[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 15 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Nov 15 16:38:52 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 15 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

Biazon: Gonzales on 'probationary' release (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Opposition Sen. Rodolfo Biazon on Tuesday said the release of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales from Senate custody is only "probationary," saying it is still up to the Senate blue-ribbon committee whether or not to make the release final.

"I think this (release) is going to be determined by the (blue ribbon committee) chairman Sen. Joker Arroyo," Biazon told ANC.

The blue ribbon committee cited Gonzales in contempt last month for refusing to divulge information about the controversial Venable LLP contract the government signed to lobby funds for charter change. Instead of being detained, Gonzales was confined at the Philippine Heart Center due to heart problems.

The Senate later allowed Gonzales to go free for humanitarian reasons provided that he appears before the Senate probe on the Venable deal once he is fully recovered. 

The national security chief returned to work Monday after President Arroyo approved his request to continue his duties. He told reporters that he refused to seek medical treatment as he is needed in his post."

Gonzales: Only Garci can provide 'real closure' (abs-cbnnews.com)

"National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales said Tuesday the "Hello, Garci" controversy would be brought to a real closure only if former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) commissioner Virgilio Garcillano surfaces and answers the allegations of fraud in the 2004 presidential election.

"Maganda kung lalabas si former Commissioner Garcillano kasi maraming katanungan siguro na dapat niyang sagutin sa bayan... Iyan ang tunay na pagsasara, 'ika nga (It will be good if former Commissioner Garcillano would come out because he has a lot of explaining to do and that will bring the controversy to a closure)," 

National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales told DZMM.

Gonzales's statement came after Malacañan declared the wiretapping scandal a closed book. The Palace made the stand after the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said the President should address doubts on the legitimacy of her presidency."


Defensor hit for closing book on 'Hello Garci' controversy (inq7.net)

"ENVIRONMENT Secretary Michael Defensor was criticized at the House of Representatives on Tuesday for saying that the scandal involving President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and a former election official for alleged cheating in the 2004 election was a closed book. 

"How can there be closure when it has not been answered academically and extensively?" said Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero on allegations that Arroyo conspired with Virgilio Garcillano, a former election commissioner, in rigging the polls in her favor.

Garcillano's whereabouts are unknown.  "We don't even know where Garci is or whether he is still alive or not?" Escudero said in a telephone interview.

Escudero said Defensor might have misinterpreted the statement of Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, new head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, who reportedly said that he wanted closure on the controversy that has been hounding the Arroyo presidency.

Global OFW deployment surpasses 800,000 in first 10 months (philstar.com)

"Labor and Employment Acting Secretary Manuel G. Imson Monday reported that more than 800,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been deployed in more than 170 destinations globally within the first 10 months of 2005. 

Imson pointed to preliminary government figures that a total of 804,713 documented OFWs were deployed from January 1 to November 1, 2005, or 7,496 higher than the 797,217 deployed in a similar period in 2004. 

Land-based OFWs totaling 597,028 comprised some three-fourths of the total 804,713 OFWs deployed, with the overseas Filipino seafarers comprising the other one-fourth (207,685). 

This came after Imson affirmed Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) figures indicating that the OFWs remitted to the country more than US$7.003 billion in the first eight months of 2005, representing a 28.02 percent growth from around $5.5 billion in the same period in 2004."

BIR says Yap not off hook yet (inq7.net)

"THE Bureau of Internal Revenue is continuing its pursuit of former Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, saying its dismissed P4-million tax evasion case against the former Cabinet official was one of the strongest under the government's Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) program. 

The BIR has filed a motion for reconsideration with the Department of Justice after the DoJ dismissed the tax agency's case against Yap last month.

"We see this as a strong case for the BIR, and with the filing of the motion for reconsideration, commit [ourselves] to pursue it. We simply seek to apply the tax laws of the land without fear or favor," said Finance Undersecretary Emmanuel Bonoan, RATE program head.

The motion filed by the BIR said the DoJ erred in dismissing the case and insisted there was sufficient probable cause to charge Yap and his father, Domingo, with tax evasion."

DENR lifts log ban (inq7.net)

"THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lifted a logging ban that affected 8,200 community-based forest management agreements in the country. 

The ban was imposed following last year's flashfloods that killed dozens of people and destroyed millions of properties in Southern Tagalog and Northern Luzon provinces.

Environment Secretary Michael Defensor said the decision to lift the total logging ban was based on a thorough study conducted by the environment department and by non-government organizations.

He said the ban had affected forest-dependent communities throughout the country comprising holders of some 200 Integrated Forestry Management Agreements (IFMAs), 3,000 Socialized Forestry Management Agreement (SFMAs), and 5,000 Community-Based Forest Management Agreements (CBFMAs).

Of the country's 81 million population, 16 million Filipinos depend on the forest for their livelihood.

At present, Defensor said the DENR allows only 10 percent of the country's forestlands to be utilized."


Shares close lower for third day in a row (XFN-Asia)

"SHARE prices closed lower as profit-taking extended to a third straight session although buying on some small capitalized stocks trimmed the market's losses, dealers said. 

The composite index ended down 8.31 points or 0.40 percent at 2,063.74 after trading between 2,059.86 and 2,076.52. Volume turnover stood at 2.03 billion shares worth 472.01 million pesos. 

The broader all-shares index retreated 4.41 points to 1,251.77. 

Losers outnumbered gainers 48 to 31 and 43 stocks ended flat. 

Dealers expect the market to remain in consolidation mode in coming sessions with most share prices still deemed overbought after the main index rallied to its best level in eight months last week." 

      Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate 
      Official Rate from the Philippine Dealing System 


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P54.699 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of November 15, 2005 1:30 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.




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