Monday, February 21, 2011


‘Melo is a Knick! ‘Melo is a Knick! Put it up in Broadway lights! ‘Melo is a Knick!
The longest soap opera since “Guiding Light” is over. The New York Knickerbockers outbid their cross-river rival New Jersey Nets — of course — in completing a trade for Carmelo Anthony the day after the All-Star Game.
Here’s the mega-blockbuster deal, according to Benjamin Hochman and Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (and confirmed by TNT’s David Aldridge and’s Art Garcia):
The Nuggets traded Melo to the New York Knicks tonight, a league source said. Denver gets Wilson ChandlerRaymond FeltonDanilo GallinariTimofey Mozgov, the Knicks 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors’ 2012 second-round pick, the Warriors’ 2013 second-round pick and $3 million in cash.
Anthony will go to New York, along with Chauncey BillupsShelden Williams,Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman.
Anthony wasn’t with the Nuggets with the resumption of practices Monday. ‘Melo finally gets to New York, his preference all along, and will presumably sign the three-year, $65 million extension that’s been offered since the offseason.
Only instead of signing in the Mile High City, he’s doing it in the Big Apple. ‘Melo will team withAmar’e Stoudemire to give the playoff-contending Knicks a true superstar duo in their bid to move up the Eastern Conference pecking order and close in on Miami, Boston and Chicago in the years to come. New York doesn’t play until Wednesday against Milwaukee at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks, according to the Post report, are also sending Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota. The Nuggets are ready to move on, said guard J.R. Smith:
“I mean, it’s just rebuilding first. We gotta go forward with what we got. And try to do the best we can in the playoffs.”

Donaire foe to get plastic surgery

MANILA, Philippines - Former Mexican bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel will have to undergo plastic surgery after his fight last Sunday against Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire. 
Montiel, who kissed the canvas in the second round of their bout, reportedly had a hairline fracture and deep dent in the cheekbone where Donaire’s powerful left hook connected.
Donaire confirmed the report in his Facebook account
“I want to give up 2 things to God: my win last night and also Montiel’s speedy recovery for his zygomatic bone fracture and reconstructive surgery. In both moments, only He can help us,” he said.
In an interview with TV Patrol Monday night, Donaire said the counter left hook that landed on Montiel was the “biggest and hardest punch” that he has ever made in his career so far.
“Ang ginawa ko lang ay i-set up iyung punch….proper balance, proper speed,” said Donaire, who is now seen by analysts as boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao’s heir apparent
He said his left hand hurts. “Actually, sumasakit ito eh. Na-feel ko it’s swelling.”
Donaire, now World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion, said he did not expect his opponent to get up from the blow.
“Akala ko, hindi na tatayo si Montiel, but being a champion that he is, it was a normal reaction niya na to stand up and be proud of who he is.”
Donaire said the victory has yet to fully sink in. “Parang panaginip pa rin. Hindi ko alam kung anong masasabi ko.”
He said he does not know yet who his next opponent is. “It’s more of the negotiation process muna. That’s up to Top Rank and my manager.”
He, however, said he wants to unify all the belts in the bamtamweight division first. “Sana bigyan nila ako ng pagkakataon na maging undisputed champion.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bahrain king offers dialogue to resolve crisis

MANAMA — Bahrain's king has offered a national dialogue "with all parties" in an effort to resolve a crisis that has killed four people and wounded hundreds, rocking the island, a key regional ally of the United States.

More than 60 people were in hospital on Saturday undergoing treatment for wounds sustained when Bahraini security forces fired on protesters as they headed to Pearl Square on Friday.

The shootings occurred on a day of mass mourning when Shi'ites buried the four people killed a day earlier in the police raid on the Pearl Square traffic circle.

In response to protests against his government that have drawn thousands of people on to the streets, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa announced late on Friday the crown price had been granted "all the powers to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of all gracious citizens from all sections" in the national dialogue.

US President Barack Obama spoke with the king on Friday evening, condemning the violence and urging the government to show restraint. Obama said the stability of Bahrain, home to the US Middle East fleet, depended upon respect for the rights of its people, according to the White House.

The unrest has presented the United States with a now familiar dilemma in the region. It is torn between its desire for stability in a long-standing Arab ally and a need to uphold its own principles about the right of people to demonstrate for democratic change.

The crown prince of the non-OPEC minor oil producer, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, appealed for calm on TV.

"Today is the time to sit down and hold a dialogue, not to fight," he said.

The unrest in the regional banking hub has shaken foreign confidence in the economy.

Protesters feel shut out 

In 1999, King Hamad enacted a constitution allowing elections for a parliament with some powers, but royals still dominate a cabinet led by the king's uncle -- premier for 40 years.

Bahrain's Shi'ite Muslims account for about 70 percent of the population which is governed by the Sunni Al Khalifa dynasty. Shi'ites feel cut out of decision-making, as well as from jobs in the army and security forces.

Both the US and Saudi Arabia see Bahrain as a bulwark against Shi'ite Iran. Saudi Arabia especially fears unrest spreading to its own Shi'ite community, a minority concentrated in the eastern oil-producing area of the world's biggest crude exporter.

Ali Ibrahim, deputy chief of medical staff at Salmaniya hospital, said 66 wounded had been admitted from the clash and that four were in a critical condition.

About 1,000 people gathered outside one hospital, some spilling into the corridors as casualties were brought in, including one with a bloody sheet over his head. Some men wept.

Fakhri Abdullah Rashed said he had seen soldiers shooting at protesters in Pearl Square. "I saw people shot in several parts of their body. It was live bullets," the protester added.

Jalal Firooz, an MP for Wefaq, the main Shi'ite bloc whose 17 members resigned from the 40-seat assembly on Thursday, said demonstrators had been holding a memorial for a protester killed earlier this week when riot police fired tear gas at them. Police had no comment.

The crowd then made for Pearl Square, where army troops opened fire, Firooz said.

Four people were killed and 231 wounded when riot police raided the protest camp in the early hours of Thursday.

Soldiers in tanks and armored vehicles later took control of the square, which the mainly Shi'ite protesters had hoped to use as a base like Cairo's Tahrir Square, the heart of protests that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11.

Several thousand mourners turned out on Friday to bury those killed in what Bahrain's top Shi'ite cleric called a "massacre" ordered by the island's Sunni ruling family to crush protests. — Reuters

DFA: Over 220 Pinoys in China’s jails for drug trafficking

Apart from the three Filipinos whose death sentences were deferred on Friday by China’s high court, some 500 Filipinos – mostly women – are still languishing in various jails abroad for drug trafficking, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) disclosed Friday.

Of that figure, almost half or 227 cases involve Filipinos in China, while the rest involve those in the Middle East and neighboring Southeast Asian countries.

The spate cases of drug trafficking involving Filipino women started in 2007, said Foreign Affairs spokesperson Eduardo Malaya in a press conference.

A year after, the number drug smuggling cases involving Filipinos in China likewise dramatically surged, with Filipino women aged 20 to 40 years old being victimized by international drug syndicates as “drug mules" or couriers.

And while Filipinos carrying such illegal substances end up languishing in jails after being caught in the destination country’s airports, the ringleaders – mostly Nigerian and Zambians according to Philippine authorities – remain at large and continue their underworld operations due to their connections.

In recent years, Filipino workers bound overseas have fallen prey drug syndicates to by allowing themselves to serve as couriers to transport illegal drugs inside their luggage, shoes, or fabric buttons.

Syndicates, however, have recently come up with more dangerous ways of smuggling prohibited substances, like stuffing drugs inside the bodies of Filipino couriers. 

Filipinos intercepted at airports in China, Macau and Hong Kong have a common story: the drugs carried in their luggage, or even put inside their bodies, all came from “friends" they had met in transit or while in another country, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam or even Nepal.

Prospective victims are then given airplane tickets and pocket money to travel to China or its territories, and are promised to get paid no less than $500 (about P21,700) upon delivery of the contraband to a contact person.

Death for drug traffickers

China strictly imposes tough penalties on persons caught in possession of prohibited drugs. Smuggling of drugs in amounts as little as 50 grams carries a 15-year prison sentence; drug smuggling in larger amounts are meted with a life sentence or even the death penalty.

Under China’s criminal law, a capital punishment with a two-year reprieve means convicts are given two years to undergo “reform through labor," after which the sentence may be commuted to life imprisonment if the convicts are deemed to have shown genuine repentance for their crimes.

In death sentences without reprieve, on the other hand, decisions of lower courts are automatically elevated to the higher courts for review. The People's Supreme Court is the court of last resort before the judgment becomes final and executory.

A white paper from the Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China states that, in actual judicial practice, over 99 percent of criminals given the death penalty with a two-year reprieve have had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment or set terms of imprisonment through reform. 

Diplomatic sources say the decision of China’s Supreme People’s Court to postpone the executions of three Filipinos convicted of drug-smuggling could be the first such case in that country for death sentences without reprieve, although GMA News has no way to confirm this observation for now.

The court affirmed on February 11 the death sentences imposed on Ramon Credo, 42, Sally Ordinario, 32, and Elizabeth Batain, 38, but deferred the execution of the three Filipino drug convicts.

Credo and Ordinario were scheduled for execution by lethal injection in Xiamen on February 21, while Batain was to be executed in Shenzhen on February 22.

This is the first time that Filipinos were sentenced to be executed in China for drug trafficking charges in the 36 years of Philippines-China diplomatic relations.

Credo and Ordinario smuggled at least four kilograms each of heroin, while Batain was arrested with almost seven kilograms in China. – JA/MRT/JV, GMA News Online

Eala steps down as SBP exec; Loyzaga eyed as replacement?

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will have a new person at the helm to lead its day-to-day operations.

This became clearer after Noli Eala, the group's executive director, has stepped down from his post, ending months of speculation that he will be removed as one of the heads of the country's governing body for basketball.

"It is with deep regret that I announce my decision to formally resign as executive director of the SBP. My decision to relinquish my post is to enable me to return to the corporate world where new opportunities have recently been opened up to me," said Eala in a statement released to mediamen.

"My resignation will take effect after a 30-day transition period to ensure the smooth and orderly turnover of my functions to my replacement."

There were unconfirmed reports that former PBA star and now Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Chito Loyzaga is being eyed as replacement.- Rey Joble, JVP, GMA News

Husband: Recruiter gave bag with drugs to Sally

MANILA, Philippines - The husband of Sally Ordinario Villanueva, one of the three Filipinos on China's death row, confirmed Friday that he saw her receive a bag with drugs from her alleged recruiter.
Larry Villanueva was invited to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), where he narrated that he saw Tita Cacayan handing Sally a briefcase, which was later revealed to have contained heroin, before she left the country.
Villanueva said they never expected that the briefcase had drugs inside. They just learned about it from Cacayan after Sally was arrested because of the drugs.
Villanueva also confirmed Cacayan was Sally's recruiter.
He said he chose not to join Sally's parents to China, because he said he can't bear to think about his wife's impending fate.
He currently has custody of their 2 children, who already know about their mother's fate.
The NBI said Villanueva's testimony is essential in building their case against the recruiter.
Cacayan can be charged for violating Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002, and the Anti Human Trafficking Law. Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Lady Gaga praises young Pinay singer

CANADA – No less than Lady Gaga has described 10-year-old Filipina singer Maria Aragon from Winnipeg, Canada as “the future."
In her Twitter account, which has more than 8 million followers, the pop superstar said: “Can’t stop crying watching this [video]. This is why I make music. She is the future."
Lady Gaga was referring to a video uploaded by Aragon where she performs the pop singer’s “Born This Way."
Lady Gaga tweeted Aragon’s video link on her account.
Can't stop crying watching this. This is why I make music. She is the future. Feb via web
Aragon could not believe the video would be a hit just a day after her siblings uploaded it on video sharing site YouTube.
The video gained 3,000 hits even before Lady Gaga’s tweet. Now, the video has more than 900,000 hits.
Meanwhile, Aragon was also interviewed by a local radio show and became the subject of local news.
The young singer said she started uploading her videos on YouTube 3 years ago.
The Lady Gaga fan also said she dreams of becoming a guest in Ellen DeGeneres’ show in America. -- report from Marieton Pacheco, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Deng, Rose lead Bulls over Bobcats 106-94

adidas Official NBA All-Star 2011 Amar'e Stoudemire Eastern Conference Youth (Sizes 8-20) Replica Jerseyeng loves nothing more than seeing Michael Jordan at courtside, particularly on nights like this.

Deng scored 24 points, Derrick Rose had 18 points and 13 assists after a slow start, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Charlotte Bobcats 106-94 on Tuesday night for their ninth win in 11 games.
In a game of momentum swings, the Bulls needed a strong finish to pull this one out and put away a team that blew out the Lakers the previous night. Chicago scored 10 of the first 12 points in the fourth quarter to take control on a night when Jordan, the Bobcats' owner, and Scottie Pippen sat next to each other at courtside.
"It's great just seeing Michael and Scottie sitting there," Deng said. "It's been great all year seeing Scottie. We all look up to Scottie. He's been at practice (as a team ambassador). It was good to also see Michael."
Deng hit 10 of 19 shots. Rose, who outscored Deron Williams and Chris Paul by a combined 52-26 in wins at Utah and New Orleans, shot just 5 of 14 but came up big down the stretch.
Carlos Boozer added 16 points and nine rebounds. Kyle Korver scored 15, hitting all five shots and three 3-pointers - one of which made it 99-86 with just under 3 minutes left.
"You can't leave him open," the Bobcats' Stephen Jackson said. "Everybody knows he can't do anything else but shoot."
Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 22 points. Jackson added 20, Boris Diaw added 18, but the Bobcats came up short trying to take down their second division leader in as many nights.
Even so, that probably won't stop them from removing the interim tag from coach Paul Silas' title. General manager Rod Higgins told the Associated Press they're discussing a one-year extension, and the way this team's playing, it's not hard to see why.
The Bobcats are 15-13 under Silas and have jumped into playoff contention after a 9-19 start under Larry Brown. They just couldn't pull this one out after beating the Bulls twice last month.
"My starting guys just didn't have it tonight," Silas said.
With a 78-73 lead, Taj Gibson hit two free throws to start the fourth quarter and Rose added two more after a dunk by Henderson. A dunk by Gibson, a driving finger-roll layup by Deng and a short jumper by Omer Asik made it 88-75 with 8:16 remaining, and the Bulls stayed in control from there.
For much of the night, though, the teams battled back and forth.
The Bulls saw an 11-point lead in the second quarter disintegrate into a 43-42 deficit before they scored 10 of 12 to close out the half and go up 52-45.
In the third quarter, it was more of the same.
The Bobcats tied it at 57 on a layup by Gerald Wallace.
Rose finally got going after scoring five in the first half, starting a 10-2 run with a neat up-and-under layup for a three-point play and freezing Shaun Livingston with a crossover on a drive. He also hit two free throws before Keith Bogans nailed a 3 to make it 69-59 with 3:50 left, but the Bobcats kept coming back.
They scored seven straight late in the quarter to pull within 76-73 before Deng buried a 15-footer with 3 seconds left, and the Bulls then took control in the fourth.
"Guys are extremely confident," Boozer said. "If you're in the NBA, you can play. ... We're a team - not just one guy, two guys, three guys; we're a group of guys. Everybody on this team, whether you're starting or off the bench, can play in the NBA and play well."
Notes: Chicago's Kurt Thomas became the 96th player to appear in 1,000 games. ... Charlotte's D.J. Augustin, bothered by a sprained left wrist, finished with five points in 20:40. The Bobcats don't play again until Feb. 22, and Silas believes the time off will help him. "He was working so hard and going so hard that he kind of hit a wall," Silas said before the game. "Now, with the rest, I think coming back he's going to be straight ahead again." ... Eduardo Najera, bothered by a groin problem, did not play.

Cainta massacre suspect arrested in Marinduque

MANILA, Philippines -- Police has taken custody of the suspect in the massacre of 4 people, including 2 children, in Cainta, Rizal Monday.
The suspect, identified as Fortunato “Junjun” Acibar, was found in Boac, Marinduque. He was implicated in the killing of 4 Acibar family members, including children ages 10 and 14, in San Andres Village.
Chief Inspector Gilmer Manguera, Boac police chief, said a tricycle driver alerted them about the suspect’s whereabouts.
The driver told Boac police he recognized Acibar from pictures shown by TV Patrol. He said the suspect boarded his tricycle around 4 p.m. Monday.
Policemen immediately went to Acibar’s place and convinced him to surrender peacefully.
Recovered from the suspect were various documents, including police clearance, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, and school records which proved his identity.
Acibar, the nephew of one of the massacre victims, reportedly admitted his crime during tactical interrogation.
He said he could no longer take the incessant pestering of Elizabeth Acibar, the wife of his uncle Amado Acibar Sr. This, he said, drove him to kill Amado, Elizabeth and children Amado Jr., 14, and Fritzie, 10.
After the massacre, Acibar immediately left Cainta and went into hiding in Marinduque.
Manguera said they are waiting for the Cainta police to pick up the suspect.

Bolts acquire Hugnatan in a three-player trade

Meralco Bolts, the youngest franchise in the Philippine Basketball Association, is at the trading table once more.

On Tuesday, the Bolts acquired the services of veteran forward Reynel Hugnatan from the Alaska Aces. The 6-foot-4 forward was picked up by Meralco in exchange for rookie Hans Thiele and Paolo Bugia.

The trade was approved by PBA commissioner Chito Salud.

"Yes, that is a fair trade. No team is disadvantaged," said Salud in a text message to GMA News. 

Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio confirmed the trade, saying Hugnatan's ability to play physical basketball is the reason why his team took in the multi-titled lefty forward.

"It was a deal that is beneficial for both teams. They (Alaska) need Thiele and Bugia, who are big men with perimeter skills while Hugnatan will surely be an asset to us because of his solid frame and ability to play physical basketball," said Gregorio in a text message. 

Alaska mentor Tim Cone has a more extensive explanation regarding the trade.

"First of all, it brings us salary cap relief and an opportunity to put some deserving players like Brandon (Cablay) and Mike Burtscher on the active roster. We've also felt that both Thiele and Bugia are Triangle-like players and have the potential to really succeed in the system," said Cone, the winningest coach among active bench tacticians in the PBA. 
- Rey Joble, GMA News

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Killer pick-up lines for a Valentine's date

Because it's Valentine's day, here is a compilation of some of the wackiest pick-up lines ever thought up in English and Filipino. They will either make or break your game, so good luck!

(For maximum effect, read aloud – with feelings!)

“Are you on Facebook? ‘Coz I’d definitely click Like."

“Oops, I think I lost my number. Can I have yours?"

“If I were an Azkal, then you are my goal."

“Sorry, I forgot your name, can I call you mine?"

“Well, here I am! What were your two other wishes?"

“If I were a gardener, I'd put your tulips and my tulips together."

“Hi, you got raisins? No? Well, how about a date?"

“My love for you is like diarrhea. I just can't hold it in."

“You must be a thief, ‘coz you stole my heart."

“Hi, I'm Right... Mr. Right. You were looking for me?"

“Is your name Gillette? Coz you’re the best a man can get!"

“I’m not drunk. I’m just intoxicated by you."

“Your legs must be tired, coz you’ve been running through my mind all night."

“You must be Jamaican, coz Jamaican me crazy."

“You’re like a dictionary. You add meaning to my life."

“Hi, my name is (your name), and you are... gorgeous!"

“Are you a tamale? Coz you're hot!"

“Hi, have I seen you before? Oh yes, now I remember, in my dreams!"

“I’m invisible. Can you see me? How about tomorrow night?"

“Am I in heaven? Or do you just look like an angel?"

“You're dad must’ve been retarded, ‘coz you are special."

“Your dad must be a terrorist, ‘coz yoh da bomb!"

“Was your dad an alien? ‘Coz honey, there’s nothing else like you on planet Earth!"

“Do you have a map? ‘Coz I keep getting lost in your eyes."

“Am I a bad shooter? ‘Coz I keep on missing you."

“Hi, you must be the devil? ‘Coz you're hot as hell!"

“Hi, I’m Batman. Do you wanna see my batmobile?"

“Hi, I'm Superman. Can you read my mind?"

“Hi, you look a lot like my next girlfriend."

“Wanna bet 100 bucks you're gonna turn me down?"

“Kiss me if I’m wrong… but isn't your name (take a guess)?"

“Life without you would be like a broken pencil... pointless."

“Hi, I know I’m a guy but I want to be Alice, coz your body's a Wonderland."

In Tagalog 

O, Tagalog naman tayo, dahil mas matindi raw humirit ang mga Pinoy:

“Miss, Google ka ba? Kasi, nasa iyo ang lahat ng hinahanap ko."

“Miss, album ka ba? Kasi, single ako, eh."

“Apoy ka ba? Kasi ‘alab’ you."

“Para kang traffic sa EDSA! ‘Coz I just can't move on!"

“Tatakbo ka ba sa eleksyon? Kasi, botong-boto sa yo ang parents ko."

“Ice ka ba? Crush kita eh."

“Para kang tindera ng sigarilyo. You give me ‘hope’ and ‘more’..."

“Calculator ka ba? Kasi, sa 'yo pa lang, solved na ko."

“Keyboard ka ba? Kasi type kita."

“Pustiso ka ba? ‘Coz I can’t smile without you."

“Kung posporo ka at posporo ako, eh di, match tayo!"

“Di mo pa nga ako binabato, tinatamaan na 'ko sa yo."

“Pulis ba tatay mo? Kasi, nahuli mo ang puso ko."

“Matalino ka ba talaga? Sige nga, sagutin mo 'ko!"

“Buti pa ang email, may attachment."

“Di ka naman camera, pero tuwing nakikita kita, napapangiti ako."

“Dalawang beses lang naman kita gusto makasama... ‘now’ and ‘forever.’"

“Inii-SMALL ka ba nila? Di bale, inii-BIG naman kita!"

“Hindi lahat ng buhay ay buhay. Tingnan mo 'ko – buhay nga pero patay na patay naman sa 'yo!"

“Kodigo ka ba? Kasi, ikaw ang sagot sa lahat ng tanong ko, eh."

“Kakapagod kasing umupo, eh. Pwede bang tayo na lang?"

“Hindi ka ba nalulungkot, babe? Nag-iisa ka lang kase sa puso ko eh."

“Top view, side view, bottom view, kahit anong view, I love view."

“Tulisan ba tatay mo? Kasi nabihag mo puso ko."

“Magaling ka ba sa algebra? Can you substitute my ‘x’?"

“Masasabi mo bang bobo ako, kung ikaw lamang ang laman ng utak ko?"

“Amo ba kita? Bakit inaalila mo ang puso ko?"

“Centrum ka ba? Kasi, you make my life complete!"

“Alam mo ba ang pinakamasarap na feeling sa buong mundo? Ang maka-feeling ka!"

“Miss, mekaniko ka ba? Kasi, ikaw na ang nagpapatakbo ng buhay ko."

“Miss, pwede ka bang maging side-car? Single kasi ako."

And that's all folks! Happy hearts day to you all! And remember... it's ValentiNe's, not ValenTIMES, day.– MRT/VS, GMA News

Disclaimer: The author of this article shall not be liable for any disaster that may result from a reader's attempt to use any of these pick-up lines.

Police: 1 killed, 14 hurt in Albay road accident

One person was killed and 14 others were injured Saturday when the van they were riding fell off a cliff while descending from a popular tourist spot in Legazpi City in Albay province, a police report said.

The report said the van’s brakes malfunctioned while it was descending from the Lignon Hill in Barangay Bogtong at around 4:30 p.m., resulting in the accident.

Lignon Hill has overlooking view of Legazpi City and a good site for watching the world renowned Mayon Volcano.

“While the vehicle was descending from Lignon Hill, it lost its brakes while negotiating a sharp curve. It resulted in the vehicle falling off the cliff," a portion of the report read.

The sole fatality, 54-year-old Norberto Santillas, was brought to a nearby hospital where he perished.

Twelve of the 14 injured were identified as Errol Santillas, 25; Maricar Montenegro, 21; Chona Montenegro, 21; Anne Joy Lorenzo, 9; Susie Suratos, 28; Jeck Suratos, 29; Elizabeth Abion, 25; Edna Portento, 49; James Sencioco, 21; James Paul Sencioco, 21; Catherine Godallo.

Some of the victims were Metro Manila residents, the police report said.

The report said an unidentified passenger is in serious condition and currently confined at the Intensive Care Unit of the undisclosed hospital. 

An in-depth probe is being conducted to determine the criminal liability of the vehicle’s driver, identified as Jessie Sabiga. – KBK, GMA News

Pinoy wins ice-carving contest in Canada

A Filipino bagged two awards at the "Winterlude" international ice-carving contest in Canada last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said over the weekend.

The DFA said in a statement that Montreal-based Ross Baisas topped in the ice-carving contest, participated by 28 professional carvers from 11 countries.

"Baisas, who is the resident artist of the Casino du Monde Royale in Quebec, won first place in the One-Block Challenge, transforming one block of ice into a sculpture inspired by the theme 'Yin and Yang' in two hours," the DFA said.

Baisas also won third place in the "pairs category," where he teamed up with Canadian artist Michael Tuinstra to produce their sculpture called "Destiny."

The contest was held at the Rogers Crystal Garden, Confederation Park, Ottawa, Canada, last Feb. 4.

Winterlude, which started in 1979, is a festival of outdoor activities including public skating and skating displays, ice sculpture competitions, musical concerts, and numerous off-site events. — JE/KBK, GMA News

Saturday, February 12, 2011

3rd batch of Pinoys from Egypt to leave Sunday

The third batch of 36 Filipinos from crisis-stricken Egypt will depart from Cairo on Sunday noon to arrive in Manila via Dubai on Monday afternoon, according to the Philippine Embassy.

The third batch consists of 30 women, three men and three minors who availed of the voluntary repatriation program amid continued protest actions in Egypt, according to arelease posted on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

As in the case of previous batches, the Embassy received assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Cairo and the Filipino community there in arranging the repatriation, according to the release.

The 36 will be given certifications that they may use when availing of programs and services extended by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), the DFA said.

It added they will also receive post-trauma debriefing, counseling and reintegration packages from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

An earlier batch of 26 Filipinos arrived on Sunday, composed of scholars from the Al Azhar University and their families, three nurses from the Dar Al Fouad Hospital, and household service workers. The second batch of 32 Filipinos arrived last Wednesday.

The Embassy reiterated its reminder to the Filipino community members about the government’s readiness to repatriate anyone who feels that his or her safety is at risk.

The DFA cited reports stating that the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces has met to discuss the ongoing protests.

In a statement entitled "Communique Number One" on Thursday, the 17th day of unrest in Egypt, the army stated that "based on the responsibility of the armed forces and its commitment to protect the people and its keenness to protect the nation... and in support of the legitimate demands of the people, [the army] will continue meeting on a continuous basis to examine measures to be taken to protect the nation and its gains and the ambitions of the great Egyptian people."

Tens of thousands poured into Tahrir Square after the army statement was televised, the DFA said.—Jerrie M. Abella/JV, GMA News