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Villar, Pangilinan vie for senate presidency; Angara's bloc may provide the winning vote

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MANILA -- In a first stand-off between two old-time parties -- the Liberal Party versus the Nacionalista Party -- the race is on who would emerge as the Senate president: Francis Pangilinan or Manny Villar. Or as a remote possibility, if odd-makers have it, current Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile may yet retain his seat.

It all now depends on a crucial horse-trading and whichever party gives in for more concession, an eventual senator president may soon emerge after vacationing senators come back and attend a full session to elect their new leader on Monday, July 26.  And a vote from a bloc of senators not belonging to either party may provide the winning vote.

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Labor leader presses former GSIS GM for update on foreign investments

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MANILA -- Labor leader Ernesto Herrera has welcomed former Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) president and general manager Winston Garcia's statement that he is ready to submit to an audit of the pension fund's operations during his term.

While welcoming Garcia's remarks, Herrera expressed disappointment that the erstwhile GSIS chief has yet to address the matter of the condition of the pension fund's foreign investments, and the question why many pensioners are still complaining about delays in their monthly allowances.

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RP Presidential Candidates -- What Do They Stand For?

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MANILA — “The profiles of the leading presidential candidates underscore how Philippine elections continue to be basically elite-dominated and money-driven,” said Pagbabago! Co-chair Judy Taguiwalo. To help voters “gauge their candidates” the Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change [2] has designed the “People’s Criteria [3].”

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Solon urges DFA, DOE to check Filipinos in troubled Greece

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Concerned with the social unrest and fierece rioting in Greece,a senior member of Congress has urged the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment to ascertain the situation of Filipino workers based in that country.


"We have thousands of Filipino workers, mostly sailors in Greece. They ought to be dutifully looked after, amid the worsening social conditions there," said Cotabato Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, a member of the bicameral Commission on Appointments.

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6.0-magnitude quake strikes west of metro manila

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A 6.2-magnitute earthquake has struck west of Manila, shaking building in the capital and causing workers to stream out of their offices.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties Thursday and no tsunami alert was issued. Buildings in Manila shook for about 30 seconds.

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A Century Later, Filipino Women Remain in Grip of Poverty, Injustice

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MANILA — March 8 this year marks the 100th year since the declaration of International Women’s Day. But women are still vulnerable especially in times of crisis. Under the Arroyo administration, data show that many women still suffer from many forms of injustice.

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Philvocs: Tsunami threat over

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MANILA -- In light of concerns about a possible tsunami hitting the Philippines after an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile February 27, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvocs) said Monday (March 1) that the threat is over.

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2010 Bets Told: Act on Poor’s Needs, Demands

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MANILA — Urban poor group Kadamay and progressive organizations commemorated the 24th anniversary of People Power I not with glamorous and star-studded concerts but with a protest march.

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Cotabato solon calls women unsung heroines of the economy

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MANILA -- A proposed redefinition of "work" in order to give more recognition to women has drawn the support of Cotabato Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, who described it as "fair, practical and necessary –- even a bit overdue."

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Villar says visit to Cebu Archbishop was not to seek endorsement but a blessing

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CEBU CITY -- In a trip to this city on Feb. 20, Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manuel L. Villar, Jr. met with Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal. But to dissuade perceptions of a political endorsement, both Vidal and Villar clarified that the meeting should not be misunderstood as an endorsement for the elections this May.

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News Analysis: The Gains and Promise of the People Power Uprising at Edsa

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MANILA — The country is commemorating this week the 24th anniversary of Edsa People Power 1. Some would not bother celebrating the event because they feel that the country is no better off now.

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Arrested health workers say they were tortured

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ANTIPOLO CITY—This would be a test to the Anti-Torture Law of 2009: the Health Alliance for Democracy has revealed—the Morong 43 was heavily tortured, physically and mentally.

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Lady Solon wants AIDS fund probed

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ANTIPOLO CITY —  Iloilo (1st District) Rep. Janet Garin calls on the government to investigate the “health” of the AIDS fund as cases of the disease now reaching almost a pandemic proportions.

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TUCP reports a decrease in Filipino nurses seeking US employment

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MANILA - The number of Filipinos that sought to enter America’s nursing profession plunged by 26 percent in 2009, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) reported Sunday Feb. 7, 2010.

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Colleagues of arrested health workers to file Writ of Habeas Corpus to SC

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MANILA -- Dr. Eleanor Jara, a general physician and currently the executive director of the CHD said that contrary to the claims of Col. Aurelio Baladad, commander of the 202nd IB-PA the abducted health and medical professionals were all volunteer of different non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and not by any means, connected with the communist rebels.

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Boost in RP's anti-corruption rating seen with proposed law

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MANILA -- Cotabato Rep. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza has expressed confidence that the country's anti-corruption rating would get a big boost once the proposed Freedom of Information Act is finally enacted.

"We are counting on the measure to improve considerably the country's image in terms of fighting corruption," said Taliño-Mendoza, one of the key authors of the measure and one-time chairwoman of the House committee on public information.

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OFW’s sis ask DFA to assist sibling languishing in jail

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ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines—For Mirasol, 38 years old, and a former accountant in a firm in Dubai, the Sharjah Central Jail has become her second home for the past two years.

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Doubling of Pag-IBIG payments to cost workers extra P8.9 billion

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MANILA (Sept. 26) -- The plan of the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) to double the mandatory monthly contributions of its 7.4-million members from P100 to P200 would cost workers an extra P8.9 billion, Catanduanes Rep. Joseph Santiago said today.

"This is what Pag-IBIG hopes to collect additionally from its existing members – P8.9 billion every year, or P740 million monthly. This is a lot of money that will be taken out of the pockets of our workers, and which they could better spend for basic necessities," Santiago said.

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Tropical storm 'Ondoy' batters Luzon; floods submerge Metro Manila areas

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Tropical storm 'Ondoy' batters Luzon; floods submerge Metro Manila areasMANILA (Sept. 26) -- Floodwaters covered Metro Manila and its outskirts as tropical storm Ondoy lashed out at the eastern side of the country today, government agencies said.

The storm, bearing winds of 85 kilometers per hour with gusts of 100 kilometers, struck Luzon near the town of Infanta in Quezon province at about 10 a.m., moving west at 19 kilometers an hour, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

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House reps to CA reject Reyes, Atienza nomination to PGMA cabinet

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MANILA (Sept. 25) -- The House contingent to the 25-member bicameral Commission of Appointments (CA) has given up on confirming Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes and Environment Secretary Jose Atienza Jr.

"We’ve formally requested Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (the concurrent CA chairman) to terminate consideration of the appointments of Secretaries Reyes and Atienza," said Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas, head of the House contingent to the CA.

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Roxas accepts Aquino's offer

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MANILA (Sept. 22) -- In response to Lakas-Kampi (Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino)-CMD party's choice of Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. as its presidential bet in 2010, Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II yesterday formally declared that he is running for vice president, making official the Liberal Party tandem Aquino-Roxas for 2010.

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