Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dacer-Corbito Case against Ping Lacson

By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

The Supreme Court (SC) has denied with finality the motion for reconsideration (MR) filed by the Dacer family against Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson in connection with the murder of noted publicist Salvador "Bubby" Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000.

In a one-page minute resolution, the SC 1st Division dismissed the MR of the Dacer family on the earlier decision of the SC, which affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA).

The CA had dismissed the double-murder charges filed against Lacson.

Likewise, the SC also dismissed the petition of the Dacer family for the conduct of an oral argument for lack of merit.

It can be recalled that in the CA ruling, it exonerated the then Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) chief and concurrent Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and now Senator Lacson for lack or probable cause.

Media’s right to self regulation

By Saul E. Pa-a

"The Aquino administration shall continue to respect media's right to self regulation by resisting any attempts, whether through legislative or executive means, to censor or curtail freedom of the press."

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma underscored this in his keynote address and congratulatory message Friday delivered by Assistant Secretary for Media Operations Zaldy de Layola before the newly-inducted officers, board of directors and members of the Confederation of Active Media Practitioners Organization Inc. (CAMPO) Calabarzon at the Batangas Provincial Capitol auditorium here.

De Layola represented the Communications Secretary who was in Legaspi City Friday as part of President Benigno Aquino III's Cabinet entourage for the First National Media Conference on Climate Change Adaptation.

Coloma urged the media "to appoint or institute a "news ombudsman" within the ranks of their members, which shall act as the "listeners or viewers" advocate in instances where media abuse is blatant and unwarranted" and to continue with more vigor the legacy of ethical service to the Filipino people.

The CAMPO officers and directors took their oath before Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto and witnessed by Assistant Secretary de Layola, Vice Governor Mark Leviste, National Press Club (NPC) vice president Marlon Purificacion, Director Brando Merrera and Assistant Director Danny Jamora of the PCOO - News and Information Bureau. Local government, police and military officials also attended the media-studded event.

CAMPO, which celebrated its first founding anniversary this year, is a prime mover organization of quad-media practitioners in the Southern Tagalog provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

Coloma expressed optimism for CAMPO as a gathering of the finest minds in the quad media and other affiliate businesses who are in the best leverage "to institute the necessary regulations and limitations to police their ranks including advertisements which tend to offend, corrupt and defile the sensibilities of the listening and viewing public" and cautioned however that "in a morally upright society, creativity also has its boundaries."

Stressing President Aquino's pivotal role as chief communicator of the Executive Branch and the administration's platform of governance that puts premium towards the policy of openness, transparency, accountability and candor in dealing with media inquiries, Coloma elaborated Presidential policy decisions for the government communications arm to be attuned to the vast changing media milieu brought about by cutting edge technological advancement such as the internet and the overarching "need to engage the people in a dynamic, personal and interactive manner".

Recognizing that the unbridled, robust and dynamic press is essential to nation-building and media power institutes societal change, Coloma said the communications department has been at the forefront in advocating proposed measures concerning Access to Information on Matters of Public Concern or the popularly known Freedom of Information Act, as he considers "an informed citizenry is essential to the proper functioning of democracy and that the right of information is indispensable to the people's effective participation in governance."

Two years since the grim incident occurred in Maguindanao, the government has been directing local law enforcement authorities and the military for closer collaboration on the case.

Coloma said the communications functionaries have declared "support for live coverage of the Maguindanao massacre trial in the true spirit of transparency and work closely with various media organizations in drafting the media coverage guidelines during hostage situations".

The country is one of the signatories to the 1949 Geneva Convention and the 1997 Additional Protocol on the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts. In adherence to the United Nations convention, Coloma emphasized that "the government regards journalists and reporters as civilians who should be accorded protection against any threat or acts of violence".

He pointed out that the "media parameters are not meant to disrupt media's ability to perform its task of covering and delivering the news to the public during hostage situations".

He added that the guidelines are also "in response to the public clamor for greater restraint especially if a live broadcast shall be detrimental to the peaceful resolution of a crisis".

Coloma also underscored the government's continuing support for the media organizations, civil society organizations and professional groups "for media opportunities to upgrade their skills and essential disciplinary knowledge and to attend regional and international exchanges and programs".

Likewise, he assured government partnerships with media owners in "crafting policies to ensure health and safety of their staff including temporary and freelance employees" and in "instituting mechanisms that elevate the media industry to be at par with its international counterparts."

Friday, November 25, 2011

In Praise of Mindanao Times - An Environmental Warrior Paper

Thank so very much to Mindanao Times for its outstanding editorial of November 23, 2011 entitled Moral Hazard.

The country is going in the right direction.  City Administrator, Zuleika Lopez, has also contributed to reducing Moral Hazards in Davao by closing down MNY Burbe Aggregates for excavating and quarrying just north of Ma-a without the necessary documents under Section 103 Chapter XIX of the Republic Act 7942, known as the Philippine Mining Act.

Perhaps this brave woman will file cases against Camella Homes and DMCI - Palm Grove West, D'leonor and others for excavating without CENRO or Development Permits.  If ever there were examples of their being one law for the rich and another for the average citizen, those are examples.  The law must be the same for all or there is a Moral Hazard.

Readers may recall that a Property Developer in Ma-a built a 1,700 meter long, six meter wide, cement  Subdivision road down the steep eighteen percent or greater slopes on the sides of Shrine Hill during 2005 - 2008, contrary to the Forestry Decree.

The road cut is more than  20 meter wide in many places on the steep sides of Shrine Hill.  Millions of tons of soil were moved, streams re-routed and the area subjected to heavy vibration, run-off and destabilization.

The road went through areas highly susceptible to landslide, according to a DENR-MGB map.  Not only were there violations of law, but residents below were put at high risk of landslide and flash flooding.  Flash flooding then in fact occurred and damaged large areas Ma-a below the subdivision.

In addition, the extra volume of fast flowing water from the unauthorized site enters already over burdened Ma-a Creek and increases flooding overflows into Datu Lo Ho village and others.  No drainage line direct to the Davao River was ever built to bleed off some of that extra flowage.

In November 2008, the 15th City Council approved the Preliminary Locational clearances for Camella and DMC subdivisions with nary a word about violations of the law and damage to property with eight brave councilors voting against it, many of them women.  There seems to have been much comment lately about it being the women that have the "guts" to do the right thing.  I salute them, also.

The completion of a new Resort here without any city approvals is of recent vintage and many in Davao just shook there heads and said "Again!"

Some have said the City Council is no longer useful and much money would be saved if everything were be officially put in the hands of Developers and other businesses.

Were any in subdivisions Matina Pangi approved like that?  I have no personal knowledge.

So, you can imagine how meaningful I found the Mindanao Times definition of a Moral Hazard to be.  It said,

"IN ECONOMY, moral hazard occurs when a party or group of individuals make a judgement about how much risk to take but do not suffer the ultimate consequences of the actions.  That privilege, unfortunately goes to another party. . . . It is about the actions of the few, regardless of whether their reasons are justified or not, and how they are putting the public welfare at risk."

That's why I laud the Mindanao Times Editorial and the actions of City Administrator Zuleika in shutting down the MNY Burbe Aggregates operation.  She has integrity and the guts to do her job.

My Opinion is respectfully offered as thanks for the Mindanao Times Editorial and in hopes It will offer us more.

Concerned Resident

Friday, November 18, 2011

Superferry Promo Cheap Boat Ticket

Selling dates (buying period)     :     November 19-21, 2011
Sailing dates (travel period)     :     November 21 - January 31, 2011
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    Selling Period: November 19 - 21, 2011
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Boholanos, Bol-anon from Bohol, Philippines

Some Boholanos from Bohol: Marilyn Marapao Rama, Angelie Dumadag, Charles Borja, Elmer-Rosielynn Borja, Pacita P. Torralba, Daff Gave, Bernadeth Badinas Pinlac, Bethoven Blaya, Rheah Ocampo, Alvin Antopina, Jasper Dawis Namalata, Argeo Clarin Galido, Remar Daarol, Augustus Escobia, Chino Uy Capili, Gloria Leodivica I. Araneta, Sarpamones Angelina, Jackie Genita Carias, Grace M. Yamada, Daisy Dano, Mae-anne Quijada Lopase, Bengie Gierran, Karina Alaika Nierva, Dhora Lozada Baya, Janice Elle, El Cid Tirol, Reichyl Vallente, Pubs Briones, Honeybabe Awri Laiel, ZeniahSecret Square, Christine Ires Simbajon Lopez, Lj Maria Lumayag, TJohn Patos, Bettie Garcia, Elijah L. Sales, Tata Remitar, Sheila Taghap, Rhea Yumyum Daarol, Carmen Camille Galgao Logarta, Eva Lou Amora Honculada, Ciela Jane Concon, Ted Ramasola, Lanie Caderao, Elaine Raydan, George Cabalit, Annabelle Mendez Parilla-Park, Putche Cabilogan Pelaez, Sam Pingkian, February Pacatan, Nenette Z. Hilbero, Arthur Bagcat, Roselyn Daarol, Arlene Mejorada Manug, Edgar G Bayola, Mark Hylland, Ellen Pabe, Jeffrey L Recentes, Myrna Quejado, Michael Ortega Ligalig, Oscar Ted Avanzado, April Recio, Cheryll Bern De Guzman, Rico Guigue, Jamespyder Estaca Cabantao, Jose Antonio Veloso, Jeanette Arcamo Uy, Arthur Nunez, Jose Sollano, Thaddey Joe, Ceasar Pimentel Pelaez, Aileen Arriola, Angelina Vidas-Hoffman, Gutz Nelson, GeOrgina Miles Reserva, Marie Louise Oppus, Ghie Lacea Cabalit, Lucila Luz Jo-Geulen, Cherry Mejos Insong Castillo, Anthony Damalerio, James Apale Pamine Tapay, Magdalena Nierva, Josephus Anthony Bumaat, Mildred Diez, Rina Leah Ybanez Escabarte, Aya Montero, Alger Ibarra, Jubelyn Balangitao Tejero, Kathy Damalerio, Hilda Bella, Hannah Cuayzon, Karezza Armstrong, Ryan Patenio-Dindin Cuizon, Lura B. Veloso, Vinover Alesna, Reyna Flor Pamaong Bucag, JR Daarol, Nestor Banga Daarol, Ricky Inting, Charlotte Sevilla Tan, Francis Eric Fernandez, Drinahh Chan, Maychelle Ann Tuloy, Joymarie Maglajosh, Albert Jobelle, Shau Kei Wan, Analou Allada Nebrida, Aya Montero, Anter Calipusan, Arlene Ceniza, Miz Duroi, Mary Jesany Anub, Ethel Lani Bustrillos Delima, Ana Nicolie Cerio, Alan Damalerio, Luchi Amora Pizarras, Ana Jane, Arlene Gabrielle Rama Temblor, Jerami Clemen-Malaran, Sherlyn Bulanon, Rufz Cimyes, JorgeAnna Ibba Arnaiz, Ava Gretchin Uy, Watashiwa Shiawase Desu, Kristine Nierva, Annabelle Bracamonte, Elsa Modina, Rachell Poblete, Josephine Faye Tan, Tricia Ingles-Bantilan, Divine Rivera, Benedict Ong, Maria Leticia Zafra, Roel Roy Rama, Trisha Chatto, Gerry Jumawan, Tessie Madulin, Jamaica Barroso, Ronah Faye NiñaRama Rama, Josephine Lungay, Oscar Butron Glovasa, Charles Damalerio, Blissa Saldaña Bolanio, Jingjong Borja-Mascarinas, Louella Gulle Bantol, Dindo Sarmiento, Cheryl Baylon Ocay, Kyle Into Daarol, Roger Orimaco Gatal, Agnes Fuertes Dologuin, Joy L. Inojales, Stella Marie Ancla, Anabelle Pabonita, Leonila Montero, Andy Nalzaro, Mari-Nancy Cadiz Pahang, Frances Ann Rama Temblor, Marielle Torregosa Gementiza, Deo Larrijie, Imelda Bautista, Jan Manigque Pilongo, Leo Copingco Dominise, Judy A Cirunay, Sam Penaso, Ivy Niza Corloncito, Nikki Prieto-Teodoro, Mmeg Patawaran, Zyrrah Mae Calalas, Elvie Arbie L. Chatto, Cora Preston, Marian Avid Gaas, Andre Sarmiento, Fe Abejaron, Edith Tosaque, Richelyn Jean Yap, Bajoy Albino, Mary Ann Balensua, Ryan Palma, Wei Lou, Cindy Galan Preciado, Jose Ruben Racho, Genelita Pandian Nalugon, Alma Igpit, Kyla Damalerio Binghay, Arnold Lungay, Maricel Madrona, Elvie Englatiera Gutas, Joan Alena Omila Lungay-Dalmao, Ludwig Bon Quirog, Sheena Angiela Calamba, Kwakang Inting, Baba Yap, Michael Lopez Rama, Jelpha Jimenez Robillos, Myrna Padillo Lajot, Marie Jane Riveral Ordidor, A.m. Tan, 이소연, Rey Genita, Jean Otswani Bongcales Remolador, Shin Koryu and Nestor B. Daarol

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cigarette smoking in public places

It's the girls' turn now to air their detestation for cigarette
smoking in public places in Albay.

Over the week, about 1,200 members of the Girl Scout of the
Philippines (GSP) Albay Council showed up in government buildings,
roadsides, malls, schools campuses and public parks, markets and
conveyances here to impart their messages of disapproval to the
presence of tobacco-hooked individuals.

The girls, aged 10 to 16 years old, were in the city as participants
in the GSP provincial encampment on the theme "Girl Scouts Save the
Planet" also in support of the "war" being waged by the Smoke-Free
Albay Network (SFAN) against cigarette smoking in public places as
part of the province's initiatives towards public health though a
smoke-free environment.

SFAN is a local civil society group composed of professionals,
community leaders, government workers, politicians and students
spearheading an advocacy against cigarette smoking in the province.

Scout Jessica (not her real name), 15, of Albay High School in Daraga
town, said she joined the campaign not only as a girl scout but as
part of her personal commitment against smoking.

"Even a mere look at a smoker doing his vice makes me sick. Smelling
cigarette smoke for me triggers an attack of excessive cough and
difficulty of breathing," she said as she confided being an asthmatic.

"At home, nobody in the family smokes and when a visitor comes around
with a lighted cigarette, we children would scamper to 'safety' and
our parents attending to him cover their noses to avoid inhaling the
smoke. They never offer an ashtray as we at home do not have any.
Those gestures are short of telling visitors that smokers are not
welcome," Jessica added.

City vice-mayor Patricia Alsua, herself a senior GSP member and an
anti-smoking campaigner, said it was the idea of the girls to go out
of the campsite to express their support to Albay's smoke-free
province drive by way of posting "No Smoking" stickers in buses,
jeepneys, tricycles, terminals and waiting sheds. The stickers were
provided by SFAN and the city government.

Other girl scouts went around the city hall and other public offices
looking for ash trays and encouraged its owners to put them away if
not throw them in the garbage cans explaining that Civil Service
Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular No. 17 Series of 2009 and
Department of Interior and Local Government Circular No. 2011-15
prohibiting ashtrays in government offices.

Another group used a public address system in appealing to smokers to
give up the deadly vice and informing them that if they needed help,
they are very much welcome to be enrolled in a cessation program being
offered by the SFAN.

Alsua said the city government here itself was a smoke-free advocate
being one of the four local government units (LGUs) in Albay that
enacted ordinances against smoking in public places. The other LGUs
are Tabaco City, the municipality of Daraga and Legazpi City.

The SFAN had been calling on the 12 other Albay LGUs to follow suit
even as the provincial legislative board is finalizing the legislation
of the Smoke-Free Albay ordinance in line with the goal of the
Department of Health (DOH) for a smoke free environment.

The campaign was started in the province by the city government of
Legazpi through its Revised Smoke-Free Ordinance enacted in 2009 which
is now being strictly enforced in all its public places earning for
the city two Red Orchid Awards given by the DOH in a row of two years,
including this year.

The award is being given yearly by the health department in
recognition of LGUs' successful implementations of anti-smoking
programs in their localities.

SFAN secretary-general Rose Olarte-Orbita said the young girl scouts
were able to muster commitments from smokers that they are giving up
the habit.

Engineered sanitary landfill

More local government units (LGUs) were given the green light by the
Urdaneta City government to use its engineered sanitary landfill,
located in Sitio Calegu, Barangay Catablan.

Urdaneta City's Chief Environment Officer Rey Quintos said aside from
Sta. Barbara, Pozorrubio and Mapandan, other LGUs now allowed to use
the facility are Alcala and Mangaldan and the Philippine Economic Zone
Authority (PEZA) in Baguio City.

He admitted that several more LGUs have signified their intention to
sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Urdaneta City government
to use the sanitary landfill.

Quintos acknowledged that garbage is now a big problem of every town
in Pangasinan, which is the reason the city is sharing its landfill
with other LGUs

Quintos clarified that the city will take only residual wastes or
those that are non-recyclable. This comprises around 10 to 15 percent
of the total waste generation per day, he added.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by Vice Mayor Onofre Gorospe earlier
fixed the rate of fees to be charged every LGUs at P900 per ton of

Urdaneta's sanitary landfill was established through a P200-million
loan obtained from Land Bank of the Philippines during the
administration of Mayor Amadeo Perez Jr., now chief of the Manila
Economic Cooperation Office in Taiwan.

Palliative care unit at the Bulacan Medical Center

Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado on Thursday led the opening of the
palliative care unit at the Bulacan Medical Center (BMC) in this city.

With the help of Palcare Hospice Foundation Inc., the palliative care
unit, which is now located at the 3rd floor of BMC, will serve the
out-patient cancer patients who are beyond cure but in need of
palliative care for better quality of life.

Palcare Hospice Foundation Philippines president lawyer Asuncion
Kalalo commended the efforts of the provincial government for the
opening of the palliative care unit.

The opening of the hospice care unit in the province is the first in
the country. It is being supported by the local government unit.
Hopefully, the initiatives and efforts of the Governor Alvarado and
other officials of Bulacan will be followed by others, Kalalo said.

The palliative care unit will provide services like home visits which
offer companionship, spiritual and family counseling, bedside care,
management of pain and other distressing symptoms and medical
assistance such as lending of medical equipment, consultations, blood
donation for cancer patients and provision of medicines.

Among the patients that may be referred to the palliative care center
are those with advanced cancer with metastasis to the bones, lungs,
bladder, among others; needing relief from distressing symptom and
complication of cancer; patients that need help to live as actively as
possible; and those whose families need support system during the
patients' illness.

Palcare Hospice Foundation Inc. executive director Josie Nubla said
the requirements that are needed to be submitted to avail the services
are referral letter from barangay captain and barangay certificate of
indigency; referral from Palcare partner organizations; treatment
protocol; pathology reports and other lab works such as MRI,
ultra-sound, CT scan, among others.

She also assured that indigent cancer patients will be well taken care
of with a complete medical staff that will attend to them.

"There will be one hospice nurse, four registered volunteer nurses,
and one hospice administrator who will look after the out-patient
cancer patients. Twice a week, an out-patient doctor will check the
patients," Nubla said.

Results 2011 Yalin World Women’s 10-Ball Championship

The Philippines' Rubilen "Bingkay" Amit remained on track for a second
world title as the Cebu native stormed into the Last 16 of the 2011
Yalin World Women's 10-Ball Championship Friday at the Robinsons'
Galleria along Ortigas Ave. in Quezon City.

The 29-year-old Amit, playing under the banner of
sportsman/businessman Aristeo "Putch" Puyat, reached the Final 16
after posting a 4-1 win-loss card in the single round eliminations in
Group 1, which is composed of six players.

"I hope Rubilen keeps her winning streak," Puyat said.

A University of Santo Tomas accounting graduate, Amit defeated
heavyweight Jasmin Ouschan of Austria, 6-2, to top Group 1's so-called
"Group of Death."

Actually it was Ouschan who took the first rack but Amit managed to
level the count at 1-all in the second rack. From there, Amit never
looked back, winning four straight racks to reach the hill at 5-1

Oucshan won the seventh rack before Amit won the final rack for a 6-2 victory.

"Jasmin is a strong player but I played better," said Amit.

Amit opened her campaign in sizzling fashion, posting three
consecutive wins at the expense of Natalya Seroshtan of Russia, 6-2,
S.M. Liu of China, 6-4, and J. Wu of Chinese-Taipei, 6-4,

The reigning mixed doubles champion with partner pool legend Efren
"Bata" Reyes, however, hit a snag on Thursday following a 3-6 defeat
at the hands of Monica Webb of the United States.

But the former Makati City Call center employee-turned- professional
pool star bounced back with a 6-2 win over Ouschan in the fifth match
to reach the Last 16.

Christine "Ish" Caparras of Puyat Sports said Friday Amit entered the
Last 16 after a superior quotient against Ouschan and Webb.

Her Puyat Sports stablemate, Iris "Fighter" Ranola, is still battling
in Group 2 with 2-1 win-loss card in the same bracket
Filipina-American Mary Rakin who finished with 3-2 win-loss card.

Llaboratories where seaweeds can be cultured for propagation

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will establish more laboratories
where seaweeds can be cultured for propagation in Sulu to help boost
fisheries production and income generation in the province.

DA Secretary Proceso Alcala has given such assurance, noting the move
will help ensure supply of fresh and disease-free seaweed materials
which the agency can give out to the province's fisherfolk at minimal

"We're very aggressive in expanding farms there," he said during the
Communication and News Exchange (CNEX) Forum Friday at the Philippine
Information Agency headquarters in Quezon City.

He noted the availability of more laboratory-cultured planting
materials opens up the opportunity to replace existing ones every
three croppings so healthy produce can be consistently harvested.

Resistance of planting materials to diseases lowers over time so these
must be replaced regularly, he said.

"Government previously neglected establishing additional laboratories
so people were forced to keep replanting the same material -- setting
up more of the facilities is among the best things I see the Bureau of
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources must be doing," he added.

Alcala described seaweeds as an income earner that is already
benefitting Sulu's neighbor Tawi-Tawi province.

People in Tawi-Tawi are earning from producing seaweeds, he noted.

Restoring the Philippines' famous Banaue Rice Terraces

Department of Agriculture (DA) will soon start restoring the
Philippines' famous Banaue Rice Terraces to save this centuries-old
eighth wonder of the world from worm infestation that's already
destroying terraced planting areas there.

"We'll repair the rice terraces," DA Secretary Proceso Alcala assured
Friday during the Communication and News Exchange Forum in Metro

He's scheduled to inspect the terraces next week to better assess damage there.

"I already ordered conduct of a study to determine how much the repair
will cost," he also said.

Among restoration measures DA will undertake in the area is the use of
indigenous technologies and systems which ancients there incorporated
in creating the terraces.

DA will also promote organic farming in the area, Alcala said.

"Ancient farmers there returned to the ground organic matter which
worms ate but lately, such material is being burned so the worms are
forced to bore deeper into the soil for food, weakening the terraces'
foundation," he said.

Alcala said DA is already coordinating with Department of Tourism
(DOT) regarding jointly work on the terraces.

German Stephanus Maria Schoellhorn Arrested in Manila

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) nabbed a 48-year-old German national
who has a standing warrant of arrest in his country for drug
trafficking case, the BI said on Friday.

Stephanus Maria Schoellhorn was arrested after the German embassy in
Manila requested the authorities for his capture.

BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the fugitive is detained at the
Bicutan immigration jail following his arrest last Oct. 19 in Puerto
Galera, Oriental Mindoro.

The German embassy immediately cancelled Schoellhorn's passport when
they learned through the German federal police of his whereabouts in
the Philippines.

According to David, a court in Baden-Baden, Germany has charged
Schoellhorn with seven counts of drug trafficking.

Schoellhorn's deportation order is expected to be released by the BI
board of commissioners within this week, David said.

It was learned that a team of German federal policemen will fly to
Manila to fetch and escort the fugitive back to Germany.

Lawyer Maria Antonette Bucasas-Mangrobang, BI intelligence chief,
disclosed that the German is married to a Filipina, thus he was able
to hide here for several months after fleeing his country to evade
prosecution for his crimes.

Filipinos in Australia

Filipinos in Australia have expressed support for the Department of
Education's "TEN Moves!" program seeking to raise funds to build
10,000 public school classrooms in the Philippines.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said DepEd Secretary Armin
Luistro sought support for the program while he was on a visit to
Sydney from October 18 and 19.

Luistro's visit was sponsored by the Australian Agency for
International Development (AusAID). Aside from Sydney, Luistro's
delegation also visited Canberra and Melbourne.

During his visit, he told participants at a forum about the DepEd's
K+12 Basic Education Program which aims to enhance quality basic
education in the Philippines.

The DFA said several Filipino community associations and leaders
expressed their support for the program.

In an earlier news release, the DFA said Filipinos in the United
States are supporting the Philippines' "TEN Moves!" program.

"Its main strategy is to get two million people to donate P10 per day
for 10 months. It is hoped to be supported widely by Filipinos and
non-Filipinos working together to address an urgent problem of the
country, thus, the name 'TEN Moves!' which also means 'The Entire
Nation Moves!'" the DFA said.

According to the "TEN Moves!" website, Philippine public schools lack
66,800 classrooms.

The target of "TEN Moves!" is to raise P6 billion until October 10,
2012 to build 10,000 classrooms. It hopes to complete the classrooms
by April 2013.

Based on the DepEd's standard design and cost estimates, a 7-meter by
9-meter classroom costs an average of P600,000.

Trade between the Philippines and Vietnam

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory Domingo has
assured Vietnamese business community that the Philippines will expand
its trade relations with Vietnam.

In the recent Philippines-Vietnam Business Forum, Domingo highlighted
two countries' bilateral trade relations and hoped for more mutually
beneficial partnerships to be formed by them.

Secretary Domingo noted Vietnam as the Philippines' 12th largest
trading partner, with total bilateral trade amounting to US$ 2.17
billion in 2010.

"We are optimistic that with your commitment, we will achieve more
trade between our countries in the years to come," he said.

The Philippines' top exports to Vietnam include mineral and chemical
fertilizers, cathodes and sections of cathodes, chewing gum, diodes,
paper, wiring harness for motor vehicles, gas oil and fuel, banana
chips, and crackers, while major imports include semi-milled rice,
assembled printed circuits, single yarn, Arabica coffee, machinery
parts, silica sands and quartz sands.

Secretary Domingo also cited the country's role to Vietnamese economy.
The Philippines ranked 25th in Vietnam's largest trade partners, with
55 Philippine companies and investments worth US$ 5 million.

To boost bilateral trade between the Philippines and Vietnam,
Secretary Domingo said the DTI will facilitate and coordinate inbound
and outbound trade missions between the two countries to create
awareness on Philippine and Vietnam's product.

He also said the Philippines will also participate in trade fairs and
exhibitions to create networks.

The DTI will also reactivate the Philippine-Vietnam Business Council
to update businessmen on market developments and tap existing
potentials in the market.

The Philippines will likewise cooperate in the exchange of experience
in management and support for businesses, particularly the small and
medium enterprises.

19th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week in Honolulu, Hawaii

President Benigno S. Aquino III will leave next week to attend the
19th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week in
Honolulu, Hawaii to be held from November 8 to 13.

President Aquino will be joined by a lean delegation led by Foreign
Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Trade and Industry Secretary
Gregory Domingo and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

During the APEC Leaders meeting, the President and 20 other APEC
leaders will discuss relevant issues, including growth and jobs,
regulatory reform and competitiveness, and energy efficiency and

APEC 2011, which is hosted by the United States, is working towards
the achievement of a "seamless regional economy."

Prior to the APEC Leader's Meeting, the President will be attending
the APEC CEO Summit, which is scheduled on November 11 to 12.

During the event, DFA Undersecretary for International Economic
Relations Laura del Rosario said President Aquino will talk about
energy, food and commodity security.

The APEC CEO Summit is held annually in the APEC host economy just
prior to the annual APEC Leaders' Meeting and is a "by invitation
only" event.

"The President is the only head of the economy who will be there and
there will be two CEOs with him. After that, he will be hosted by a
CEO of the US," Del Rosario said during a press briefing in

"His host at this time in the evening will be the chairman of
Microsoft, Mr. Craig Mundie. He will be the only head of state to be
hosted by Microsoft and together with him are 10 other CEOs," she

Del Rosario said that this sends a signal to the Aquino administration
that Microsoft is interested in the Philippines.

"They want to be able to talk to the President about certain matters
that are of importance to us as an economy and to them as a
corporation," she said.

The following day, President Aquino will attend the AELM. He will also
participate in the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Dialogue with

The dialogue gives ABAC members the opportunity to meet with APEC
leaders to discuss the entire year's ABAC work program and to raise
issues of pressing concern to the business community.

"The President or the heads of economies will also meet with the ABAC,
Business Advisory Council. They will have a dialogue and maybe come
out with their own concerns," she said.

"This is where the private sector will tell the heads of the
governments: this is what we want you to do; this is what we want you
to pursue," the Foreign Affairs undersecretary added.

ABAC Philippines is represented by Ayala Corporation chairman and
chief executive officer (CEO) Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Jollibee
Foods Corporation and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong and A. Magsaysay Inc.
president and CEO Doris Magsaysay Ho.

It is also at the AELM where the Economic Leaders take the traditional
APEC Family Photo, signifying the member economies' continuing
commitment towards improved trade and investment in Asia-Pacific

The APEC Leaders' Week starts on November 8 with the Concluding Senior
Officials' Meeting attended by the APEC Senior Officials from the 21
member economies.

The Finance Ministers' Meeting will be on November 10 to discuss and
finalize the Finance Ministers' Statement. The Philippines will be
represented by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

The APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) on November 11, on the other hand,
will include a review on the progress of the APEC 2011 agenda and some
issue-specific discussions.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Trade and Industry
Secretary Gregory Domingo will represent the Philippines in the said

Registration of Filipino overseas absentee voters

Filipinos around the world started registering as overseas absentee
voters (OAVs) this week for the 2013 midterm elections.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the OAV registration in
many areas began last Nov. 2, with overseas-based Filipinos lining up
to register.

The OAV registration will continue until Oct. 31, 2012.

In Germany, the first registrant was Melanie Steinmetz, a native of
Daanbantayan of Cebu who is married to a German national.

She last registered as a voter in the Philippines in the late 1990s
and has been residing in Germany since 2002, according to the DFA.

The DFA said she "expressed her joy and excitement at being able to
vote abroad and thereby fulfill her civic duty."

"Four applicants were processed at the Consulate during the first day
of registration, the oldest being a 42-year old civil servant and the
youngest being a 28-year old housewife," it said.

The Consulate intends to also conduct mobile/field registration
services to reach out to Filipinos residing in far-flung localities in
the six German federal states under its jurisdiction.

In Australia, the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney said Filipino
engineer Jerry Peñas and his wife Jacqueline were the first to
register as OAVs.

"Mr. and Mrs. Peñas came to the Consulate together with their
three-year-old daughter to apply for an NBI clearance," it said.

Peñas has been working in Sydney for the past three years as project
engineer for the contractor company, Leighton Contractors Pty Limited.

He participated in the first OAV in 2003 while based in Taipei.

The couple had to register again as their names are no longer in the
Commission on Elections (Comelec) list of voters, including OAV.

The Consulate will continue its information campaign to encourage more
members of the Filipino community to register as overseas absentee

In Timor-Leste, the Philippine Embassy in Dili said the first
registrant was Fe Singidas Bandrang, a resident of Timor-Leste since

A total of 17 registrants attended the first day of OAV registration, it said.

"The conduct of the OAV exercise was a one-country team effort with
the Embassy's attached agency, with the Office of the Defense and
Armed Forces Attaché augmenting the Embassy's lean staff complement,"
it said.

In Guam, the Philippine Consulate General in Agana said the first
registrant was Sarah Jane Dimaano Davis, who recently arrived in Guam
from Olongapo City.

Consul Edgar Tomas Auxilian congratulated Davis for being the first
OAV registrant on the continuing registration for the 2013 polls.

Mild earthquake rocked mainland Mindanao

A mild earthquake rocked mainland Mindanao early Sunday morning but
there was not reported casualties or damages to properties, the
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said

The Cotabato Phivolcs station based in PC Hill, Cotabato City recorded
a magnitude 5.1 quake at about 7:27 a.m.

"It was tectonic in origin," Phivolcs-Cotabato said in a bulletin.

The epicenter was traced about 58 kilometers southwest of Datu Piang,

But Phivolcs could not specify as of yet where the earthquake was felt.

It was a mild quake that the locals have not felt in Cotabato City.

Community education program on migration

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) will conduct a community
education program on migration in Surigao del Norte province on Nov.
14-16, 2011.

On Nov. 15, a "Pulong-Pulong" by the CFO will be held at the Surigao
City Auditorium

Expected to attend are Sangguniang Kabataan, Barangay Officials, local
civil registrar's officers, Marriage counselors, Police Officers,
Public Employment Service Officers, Municipal hall employees, local
government and non-government organization representatives, and
potential migrants.

The activity forms part of the community education program on
migration which seeks to assist prospective migrants in making
decisions regarding settling abroad, as well as generate community
involvement on migration concerns.

It also aims to raise public awareness about various issues concerning
migration, inter-marriages and existing government policies and
programs directed against illegal recruitment and trafficking.

Clash with a group of indigenous peoples or "lumads"

The police have launched a manhunt for the primary suspect in the
killing of an Ilonggo settler during a clash with a group of
indigenous peoples or "lumads" in a remote village in Antipas town in
North Cotabato last Friday.

Insp. Conrado Juvero, chief of Antipas police, said when they arrived
at the area where the fighting took place, nobody would tell the
police who killed Herman Orhen, leader of the masked men that earlier
attacked Sitio Alibayon, Barangay New Pontevedra in Antipas.

Orhen, according to Juvero, was hacked to death.

Juvero said witnesses were pointing to a certain Danny Herbolingo,
leader of the Ubo-Manobos that killed Orhen.

Herbolingo, however, was nowhere in sight when the police arrived in
the area three hours after the clash.

The lumads told Juvero it was Orhen that torched the house of Eddie
Villote and killed Rodel Awug, 12, at around 11 a.m. on Friday.

"The boy witnessed the torching of Villote's house so he was killed by
Orhen's group so it won't leave any trace," said one of the witnesses.

Awug was the son of Reymundo Awug, also known in the village as
'Kumander Malitud.'

The attack last Friday, according to the Apo Sandawa Lumadnong
Panaghiusa sa Cotabato (ASLPC), was caused by a land conflict.

The ASLPC, a group of natives in North Cotabato, conducted a
fact-finding mission in the area a day after the incident.

The ASLPC said both the lumads and the settlers are claiming they own
the 2,000 hectares of land in Barangay New Pontevedra.

Cavite is Behind Bohol Island

The province of Cavite continues to flourish under the leadership of
Governor Jonvic Remulla, proof of which was when it was cited as one
of the top performing provinces in the Philippines by the Department
of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Provincial information officer Jo-Ann Nazareno-Loyola said that in
terms of local governance, Cavite ranked 8th placer and was recognized
among the 10 provinces which acquired high scores in the DILG's Local
Governance Performance Management System (LGPMS).

Nazareno-Loyola said the LGPMS, administered by the DILG's Bureau of
Local Government Supervision, is a web-based, self-assessment tool
that measures local government units' performance in key governance
areas and provides information on the condition of LGUs in terms of
local governance and development.

Cited by DILG as the top 10 performing provinces are: Bohol (4.9370);
La Union (4.9115); Bulacan (4.8628); Negros Oriental (4.8331);
Pangasinan (4.8185); Ilocos Norte (4.8185); Albay (4.8064); Cavite
(4.8031); Compostela Valley (4.7812); and Tarlac (4.7773), she said.

Highly urbanized and independent component cities include Valenzuela
(4.9150); San Juan (4.8875); Puerto Princesa (4.8640); Angeles
(4.7410); Davao (4.7380); Naga (4.6940); Zamboanga (4.6865); Iligan
(4.6710); Cebu (4.6633); and Taguig (4.6415).

Top performers for the component cities are Ligao (4.9240); Laoag
(4.9193); San Fernando (4.9177); Vigan (4.8617); Gingoog (4.8568);
Cabanatuan (4.8363); Dipolog (4.8113); La Carlota (4.7553); Iriga
(4.7522); and Batac (4.7430).

Meanwhile, Nazareno-Loyola said that after bagging the DILG-LGPMS
award as one of the country's top performing provinces, the province
of Cavite once again proved its excellence by being hailed as one of
the Regional Gawad Pamana ng Lahi 2011 Awardees -- Provincial Category
-- last month at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC)
Plenary Hall.

The Regional Gawad Pamana ng Lahi 2011 is given for exemplary
performance in good governance. It is a total award concept and is
conferred on a province, city or municipality for exemplary
performance in administrative, social, economic, and environmental
governance. It is also an instrument to scale-up the valuing of
accountability, transparency, and inclusivity in local administration
and development.

Exemplary performance information is drawn from the database of the
on-line LGPMS, Seal of Good Housekeeping, International Organization
or National Government Agency-bestowed awards and acknowledged

Cavite province will receive P3 million cash incentive coming from the
Performance Challenge Fund (PCF).

"It is always a pleasure to receive an award for the province. It is
an honor for my fellow Cavitenos who work hard to achieve our goal to
improve our services for our people. Let's make our bureaucracy work
for the benefit of our people. Let us join our hands together for the
improvement of services in the province," Governor Remulla said.

Also recipient of the award is the municipality of Carmona, Cavite
headed by Mayor Dahlia Loyola who will receive P1 million cash
incentive for the Regional Gawad Pamana ng Lahi 2011 Award in the
Municipal Category.

Assorted firearms from a gunsmith

Police authorities raided a house in Surallah, Soutn Cotabato and
seized 33 assorted firearms from a gunsmith on Saturday.

Chief Supt. Majerle Mantele, Central Mindanao police director, quoted
a report from Surallah police office that the raid was conducted in
the house of Honorio Cabalida in Purok Malipayon, Barangay Lambuntong,
Surallah, South Cotabato.

Mantele said the raiding team also seized a long firearm from
Cabalida, who claimed he was a licensed gunsmith but could not say why
he was manufacturing firearms without legal documents.

Aside from the 33 locally-made hand guns, police also recovered a
caliber .30 machine gun component and parts, a homemade machine pistol
and assorted ammunition.

Earlier, Senior Police Officer 3 Japet Capili of Surallah police said
they received a tip from a civilian informant about a huge cache of
firearms seen in the house of Cabalida.

Armed with a search warrant, the raiding team politely presented to
Cabalida the legal documents. He did not resist arrest.

The police also hauled the machine being used by Cabalida in
manufacturing the firearms.

Advent Wreath to revive the true Filipino spirit

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas has called on all
Catholic faithful in Pangasinan to hang "parol" (lantern) in front of
their homes this coming yuletide season in place of the Advent Wreath
to revive the true Filipino spirit in celebrating the coming of the
Lord Jesus.

In his recent Circular 2011/35 posted in the website of the
Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese, Archbishop Villegas called on the
hanging of what he called "Parol ng Halina" to help "our people
celebrate meaningfully the advent season in truly Catholic and in
truly Filipino."

His circular was addressed to priests, deacons and religious priests
in the archdiocese for their consideration.

Archbishop Villegas clarified that although the Advent Wreath came
from the Protestant traditions of Europe, which was adopted by many in
the Catholic Church in the Philippines, he is offering the "Parol ng
Halina" as an alternative that, he said, may be more relevant and
meaningful for the Filipino Catholic.

The Archbishop said the parol which is usually designed as a star,
reminiscent of the Star of Bethlehem, is perhaps the most popular
symbol of the Filipino Christmas tradition.

It calls to mind, he said, the search of the wise men in the Gospel of
Matthew 2:2 which states: "Where is he who is born King of the Jews?
For we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship him."

"The parol can also help us to remember the account of creation in the
Book of Genesis "God made the two great lights: the greater light to
rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He also made the

The archbishop said "the parol may also help us reflect on the promise
of the Lord to Abraham our father in faith 'I will multiply your seed
as the stars of the sky, and will give to your seed all these lands.
In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed.'

Villegas said the star, specifically the six pointed star, has been
used to symbolize King David and modern day Jews use this as well.

The archbishop said that in consultation with liturgists who advocate
for Filipino expressions of the Catholic faith, he wants to offer the
"Parol ng Halina" as an alternative to the European advent wreath.

Moro rebels-turned-farmers in Maguindanao

After almost two decades, 309 former Moro rebels-turned-farmers in
Maguindanao are now proud owners of lands awarded to them by the

Maguindanao Governor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu, in coordination with
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) -Maguindanao, led in the
distribution here on Nov. 3 of land ownership certificates involving
919 hectares of donated land to beneficiaries from Barangay Nuyo,
Buldon town.

"The distributed lands are help coming from the government to the
landless natives of Buldon," the governor said.

Mangudadatu added that the event is also the realization of the
government's promise to former rebel commanders and members of the
Moro National Liberation Front Batch 300 headed by MNLF founding chair
Nur Misuari.

The MNLF inked a final peace accord with the government on Sept. 2, 1996.

Following the awarding of lands, Mangudadatu said plans are also
underway for the distribution of rubber and oil palm tree seedlings
for the beneficiaries to start attending to their acquired lands.

DAR Maguindanao chief Bai Cabayan Bacar said they have so far
distributed 4,700 hectares of land to beneficiaries in the province as
part of the government's peace initiative efforts in Mindanao.

Rebel-returnee Mohammad Ali Dimanalao, then MNLF Commander Carding,
said the government had shown sincerity by making good their pledge to
assist former insurgents like to him to rejoin the mainstream society.

"We would like to thank the government for our new lands as we also
promise to take good care of it for our future," he said.

Dimanalao said since 1996, his group has patiently waited for such
time to come and had not lose hope on acquiring the promised lands to
them by the government.

George Malcolm, American justice and Philippine law expert

On November 5, 1881, George Malcolm, American justice and Philippine
law expert who founded the University of the Philippines (U.P.)
College of Law in 1911, was born in Michigan, USA.

As a lawyer in his early 30s, Malcolm was assigned in the Philippines,
which was then a colony of the United States, and rose quickly in rank
from several minor positions starting from clerk in the Bureau of
Health and subsequently in the Bureau of Justice to acting
attorney-general for the Philippines.

He pushed for the establishment of a college of law in U.P. but his
proposal was initially turned down by the Board of Regents, prompting
him to arrange for the Manila Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)
to offer law courses, which commenced in 1910.

Within a year, the Board of Regents reconsidered his appeal and
authorized the establishment of the College of Law on January 12,

Malcolm served for six years after being appointed permanently to the
dean's post of the College of Law on October 11, 1911. He also taught
courses in constitutional law and in legal ethics.

Three students who graduated during his deanship eventually became
president of the Philippines -- Jose P. Laurel, Manuel Roxas and
Elpidio Quirino -- while several of his other students later served in
the Supreme Court, including Laurel himself.

Later on, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson appointed Malcolm to sit as
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines at age 35,
serving for 19 years.

He served in the Court until 1936, when he was forced to retire upon
the promulgation of the 1935 Constitution, which limited Supreme Court
membership to Filipinos.

Notably, Malcolm had written 3,340 opinions for the Court, some of
which remain influential to date.

He later settled back in the United States and accepted other key
positions, though he would make occasional visits to the Philippines
and to the law school housed in the building named "Malcolm Hall" in
his honor.

New Book of Former President Fidel V. Ramos

By Leonardo V. Micua

Former President Fidel V. Ramos will lead the formal launching of the
book of quotations collected and edited by author Melandrew T. Velasco
entitled WOW (Words of Wisdom) FVR 111111-111 at the Sison Auditorium
in Lingayen, Pangasinan at 3 p.m. on Nov. 11.

The book launching will coincide with the 111th birth anniversary of
Ramos' late father, Ambassador Narciso Ramos, former assemblyman and
representative of Pangasinan, who was born in Asingan town on November
11. 1900.

Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. expressed elation over the launching of the
landmark book project published and authored by two sons of Pangasinan
in the persons of President Ramos and Velasco who has been his long
time personal friend. He added that the book launching jibes well with
his promotion of history, literature, culture and arts over the last
four years as Pangasinan governor.

"This book, 111111-111 FVR WOW, is a roadmap that ties two exemplary
lives in one comprehensive volume, serving also as a display of
gratitude and admiration from a loving son to a steadfast father -— a
legacy, indeed, that has come full circle," Espino said.

He added that 11111-111 FVR WOW is in every way a hallmark book
project for the man behind its vision, Fidel V. Ramos. It is a
testament to his selfless, never-ending commitment to nation-building,
which had already started even before he became Philippine President.

Former President Ramos said: "This book, 11-11-11-111 FVR WOW or Words
of Wisdom, was the outcome of a concept I initially imparted to our
family biographer, Melandrew T. Velasco. It was inspired by my desire
to honor fittingly the public service of my father Narciso (born on
November 11, 1900 in Asingan, Pangasinan) whose 111th birth
anniversary we celebrate on 11 November 2011. Thus this book seeks to
organize a compilation of worthy quotes from my statements, speeches
and writings and those of others, and launched on 11-11-11 for his
111th birth anniversary. "

Ramos said the main purpose of this project is to summarize in a
compact handy volume "best practices" in citizenship and governance
that would appeal to people of all ages, especially to the younger
ones who will someday assume the mantle of leadership from today's

"The truth has made me realize just how much we need more doses of
wisdom in our daily lives as Filipinos — for wisdom sparks
inspiration, and if we are a people needy of inspiration to remain
competitive, then the more doses of wise words of motivation in
nation-building will count all the better," Ramos said.

Velasco, fondly called MTV or Mel by colleagues and peers and is a
native of Dagupan City, has taken his book writing career to another
level with 111111-111 FVR WOW (Words of Wisdom).

This book is the first paperback edition published by MTV after
publishing 10 coffee table books in the last 10 years. As FVR pointed
out, WOW will go down in history as the country's version of Chairman
Mao Zedong's "Little Red Book" that will endure for many generations
to come.

Since 2000, he has been entrusted to write other books on the life
stories of FVR's family members and even the RPDEV: An Enduring
Legacy: The Life and Times of Narciso Rueca Ramos (Two Editions); In a
Class of Her Own: The Life and Times of Angela Valdez Ramos; Uncle
Sim: The Life and Times of Simeon Marcos Valdez; Mommy: The Life and
Times of Josefa Jara Martinez; Simply Ming: The Life Story of First
Lady Amelita Ramos; Teamwork for Enduring Peace and Sustainable
Development: Ten Years of the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation,
and, Colors of Light: The Life Story of Lucia Mangapit Valdez.

For this year, Velasco has launched two major coffee table book
projects namely Colors of Light last 11 January 2011 and 11 August
2011, both at the historic Manila Hotel with his tenth opus, Embrace:
The Heart of Service, that showcased Velasco's commitment and
dedication for the Rotary Club.

Create better local job opportunities

President Benigno S. Aquino III said his government is carrying out
multi-pronged approach to create better local job opportunities so
that Filipinos will not have to seek greener pastures abroad.

In an interview over Youtube's World View interview series on Friday,
the President said his administration is trying to attract both
domestic and international investors to create more job opportunities
for Filipinos to prevent them from leaving.

The President cited successes that he had on his foreign trips. He
noted that in his trip to China, he got between US$ 1.2 billion and
US$ 1.8 billion worth of new investments.

One of the major focuses is to boost investments for the country's
manufacturing sector, the Chief Executive said, adding that China is
ready to set up manufacturing vehicles, trucks, and heavy equipment.

The President said that Chinese investors are looking for 10,000
hectares of land located in the country's freeport zone to set up
their manufacturing business. He also mentioned the Philippines's
prospects in shipbuilding.

"We are already the fourth biggest shipbuilding country in the world,
and again, we want to go everywhere where there are prospects for our
people to have jobs in this country," he said.

While enticing investors to come in, the President said his
administration is also tackling reforms within the educational system
to ensure better job match-ups for new graduates.

He said that there are around 50,000 to 60,000 jobs available in the
country but these positions could hardly be filled up because of
skills mismatches.

"We have tasked the education sector to include vocational aspects in
the higher and basic education, to prepare our students, in
coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment, for jobs
that will be available upon graduation," he said.

According to the President, there are also bright prospects in the
business process outsourcing industry, saying that the BPO industry
could have about 640,000 direct jobs this year creating multiplier

Climate Change Consciousness in the Philippines

President Benigno S. Aquino III has enjoined all officials and
employees of the national government and the local government units
(LGUs) to actively support the activities during the observance of the
Climate Change Consciousness Week from Nov. 19 to 25.

The Chief Executive issued Memorandum Circular No. 25 on Oct. 28, as
part of the efforts to create awareness on global warming and climate
change through broad and intensive information and educational

President Aquino underscored "the need to secure the collective
cooperation of all citizens as well as the collective action of the
private and public sectors at all levels in finding solutions to the
threats of a changing climate."

He tapped the Climate Change Commission (CCC) to spearhead the
observance of the Climate Change Consciousness Week in partnership
with the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

"The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the
Public Information Agency (PIA) shall provide media support to the
event. Government offices are also enjoined to conduct related
activities during the said week," President Aquino said in the MC.

Mandated under Presidential Proclamation No. 1667, the observance of
Climate Change Consciousness Week aims to push the country's
commitment to achieve the goals of the United Nations Framework on
Climate Change Convention.

Convert public vehicles to run on liquefied natural gas

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday said that his administration
is planning to convert public vehicles to run on liquefied natural gas
(LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) to reduce air pollution and to
help the environment.

President Aquino was asked Friday during the YouTube World View
interview series on his administration's innovative approaches to make
the country's transportation sector more environmentally friendly.

"For the transport sector, the plan that is most mature will be to
convert them into running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed
natural gas (CNG)," the President said.

The President said his administration is also "seriously monitoring"
pollution levels in the cities, and cited closing down erring vehicle
emission testing centers in the country.

"We have emission testing centers, but unfortunately some of them were
unscrupulous," he said. "These were issuing certifications that were

Apart from this, the Aquino administration is also promoting the use
of electric tricycles or e-trikes. The President said they are
targeting 100,000 new e-trikes by next year, which will be funded by
the Asian Development Bank.

"For the electric tricycles, the ADB will be providing us resources to
match our program. We're targeting about a hundred thousand new
vehicles -- e-tricycles -- by next year," he said.

Besides being environment friendly, the President said that the use of
electric tricycles also adds profit to the drivers and operators.

Criminal groups and MILF lost commands

Malacanang welcomed the statement of the Moro Islamic Liberation
(MILF) saying it would cooperate with the government in going after
kidnapping-for-ransom groups as well as reining in its lost commands.

Government chief negotiator Marvic Leonen said in a statement this
week that the MILF reaffirmed its commitment with the government in
dealing with criminal groups and MILF lost commands based on existing

"We read that (Leonen statement) as a positive development. Despite of
what's going on here, both parties are [seeking] the resolve to find
peace in the region and we appreciate that," Presidential Spokesman
Edwin Lacierda said in an interview over state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan
on Saturday.

At the same time, Lacierda said the government expects the MILF
leadership to be true to its word in dealing with criminal groups and
its lost commands.

"We expect them to be at arm's length with us in the peace
negotiations. We've been very forthright and frank with them just as
we expect them to be frank and forthright with us in the discussions,"
he said.

The government hopes to move into the more substantive issues in the
peace talks in Malaysia, Lacierda said.

Leonen said in his statement that both the government and MILF panels
had a candid exchange on pressing issues regarding the negotiations.
Both sides identified their common grounds as well as their
differences, he said.

"As we had hoped, we agreed to move forward on the substantive agenda
and meet again very soon for this purpose," Leonen said.

With regards to the bloody incident in Al Barka, Basilan, where
government soldiers were killed, Leonen said both sides agreed to
continue investigating through the current ceasefire mechanisms.

Mitigating the impact of natural calamities

Raising public awareness and tagging hazard zones are major tools in
mitigating the impact of natural calamities, particularly typhoons in
the country, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Friday.

The President, who was featured on Youtube's World View interview
series, said his administration has been doing an extensive awareness
campaign as well as reconfiguring government television and radio
stations to give people up-to-date information about typhoons and
other calamities.

The government is establishing a weather program that will give the
people raw data that track and measure the amount of rainfall in
particular, he said.

"Then, there is an ongoing hazard mapping project by the Department of
Science and Technology that identifies areas most prone to flooding,
flashfloods or landslides," the President said.

"We are already at the stage for flooding, we already have this method
that for most of the country, we'll have a minimum of 12 hours

To mitigate the effects of landslides, the government has been doing
mathematical mapping of hazard zones and locally made sensors have
been deployed to give early warnings, the President said.

"The mathematical map will be able to help us say that it has reached
the threshold for this particular area, that the danger of landslides
is eminent already," he said.

While encouraging the people to educate themselves, he asked for them
to cooperate with civil defense personnel during emergency

Although the government is empowered by law to do forced evacuation,
the President said the government did some corrections to protect
public property during times of emergency relocation by deploying
police forces in deserted areas to prevent looting.

2011 Philippine Bar Exam

A total of 1,636 Bar personnel will serve in this year's Bar
examinations which will be held for four successive Sundays of this
month at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Sampaloc, Manila.

The Supreme Court said the list of admitted 6,200 candidates in the
2011 Bar exams can be viewed at, the official website
of the SC.

The record number of examinees was registered in 2008 when 6,364
candidates were admitted to take the Bar exams.

Associate Justice Roberto Abad, Chair of the 2011 Committee on Bar
Examinations, said that this year's Bar examinations will be conducted
as follows: First day (Nov. 6): Political and International Law, and
Labor and Social Legislation (morning) and Taxation (afternoon);
Second day (Nov. 13): Civil Law (morning) and Mercantile Law
(afternoon); Third day (Nov. 13): Remedial Law, and Legal Ethics and
Forms (morning) and Criminal Law (afternoon); Fourth day (Nov. 27):
Trial Memorandum (morning) and Legal Opinion (afternoon).

The SC has approved substantial changes in the conduct of the Bar
examinations, including the moving of the schedule of the exams from
September to November 2011.

The coverage of the Bar examinations shall now be drawn up by topics
and sub-topics rather than by simply stating the covered laws.

Another change is the use of multiple-choice questions that are to be
so constructed as to specifically measure the candidate's knowledge of
and ability to recall the laws, doctrines, and principles that every
new lawyer needs in his practice, and assess the candidate's
understanding of the meaning and significance of those same laws and
principles as they apply to specific situations.

The Examinations shall also include essay-type questions which will
not be Bar-subject specific.

One such essay examination will require the candidate to prepare a
trial memorandum or a decision based on a documented legal dispute.

This essay will account for 60 percent of the exam's essay portion.

The remaining 40 percent will be covered by an essay which will
require the Bar candidate to prepare a written opinion sought by a
client concerning a potential legal dispute facing him or her.

In computing a candidate's final grade in the Bar examinations, the
results of the multiple-choice questions examinations will be given a
weight of 60 percent, while those of the essay-type examinations will
be given a weight of 40 percent.

Since this is the first time that the new format will be implemented,
the answers of all candidates in the essay-type examinations will be
corrected irrespective of the results of their multiple-choice
questions examinations, which are known earlier because these will be
checked electronically.

However, in future Bar examinations, the Bar Chair shall recommend to
the SC the disqualification of those whose grades in the
multiple-choice questions are so low that it would serve no useful
purpose to correct their answers in the essay-type examinations.

Search-and-rescue units of the Philippine Coast Guard

Search-and-rescue units of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are now
scouring the waters off Ilocos Norte after a Panamian-flagged cargo
vessel sank late Friday.

PCG spokesperson Lt. Commander Algier Ricafrente said that the M/V
Oceanic Union was passing through the waters of the province when it
encountered mechanical trouble.

Ricafrente did not specify the emergency but said that the ship's
20-man crew quickly took to their life boats, indicating the vessel
was already in a sinking condition, long before it radioed a distress

The vessel was heading to Subic Bay west of Manila from Shanghai. The
PCG is now coordinating with other maritime agencies to retrieve the
stricken seamen as soon possible.

Ramona Bautista is a Suspect

Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said Saturday that
immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have no
recourse but to allow Ramona Bautista, one of the suspects in the
killing of actor Ramgen "Ram" Bautista, to travel abroad.

David said the bureau's hands were tied when it allowed one of the
murder suspects, who was able to board an 8:20 p.m. Cathay Pacific Air
flight CX-902 to Hong Kong Friday evening.

"Pending the issuance of a hold departure order or a watch list order,
we have no authority to prevent her from leaving the country," David
said in a statement.

Under the rules of the Bureau of Immigration, a respondent/suspect in
a criminal case can only be prevented from leaving the country by a
hold departure order or a watch list issued by the courts or by the
Department of Justice.

On their part, BI-Airport Operations Division chief Lina Pelia said
despite Ramona's implication in the murder case, she was allowed to
leave for Hong Kong since there was no hold departure order issued
against her.

It was learned that Ramona presented her Philippine passport with no.
1106480 to the BI officer, whom Pelia did not identify for security

Philippine Army on Red Alert

The military has place its forces on red alert anew in Maguindanao
after a grenade throwing incident against government troops left one
soldier wounded.

On Thursday, Private First Class Marvin Octaviano of the 75th Infantry
Battalion was wounded when two men lobbed a hand grenade on a passing
military truck in Barangay Pansol, Guindulungan, Maguindanao.

The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. while an Army truck was
returning to Shariff Aguak from Cotabato City.

The 6th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office said two men were seen
tossing the explosive as the Army truck was passing by. The grenade
hit the side of a military vehicle and exploded.

Had it landed in the middle of the military truck, more soldiers would
have been wounded or killed.

Brig. Gen. Rey Ardo, 6th Infatry Division commander, has placed the
entire Army division on alert status, especially for traveling
government forces in Maguindanao.

No one has claimed responsibility for the grenade attack but the
military believed it could be the works of Moro rebels or remnants of
Civilian Volunteer Organization of the Ampatuan clan in Maguindanao.

Two girls drowned in a fresh water swamp

Two girls drowned in a fresh water swamp in Sitio Aponit, Barangay
Poblacion in Urbiztondo town Wednesday afternoon, a belated police
report stated.

The fatalities were identified as Ailene Brian, 15, a first year high
school student; and Angelica Bataan, 14, a Grade 6 pupil, both of
Barangay Real, Urbiztondo.

Initial investigation disclosed that the victims left their house on
or about 11:00 a.m. of the same day and proceeded to the fresh water
swamp to gather edible snails, locally known as "alereg."

But while they were walking around the swamp, they stepped into an
area of more or less nine feet deep, where they submerged and drowned.

At about 5:00 p.m., the mother of Bataan, worried about her daughter
who was not at home yet, asked for help from their relatives to locate
her daughter and companion.

When they searched the swamp, they saw two seemingly lifeless bodies
floating. The two girls were rushed to the Velasquez Hospital in
Mangatarem town where they were pronounced dead on arrival by the
attending physician.

PNP New Police Recruits

A total of 192 new police recruits from the provinces of Ilocos Norte,
Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan -- comprising 153 males and 39
females -- took their oath of office Friday before Police Chief
Superintendent Franklin Jesus B. Bucayu, Region 1 police director.

Senior Superintendent Reynaldo G. Biay, head of the Regional Personnel
and Human Resource Development Division (RPHRDD), said the police
recruits who took the rank of Police Officer 1 (PO1) were composed of
114 who were recruited through the 2011 PO1 Regular Recruitment
Program and another 78 through the 2nd Phase of the 2011 PO1 Attrition
Recruitment Program.

In view of the rigid screening process set by the PNP and strictly
implemented by the Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) Regional Screening
Committee (RSC) headed by Chief Superintendent Roman A. Felix, only
192 successfully passed all phases of the screening, which is 72 short
of the total 264 quota (161 for the Regular Program and 103 for the
attrition Program) for Region 1.

General Bucayu, in his message to the new police recruits, emphasized
the importance of self-discipline and right attitude towards training.

He said that undergoing the six-month Public Safety Basic Recruit
Course (PSBRC) and the subsequent Field Training Program (FTP) is
designed to fully prepare them for the exacting demands of police

"Ang panunumpa ninyo sa katungkulan ay simula pa lamang; mahaba pa ang
kailangan niyong lakbayin, at marami pang pagsubok ang naghihintay sa
inyong lahat," he added.

"Ang hamon sa inyo ngayon ay paghusayin ang inyong pagsasanay. Train
with enthusiasm for self-improvement. Learn and instill in your hearts
and minds all the knowledge, skills and values that will be imparted
to you by your mentors. At higit sa lahat, lalo pa ninyong pagtibayin
ang pananalig sa Diyos, na Siya nating gabay sa bawat gawain," the
regional PNP director stressed.

Bucayu also presented certificates of appreciation to Chief Supt.
Felix and Ms. Angelita B. Concepcion of the National Police Commission
Regional Office 1, chairperson and vice-chairperson of the RSC,
respectively, in recognition of their efficient leadership of the

Similar awards were handed to the RSC members for their invaluable
support to the PNP, namely; Chief Supt. Samuel S. Labadia (Ret.),
Regional Peace and Order representative; Ms. Corazon G. Salindong,
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) representative;
Ms. Nora R. Penaflor, Women's Sector representative; and Senior Supt.

Filipino Gold Panner

A gold panner and his two- year old daughter were shot dead while
asleep at their residence Thursday night in Barangay Kinayan, Barobo,
Surigao del Sur, police said.

Caraga Police Regional Information Office report identified the
massacre victims as Bienvenido Tamosa, 34, married, gold panner and
daughter Princess Krizha Mhae Tamosa, 2, both residents of Kinayan,
Barobo, Surigao del Sur.

Police said prior to the incident, victim Bienvenido Tamosa ignored
the alleged invitation of the suspected New People's Army rebels in
the area to have dialogue in the mountainous area of Barangay Tambis,
Barobo, Surigao del Sur a known "gold rush area" located at the
boundary of Agusan del Sur-Surigao del Sur provinces.

Before midnight on November 3, unidentified suspects barged into the
house of Tamosa and while asleep with his daughter, the suspects using
a Carbine rifle opened fire at the helpless victims.

Both victims bore multiple gunshot wounds in different parts of their bodies.

Recovered from the crime scene were seventeen (17) pieces of spent
shell ammunitions fired from carbine rifles.

Peace and development projects

At least P17.4 million worth of various peace and development projects
are set to be implemented in conflict-affected communities in
Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga Region in 2012.

It was learned on Friday that these government projects are under the
Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan or PAMANA program of the Office of the
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

Initially, a total of 58 conflict-affected barangays will receive
funding from the government for community-driven peace-building and
development interventions.

The PAMANA program will be initially allocating some P300,000 for each
of these barangays under Pillar 2 on peace and development efforts,
said Regional Community Development Specialist Ester Villamor of

KALAHI-CIDSS stands for Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive
and Integrated Delivery of Social Services.

Under Pillar 2, the implementation of PAMANA in these barangays will
be tied up with the community-driven development processes of the
KALAHI-CIDSS in which people are given control on how they would use
the funds they will receive.

Community projects for PAMANA will be infrastructure, livelihood
trainings, capability-building trainings and other peace-promoting
activities such as dialogues and consultations among the volunteers.

Aside from the P300,000 grant for each barangay, another P2,000 will
also be given to volunteers for the conduct of community trainings in
preparation for the implementation of the projects in January of next

Foreign vessel sank off Ilocos Norte

A foreign vessel sank off Ilocos Norte last Friday, according to the
Philippine Coast Guards.

Lt. Dennis Rapat, head of the PCG in Ilocos Norte, said the PCG
received reports from Hongkong Rescue Coordinating Center last Friday
saying that MV Oceanic Union was abandoned by its crew when it
developed mechanical trouble in mid sea.

The whereabouts of the vessel's crew remained unknown, he said.

Rapat said that upon receiving the report, he ordered a search and
rescue operations in the waters off Ilocos Norte since Friday night.

He said the distressed foreign vessel was spotted about 170 nautical
miles from Cape Bojedor.

Based on the report received by PCG, the captain of MV Oceanic Union
ordered his crewmen to abandon ship when he saw the vessel was already
sinking after it developed mechanical trouble.

The report from Hongkong did not, however, state the number of the
crewmen of the ship nor the cargo it was carrying.

Police operatives arrested two big-time drug dealers

Police operatives arrested two big-time drug dealers and pushers
operating in Ilocos and Cordillera regions during an entrapment
operation in Barangay Pinget, Baguio City Friday night.

Police identified those arrested as Salek Abdul Gani, 39; and Nasif
Lukman, 18, both businessmen and native of Marawi City, Lanao del Sur
and presently residing at Barangay Pinget, Baguio City.

During the entrapment operation, the lawmen seized from the possession
of the suspects three sachets of a crystalline substance believed to
be shabu weighing 3.4 grams with street value of P20,400.

The suspects are now under police custody while appropriate charges
are being prepared against them.

Construction firm doing the rehabilitation of the Davao-Cotabato national highway

Six unidentified armed men razed on Friday night the heavy equipment
of a construction firm doing the rehabilitation of the Davao-Cotabato
national highway at Barangay Dolo, Bansalan, Davao del Sur.

Major Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, commanding officer of the 10th
Civil-Military Operations Battalion, said the armed men destroyed a
grader, backhoe and a roller owned by the CNQC Construction firm.

Obligado said the armed men also took away the .38 caliber hand gun of
Marlon Auza who was guarding the equipment at the time.

The perpetrators fled on board two motorcycles.

Members of the 39th Infantry Battalion and the Davao del Sur Police
Office are tracking down the suspects.

Violation of Philippine Fisheries Code of 1988

Authorities arrested a group of fishermen and impounded three fishing
boats in this city for violation of Republic Act No. 8550, otherwise
known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1988, a top police official
said Saturday.

Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo, Zamboanga City Police director, said the
arrest was made at around 4:30 a.m. Thursday within the marine
reservation area off Bolong, 33 kilometers east of this city.

De Ocampo said the arrest came after Bolong Barangay Chairman Antonio
Evangelista reported to the Police Station 3 the presence of the three
fishing boats within the 15- kilometer distance from the shoreline of
Barangay Bolong.

A composite team comprising of members from the City Agriculturist
Office, Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) and Police Station was organized
and conducted seaborne patrol, De Ocampo said.

He said the team spotted the three fishing boats -- LB/GMA-18, F/B
GMA-3, and F/B ZC GMA-8 -- skippered by Federico Azusano, Dario
Jacosalam, and Lucero Alberto, respectively.

"They were fishing within the marine reservation area that is
off-limit to commercial fishing," he said.

Army 2Lt George Tiago Ambushed by NPA

A Philippine Army lieutenant was killed and another soldier was
wounded in an ambush staged by suspected communist rebels on Saturday
morning in the vicinity of Barangays (villages) Nabasan and San
Vicente Grande in Daraga town in Albay, a ranking Army official said.

Army Col. Arthur Ang commanding officer of the Army's 901 Infantry
Brigade based in Daraga, in a phone interview with Philippine News
Agency, identified the slain Army officer as Army 2Lt George Tiago, a
native of Davao and a member of the 2nd Infantry Battalion based in
Barangay Tula-tula, Ligao city.

Ang said they had already informed Tiago's relatives in Davao about
the death of the Army officer.

Ang said the government troopers, composed of 10 soldiers and a doctor
aboard an Army truck, were on their way to a medical mission in
Barangay Nabasan when ambushed by a 15-man New People's Army rebels at
about 9:20 a.m. Saturday.

Army troopers, led by Army Maj. Narzan Obuyes, together with a
civilian doctor, were headed to the villages when they were fired upon
by the rebels.

The soldiers were able to jumped out of the military truck and engaged
the attacking NPA rebel for a 15 minutes firefight that resulted in
the killing of the Army Lt. and wounding of Army PFC Genesis Broso.

The NPA rebels immediately fled towards neighboring villages there.

The wounded soldier was rushed to the Bicol Regional Training and
Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) for treatment , attending physician said the
wounded soldier is now in stable condition.

Missionary nuns to the Naha, Japan

The congregation of the Oblates of Notre Dame (OND) in Cotabato City
sent three missionary nuns to the Naha, Japan to handle pastoral care
ministry for Filipino migrants and their families.

Sister Rose Susan Montejo, superior general of the OND sisters sent
off Srs. Stella Marie LLerin, Teresita Caytor and Rochelle Caminse in
a ceremony held at Our Lady of Hope chapel at the OND Novitiate
grounds, in Tamontaka, Datu Odin Sinsuat, recently.

Montejo said the mission was accepted by the OND congregation
following the recommendation of Father Alfie Africa, moderator of the
Mission Society of the Philippines to Bishop Bernard Oshikawa, Order
of Friars Minor (OFM) of the Diocese of Naha, Japan.

She said the deployment of OND sisters in Japan was preceded by her
personal visit in the area where she saw the great pastoral need to
accompany the Filipino migrants who are living with the Okinawans.

She assured that the three missionary nuns underwent training in
Japanese language proficiency to enable them to integrate effectively
in the Japanese-Okinawan way of life.

Earthquake Shakes Cagayan Province, Philippines

A 3.5 magnitude earthquake shook some areas in Cagayan province Friday
but no report of injury or damage to property was reported, according
to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

Porfirio De Peralta, a Philvolcs researcher based in Sinait, Ilocos
Sur, said the tectonic in origin tremor occurred at 9:17 a.m with its
epicenter traced at 22 kilometers southwest of Sanchez Mira, Cagayan
with a depth of 19 kilometers.

He said it was recorded at intensity 3 in Sanchez Mira and intensity 2
in Claveria, Cagayan.

Medical program of the provincial government

The medical program of the provincial government and the legislative
constituency offices of the District 1 and District 2 has continuously
benefited big number of Agusanons, especially those in far-flung
village communities.

The residents received free medicines, medical consultations and other
hospital needs.

In the recent culmination of the National Children's Month
Celebration, big number of children benefited the distribution of free
medicines, majority of the benefited children came from Trento West
Central Elementary School in Trento, Agusan del Sur.

Agusan del Sur 2nd District Rep. Evelyn Plaza-Mellana led the
distribution of free medicines to the children and the populace.

"For the parents, with the tender age of your children, I suggest you
let them enjoy playing and train them to be interested in sports
because sports help develop the personality of a child," Mellana said.

During the health and medical program early this week, the children
were treated to games and contests. Attention-catchers were the
special children who participated and enjoyed playing.

Rep. Mellana asked pre-school teachers, if they received the play
station set given by the UNICEF and to list down the most needed
section of the play set so that she can complement them.

Since early this year, the two Agusan del Sur lady solons, Rep. Maria
Valentina Plaza of District I, and Rep. Mellana, and Gov. Adolph
Edward G. Plaza, had been conducting medical outreach and giving
medical and educational assistance to their constituents in their
respective districts, prioritizing the children in Agusan del Sur.

35th National Milo Marathon Davao leg

About 500 students from Davao City's public high schools received on
Friday new imported shoes as they had signed up to join the rest of
the 12,450 runners from Davao City and other Mindanao areas who will
participate in the 35th National Milo Marathon Davao leg to be held in
out-and-back course along Roxas Avenue, this city, on Sunday.

Milo AVP and sports events executive Pat Goc-Ong said athletes and
selected students of Leon Garcia National High School, Daniel R.
Aguinaldo National High School, Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School,
Davao City National High School and Magallanes Elementary School are
the beneficiaries of imported shoes.

Goc-ong said a total of 10,000 shoes nationwide are out this year in
celebration of Nestle's 100 years.

Davao leg coordinator Kenneth Sai of Vantage Sports Promotions said 3K
has 1,100 registrants, 5K with 10,500, 10K with 350 and 21K 520

Anthony Nerza and Brian Lupio are among the top contenders for the
men's 21K title, he said.

Sai said Brokenshine College's Cynthia Jaro, third placer in the
Summit Camarines Sur women's 42K, is the heavy favorite in the distaff

He also said noted runners from Butuan, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro will
give Davao's homegrown bets a stiff contest for cash prizes and
trophies at stake in the footrace.

Philippine Boxing Team in SEA Games

The replacement of the injured Joan Tipon and Rolando Tacuyan by
Southeast Asian Games neophytes Junel Cantancio and Dennis Galvan can
hardly affect the national boxing team's campaign to improve on its
predecessor's medal haul two years ago in Laos.

This was the assessment made by head coach Pat Gaspi on the Amateur
Boxing Association of the Philippines' decision to field in Cantancio,
a bantamweight, and Galvan, in place of veteran internationalist Tipon
and Galvan, who is fighting as a lightweight, in place of Tacuyan.

"Like their old teammates, both Junel and Dennis are 100 percent fit
sans any injury or sickness, and, therefore, able replacements for
Joan, who has been complaining of recurring shoulder injury and
Tacuyan, who has yet to recover from his bout with flu," Gaspi said
during Friday's SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session at the Kamayan
Restaurant-Padre Faura.

Cantancio, a nephew of former Asian champion Leopoldo Canancio, and
Galvan, had replaced the embattled duo last week and will be joining
light-flyweight and Olympic qualified Mark Anthony Barriga, flyweight
Rey Saludar, featherweight Charly Suarez and welterweight Delfin
Boholst in the men's team to Palembang, site of the boxing tournament.

The Nationals, according to Gaspi, will be aiming to improve on the
2009 squad's 5-1-3 gold-silver-bronze medal harvest in Laos.

Watch Live Free 26th Southeast Asian Games

Filipinos can watch the exploits of their countrymen competing in the
coming 26th Southeast Asian Games right in their living rooms from the
three cities in Indonesia.

The extensive coverage involving two networks, a first in the
Philippine participation in the biennial meet since 1977, will be
provided by TV-5 and ABS-CBN, it was announced by representatives of
both networks during Friday's SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session at the
Kamayan Restaurant-Padre Faura in Ermita, Manila.

Vince Rodriguez, head of the News and Programming of Studio 2, a
subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corp., and Vito Lazatin, sports manager of TV-5,
disclosed during the forum, sponsored by Coca-Cola Export, FILA, TV-5
and UNTV, that their respective networks will be devoting time slots
the whole day to cover the sports the Filipino athletes are
participating in.

ABS-CBN, through Studio 23, according to Rodriguez, will devote eight
hours of airing time for its coverage in the Indonesia SEAGames
scheduled to formally open next week in the cities of Jakarta and

Rodriguez told members of the Sports Communicators Organization of the
Philippines the giant broadcast firm will give a morning time slot
from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., an afternoon time slot from 2 p.m. to 6
p.m., and a prime time slot from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. for their
comprehensive coverage of the meet among the 10-member nations' finest

"Focus will be given on gold-medal events of our athletes, hindi lang
popular sports," said Rodriguez.

TV-5, through its sports channel AKTV on IBC 13, will also have its
own SEAG coverage for almost the entire day.

"If we couldn't air live games, we'll deliver the latest updates of
events participated in by our athlete," Lazatin, who came to the
session with TV-5 sports head Dong Capuyan, for his part, said.

"The challenge is to take all of the schedule and make it work. There
are schedules which are finalized a day before the competition
itself," Lazatin said.

Since both networks have broadcast rights over the SEAG, there will be
times when both channels will air the same live events like what
happened in Thursday's football hostilities between the Philippines
and Vietnam.

ABS-CBN will televise the opening ceremony on Nov. 11 right after the
football match pitting the PHL squad and Laos, while AKTV will deliver
highlights of the ceremony in a segment of their PBA coverage before
airing the rest of it after the game.

India-based outsourcing firm bought by PLDT

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.
(PLDT) said it has acquired an India-based outsourcing firm that would
strengthen its presence in the publishing services.

SPI Global said it has purchased Laserwords Private Limited from
India's Murugappa Group.

Laserwords is one of the pioneers and most successful publishing BPO
companies in India.

Avendus Capital, Inc. was the exclusive financial advisor to SPi
Global for the transaction.

Maulik Parekh, SPi Global president and chief executive said that the
acquisition would expand the depth and breadth of the company's
content solutions business that is hard to rival in the industry.

"With the combined strength of two leaders in the global publishing
space, our clients will get unmatched and an even more comprehensive
suite of solutions for print, electronic, and database products,"
Parekh said in a statement.

Laserwords has production facilities spread over India and the United
States and provides a range of solutions that include production,
editorial, multimedia, conversion and technology.

"This strategic acquisition will complement SPi Global's strong
presence in the Scientific, Technical, Medical and Legal verticals
with Laserwords' established foothold in the Education sector. We
expect that this will expand and deepen our engagements with existing
clients and also attract prospective clients," Parekh said.

Earlier, SPI consolidated its Springfield Service Corp. (SSC) and
Laguna Medical Systems (LMS), under the "SPi Healthcare."

The company's move will streamline the company's offerings to clients
and leverage the strengths of the two companies to offer the depth and
breadth of services that the US healthcare industry requires during
these times of reforms.

45-day Criminal Investigation Course

Sixty-one police investigators from the province of Zamboanga del Sur
Police Office are undergoing a 45-day Criminal Investigation Course

Senior Supt. Jose Bayani Gucela, Zamboanga del Sur police director,
said the conduct of the training and seminar is in compliance with the
letter of instruction (LOI) from Camp Crame ordering all investigators
to undergo formal criminal investigation training, noting there are
many incompetent investigators.

The participants of the training and seminar are assigned in the
different parts of the province of Zamboanga del Sur which comprises
of one city and 26 municipalities.

Gucela said the training and seminar is aimed to develop competent
field investigators and to further hone their investigative
capability, especially those who possess the skills to handle proper
crime incident investigation resulting to its immediate resolution.

Gucela said the training is divided into four modules wherein the
participants will be exposed in General Subjects, Laws and
Jurisprudence, Investigative Procedures, and Court Practices.

They will also hold mock trials to evaluate what they have learned
during the seminar, which started last week, Gucela said.

He explained that the investigators should possess full theoretical
background in the conduct of investigation "so that the cases they
will file in the court will prosper."

Financial assistance from Department of Agriculture

A total of 816 poor families in Quezon province received recently some
P4.3 million financial assistance from the Department of Agriculture
(DA) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to be
used for their livelihood projects.

The allocation of the funds to the DSWD and DA is in line with the
Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016 , which among others, set
in place the cornerstone for national development, officials said.

Officials of DSWD Calabarzon (Region 4-A) led by Acting Asst. regional
director Floreceli Gunio distributed P1.4 million financial assistance
to 607 poor families in the Municipality of Alabat located northeast
of the Lamon Bay in Atimonan town.

Director Gunio said each of the family beneficiaries of the Pantawid
Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) received amounts ranging from P1,000
to P2,800, depending on the number of their children.

She said that the amount was the initial financial assistance for two
months (November and December 2011) to be followed in succeeding
months until 2015, which the beneficiaries would use for the education
and health needs of their children.

Alabat's 4Ps municipal coordinator Benjamin Romero said that "while
enjoying the financial assistance from the government, the
beneficiaries must regularly attend the family development sessions
and strictly abide by the rules stipulated under the 4Ps program."

The DA, on the other hand, allocated P2.9 million to a total of 290
poor families from the various municipalities in Quezon province.

James Agrosinao, chairman of the provincial agricultural and fishery
council (PAFC), said each of the 290 poor families received P10,000
livelihood assistance under the department's "Akbay Pinoy" program.

Agrosinao, however, said that unlike DSWD's 4Ps program, which was
purely for financial assistance, the DA's monetary aid was the form of
a loan but without interest that was aimed at helping poor families in
raising pigs and producing agricultural products.

He said the loan assistance was payable in one year without interest
and once the whole amount is fully paid and returned, it will be
offered to other poor families also as loan assistance for livelihood

Agrosinao said the PAFC and the DSWD that identified the beneficiaries
from the poorest families in the 4th to 6th class municipalities in
the province, have been tasked to foresee and supervise the
implementation of the projects.

Earthquake Hits Butuan City, Philippines

A magnitude 3.7 earthquake rattled residents early Saturday evening as
they were preparing for dinner in Surigao del Sur.

However, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-Caraga Region 13) reported
no injuries or damage as various disaster councils in Surigao del Sur
is still monitoring the effects of the tremor.

According to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology
(Phivolcs) the earthquake was recorded at 5:57 p.m. Saturday.

The epicenter of the tremor was traced at 30 kilometers northeast of
Lianga town, in Surigao del Sur province, Phivolcs Butuan advisory

Phivolcs also said intensity 2 was also recorded in Buenavista, Agusan
del Norte.

No after shocks and damages occurred as of press time, Phivolcs said.

Phivolcs added that the quake was tectonic in origin.