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Cebu News Digest: Feb. 18, 2015: Group who wants President Aquino to resign insists: Vidal is with us; Foreigner killed in SRP accident

Despite the clarification by officials of the Archdiocese of Cebu, a group that called for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III insisted retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal supports them in the call for the President to resign.

Seven years after the sinking of Sulpicio Line’s MV Princess of the Stars, the Maritime Industry Authority, in a 50-page ruling on the administrative case against Sulpicio Lines (now Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. or PSACC), cancelled and revoked the shipping firm’s Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) for carriage of passengers. To an official inside PSACC, the ruling will not have an impact on the company’s operations since they are no longer transporting passengers.

At the South Road Properties (SRP) yesterday, a Dutchman was run over by a cement mixer. Meanwhile, 16 drivers of colorum vehicles plying the SRP were apprehended.

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Here are the top stories for today, Feb. 18, 2015:

Archival ambush
YEAR AFTER. One year after the killing of lawyer Noel Archival in an ambush in Dalaguete, Cebu, the suspects are still free. Officials of the Highway Patrol Group have been accused of killing the lawyer. (Photo by Mark Luzano)

National Transformation Council insists: Cardinal Vidal is with us

The group that is calling for President Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay and the entire government to resign insisted that retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal supports their call.

Last February 13, Vidal read in front of reporters a statement calling on President Aquino to resign. With him were Church officials and former government executives who are members of the National Transformation Council (NTC).

Among those present during the gathering in Vidal’s retirement home in Banilad were former senator Francisco Tatad and former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, who has been accused by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV of organizing a coup against Aquino.

“On Feb. 13, about 99% of the guests of Cardinal Vidal at his home were members of the National Transformation Council (NTC). They had a mass, ate a sumptuous meal, had a press conference amply attended by media people, and conducted a high-level NTC meeting right there at the Cardinal’s office, all in all lasting for about 5 to 6 hours. For someone who “does not” believe in NTC, the Cardinal was surely very accommodating to NTC.” — Status update posted on the official NTC Facebook page to respond to reports that Vidal denied asking President Aquino to step down

“Posible ba na basahin ni Cardinal in front of media cameras ang isang bagay na hindi niya pinaniniwalaan, a statement that was so controversial because it was asking the President of the Philippines to step down?” — NTC Facebook page

Businessman Valeriano “Bobit” Avila, who also writes a newspaper column, said only archdiocese officials issued the denial and not Vidal himself.

“I suggest that you get the clarification from Cardinal Vidal himself. Those denials did not come from him. These denials are meant to confuse.” — Businessman Valeriano “Bobit” Avila, as quoted by The Freeman, where he writes a column

Marina ruling has no impact on shipping company, officials say

Marina granted the Sulpicio Lines, now the Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp., a certificate of public convenience to allow it to ferry passengers last May 16, 2005. the CPC was supposed to be effective for 25 years but this was cancelled and revoked following the sinking of Sulpicio Line’s MV Princess of the Stars off Sibuyan Island in Romblon Province last June 21, 2008.

Nestor Ponteres, PSACC port captain, said company owners and officials decided last year to halt the operation of all passenger vessels due to the high cost of fuel and maintenance. Whenever an accident happens, the company also has to deal with complaints from passengers.

Michael Go of PSACC said the company is now operating only 15 vessels exclusively for the transport of cargo to different ports of the country. With cargo vessels sailing only once a week (compared to passenger vessels sailing everyday), this means lower operational costs for the shipping firm.

Dutchman dies in SRP accident

Harald Heinz Walter, 55, was driving his motorcycle heading south when he bumped into the mixer truck owned by Geo Transport and driven by Roger Visitacion.

Visitacion said he came from Talisay City on his way to deliver concrete mix at the University of the Philippines. He said he made a left turn and did not see Walter coming. He only noticed a bump, only to realize later that Walter was already run over by the truck.

Walter was declared dead on arrival at the Cebu City Medical Center. Visitacion will be charged with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.

While both drivers were in the correct lane, according to Cebu City Traffic Operations and Management (Citom), the foreigner may have been overspeeding because of a 12-meter skid mark and a seven-meter drag mark.

The speed limit at SRP has been reduced from 60 kph to 40 kph.

Meanwhile, Citom apprehended 16 drivers plying the SRP using colorum vehicles within its 15-day operation. These vehicles operate as public transportation without franchise and reportedly collect a fare of P10, from Senior Citizeon’s Park to Kasadya sa SRP to Talisay City.

A list of the apprehended colorum vehicles with their plate numbers has been forward to the Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for appropriate action.

Citom said the operations against these vehicles will continue until the practice is stopped.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: City of Naga mayor ‘caught in crossfire’ between two rival LPG firms

The Freeman: One year since the crime Archival slay suspects still free

Sun.Star Cebu: Archival ambush survivor talks about 3rd lease on life

The Freeman: Health official confirms water contamination behind Danao City cholera outbreak

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: Leuterio, Lamudi sign deal

Sun.Star Cebu: Smart, Sun to bring Google Android One phones to Philippines

The Freeman: In 2014 BOI-Cebu registered over P9B investments in Central Visayas

The Freeman: Business leaders to government ‘Make ecozones friendly to SMEs’

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By Nancy Cudis

Nancy swims with words, day in, day out. She owns and writes for The Memoriter Writing Service, a duly registered professional service provider that offers to write high-grade content for business owners, organizations and individuals across varied platforms.