[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 15 August Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Aug 15 11:12:10 PHT 2005


Newbriefs 15 August Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

Con-con EO out this week (Philippine Star) 

An executive order is now up for signing by President Arroyo possibly 
within the week, creating the Citizens Consultative Constitutional 
Commission (con-con) that would assist Congress in drafting proposed 
amendments to the Constitution, officials said. 

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the draft executive order is now 
on the Presidents desk, awaiting her orders for possible revisions. 

GMA mulls suspension of EVAT on oil, power firms (Philippine Star)

President Arroyo is studying the possibility of suspending the 
implementation of some provisions of the expanded value-added tax (EVAT) 
law to address the looming oil crisis, a ranking Malaca¤ang official said 
yesterday. 

The official, who asked not to be identified, said Mrs. Arroyo has sought 
legal opinions on suspending the expanded VAT on power and oil once the 
Supreme Court (SC) lifts its temporary restraining order (TRO) on the tax 
law in light of the historic high price of $67 per barrel of crude oil. 

Oil price hikes mean less govt services (manilastandardonline.com)

Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., chairman of the House 
appropriations committee, said the governments gas budget for 2005 was set 
at a time when world oil prices were half the current price. 

This means, he said, that services such as police and military patrols 
nationwide and other basic services by all agencies would be reduced 
drastically unless government begins scrimping on energy. 

Palace muzzles Defensor (manilastandardonline.com)

Malaca¤ang yesterday restrained Environment Secretary Michael Defensor and 
other Cabinet members from commenting on the legal aspects of the 
impeachment case against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. 

Henceforth, according to Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, the Palace 
will let her defense team and its official spokesperson make such 
statements. Ermita issued the directive after American forensic expert Barry 
Dickey whom Defensor had commissioned to analyze the Hello Garci tapes, denied 
having said it had been spliced or tampered with. 

Malaysia agrees to extend peace monitor team in RP (Manila Times)

Malaysia has agreed to extend by a year the stay of a 60-strong 
international contingent helping monitor and safeguard a two-year-old 
truce between Muslim guerrillas and government troops troubled Mindanao, 

officials said Sunday.Most of the foreign cease-fire monitors, composed 
mainly of Malaysian troops, will end their one-year tour of duty in the 
South next month, prompting the government and the guerrillas to ask Malaysia 
to extend their stay for another year, Philippine officials and the rebels 
said.

Malaysia agreed to the request and will send a new batch of more than 40 
monitors to replace the outgoing ones in the next few weeks.

Senate roused to pass energy-saving bills (Manila Times)

Sen. Edgardo Angara on Sunday rallied the Senate to pass energy measures 
that will endorse renewable and indigenous sources of energy to help the 
government cope with a looming oil crisis.

Crude oil price in the world market soared this week to an all-time high 
of $67 a barrel, prompting President Arroyo to urge the people to conserve 
energy. 

Angara said its high time Congress and the government draw up 
long-term measures to head off the oil crisis. 

Senga takes over as Arroyos 8th military chief of staff (Inquirer)

LIEUTENANT GENERAL Generoso Senga, a tough rebel fighter who served as the 
voice of the military during the ouster of President Joseph Estrada, takes 
over a restive military today amid demands by rebellious officers for a 
purge of officials implicated in allegations President Gloria 
Macapagal-Arroyo cheated in last years election.

Senga will replace General Efren Abu, whose retirement as Armed Forces 
chief of staff was delayed for 21 days by Ms Arroyo as she battled to 
overcome the worst political crisis of her 4-year-old presidency.

The Army commanding general becomes the eighth military chief of staff to 
serve Ms Arroyo, a record for a sitting president. A member of Philippine 
Military Academy Class of 1972, the 55-year-old Senga will be AFP chief 
for less than a year, retiring on July 21, 2006.

Bishops say impeach bid must go on despite pain (Inquirer)

THE INCOMING president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the 
Philippines (CBCP) wants the impeachment proceedings against President 
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to continue, no matter how painful they may be.

I hope that everybody -- congressmen, senators as well as our President -- 
will stand to the truth, Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo told reporters 
in Iloilo City after rites commemorating the 25th anniversary of his 
episcopal ordination on Friday.

Lagdameo said the CBCP was standing by its earlier position that the 
political crisis could be resolved either through a truth commission or 
the impeachment or voluntary resignation of Ms Arroyo.
In a separate interview, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who was 
among those who attended the commemoration, called on legislators to 
continue the impeachment proceedings.

Arroyo advised: Defer VAT (Inquirer)

AMID SURGING oil prices, an economic adviser has urged President Gloria 
Macapagal-Arroyo to defer the implementation of the 10-percent expanded 
valued-added tax should the Supreme Court lift the freeze order on the VAT 
law.

The tribunal is expected to lift the temporary restraining order this 
month.

Albay Representative Joey Salceda yesterday said that once the freeze 
order was lifted, the administration will exhaust means to legally 
postpone the effects of the VAT reform law until global oil prices ease to 
$50 (per barrel) where we reckon it would be tolerable.

Implementing the VAT law will further raise the prices of fuel, 
electricity and a host of other products and services.



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