[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 16 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Nov 16 16:05:50 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 16 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


'Hello Garci' report slams Arroyo, foes (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The government tried to cover up election cheating allegations last year but was battling a conspiracy to try to oust President Gloria Arroyo, according to a draft report by a congressional committee.

The document, reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper on Wednesday, was to be presented to five panels from the lower house of Congress looking into opposition claims that Arroyo conspired with an election official to seal her victory.

The "Hello Garci" tapes were a series of audio recordings allegedly featuring Arroyo talking by telephone with former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano about rigging the presidential election on May 10, 2004.

Arroyo, whose new term is due to run until 2010, apologized on television in June for talking to an election official but did not say it was Garcillano and insisted she did nothing wrong.

Her administration gave "no sincere cooperation" to the inquiry, said the draft report by Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla, a member of the ruling coalition who nonetheless voted in favor of ousting Arroyo during the failed impeachment in September.

"A conspiracy clearly existed to topple the president by embarrassing her with the so-called Garci tapes," it said.

"On the other hand, the administration could not and would not confront the tapes and contributed nothing toward arriving at the truth about them."

Recordings released by the government, purportedly showing Estrada conspiring with unknown people to assassinate Arroyo, were "suspiciously short and clearly spurious, not to say unquestionably fabricated," the report said."

Palace: House report on 'Hello Garci' tapes 'grossly unfair' (inq7.net)

"A DRAFT report at the House of Representatives containing findings of an attempted Malacañang "cover-up" of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's alleged involvement in poll fraud in 2004 is "grossly unfair," a spokesman for the President said Wednesday. 

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the failure by the five House committees that investigated the issue to ferret out the facts from a wiretapped conversation between the President and an election official should not be taken to mean that Malacañang was hiding something.

"The failure by the House committees to squeeze out facts beyond the knowledge and awareness of government functionaries does not mean there is a cover up on their part," he said.

Bunye was among those who testified in the hearings three months ago after he came out with two versions of the tapes, which purportedly recorded conversations between Arroyo and the Commission on Elections official whom reports identified later as Virgilio Garcillano.

He pointed out that some committee members were just on a "fishing and witch hunting expedition" and were using the hearings as a "political platform."

The draft report said that Malacañang attempted to cover up the truth behind the wiretapped recordings, which had come to be known as the "Hello Garci" tapes.

The report said that throughout the hearings, "no witness from the administration made a single contribution to arriving at the truth" and that "no sincere cooperation was extended by the administration to the congressional inquiry.""

Solon wants 'very presumptuous Hello Garci report' modified (inq7.net)

"DESCRIBING the draft report as "very presumptuous," one of the chairmen of the five-committee wiretapping probe at the House of Representatives wants to modify the finding that Malacañang attempted to cover up the truth behind allegations that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cheated in the 2004 election. 

"I'd like to modify some of the statements in the draft report because some of them are opposition statements," Sorsogon Representative Jose Solis told INQ7.net in a telephone interview shortly before a closed-door meeting of the committees Wednesday.

"There was no cover-up. The statements were very presumptuous," he said.

"If there were lapses in [Presidential Spokesman Ignacio] Bunye's testimonies then that 's his own fault. But to say that Malacañang was trying to cover it up was not fair," he said.

He said that if the committees found Bunye guilty of perjury then they could prosecute him on his own action.

Solis said it was not also right for the committee to conclude that there was no sincere cooperation on the part of the administration to ferret out the truth because aside from Bunye, several Palace officials appeared and participated in the hearings.

"I'd like to correct this statement. What are their bases for saying that? Why don't they just describe the testimonies of the witnesses instead of making such conclusive statements?" he said."

Arroyo scored anew for another 'human rights violation' (inq7.net)

"THE PRESIDENTIAL Security Group's (PSG) strict security on Tuesday that delayed a mass to commemorate the first anniversary of the "Hacienda Luisita massacre" is another example of human rights violation under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a lawyer claimed Wednesday. 

"She is suppressing the people's right to exercise religious freedom," Romeo Capulong said.

"President Arroyo cannot always do it her way, there is a law that should be followed," Capulong said.

At 4 p.m., Tuesday, a mass was scheduled to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of seven striking workers of the sugar land in Tarlac, which the family of former president Corzaon Cojuangco-Aquino owns.

But the PSG's refusal to allow the entry of those who wanted to attend the mass, including San Miguel Parish Priest Ernie Cruz, Fathers Jo Dizon and Peter Casiño, resulted in an hour's delay of the activity, Capulong said.

At the third session of the "People's Court" on Tuesday, witnesses recorded over 4,000 cases of human rights violations under Arroyo since assuming the presidency in January 2001 via a popular revolt that ousted predecessor Joseph Estrada.

Hacienda Luisita workers, under the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU), went on strike last year to protest alleged unfair labor practice by management and to demand the release of their unpaid benefits."

Pulse: 75% of Pinoys believe they are poor (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Pessimism is growing as three out of four Filipinos consider themselves poor or very poor while only 10 percent said they are well-off or wealthy, results of the latest Pulse Asia survey showed Wednesday. 

While the figures remain almost the same as those in Pulse Asia's July survey, more Filipinos believe they are worse off now than last year (73%) while an even bigger percentage (87%) said the same thing about the plight of the nation as a whole. 

It added that level of pessimism among Filipinos regarding the future increased by nine percentage points both at the personal and national levels. 

In October 2005, 58% of Filipinos expect their personal circumstances to worsen in the year ahead while 74% are pessimistic regarding the country's situation in the next 12 months.

The survey, which interviewed 1,200 respondents from October 15 to 27, said pessimism at the personal and national levels are at their highest since the series were started in 1999 and 2001, respectively. 

The survey said majority of Filipinos remain most concerned about health and inflation with 50 percent of respondents agreeing that staying healthy is their biggest personal concern."


Shares close slightly lower on extended correction (XFN-Asia)

"SHARE prices closed slightly lower as the market's technical correction persisted for a fourth straight session, dealers said. 

They noted however that the downside was capped by some buying interest in a number of laggard stocks. 

The composite index closed down 2.99 points or 0.14 percent at 2,060.75 after trading between 2,057.42 and 2,066.26. Volume reached 815.97 million shares valued at 1.37 billion pesos. 

The broader all-shares index retreated 0.99 points to 1,250.78. 

Losers outnumbered gainers 40 to 36, while 50 stocks ended unchanged. 

Dealers said the market is likely to trade sideways for the rest of the week, with profit-taking continuing in stocks deemed expensive after the market's rise to an eight-month high last week. 

However, any downward pressured may be offset by further buying interest in laggards or second line stocks seen with strong earnings prospects for the remainder of the year." 

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P54.636 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of November 16, 2005 1:25 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.



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