UPDATED: News Roundup −12 May 2008

UPDATE: Motorists are to advised to drive carefully and be on the lookout for road spikes. Incidents of vehicles being disabled because of punctured tires were reported early today along the southbound stretch of EDSA, in front of the Manila Central University.

The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) leads a transport strike that is expected leave thousands of commuters stranded today. The organization promises to make this strike peaceful and assures the police that they will not burn tires, throw spikes on the streets or intimidate other drivers into joining them. The police in Metro Manila are on full alert and have deployed 2,000 cops to maintain peace and order.

In the military, Lt. Gen. Alexander Yano will assume today the post of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief as the current chief; General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. retires. General Yano who will be promoted to the rank of 4 star general, as prescribed by the position that he will assume, will be the AFP's 38th Chief of Staff.

In the cabinet, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye will be moving to the Monetary Board (MB) on June 22, 2008 .His replacement in the Office of the Press Secretary hasn't been announced. Another government post to be filled is the chairmanship of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will be filled by election lawyer Leila de Lima. Her appointment was announced by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.

In Metro Manila, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) announced that is interested in buying out the Lopez family in the power distribution company MERALCO. GSIS head Winston Garcia also announced his intention to break up the company's concession using the model adapted in the water sector. Metro Manila, which used to be exclusively supplied with potable water by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is now being served by two companies. Meralco's spokesman claims that such as a plan will require congressional approval.

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