Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Repost From Cristina Arzadon of Philippine Daily Inquirer

7 houses destroyed, 12 damaged as whirlwinds sweep Sarrat, Laoag

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LAOAG CITY, Philippines—As Typhoon Mina pounded northern Luzon on Saturday, whirlwinds swept through parts of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, and this capital city, uprooting trees and destroying houses.

The provincial disaster risk reduction and management council said an early morning whirlwind destroyed seven houses and damaged 12 others in Barangay 18 in Sarrat town. No resident, however, was reported hurt.

Personnel from the Laoag City engineering office conducted clearing operations at 10 a.m. in Barangay Cataban after another whirlwind uprooted trees and blocked a road in the village.

Governor Imee Marcos and provincial government personnel brought relief goods to displaced families in Sarrat on Saturday.

Marcos also checked the situation in Piddig where floods inundated some parts of the town.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration had placed Ilocos Norte under storm signal No. 2 in its 11 a.m. weather bulletin.

Saturday flights of Cebu Pacific from Manila to Laoag and vice versa were canceled due to bad weather.

Personnel of the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) were also sent to various neighborhoods in this city after strong winds snapped several power lines.

William Marders, the utility’s information officer, warned residents to stay away from broken power lines and wait for INEC personnel to fix them.

Reposted From Cristina Arzadon of Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Repost From Angelo L. Gutierrez of The Philippine Star

'US says Mindanao has $1-T untapped mineral resources'
The Philippine Star Updated August 24, 2011 11:28 AM 12 comments to this post

MANILA, Philippines - A peace pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) could be the Philippines' way out of poverty, a congressman said today citing a US intelligence assessment.

Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability, said that the success of the ongoing peace talks between the government and the MILF plays a vital role in solving poverty.

Treñas said that based on the US intelligence assessment, "the Philippines may have untapped minerals worth between US$840 billion to US$1 trillion" in Mindanao.

The congressman said that the US intelligence assessment was included in the 2006 "unclassified/for official use only" cable from the US embassy in Manila released online by Singapore-based journalist Andrew Macgregor Marshall.

He said that the assessment can only become a reality of peace and security in Mindanao is secured through the success of the government-initiated peace talks with the MILF.

Treñas said that the intelligence assessment "basically assures that peace in Mindanao could catapult the entire nation from being a third world nation into a major economic power in Asia."

"We've always known that Mindanao is fertile and rich in natural and mineral resources but I didn't realize that Mindanao's mineral wealth can single-handedly reverse our present economic situation. With this report, I'm convinced more than ever that our key to finally become a first world nation is to bring peace and development to Mindanao," he said.

The lawmaker said that the US intelligence assessment should raise the urgency for the forging of peace talks between the government and the MILF. He urged opposition congressmen to support the Aquino administration's bid to secure the peace deal.

President Benigno Aquino III had recently met with MILF leader Al Haj Murad in Tokyo. Both agreed to speed up the talks and work for the forging of a peace pact before Aquino's term expires in 2016.

Treñas said the US report should now convince skeptics that President Aquino is on the right direction in his decision to do anything possible that is within the bounds of law to guarantee the success of the peace talks between the government and the MILF.

He also dismissed claims that a peace deal between the government and the MILF is a "sell out" of the nation's patrimony because on the contrary, the full integration of the MILF and their decision to give up their quest of an independent state is a big leap forward in promoting national patrimony.

"We should stop talking about national patrimony in a manner that treats the MILF as non-Filipinos. The fact that they have given up secessionism should be considered as something that strengthens our nation and not something that weakens it," Treñas said.

Talks between the government and the MILF bogged down Tuesday after the MILF panel led by Mohagher Iqbal rejected the proposals presented by the government peace panel enumerating economic and political solutions that can end the armed conflict in Mindanao. -- Angelo L. Gutierrez

Reposted From Angelo L. Gutierrez of The Philippine Star

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Repost From Nelson Beltran of The Philippine Star


Petron blazes into history, slams grand slam
By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) Updated August 22, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (49) View comments
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MANILA, Philippines - Petron Blaze slammed Talk n Text’s grand Triple Crown aspiration, completing a dream ride of its own with a resounding 85-73 victory that netted the proud SMC franchise PBA championship banner No. 19 to the roaring approval of its throngs at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

The Boosters effectively prevented the Tropang Texters’ entry to the elite ranks of grand slam winners in the league, stealing the thunder in grabbing the season-ending Governors Cup championship.

Six months after losing the Philippine Cup crown to the Texters, the Boosters exacted their revenge – so sweet scored for a team down to 10 in the end.

The Boosters, nonetheless, didn’t run out of heroes and, at the final buzzer, held aloft a first crown in two years.

Arwind Santos churned out a 14th double-double (16 points and 16 rebounds) and Alex Cabagnot came through with a near triple double (12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists), and both experienced a first ever championship in the pro league.

Old vanguard Danny Ildefonso was a star in his prime, contributing 13 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one assist as he won an eighth PBA crown.

Anthony Grundy was right there at the forefront, redeeming himself from a five-point showing in Game Six with 26 points and seven rebounds in this no-tomorrow game.

Santos, who averaged huge double-double numbers in the series, won the Phoenix Finals MVP award.

The former FEU stalwart saved his best for last, highlighting his sterling act with a breakaway two-handed jam to eventually break the back of Talk n Text, 81-73, inside the final minute.

“Kami ngayon ang pinakamasayang tao sa mundo (We’re now the happiest people on earth),” said Santos during the awards rites.

Santos and company, undermanned minus Jay Washington, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Joseph Yeo and Lordy Tugade, hacked out an improbable title run handing coach Ato Agustin a championship right in his first season as tactician in the pros.

“Nagkamali sila at kami ang pinili nila (They committed a mistake in choosing us to play in the finals),” said Agustin, believing Talk n Text deliberately dropped its last game in the semifinals to have Petron, instead of Barangay Ginebra, as finals opponent.

Agustin became the eighth personality to have won as player and coach in the PBA after Fort Acuna, Robert Jaworski, Rino Salazar, Ely Capacio, Joel Banal, Siot Tanquincen and Norman Black.

And after Jaworski, he’s the second MVP winner to become a champion coach.

“We worked hard to avenge our first conference loss and we worked hard to defend the ranks of grand slam champion teams,” said Agustin, a member of the 1989 San Miguel Triple Crown winner.

Striking hard on their own kick-and-drive plays, the Boosters opened an early huge lead at 27-13 nine minutes into the game.

Denok Miranda scored their first seven points then Grundy, Santos, Ildefonso and Cabagnot put their act together as the Petron starters combined for all the team’s 28 points in the first period and all 12 in the second.

Ranidel de Ocampo and Maurice Baker took the cudgels for the Texters in the second period, making nine and eight, respectively, as TnT came to within six, 34-40, at the half.

The Boosters were still enjoying a double-digit spread at 34-24 before losing momentum on a flagrant infraction by Jojo Duncil on Baker.

Baker drew a hard foul from Sunday Salvacion in the next play and the Talk n Text import nailed four straight charities to make it a close game through the half.

Talk n Text had a chance to make it a four-point game at the turn but Santos blocked a dunk attempt by De Ocampo in the closing seconds.

The Boosters set the pace in the first half with a 41.7-percent shooting as against the Texters’ 31-percent clip.

The scores:

Petron 85 – Grundy 26, Santos 16, Miranda 16, Ildefonso 13, Cabagnot 12, Pennisi 2, Duncil 0, Hubalde 0, Salvacion 0.

Talk n Text 73 – Baker 22, De Ocampo 15, Williams 13, Alapag 13, Carey 6, Castro 2, Peek 2, Dillinger 0, Reyes 0, Aban 0. Fonacier 0, Alvarez 0.

Quarterscores: 28-17, 40-34, 64-53, 85-73

Reposted From Nelson Beltran of The Philippine Star

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