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News Headlines in and around the Philippines

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  • How Zalora products get to your doorstep
  • How Zalora products get to your doorstep
  • WATCH: NY exhibit pays tribute to the art of the mannequin
    A new exhibition that focuses on 30 years of mannequin design by designer and manufacturer Ralph Pucci illustrates that display items can be art in and of themselves.
  • ‘Mangudadatu using power, massacre issue to unseat all Ampatuans’
    DATU Unsay Mayor Bai Reshal Santiago Ampatuan called on Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to investigate the alleged abuses of Maguindanao Governor Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu. Bai Reshal, first wife of former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., in her letter to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima dated March 31, said the governor is using his position and the 2009 Maguindanao massacre to drive the remaining Ampatuans out of office. "Since we have been duly elected by the constituents, Governor Toto has resorted to using his power to unseat all those who opposed him so that he could replace them with his own trusted men," Bai Reshal said in her letter. "Yes, we know that Gov. Toto has ...

    Keep on reading: ‘Mangudadatu using power, massacre issue to unseat all Ampatuans’
  • LOOK: Stephen Curry meets Manny Pacquiao's kids Jimuel and Michael
    Shortly after sending Manny Pacquiao a signed jersey, Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry met the Filipino ring icon's sons Jimuel and Michael on Tuesday.
  • Remains of Pinoy killed in Libya attack to be repatriated soon –DFA
    The remains of the Filipino killed during a bombing in Zawiya, Libya, over the weekend will be repatriated soon after his relatives requested assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to bring home the remains.
  • PBA bans referee for waving off Norwood trey in Rain or Shine game 1 win
    The PBA has suspended yet another referee after a blunder late in Game 1 of the semifinals series between Rain or Shine and Meralco Tuesday night. In a statement released on Wednesday, the league banned referee Art Herrera for five game days or one week with no pay "for an error in mechanics and judgement in changing a call." Herrera waved off a made 3-pointer by Gabe Norwood that would've put Rain or Shine ahead, 90-80, with 5:35 left in the game thinking Norwood failed to beat the shot clock, which is a non-reviewable play. The replay, however, clearly showed Norwood released the ball with still a second left before the shot clock expired. The Elasto Painters still went on ...

    Keep on reading: PBA bans referee for waving off Norwood trey in Rain or Shine game 1 win
  • San Miguel raises P21B from reissued preferred shares
    Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. has priced its reissued private placement of 300 million preferred shares at P75.00 apiece to raise P20.956 billion.
  • PNoy: No need for major gov't meeting on 'Chedeng'
    BATANGAS CITY - President Aquino said on Wednesday there is no need to convene a major meeting among government agencies even as a powerful typhoon approaches the country.
  • Ombudsman asked to probe Comelec-Smartmatic ‘midnight deal’
    A former attorney for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has asked the Ombudsman to investigate the poll body for the alleged illegality of a "midnight deal" with Smartmatic for the repair, refurbishment and diagnostics of 82,000 vote-counting machines.   Atty. Melchor Magamo on Wednesday filed an affidavit of a request for assistance before the Office of the Ombudsman to probe the allegedly "illegal" and "unjust" P268.8-million deal to extend the warranty of the 82,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines which the Comelec purchased from manufacturer Smartmatic.   READ: Group accuses Comelec of favoring Smartmatic   Magdamo said he has yet to ...

    Keep on reading: Ombudsman asked to probe Comelec-Smartmatic ‘midnight deal’
  • DOJ defends move to place Akmad Ampatuan under WPP
    MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) defended its move to place former Datu Salibo, Maguindanao Mayor Akmad Ampatuan under its custody by virtue of his Witness Protection Program (WPP) coverage.
  • 'No plate, no travel' policy is 'un-Christian': MMDA
    MANILA - The chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is urging the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to reconsider its "no plate, no travel" policy, saying the policy is both "untimely" and "un-Christian."
  • Students become part of the art in Cubao 3D museum Art in Island
    A museum in Cubao is helping people appreciate art by letting them become part of it. Art in Island, created by a group of Korean artists, features over 100 unique three-dimensional paintings that encourage people to pose in front of them.
  • LOOK: Photos show Maysak ‘commands respect even from space’
    An Italian astronaut living on the International Space Station shared on Wednesday photos of super typhoon Maysak as it moved closer to the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
  • Despite typhoon, summer is here—Pagasa
    Summer has begun, the weather bureau announced on Wednesday.   Notwithstanding an approaching typhoon, which is expected to affect the country from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday, the dry season is upon the country, said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).     READ: Typhoon Maysak set to enter PAR Wednesday     Pagasa explained that the dry season began with the termination of the northeast monsoon or amihan.   "Considering changes in the wind pattern and pressure system related with the changing of the season, the current weather condition signifies the imminent terminat...

    Keep on reading: Despite typhoon, summer is here—Pagasa
  • 2 missing while swimming in Bukidnon — NDRRMC
    Search operations are ongoing for two high school students who were reported missing after going swimming in Bukidnon last weekend.
  • The world’s oldest person, Misao Okawa, dies at age 117 – media
    Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman recognized as the world's oldest person who credited her longevity to "eating delicious things" and getting plenty of rest, died at the age of 117 on Wednesday, Japanese media reported.
  • MMDA chief asks LTO to stop implementation of ‘no-plate, no-travel’ policy
    Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino on Wednesday called on the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to stop the implementation of its “no-plate, no-travel” policy, saying it is “unconstitutional.”
  • Urbandub’s original members to hold last concert on May 9
    No, it's not an April Fools' prank. After 15 years in the music industry, rock band Urbandub's original members will perform their last concerton May 9. In an announcement posted on their Facebook page, Urbandub's vocalistGabby Alipe, bass guitarist Lalay Lim, drummer JanJan Mendoza and guitarist John Dinopolsaid that they could not believe that they lasted 15 years in the industry. "We in the band, past and present members, still can't believe we lasted this long. What started out as something we wanted to do just for fun, turned into an amazing career, writing and performing music. We never expected that our little band from Cebu City, happy just performing our songs for o...

    Keep on reading: Urbandub’s original members to hold last concert on May 9
  • Meralco on alert for respond to possible power outages

    The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said it is on alert and is gearing all its efforts to prepare   for an immediate respond to power outages that may result from Typhoon Chedeng.

     “As a 24–hour service company, we are committed to respond to these types of emergency. Our crews are on standby to attend to any trouble that may affect our facilities in areas that might be hit by the typhoon,” Meralco Senior Vice-President and Head for Customer Retail Services and Corporate Communications Alfredo S. Panlilio said,

    Panlilio said it has issued advisories on the appropriate precautionary measures to take before a typhoon, such as the removal of billboards.

    “Meralco, for instance, has consistently requested billboard owners and operators to temporarily roll their billboards up to prevent these structures from being toppled by the strong winds,” Panlilio said.

    Billboards that fall into electrical facilities are among the main reasons for power outages whenever there are strong typhoons.

    Meralco also gave safety tips on using electrical devices and appliances in case there will be flooding.

    1) Ensure that the main electrical power switch or circuit breaker is off. Be sure to be dry at all times while being in contact with any electrical facility;

    2) Unplug appliances from wall sockets. Turn off permanently-connected equipment and unscrew all lightbulbs if possible;

    3) Remove mud and dirt from service equipment or main circuit breaker/fuse and its enclosure using rubber gloves and rubber soled shoes;

    4) Make sure that all electrical wires, connectors and other wiring devices are completely dry, and; 5) When all electrical wires and accessories have dried and are clean, the wiring system of all appliances must be checked by a licensed electrician. Do not turn on flood-damaged electrical appliances.



  • Eastern Visayas and Luzon, Bicol urged to monitor ‘Maysak’

    Courtesy of

    Super Typhoon Maysak is passed close to the north of Yap Island (at 6:30 a.m.) with its intense southern eyewall lashing the area at 240-kph wind intensity. Weather forecast provider said the typhoon is forecast to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) later Wednesday (April 1, 2015) or early Thursday morning (April 2) and will be named ‘Chedeng.’

    David Michael V. Padua of said Maysak is now the third most-intense super typhoon (at Category 5 strength) ever to form early in the January to April season. The other two super typhoons with similar strength in the past were Super Typhoon Ophelia in January 1958 and Super Typhoon Mitag in March 2002.

    Residents and visitors along Eastern Visayas, Bicol Region and Eastern Luzon are urged to closely monitor the development of the said super typhoon. said Maysak will continue to move on a generally west-northwest track throughout the forecast outlook. On the forecast track, it will start to move away from Yap Island and the rest of Western Micronesia today. Maysak will proceed moving across the Eastern Part of the Philippine Sea on Friday.

    The typhoon is likely to continue to gain strength…reaching its peak intensity within the next 12 to 24 hours, before it starts its weakening by 48 hours. Advance Intensity Forecast  shows its 10-minute maximum sustained winds increasing further to 270 kph late Wednesday or early Thursday morning.

    By early Thursday morning Maysak would have already reached peak intensity over the easternmost part of the Philippine Sea or about 1,000 km east of Borongan City, Eastern Samar.

    By early Friday mornings it would start to weaken but remains a super typhoon as it moves across the Eastern part of the Philippine Sea or about 855 km east of Sorsogon City, Sorsogon.

    Early Saturday morning, Maysak’s track is seen to bend slightly westward as it moves across the Central part of the Philippine Sea. Although no longer a super typhoon, it still packs winds of about 195 kph.


  • San Miguel raises P21B from re-issuance of preferred shares

    Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation has raised almost P21 billion from the re-issuance and private placement of its Series 1 preferred shares.

    In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said it has executed subscription agreements for the private placement of 279.41 million of the preferred shares at P75.00 per share.

    The shares were sold to Gingoog Holdings Corporation (83.82 million shares), Lucena Holdings Corporation (89.41 million shares), and Metroplex Holdings Corporation (106.17 million shares).

    SMC did not disclose ownership of the three preferred share buyers.

    The shares carry a dividend rate of 5.635 percent per annum and are perpetual, cumulative and non-voting. These are also redeemable at the option of SMC three years from the date of issuance.

    However, SMC said the closing and full payment of the purchase price under the subscription agreements are still subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions.

    SMC reported a 244 percent surge in net recurring income to P27.9 billion in 2014 on the back of significant growth across its traditional and new businesses.

    The firm said the increase excludes the one-time gain registered in 2013 from the sale of its Manila Electric Company shares, which brought its net income at that time to P50.7 billion.



  • Oil heir Andrew Getty found dead at Hollywood Hills home

    FILE – This 1975 file photo shows oil billionaire, Jean Paul Getty, America’s richest expatriate, at his home at Guildford, Surrey, England. (AP Photo/David Caulkin, File)

    LOS ANGELES — A man was found dead Tuesday in the Hollywood Hills home of oil fortune heir Andrew Getty, and the Getty family confirmed that it was the 47-year-old grandson of J. Paul Getty.

    A woman calling to report that someone had died sent officers to the gated home on Montcalm Avenue shortly after 2:15 p.m. They found the man dead in a bathroom, police spokesman Jack Richter said.

    Police didn’t identify the man, but a statement from Andrew Getty’s parents, Ann and Gordon Getty, confirmed it was him.

    The statement provided no further details on the death and asked that the media and public respect the family’s privacy. It said further statements will be issued as information becomes available.

    Richter and other police officials would not immediately confirm media reports that the dead man was Getty.

    Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the woman who had called police was cooperating with the investigation. Richter said she was not arrested and he did not know her identity.

    Coroner’s vans and news trucks were parked outside the century-old luxury home on one of the winding roads in the hills that are home to many of the film industry elite.

    Getty is one of four sons of Gordon Getty, a San Francisco multibillionaire who is among the richest men in the United States.

    Andrew Getty’s grandfather J. Paul Getty was an industrialist who founded the Getty Oil Co. and was at one point named the richest living American by Fortune magazine. He had five sons and died in 1976 at age 82.

    J. Paul Getty was an avid collector of art and antiquities, and the Getty name is best known in the Los Angeles area for the museum that houses much of it, along with many other high-priced artworks bought since his death.

    Another Getty grandson, J. Paul Getty III, lost an ear in a grisly kidnapping in Rome when he was a teenager. The family reportedly stalled on paying a ransom, and the kidnappers cut off part of his ear, sending the severed organ to a newspaper to prove they had taken him captive.

    The oil heir, then 16, was freed after five months in captivity and a payment of $2.7 million. He died in 2011 at age 54.

  • Next-generation GMOs: Pink pineapples and purple tomatoes

    WASHINGTON — Cancer-fighting pink pineapples, heart-healthy purple tomatoes and less fatty vegetable oils may someday be on grocery shelves alongside more traditional products.

    These genetically engineered foods could receive government approval in the coming years, following the OK given recently given to apples that don’t brown and potatoes that don’t bruise.

    The companies and scientists that have created these foods are hoping that customers will be attracted to the health benefits and convenience and overlook any concerns about genetic engineering.

    This image provided by The John Innes Centre, UK, shows a salad made with red and purple tomatoes. (AP Photo/Andrew Davis, The John Innes Centre, UK)

    “I think once people see more of the benefits they will become more accepting of the technology,” says Michael Firko, who oversees the Agriculture Department’s regulation of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

    Critics aren’t so sure. They say there should be more thorough regulation of modified foods, which are grown from seeds engineered in labs, and have called for mandatory labeling of those foods. The Agriculture Department only has the authority to oversee plant health of GMOs, and seeking Food and Drug Administration’s safety approval is generally voluntary.

    “Many of these things can be done through traditional breeding,” says Doug Gurian-Sherman of the advocacy group Center for Food Safety. “There needs to be skepticism.”

    What could be coming next? Del Monte has engineered a pink pineapple that includes lycopene, an antioxidant compound that gives tomatoes their red color and may have a role in preventing cancer. USDA has approved importation of the pineapple, which would be grown only outside of the United States; it is pending FDA approval. A small British company is planning to apply for U.S. permission to produce and sell purple tomatoes that have high levels of anthocyanins, compounds found in blueberries that some studies show lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. FDA would have to approve any health claims used to sell the products.

    Seed giants Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences are separately developing modified soybean, canola and sunflower oils with fewer saturated fats and more Omega-3 fatty acids. The Florida citrus company Southern Gardens is using a spinach gene to develop genetically engineered orange trees that could potentially resist citrus greening disease, which is devastating the Florida orange crop. Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., the company that created the non-browning apples, is also looking at genetically engineering peaches, cherries and apples to resist disease and improve quality.

    A few genetically engineered fruits and vegetables are already available in grocery stores: Hawaiian papaya, some zucchini and squash, and a small amount of the sweet corn we eat, for example. But the bulk of the nation’s genetically engineered crops are corn and soybeans that are eaten by livestock or made into popular processed food ingredients like corn starch, soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup.

    The engineered corn and soybeans have faced resistance from environmental groups and some consumers who are wary of the technology, saying not enough is known about it. While science has so far shown that genetically engineered foods are safe, the groups have called for the labeling so consumers know what they are eating. According to a December Associated Press-GfK poll, two-thirds of Americans favor those labels.

    Facing that concern, companies developing the new products say their strategy for winning over consumers is to harness the increased interest in healthy eating.

    “This is a new wave of crops that have both grower benefits and consumer benefits,” says Doug Cole of J.R. Simplot, the company that developed the potatoes.

    Simplot’s potatoes are engineered to have fewer black spots, a benefit not only for farmers seeking higher yields but also for consumers who wouldn’t have to soak them before preparation.

    British scientist Cathie Martin has developed the modified purple tomatoes and hopes to eventually sell them as a juice in the United States. She says some of those same health-conscious consumers that have concerns over GMOs should be attracted to a product with potential to help lower the risk of cancer.

    “This product has been designed to be good for them,” Martin says.

    Retailers are still uncertain. McDonald’s buys Simplot’s conventional potato products, but said the company does not have “current plans” to source any GMO potatoes. Other retail chains have already pledged not to sell a genetically engineered salmon that is pending approval at the Food and Drug Administration.

  • The world’s oldest person, a Japanese woman, dies at 117

    In this Thursday, March 5, 2015 photo, Japan’s Misao Okawa who is recognized as the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records is celebrated her 117th birthday with a birthday cake at a nursing home in Osaka, western Japan. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

    TOKYO — The world’s oldest person, a Japanese woman, died Wednesday, a few weeks after celebrating her 117th birthday.

    Misao Okawa died of heart failure and stopped breathing as her grandson and nursing home workers stood by her side, praising her for achieving a healthy long life, said Tomohiro Okada, an official at her Osaka nursing home.

    “She went so peacefully, as if she had just fallen asleep,” Okada said. “We miss her a lot.”

    Okawa, born in Osaka on March 5, 1898, was recognized as the world’s oldest person by Guinness World Records in 2013.

    Okada said Okawa lost her appetite about 10 days ago.

    Okawa, the daughter of a kimono maker, said at her birthday celebration that her life seemed rather short.

    Okawa married her husband, Yukio, in 1919, and they had two daughters and a son. She was survived by four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1931.