Love, faith, and politics: these are the themes of today’s Cebu news digest. Here’s what you need to know this morning of Thursday, January 7, 2016:

Thousands join dawn Walk With Jesus to mark start of 451st Fiesta Señor celebration of Sinulog 2016

The religious celebration of the Fiesta Señor started early this morning with a penitential walk by Sto. Niño devotees from the Fuente Osmeña rotunda to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

Reports indicate a huge turnout of devotees. Police said at the start of the walk that 11,000 turned out for the opening activity. Cebu City Traffic Office operations head Joy Tumulak, however, told a The Freeman journalist after the walk that 300,000 people joined it. He credited the huge turnout to good weather and the early arrival of some International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) participants.

The walk ended with a mass at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño presided over by rector Fr. Jonas Mejares. For the first time in the last few years, devotees were able to see the basilica’s restored belfry, which was damaged by the 2013 earthquake.

Businessman Mario King and wife Haydee King were installed as the Hermano and Hermane Mayores to lead Fiesta Señor church activities.

Walk With Jesus 2016
WALK WITH JESUS. The penitential walk from the Fuente Osmeña rotunda to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño marks the start of the religious celebration of Sinulog 2016. (Photo by Anthony Leuterio)

‘Desperate love’ led woman to kidnap newborn; parents to file charges

Desperate love drove 26-year-old Melissa Londres to steal a newborn baby so she could present it to her boyfriend as theirs, and thus prolong their strained relationship. Now facing kidnapping charges, Londres begged for forgiveness from the parents of Baby Prince Nino Celadenia, whom she kidnapped at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

She denied she stole the baby at first but broke down when her own mother, Mary Jane, arrived at the detention camp.

“I beg forgiveness. Sorry, I had no bad intentions against the baby. I took him because I was afraid my boyfriend would leave me. He was my first love. He really took care of me,” she said.


Budget war marks start of the year at the Cebu City Council

The Cebu City Council spent the first session of 2016 the way they did the final sessions of 2015, fighting over the budget. The majority bloc insisted the 2016 budget–at P6.4 billion–was legally passed after acting Mayor Edgardo Labella, of Team Rama, returned the budget ordinance to the council citing it lacked the required number of votes to be valid.

“His (Labella’s) inaction within 10 days means that the approved annual budget is deemed approved. The budget office should be required to enforce the 2016 annual budget.”
Councilor Sisinio Andales



Cebu headlines
CEBU HEADLINES. Today’s frontpages of Cebu Daily News and Sun.Star Cebu.

Mistake found in Capitol bidding for heavy equipment

The Provincial Board ad hoc committee on the bids and awards committee found discrepancies on the bidding for the multi-million heavy equipment deal the Capitol intends to buy, an error which could prevent the governor from getting the authorization to sign the P250.6 million contract with ConEquip Phils Inc.

“The committee found that there were some technical issues. Number one is the computition of the TWG, which is erroneous. This leads us to conclude nga possible nga ang technical working group is not competent.”
PB member Grecilda Sanchez

Issues were raised against the bidding after the BAC awarded the contract to ConEquip, which submitted the highest bid, at P250.6 million.


Sun.Star Cebu: Capitol BAC TWG admits mistake during bidding for heavy equipment

Other Cebu headlines

» Sun.Star Cebu: Balik Cebu lures Filipinos from all over globe


» Sun.Star Cebu: Cassava meals kills 6-year-old boy in Dumanjug; brother, sister still under medical observation in hospital


» The Freeman: Public reminded on how to prepare for Sinulog 2016: bring umbrellas, water, and snacks


» The Freeman: Task force formed for Sinulog route


» The Freeman: Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro tells highway patrol unit: Return vehicle or I’ll sue you


» Cebu Daily News: UP lot survey halted; no one filing lawsuit


» Cebu Daily News: Case seeking freeze of SRP lots sale elevated to Court of Appeals


» Cebu Daily News: All set for ‘Walk with Jesus’


Business headlines

» Sun.Star Cebu: BIR-13 exceeds revenue target by P400 million, collects P25.8 billion in 2015


» Sun.Star Cebu: Slugging demand, security stymieing consumer tech growth


» The Freeman: OFWs, tourism to benefit from daily Cebu flights to Dubai

“Some of our establishments here are Middle Eastern tourists’ friendly. Restaurants and hotels’ food outlets too are servingHalal food preparations already.”
Tourism Congress vice president Alice Queblatin

» The Freeman: Taxpayers reminded to file income tax returns ahead of April deadline


» Cebu Daily News: DTI to strengthen small businesses, aid exporters


» Cebu Daily News: Tourism sector ready for Middle East tourists


Sports Headlines

» Sun.Star Cebu: 5th All-Women Ultra-Marathon registration opens today


» Sun.Star Cebu: Cebu backs national pro football league


» The Freeman: Yayoy hosts darts tournament


» The Freeman: Pilots showcase basketball skills in first invitational basketball tournament


» Cebu Daily News: Alaska Aces evens series with GlobalPort


» Cebu Daily News: Guiao, Belga fined P20K

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