[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 17 November Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Nov 17 16:05:47 PHT 2005
Newsbriefs 17 November Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
Senate inquiry into wiretapping scandal resumes (inq7.net)
"THE SENATE inquiry into the wiretapping scandal linking President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to poll fraud resumed on Thursday with the chairman of the National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) in Lanao del Sur province testifying about alleged irregularities in the 2004 election.
Hadji Abdullah Dalidig told the hearing that votes for Ms Arroyo in the 2004 election were padded in several towns in the provinces while those for opposition candidate Fernando Poe Jr. were shaved.
He said he arrived at this conclusion based on election returns and certificates of canvass provided to Namfrel.
He said he brought this irregularity to the attention of the Namfrel leadership in Manila but was ignored. "I call it the worst and dirtiest election, " he told the Senate.
Dalidig made a similar testimony last week before the Citizen's Congress for Truth and Accountability."
4 Senate witnesses on Garci tapes back out (abs-cbnnews.com)
"Four confessed election fraud operators suddenly backed out from testifying in the Senate "Hello,Garci" scandal hearing Thursday, raising suspicions they were "blocked" from doing so.
Nagamura Moner, Lomala Macadaud, Minupun Batugan and Ahmare Lucman had been very eager to testify in the hearing, according to Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, chairman of the Senate committee on national defense and security.
Biazon said Moner's group had claimed they were commissioned by the President's husband Mike Arroyo to cheat for the Chief Executive.
Former Lanao del Sur NAMFREL chairman Hadji Abdullah Dalidig, who exposed election fraud in the province, said he was being convinced by Moner's group not to testify in the Senate anymore "because they have already talked to Mr. Arroyo."
He also said he was offered an "initial P100,000" but he refused."
Palace 'saddened' by former social welfare head's revelations (philstar.com)
"Malacañang Thursday downplayed the revelations of former Social Welfare Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman even as it expressed sadness over her attacks against the Arroyo administration.
Soliman disclosed yesterday that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) participated in the distribution of health cards to indigent families to swing votes for President Arroyo in the May 2004 elections.
In a statement, Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye said, "I am sad to say that as a former colleague in the Cabinet, Dinky Soliman is trying to portray herself as a martyr when she is definitely not."
"While the President has already forgiven her and her colleagues for their betrayal, we believe the Filipino people will remember them not as heroes but as heels who abandoned their leader when she needed them most," Bunye said."
Cover-up allegations nothing but opposition's failure to prove accusations: Palace (philstar.com)
"They can't prove, that's why."
This was the reaction of Malacañang Thursday to the opposition's allegations of cover-up on the wiretapping scandal.
In a statement, Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye said, "The allegations of a cover-up are merely an attempt of the President's detractors to save face for their failure to substantiate their accusations and come up with the dirt that they hoped would pin down the President."
"The real problem is that her detractors are hungry for media attention and they are trying to grab every opportunity to get it," accused Bunye.
Earlier, the opposition in the House of Representatives reportedly wants to highlight an alleged government cover-up of the electoral fraud allegations hounding President Gloria Arroyo in the findings of a congressional inquiry."
DoJ chief dares lawyer to prove he coddled 6 GIs (inq7.net)
"JUSTICE Secretary Raul Gonzalez dared lawyer Katrina Legarda to prove that he prevented the immediate prosecution of the six US marines accused of rape by ordering their transfer to the US embassy's custody on Nov. 2.
"I dare Katrina Legarda to prove her accusations. If she can prove it, I will resign," Gonzalez told INQ7.
"But if she cannot, she has to resign from the case and surrender her license because she violated our ethical rules for telling such a lie," he added.
Legarda is the lawyer of the 22-year old victim allegedly raped by the six US servicemen.
Gonzalez said he has never spoken to any US embassy official or any US official about the incident.
He pointed that Legarda should have asked Jose Calimlim, Deputy Administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) about the transfer of the six American servicemen to the US embassy."
Senga: No spillover of Sulu fighting in Metro Manila (abs-cbnnews.com)
"Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Generoso Senga said Thursday the military has not received any report about any retaliatory attacks by the Abu Sayyaf group in Metro Manila.
as a possible spillover of the military clashes in Jolo, Sulu with the bandit group.
In a press conference at Malacañan, Senga said intelligence agents of the military have not monitored any suspicious activity in the metropolis that may be related to the ongoing conflict in Jolo.
He said the ASG in the past created diversionary tactics during armed conflicts by launching attacks in urban areas.
"The Philippine National Police and the AFP in the National Capital Region are on the alert for any attempts of diversionary tactics. So far, we have received no reports. But intelligence efforts are continuing," Senga said.
An estimated 1,000 families have already been evacuated in two towns in Jolo as fierce gunbattle between the military and the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf erupted on November 11."
Arroyo to focus on anti-terror fight, bird flu at APEC (abs-cbnnews.com)
"President Arroyo said Thursday she will tackle at the 2005 Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum the Philippines' willingness to cooperate in anti-terrorism drive, anti-avian flu preparation and investments on poverty alleviation in the country.
In a speech at Malacañan before leaving for Busan, South Korea, Mrs. Arroyo said her administration is determined to fight terrorism by sharing intelligence and cooperating with regional allies, training troops and uplifting the economic plight of the poor.
"No place is safe from the reach of these terrorist extremists and I'm doing everything in my power to protect our nation at home and abroad," she said, pointing out that the Philippines is not safe from attacks such as the recent Bali bombing and terrorist attacks in Jordan.
In the economic front, Mrs. Arroyo said she will enjoin other nations to further invest in the country to help the Philippines eradicate poverty."
Shares close lower for fifth session (XFN-Asia)
"SHARE prices closed slightly lower as the market's technical correction extended for a fifth straight session, dealers said. They said some investors chose to adopt a wait-and-see stance ahead of the central bank's monetary polciy board meeting Thursday with speculation the bank may again hike its interest rates.
The composite index ended down 4.62 points or 0.22 percent at 2,056.13 after trading between 2,054.18 and 2,062.56. Volume reached 692.58 million shares worth 906.1 million pesos.
The broader all-shares index retreated 1.87 points to 1,248.91.
Losers outnumbered gainers 42 to 31, while 44 stocks ended unchanged.
It ended down 15 pesos or 0.84 percent at 1,770 on 160,550 shares.
Dealers said share prices are likely to continue to drift in a narrow range on Friday as many counters are still viewed as expensive after a two-week rally that pushed the main index to its highest level in eight months."
Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate
Official Rate from the Philippine Dealing System
PDS Wtd. Avg.
P54.449 = $1.00
As of November 17, 2005 3:05 PM
Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
Actual bank rates may vary.
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