PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK

STORM RUBY EXITS, SPARRING PH OF HUGE LOSES   

DEC 9 --PHOTO: A dog stands inside a jeepney loaded with people returning back to their homes from an evacuation center after Typhoon Hagupit (local name Ruby) crossed Batangas province, 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Manila, Philippines Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. AP Photo/Aaron FavilaA storm that began as a frighteningly powerful typhoon started to blow away from the Philippines Tuesday after leaving at least 21 people dead and forcing more than 1.6 million into shelters. Typhoon Hagupit (pronounced HA’-goo-pit, local name Ruby) dissipated into a tropical depression after crossing Lubang Island, 135 kilometers (85 miles) southwest of Manila, and was blowing into the South China Sea, forecasters said. Batangas, the last major province lashed by Hagupit overnight, has so far not reported any casualties or major damage, echoing similar assessments from many central Philippines provinces spared of major losses. “With God’s grace, there are zero casualties and no injuries because we were able to prepare,” said Mayor Rodolfo Manalo of Batangas’ idyllic San Juan town, a flood-prone coastal community popular for its beach resorts, where more than 2,800 villagers fled to a public gymnasium and other shelters before the storm slammed ashore. READ FULL REPORT...

(ALSO) PH Red Cross: 27 dead due to Ruby  

DEC 9 ---A resident walks during strong rain as Typhoon Hagupit hits San Juan town, Batangas province, eastern Philippines on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Typhoon Hagupit weakened into a storm Monday after it left at least three people dead and sent more than a million others into shelters, sparing the central Philippines the massive devastation that a monster storm inflicted on the region last year. AP MANILA, Philippines–The death toll from a giant storm crossing the Philippines rose to 27 on Tuesday, the Red Cross said, but there was widespread relief after it brushed the capital without causing major damage. Most of the people killed were on the far eastern island of Samar, where Ruby (international name: Hagupit) initially made landfall as a typhoon on the weekend with winds of 210 kilometres (130 miles) an hour. Hagupit then weakened while moving slowly west, passing close to the capital Manila on Monday night and Tuesday morning without dumping forecast heavy rain. Tens of thousands of people, mostly the city’s poorest residents who live in shanty homes along the coast and riverbanks, spent the night in evacuation centers to wait out the storm. They returned to their homes on Tuesday in drizzly weather after only moderate rain and no major flooding throughout the night. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Purisima’s legal troubles pile up 

DEC 9 --PHOTO: Graft, estafa charges filed against PNP chief Purisima --LESS than a week after he was suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman over an allegedly anomalous courier contract with a private company, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima was slapped with more criminal charges on Tuesday, this time over his allegedly questionable acquisition of a 9.5-hectare property in Batangas province. The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and a private complainant filed the complaint on Tuesday before the Office of the Ombudsman against Purisima and his wife Ramona. Complainant Jose Teddie del Rosario asked the Ombudsman to file charges against the PNP chief for violation of the Anti-Graft Law, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and estafa through falsification of public documents. He said administrative charges should also be slapped against Purisima for dishonesty and grave misconduct. VACC founding chairman Dante Jimenez told reporters that del Rosario sought help from his group to execute an affidavit and submit it to the anti-graft office because he feared for his life. Del Rosario is one of the attorneys-in-fact of the surviving heirs of Crisanta Malabanan, who owned the 95,504 square meters of land in Barangay Caloocan, Talisay in Batangas. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Roxas to Purisima: You’re suspended  

With no legal leg to stand on, the country’s top cop has finally acknowledged that he has to let go. Efforts by Director General Alan Purisima of the Philippine National Police to hold on to his job crumbled after he failed to get from the Court of Appeals an immediate temporary restraining order (TRO) against his suspension. The Court of Appeals instead ordered the Ombudsman Wednesday to explain why Purisima should not be granted the TRO. Purisima told Interior Secretary Mar Roxas that he would respect the order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman suspending him for six months. Purisima, one of President Aquino’s closest friends in the government, was suspended for six months without pay by the Ombudsman last week over a multimillion-peso contract that the PNP awarded to a nonaccredited courier service firm for the delivery of gun licenses in 2011. In Borongan City, Eastern Samar province, Roxas on Wednesday maintained that he was authorized to implement the suspension order. Speaking with reporters, Roxas said he phoned Purisima as soon as the telecommunications service was restored in this city on Tuesday and informed the PNP chief that he would implement the Ombudsman’s order. READ FULL REPORT..

ALSO: Arroyo seeks Sandigan’s nod for breast check-up  

 After her breast job, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo now wants a breast check-up. The current Pampanga representative detained for plunder has asked the Sandiganbayan’s permission for her to undergo a mammogram to check her breast for cancer. In a motion for leave filed before the anti-graft court first division, Arroyo said she wants to have a mammogram, or basically a breast examination through x-ray, at the Makati Medical Center on December 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Arroyo said the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), where she is under hospital detention for plunder, does not have an equipment to perform a conclusive mammogram. She said she wants her breasts checked for cancer, especially as her mother had breast cancer. “She needs to undergo a follow-up mammogram as she has a high risk of developing breast cancer because her mother had breast cancer. Dr. Theresa Lopez, her personal physician of fifteen years, has advised her to undergo mammogram at least yearly,” the motion read. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: LTFRB approves P1 provisional jeepney fare rollback in NCR

DEC 11 --Starting Thursday, the minimum jeepney fare in Metro Manila will be P7.50, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has announced. From the previous standard fare of P8.50, the LTFRB issued a provisional decrease on fare rate by P1. LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said the rollback will also affect the discounted fare for students and senior citizens, reducing it to P6.00 for the first four kilometers. A transport group, who earlier slammed the LTFRB for increasing jeepney fare by only 50 centavos, said it welcomes the fare rollback. ‎George San Mateo, national president of Piston (Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide), pointed out that, alongside the rollback, the government and its regulatory agencies ‎should lower prices of basic commodities and services. Instead of passing the burden to poor jeepney drivers earning only up to P400 in a day, San Mateo asked the administration to lower shipping costs, air freight rates and Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit fare. “Jeepney drivers are earning way below the P466 minimum wage. They’re also living way below the government’s mandated daily living wage of P1,063 per day of a family of six,” he said. READ FULL REPORT...

Iligan City representative Vicente Belmonte, Jr wounded in ambush try; 4 men dead  

DEC 11 ---CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — A Mindanao lawmaker was injured while at least four of his escorts and staff members were killed in an ambush that took place just a few meters away from the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental on Thursday afternoon, authorities said. Iligan City lone district representative Vicente Belmonte Jr. and his team were already en route to Iligan City when the car they were riding was fired at by unidentified armed men at around 1:30 p.m. In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Belmonte said that his aides and body guards were killed in the ambush. “Namatay ‘yung driver ko, driver of the backup vehicle, and two police bodyguards. Tatlo ang wounded, including me,” he said. READ FULL REPORT...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Storm exits, sparing Philippines of huge losses


A dog stands inside a jeepney loaded with people returning back to their homes from an evacuation center after Typhoon Hagupit (local name Ruby) crossed Batangas province, 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Manila, Philippines Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

SAN JUAN, PHILIPPINES, DECEMBER 15, 2014 (INQUIRER)  Associated Press - A storm that began as a frighteningly powerful typhoon started to blow away from the Philippines Tuesday after leaving at least 21 people dead and forcing more than 1.6 million into shelters.

Typhoon Hagupit (pronounced HA’-goo-pit, local name Ruby) dissipated into a tropical depression after crossing Lubang Island, 135 kilometers (85 miles) southwest of Manila, and was blowing into the South China Sea, forecasters said.

Batangas, the last major province lashed by Hagupit overnight, has so far not reported any casualties or major damage, echoing similar assessments from many central Philippines provinces spared of major losses.

“With God’s grace, there are zero casualties and no injuries because we were able to prepare,” said Mayor Rodolfo Manalo of Batangas’ idyllic San Juan town, a flood-prone coastal community popular for its beach resorts, where more than 2,800 villagers fled to a public gymnasium and other shelters before the storm slammed ashore.

In southern Basilan province, Philippine navy vessels including a patrol gunboat rushed to an island where 18 Chinese fishing boats manned by 250 crewmen dropped anchor, said Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, head of a navy unit in the area. An inter-agency team inspected the boats, found the fishermen’s papers in order and no illegal items. The team accepted the fishermen’s explanation that they sought shelter from the typhoon while en route from Indonesia to China. The boats were due to sail on Tuesday.

Many of the archipelago’s central provinces were still reeling from last year’s monster Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing and a massive trail of destruction, fueling worries about Hagupit as it approached from the Pacific with menacing gusts of 250 kph (155 mph) last week.

Those concerns meant more than a million people readily fled from villages in the path of Hagupit — Filipino for “smash” or “lash — into government emergency shelters.

Hagupit left at least 21 people dead, many of whom drowned in Eastern Samar province, where the typhoon made its first landfall, according to the Philippine Red Cross. The government disaster-response agency has reported only 11 deaths, saying it was still verifying other reported casualties.

Although Hagupit blew in from the Pacific with enormous force, seasonal cold winds blowing down from China deprived it of the warm and humid seas where it draws power. The typhoon, the 18th to batter this disaster-prone country this year, slowly fizzled out.


A young Filipino boy is carried by his mother as they return to their homes in Legazpi, Albay province, eastern Philippines on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014 after strong waves from Typhoon Hagupit battered their coastal village last night. AP Photo/Aaron Favila


FROM THE INQUIRER

PH Red Cross: 27 dead due to Ruby Agence France-Presse 12:21 PM | Tuesday, December 9th, 2014


A resident walks during strong rain as Typhoon Hagupit hits San Juan town, Batangas province, eastern Philippines on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Typhoon Hagupit weakened into a storm Monday after it left at least three people dead and sent more than a million others into shelters, sparing the central Philippines the massive devastation that a monster storm inflicted on the region last year. AP

MANILA, Philippines–The death toll from a giant storm crossing the Philippines rose to 27 on Tuesday, the Red Cross said, but there was widespread relief after it brushed the capital without causing major damage.

Most of the people killed were on the far eastern island of Samar, where Ruby (international name: Hagupit) initially made landfall as a typhoon on the weekend with winds of 210 kilometres (130 miles) an hour.

Hagupit then weakened while moving slowly west, passing close to the capital Manila on Monday night and Tuesday morning without dumping forecast heavy rain.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly the city’s poorest residents who live in shanty homes along the coast and riverbanks, spent the night in evacuation centers to wait out the storm.

They returned to their homes on Tuesday in drizzly weather after only moderate rain and no major flooding throughout the night.

Office and government workers, most of whom had been ordered to stay at home on Monday, returned to their jobs, and the stock market resumed operations.

Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday the number of people confirmed killed so far was 27, although he expected that number to rise with full assessments from Samar and other areas yet to be done.

Hagupit was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression on Tuesday, as it passed over the far western islands of the Southeast Asian archipelago and approached the South China Sea.


FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Purisima’s legal troubles pile up  December 9, 2014 10:21 pm by REINA TOLENTINO REPORTER


Graft, estafa charges filed against PNP chief

LESS than a week after he was suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman over an allegedly anomalous courier contract with a private company, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima was slapped with more criminal charges on Tuesday, this time over his allegedly questionable acquisition of a 9.5-hectare property in Batangas province.

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and a private complainant filed the complaint on Tuesday before the Office of the Ombudsman against Purisima and his wife Ramona.

Complainant Jose Teddie del Rosario asked the Ombudsman to file charges against the PNP chief for violation of the Anti-Graft Law, Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and estafa through falsification of public documents.

He said administrative charges should also be slapped against Purisima for dishonesty and grave misconduct.

VACC founding chairman Dante Jimenez told reporters that del Rosario sought help from his group to execute an affidavit and submit it to the anti-graft office because he feared for his life.

Del Rosario is one of the attorneys-in-fact of the surviving heirs of Crisanta Malabanan, who owned the 95,504 square meters of land in Barangay Caloocan, Talisay in Batangas.

“We accidentally discovered that the said parcel of land has been illicitly, illegally and unlawfully transferred, registered and subdivided on May 25, 2007 by and under the names Alan La Madrid Purisima and Oscarlito Paulino Mapalo,” del Rosario said in his complaint.

Mapalo, according to Del Rosario, is a retired general.

Del Rosario said the registered owners of the property—Crisanta Malabanan and other surviving heirs, their assigns and/or Attorney-in-Fact—“never sold or transferred the property” to Purisima and Mapalo or to any other person or entity. Neither did they execute any document assigning, selling, ceding or transferring the piece of land to Purisima or to any other person.

“This is a clear case of estafa, falsification of public documents, landgrabbing, among others,” the complainant said.

Attached to the complaint was a tax declaration of real property effective 2007 (which stated the market value of the property as P8.25 million and its assessed value about P495,000).

Purisima and his wife Ramona also did not disclose or include the property in any of their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN), del Rosario said, “an evidence that they have illegally, anomalously, irregularly and even criminally acquired and accumulated the property.”

Purisima had denied owning the property in Batangas.

In September, the VACC filed a complaint against Purisima,accusing him of plunder, graft, breach of conduct over construction of the so-called “White House” the funding of which, they alleged, may have come from a private entity and constitutes indirect bribery.

The group also accused Purisima of undervaluing his house and lot in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija.

Del Rosario also sought the preventive suspension of Purisima.

On his own

Malacañang also on Tuesday said Purisima, a close friend of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, is on his own.

“He has already made known his intention to avail of the legal remedies that are available to him. So, we will let him deal with his situation as he knows best,” Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

Valte added that Purisima can take whatever legal avenues he wishes, noting that it is “always a choice of the person who is subject of the suspension order whether to go to a higher body to question the suspension or whether to accept it.”

“What he has chosen to do, we will leave it up to him,” she said.

Last week, Purisima was slapped with a six-month suspension without pay by the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged involvement in the allegedly illegal courier deal with WERFAST Documentary Agency in 2011. The PNP chief had said he will appeal the Ombudsman’s decision suspending him and other PNP officials.
Valte said the President is yet to appoint an officer-in-charge of the PNP.

“They are discussing kung sino ‘yung nagiging OIC ngayon. For the rest of the six months, should any legal actions not be effective, we will have to wait for further instructions,” she said.

Jimenez also welcomed Purisima’s suspension and added that it would be better if the police chief resigned.

“At least e hindi na magagamit ung opisina niya na mang-harass at mabura siguro mga ebidensiya and I think it’s better for him to resign and focus on these complaints,” he told reporters.


FROM THE INQUIRER

Roxas to PNP chief: You’re suspended Purisima fails to get TRO; Espina is OIC Marlon Ramos, Tarra Quismundo and Jaymee T. Gamil | Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:25 AM | Thursday, December 11th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–With no legal leg to stand on, the country’s top cop has finally acknowledged that he has to let go.

Efforts by Director General Alan Purisima of the Philippine National Police to hold on to his job crumbled after he failed to get from the Court of Appeals an immediate temporary restraining order (TRO) against his suspension.

The Court of Appeals instead ordered the Ombudsman Wednesday to explain why Purisima should not be granted the TRO.

Purisima told Interior Secretary Mar Roxas that he would respect the order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman suspending him for six months.


PNP Director General Alan Purisima: No leg to stand on. AP FILE PHOTO

Purisima, one of President Aquino’s closest friends in the government, was suspended for six months without pay by the Ombudsman last week over a multimillion-peso contract that the PNP awarded to a nonaccredited courier service firm for the delivery of gun licenses in 2011.

In Borongan City, Eastern Samar province, Roxas on Wednesday maintained that he was authorized to implement the suspension order.

Speaking with reporters, Roxas said he phoned Purisima as soon as the telecommunications service was restored in this city on Tuesday and informed the PNP chief that he would implement the Ombudsman’s order.

Roxas, who flew to Borongan to lead the government’s response to Typhoon “Ruby,” said Purisima acknowledged his authority as interior secretary and vowed to respect the order.

During their brief conversation, Roxas said he told the PNP chief that Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina would take over the leadership of the 150,000-strong force as officer in charge being the next most senior police official.

“I’m just implementing the Ombudsman’s order which was addressed to me as secretary of the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government),” Roxas said after the meeting of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The Ombudsman had tasked the DILG with implementing its suspension order.

‘Nothing personal’

Asked what else they talked about, Roxas said: “I just told him there’s nothing personal and this is just part of my job. He said, ‘Yes sir. I understand.’ So the next thing we discussed was about the OIC of the PNP.’”

He said his decision to enforce Purisima’s suspension should not be an issue because it was just an “ordinary course of business” in the DILG, pointing out that he had also implemented similar orders from the antigraft body in the past.

“This is just a regular part of my job. There should be no drama or complications,” he said.

Told that Purisima’s lawyer was questioning his authority to implement the order, Roxas argued that he was also the concurrent chair of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) being the head of the DILG.

“I think that’s just part of the legal tactics of his lawyers. It’s better if they address that issue with the Ombudsman,” he said.

Last Friday, a day after the Ombudsman ordered the preventive suspension of the PNP chief and other police officials, Purisima’s camp filed in the Court of Appeals a petition to stop the implementation of the suspension order.

‘Patently illegal’

Purisima’s lawyer, Kristoffer James Purisima, earlier released a statement saying the DILG implementing the Ombudsman order was “patently illegal” because under the Constitution the PNP was under Napolcom’s administrative control and not the DILG.

At a press conference at the PNP headquarters on Wednesday, the lawyer reiterated: “We don’t recognize what the DILG served because legally speaking, it should be the Napolcom… Perhaps there was just a confusion because the DILG secretary is also the ex-officio chair of the Napolcom.”

Despite this, the lawyer denied Purisima was “defying” the Ombudsman order. “We will follow the proper orders… I would want to see a Napolcom issuance implementing the Ombudsman order,” the lawyer said.

“The PNP chief is entitled to all legal remedies available to him. Just because this is a politically charged case doesn’t mean he has less rights. He has every right to question orders he thinks are wrong or illegal,” the lawyer said.

Comply with order

Sen. Grace Poe acknowledged that Purisima had the right to challenge the Ombudsman’s suspension order.

But the senator said it would be more prudent for Purisima to comply with the order from an independent body like the Office of the Ombudsman.

“The Ombudsman has spoken. All agencies of government fall under the order of the Ombudsman,” she told reporters in the Senate. “Let’s think of the institution first before self.”

“We should follow the law, and the Ombudsman has ordered that he go on leave,” Poe added.

Morales’ comment

In a resolution, the Court of Appeals Special 10th Division directed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales “to file comment and to show cause” why the country’s top cop should not be given a TRO to lift his six-month suspension.

The appellate court’s response came after Purisima filed a petition for a TRO, status quo ante order and/or writ of preliminary injunction to lift his suspension that took effect last week.

“Without necessarily giving due course to the petition, this court hereby directs the respondent to file comment thereto and to show cause, why the application for a TRO and or writ of preliminary injunction should not be granted, within a non-extendible period of 10 days from receipt,” said the resolution penned by Associate Justice Jane Aurora Lantion.

Held in abeyance

It said action on Purisima’s petition would be “held in abeyance pending submission” of Morales’ comment.

The Ombudsman issued the order on Dec. 3, while Purisima was in Saudi Arabia on official travel.

Purisima is also facing two separate plunder complaints in the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged hidden wealth, including his property in Nueva Ecija province and the renovation of the PNP chief’s “White House” in Camp Crame.

In his plea before the court, Purisima said Morales had “acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when respondent ordered the preventive suspension of petitioner,” citing lack of evidence to support the case against him.

“With all due respect, it is clear and undeniable grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction for respondent to order petitioner’s preventive suspension on the mere reliance on assumptions, conjectures and suppositions that have no merit whatsoever,” said the PNP chief’s petition.

‘Unsubstantiated’

Purisima said he “is prevented from discharging his official duties and earning his lawful income on the strength of unsubstantiated allegations precisely begs and necessitates the immediate intervention of the honorable court to protect the constitutional rights of petitioner in the face of the whimsical and capricious actions undertaken by respondent.”

Purisima defended the questioned contract, saying he merely signed a Feb. 12, 2013, memorandum on Werfast’s accreditation as a ministerial duty.

He said that he approved only the mandatory use of a courier service to deliver firearms license cards, and not the firm itself.

Purisima added that he relied on the good faith of his subordinates in approving the memo, and that he was “not obligated to personally verify” its content.

The Ombudsman Fact-Finding Investigation Bureau said erring PNP officials “siphoned off the mandatory delivery fees” the PNP Firearms Explosives Office collected from gun owners for the delivery of their gun licenses.

The fact-finding bureau found out that the PNP entered into a memorandum of agreement with Werfast Documentary Agency Inc. despite its nonaccreditation. It turned out that Werfast was incorporated only after the signing of the MOA.

The Ombudsman’s fact-finding team also found that Werfast had no capability to deliver gun licenses. So it contracted the services of LBC and charged gun owners P190 for deliveries in Metro Manila and P290 in the provinces. LBC was charging its clients only P90 for the service, according to the Ombudsman.

“The implementation of the [suspension] despite the absence of substantial evidence and with grave abuse of discretion would result in petitioner’s unsullied reputation in public service being unduly tarnished and besmirched by an administrative charge that is without basis in fact and in law,” said Purisima.–With a report from TJ Burgonio


FROM THE INQUIRER

Arroyo seeks Sandigan’s nod for breast check-up Marc Jayson Cayabyab @MJcayabyabINQ INQUIRER.net 7:36 PM | Thursday, December 11th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – After her breast job, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo now wants a breast check-up.

The current Pampanga representative detained for plunder has asked the Sandiganbayan’s permission for her to undergo a mammogram to check her breast for cancer.

In a motion for leave filed before the anti-graft court first division, Arroyo said she wants to have a mammogram, or basically a breast examination through x-ray, at the Makati Medical Center on December 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Arroyo said the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), where she is under hospital detention for plunder, does not have an equipment to perform a conclusive mammogram.

She said she wants her breasts checked for cancer, especially as her mother had breast cancer.

“She needs to undergo a follow-up mammogram as she has a high risk of developing breast cancer because her mother had breast cancer. Dr. Theresa Lopez, her personal physician of fifteen years, has advised her to undergo mammogram at least yearly,” the motion read.

She also said she had her last mammogram in August 2012.

Arroyo said she would immediately return to the VMMC after the mammogram.

Arroyo made the request on the heels of a controversy involving her breast implants that she had back in the 1980s.

In 2009, newspaper columns claimed Arroyo had lied to the public when she said she had checked into the Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa City for self-quarantine against the new Influenza H1N1 virus after a trip to South America, and to undergo routine tests. Reports said the President had actually undergone mammoplasty repair of leaking breast implants.

The Palace then clarified that the President underwent biopsies on lumps on her breast and groin, but did not say specifically it was to replace leaking implants. It also confirmed that Arroyo had breast implants.

She has been under hospital detention for plunder for allegedly using P366 million in intelligence funds for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office from 2008 to 2010 for personal gain.


FROM THE INQUIRER

LTFRB approves P1 provisional jeepney fare rollback in NCR Julliane Love De Jesus @JLDejesusINQ INQUIRER.net 10:33 AM | Thursday, December 11th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–Starting Thursday, the minimum jeepney fare in Metro Manila will be P7.50, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has announced.

From the previous standard fare of P8.50, the LTFRB issued a provisional decrease on fare rate by P1.

LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said the rollback will also affect the discounted fare for students and senior citizens, reducing it to P6.00 for the first four kilometers.

A transport group, who earlier slammed the LTFRB for increasing jeepney fare by only 50 centavos, said it welcomes the fare rollback.

‎George San Mateo, national president of Piston (Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide), pointed out that, alongside the rollback, the government and its regulatory agencies ‎should lower prices of basic commodities and services.

Instead of passing the burden to poor jeepney drivers earning only up to P400 in a day, San Mateo asked the administration to lower shipping costs, air freight rates and Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit fare.

“Jeepney drivers are earning way below the P466 minimum wage. They’re also living way below the government’s mandated daily living wage of P1,063 per day of a family of six,” he said.


FROM THE INQUIRER

Iligan City representative Belmonte wounded in ambush try; 4 men dead Aries Joseph Hegina, Bobby Lagsa | Inquirer Mindanao INQUIRER.net 3:04 PM | Thursday, December 11th, 2014


Iligan City representative Vicente Belmonte Jr. Photo from congress.gov.ph

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — A Mindanao lawmaker was injured while at least four of his escorts and staff members were killed in an ambush that took place just a few meters away from the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Iligan City lone district representative Vicente Belmonte Jr. and his team were already en route to Iligan City when the car they were riding was fired at by unidentified armed men at around 1:30 p.m.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Belmonte said that his aides and body guards were killed in the ambush.

“Namatay ‘yung driver ko, driver of the backup vehicle, and two police bodyguards. Tatlo ang wounded, including me,” he said.

(My driver died, and so died the driver of the backup vehicle and two police bodyguards. Three were wounded, including me.)

Their identities were not immediately available.

The Iligan City representative said that the attack is likely politically-motivated.

“Politically motivated ‘to. ‘Yung Iligan, magulo,” Belmonte added.

(This is politically motivated. It is chaotic in Iligan.)

Belmonte and his two wounded companions are currently being treated at a hospital in Laguindingan. With a report from INQUIRER Mindanao.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE