Thursday, March 22, 2007

Philippines: Most Corrupt in Asia, survey says

INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE: Expatriate businessmen in Asia perceive the Philippines as the most corrupt country in the region, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Singapore was ranked as the least corrupt of the 13 economies surveyed, followed by Hong Kong and Japan, according to the annual corruption survey conducted by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, based in Hong Kong.

"The Philippines has the distinction of being perceived in the worst light this year," the survey stated. "People are just growing tired of the inaction and insincerity of leading officials when they promise to fight corruption."

The survey, conducted in January and February, queried 1,476 expatriate executives in 13 countries and territories in Asia. The Philippines scored 9.40, where a score of zero is the least corrupt and 10 is the most corrupt.

In the 2006 survey, in which Indonesia was regarded as the most corrupt, the Philippines scored 7.80. Indonesia improved its score to 8.03 this year, a development that the report credits to a government anti-corruption campaign. read more here

In Koronadal: No More Hero's Welcome

(Thursday, March 22, 12noon) - Die-hard fans and supporters of world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao have been angered by reports that Pacquiao will no longer be given a hero’s welcome by officials of nearby General Santos City upon his arrival next month after his fight with Mexican Jorge Solis in San Antonio, Texas. (from ABS-CBN)

In Tuguegarao City: Tax Collection Leaps

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - The city government here has generated over 110 million pesos in local taxes and fees last year, a giant leap from the 44 million pesos collection when the incumbent mayor’s tenure started nine years ago. (from the Philippine News Agency)

In Negros Occidental: Uprising in Hacienda

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - Tension mounted at a disputed hacienda in Negros Occidental early Thursday as policemen and soldiers "secured" the area in time for the "installation" of farmer beneficiaries there. Radio dzBB reported that a unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Mobile Group barricaded the bridge leading to Hacienda Velez-Malaga in La Castellana town. (from GMA7)

In Bataan: NPA Hitman

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - The Philippine National Police (PNP) has filed murder charges against a suspected New People's Army (NPA) hitman for killing a rebel returnee in Bataan province. PNP Task Force Usig commander Chief Superintendent Geary Barias said his unit will assist Bataan police in providing protection to the "witnesses." (from GMA 7)

In Ireland: Filipina Nurses At Crossroads

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - Several Filipinas working as nurses in Ireland are now eying Canada or the United States as their next stop following the anti-family provisions in the new law imposed by the Irish government. (from ABS-CBN)

In La Union: Still Marcos

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos will swap positions with her brother and run for governor of Ilocos Norte. This was according to an Ilocos official privy to the political plans of the Marcoses. The official also denied reports that Imee will be taking a break from politics and allow a cousin to seek the gubernatorial post. (from the Philippine Star)

In Iloilo: Uneasy Relationship

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - ILOILO Governor Niel D. Tupas Sr., gave newly-installed Iloilo Provincial Police Director Melvin Mongcal, a chance to prove his worth in the police office. But does this mean reconciliation between them? Mongcal, was one of the respondents of Tupas’ charges against officials, who directed the Capitol siege and an active participant of the incident, in which fully-armed 6th Regional Mobile Group (RMG) stormed the Capitol and hurt civilians in its pursuit of bodily taking Tupas out of the capitol. (from SunStar Iloilo)

In Abra: Guv Faces Threats

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - Controversial Abra Gov. Vicente Valera was allowed two police escorts by the Philippine National Police after showing alleged threats on his life. (from ABS-CBN)

In Lapu-lapu: Korean Killed Self

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - Unpaid debts drove a South Korean national to shoot himself dead inside his hotel room in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu over the weekend, authorities said today. (from GMA 7)

In Baguio: Jadewell vs Supreme Court

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - THE pay parking firm Jadewell continues to receive a beating from Baguio City Government officials.

Councilor Jose Molintas, in response to the slew of petitions filed by the parking firm, said it is Jadewell that has "humiliated" the Supreme Court (SC), not the city officials who have voted for the repeal of the Pay Parking Ordinance, in view of the violations they committed. (from SunStar Baguio)

In Cagayan de Oro: Police In Sexual Fling

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - THE two police officers accused of using their patrol vehicle to fetch two young women in a local inn faces at least 15 days suspension, but are still not off the hook.

City Police Director Aurelio Trampe said in a radio interview that SPO1 Roger Buco and PO3 Rollieno Mendiola of Lumbia police precinct are under investigation by the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office. (from SunStar Cagayan de Oro)

In Bicol: 80 Hot Spots

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - The Philippine National Police has placed at least 80 towns in Bicol region under close watch for possible poll-related violence as the May 14 elections draw closer. (from GMA 7)

In Basilan: Chinese Boats Intercepted

(Thursday, March 22 a.m.) - THE Philippine Navy recently intercepted three Chinese-owned fishing vessels in the southern Philippine seas for illegal entry and violation of the fisheries code.

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) reported that the fishing vessels were intercepted in Bato Pare Point near the shoreline of Tuburan town of the island province of Basilan. (from SunStar Zamboanga)

In All Islands: Unfit For College

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - More than half of the 1.3 million fourth-year high school students who took the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) in January are not prepared to enter college, the Department of Education revealed yesterday. (from ABS-CBN)

In Bohol: Cesar Montano for Governor?

(Thursday, March 22, a.m.) - Movie actor Cesar Montano himself aborted the move to slide down to the gubernatorial bid instead of running for senator in the coming elections. Montano, who went on nationwide television last Wednesday evening, categorically said that he would stick it out in the senatorial race up to the finish line. (from the Bohol Chronicle)

In Cebu: Drugs Linked To Ex-politician

(Thursday, March 22) - Former Sen. John Osmeña, a candidate of the Genuine Opposition, distanced himself yesterday from the drug smuggling case filed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) against his son, former Cebu vice governor John Gregory "John-John" Osmeña.

Osmeña admitted that the controversy has embarrassed him, but said his 37-year-old son is old enough to decide on his own. (from the Philippine Star)

In Pampanga: Lapid-Laus Tandem

(Thursday, March 22) - A province-wide youth coalition said it supports Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) provincial chairman and Pampanga Governor Mark Lapid and running mate Paul "Concon" Laus in the coming May 14 elections. (from SunStar Pampanga)

In Davao City: First Blog Party

(Thursday, March 22) - A bloggers’ party held here last week turned into a coming-out party of sorts for the 52 bloggers who showed up at the newly opened NetFront coffeeshop and Internet café. Organizers claimed it was the first blog party outside of Metro Manila. (from Davao Today)

In Tagbilaran: Missing Students

(Thursday, March 22) - The City-PNP rejected the recent tip of an alleged Cebu City resident as a "false lead" regarding the whereabouts of two missing teenage girls as investigation on their disappearance is now being handled by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The two missing high school students are identified as Shiella Kristine Inguito, 14 years old, a resident of Sta. Cruz, Baclayon town and Mary Jane Aton, 13 years old, resident of Habitat Village, barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City. (from the Bohol Chronicle)

In Laoag: Bongbong Marcos

(Thursday, March 22) - Ilocos Norte Gov. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. yesterday called Joselito "Pepito" Cayetano and Oliver Lozano an embarrassment to the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan party founded by his father. "My father did not create the KBL to be a repository of nuisance candidates," he said in a press conference held for Genuine Opposition (GO) candidates at the provincial capitol. (from Malaya)

In Cebu: Lampposts

(Thursday, March 22) - Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) chief Constancia de Guzman vowed yesterday that there would be no whitewash in the investigation into the alleged overpricing of decorative lampposts that were installed in Cebu for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit held there last January. (from the Philippine Star)

In San Fernando: Commended

(Thursday, March 22) - The Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE), a party-list group in the House of Representatives, was commended by different organizations of parents and teachers in Pampanga for their effort to promote and protect the rights of Filipinos to quality education. (from SunStar Pampanga)

In Butuan City: Liquidation

(Thursday, March 22) - The liquidation squad of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) went on a shooting rampage and blamed its atrocities on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), a top military commander in Northeastern and Northern Mindanao has said. (from the Philippine News Agency)

In Iloilo: Intercepted

(Thursday, March 22) The Task Force Boracay led by Philippine Coast Guard Commodore Luis P. Tuazon intercepted firearms being illegally transported by MT Gupil-1 to the pristine Boracay Island in Aklan. (from the Philippine News Agency)

In Pangasinan: Cancelled

(Thursday, March 22) - Retired Police Director General Arturo Lomibao backed out of the congressional race in the fourth district of Pangasinan.

Lomibao's withdrawal came 10 days after he announced at a news conference in Dagupan that he was already 99.99 per cent sure of running for congressman in the province's fourth district against Joe De Venecia. (from the Philippine News Agency)

In Negros Oriental: Ambush

March 22 - THE Philippine National Police in Negros Oriental is studying leads that may link an ambush-slay suspect (in La Libertad on March 9) as hitman hired by big politicians in the first district. Police Provincial Director Melvin Ramon Buenafe said the identity of Sandalo Mangolore entails a lot of connections that might involve big personalities. (from SunStar Dumaguete)

In Davao: Palau Tie-up

March 22 - The Micronesian state of Palau has strengthened its ties with this city, the leading growth center in the south(from ABS-CBN)

In Bacolod: Hazing

March 22 - A YOUNG man’s dream of becoming a policeman someday ended when he joined a fraternity of criminology students in Negros Occidental. It only took a number of paddle beating and fist mauling to shatter his ambition. Now, all that 19-year-old Rolly Maguad has are regrets for joining the Kapatiran ng Kriminolohiyang Kabataan, which is often referred to as K-Cubes and K3.(from Sun Star Bacolod)

In Boracay: Erap

(March 22) - Former president Joseph Estrada called up ABS-CBN's "Bandila" newscast from detention in Tanay, Rizal late Wednesday night to deny a report that he owns the infamous "Boracay mansion" in New Manila, Quezon City. (from ABS-CBN)

In Cebu: Fire

(March 22) - Seventeen maritime students suffered burn injuries in a fire that destroyed eight structures near a university on Alumnus St., Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City Wednesday noon. The blaze, which also destroyed a firefighter’s house, again highlighted the need for better crowd control and wider access roads, said Cebu City Fire Marshal Esmael Codilla. (from SunStar Cebu)

In Spain: Consul Arrested

(March 22) - The honorary consul of the Philippine embassy in Bilbao, Spain was arrested by authorities for alleged malversation of funds through a foundation that he heads, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau reported Wednesday. (from ABS-CBN)

In Cagayan de Oro: Arrest

(March 22) - A Cagayan de Oro City judge ordered the arrest of a former mayor of Kapai, Lanao del Sur, a retired colonel and a third suspect for the killing of an Army lieutenant and a sergeant in December 2005. Judge Gregorio Pantanosas Jr. issued warrants of arrest against former mayor Aminola Mangurun, retired Col. Pilimpinas Dagalangit, and Linindig Ampal for the murder of Army Pfc. Paulman Tamano and Sgt. Nabara Bara. Three others were cleared for lack of evidence. (from the Philippine Star)