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Basey Assessment

Last week TESDA called me regarding the Basey Assessment.
They said that they will have an Assessment on Building Wiring Installation NC-II, They also mention that Samar Assessor are busy, so they ask me if im available for the Basey Assessment that will be held on Basey Western Samar on December 17-18, 2009.

Upon knowing this, I immediately agreed to them, even though im not sure, if im available. I accept that offer, cause im from Basey.

On that date also i Immediately Transfer 2 of my vacation leave to be sure that i shalld there.. hehehehehehehehe

im fell excited,

This is my first time to conduct an assessment on my hometown.

To my Assesee Study hard & GOOD LUCK..

So guys see you there.....

An Introduction to Photography.

Photography is a broad subject that eventually boils down to a mixture of art and science. Now, before we disappear down the "Is photography an art?" road I said it was a mixture and although the process of taking and processing a photograph is down to physics and chemistry the driving force behind it is often to some degree artistic or at least creative.
So, where do we start? Most books, at least the ones I have read, start with some history or "What is photography?" or something down that line. This is all very well and may interest you a bit later but right now what you probably want to do is take pictures, sorry, photographs. If you study at college or university they prefer the term "image " and get upset when you tell them you are going out to " take some pictures ". So we are going to start , where everyone really starts book or no book, at the beginning.

Common Issues on Copiers

First things first. That is, how does a photocopier work?

With modern digital copiers the images are first scanned into memory. This is different than with analog copiers which used lamps and mirrors to reflect the image onto the drum. Once the image is scanned it is then sent to the laser unit which charges (+/-Voltage in the same form as the characters stored in memory) the image onto the drum.

As the drum rotates the toner (which is of an opposite electrical charge) on the developer mag roller is transfered to the drum and then transfered to the paper as the paper passes under the drum and over the transfer roller / corona wire (this once again has an opposite charge to attract the toner) so the toner is left laying on the paper as the paper passes throught the machine.

Once this process is complete the paper continues on and passes through the fuser unit which melts / fuses the toner onto the paper with extreme high heat and pressure.

Copy Quality
Copy quality is affected by most items in the copier. If you have say spots on your pages in the exact same spot with each copy you more than likely have a spot on you copy glass which needs to be cleaned.

If you have a gray backgroung your looking at a little more complicated issue such as the drum blade not cleaning the drum properly but more than likely you have either a dirty or bad corona or a bad ground on the drum unit.

Lines running down the page can be dirty glass once again if using your ADF or the Drum blade is defective and need to be replaced. This can sometimes also be caused by the upper fuser roller which will have a scratch all the way around the roller which will be required to be replaced.

If you have spots on your copies and they are very random with no set patern then you are once again looking at a drum cleaning blade or possilby a doctor blade which is allowing the excess toner to spill out of the waste toner reservoir. If the spots have a set patern and falling consistanly in the same location down the page but seeming to move higher or lower, they you will have a spot on either your drum or your fuser unit which can be isolated by measuring the distance between the occurrances.
PAPER JAMS
Another common issue is paper jams. These usually occur due to paper not reaching a sensor in the proper time and the machine times out and throws an error code. Refer to your operators manual on clearing paper jams. These are caused by dirty rollers which can allow the paper to slip prior to feeding. Another thing to look for is the rear plate guide in the paper tray which could be out of position and not holding the paper against the feed roller. The other common issue that causes paper jams is that the paper drawer was set for the wrong size of paper and the machine throws an error because the paper is either too short or too long for the tray selected.

Always try to make copies with your ADF or Cover down. If you leave them up you will have a very bright light flashing in your eyes but worse yet you will have solid black areas around your copies. This solid black area has a tendency to stick to the upper fuser roller (very hot) due to the excess amout of toner on the paper. Sometimes the paper will even completly wrap around the roller. Do not touch the roller, you will get burnt. Also remember to never try to remove this paper with a letter opener or scissors which will damage the upper roller and cause damage to the roller and require it to be changed.

These have been some of the most common and basic problems that you will encounter with your copier and probably covers more than 90% of all service calls.

Basic Repair On Copy Machine

The copy machine is indispensable to your office if you need to make duplicates of papers or documents regularly. There are two types of copier machines, a stand-alone copier or a copier as a part of an all-in-one printer (AIO). It is important to maintain your copy machine well because, like every machine, it is prone to depreciation in terms of functionality over a period of time through constant use. However, you can repair your copy machine and maintain it well without technical help and increase its longevity.

Here as some BASIC TIPS on Copier Repair

STEP !

Look at the display on the copy machine screen to find the reason for any paper jam. The most common problem with a copy machine is the "paper jam" issue. Open the cover and see where the paper jam has occurred.

STEP 2

Remove the paper without disassembling the copier, if the paper is stuck in the machine. Try to remove it tactfully, rather than applying so much force to make it break or dislodge some parts of the machine unnecessarily.

STEP 3

Pull the sheet of paper out gently so it does not tear off. It is recommended to pull the paper in the direction opposite of the way it was stuck.


STEP 4

Check if there are any pieces of paper stuck or parts that were broken or damaged. If you see any part of the copier dislodged or broken, it is better to seek technical assistance.

STEP 5

Look for any error that reads "replace toner" message on the screen. If the machine is out of toner, you have to replace the old cartridge with a new one. Shake the new toner horizontally and place it firmly in the process unit of the copier.

STEP 6

Read the guide that came along with the copier. You will find the basic troubleshooting steps in the guide or refer to the Internet for solving basic or common problems. For basic errors, you do not have to call technical support.

When a copier repair is too little, too late

As with an old car, it is often better to replace your aging office photocopier than to try repairing it one last time. Although paper-jam free copiers have not yet been developed, models today are substantially improved over those available ten years ago. Ongoing copier repairs to an outdated model can turn out to be a waste of time and money.

Probably the most notable advance has been the introduction of digital copiers. Essentially, digital copiers work by scanning the sheet of paper to be copied and creating a digital image. This digital image is then used to create all the resulting copies. What this means in practice is that digital copiers do an excellent job of photocopying graphics and photos. It also means that there is less wear and tear on parts due to this "scan once, print many" technology. Moreover, the technology has been around long enough technicians are well familiar with copier repairs needed by digital models.

One nifty advantage of a digital copier is that it can be connected to your computer network. This allows you to turn it into a high-speed printer that can produce sorted and stapled sets of prints without having to leave your desk. With the right components, these copiers can also act as faxes and high-speed scanners.

If you decide that you want these advanced capabilities, it is critical that you work with a dealer that has adequate technical expertise on staff. Check on the number of networked installations that the dealer has handled and make sure that the technicians who worked on those implementations are available to work on your project.

Copiers cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the copy speed and features. A personal copier design, which typically goes up to 10 copies per minute, can be found for less than one thousand dollars. These models are typically sold via office supply superstores, and usually can't handle the volume of even a small office. It's also difficult to get personal copier repairs – many technicians won't work on them.

Business grade copiers typically cost three to ten thousand dollars for a basic, no-frills model. While it may seem like a steep premium to pay for a copier that is simply faster, you also have the advantage of being able to get on-site copier repairs. This can translate into hundreds of dollars of savings when you factor in the cost of shipping malfunctioning equipment to a repair center.

The per-copy cost for business grade copiers is also significantly lower. While a personal copier will cost five to seven cents per copy, the cost drops to one to two cents per copy with a commercial-grade model. While this difference in per copy costs does not warrant the purchase of a business grade copier at low monthly copy quantities, given the upfront copier costs, it does pay off when you copy several thousand pages per month.

While it may not draw as many admiring glances as a new car, trading in your copying clunker for a new copier will certainly be met with office-wide approval. And you won't have to be on a first name basis with the copier repair technician.

Quick tips to help avoid copier repair:

Dress down. Remove all jewelry before trying to clear paper jams to avoid scratching sensitive components.

Authorized copier repairs. If your new machine does need service, make sure your repairs are handled by an authorized technician to protect your warranty.

Copy test. Compare reproduction quality by copying typical documents that you would copy at work.

UPS protection. Protect your purchase--buy an uninterruptible power supply to protect it from unexpected power surges.

PNP, AFP set rules to enforce martial law in Maguindanao

The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Sunday came up with the rules of conduct to be observed by troops enforcing the widely-criticized imposition of martial rule in Maguindanao province in southern Philippines.

In a statement, the PNP and the AFP called the list of rules as the “Joint General Norms of Conduct of Police and Military Officers in the Field," which they said, regards the promotion and protection of human rights as topmost priority in their operation.

“The (rules) specifically state that due process of law must be observed at all times to safeguard the protection of individual rights as guaranteed by the Constitution," they said.

The rules are based on the PNP’s Police Operational Procedures and the AFP’s Rules of Engagement.

Other key points in the “Joint General Norms of Conduct of Police and Military Officers in the Field" are:

* Incidental injury to civilians and collateral damage to government and private properties should be minimized in all police and military operations.

* Team leaders of local police and national support units must observe inter-unit coordination at all times, including hot pursuit operations.

* All police intervention operations must be conducted with a marked police vehicle and personnel wearing the proper uniform led by a Police Commissioned Officer.

* Operating units must not use warning shots during any police intervention. All peaceful means must be employed.

* Excessive use of force should be avoided. But during armed confrontation, police may use reasonable force to overcome threat posed by the suspects. They should, however, make sure that innocent civilians are unharmed and caught in the cross fire.

* Moving vehicles may not be fired upon, unless there is probable cause that the suspects pose imminent danger to police and other people.

* After armed confrontation, the officer-in-charge should secure and preserve the site of the clash, evacuate the wounded, and account for casualties and arrested people while waiting for the police’s Scene of the Crime Operatives.

The police and military’s joint operations target armed groups supposedly hiding in different areas in Maguindanao to “resist government security forces and prevent authorities from taking over vital government functions that the local governments have failed to perform."

The operatives are also after the perpetrators behind the brutal killing of 57 people in Ampatuan town last November 23. - LBG, GMANews.TV

Arroyo to report on Maguindanao martial law Sunday night - DOJ

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will submit to Congress Sunday night her report on martial law in Maguindanao province, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said Sunday.

Devanadera said they are still preparing and evaluating the inputs for the report that is due at 9 p.m. Sunday, or 48 hours after martial law was declared in the province.

“Nakatutok tayo sa preparation, evaluation ng mga kaso .... Sa ngayon, ang mahalaga ay ang ma-comply ng pamahalaan ang requirement ng Saligang Batas (We are concentrating on the preparation and evaluation of evidence gathered so far. For now, what is important is that we are complying with the Constitution)," she said in an interview on dzBB radio.

The 1987 Constitution requires that the President, after declaring martial law, must submit to Congress a report on the matter within 48 hours.

According to Devanadera, the report will include cases of multiple murder and rebellion that prompted Mrs. Arroyo to declare martial law.


She also hinted that the report will dispel fears of the possibility of declaring martial law in other parts of the country where private armies are rampant.

“All these actions that the government is doing are in accordance with the Constitution. The declaration of martial law in Mindanao is not a taste test for doing the same in other parts of the country," she added.

Devanadera also dismissed claims that the “looming rebellion" cited as basis for the military rule in Maguindanao is part of a political stage play just so Mrs. Arroyo will have reason to pardon the Ampatuans.

She said she is aware of speculations about "pardoning" the Ampatuans because it is easy to do so in a political case such as rebellion. The Ampatuans are known to be political allies of Mrs. Arroyo.

Commenting on the issue, Devanadera said: “Ah hindi, walang ganyan (Oh, there’s no such thing)."

Meanwhile, a report on dzBB radio Sunday said Shariff Aguak town has yet to normalize after the imposition of martial law.

The report said that while bus firms continued to operate and prices of basic goods in markets remained stable, the capitol remained closed while many gas stations have yet to reopen. - LBG, GMANews.TV

Bishops split over martial law in Maguindanao

Catholic bishops were split over President Gloria Arroyo’s declaration of martial law in Maguindanao, with some totally against and others approve of it with “reservations."

While Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo agrees with the declaration of martial law, he said he hopes there is no ulterior motive behind it.

"The elements of wide-scale violence are there ... The elements of general pubic safety and imminent danger to lives are there along with the elements of terrorism," he said in an article posted Saturday afternoon on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines news site.

He added the element of civilian governance is "almost unreliable at present for justice to prevail."

Catarman Bishop Emmanuel Trance said Mrs. Arroyo’s declaration is “within her authority as commander-in-chief and brought about by a given situation like that in Maguindanao."

“I will disagree with it if is not warranted by the situation," he said, but added he presumes Mrs. Arroyo "made the decision with proper consultation."

“(But) for us who have experienced Martial Law under Marcos, we become very wary and alarmed when such a decision is made because a martial law declaration should only be an instrument of last resort when other legal means does not work as may be deemed in the case of Maguindanao," he added.

“We just trust that such declaration is only for Maguindanao and will be lifted as soon as possible and for no ulterior motive and within the constitutional limits," Trance said.

Former CBCP president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said he hopes the declared Martial Law in Maguindanao “will be limited to what is necessary in scope and will be very short in time and will not develop into further violence and violation of human rights."

Batanes Bishop Camilo Gregorio said he found martial law over Maguindanao okay but it should be "temporary."

Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Archbishop Oscar Cruz criticized the declaration.

Cruz said placing Maguindanao under martial law is “a big shame that the Arroyo administration has allowed its own allies to become warlords, to have a lot of firearms and to form a big private army."

“Now, through the declaration of Martial Law, the administration confesses that it cannot quell or resolve the Maguindanao shenanigan by the use of standard forces and law," he said.

Cruz said martial law was an “overkill, over-reaction."

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, a former military bishop, noted there is no rebellion ongoing in Maguindanao.

“There is a grievous criminal situation but which does not warrant martial law," he said.

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra similarly said he does not see any sign of rebellion.

“As a matter of fact, it is strongly perceived the Ampatuans are protégés of the Arroyo government," he said.

Iloilo Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said he is “ambivalent" but said he hopes it will not be used to suppress evidence.

Fr. Victor Diolata, co-executive secretary of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, said the government needs to use the full force of the law and not use martial law in Maguindanao.

“There should be full protection of human rights including the writ of amparo for all the witnesses," Diolata said. - LBG, GMANews.TV

Martial law in Maguindanao may lead to Cha-cha, No-El, analyst says

The martial law in Maguindanao may lead to yet another attempt to change the country’s Constitution or worse, a no-election scenario, according to a political analyst.

Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's imposition of martial law following the November 23 massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao could be the first step toward Charter change (Cha-cha).

“The joint congressional session to deliberate on the proclamation may be used as an opportunity for Cha-cha. Alam mo naman itong administrasyong ito, hangga’t mailulusot, lulusot (You know this administration, it will wriggle out in any way it could)," Casiple said in an interview with GMANews.TV Saturday night.

The political analyst also said that while Mrs. Arroyo had already filed her certificate of candidacy for representative last Tuesday, this did not necessarily mean that she would turnover the presidency to her supposed successor.


“Being a congresswoman is different from being a president. I think Malacañang is just keeping its options on how to stay in power open," Casiple said.

Casiple likewise warned that the the imposition of martial law in Maguindanao could be Mrs. Arroyo’s way of testing the waters for the possibility of putting the entire country under military rule, and cancel next year’s elections.

“Warlords are not confined to Mindanao. All this administration needs is an excuse to project a national scenario of lawlessness," he said.

The timing of the declaration – barely five months before the elections – all the more raises suspicion on Arroyo’s move, according to Casiple.

“Late na ang martial law na ito. Dapat simula pa lang nagdeklara na kung gusto talaga nilang maaresto ang mga may kasalanan (This martial law is late already. If they really wanted to arrest the perpetrators, then they should have declared martial law early on)," he said.

Casiple said the administration should immediately place all suspects under government custody and dismantle all private armies in the area to ensure the public that it is sincere in its objectives in declaring martial law.

“You can do this in a few days. The longer the martial law stays, the more people become suspicious," he said. - ANDREO C. CALONZO, GMANews.TV

SC belies claim Maguindanao judicial system no longer functioning

The Supreme Court on Saturday belied Malacañang's claim that the court system in Maguindanao province had stopped functioning.

"The allegations that our judicial system is not functioning in the area has to be substantiated. As far as we are concerned, we have a functioning court here," Jose Midas Marquez, the high tribunal's spokesman, told GMANews.TV in a phone interview.

One of the reasons cited by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in issuing Proclamation 1959 imposing martial law in Maguindanao was the non-functioning judicial system in the province.

Marquez countered the Palace's claim, saying courts had been issuing orders and acting on motions filed before them in the days following the November 23 massacre of 57 civilians, which is being blamed on the Ampatuan clan.

“Nasaan ang failure of the judicial system doon (Where is the failure of the justice system there)?" Marquez said.

Marquez said that while it was true that judges in the area were taking precautions to ensure their safety, they never stopped performing their duties.

Nonetheless, Marquez said that the imposition of martial rule in Maguindanao "is the discretion of the President." But he said the move could be questioned through filing petitions before the Supreme Court.

Human rights lawyers under the non-government Center for International Law (CenterLaw) are set to file at the Supreme Court a petition questioning Mrs. Arroyo's declaration of martial law in Maguindanao.

Lawyer Harry Roque, chairperson of CenterLaw, said Mrs. Arroyo's move was unconstitutional because the Charter only allows the imposition of martial rule if the country is facing rebellion or invasion, and not a crime that can be considered as a mere "police matter."

“The Constitution limits the ground (to declare martial law) to rebellion and invasion. None of these grounds are existent," said Roque in a text message to GMANews.TV, referring to Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution. - ANDREO C. CALONZO, JOSEPH HOLANDES UBALDE, GMANews.TV

Katrina happy that Hayden’s license was revoked

Para raw nabawasan ng tinik sa dibdib si Katrina Halili nang malaman ang desisyon ng Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) na tanggalan ng lisensiya sa pagiging duktor si Hayden Kho.

“Unang reaction (ko) parang nabawasan ako ng tinik sa dibdib ko. Kasi parang isang pabigat din yun sa akin, kasi isa yun sa mga pinaglalaban ko. Maraming salamat sa PRC sa desisyon nila na tanggalan ng lisensiya si Dr Hayden Kho kasi ipinagdasal ko talaga na sana mabigyan ng hustisya yung pinaglalaban ko," pahayag ni Katrina sa panayam ng host na si Ricky Lo, sa Startalk nitong Sabado.

Si Katrina ang naghain ng petisyon sa PRC na tanggalan ng lisensiya si Hayden kaugnay ng iskandalo ng kanilang sex video na lumabas sa Internet.

Sinabi sa Startalk na batay sa desisyon ng PRC, lumitaw na guilty si Hayden ng “immorality, dishonorable and anethical conduct, bunga ng lumabas na video scandal.

Tungkol sa hiwalay na kaso na inihain ng sexy actress kay Hayden na nakabinbin pa sa korte, sinabi ni Katrina na naghihintay pa siya ng abiso sa kanyang abogado kung kailan isasagawa ang pagdinig.

Gayunman, nakahanda umano si Katrina at lagi niyang ipinagdarasal na makuha rin niya ang hustisya sa korte. Naniniwala rin ang aktres na malaking tulong sa kanyang kaso ang naging yung desisyon ng PRC.


For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

Wala rin daw nararamdamang awa si Katrina sa pagkakaalis ng lisensiya ni Hayden dahil sinira naman umano ng binata ang kanyang buhay.

“Kahit konti wala kasi kung nasira siya, sinira n’ya rin ang buhay ko di ba. At lumalaban ako dahil hindi (lang) para sa akin kundi sa lahat ng mga tao na ginawan (niya) ng kabubuyan niya," ayon sa aktres.

Maraming tumulong

Inamin din ni Katrina na nagulat siya sa bumuhos na pinansiyal na tulong nang panahon na gipit na siya sa pera nang mawalan ng trabaho dahil sa nangyaring iskandalo.

“Sobrang nagulat ako may tutulong sa akin… wala naman akong sinasabihan na wala akong pera," ayon kay Katrina. Dahil sa kontrobersiya, ilang proyekto at endorsement raw ng dalaga ang umatras at naglagi na lang siya sa bahay.

Kabilang umano sa mga nagpaabot ng tulong sa kanya ay ina ng kanyang kaibigan at mga alkalde sa kanyang lalawigan sa Palawan na nag-ambagan ng pera para ipadala sa kanya.

Kasabay nito, pinabulanan din ng aktres ang lumabas na ulat sa isang pahayag na nabuntis at nagpalaglag siya.

“Hindi ko alam saan (galing ang balita)…e araw-araw naman po nila akong nakikita tv lalo na po nang lumabas yung isyu ko di ba? Almost everyday sinusundan ako ng media," tugon niya sa tanong ni Ricky.

Sa ngayon, tuloy-tuloy na raw ang trabaho trabaho ni Katrina at makakasama na siya sa mga kontrabida sa telefantasya ng GMA 7 na Darna.

Dahil sa video sex scandal, sinabi ni Katrina na lalo siyang tumatag at tiwalang walang na siyang problemang hindi kayang harapin.

“Siguro po sa bigat ng bato na ibinato nila sa akin, sa bigat (ng problema) na hinarap ko parang wala na po sigurong rururok pa ro’n. Sana tapos na... siguro po kahit ano pang ibato nila sa akin bahala (na) sila," pagtatapos niya. - Fidel Jimenez, GMANews.TV

Gina Alajar speaks about her FB status on Krista Ranillo

Itinuturing lesson in life ng batikang aktres at direktor na si Gina Alajar ang ingay na nilikha ng kanyang status message sa kanyang blog na may kaugnayan kay Krista Ranillo.

Sa taped interview ng showbiz talkshow na StarTalk nitong Sabado, nagpaliwanag si Ms Gina kung papaano naging laman ng balita ang status message na inilagay niya sa kanyang Facebook account.

Ang naturang mensahe ni Gina sa social networking site ay lumabas habang papainit pa lang ang intriga sa pagkakaugnay ng batang aktres na si Krista sa Pinoy boxing hero na si Manny Pacquiao.


Sa website ng Philippine Entertainment Portal, nakalagay ang bahagi umano ng mensahe ni Ms Gina na: “If I am Jinkee Pacquiao I will not give up Manny…Krista Ranillo is not all worth it."

Ngunit ayon kay Ms Gina, wala siyang intensyon na ipakalat ang laman ng kanyang blog at naniniwala siyang maaari niyang isulat sa kanyang private account anuman na nasa isip niya.

“Nananahimik yung Facebook account e, nananahimik 'yon pinakialaman nila. Hindi ko naman ipapangalandakan ko 'yon e. Hindi ko naman sa media web site inilagay yun, hindi sa showbiz web site ko ginawa yun. Kung doon (ko inilagay) puwede mo pa ‘kong masisisi. Kaso ginawa ko sa private account ko. And everyone in Facebook, and everyone na mga kaibigan ko sa Facebook also believe na your page is your page, you can say whatever you want there," paliwanag ng batikang actress-director.

Sinabi sa ulat na hindi rin umano nagustuhan ni Gina ang pagkakagawa ng istorya ng isang showbiz talkshow tungkol sa kanyang Facebook account.

“Parang bakit naman at my expense? Bakit ka gagawa ng istorya mayroon kang gustong gawin istorya…two days after na mangyari ‘yon na ma-feature nila yung profile page ko, tumawag yung EP ng executive producer ng The Buzz," kuwento niya.

“Maraming siyang katwiran na sinabi sa akin, tapos sinabi ko na kailangan ko ng public apology, nagsabi naman siya ng oo. Pero wala pa namang lumalabas tapos nagpadala siya ng basket of fruits. Feeling ko naman, ha, prutas lang ang katapat? Prutas lang ang katapat ng pakikialam nung Facebook account ko," idinagdag ni Ms Gina.

Wala naman daw siyang mensaheng nais iparating kay Krista na minsan ding naugnay sa dati niyang asawa na si Michael de Mesa.

“Wala naman akong masasabi kasi unang-una lahat nung sinabi nila lalo na ‘yong interview sa akin about sa una nilang statement, wala naman akong masasabi kasi hindi naman isinulat (para) sa akin ‘yon. It was address to the media para maging official statement nila," pahayag niya.


For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

Huwag magtiwala

Nais lang umano ng premyadong aktres na malinis at maituwid ang kuwento sa pagkakasangkot ng kanyang status message sa lumaking kontrobersiya tungkol kina Manny at Krista.

Nitong Huwebes ay nagpahayag ang abogado ng mga Ranillo na nais nilang humingi ng public apology kay Gina dahil sa negatibong isinulat nito sa kanyang blog.

“I want my name cleared kasi ang lumalabas willingly binalandra ko ‘yon, e. Sa dami ng mga nag-interview at always taped interviews lagi namang nai-edit out yung part na hindi ano merong nagbukas ng account ko, pinakalaman ang account ko. So naiiba yung konteksto, naiiba ‘pag inintebyu, naiiba ang konteksto depende kung ano yung pinapalabas sa telebisyon…nalilihis lahat," paliwanag ni Gina.

Bukod sa anak na si Geoff Eigenmann, nagpahayag din ng suporta kay Gina ang malapit nitong kaibigan na si Sandy Andolong.

“She felt betrayed by a friend. Kasi sa kaibigan din niya suppose to be nasa friend list n’ya ‘yan. But I told her minsan may mga friends na akala mo friends hindi naman pala, so be very careful," ayon kay Sandy.

Pagtatapos ni Ms Gina: “It a lesson in life pero mas tumitibay yung dapat hindi ka magtitiwala, which is so sad. Kaya lang there are some people talaga na really will just break your trust." - Fidel Jimenez, GMANews.TV

Corteza, Lining, Kiamco march to the Last 8 of World Ten Ball

Lee Van Corteza, Antonio Lining and Warren Kiamco stretched their respective winning runs to five in Sunday’s round-of-16 and booked their seats to the quarterfinal round of the prestigious journey.


It’s now down to the last three for the Philippines in the second World Ten Ball Championship at the World Trade Center.



The Philippines’ Warren Kiamco prepares for his next shot. GMANews.TV

But getting to the Last 8 was indeed a struggle for Corteza, who had to play 33 racks and two gut-wrenching matches before making it there.

The 30-year-old pride from Davao City had to do it the hard way before surviving former world straight ball champion Thomas Engert of Germany, 9-7.

Corteza’s triumph over Engert came just over than an hour after he pulled off a tense 9-8 come-from-behind victory over Chang Yu-Lung of Chinese-Taipei in their Last-32 match.

“Nakuha ko yung momentum ko after manalo ako sa Last-32 match kay Chang," said Corteza.

Against, Chang, he fought his way back from 2-7 down before stealing the victory.

But against Engert, he had to rely on his killer’s instinct as he pounced on the German’s miscalculated preparation on ball No.7 in the 15th rack. In the 16th, Corteza had a good breaking ball then cleaned up the table.

Lining, for his part, ended the amazing run of young Jomar de Ocampo with a 9-2 win.

The quarterfinal stint is now Lining’s highest accomplishment in a world pool championship tournament.

“Nag-Last 16 ako dati sa Cardiff, Wales nung dun pa ginagawa yung World 9-Ball," said Lining. “Maganda ang dating ng bola sa akin. After sumablay yung kalaban ko sa first game, nakatatlong run outs agad ako kaya naka-establish ako ng malaking lamang."

Kiamco, meanwhile, made his advance after edging reigning World 9-Ball champion Daryl Peach of Great Britain, 9-7.

But Dennis Orcullo, expected to waltz his way to the quarterfinal round, lost to David Alcaide of Spain, 6-9.

Alcaide was the same guy who booted out reigning Asian Games gold medalist Antonio Gabica a day earlier.

Also reaching the quarterfinal round were Li Hewen of China, defending champion Darren Appleton of Great Britain and Ruslan Chinakhov of Russia. – GMANews.TV

Lakers rout Golden State, 130-97, for fifth straight win

OAKLAND, Calif. — Kobe Bryant sat at his locker and praised Pau Gasol, both of Bryant's feet in an ice bucket and two more bags numbing each knee.

On a night when Bryant was far from his dominant self, Gasol showed what a key piece he is for the Los Angeles Lakers despite being overshadowed by superstars. They dearly missed him for the first 11 games, when Gasol was sidelined with a strained right hamstring.

Gasol scored 22 points to lead seven players in double figures and also had 12 rebounds, and the Lakers won their fifth straight game with a 130-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

"Pau's just being Pau," Bryant said. "He's one of the best in the game. We missed that."

Ron Artest added 19 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Bryant had 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals after a slow start to help the Lakers to their highest point total of the season.

Los Angeles had plenty of offensive power to beat the Warriors for a sixth straight time, getting 13 points and five assists from Derek Fisher and 12 points and seven boards from Andrew Bynum. Reserve Shannon Brown added 17 points, including two spectacular dunks.

Monta Ellis scored 18 points and Corey Maggette had 17 points and six rebounds in Golden State's third straight game without ill coach Don Nelson, who is fighting pneumonia. Nelson is expected to miss two more games before rejoining the team for Thursday night's home game against Houston.

"Our energy level was really low," Golden State's Anthony Morrow said. "And that's not how we've been playing lately."

The Lakers won all four meetings with the Warriors last season and have swept the season series in three of the last four years.

Next up for Los Angeles on Sunday: the winless New Jersey Nets, who would have to pull off a major upset to avoid matching the worst start in NBA history at 0-17. The record for futility is held by the expansion Miami Heat (1988-89) and the Los Angeles Clippers (1999).

"I think we'll talk about that tomorrow, but I'm not that worried about this team's complacency," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They're driving themselves and their leadership is good and they drive the players around the team. The big key is that New Jersey is going to win a game and we know that's going to happen because they have talent and they've got young talent and they play hard."

Not that the Lakers look at all beatable at the moment.

They shot 52.3 percent in the first half to Golden State's 34.8, and this one was all but decided in the opening minutes. Fans left in droves by midway through the fourth period.

Gasol shot 9-of-11 and also blocked three shots.

"I think I'm making progress," he said. "Every game I'm taking a step forward and I'm feeling better. I feel like my conditioning is better. My moves are stronger and a little bit quicker, too."

Bryant went to the bench with two fouls at the 5:59 mark of the first quarter and the Lakers used a 19-9 run without him to build a 36-22 lead heading into the second. Bryant was hit with a technical for jawing at official James Capers after being called for a charge on the other end.

He returned to start the second quarter and missed his first four shots before finally scoring his first points of the night on a putback of his own miss 8:58 before halftime. Bryant shot 8-for-20 overall.

Ronny Turiaf returned to the Warriors' lineup after missing nearly a month and 12 straight games with a sprained left knee. He had three points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.

Ellis had scored 20 or more points in six of his last seven games and 30 or more in three straight but never found a groove in shooting 8-for-19. He was averaging 37.7 points over his previous three outings.

The Warriors fell to 0-4 against the Pacific Division, including 0-2 at home.

"We played a very bad game," Warriors fill-in coach Keith Smart said. "We never got into the game. We didn't show our fans how we are able to play and have been playing." - AP

US journalists raise funds for kin of slain RP mediamen

CHICAGO, Illinois – Several news organizations in the United States have launched fund drives for the families of the Filipino journalists slain in the politically motivated killings in Maguindanao.

Los Angeles-based Media Breakfast Club (MBC) will be launching a “Support for the Orphans of Slain Journalists" (SOS-J) drive. MBC head Bobby Reyes said the group had discussed the plan among their members.
We must never forget their courage and willingness to risk their lives to get their stories to the public.
– Allen Rafalson, president of the Chicago Journalists Association

Reyes said he personally knew one of the slain journalists, Alejandro “Bong" Reblando, staff member of Manila Bulletin, who had been the MBC’s special guest in a 2001 event. [See: Journalist in Ampatuan town carnage saw himself on front page]

The darkest time in the history of Philippine media only happened in about four

Meanwhile, the Chicago Journalists Association will hold a brief ceremony for the slain journalists at their upcoming 71st annual dinner.

“Far too many men and women in our profession have been killed reporting on wars, corruption and crime. We must never forget their courage and willingness to risk their lives to get their stories to the public," said Allen Rafalson, president of the Chicago Journalists Association.

Other US media groups meanwhile, condemned the act committed against the Filipino journalists.

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), one of the biggest press organizations in the US, said the massacre would have strong repercussions for Filipino mediamen.

“The brazen act, we fear, could have a chilling effect on reporters and their work," said AAJA national president Sharon Chan.

“And to the Filipino journalism community at large, we express solidarity and offer our encouragement. We look to them to help reveal what happened in Maguindanao this week, and to continue the important journalistic role of pursuing truth and reporting without fear. We, at AAJA, stand with them on these shared principles," she added.

The number of identified journalists who had died in the November 23 massacre in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao province has risen to 30, based on the list complied by GMANews.TV and the non-government, Center for International Law. [See list of slain journalists in the Maguindanao massacre here.]

New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, non-profit organization, acknowledged the government’s efforts to seek justice for the slain mediamen but stressed the need for more information on the tragedy.

“The state of emergency declared in the province must not interfere with journalists seeking access and information to report on the killings," Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator said.

“[President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo] might not be able to reverse the culture of violence that surrounds so much of political life in the Philippines, but she can certainly use this terrible incident to fight the impunity that surrounds journalists’ deaths," Dietz added. - JHU, ARCS, GMANews.TV

UAE court upholds Pinoy accountant's jail term

A court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has upheld a two-year jail term for a Filipino accountant who was convicted for torching two offices in his former workplace.

The UAE Court of Appeals also upheld the Filipino’s deportation once he serves his jail term, according to a report on UAE news site Khaleej Times.

It referred a separate embezzlement charge against the Filipino to the UAE Court of Misdemeanors.

Last October 13, the Court of First Instance sentenced the Filipino accountant to two years in prison followed by deportation for arson.

Court records showed the female director of the company where he used to work accused him of embezzling Dh10,000 (P127,865) while he was the accountant there.

She also accused him of setting her office and his office on fire. She alleged that he had been absent from work frequently.

The Filipino admitted to the prosecutors to setting the offices on fire.

On the other hand, the criminal evidence report showed that there were marks of tampering with the safe where the money, passports and files were kept. - GMANews.TV

White House: State dinner crashers met Obama

WASHINGTON — The Virginia couple who crashed a presidential dinner met President Barack Obama in the receiving line, the White House said Friday, as a "deeply concerned and embarrassed" Secret Service acknowledged its officers failed to check whether the couple was on the guest list.

The White House released a photo showing the Salahis in the receiving line in the Blue Room with Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in whose honor the dinner was held. Obama and Michaele Salahi are smiling as she grasps his right hand with both of hers as her husband, Tareq, looks on. Singh is standing to the left of Obama.

The Secret Service earlier this week had said the president was not in danger because the couple — like others at the dinner — had gone through magnetometers. But in light of their close proximity to the president, no such claim was made Friday.

The Salahis were not on the guest list and should have been prohibited from entering last Tuesday's dinner on the WhiteHouse South Lawn for the prime minister of India, said Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan.

On Friday, Sullivan was apologetic in a written statement, saying the agency that protects the president is "deeply concerned and embarrassed" that procedures were not followed.

"As our investigation continues, appropriate measures have been taken to ensure this is not repeated," Sullivan said.

Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin said officers at the checkpoint had a clipboard with names of the invited guests. Even though the Salahis names weren't on it, they were allowed to proceed. The officers should have called either someone on the WhiteHouse staff or Secret Service personnel before allowing them past the checkpoint, Mackin said.

Earlier, Mackin said the Secret Service may pursue a criminal investigation of the Salahis.

Sullivan said, "The preliminary findings of our internal investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list.

"Although these individuals went through magnetometers and other levels of screening, they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely. That failing is ours," he said.

Sullivan said it wasn't good enough that his agency screened more than 1.2 million visitors last year to the WhiteHouse complex and protected more than 10,000 sites for the president, vice president and others.

"Even with these successes, we need to be right 100 percent of the time," he said. "While we have protocols in place to address these situations, we must ensure that they are followed each and every time."

It is unclear what the couple told officers at the checkpoint that allowed them to go through the security screening. Federal law makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully falsify statements on matters within the federal government's jurisdiction.

"As this moves closer to a criminal investigation there's less that we can say," Mackin said. "I don't want to jeopardize what could be a criminal investigation. We're not leaving any option off the table at this point."

WhiteHouse spokesman Nick Shapiro said the Secret Service will take appropriate action once the review is completed.

"The men and women of the Secret Service put their lives on the line everyday to protect us. They are heroes and they have the full confidence of the president of the United States," Shapiro said.

The Salahis lawyer, Paul Gardner, posted a comment on their Facebook page saying, "My clients were cleared by the WhiteHouse, to be there." He said more information would be forthcoming.

Several messages left at Gardner's law firm on Friday were not immediately returned.

Bravo Media has confirmed that Michaele Salahi is being considered as a participant in the upcoming "The Real Housewives of D.C." program and on the day of the dinner was being filmed around Washington by Half Yard Productions, the producer of the program.

"Half Yard Productions was told by Michaele and Tareq Salahi that they had been invited to the State Dinner. We took them at their word and filmed their preparations for the event. Half Yard Productions had no part in planning their presence at the event," said Abby Greensfelder of Half Yard Productions.

Photos on the couple's Facebook page they previously had gotten close to Obama. One photo, apparently taken in the days before Obama took the oath of office, shows the Salahis in a group shot with Obama and some of the musicians who performed at an inaugural concert.

Other photos show the Salahis in the empty, glass-enclosed box from which the Obamas watched the concert and, according to the caption, "backstage with the Secret Service at the Lincoln Memorial during the Presidential Inauguration." - AP

Twitter users irked by Indonesia exec who linked disasters to immorality

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A government minister drew sharp criticism from earthquake victims Saturday and alienated some of his Twitter followers by blaming natural disasters in Indonesia on immorality.

Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring linked disasters to declining public morals when he addressed a prayer meeting in the city of Padang to mark a Muslim holiday on Friday.

"Television broadcasts that destroy morals are plentiful in this country and therefore disasters will continue to occur," national news agency Antara quoted Sembiring as saying in the Bahasa Indonesia language.

He also referred to Indonesian-made hard-core sex DVDs available in street markets as an example of growing public decadence and called for tougher laws against pornography.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that make the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity. A giant quake off the country on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's Aceh.

A magnitude 7.6 temblor on Sept. 30 killed more than 1,000 on western Sumatra.

News of what Sembiring, a former leader of the Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party, said provoked criticism Saturday from disaster victims.

Kikie Marzuki, a Muslim Aceh resident who lost 10 relatives in the tsunami, said victims were not to blame.

"I prefer to believe that natural disasters occur because of the destructive force of nature that cannot be avoided by humans," he said.

Sembiring's remarks also brought swift rebuke from some of his followers on the social interaction network Twitter.

One tweeter, who identified himself as Ari Margiono, told Sembiring his words inferred that residents of Aceh and Padang were more decadent than other Indonesians.

Sembiring did not answer his telephone Saturday, but he told the Jakarta Globe newspaper, "Disasters provide a momentum for repentance."

Not everyone disagreed with him, and his speech in Padang won the backing of an influential board of Muslim clerics, the Indonesian Ullema Council.

"Based on the religious view, a disaster could be seen as a punishment for people's sins, and could also as a reminder to us of our mistakes," prominent council member Ma'ruf Amin said. - AP

US, China set emission reduction, but pledges not enough

AMSTERDAM — Even after the U.S. and China set targets this week for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the world's combined pledges before next month's climate summit fall far short of what experts say is needed to avert dangerous global warming.

Still, emission promises by the two countries, the world's biggest polluters, added much-needed momentum as governments began final preparations for the 192-nation conference in Copenhagen, where parameters will be set for a new climate change agreement.

From Beijing to Trinidad, governments huddled Friday to plan their negotiating strategies.

China hosted India and other major developing countries a day after announcing that Beijing would cut "carbon intensity," a measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of production, by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared with levels in 2005.

The Chinese target means emissions will continue to grow as its economy expands, but at nearly half the rate they otherwise would have done.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country presides over the 27-nation European Union, said the Chinese bid was an important signal and a move in the right direction, but there was room for greater reductions.

"We feel that China could do more and we also hope to get further commitments," he said on the Web site of the EU presidency.

Unofficial calculations by U.N. climate officials said the move would put China on a path to reduce all its greenhouse gas emissions about 13 percent from "business as usual," the level those emissions would have reached without any action.

The Chinese move was expected to put pressure on India, which has failed to put forward any numbers for curbing emissions growth.

In India, where some 400 million people lack access to electricity, "climatechange is not regarded as a national priority," according to an internal U.N. assessment.

However, India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, indicated that his country was reviewing its position after the Chinese announcement, which he described as "a wake-up call."

"We have to think hard about our climate strategy now and look for flexibility," Ramesh told The Hindustan Times.

Press Trust of India reported from Beijing that India also may accept a carbon intensity target, but not as steep as China's.

In other meetings Friday, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told a meeting of Amazon nations in his capital that rich countries must "pay the price" for preservation of the world's largest rain forest, which is considered vital for soaking carbon from the air.

British Commonwealth nations gathered in Trinidad to debate a declaration representing the common views of 53 widely divergent nations.

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who pulled his Commonwealth country out of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that would have limited Canada's emissions, reversed his decision to stay away from Copenhagen after Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said they would attend.

Harper's Conservative government says it plans to cut greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2020 from 2006 levels, which are slightly tougher than measures announced by the U.S.

The U.S. and China have yet to address the critical issue of how to raise the hundreds of billions of dollars needed annually to rescue poor countries from storms, floods and drought that are expected to become more severe as greenhouse gases worsen.

It wasn't until recently that the U.S. and China were willing to put any numbers on the table regarding carbon emission reductions.

The stalemate broke Wednesday when the White House said President Barack Obama, who will attend the Copenhagen conference Dec. 9, would pledge to reduce U.S. emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, and that the U.S. would continue that downward path over the following 10 years to reach a 41 percent reduction.

The World Wildlife Fund said the U.S. pledge for 2020 translated to 4 to 5 percent below the commonly accepted benchmark year of 1990.

"It certainly doesn't bring us closer to that range of emission reduction levels that we need to see," said Kim Carstensen, WWF's climatechange director.

Scientists say the industrial countries must slash carbon emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020 below 1990 to prevent the Earth from adding two degrees Centigrade (3.6F), the minimum considered safe.

In addition, developing countries need to lower their emissions growth by 15 to 30 percent from business as usual, according to the authoritative U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange.

Those figures appeared in the panel's 2007 report, based on studies and computer models conducted at least two years earlier. Current studies suggest global warming is happening faster than the panel predicted.

Carstensen said the Chinese announcement left open the question of how its unilateral actions will fit into an international accord. That could emerge as one of the toughest issues in Copenhagen, he said.

China and India have insisted that any action they undertake on their own without international financing should be free of scrutiny. The industrial countries want a system to ensure that even domestic action is transparent.

"It will be so central for the negotiations that there will need to be an agreement, at least on the headlines," Carstensen told The Associated Press. Specific rules for accounting and measuring energy efficiency could be worked out next year, he said.

One proposal under discussion is for developing countries to list their plans in an international registry, but they would face no consequences if they fell short.

Despite the shortfall of the pledges, the Danish hosts of next month's conference were heartened by the Chinese and American positions, and earlier announcements from South Korea, Brazil and Russia advancing their commitments.

The U.S. rejected the Kyoto Protocol and took no federally mandated action to trim carbon emissions during George W. Bush's presidency.

The U.S. offer to reduce emissions may appear unimpressive, Denmark's Climate Minister Connie Hedegaard said, "but the U.S. seems to know that the price for coming late is that the pathway for reductions after 2020 will be extra steep."

"Governments from all over the world are delivering before the climate conference," Hedegaard said. "All across the globe, things are moving." - AP

Ampatuans deny role in grisly massacre; supporters mass up

SHARIFF AGUAK, Philippines – A member of the Ampatuan family, a powerful Muslim clan accused of staging a massacre last week of 57 civilians, including dozens of journalists, denied any involvement in the killings in a rare news conference Sunday.

Thousands of followers rallied outside while Governor Zaldy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) told reporters that his family has hired a battery of lawyers to defend his brother, Andal Ampatuan Jr., who has been detained as the main suspect in the Nov. 23 massacre.

Among the victims of the massacre that shocked the world were female members of the rival Mangudadatu clan, as well as several lawyers and journalists.

The victims were in a six-vehicle convoy on its way to the provincial capitol of Shariff Aguak to file documents for the gubernatorial candidacy of Buluan town vice mayor Ismael "Toto" Mangudadatu when waylaid by dozens of men believed to be upon orders from Ampatuan Jr.


Ampatuan said he and his father, former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., who have also been linked to the savage killings, were innocent.

“I was in Manila during the time the incident happened. I have a plane ticket as proof," Ampatuan told more than a dozen journalists in his family's mansion in Shariff Aguak township, capital of the predominantly Muslim province of Maguindanao, about 545 miles (880 kilometers) south of Manila.

He appealed to the public to respect the law and not prejudge his brother, adding he will resist a plan by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's interior secretary to suspend him and other officials of the vast autonomous region that he heads.

"We have been prejudged," he said.

Show of support

In a demonstration of support, about 30 town mayors from the region trooped to the Ampatuans' heavily fortified residence to stand with the beleaguered clan. About 2,000 followers, many of them young people, held a noisy rally outside, chanting "long live the Ampatuans."

Thousands of troops, backed by tanks, have disarmed nearly 400 militiamen loyal to the Ampatuans and have taken control of Maguindanao's seat of power in Shariff Aguak. President Arroyo came under intense domestic and international pressure to take tough actions against the Ampatuans, her longtime political allies.

Earlier, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the situation in Maguindanao is "stable" despite the massing up of supporters of the Ampatuan clan.

“Our commanders on the ground say the situation is stable. Supporters of the Ampatuan and Mangudadatu clans are gathering their supporters but we are on top of the situation," AFP spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. said in a separate dzBB interview.

Brawner said Scout Ranger and Special Forces personnel, along with armored personnel carriers, have been deployed to the area to prevent further violence.

According to him, checkpoints set up by the military had yielded several firearms, although he did not say if these belonged to the warring clans. He also discouraged both clans from initiating mass gatherings.

All permits to carry firearms in the area have been revoked, and that authorities will file charges against violators, Brawner said. - KBK, AP with Malu Cadelina Manar, GMANews.TV

Pacquiao to file COC for congressman Tuesday

In an interview with reporters, Pacquiao said that he chose to file his COC on December 1 because it is nearer to his birthday, implying that it might bring his candidacy some good luck. The boxer’s birthday will fall on December 17, when he will turn 31.

Manny Pacquiao at Comelec announces he will file his COC on Tuesday, with the hope that people will support the party-list bid of the group Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta, of which he is national chairman.- Kim Tan


Reigning pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquaio revealed Sunday that he will be filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) for congressman in the Sarangani province on the last day - December 1.


He said his local party People's Champ Movement already has a complete slate, including governor and vice governor. “Kumpleto na, kumpleto na ang lineup ko (It’s complete, my lineup is complete)," he said.

Even though there have been talks that he will be forging a partnership with Senator Manuel Villar’s Nacionalista Party, he said they have yet to reach a final decision on the matter.

“Wala pa, matagal pa, hindi pa naman (We have no final plans yet, there’s still time left)," he said.

In 2007, Pacquiao ran for congressman in South Cotabato but lost to incumbent representative Darlene Antonino-Custodio.

Pacquiao was at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office on Sunday to submit the manifestation of the intention to run in the 2010 elections of the party-list group Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA), of which he is national chairman.

“Sana suportahan ninyo ang bagong PBA, ito ang tutututok sa ating mga kababayang mga atleta, kailangan nating magtulungan para maiwagayway ang ating bandila saan mang sulok ng mundo (I hope you support the PBA because this group will focus on our athletes. We really need to help each other in bringing glory to the country), he said.

Former Philippine Basketball Association player Chris Bolado and former Caloocan City Mayor Rey Malonzo accompanied Pacquiao during the filing of PBA's manifestation.

The PBA party-list group had previously run in the 2007 elections but failed to garner enough votes to get them a congressional seat. But Bolado told reporters that they are more prepared this time around, especially now that they have Pacquiao’s support. - LBG, GMANews.TV

Palace: Murder raps vs Ampatuan Jr ‘just the beginning’

The multiple murder charges against Datu Unsay, Maguindanao mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. are “just the beginning" of efforts to get to the bottom of last Monday’s massacre in the province.

Malacañang stressed this even as the Department of Justice (DOJ) is studying whether to file terrorism charges against Ampatuan and the other suspects in the carnage.

“This is only the beginning ... All investigation will be conducted regardless of who are involved. Depending on the evidence gathered and warranted by law, charges will be filed and those concerned will be brought to the bars of justice," Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said on government-run dzRB radio.

“This is what government is doing, in response to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s order to give justice to the victims. This is a heinous crime that has given shame to Filipinos," he added.

On the other hand, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said the DOJ will study a suggestion to file terrorism charges other than multiple murder against Ampatuan.

“We thank Sen. Santiago for the suggestion and we are studying it," she said.

According to Devanadera, The DOJ is also looking into claims by supposed witnesses that some of the ammunition used in the massacre was bought from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“I call on those who have knowledge of such information to come forward. We cannot just consider this information if there is nothing to back it up," she said.

The DOJ has already issued watch list orders against other members of the Ampatuan clan, after their names had been mentioned in statements of other witnesses.

Meanwhile, Remonde reiterated that the Palace would not entertain calls to revive death penalty in the wake of the massacre. “We should leave that to the next Congress," he said. - LBG, GMANews.TV

2 Pinoy electricians face trial in UAE over power cable theft

Two Filipino electricians faced a trial court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last weekend for stealing power cables worth Dh47,900 (P607,211) last August.

A report on UAE-based Khaleej Times described the two defendants, who are in their 40s, as an assistant electrician and an assistant foreman.

Both Filipinos stood trial in the Court of First Instance on charges of attempted theft and damage of a cable on Nov. 15.

A Yemeni police officer told the prosecutors that at about 1 a.m. of August 4, one of the defendants even called the Port Police Station to report a theft.

“He wanted to inform the police about a theft that took place on Jumeirah Palm Island," the police officer stated.

Police found out the theft took place in Marina 2 building, where the workers left two cables belonging to the company affected by the incident.

Also, workers there said the cable has gone missing since August 3, when they tried to move it to the company’s warehouse.

“We suspected they were the ones who stole the cable because they were in charge of installing the line in the same site," the Yemeni police officer said.

When questioned by police, the two electricians allegedly admitted to having planned to steal the cable when they received an order to move it to the company’s site in Jebel Ali.

They said they cut and hid it inside a garage belonging to their company.- GMANews.TV

'No diplomatic immunity for Ebarle son's killer'

His father may have diplomat status, but the suspect who shot dead the son of a Malacañang official will not enjoy diplomatic immunity, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.

DFA spokesman Eduardo Malaya said Jason Ivler could not invoke such a privilege should he be arrested in the wake of the Philippine National Police’s all-points bulletin on him.
Our records do not show Ivler is accredited as having diplomatic status, though his father is, as a principal economist of the ADB.
– DFA spokesperson Ed Malaya

“To the extent we can recall, mukhang walang binigay sa kanyang diplomatic ID (we did not issue Ivler any diplomatic ID). The best evidence of that diplomatic status is the diplomatic ID," Malaya said in an interview on dzRH radio.

“'Di pa lumalabas ang pangalan ng anak. Ang nakita namin sa record namin ang naka-accredit sa DFA yung tatay. Ang tatay nagtatrabaho sa ADB [Asian development Bank] bilang principal economist at may diplomatic status (Our records do not show Ivler is accredited as having diplomatic status, though his father is, as a principal economist of ADB)," he added.

Ivler was tagged as the suspect in the road-rage shooting of Renato Victor Ebarle Jr., 27, in Quezon City before midnight of Wednesday.

His stepfather Stephen Pollard is an ADB executive and had assured Quezon City police of his cooperation in the incident.

The vehicle used in the shooting, which had a diplomatic plate “20903," was issued to the elder Pollard.

But Malaya said that while the elder Pollard enjoys diplomatic immunity, such a privilege does not automatically apply to Ivler, who he said is in his 30s.
'HE KILLED BEFORE'

Jason Ivler, the suspect in the shooting of the son of Undersecretary Renato Ebarle Sr., presidential chief of staff, figured in a fatal car accident in 2004 along the C5–Ortigas flyover that killed Undersecretary Nestor Ponce Jr.

Ponce was then presidential assistant for resettlement in the Office of the President.

[Read: Ivler's 2004 road mishap]


“Hindi (ito) automatic. Ang diplomatic status cover sa kanyang minor children, ang recognized members of the household. Sa records namin, itong stepson na ito ay about 30 years old already. So that being the case, he would not be having anymore diplomatic status (Diplomatic
immunity is not automatic. Diplomatic status covers minor children and recognized members of the household. Our records show the stepson is about 30 years old, so diplomatic status for him is not automatically granted)," he said.

Abuse on diplomatic plates

Malaya also said the incident has prompted the DFA to review its policy on diplomatic plates.

He admitted such diplomatic plates had been abused in one way or another.

“Tinitingnan namin ang policy on the use of diplomatic plates. Pag alis sa bansa dapat i-account or i-surrender ang diplomatic plates (We will review the policy on the use of diplomatic plates, which should be accounted for or surrendered once the diplomat leaves the country)," he said, but did not elaborate.

Looking for Ivler

For its part, the PNP said all territorial and national units are now on the lookout for Ivler.

PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina said in a separate interview Ivler is also on the watch list of the Immigration Bureau.

“All territorial and national units on land, sea, or air are on the lookout for his whereabouts," Espina said in an interview on dzRH. - GMANews.TV

US newspaper circulation may be worse than it looks

SAN FRANCISCO - While US newspapers are losing subscribers at a staggering rate, a few dailies stand out because their circulation is rising. But they aren't necessarily selling more copies.

Here's why: Since April 1, new auditing rules have made it easier for newspapers to count a reader as a paying customer.

These looser standards are especially helpful to a newspaper if it sells an "electronic edition." That can include a subscriber-only Web site, such as what The Wall Street Journal has, or it can be a digital replica of a newspaper's printed product. Several dozen publications, including USA Today, sell access to these daily "e-editions" that show how the news was laid out in print.

Under the new auditing standards, if a newspaper sells a "bundled" subscription to both the print and electronic editions, the publication is often allowed to count that subscriber twice.

If not for these rules, the industry's numbers would look even worse. Average weekday circulation at 379 US newspapers fell 10.6 percent during the six months ending in September. That was the steepest decline ever recorded by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the organization that verifies how many people are paying to read publications.

It's not clear what the numbers would have been under the old auditing standards. But the effects of the new rules were widespread. There were 59 newspapers that listed at least 5,000 electronic editions in their weekday circulations, according to an Associated Press review of the figures filed with the ABC for the April-September period. In all but a few instances, the number of electronic subscribers was substantially higher than a year ago.

The decline in newspaper circulation has several causes. Many publications have intentionally reduced the range of their deliveries, cutting out exurbs or distant parts of their states where they sold relatively few copies. Higher prices for home delivery and newsstand copies also have driven some readers away. Publishers are betting they can keep their most loyal readers and are charging them more to help offset their crumbling ad sales — the main source of newspaper revenue.

Nevertheless, many newspapers are still offering discounts to bolster their circulation so they don't risk losing even more advertising revenue. The size of the audience is one factor marketers consider when they buy ads.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal was among the newspapers whose weekday circulation rose from the same time last year. Nevada's largest newspaper saw its average weekday circulation rise 6.6 percent, or nearly 11,000 subscribers, to 175,841. It was a remarkable improvement, given that weekday sales of its print edition fell by 12,000 copies and Las Vegas ranks among the cities hardest hit by the Great Recession.

How did it happen? The Review-Journal's circulation this year included 23,132 electronic editions compared with just 511 at the same time last year.

The big difference didn't occur because that many more people suddenly decided to buy the Review-Journal's digital replica of its print edition.

The change happened because the price the newspaper was charging for the online replica — it costs print customers an extra 50 cents per week — hadn't been high enough to qualify as paid circulation until the ABC's April change. That let newspapers define their paying readers as anyone who spends at least a penny for a copy. Previously, a newspaper copy had to sell for at least 25 percent of the basic price to qualify as paid circulation.

The ABC said it changed the rules to reduce its auditing costs and "provide greater pricing and marketing flexibility" for publishers.

Steve Coffeen, the Review-Journal's circulation director, said it makes sense to count the bundled subscriptions twice, as well as other people buying the electronic edition at a sharp discount, because it provides a complete picture of the newspaper's paying audience. Advertisers generally prize readers who pay for a publication, reasoning they are more likely to peruse it.

"It's important to show advertisers we are fighting the good fight and using other platforms to reach readers," Coffeen said.

That rationale makes sense to Randy Novak, director of newspaper strategy for NSA Media, one of the nation's largest buyers of newspaper ads. He doesn't see much difference between readers who are getting the newspaper at a deep discount or the standard price. He wants to reach people who care enough about the newspaper to be willing to pay for it at all.

However, another big buyer of newspaper ads says the new ABC rules made the reported circulation numbers less credible.

"You really have to do your homework now and ask newspapers about how much double counting is going on," said Allison Howald, US director of print investment at PHD Media.

A surge in digital sales propelled the York Daily Record in Pennsylvania to a 16.5 percent increase in weekday circulation — the highest among dailies selling at least 50,000 copies. The Daily Record listed 10,073 electronic editions in its latest circulation of 55,370. At the same time last year it counted just 42 electronic editions in its circulation of 47,549.

In most cases, the electronic edition is a replica of the printed product, right down to the ads. The technology even makes it possible to simulate the act of turning the pages of a paper edition. Most electronic editions are sold at a small fraction of the price for the printed edition, partly because publishers don't have to pay for newsprint or fuel to deliver the copy.

Web subscriptions were pivotal in The Wall Street Journal's growth over the past decade. The digital sales are the main reason that the Journal surpassed USA Today as the top-selling US newspaper in the April-September period. USA Today, owned by Gannett Co., still holds the edge in print circulation.

The Journal charges its print subscribers an additional 40 cents per week for unrestricted access to its Web site. Journal spokesman Robert Christie wouldn't comment on whether the new rules for counting subscribers contributed to a 14 percent increase in the newspaper's 407,002 digital subscribers. Including the print side, the Journal's total circulation edged up by just 0.6 percent to 2.02 million.

"We followed the ABC's rules and methodology," Christie said.

Some newspapers that posted circulation gains say they are picking up readers who feel abandoned by bigger publications. Cutbacks at newspapers in Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., and Nashville, Tenn., contributed to most of the 2 percent increase at the 70,000-circulation Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee, said Publisher Tom Griscom. "We are keeping an eye on print and not letting it drift away," Griscom said.

A reduced emphasis on print at The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, which now deliver to homes only three days a week, also helped Michigan's Oakland Press increase its weekday circulation 7 percent to 68,067. But electronic sales were the main factor. The newspaper listed 6,500 more electronic editions in its latest circulation numbers than it did a year ago, offsetting a slight decline in print. - AP

Canadian woman loses benefits - Facebook photo

BROMONT, Quebec – A Canadian woman on long-term sick leave for depression says she lost her benefits because her insurance agent found photos of her on Facebook in which she appeared to be having fun.

Nathalie Blanchard has been on leave from her job at IBM in Bromont, Quebec, for the last year.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Saturday she was diagnosed with major depression and was receiving monthly sick-leave benefits from insurance giant Manulife.

But the payments dried up this fall and when Blanchard called Manulife, she says she was told she was available to work because of Facebook.

She said her insurance agent described several pictures Blanchard posted on Facebook, including ones showing her having a good time at a Chippendales bar show, at her birthday party and on a sun holiday.

Blanchard said Manulife told her it's evidence she is no longer depressed. She's fighting to get her benefits reinstated and says her lawyer is exploring what the next step should be.

Blanchard told the CBC that on her doctor's advice, she tried to have fun, including nights out at her local bar with friends and short getaways to sun destinations, as a way to forget her problems.

Manulife wouldn't comment on Blanchard's case, but did say they would not deny or terminate a claim solely based on information published on Web sites such as Facebook. - AP

Ex-cabinet men gather in force to support Erap bid

Nine people who once made up former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada’s Cabinet gathered on Thursday to express support for his presidential bid.

“Ever since, we’ve been solid," said former Energy Secretary Mario Tiaoqui at the Rotary Club of Manila meeting at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City.

“I guess it’s just more of a reaffirmation of our continued support for the president," he added.

Also present in the event were former presidential spokesman Ronaldo “Dong" Puno, Bienvenido Laguesma (Labor), Benjamin Diokno (Budget), Alberto “Quasi" Romualdez (Health), Jun Rivera (Public Works), Renato “Boy" Ampil (Customs), and Rod Reyes (Press Secretary).

The former president was introduced by his former Finance secretary Jose “Titoy" Pardo, who said that Estrada continued to enjoy the solid support of his former secretaries because “he is the most transparent and most sincere" among all the presidential contenders for the 2010 polls.

Pardo added that Estrada “did not have any corrupt motives" during his term that he even gave then vice president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a Cabinet position.

Mrs. Arroyo served as Estrada’s Social and Welfare Secretary before she resigned from his Cabinet in 2000 to join the ouster calls against him.

Estrada, who was ousted in 2001 and convicted of plunder in 2007, has been stressing his eligibility to take a second shot at the presidency.

Article VII, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution states that, “The President shall not be eligible for any re-election. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time."

But Estrada said the Constitutional provision applies only to incumbent presidents and those who were able to serve for more than four years.

"If the incumbent President Arroyo, who had already served three and a half years as president can run for reelection as president, why will Joseph Estrada, who only served for two and a half years be barred from running again?" Estrada said.

In case the Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court allow him to run, he would be pitted against Sen. Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III of the Liberal Party, former Defense Chief Gilberto Teodoro of Lakas-Kampi, and Sen. Manuel Villar Jr. of the Nationalista Party, among others. – Aie Balagtas See, GMANews.TV

Govt prepares to file criminal charges vs Andal Ampatuan Jr.

AMPATUAN, Philippines – Under threat of military attack, the scion of the clan suspected in the slaughter of 57 people in the southern Philippines turned himself in Thursday, and prosecutors say he will face murder charges in the country's worst election violence.

Andal Ampatuan Jr., a town mayor, maintains he had nothing to do with the ambush of a convoy carrying his political rival's family, supporters and at least 22 journalists. Their bodies — mowed down by point-blank shots and some hacked up — were found in mass graves hastily dug by a backhoe. Some were buried with their vehicles.

The baby-faced 41-year-old is heir to the Ampatuan kingdom: impoverished, rural and lawless Maguindanao province, where they have ruled for years with a reputation for ruthlessness that led few to dare to challenge them. Hundreds of pro-government militiamen in their employ have been disarmed since the massacre.


Ismael Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan township, did the unthinkable when he decided to file his candidacy for governorship in May 2010 elections. Having received death threats, he sent his wife, sisters and other female relatives to submit his papers, hoping that women would be spared the kind of violence that regularly reigns in the region.

Asked by reporters if he was involved in the killings, Ampatuan, who tried to hide his face with a scarf as he was ferried from his home province, replied: "There is no truth to that. The reason I came out is to prove that I am not hiding and that I am not guilty."

Ampatuan gave himself up to presidential adviser Jesus Dureza in the provincial capital of Shariff Aguak, following days of negotiations and hours after troops and police sent in tanks, trucks and armored carriers around administrative buildings. Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno had threatened to attack the family compound unless they turned over Ampatuan by midday Thursday.

At an airport building where he was initially questioned, Ampatuan was confronted by an enraged Mangudadatu. Relatives and officials had to step in to restrain them.

"When I saw him, I wanted to chew him up, spit him out and stomp on him," Mangudadatu told reporters later.

As a helicopter carrying Ampatuan took off from Shariff Agusan, shots rang out but the aircraft was not hit, Ferrer said. It wasn't clear who fired them.

Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuno said he has instructed his staff to work overnight to prepare charges against Ampatuan. He is the only suspect named by police so far.

Zuno said he expects Ampatuan, who was brought to Manila, to be charged with multiple counts of murder Friday in southern Cotabato city, which is closest to the massacre site. The trial will take place in the capital for security reasons.

The Ampatuan clan helped President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her allies win the 2004 presidential and 2007 senatorial elections by delivering crucial votes.

After the massacre, Arroyo's ruling party expelled Ampatuan, his father and a brother.

Apart from Ampatuan, national police director Jesus Verzosa said six senior officers, including the provincial police chief and his deputy, 20 members of Ampatuan township's police station and nearly 400 militiamen were in custody, but not all were considered suspects.

The area around the provincial capital was tense and a highway dotted with military checkpoints was deserted after troops disarmed nearly 400 pro-government militiamen loyal to the Ampatuans. Such militias are meant to act as an auxiliary force to the military and police in fighting rebels and criminals but often serve as politicians' private armies.

"There's been a total misuse of our law enforcement personnel in the area, and complicity by law enforcement officers in this crime," Puno said. Those police officers "forgot that they should defend the Republic of the Philippines, not their Godfather."

Puno said there were witnesses to the massacre but refused to provide details. Mangudadatu said earlier four witnesses under his protection told him they saw Ampatuan flagging down the caravan. The four were able to turn back unnoticed, Mangudadatu told The Associated Press.

Mangudadatu said one witness "saw the gunmen stop the convoy and saw Andal Ampatuan slap my wife."

Not all of the 57 victims were part of the convoy. Police officer Felicisimo Khu, who was supervising the retrieval of bodies on a grassy hilltop in Ampatuan township, said the gunmen intercepted two other vehicles with six people who happened to be traveling on the same road at the same time — and killed and buried them too.

Arroyo vowed justice for the victims.

But with only seven months left in office before she steps down after nine years, few think she will be able to restore the rule of law in the chronically restive region that has been outside the central government's reach for generations. Maguindanao's acting governor is Sajid Ampatuan, another son of former Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., the clan's patriarch.

At least 22 journalists working for newspapers and TV and radio stations in the southern Mindanao Island region were among the dead — the most reporters killed in a single attack anywhere in the world, according to media groups.

The most senior reporter in the group was Alejandro "Bong" Reblando, 53, a former Associated Press stringer. - AP

DOJ: No evidence to link MILF in Maguindanao carnage

The Department of Justice and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) laughed off claims by detained Datu Unsay, Maguindanao Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. that the secessionist group was behind the mass slaughter of 57 people that elicited worldwide condemnation.

In a radio interview Friday, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said none of the statements they have gathered from witnesses so far have pointed to MILF commander Ameril Umbra Kato as Ampatuan had claimed.

"Alam mo, nandoon ako. Medyo ako natawa dahil sa statement wala kaming nakitang Umbra Kato-Umbra Kato (I was there when the mayor told reporters Umbra Kato was involved. I nearly laughed because none of the statements we gathered so far pointed to Umbra Kato)," Devanadera said in an interview on dzRH radio.

She said the mayor's lawyer, who was with him when he made the claim Thursday night at the NBI, had to stop him. Lawyer Sigfrid Fortun had been earlier named as Ampatuan Jr.'s counsel.

"Buti huminto na sa pagsagot, baka ano pa sabihin niya. Pinahinto siya ng abogado (Good thing he stopped there because he might have made some wild claims. His lawyer stopped him from talking)," she said.

Early Thursday evening at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) where Ampatuan Jr. was brought to from General Santos City, the prime suspect on the November 23 massacre in Ampatuan town pointed to the MILF as the ones responsible for the slaughter. [See: Ampatuan detained at NBI, blames MILF for massacre]

"Napakadali para magbintang. Dapat may ebidensya. Wala akong kasalanan. Ang may kasalanan ay [si] MILF [Commander] Umbra Kato (It's so easy to accuse someone. There should be evidence. I'm innocent. The culprits are with MILF's Umbra Kato)," he told newsmen in a short interview while inside the NBI detention facility.

"Mga terorista ang mga iyon e (They are terrorists)," Ampatuan Jr. stressed, claiming that he was at the municipal hall when the massacre happened on Monday morning.

Rogue MILF commanders

Kato was one of the rogue MILF commanders linked to attacks in some areas in Mindanao last year, after the Supreme Court junked a memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain.

MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu similarly laughed off Ampatuan's claims, saying Kato does not operate in Ampatuan town where the massacre occurred.

Kabalu said Kato's unit operates mainly in Datu Piang and Kabuntalan in Maguindanao, and in Libungan, Midsayap and Aleosan in North Cotabato.

"Di na hahantong sa idawit ang MILF sa barbaric act na ito. Malinaw na malinaw ang pangyayari at saka I believe ongoing ang thorough investigation ng gobyerno (I don't think the MILF will be dragged into this barbaric act. What happened was clear and I believe the government's thorough investigation is still ongoing)," he said in an interview on dzXL radio.

"Huwag natin patulan ito, another panlilinlang ito siguro (We will not dignify this attempt to mislead investigators)," he added.

Witnesses coming out

Devanadera said more witnesses are now coming out, and more are expected to surface after they saw how Ampatuan was arrested and detained.

She also maintained the DOJ can beat the 36-hour deadline - which lapses before dawn Saturday - to file multiple murder charges against Ampatuan Jr. for the massacre.

"Napakaganda ng ebidensyang nakuha namin (Our evidence is good). This time we have more witnesses than expected, they started to come out. The message is sent, they saw we were able to incarcerate the mayor, I believe we will have more witnesses," she said.

Devanadera also disclosed there were at least 24 media representatives who were among the 57 killed. Initial reports had indicated only 12 media members killed.

Meanwhile, Devanadera said a witness who surfaced and was interviewed on Al-Jazeera television matched the testimonies given by other witnesses they had interviewed.

"Napakinggan ko siya. Ang statements niya parehong pareho sa statement ng isa naming hawak. Nakamaskara siya di ko alam kung siya yan pero pareho (I heard the interview. The statements matched those of witnesses we interviewed. But the one in the TV interview was masked, so I am not sure if he is one of the witnesses we already interviewed)," she said.

The Al-Jazeera report quoted the witness, who it identified only as Boy, as saying Mayor Ampatuan ordered the killing of all those in the convoy.

In the convoy were the wife and supporters of Buluan town Vice Mayor Ismael "Toto" Mangudadatu. Also in the convoy were journalists who were to witness the filing of candidacy of Mangudadatu for governor of Maguindanao. The COC was to be filed by Mangudadatu's wife on his behalf. - GMANews.TV

Autopsies on Maguindanao victims hampered by lack of equipment

Dr. Benito Molino, a veteran forensics consultant who observed the autopsies on Maguindanao massacre victims, said Thursday that authorities lacked the special equipment needed to gather maximum evidence from bodies already in an advanced state of decomposition.

Dr. Molino, who was engaged by non-government group CenterLaw Philippines to help investigate the massacre, said in a telephone interview with GMANews.TV that he offered to bring in a mobile X-ray machine and a radiologist, but the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) did not take up his offer.

Comprehensive X-rays on the remains could have helped locate bullet fragments and establish bullet trajectories, he noted.

"The bodies are already bloated. Certain details cannot be determined anymore, such as the proximity of the victims to the shooters," Dr. Molino said, adding that some physical evidence cannot be recovered, such as the size of the wound, because the wound is already enlarged.

In response to Dr. Molino’s request made Wednesday, he said that the NBI on Thursday morning mobilized additional forensic consultants Dr. Reynaldo Romero, Dr. Evelyn Ignacio, Armando Mancera and Marlon Domens, and Dr. Ricardo M. Rodaje – who is based in General Santos City.

As of Thursday afternoon, Dr. Molino said, at least 43 cadavers were undergoing autopsy in four different funeral parlors in Koronadal, South Cotabato province where most of the bodies were brought.

He said he pitied the government doctors who had to do the gruesome task with inadequate facilities. “They have so much work with so little."

Dr. Molino lamented that there were no refrigerators to store the bodies, nor even just air-conditioning. In a CenterLaw Philippines report, he said: “They could have at least used lime to slow down the process of composition but I did not see any indication that they did that."

"When the state of decomposition is this advanced, even identification can be questioned," he added. “But I hope they are doing their best."

"Sila na gumawa ng paraan para mabawasan yung amoy (They devised ways to reduce the stench)," Dr. Molino said of the funeral parlors where the bodies were being autopsied, adding that they made do with charcoal and mothballs.

Initial findings

Despite the limited resources for conducting proper autopsies, initial forensic findings showed that the victims suffered multiple gunshots in different parts of the body. “Mukhang (It looked like) random shooting," said Dr. Molino.

Findings also showed some signs of tissue reactions which indicate the victims might not have died instantly, and might have still been alive when they were buried. "We could not really say," Dr. Molino qualified, saying that this possibility is merely based on what he observed in the autopsy proceedings.

Dr. Rodaje, for his part, said in a separate phone interview with GMANews.TV that as of Thursday afternoon, 20 autopsies have been completed in Koronadal, adding that multiple gunshot wounds have been determined as the cause of death.

“Smooth naman yung autopsies (The autopsies went smoothly)," he said. “Hindi naman kailangan ng X-ray (X-rays were not needed)," he further said when asked about the reported offer by Dr. Molino of an X-ray machine.

So far, police investigators have not mentioned any case of beheading or clear indications of rape, as claimed by Buluan vice mayor Ismael “Toto" Mangudadatu whose wife, sister and relatives were among those killed.

Dr. Rodaje said that vaginal swabbings from the female victims have yet to be brought to Manila for analysis.

It is expected that the remaining ten autopsies in Koronadal and the eight in Tacurong will be completed by Thursday evening, he added.

He said the autopsy reports of the male victims will be released to concerned investigative agencies as soon as possible. The reports on the female victims will be released with the results of the semenology examinations to determine if there had been rape, he added. – Carmela Lapeña/JV, GMANews.TV

Arroyo allies, critics thumb down death penalty revival

Both allies and critics of the Arroyo administration thumbed down proposals to reimpose the death penalty as outrage over the Maguindanao massacre that claimed at least 57 lives triggered calls for the revival of capital punishment.

Administration standard bearer Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said innocent people are likely the ones who would suffer from such punishment due to the country’s poor justice system.

“I’m not for the death penalty. Maraming innocent na pwedeng bitayin, maniwala kayo. Kung pwede lang patawan, patawan (We could hang many innocents, believe me. We could impose death, why not), but not in the justice system we have," he told reporters after visiting Serrano Elementary School in Valenzuela City.

Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, the vice presidential candidate of the oppositionist Liberal Party, likewise said an efficient justice system and not the death penalty was the best deterrent to crime.

"Mababalewala ang death penalty kung hindi nahuhuli, hindi napa-file-an ng kaso at hindi nako-convict ang mga salarin (Death penalty is futile if the culprits are not arrested, charged, and convicted)," he said in a phone interview with GMANews.TV.

"We must subject the suspects to due process and full investigation," he added.

Andal Ampatuan Jr., the prime suspect in last Monday's grisly massacre in Maguindanao province, is now detained at National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) office and awaiting to undergo precisely such a process. [See: Ampatuan detained at NBI, blames MILF for massacre]

Despite the gruesome murder, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said the country does not need reimposing the death penalty to arrest members of the Ampatuan clan.

The death penalty law was passed in 1992 but was abolished 14 years later in 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal right before she flew to Vatican City for an audience with the Pope.

There must be a "consensus" before the death penalty can be reimposed, House Speaker Prospero Nograles said.

"The problem there [in Maguindanao] is not a problem everywhere. Let's debate on it," he said in a text message to reporters.

"Each province is unique and governed differently by local leaders. Like Davao City, it also has death squad problems," added Nograles. – JV, GMANew.TV