[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 22 July Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Jul 22 10:57:43 PHT 2005

*Newsbriefs 22 July Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan*

*Lacson holds own "SONA" *(ANC 10am)

Sen Ping Lacson is at the moment holding his own version of the state of 
the nation address at the Manila Hotel. He says that Mrs Arroyo 
personally supervised the cheating in the last elections.

*Young officers vow to bring Arroyo down** *(Inquirer)

A GROUP of officers who nearly ousted President Corazon Aquino in a 1989 
coup attempt announced yesterday it was breaking a 10-year-old peace 
agreement to try and bring down President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and 
save the country.

In a three-page statement released to the Inquirer, the Young Officers' 
Union (YOU) said it was making a "final stand to save the country from 
further ruin and continue the unfinished revolution of our forefathers."

In effect confirming that the military was behind the "Hello Garci" 
tapes, the YOU statement said the intelligence service of the AFP had 
wiretapped private conversations of some officials and individuals, 
including Ms Arroyo herself, during last year's elections. It said the 
wiretapping was carried out "against the advice of the officers of the 
intelligence command."

In a text message, Director General Arturo Lomibao, chief of the 
Philippine National Police, said he would look into the YOU statement.

"We will validate if this is the organizational position or just the 
position of some members," Lomibao said.

*Susan Roces shows interest in presidency* (Inquirer)

THE WIDOW of Fernando Poe Jr. yesterday left open the possibility of 
seeking the Philippine presidency amid the launching of a broad 
coalition calling for the resignation of President Gloria 
Macapagal-Arroyo and the formation of a caretaker government.

Sixty-six people who attended the inaugural meeting at the Quezon City 
Sports Club of the coalition calling itself Unity for Truth and Justice 
were asked to nominate people who would form the council.

Susan Roces topped the straw poll with 36 votes; followed by former 
Agrarian Reform Secretary Horacio Morales, 27; retired General Fortunato 
Abat, 24; deposed President Joseph Estrada, 23; evangelist Eddie 
Villanueva, 22, and former Defense Secretary Renato de Villa, 21.

The launching of the coalition coincided with Roces' first provincial 
political sortie since she delivered a fighting speech on June 29, 
accusing Ms Arroyo of stealing the presidency, "not once, but twice."

In Davao City, Roces met with supporters of her late husband, heard 
stories of how he was allegedly cheated in last year's balloting and 
wiped tears as she was serenaded in advance of her 64th birthday on July 28.

She also keynoted the launching of the Gloria Step Down Now Movement 
Mindanao, a coalition of progressive groups, academe, lawyers, students 
and opposition parties.

Asked by a local reporter if she was aspiring to become president, she 
replied, "Depende. Hindi lang natin alam kung kailan at paano dahil 
hindi pa natin napaalis si Gloria (It depends. We just don't know when 
and how because we have not gotten rid of Gloria)."

*New BIR wants to settle, not sue  *(Roy Pelovello)

In a sharp departure from the current policy and the tough stance of his 
predecessor, the new chief at the Bureau of Internal Revenue says he is 
willing to consider compromises with those charged with tax evasion.

BIR Commissioner Jose Mario Bunag told journalists yesterday he has 
asked the Department of Finance to reconsider its "no-deal" policy, 
which bars the government from entertaining any deals after a criminal 
case is filed. In a press briefing yesterday, Bunag said his mandate is 
to collect more taxes, not to punish tax evaders.

"I will be judged at the end of my term on how much (in taxes) I 
collected, and not how many people I sent to jail," Bunag said.

*Opposition forms caretaker gov't **(*The Philippine Star)

Opposition groups said yesterday they will soon form a caretaker 
government amid calls for President Arroyo to resign over alleged 
election fraud. Horacio Morales, a former agrarian reform secretary 
under Estrada and one of the conveners of the proposed interim 
government, said it is "the best alternative to the current situation."  
The so-called caretaker council will operate for "not more than 1,000 
days" during which it would pave the way for regular elections, Morales 

The activists also rejected the possibility of constitutional succession 
by Vice President Noli de Castro. "A simple succession will mean the 
continuation of the same current administration, minus GMA," said 
Patricia Sison, another advocate of the caretaker council, referring to 
Mrs. Arroyo by her initials.

The group said the caretaker government would include representatives 
from groups who actively participate in efforts to oust Mrs. Arroyo.

*Foreign investments down 75% in January-April* (Inquirer News Service)

FOREIGN direct investments registered with the Bangko Sentral ng 
Pilipinas (BSP, the Philippine central bank) dropped 75 percent in the 
January-April period to $102.57 million from $407.29 million in the same 
months last year, the BSP reported Thursday.

The impact on foreign investments of the current political crisis is 
expected to be reflected in the BSP investment reports in the coming 

Recent surveys by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank showed that 
perceptions of macroeconomic instability, corruption and poor 
infrastructure were considered as the top three factors behind the weak 
investment climate in the country.

Unlike direct foreign investments, foreign portfolio investments -- 
short-term capital placed mainly in stocks and debt papers -- registered 
a 12-fold rise in net inflow to $1.72 billion in the January-April 
period, from $146.5 million in the same months last year.

*Generals on 'Garci tape' probed *(Inquirer)*

IN AN apparent turnaround, the military on Wednesday said Armed Forces 
Chief of Staff General Efren Abu has finally ordered an investigation 
into at least four generals implicated in "Hello Garci" election fraud 

Abu directed Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga, the military's Inspector 
General, to conduct such probe "more than two weeks ago," said AFP 
deputy chief of staff Lieutenant General Edilberto Adan.

"The AFP has taken cognizance of these allegations of the involvement of 
some generals and we have directed the inspector general to 
investigate," Adan told reporters Wednesday night. "We did not set aside 
the issue, we acted on it," he added.

It was the first time the military said there was an ongoing 
investigation. Last July 6 military officials dismissed calls for an 

At the time there was a reported threat by junior officers and even some 
generals to resign or go on mass leave unless the generals who allegedly 
conspired with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to cheat in the last 
elections are investigated.

*Impeachment bid gains speed: 50 on board, 29 to go* (Inquirer)

ONLY 29 signatures to go.

An opposition leader yesterday claimed at least 50 lawmakers have 
committed to sign an impeachment resolution against President Gloria 
Macapagal-Arroyo, just 29 signatures short of the number needed for the 
transmittal of the complaint to the Senate for trial.

"We have breached the 50 count and we're gaining ground," House Minority 
Leader Francis Escudero told the Inquirer.

Escudero said he was confident at least 79 lawmakers -- one-third of the 
236-member House of Representatives -- would sign the opposition 
resolution "for the sake of truth and justice," paving the way for Ms 
Arroyo's impeachment trial at the Senate.





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