[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 28 July Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Jul 28 10:58:33 PHT 2005

*Newsbriefs 28 July Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan*

*Tiglao: Term Cut Inappropriate* (from article "GMA: No change, no 
stability" manilastandardonline) **

Presidential Management Staff chief Rigoberto Tiglao, for his part, said 
it is inappropriate for the President to commit herself to any term cut 
because of the legal ramifications.

"She has a constitutional term and the legal question of whether it can 
be shortened would be up to the Constitutional Convention or the 
constituent assembly to decide. My sense is that there could be some 
legal infirmities because she was voted upon by 12.9 million people for 
a term of six years," Tiglao told newsmen.

The President dismissed criticism that she is promoting changes to the 
Charter to divert public attention from the impeachment case or calls 
for her resignation, saying she has advocated constitutional reforms 
since the 2004 election campaign.

*Now, it's back to 'jueteng'* (inq7.net)*

IT SUPPOSEDLY happened right before the eyes of President Gloria 
Macapagal-Arroyo.  All 13 regional directors of the Commission on 
Elections (Comelec) were allegedly summoned in groups into a hotel room 
in Metro Manila to meet the President one afternoon shortly before the 
2004 elections.  There, with Ms Arroyo as their witness, they each 
allegedly received P2 million in cash from Lilia Pineda, wife of Rodolfo 
"Bong" Pineda, who is widely believed to be a gambling lord in the 
President's home province of Pampanga. This will be the story that a new 
witness will give should the Senate investigation of "jueteng," an 
illegal numbers game, resume, Archbishop Oscar Cruz said yesterday.

Cruz and witness Sandra Cam, who was also at the press conference, 
refused to say if the witnesses were male or female, but Cam described 
one of them as a "former top government official belonging to a 
political dynasty."

"This is A-1 information and Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo knows the 
person I'm referring to," Cam said. Asked why the President would make 
herself available at such an illegal and delicate situation, Cam said 
"she trusted the person."

The Senate probe had stalled after the confrontation between Frank 
Chavez, lawyer of Cam, and Senator Richard Gordon over the lawmaker's 
badgering of Cam at the last hearing on July 12.

*Supreme Court EVAT ruling delayed anew *(manilastandardonline)

A delay in the Supreme Court's much-awaited ruling on the 
constitutionality of Expanded Value Added Tax (RA 9337) seems 
inevitable. The high court yesterday issued a resolution giving 
respondent government officials 10 days to comment on a separate 
petition against the EVAT filed by Bataan Gov. Enrique Garcia Jr., which 
was filed later than four petitions covered during the oral argument 
held last July 14.

"The court resolved, without giving due course to the petition to 
require the respondents to comment thereon within a nonextendible period 
of 10 days," the court said in a resolution signed by acting clerk of 
court Ma. Luisa Villarama.

 "The fact that the court would await the comment of the respondents who 
are given 10 days to respond would somehow contribute to the delay," 
Khan said.

 "I am hopeful that this case would still be decided by Aug. 15 in spite 
of this additional 10 days because even now the members of the court 
have started deliberating on the various memoranda (of the parties)," 
Khan said.

Khan said the high court justices are now concentrating on three main 
points: the alleged undue delegation of power to the President; the 
allegations that the bicameral conference committee exceeded its 
authority in deleting or inserting certain provisions in the law; and 
whether or not the court can look into the process involved in the 
passage of a law assailed for allegedly being unconstitutional.

Khan said the high court cannot avoid the delay because it has to look 
at the issues Garcia has raised in his petition. "He (Garcia) raised 
entirely new points that were not covered in the oral arguments or in 
the earlier petitions," he said.

*'Let Gloria run for PM'* (abs-cbnnews)

KUALA LUMPUR - Former President Fidel Ramos said Wednesday that 
embattled President Arroyo should be allowed to run for prime minister 
under the new parliamentary system she has proposed. "She should be 
allowed to run because for now she is innocent of any of the charges 
until proven otherwise," he told reporters during a visit to Malaysia 
for an economic conference.

Ramos conceded, however, that support for constitutional reforms, which 
he has championed for decades, is running well below the two-thirds vote 
required in the Senate.

"The numbers in the [lower] house are there already. In the Senate, not 
yet," he said.

Just five of 24 senators supported Mrs. Arroyo's proposal, but there 
were "fence sitters" among the rest and once the changes would be 
enacted, Ramos added.


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