Judging criteria

Originality and creativity – 40%

Adherence to theme – 30%

Overall appeal (includes number of Facebook “Likes”) – 30%

* Bonus of five points if original music is used

Chedeng intensifies further

MANILA — Typhoon Chedeng intensified further late Wednesday night as it moved northwest and may make landfall Friday afternoon over Aurora and Isabela provinces.

In its 11 p.m. Wednesday bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Chedeng was at 310 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar.

It said Chedeng (international codename: Songda) packed maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, gustiness of up to 185 kph and moving northwest at 15 kph.

Public storm signal no. 2 has been raised over the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay, Sorsogon, and Samar provinces.

Meanwhile, public storm signal no. 1 has been hoisted over Marinduque, Masbate, Burias and Ticao islands, Quezon including Polilio Island and Aurora, Northern Leyte, and Biliran Island.

Robert Sawi, Pagasa acting weather division chief, said Chedeng is expected to make landfall near the vicinity of Aurora and Isabela around 2 p.m. Friday.

Pagasa’s forecast is now consistent with international weather agencies, which believed that Chedeng will only graze some parts of Northern Luzon.

In its 11:40 a.m. update, the Japanese Meteorological Agency projected Chedeng to reach the east of Luzon by Thursday, east of Northeast Luzon by Friday, and east of Extreme Northern Luzon by Saturday. (more)

Military chief denies overspending on fuel

MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) did not overspend on fuel and oil, its chief of staff said Thursday, adding it even had savings left over.

At a Senate hearing on alleged military corruption, AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Oban Jr. said an investigation on the P400 million in petroleum, oil, and lubricants (POL) that the AFP allegedly used in the first quarter of 2011 indicates there was no anomaly.

According to earlier reports, the office of Commodore Teddy Pan, AFP deputy chief of staff for logistics, recorded a distribution and consumption of P400 million worth of petroleum oil and lubricants for military units from January to March 15, 2011. The amount is above the AFP’s authorized P150 million for one quarter.

Pan was relieved from his post in April to pave way for an impartial and honest investigation.

However, Oban said the AFP actually saved P20 million in POL from January to March of this year. (more)

Defense exec vows no corruption under his watch

MANILA — Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin assured the Senate Thursday that no corruption practices will happen under his watch.

“No corrupt practices shall happen under my watch. We will never allow indiscriminate spending. The DND (Department and National Defense) and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) will be properly managed,” Gazmin said during the resumption of the Senate hearing on the alleged corruption in the AFP.

“We are now on our way towards professionalism and transparency,” he added.

In line with this, the Defense secretary enumerated DND’s recommendations for reform in the military. (more)

Senate archives impeach complaint vs Gutierrez

MANILA — The House resolution, impeaching former ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, was referred to the archives Monday morning.

At its first legislative session after the recess, the Senate voted in plenary to refer Gutierrez’s impeachment case to the archives after her resignation on April 29 made a trial unnecessary.

Gutierrez tendered her resignation to President Benigno Aquino III, 10 days before the supposed Senate trial on impeachment case filed against her. (more)

 

 

 

 

 

Senate archives impeach complaint vs Gutierrez

MANILA — The House resolution, impeaching former ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, was referred to the archives Monday morning.

At its first legislative session after the recess, the Senate voted in plenary to refer Gutierrez’s impeachment case to the archives after her resignation on April 29 made a trial unnecessary.

Gutierrez tendered her resignation to President Benigno Aquino III, 10 days before the supposed Senate trial on impeachment case filed against her.

The resignation of Gutierrez, an appointee of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, took effect last May 6.

Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said the House committee on justice had already written the Senate saying the resignation made Gutierrez’s impeachment moot. (more)

Hong Kong graftbuster: Ombudsman needs more powers

THE government gives the ombudsman the job of fighting corruption but not the tools to so, an anti-corruption expert from Hong Kong said Friday.

Speaking at a forum at Ateneo de Manila University, former Independent Commission on Anti-Corruption Tony Kwok Man-wai said the Office of the Ombudsman has too little power, too few investigators, and not enough money.

The anti-corruption consultant also said that the Office of the Ombudsman “has no ammunition” to fight corruption because it does not even have arrest powers.

He said the ombudsman must be given the power not only to arrest corrupt public servants, but also check their bank accounts, tap their telephones, and conduct surveillance operations without the suspect’s knowledge.

“Here, it is a haven for corrupt officials. They know their bank accounts cannot be checked. They know their homes cannot be searched. Nobody will listen to their phone calls, except if they are President,” Kwok said. (more)

Ex-military exec, wife deny tax evasion raps

FORMER Armed Forces comptroller Carlos Garcia submitted Thursday his counter-affidavit before the Department of Justice (DOJ) refuting that he and his wife Clarita willfully evaded the payment of taxes amounting to P235 million in 2004.

During the preliminary investigation conducted by State Prosecutor Zelica Longcob, the Garcias, through lawyer Constantino de Jesus, asked the panel to dismiss the charges filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on the ground that there is no probable cause against the respondents.

Longcob said the panel will study the defense’s argument that the BIR complaint involved “prejudicial questions” since these cover issues that are still being tackled by the Sandiganbayan, which is handling the P303-million plunder complaint against them.

The anti-graft court, however, freed Garcia on a P60,000 bail after he entered into a plea bargaining agreement with the Office of the Ombudsman. (more)

Video Contest 2012

Show how you love Cebu in a music video.

A celebration is not complete without music and without the moments captured on video for sharing and safekeeping.

Join the Sun.Star Cebu Yearbook 2012 music video contest to capture your different ways of loving Cebu.

Don’t forget to use humor and emotion.

Contest prizes

Contest Mechanics

Judging criteria

Submission procedure

How to upload music video on Facebook

How to upload music video on Youtube

 

 

 

Espinoza: Pick Ombudsman from private sector

AS THE world celebrated the death of the global terrorist leader, Osama bin Laden, the administration of President Noynoy Aquino is in a grinding process as to who would be the next Ombudsman after Merceditas Gutierrez resigned amidst the impeachment case against her.

Among the names that surfaced are former senator Wigberto Tañada, Jose Manuel Diokno, son of the late Sen. Jose W. Diokno, and former agrarian reform secretary Rene Villa.

If I may suggest, the Judicial and Bar Council that would look into the names of applicants should think out of the box. The nominees to the post should not be limited to politicians or has-beens considering that we are a country of more than 80 million people.

Let’s be clear on this. I have nothing personal against the three nominees. But our system of appointment is appalling. It is stuck with those who have been in politics or in government service. (more)