significant number of business administration, hotel and restaurant management, and information technology graduates."

Baldoz said the moratorium complements the efforts of the Department of Labor and Employment at reinforcing the employability of graduates by delivering relevant labor market information at the grassroots level, including educating students on what courses are employable.

The DoLE, she said, is formulating a Philippine Human Resources Development (HRD) framework which would contain strategies to attain better and quality graduates who will find jobs after college.

The labor chief said that based on the common recommendations of social partners at the recent nationwide consultations for the National Labor and Employment Summit, the country's HRD efforts should shift toward market intelligence, responsive training and education programs, adequate investments on education and training, and better quality learning inputs and outputs that will pave the way towards better matching of the skills of Filipinos with requirements in the job market.

With Gwen in the U.S. Sanchez refuses to be acting governor

Now that Governor Gwendolyn Garcia is in the United States for an official trip, Cebu Province is without a chief executive and Vice-Governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr. might be held liable for dereliction of duty if he continues to refuse to assume as acting governor.

Governor Garcia left for California last Sunday for the Governors Global Climate Summit 3 without appointing Sanchez as acting governor. She is expected to be back home on Friday.

Sanchez opted not to assume being the acting governor as there is no official delegation of the duty from thegovernor.

"When she travels abroad, I never received any single paper to sign and none of the department heads even consulted me," Sanchez said. He added that he will only assume the position of acting governor if the executive department gives him the courtesy.

Sanchez admitted that he presided the provincial board session last Monday after clearing the matter before DILG-Central Office and the Civil Service Commission. He believes that Garcia's travel abroad does not strip him being the vice governor and presiding officer.

But Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director Pedro Noval reminded Sanchez about the provision of the local government code that requires him to do so.

"Who is manning the province now if he will not assume? He can be charged of dereliction of duty," Noval told The FREEMAN as he reminded Sanchez to revisit and read Section 46 of the Local Government Code.

Noval said Section 46 of the Local Government Code states that "the vice governor...or the highest ranking Sangguniang member, as the case may be, shall have the right to assume the powers, duties, and functions of the said office of the said local chief executive, subject to the limitations..."

Noval said that Sanchez could automatically assume as acting governor even without a memorandum coming from the Office of the Governor considering that the travel of the governor is already outside the country.

In the case of Sanchez, who presided the session at the board last Monday, Noval said that it resulted into some legal questions about the proceeding.

Sanchez, however, said that the threat with being charged for dereliction of duty does not scare him.

He said that anybody can file the case and he will answer it in the proper forum.

In a separate interview with The FREEMAN, Board Member Agnes Magpale, presiding officer pro-tempore, is worried if somebody will raise the issue on the legality of their proceedings especially that the board approved on the third and final reading an ordinance that she authored.

Magpale's ordinance grants special protection to thresher sharks, giant manta rays and sun fish found in the municipal water of Cebu.

"Delikado man gyud kung naay mo-question. As far as I am concerned, the members of the board will not question but how about kaning madakpan unya sa ordinansa nga mo-question?"

During their caucus, Magpale said that board member Peter John Calderon asked whether Sanchez can legally preside over the session.

But Sanchez, according to Magpale insisted that he can preside after consulting the matter to the concerned agencies.

Magpale clarified that Sanchez never showed them a written statement from the concerned agencies.

Capitol consultant on information Rory Jon Sepulveda said that aside from dereliction of duty, the acting governor could also be charged for usurpation of authority for continuing to function being the vice governor even he is the acting governor.

"Sa pagkakaron, nagpaabot ra gyud ta kung unsa'y instruction sa gobernador kung unsa'y sunod nga lakang," Sepulveda said.

"Aid" to foes may widen Mike-Tom rift

Rumors that Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama silently supported barangay candidates in Lahug allied with the opposition camp may add salt to the conflict between him and former mayor Tomas R. Osmeña.

Osmeña, Cebu City south district congressman, confirmed that he also heard rumors that Rama financially supported the team of Lahug barangay captain Mary Ann delos Santos.

"Kuno. Naay tsismis nga P100,000 gihatag ni Mike," he said in a text message to The FREEMAN.

Osmeña said his former vice mayor is consistent with his policy "Love thy enemy. Together we can make things happen".

According to Osmeña he also received reports that Rama even supported Lemar Alcover, another opposition ally who ran but lost as barangay captain of Sambag 1.

Osmeña said Alcover is a relative of City Hall consultant and Rama's political analyst Rene Mercado.

"Sigurado nga maguba g'yud ang relasyon nila ni Tommy ug Mike kon mahibaw-an nga tinuod nga mitabang siya sa grupo sa pikas," Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young said during the 888 News Forum at Marco PoloPlaza yesterday. All the candidates allied with barangay captain Delos Santos in Lahug, including the Sangguniang Kabataan won via landslide during the last barangay elections.

Rama has denied the report.

"If I will say yes, that's the highest stupidity on my part," Rama said. Some of Rama's supporters just described the rumors that the mayor supported the candidates who are allied with the opposition as mere intrigues.

They explained that Delos Santos and her team did not even respond to Rama's invitation to join the mass oath-taking in City Hall with all newly-elected barangay officials in the city last week.

Political observers noticed that Osmeña has started criticizing the way Rama handles the affairs of the city and when he allowed the newly-elected barangay captains to take their oath before him even if they were allied with the opposition.

Among these barangay captains are Punta Princesa barangay captain-elect Jose Navarro, reelected barangay captain Eugenio Gabuya of Cogon-Pardo and Sambag 1 reelected barangay captain Jerry Guardo.

Vice Mayor Young rejects helicopter purchase

Three months after Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama rejected Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young's recommendation for the City to buy three old planes from the education department, now it is Young's turn to turn down the mayor's plan for the city to buy a helicopter.

De Lima wants unified prison system

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Tuesday pointed on the importance of having a unified penitentiary system to improve the plight of prisoners.

"It's time to lobby for the bills especially those pushing for restorative justice," De Lima said during the National Summit for Persons Deprived of Liberty held at the Diamond Hotel Manila.

Currently, all penitentiary facilities and jails are under the supervision of the Bureau of Jail and ManagementPenology (BJMP). 

"I think it's time to have a unified penitentiary system on institutions with focus there and manned by the right people with expertise and those who are dedicated to the cause of improving the plight of the prisoners," she said.

De Lima is confident that restorative justice will work as long as people "will work with the coordinated effort."

"With a focus and with the passion of the workers in these agencies which are directly involved in the criminal justice system, I don't see any reason for the restorative justice not to work in our jurisdiction," she said.

"We have been working on it—the court, the prosecution, lawyers have been working on it for so many years already but with this summit," De Lima said. "That is why this summit is important because what is needed now are the synergies, the coordination, collaboration of all of these agencies."

After Shooting of Actor Council committee pushes for training of tanods

The Cebu City Council's Committee on Laws, Ordinances, Public Accountability and Good Government wants all tanods in 80 barangays to undergo a series of trainings on warrantless arrest, search and seizure and safeguarding evidence, as well as preserving the crime scene.

Bus firms lose P5M in 1-day strike

MANILA, Philippines - Bus operators in Metro Manila lost at least P5 million in earnings for participating in a transport strike Monday morning.

UP botanist, 2 others killed in military-NPA clash in Leyte

A respected Filipino botanist, a forest guard and a farmer were killed in the crossfire between the military and suspected communist rebels Monday noon, the company that was running the project for which the three worked, said on Tuesday.

Engineer Manuel Paete, resident manager of the Energy Development Corporation, identified the fatalities as Leonardo L. Co, a biodiversity consultant of the Energy Development Corp.(EDC); Sofronio G. Cortez, a forest guard of EDC-Environmental Management Division; and Julius Borromeo, a member of the Tongonan Farmers Association (Tofa).

Paete said that based on the reports they received, the three were gathering specimen seedlings of endangered trees in a forested area in Kananga town, Leyte, when Co, Cortez and Borromeo died in the crossfire as a gunbattle erupted between government soldiers and suspected guerillas of the New People's Army on Monday noon.

Co's two other companions, Policarpio Balute, a member of Tofa, and Roniño Gibe, a contractual forester with EDC's corporate responsibility department, were unharmed but Gibe was admitted to the Ormoc Sugarcane Planters Association (OSPA) hospital because he was in shock, Paete said. Borromeo and Balute served as guides for Co.

The EDC had hired Co as a Binhi project consultant to conduct a study on tree biodiversity in the area and to collect seedling specimens of wild trees for replanting, Paete explained.

According to the EDC website, the company is implementing the Binhi project, which focuses on prime endangered Philippine tree species, to bring back vanishing trees that are highly valued and those that are native to the Philippines.

Inspector Jedol Camacho, Kananga police chief, said the Army soldiers belonging to the 19th Infantry Battalion (IB) reported to the police that they encountered unidentified armed men in Barangay (village) Lim-ao, Kananga.

On the other hand, Lieutenant Colonel Federico Tutaan, commanding officer of the 19th IB, expressed his remorse over the death of Co and two of his companions.

Interviewed over the phone, Tutaan said that he felt "remorseful" over the deaths but he maintained that his men were in the area to respond to the report of the EDC about the presence of armed rebels.

"It was just too unfortunate that our men, the NPA members and the civilians were in the same place at the same time," Tutaan said.

"It was a legitimate military operation. But we are very, very remorseful over what happened," he said.

He would not say if the bullets that killed the three civilians came from the firearms used by soldiers, saying that the members of the police scene of the crime operatives were conducting their investigation.

During a press conference, Tutaan admitted that an Army soldier fired the first shot upon sighting a man dressed in a black jacket holding a long firearm. The soldiers, he said, were at a vantage point, overlooking the area where suspected rebels were seen.

Tutaan refused to blame anybody for the civilian deaths. "I am not saying it was a lapse," he said, adding that since the area had a thick forest cover, only patches were visible.

Tutaan said Co and his team were not visible to the soldiers.

On the other hand, Colonel Allan Martin, deputy commanding officer of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, said the soldiers belonging to the 19th IB who figured in the encounter have been "restricted" to their camp in Barangay Aguiting in Kananga.

Martin was interviewed while attending the graduation of 333 new soldiers held at the grounds of the 8th Infantry Division camp in Catbalogan, Samar.

"There is now an investigation regarding that incident and all the soldiers are now restricted at their camp," Martin said.

The soldiers led by Leiutenant Ronald Ocheamar of the 19th Infantry Battalion were in sitio Upper Mahiao of Barangay Lim-ao, to check on the reported presence of armed men, believed to be members of the New People's Army, Martin said.

The soldiers figured in a 15-minute firefight with about seven armed men in the area at about 12:15 pm., Martin said

He also said that Major General Mario Chan, commanding general of the division, would issue a formal letter to the EDC regarding the encounter. Martin, however, could not say if the letter would include an apology. 

Tutaan also said he was scheduled to leave for Manila on Wednesday after receiving an invitation from retired Rear Admiral Ferdinand Golez, vice president for security of EDC, for an open discussion on the encounter.

Meanwhile, Co's brother-in-law, Darwin Flores, said in a phone interview on Tuesday that the family would like to know what really happened.

"I understand that they were given clearance to proceed to the area," according to Flores, whose sister Glenda is married to Co.

He said they were told that there was an existing security protocol between the EDC and the local military.

"Definitely, we would like to know if there were lapses. And if there were lapses in the security protocol, those who were responsible should answer for it," Flores said.

He also disclosed that Co earlier told his wife he would prefer to be cremated and have a short wake.

Co also told his wife he preferred to have some of his ashes scattered in Palanan, Isabela, the place that he loved and where he spent many years; some on a tree in the University of the Philippines (UP) grounds; and the rest to remain with his family, Flores added.

Co, who was also the president of the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Inc., authored the books "Common Medicinal Plants of the Cordillera Region (Northern Luzon, Philippines)" and the "Forest Trees of Palanan, Philippines: A study in population ecology."

Soldier runs amok, kills colleague

by By Queenie Casimiro, ABS CBN News Zamboanga
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines - A soldier assigned to the First Infantry Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur ran amok and killed his companion and wounded an Army officer. 

Al Khobar owns up to latest Cotabato blast

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Police investigators are verifying the claim of a Mindanao-based extortion group that it was responsible for the recent bombing in a North Cotabato bus terminal that killed a teenager and injured two bystanders. 

AFP vows to use less combat in new anti-insurgency plan

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, set to launch a new anti-insurgency campaign to replace the controversial "Oplan Bantay Laya", assured Filipinos on Tuesday that the new campaign will use less fighting and more peaceful tactics to "win the peace."

Massacre trial may reach 6 years: De Lima

TRIAL OF the country's worst politically motivated crime may take up to six years, or the term of the administration, before a verdict is reached given the number of suspects, victims and witnesses, Justice Secretary Leila M. de Lima said yesterday.

Gov't to bid out P100-B in infra projects

by By David Dizon,
MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration will bid out P100 billion in infrastructure projects for 2011 that will boost tourism, improve the food supply chain and improve general infrastructure all over the country.

Keppel shipyard liable for fire that gutted Aboitiz ship

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court is standing pat on its decision ordering Keppel Cebu Shipyard, Inc. to pay a minimum of P330 million for the fire that burned down Aboitiz Transport System Corp.'s M/V Superferry 3 in 2000.

Cholera death toll in Haiti rises above 1,000

PORT-AU-PRINCE—More than 1,000 people have died from cholera in Haiti and 16,800 have been hospitalized, health officials said Tuesday, as the outbreak spreads among earthquake survivors in the capital's tent cities.

Hajj pilgrims hit almost 2.8 million

RIYADH—The number of people joining this year's pilgrimage to Mecca hit nearly 2.8 million, about one million of them from inside Saudi Arabia, the department of statistics said on Tuesday.

Palace mulls over another award for Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is mulling over the award that will be given to Manny Pacquiao when President Benigno Aquino III meets the newly crowned World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight champion when he returns from the US.

Historian: No doubt about Pacquiao's greatness

by By Dennis Gasgonia,
MANILA, Philippines – Renowned boxing historian Bert Sugar said Manny Pacquiao's super welterweight clash with Antonio Margarito showed that the Filipino champion is indeed among the greatest in the history of the sport.

Awesome champ could've KO'd anybody - Ariza

by By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star
HOLLYWOOD – Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza was so impressed by Manny Pacquiao's awesome form Saturday (Sunday, in Manila) night that he said the Filipino icon could have knocked out anybody – Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley or Floyd Mayweather Jr.

'Margarito bravest I've ever met'–Roach

On the heels of what Freddie Roach described as the "best fight Manny Pacquiao has ever fought," the renowned American trainer felt that the punishment the Filipino ring sensation inflicted on Antonio Margarito marked the end of the road for the game Mexican.

Pacquiao apologizes to Margarito after win

MANILA, Philippines – Newly crowned World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight king Manny Pacquiao revealed on Tuesday that he apologized to his badly-beaten opponent, Antonio Margarito, right after their bout last Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Hospitalized Margarito calls Pacquiao world's best

ARLINGTON, Texas, United States—From his hospital bed, Antonio Margarito offered his congratulations on Monday to Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao, two days after the Asian fighter inflicted a punishing defeat on him.

Margarito's warrior spirit kept the fight going, says trainer

MANILA, Philippines — Antonio Margarito's trainer, Robert Garcia, defended how he handled their corner despite his fighter receiving a lopsided beating from Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather Jr. pokes security guard's face - report

MANILA, Philippines - Boxing star Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been accused of hitting a security guard on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), celebrity website TMZ reported.

Pacquiao gets doc's clearance, prepares for concert

MANILA, Philippines – New World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao was cleared by doctors to sing in his concert party in Lake Tahoe in Reno, Nevada.

Pacquiao's ring return expected in June

With the battering Manny Pacquiao received from Antonio Margarito, chances are the world's top pound-for-pound fighter won't be entering the ring for quite a while.

Higher public office far from Pacquiao's mind for now

MANILA, Philippines – Eight-division champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao said running for higher public office is not on his mind for now.

RP's Melindo to clash with Colombian foe in Pinoy Pride 2

MANILA, Philippines — Milan "El Metodico" Melindo will clash with former world champion Carlos Tamara of Colombia in "Pinoy Pride 2" in Cebu City this November 27.

Kazakh boxer downs PH's Charly Suarez in Asian Games

GUANGZHOU—The Philippine boxing team got off to a nightmarish start Tuesday night as Kazakhstan unveiled a sleek-moving surprise in Daniyar Tulegenov, who scored a 7-1 victory that knocked off bantamweight bet Charly Suarez in the 16th Asian Games at the Foshan gymnasium here.

Orcollo keeps PH medal hopes alive in billiards

Now one of the few bright spots left in the tattered remains of a once vaunted billiards squad, Dennis Orcollo—born into a fishing family in Southern Philippines—is now forced to skipper the team to a gold medal in the 16th Asian Games here.

PH swimmers reach relay finals in Asian Games

The country's pool of swimmers managed to make yet another finals appearance at the Aoti Aquatic Center Tuesday, but failed to either land a medal or better a Philippine record at the 16th Asian Games here.

Struggling offensively, PHL quintet loses to Iran in Asiad caging

GUANGZHOU - The Philippine-Smart Gilas team faced an Iranian team with two of its key players missing in action. Unfortunately for the Filipinos, they came out flat offensively and lost to the Iranians, 48-65, in their opening assignment in Group F basketball competition of the 16th Asian Games here at the Huangpu Gymnasium.

PHL's top chessers end Asiad campaign on sour note

GUANGZHOU - Even the country's top chess players - GMS Wesley So and Rogelio Antonio, Jr. - wore long faces at the end of another sad, sad day for the Philippines in the 16th Asian Games.

Mavs hand Hornets first loss, 98-95 (AP)

New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul (3) drives against Dallas Mavericks 'Jason Kidd (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010.

Jason Terry, Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki made pressure shots down the stretch to spoil the New Orleans Hornets' perfect start. Terry scored 26 points, including the go-ahead jumper in the final minute, Nowitzki contributed 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks handed the Hornets their first loss of the season, 98-95 on Monday night.

Thunder end Jazz's 5-game win streak (AP)

Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks directs his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, in Salt Lake City.

Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks knew he was facing one of the hottest teams in the league. The answer was to give the Utah Jazz a bit of their own medicine. After falling behind by double digits early, Oklahoma City got rolling, then held off a late Jazz comeback for a 115-108 victory on Monday night.

Suns rally, extend Nuggets' desert woes (AP)

Phoenix Suns ' Steve Nash (13) tries to get off a shot as Denver Nuggets ' Carmelo Anthony (15) defends and Nene looks on during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, in Phoenix.  The Suns defeated the Nuggets 100-94.

Legs tired, the shots clanging away after playing the night before, the Phoenix Suns found a way to pull out a victory. Maybe this team is finally starting to figure itself out, at least a little bit. Getting a big night off the bench and gritty defense after a sluggish start, the Suns overcame a 15-point first-half deficit to beat the Denver Nuggets for the 12th straight time at home, 100-94.

Nets beat Clips despite Harris' ejection (AP)

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin , right, and New Jersey Nets forward Stephen Graham chase a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, in Los Angeles.

Devin Harris wasn't very proud of himself for getting ejected in the second quarter and leaving his teammates short-handed. He was proud of the way they responded in his absence, though. Brook Lopez scored 24 points, Travis Outlaw added 23 against his former team, and the New Jersey Nets overcame the absence of their leading scorer to beat the Clippers 110-96.

Warriors improve to 5-0 at home (AP)

Golden State Warriors ' Monta Ellis (8) drives past Detroit Pistons ' Rodney Stuckey during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, in Oakland, Calif.

With the new owners in attendance, Warriors coach Keith Smart knew his team had to figure out a way to hang on for a much-needed victory on an important day in Golden State Warriors history. Monta Ellis scored 24 of his 27 points in the first half and the Warriors remained undefeated at home despite losing nearly all of a 32-point, first-half lead, beating the Detroit Pistons 101-97.

Magic's defense smothers Grizzlies 89-72 (AP)

Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Tony Allen , left, goes up as Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard (12) tries to block the shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Nov. 15, 2010.

The franchise with the NBA's twice reigning defensive player of the year finally started getting back to its roots. Dwight Howard had 18 points and 14 rebounds, Vince Carter scored 19 points and the Orlando Magic smothered the Memphis Grizzlies for an 89-72 victory Monday night. "We're a defensive team.

Bobcats rally for first home victory (AP)

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan shouts at a referee in the first half of the Bobcats' NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Nov. 15, 2010.

Winless at home and trailing by eight with less than two minutes to go, things looked beyond bleak for owner Michael Jordan's Charlotte Bobcats. Then came the barrage of clutch shots and big steals. Minnesota started to look like the inexperienced team it is, and Jordan was soon pumping his fist and clapping after an improbable victory.

Noy entitled to love life - senators

by By Christina Mendez, The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines - A happy president works harder. So respect his wishes and let him be regarding his love life. This is the advice of Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Juan Miguel Zubiri to the public that seems more interested in President Aquino's romantic affairs than his work as chief executive.

Prince William to marry Kate Middleton next year: palace

by Agence France Presse
LONDON - Britain's Prince William, the second in line to the throne, will marry his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton next year, Clarence House said Tuesday.

Next Google phone will be mobile wallet: Schmidt

by By Glenn Chapman, Agence France-Presse
SAN FRANCISCO - A new Google mobile phone imbedded with a chip that makes it a virtual wallet so people can "tap and pay" is poised to make its debut, the Internet giant's chief said Monday.

Pope goes HD with Vatican's new high-definition TV

VATICAN CITY - The pope is going HD. The Vatican on Tuesday unveiled a new euro4.5 million ($6 million) high-definition mobile unit to let the Vatican broadcast the pope's Masses, audiences and trips in high definition.

Norway gives PAGASA P80-M aid to improve flood forecasting

The government of Norway has granted the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) roughly P80 million (10.7 Norwegian Krone) in aid to improve the flood forecasting and early warning system in the Cagayan Region, which was flooded earlier this month.

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