[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 29 August Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Aug 29 09:48:58 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 29 August Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


'Tipping point' of impeach bid reached (news.inq7.net)

"A BATTLE royale among members of the ruling House coalition this week will determine the fate of the impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, lawmakers said yesterday.

Two lawmakers told the Inquirer that the endorsement of the complaint on Tuesday by four Arroyo allies who called themselves "young guns" was the "tipping point."

It meant that the move to impeach Ms Arroyo for allegedly rigging last year's presidential election had transcended party lines, said the two lawmakers, who asked not to be named.

The two were referring to Representatives Robert Ace Barbers (Surigao del Norte), Edmund Reyes (Marinduque), Robert Jaworski Jr. (Pasig City) and Gilbert Remulla (Cavite)."

"For weeks, the minority failed to produce the magic 79 signatures to automatically transmit the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial," said one lawmaker.

He lamented the seeming "disarray" within the opposition that continued to hamper efforts to get a third of the House membership of 236 needed to impeach Ms Arroyo.

So far, only 48 House members have signed the impeachment complaint.

Another administration lawmaker disclosed that the young guns' decision was the "signal" that 33 other congressmen, who had earlier pledged to support the complaint, would officially sign up this week.

San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora, lead impeachment prosecutor who earlier said Vice President Noli de Castro would be recognized as the rightful successor, said the opposition only needed "a few" signatures.

Asked to elaborate, impeachment spokesperson Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano said: "We're looking at a single digit. The numbers look encouraging." Cayetano said six to 10 lawmakers would sign the impeachment complaint today."

 'Impeach bloc to max out at 56' (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"Lower House leaders yesterday said the maximum number of signatures that the minority could obtain as endorsers of the impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is 56, but at least seven might abstain when congressmen vote on the justice committee's report in the plenary. 

House Majority Leader Prospero Nograles assured Speaker Jose de Venecia yesterday that 180 out of the 236-member Lower House would stand by Ms. Arroyo in the impeachment hearings. 

"Congressman Nograles called me up this morning and told me that 180 out of the 236 members have declared their all-out support for President Arroyo. That means the opposition would only get a maximum of 56 endorsers. And six or seven of them might even abstain during the voting," De Venecia told reporters in a press conference at the Dusit Hotel in Makati City. 

The justice committee, which has 90 regular and ex-officio members, is set to vote on Tuesday on whether the amended complaint filed by the House opposition bloc would be treated separately or not." 

Terror funds continue to flow to RP, says Gonzales (manila times)

"Funds for terrorism in the Philippines are flowing into the country, mostly from the Middle East, a senior security official said over the weekend while admitting authorities are unable to stop it.

National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said the money could be flowing to Jema'ah Islamiyah, an Indonesia-based terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda which is accused of training terrorists in the Philippines.

Gonzales, speaking on Vice-President Noli de Castro's radio program, said Indonesian authorities have informed Philippine security officials that 10 Jema'ah Islamiyah members on a suicide mission have slipped into the country, with two believed to be in Manila.

"We have not yet captured the suicide bombers, and money continues to flow in that we cannot stop," Gonzales said. "I cannot say how we are able to find out, but I can say that money is coming in and [bombing] materials are being purchased."

He declined to give details but indicated that couriers take advantage of the high traffic between the Philippines and the Middle East, where hundreds of thousands of Filipinos work."

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