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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 3, 2010 Major News Stories

Diarrhea outbreak in Danao City: Four barangays under state of calamity

The Danao City Council has declared four barangays under state of calamity after more than 200 people, mostly children, have been afflicted with diarrhea.

The City Council yesterday approved the resolution that declares Barangays Tabok, Taytay, Cambanay and Guinsay under state of calamity because of the diarrhea outbreak.

The declaration was necessary to expedite the release of funds needed to purchase medicines and other needs of the patients.

Records at the Danao City Health Office show that the number of patients admitted at the Danao District Hospital already reached 263.

Taytay Barangay Captain Reynaldo Laurente was among the latest to be afflicted by the disease. Laurente is now confined at the district hospital since Wednesday.

The city health department is also verifying reports that there are some patients admitted to private hospitals in Cebu City.

The city government of Danao said there is P16 million available for appropriations. The City Council agreed yesterday to fund the repair of the waterworks out of the existing appropriations.

The Integrated Provincial Health Office has already sent personnel to the district hospital.

Dr. Cristina Giango, IPHO chief, said her office will continue monitoring the four affected barangays.

A team of doctors and sanitary inspectors were also sent yesterday by the Cebu City Government to help attend to the needs of the patients in Danao.

Mayor Michael Rama said that doctors and inspectors will not be pulled out until the outbreak is over.

Portalets or portable toilets were also sent as requested as they continue to assess in what way they can further be of help.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia welcomed the city government's assistance under its Big Brother Program where it helps neighbor cities and municipalities during times of dire needs and other urgent purposes.

"Very good! I'm very, very happy that Cebu City is reaching out to a fellow, a colleague in the league," Garcia said.

The doctors and inspectors sent were from the Cebu City Medical Center and the City Health Department.

Doctors shall assist in the hospital while the inspectors will assist the health team of the town in inspecting water sources and ensure the contamination will not reach the other households.

Rama said that they did not provide medicines because there are still sufficient supplies provided by the provincial government.

Fearing that same thing may happen in Cebu City, Rama earlier ordered the CHD to tighten its monitoring of the city's water resources to prevent contamination and possible outbreak.

He ordered this as the long holiday is approaching when, as observed, there is high chance of food and water borne diseases.

Rama also appealed to the Metropolitan Cebu Water District to conduct more water sampling especially in areas where there are reported pipe leakage.

DSWD prohibits 'street caroling' for children's safety

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has prohibited street caroling this Christmas season, citing its dangers to the health and safety of children.

Rama to bizmen: Not on sidewalks

Mayor Michael Rama yesterday asked the businessmen in Cebu City to refrain from using the sidewalks in front of their establishments this Christmas season as this practice would be a discomfort to the pedestrians.

Digal wants firecrackers banned

Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) Director Erson Digal will ask the Cebu Provincial Board to pass an ordinance banning the manufacture and sale of firecrackers in the province.

Mandaue workers told not to solicit for party

Mandaue City government employees will hold their Christmas party on December 17 but Mayor Jonas Cortes have told department heads to remind subordinates to refrain from soliciting anything for the gathering.

SK Federation elections today

The 80 Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons in Cebu City will choose their Federation president this afternoon at the Cebu Grand Hotel.

3 youths to run for SK's top post

THREE youth leaders from different barangays in Cebu City will vie for the presidency of the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation (SKF) during its election today.

They are John Philip Po of Barangay Sto. Niño, Ivon Carl Samonte of Barangay Bulacao and Steven Paculado of Barangay San Roque.

But outgoing SKF president Rengelle Pelayo said others might still change their minds.
"The election for the SKF will be just like a classroom type. Anyone can nominate himself or herself," she said.

Noval turns in reins of Compostela town

After five months of serving as the caretaker of Compostela town, Department of Interior and Local Government-7 Regional Director Pedro Noval has formally relinquished this position.

Cebu town 'mayor' replaced

CEBU CITY -- Compostela has a new "mayor" and he's still from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

DILG Cebu officer-in-charge Jerome Gonzales replaced DILG-Central Visayas Regional Director Pedro Noval as "caretaker" of the town effective Dec. 1.

Airport GM admits delays in terminal expansion project

The expansion of the Mactan Cebu International Airport terminal is only 20-percent complete nine months after the construction had started.

Saavedra wants PJ lifestyle checked

Self-styled whistleblower Crisologo Saavedra urged the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas to conduct a lifestyle check on Cebu third district Rep. Pablo John Garcia, the brother of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

Pura willing to face ombud probe

A NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation (NBI) special investigator is willing to undergo a "lifestyle check" should the anti-graft office require it.

NBI 7 special agent Arnel Pura said whether he likes it or not, the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas can conduct a lifestyle check on him should the complaint against him gains ground.

A certain Modesta Maglasang had filed a letter complaint against Pura with the anti-graft office over allegations he allegedly amassed a huge amount of wealth in cash, cars and properties, which he couldn't afford with his salary as an NBI 7 agent.

'Unconvinced' Sanchez to file TRO vs. budget

Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez said he will file today a temporary restraining order (TRO) to block the passage of next year's executive budget.

Hospital funds misused?

STATE auditors found deficiencies in the financial management of the Talisay District Hospital (TDH) that resulted in over P200,000 in unsettled disallowances and revenue losses.

The rest of the Commission on Audit (COA) 2009 report dwelt on technicalities, such as the use of "inconsistent" accounting methods, non-submission of monthly billing and other inappropriate practices in income recording.

COA said the lack of supporting evidence to prove that TDH employees' incentives via the approved collective negotiation agreement (CNA) stemmed from savings of cost-cutting measures.

COA finds Korea travel not legit

FOUR Cordova town officials had spent P169,000 in travel expenses abroad without authorization from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the 2009 Commission on Audit (COA) report said.

Budget officer Agnes Arado, treasurer Nicolas Tura, tourism officer Mary Therese and Procesa Lilia Guanzon, a nurse, violated a DILG memorandum when they traveled to South Korea last year without the agency's approval, state auditors noted.

City Government to sell 10 SRP lots 'very soon'

THOUGH they are not selling chunks of the South Road Properties just yet, Cebu Investment Promotions Center (CIPC) managing director Joel Mari Yu revealed yesterday that they will be offering 10 lots for sale "very soon."

These small parcels of land will be between 2,000 and 3,000 square meters each and will be sold for a minimum of P30,000 per square meter on an open bid.

The lots will be in between the developments of SM Prime Holdings and Filinvest Land Inc.

VECO management says Union head no longer an employee

The management of the Visayan Electric Company yesterday clarified that Casmero Mahilum, the head of the rank-and-file employees union, is no longer an employee of the company.

Jobless man burns house, kills self by slashing wrist

A 39-YEAR-OLD man believed to be mentally ill allegedly set the one-bedroom house he shared with his mother and his sister's family on fire before killing himself yesterday morning.

Glenn Manguila, single, and a resident of Area 5 of the Maghaway Housing Project in the mountain barangay of Maghaway, Talisay City slashed his wrist.

Australian raped

A 16-year-old Australian national was raped while sleeping at her friend's house in barangay Patupat, Barili, Tuesday dawn. "Charie" (not her real name) is from barangay Ocaña, Carcar and is in third year high school.

Subdivision residents seek ombuds support

Residents of Camella Homes Subdivision Phase 1 in Lapu-Lapu City, plagued by their drainage problem for sixteen years now, are turning to the Ombudsman for help.

CHED: SUCs assure no tuition increase next year

by By Caroline J. Howard, ABS-CBN News Channel
MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has assured students there will be no tuition increase in state universities and colleges (SUCs) next year.

Drilon to SUCs: Publish your incomes

by By Caroline Howard, ABS-CBN News Channel
MANILA, Philippines - Senator Franklin Drilon has challenged state universities and colleges (SUCs) to make public their collections, amid protests against supposed cuts to their budgets.

1,048 pass Electronics Engineers' exams

MANILA, Philippines - The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) on Thursday announced that 22 passed the Professional Electronics Engineer and 1,026 out of 4,715 passed the Electronics Engineer Licensure Examination given by the Board of Electronics Engineering in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao and Iloilo last November 2010. 

De Lima to remain in DOJ; no Cabinet revamp this year

President Aquino said he was "very happy'' with Justice Secretary Leila De Lima's performance as he maintained that there would be no changes in his Cabinet, at least until the remaining days of the year.

Palace won't confirm Cabinet reshuffle rumors

MANILA, Philippines - A Palace spokesman on Thursday urged the media to wait for President Benigno Aquino III's decision before reporting on rumors of a possible shakeup in the Cabinet.

It's the energy portfolio or nothing for Almendras

MANILA, Philippines - Despite persistent rumors he will be replacing Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said he would rather have the energy portfolio. 

Robredo is new chair of Cabinet security cluster

MANILA, Philippines - Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of the Interior and Local Government has been "elected" chairman of Cabinet security cluster, a Palace spokesman said Thursday.

2011 national budget may be signed by year-end

by Reuters
MANILA, Philippines - The government expects to get final approval for its P1.645 trillion ($37.5 billion) spending plan for 2011 this month, enabling it to start work on infrastructure projects early next year.

Carandang talks about mutiny, Korean conflict on DZIQ

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ricky Carandang says that mutiny suspects will be freed as soon as Congress concurs on the Palace amnesty proclamation.

Lacson arrest not Aquino's priority

Finding fugitive Senator Panfilo Lacson isn't on top of President Aquino's to-do list in the field of law enforcement, the Chief Executive indicated to the INQUIRER during the newspaper's 25th anniversary celebration Wednesday night.

De Lima: Gov't has no other option but arrest Lacson

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said the government has no other option but to arrest Senator Panfilo Lacson after the fugitive legislator's camp dismissed the possibility of surrender.

Alfaro: Evidence strong vs Hubert Webb

by By Henry Omaga-Diaz, ABS-CBN News
MANILA, Philippines - As the Supreme Court deliberates on the merits of the Vizconde case and the urgent motion to acquit filed by convicted murderer and rapist Hubert Webb, "star witness" Jessica Alfaro has allegedly sent a text message to Lauro Vizconde, patriarch of the massacred family.

Webb wants NBI men sanctioned for losing evidence

MANILA, Philippines - Vizconde massacre suspect Hubert Webb on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to cite for indirect contempt former and present officials of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for failing to preserve vital evidence in the massacre case.

Comelec issues guidelines for ballot recount

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has released the guidelines on the procedures for the recount of ballots subject of election protests in connection with the May automated polls.

Supreme Court says PET constitutional

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed the constitutionality of the creation of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to handle election cases involving the positions of president and vice president.

Angara asked to inhibit from Pimentel poll protest vs Zubiri

Former Sen. Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. on Thursday urged Sen. Edgardo Angara to inhibit himself from taking part in the deliberations of the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) in connection with the the electoral protest filed by his son Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III against Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Cory Aquino one of 20th century's most powerful women

MANILA, Philippines - The late President and democracy icon Corazon "Cory" Aquino, mother of the country's current chief executive, was hailed as one of the most powerful women in the past century by TIME Magazine. 

Arroyo attends Cabinet meeting - in Syria

by By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News
MANILA, Philippines - Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently attended a Cabinet meeting---except that it's not the one in the Philippines.

Gov't seeks extension of peace monitors in Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines - The government is asking representatives from foreign countries to extend their stay in Mindanao for another 3 months to prevent any outbreak of hostilities between its soldiers and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Basilan teachers fear for their life, suspend classes

Eleven schools in Basilan have suspended classes for a week as text messages circulated that another kidnapping would be staged weeks after a school principal was seized in the province.

Kin of 3 sentenced OFWs in Saudi appeal for help

MANILA, Philippines – The families of three overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sentenced to die by hanging in Saudi Arabia appealed to President Benigno Aquino III for help.

11 stranded Filipinos in US seek government help

The 11 Filipinos who are allegedly victims of human trafficking in the United States are seeking help from the Philippine government to allow them to pursue their case against their recruiters.

Female Aussie hurt in Kanlaon trek airlifted to Cebu

A 25-year-old Australian woman, who injured her leg while climbing active Kanlaon volcano, was successfully carried down its rugged slopes and airlifted Thursday afternoon to Cebu City for treatment, according to Angelo Bibar, Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park eco-tourism officer.

Foreigners told: Indefinite stay not automatic after marriage to Filipino

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday reminded foreigners that marriage to a Filipino does not give them the right to stay indefinitely or acquire permanent residence in the Philippines.

$1: 43.830

$1: 43.830 (P43.78)

Euro 1: 57.5974

Aquino calls for private partners in renewable energy

by By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
MANILA, Philippines - Vowing to give them incentives, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has asked the help of the private sector in the government's effort to address the energy needs of the public.

Lone firm bids for Navy procurement project

MANILA, Philippines - The Manila-based Propmech Corp. has submitted a P268.9 million bid for the Philippine Navy's procurement project of three multi-purpose attack craft.

South Korea plans more drills and talks with US, Japan on North

by by Frank Zeller, Agence France-Presse
SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea on Thursday readied plans for more live fire drills as a warning to North Korea and scheduled talks with the United States and Japan on dealing with the volatile nuclear-armed regime.

Taiwan ex-president meets son as jail looms

by Agence France-Presse
TUCHENG, Taiwan - Taiwan ex-president Chen Shui-bian had an emotional meeting with his son Thursday as he awaited his transfer from a detention centre to the jail where he will serve a 19-year graft conviction.

All 40 dead in Israel fire were prison guards on bus—police

HAIFA—All of the 40 people killed in a massive forest fire near the northern Israeli city of Haifa were prison guards who were on board a bus, a police source said on Thursday.

Arum sets April 16 fight date for Pacquiao

by By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau
LOS ANGELES — Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum Formally introduced Nonito Donaire, Jr. as the new main event for this Saturday's (Sunday, in Manila) In "Harm's Way" Pay Per View event.

De la Hoya claims Pacquiao beats weight-drained foes

MANILA, Philippines – Former boxing great Oscar de la Hoya claimed the reason why Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao has been successful in his last fights is that he keeps on beating his opponents through the weighing scale.

Donaire wants to be the first to KO Sidorenko

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire said he wants to be first boxer ever to knock out Ukrainian champion Wladimir Sidorenko when they clash at the main event of "In Harm's Way" on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Solar, ABS-CBN mull PBA coverage partnership

Top officials of Solar Sports and ABS-CBN sat down in a meeting today to discuss the possibility of a tie-up for the coverage of PBA games in the next two conferences of the ongoing 2010-2011 season.

Heat's plane has trouble in Cleveland (AP)

The Miami Heat experienced airplane troubles on their way to Cleveland for LeBron James' first game there since he left the Cavaliers. Jackie Mayo, a spokeswoman for Cleveland Hopkins airport, says the crew of the Heat's plane reported a wing "flap issue" early Thursday as the aircraft was on its approach.

Lakers have first 4-game skid since 2007 (AP)

Los Angeles Lakers ' Lamar Odom (7) goes to the basket while guarded by Houston Rockets ' Shane Battier (31) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, in Houston.

The Los Angeles Lakers have lost four straight for the first time since April 2007. Their latest loss, a 109-99 defeat by the injury-depleted Houston Rockets on Wednesday night, prompted a reporter to ask Kobe Bryant if the Lakers have considered that they aren't as good as they think they are. "How do you know how good we think we are?

James, Heat cruise in Cleveland warm-up (AP)

Miami Heat 's LeBron James , left, shoots as Detroit Pistons ' Richard Hamilton (32) defends in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010.

The white message board in the Miami Heat locker room warned players about what awaits in Cleveland. "Snow. 20's," it said. The weather will be cold, the reception will be colder -- and LeBron James says he's up to the challenge. James scored 18 points, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade each scored 16 and the Heat rolled past the Detroit Pistons 97-72 on Wednesday night.

Clippers snap 18-game skid vs. Spurs (AP)

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin , left, shoots against San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan , right, and Spurs' Matt Bonner during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010.

Although Eric Gordon is unsure why the Los Angeles Clippers are downright dominant whenever they face the NBA's best team this season, he's really hoping they'll learn something they can apply to the other 28 teams. Blake Griffin had 31 points and 13 rebounds, Gordon added 21 points and the Clippers ended an 18-game skid against the Spurs, beating NBA-leading San Antonio 90-85.

Durant-less Thunder beat Nets in 3 OTs (AP)

New Jersey Nets forward Stephen Graham , right, puts up a shot as Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden defends during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, in Newark, N.J.

Russell Westbrook is turning into a special player for the Oklahoma City Thunder and it certainly showed with Kevin Durant out of the lineup. Westbrook capped a 38-point, 15-rebound, nine-assist performance by scoring all of Oklahoma City's 13 points in the third overtime, and the Thunder overcame the absence of an injured Durant with a 123-120 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday.

Magic rout Bulls, spoil Boozer's debut (AP)

Chicago Bulls ' Joakim Noah reacts after missing a basket during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in Chicago, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. The Magic won 107-78.

With Carlos Boozer back in the lineup, the Chicago Bulls feel like they are ready to move into the elite of the Eastern Conference. The Orlando Magic showed why they're already there. Jameer Nelson scored 24 points and the Magic dominated the paint and cruised to a 107-78 victory over Chicago on Wednesday night, spoiling the Bulls debut of Boozer.

Anthony ejected but Nuggets beat Bucks (AP)

Milwaukee Bucks forward Chris Douglas-Roberts reacts in the final seconds of the team's loss to the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, in Denver. Denver defeated Milwaukee 105-94.

Carmelo Anthony had another early departure and once again the Denver Nuggets took it in stride. Nene scored 24 points and the Nuggets weathered the third-quarter ejection of Anthony to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-94 Wednesday night for their season-best fifth consecutive win.

Jazz win seventh straight, rout Pacers (AP)

Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams works against Indiana Pacers guard T.J. Ford (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, in Salt Lake City.

Twenty games into the season, the Utah Jazz are on pace for a 60-win season. Even coach Jerry Sloan admitted he was surprised it has come together so well after opening with back-to-back lopsided losses. "We could have exploded early in the season," Sloan said Wednesday night after his team improved to 15-5 with a 110-88 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Mavs' bench keys seventh straight win (AP)

Dallas Mavericks center Brendan Haywood , left, and forward Brian Cardinal (35) right, defend against Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, in Dallas.

Shawn Marion scored 16 points, leading a productive effort by Dallas' reserves, and the Mavericks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-86 on Wednesday night for their seventh consecutive victory. Tyson Chandler had 14 rebounds in the third quarter, setting a Mavericks record for any quarter, and finished with 18 overall.

Hornets avoid 3-game skid, beat Bobcats (AP)

Charlotte Bobcats forward Dominic McGuire , right, reacts after his pass-attempt was stolen by New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul , far left, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. Hornets guard Marco Belinelli , of Italy, guards McGuire.

David West's strong finish helped the Hornets break out of a slump and ended any notion the struggling Bobcats had of upsetting the team that used to call Charlotte home. West scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half and New Orleans beat the Bobcats 89-73 on Wednesday night. Emeka Okafor had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Chris Paul dished out 14 assists for New Orleans.

Court hears ABS-CBN's TRO petition vs Willie show

MANILA, Philippines - The Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) on Thursday resumed its hearing on ABS-CBN's application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against TV5 program "Willing-Willie."

Carlo Caparas a no show in tax evasion hearing

by By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News
MANILA, Philippines Senior State Prosecutor Rosanne Elepano-Balauag will require comic strip creator-turned, film director and producer Carlo J. Caparas to appear in the next hearing of the preliminary investigation of tax evasion charges against him at the Justice Department set on January 7.

Nikki Valdez's marriage falls apart

by by Reyma Buan-Deveza,
MANILA, Philippines - Actress Nikki Valdez on Thursday confirmed her separation from Filipino-Canadian husband Christopher Lina.

'Donor' to compete in Morocco

by by Boy Villasanta,
MANILA, Philippines - Young prizewinning director Mark Meily and actress Meryll Soriano will leave for Morocco to compete in the main derby of the 10th Marrakech International Film Festival.

Starry starry starry night: Star count may triple

WASHINGTON - The universe may glitter with far more stars than even Carl Sagan imagined when he rhapsodized about billions upon billions. A new study suggests there are a mind-blowing 300 sextillion of them, or three times as many as scientists previously calculated. That is a 3 followed by 23 zeros. Or 3 trillion times 100 billion.

UN weather agency: 2010 among 3 hottest years

This year is "almost certain" to rank among the three hottest years on record, and 2001-2010 is undoubtedly the warmest 10-year period since the beginning of weather records in 1850, the U.N. weather agency said Thursday.

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