[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 3 August Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Aug 3 11:05:11 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 3 August Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

*Poll officials to sue Zuce* (www.manilastandardonline.com)

"All 13 regional directors of the Commission on Elections are suing 
jueteng bagwoman Sandra Cam and former Palace aide Michaelangelo Zuce 
for libel, denying charges that they accepted bribes to ensure President 
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's win in the 2004 presidential race.

"We know that there is a relentless effort to unseat the President, but 
the Comelec is being dragged into this mess," said Comelec Chairman 
Benjamin Abalos at a press conference yesterday.

Abalos denied claims by Zuce that poll officials were bribed at the 
President's La Vista, Quezon City residence in January 2004 while Ms. 
Arroyo watched.

He also said most of the directors that Cam and Zuce implicated are in 
Mindanao, but said they are preparing charges against the two 

A Palace official, meanwhile, said Zuce had confided to a former 
co-worker that the opposition had offered him a large sum to implicate 
the President in the alleged bribery, just a few days before he went 
public with his story."

*GMA ready to face impeachment trial* (www.manilastandardonline.com 

"President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday said she is prepared for an 
impeachment trial at the Senate that may come sooner than expected, 
after the House adopted rules that enable opposition lawmakers to 
continue gathering names for a complaint they filed Monday last week.

"Every defendant wants this over as soon as possible. I have a legal 
team to do that," the President said.

She also stressed that she doesn't want the impeachment case to prevent 
her from discharging her day-to-day official duties.

"I don't dwell on this; I have work to do... I have to organize my 
economic managers, I have to begin the debates on changing the system of 
government," she said.

Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye, for his part, said the 
impeachment rules were an internal matter for the House. "The only thing 
we can say is they acted with urgency in approving the rules 
immediately," he said."

*BIR collections down 5% in July* (www.manilastandardonline.com)

"The resignation of former head of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and 
the suspension of the implementation of the new Value Added Tax Law 
significantly pulled down the bureau's collections in July.

Preliminary figures show that revenue collections by the BIR fell 4.85 
percent to about P37 billion on July from P38.89 billion in the same 
month last year. The tax collection last month was also P9 billion short 
of its programmed collections of P46 billion for July.

For the first seven months of the year, BIR collections amounted close 
to P297 billion or 10.78 percent more than the P268.08 billion collected 
by the agency from January to July last year.

BIR expects tax collections to jump a little over 16 percent to P546.89 
billion this year from P468.17 billion last year. BIR accounts for about 
70 percent of total revenue collections of the national government, 
which are expected to grow 12 percent to P783.15 billion this year from 
P699.78 billion in 2004."

*Remulla eyes suspension of wiretap inquiry* (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

"Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla is seeking to suspend the House inquiry 
into the wiretapped conversations of President Arroyo until former poll 
commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and former National Bureau of 
Investigation deputy director Samuel Ong testify.

Remulla, who heads one of the committees holding the hearings, said 
panel members are seeking the arrests of the two resource persons for 
ignoring requests to appear before the House inquiry.

"We will suspend indefinitely after Wednesday's hearing until the two 
are found. I believe some of the congressmen will seek arrest warrants 
for the two," Remulla told ABS-CBN News Channel.

Ong, who was first to disclose what he said were the master tapes of the 
wiretaps, has so far failed to appear before the joint hearing, 
preferring to send his lawyer. Vidal Doble, the military intelligence 
agent who claimed to have provided Ong with the tapes, is in the custody 
of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Garcillano has been in hiding since the tapes of the alleged wiretapped 
conversations appeared last June. The poll official allegedly talked to 
President Arroyo last year in a vote-rigging scheme."

*Arroyo allays senators' fears about Charter change* (news.inq7.net)

"In A bid to allay senators' qualms about Charter change, President 
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Tuesday clarified that she has not indicated 
that she preferred a unicameral, parliamentary system that would lead to 
the abolition of the Senate.

"I can understand the reluctance of some senators. A couple of them have 
told me that institutionally, they don't want the Senate to be 
abolished. But I have never advocated a unicameral system," the 
President said in a television interview late Monday.

The President wants to fast-track Charter change through a consultative 
assembly as the ultimate solution to the ongoing political crisis.

Proponents of a shift into a parliamentary system said the country could 
choose to adopt either the British model which has a single body of 
lawmakers and is led by a prime minister and a ceremonial head of state, 
or the French model which has a bicameral legislature and is led by a 
strong president and a prime minister."




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