Storm Siony landfall in Batanes possible by Friday

TROPICAL STORM Siony intensified on Tuesday morning with its center located 565 kilometers (km) east of Basco, Batanes, but was moving slowly and is forecasted to be “almost stationary” in the next 24 hours, according to weather bureau PAGASA. Siony, with international name Atsani, could make landfall in the Batanes-Babuyan Islands area on Friday, but PAGASA said “there remains a high degree of uncertainty in the forecast track” due to the storm’s quasi-stationary state. It was packing winds of 85 km/hour and gustiness of up to 105 km/h. Combined rains from Siony and the northeasterly winds were expected to affect the provinces of Batanes, Apayao, Cagayan, and Isabela. The tropical storm, the 19th to enter the country this year, is forecasted to be out of the Philippine area by Saturday morning.

AboitizPower’s TVI turns over P10.2 million to Toledo City beneficiaries

ABOITIZPOWER unit Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI) has turned over P10.2 million to Toledo City in line with a Department of Energy regulation requiring power firms to provide financial benefits to host communities. TVI operates the 340 megawatt Toledo Baseload Power Plant in the city’s Barangay Bato. Of the total fund, P5.9 million went to Toledo City and the rest to the community of Barangay Bato. AboitizPower, in a statement on Tuesday, said the funds were used to support the city’s programs in its fight against the coronavirus and for relief goods for over 3,200 families in Barangay Bato. Under Energy Regulation 1-94, power generation companies are mandated to give one centavo per kilowatt-hour of total electricity sales to host communities. — Angelica Y. Yang

7 Abu Sayyaf members killed in Sulu Sea encounter

SEVEN MEMBERS of the Abu Sayyaf, a kidnap-for-ranson group that has ties to the extremist Islamic State, were killed in an early Tuesday morning encounter at the Sulu Sea, the military reported. The Philippine Army, in a statement, said troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu intercepted a speed boat carrying the group at 2:15 a.m. in the open waters near Sulare Island in Sulu. One of those killed was identified as Madsmar Sawadjaan, brother of terror bomber Mundi Sawadjaan, and another was Mannul Sawadjaan, known as the replacement of Abu Sayyaf senior leader Hajan Sawadjaan who was recently killed. The five other casualties have yet to be identified. Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., head of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said the group was planning to conduct kidnapping activities in mainland Mindanao. “Exchanges of fires transpired which lasted for 25 minutes and resulted in the sinking of the boat utilized by more or less seven (Abu Sayyaf) members,” Mr. Vinluan said in a separate statement. There was no reported casualty among government troops.