Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pacquiao knocks down diaz

Filipino boxing hero Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao knocked out David "Dangerous" Diaz to win the WBC lightweight title before a jampacked crowd at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino today Sunday (Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada).

During round one, Manny Pacquiao showed good form in his fight against David Diaz.

He was clearly the aggressor in the first round that he hit Diaz with one-two combinations. Diaz often had to shove Pacquiao and hardly one of his punches connected.

Pacquaio sent a battered Diaz down the canvas with a left hook with 26 seconds remaining in the ninth round.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Frank' leaves Pangasinan, moves toward South China Sea

MANILA, Philippines - After wreaking havoc on many parts of the country, typhoon "Frank" (Fengshen) left the coast of Pangasinan and started moving toward the South China Sea.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that as of 10 p.m., "Frank" was 70 kilometers west-northwest of Dagupan City.

It packed maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph, and was moving northwest at 15 kph.

Pagasa's 11 p.m. advisory indicated that by Monday evening, "Frank" was due 260 km west-northwest of Laoag City. By Tuesday evening it is due 350 km west-northwest of Basco, Batanes.

By Wednesday evening, it said "Frank" is expected to be 490 km north-northwest of Basco, Batanes or 80 km west of Taipei, Taiwan.

Under Storm Signal 3 are Northern Zambales, Western Pangasinan and La Union in Luzon.

Placed under Storm Signal 2 were the rest of Zambales, Tarlac, the rest of Pangasinan, Benguet, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, and Abra.

Under Signal 1 were Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, and Metro Manila.

Pagasa warned residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes under typhoon signals to take all the necessary precautions against possible flashfloods and landslides.

It also warned those living in coastal areas under signals 2 and 3 against big waves or storm surges generated by "Frank."

Also, Pagasa said "Frank" will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon and bring rains over the Western sections of Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, which may trigger flashfloods and landslides. - GMANews.TV

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Typhoon Frank causes chaos

Tyhpoon Frank left at least 19 people dead and 800 missing in a ferry disaster while an overflowing dam stranded tens of thousands on rooftops. At least 30,000 people living in Iloilo in the central Philippines had scrambled onto rooftops fleeing the rushing water after the man-made dam overflowed.

The worst flooding that hit Iloilo, rescuers have reported that many could be missing or killed, although this could not be independently confirmed, said the city’s acting mayor Jed Mabilog.
“I have received a lot of text messages appealing for helicopters, there are many people trapped on the rooftops,” Iloilo congressman Serg Biron said.

Over 800 missing in Philippine ferry disaster

CEBU, Philippines (Reuters) - More than 800 people were missing on Monday after a Philippine ferry capsized in a typhoon that has killed scores and left a trail of destruction across the archipelago.

Sulpicio Lines, the owner of the MV Princess of Stars, revised up the number of people missing to 845 after discovering an extra 100 passengers on the ship's manifest. Only four people are so far known to have survived the ferry disaster and they said many did not make it off the ship in time.

Crowded life-rafts sank in cold, storm-tossed seas.

"Many of us jumped, the waves were so huge, and the rains were heavy," a survivor identified only as Jesse told local radio.

"There was just one announcement over the megaphone, about 30 minutes before the ship tilted to its side." "Immediately after I jumped, the ship tilted, the older people were left on the ship."

Four people have been confirmed dead. Children's slippers and life jackets have washed ashore.

There were 724 passengers and 121 crew on board, including at least 20 children and 33 infants.

In the central city of Cebu, where Princess of Stars was meant to dock, dozens of relatives maintained a vigil at a small passenger terminal, waiting for news.

"The last time I heard from my son was on Friday evening when the ship left Manila. He texted to say he was coming home," said Celecia Tudtud, a mother of four.

"I really hope he's ok," she said, wiping away tears.

A spokesman for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who flew to the United States on Saturday night, said she would not cut short her eight-day state visit, which includes meeting U.S. President George W. Bush in the White House on Tuesday.


A coastguard vessel was trawling the waters around the 23,824 gross tonne ferry, which is upside down with only its bow above the waves, trying to confirm reports some passengers had made it to a small island.

"We are hoping more people will have reached the shoreline," Vice Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo, the head of the coastguard, told Reuters.

Princess of Stars ran aground on Saturday but the coastguard was unable to reach it because of huge swells and bad weather caused by Typhoon Fengshen, which crashed into the central Philippines on Friday.

At least two other coastguard vessels were en route to help in rescue efforts and Tamayo said he hoped divers would be able to scour the submerged ship later on Monday.

He said there was no sign fuel was leaking from the ferry but said an oil-spill response team would arrive with one of the two coastguard ships before dawn on Monday.

Princess of Stars sank 3 km (2 miles) from Sibuyan island in the centre of the archipelago.


Typhoon Fengshen, with maximum gusts of 195 kph (121 mph), has killed at least 155 people in central and southern Philippines, with the western Visayas region, famed for its sandy beaches and sugar plantations, the worst affected.

In Iloilo province, 101 people were reported dead after flood waters over two meters high engulfed communities, forcing tens of thousands to scramble onto the roofs of their homes.

"Iloilo is like an ocean. This is the worst disaster we have had in our history," Governor Neil Tupaz told local radio.

In neighboring Capiz, more than 2,000 houses were destroyed in the provincial capital and officials were struggling to make contact with communities further afield.

"We got hit real bad this time," said Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines' Red Cross.

After battering Manila on Sunday, Fengshen spun out into the South China Sea on Monday. The storm was en route to Taiwan, where it could make landfall in the next few days, according to storm tracker website

More than 30,000 people were being housed in evacuation centers in the centre and south of the archipelago.

An archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons a year.

(Writing by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Ralph Boulton) Source: Yahoo News

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ces Drilon kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

ABU Sayyaf bandits have kidnapped ABS-CBN reporter Ces Drilon and her two assistants in Sulu, demanding P20 million for their freedom.

A military intelligence report said Drilon and two colleagues, cameraman Jimmyfred Encarnacion and a driver, were taken to an area near Mt. Tumatangis in Indanan, Sulu.

Drilon’s team arrived in Jolo, Sulu, from Zamboanga City on Saturday and stayed at the SSC Hostel. They were supposed to interview the one-armed Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron.

Sahiron, who carries a $200,000 bounty from the US government, planned the 2004 bombing in Jolo that killed 11 Filipino civilians and an American serviceman and wounded more than 200 others.

Known as Commander Putol because of his amputated right arm, Sahiron is also considered one of the masterminds of the April 2000 kidnapping of 21 foreign tourists in Sipadan.

At 8 a.m. Sunday, Drilon’s team met with Octavio Dinampo, a professor at the Mindanao State University-Sulu, who is affiliated with the Moro National Liberation Front.

Bandits led by Albader Parad and Gapul Jumdail blocked the yellow Tamaraw jeep that Drilon and her team were riding in Kulasi village in Maimbung, Sulu.

Chief Supt. Joel Goltiao, police chief of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said they were surprised to learn that Drilon was in the area.

He said Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan would head any negotiations with Drilon’s captors.

Intelligence reports put the ransom sought at P20 million, but Goltiao said the bandits had made no demands as of 5 p.m.

He said Drilon arrived Saturday via SEAIR “to cover a special event” on Dinampo’s invitation.

“The following day, Sunday, they were sent a text by Dinampo from the Sulu State University hostel where he is staying. Along the way, they were flagged down by Parad’s group,” Goltiao said.

The police chief said the group that took Drilon was the same one that held Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino for a few days in Sulu before releasing him in February.

Sources in Camp Aguinaldo said the Armed Forces had offered Drilon two Marine colonels to serve as security, but she declined the offer.

Presidential Adviser on Sulu Affairs Amilbabar Amilasan confirmed that Drilon and her crew were missing, but Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgar Arevalo could not say if she had indeed been kidnapped.

A high-ranking official from the Western Mindanao Command declined to give details on the abduction, citing a request from ABS-CBN for a news blackout for the safety of Drilon and her two colleagues.

Drilon has covered skirmishes between the Muslim separatists and government troops before. She also covered the release of Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi by the Abu Sayyaf last year.

Drilon’s group was the second from the TV network to be kidnapped in Sulu. In July 2000, reporter Maan Macapagal and her cameraman Val Cuenca were also kidnapped.

Freelance journalist Arlyn dela Cruz was similarly kidnapped in Sulu while covering the Abu Sayyaf in April 2002. Florante S. Solmerin, Rene Alviar, Joyce Pangco PaƱares, Jaime Pilapil.