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Former LTO chief Virgie Torres dies after suffering cardiac arrest

Former Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Virginia Torres died after suffering cardiac arrest on early Saturday morning, January 2, 2016. This was confirmed by Chief Supt Rudy Lacadin, Region III Police Director. He said  that Torres was brought to a hospital in Pampanga where she died. Torres was 62. In a Facebook post, Efren Torres, a staff of LTO office in Quezon city and nephew of Torres, confirmed also  the sudden demise of the former LTO chief. Torres became controversial in 2013 after a Youtube video showed her playing in a casino. She was also allegedly involved in a controversy on shipping containers of smuggled Thai sugar amounting to more than P100 million. (Mario Supnad)    

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Soul singer Natalie Cole dead at 65: reports

New York, United States | AFP --Singer Natalie Cole, the daughter of jazz legend Nat "King" Cole who overcame substance abuse to find success in her own right, has died at age 65, her family said Friday. Cole, who had longstanding health issues including complications from a kidney transplant, died on New Year's Eve at a Los Angeles hospital. "Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived -- with dignity, strength and honor," her family said in a statement. Quoting her most identifiable song, the family said: "Our beloved mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever." Tributes quickly came in. The civil rights leader Jesse Jackson mourned Cole on Twitter as a "sister beloved... of substance and sound. May her soul rest in peace." In contrast to the rags-to-riches stories …

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19 reported injuries due to stray bullets, illegal discharge of firearm

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recorded a total of 28 stray bullet incidents and eight cases of illegal discharge of firearm during the holiday season, from December 16, 2015 to January 1, 2016. Data released by the PNP showed zero fatality so far, but there were 19 reported injuries -- 17 from stray bullets and two due to illegal discharge of firearm. Of the 28 stray bullet incidents, 15 were recorded on December 31 to Januart 1 in Antique, Gen. Santos City, Cebu City, Albay, Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Sulu, and Ilocos Norte, resulting in 11 injuries. Records show that one of the latest victims, 11-year-old Sarpina A. Jadjong, a grade 4 pupil from Barangay Mauboh, Patikul, Sulu, was hit in the head. Meanwhile, six out of the eight suspects for indiscriminate firing of …

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1,000 houses in Tondo razed by ‘Watusi’

By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos Around 3,000 families are now homeless when a fire razed 1,000 houses at the height of the celebration of the New Year in Barangays 155 ad 160 in Tondo, Manila. Reports from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Manila said the fire started at 3:05 a.m. on January 1, 2015 and reached the General Alarm. A resident told arson investigators that the fire started when a piece of Watusi that went inside an abandoned house in Raxabago Street which was made of light materials. Residents reportedly tried to extinguish the fire but it quickly spread to the other houses and nearby Laong Nasa and M. Dizon streets, and Dagupan Extension due to the strong wind. The Barangay Hall of Barangay 155 was also razed by the fire. The victims of the fire, …

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Petron cuts LPG prices by P4.85/kg

Petron Corp. implemented a price rollback on its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by P4.85 per kilogram on January 1, 2015. In an advisory, the oil company said the total reduction for an 11-kg cylinder amounts to P53.35. Petron added it will slash its XTEND AUTOLPG by P2.70 per liter. The oil company implemented the decrease at 12:01 a.m. Petron explained the cut "reflects movements in the international contract prices of LPG for the month of January."

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P89-M jackpot Saturday for Grand Lotto

Grand Lotto 6/55 is expected to offer a jackpot worth P89 million for the Saturday, January 2, 2016, draw. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said yesterday the projected prize emerged after a no-winner draw on Wednesday (Dec. 30, 2015). PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II gave the projected prize of P89 million, more or less. He said none of the thousands of bettors hit 6/55's P83.5-million prize. Meanwhile, he said seven bettors nearly join the Lotto "instant millionaires' club" after correctly guessing five of the winning numbers, 13-37-10-50-26-47. They will receive each a total of P167,810 for second prize; another 423 bettors will get P2,220 each for four correct numbers, he said.

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Fire breaks out in QC residential area

It's a sad New Year for some 15 families after a fire broke out in a residential area in Quezon City early today, January 1, 2016. Fire Supt. Jesus Fernandez, Quezon City Fire Marshall, said that an estimated P200,000 worth of properties were destroyed after a fire engulfed eight houses in Brgy. Krus na Ligas, Quezon City, at 2:12 a.m. Fernandez said that based on their initial investigation, the fire started at a one-storey house owned by Precy Sabangan, located at 6B Tiburcio Extension, Brgy. Krus na Ligas. The fire quickly spread to seven other houses made of light materials. More than a dozen fire trucks from the Bureau of Fire Protection and fire volunteer brigades rushed to the scene and put out the fire at 3:07 a.m. the same day. No one was either …

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Terror alert brings more cops to Boracay

Amidst a terrorism warning, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has beefed up its presence at world-famous Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan. Police Superintendent Gilbert Gorero, chief information officer of the Police Regional Office (PRO-6), said that the PNP are taking precautionary measures. This after the U.S. Embassy in Manila included Boracay in the list where Abu Sayyaf Group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters may possibly attack and may attempt a kidnap-for-ransom. The December 23, 2015 advisory urged U.S. citizens to travel with “extreme caution.” Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, PRO-6 regional director, has ordered for the implementation of the PNP Integrated Patrol Deployment Plan. Even before the terror alert, Diaz earlier explained that police presence in Boracay Island has always been a priority as it is the country’s premier tourist destination. Gorero said that aside from …

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DOH records 385 firecracker-related injuries, 1 death

The firecracker-related injuries climbed to 385; and the death toll, to 1, the Department of Health (DOH) said in a press briefing, January 1, 2016. Most of the cases were recorded from Metro Manila, Bicol Region, and Calabarzon. 58 per cent of the injuries was caused by lighting a piccolo, DOH Secretary Janette Garin said. According to the DOH, the lone man who died was drunk when he hugged a lighted "Goodbye Philippines". Four were recorded victims of stray bullets, Garin added. Moreover, the DOH said that there was no record of death or injury caused by swallowing a firecracker or gunpowder. Garin thanked the parents for looking after their children. The cases of firecracker-related injuries and/or deaths were 7 per cent lower compared to the 2015 new year record.

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IS suspected of planning suicide attack in Munich

German officials said Friday they had information indicating the Islamic State group was planning a suicide bomb attack on New Year's Eve in the southern city of Munich. "The Federal Criminal Authority informed Bavarian police... of indications provided by a friendly intelligence service that the IS was planning an attack tonight at midnight at Munich main rail station and/or Pasing station," interior minister for the southern state of Bavaria Joachim Herrmann said. Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae added that information suggested that "five to seven" suspects were planning to carry out a "suicide attack".

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