[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 5 August Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Aug 5 14:59:37 PHT 2005

*Newsbriefs 5 August  Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan*

*'Jueteng' witness says sorry to Arroyo *(www.inq7.net)

"Occasionally shouting into a microphone, a "jueteng" 
bagman-turned-whistle-blower yesterday tearfully accused the opposition 
of forcing him to link members of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's 
family to the multibillion-peso illegal numbers racket.

But Richard Garcia stressed at a televised news conference that he was 
not retracting his previous deposition at the Senate that members of the 
First Family had received jueteng payoffs.

"Everything I told the Senate is true," he said, speaking in Filipino.

In a rambling account, Garcia said he was at the end of his rope and was 
exhausted by the rigors of the Senate hearings, the death threats he had 
supposedly received, and the separation from his family.

He said he decided to quit being a prized witness of the opposition 
after San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora met with him and fellow 
jueteng whistle-blowers Wilfredo "Boy" Mayor and Sandra Cam last week.

"They wanted us to link the First Family to jueteng before the 
impeachment trial, but I don't know anything about that," Garcia said, 
naming opposition Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson as one of those 
supposedly leaning on the witnesses."

Solons may start debate on Charter change next week *(www.inq7.net)

"Despite opposition from a growing number of legislators, the House of 
Representatives will start its deliberations next week on the Charter 
change proposal.

Speaker Jose de Venecia said Thursday the concurrent resolution on 
amendments to the Constitution had been placed in the order of business 
for plenary debate.

"To the best of our ability against the wishes of the opposition, I hope 
we can start by next week," House Majority Floor Leader Prospero 
Nograles said in a text message to INQ7.net.

But opponents of amending the Charter are gaining foothold in the House 
as six more lawmakers signed a resolution blocking the move.

Deputy Speaker for Central Luzon Benigno Aquino III, Cavite 
Representative Gilbert Remulla, Zamboanga del Norte Roseller Barinaga, 
Cebu Representative Clavel Martinez, Quezon Representative Proceso 
Alcala, and South Cotabato Representative Arthur Pingoy Jr. signed House 
Resolution 895.

Their signatures brought to 38 the number of solons opposed to the 

*Arroyo grants more subsidy to NorthRail squatters *(www.inq7.net)

"Embattled President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's public relations 
offensive has reached squatters affected by the 26.1-billion pesos 
NorthRail project as she recently approved a 25,000-pesos additional 
subsidy to each relocated family as part of their housing materials loan 
as recommended by Vice President Noli de Castro.

Before leaving for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to attend the burial of King 
Fahd, De Castro said he was able to secure the President's approval 
during the Cabinet meeting early this week.

The 32.2-kilometer railway transit project, which will link Metro 
Manila, Central Luzon and Northern Luzon, is the biggest project between 
the Philippines and China.

De Castro, chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating 
Council (HUDCC), said the additional amount would be deducted from the 
total amount to be paid by each family, specifically from the housing 
materials loan.

This means that a family will still receive 50,000 pesos for the 
purchase of housing materials, but will only pay half of this amount as 
a loan."

Bishops promise not to back another Edsa *(www.manilastandardonline.com)

"Just to make things clear: the Catholic Bishops Conference of the 
Philippines will never support another Edsa revolution or lead the 
clamor to unseat President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

At least not at this point.

According to the influential Church group, there is "still too much 
freedom and the situation is still reversible."

Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, head of the CBCP family and life, 
reiterated the prelates' stand during the launching of Veritas 846 at 
Santuario de San Antonio Parish church at Forbes Park, Makati City.

President Arroyo attended the unveiling of the Catholic radio station's 
new programming.

"It (the Arroyo administration's crisis) should be solved within 
peaceful and constitutional means not through chaos, violence, military 
junta, power grab and political disorder. I am not for or against 
President Arroyo. I am for gospel values. We supported former President 
Corazon Aquino because at that time she embodied the values of the 
people," Aniceto said.

Asked if the current political turmoil would warrant the same intensity 
to unseat the government similar to Edsa-1, Aniceto said there is no 
need for a 1986-style People Power Revolt."

Miriam sees move to oust GMA fading *(www.abs-cbnnews.com)
*"Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said on Thursday that the opposition's 
chances to oust President Arroyo are getting slimmer by the day.

She said this explains why the opposition is becoming more desperate in 
its efforts to unseat the President.

"The opposition has reached a point of diminishing return. Habang 
tumatagal, lumiliit yung chances [nito] to oust Mrs. Arroyo. Nauubos ang 
resources at wala [itong] public support [As it drags on, the chances to 
oust Mrs. Arroyo get slimmer. Its resources are being depleted, and it 
doesn't enjoy public support]," Santiago said.

Although the opposition had let loose a barrage of witnesses against the 
President, unleashing dirty scandal after another, she predicted Mrs. 
Arroyo will overcome these and soon the people would lose interest."


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