[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 22 November Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Nov 22 09:54:57 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 22 November Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Pulse Asia dims GMA's glad return (www.abs-cbnnews.com) 


President Arroyo's happy arrival -- she brought good news from the APEC summit, where the Philippines was hailed as a model in the antiterrorism war, and enjoyed a relaxing stopover in Hong Kong with her family -- was dimmed by the result of the latest Pulse Asia survey.


The research company's "October 2005 Ulat ng Bayan," released Monday, shows that her following in the Visayas has gone down. Forty-seven percent of the Visayans believe her resignation would be most beneficial for the Filipino people, while only 43 percent think the best thing is for her is to remain. 


Nationwide, nearly 6 in 10 Filipinos, or 58 percent, preferred exit scenarios for her.


What would be the most beneficial thing to happen after her exit?


Seventeen percent think it would be a presidential election. Twelve percent believe it would be Vice President Noli de Catsro's assumption of the presidency. Only 11 percent want her replaced by a temporary junta, which would prepare the nation for the election of a new president or a prime minister.


AFP retaliates: Nine Leyte militants slain (www.manilastandardtoday.com) 


TROOPS raided a gathering of suspected communist rebels on a farm in Palo, Leyte yesterday, killing at least nine and wounding six others, but a leftist lawmaker said the fatalities were just farmers. 


Military officials dismissed charges by Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo of a massacre of activist farmers who were holding a vigil at a rice granary. 


"It's natural for them to say the fatalities were not NPA (New People's Army rebels). But our assets will prove they're NPA rebels and it was no massacre. The incident was a legitimate encounter because our troops engaged them in a firefight," said Maj. Lope Dagoy, commander of the 19th Infantry Battalion. 


Dagoy said the firefight broke out at 5:45 a.m. in a rice field in Barangay San Agustin, where some 40 rebels fired on soldiers who were responding to a tip that armed men were meeting there. 


DND not worried by NPA warning (www.abs-cbnnnews.com)

The government's military units on Panay Island are being reorganized after an NPA-planted land mine blew up a convoy of soldiers of the 47th Infantry Battalion, and about 40 rebels lying in ambush opened fire, killing nine soldiers.


Lt. Col. Jefferson Omandam, the spokesman for the AFP's Central Command, said that troops have been rushed to Calinog, Iloilo, to hunt down rebels responsible for the attack.


The wounded soldiers managed to repulse the NPA rebels.


This was just another of a growing number of NPA activities in Panay, which the military claims to be at the same level of anti-NPA alertness as before.


Sources in Iloilo and Antique, however, told The Times that growing unrest in Panay is scaring the population. The Haribon Foundation in Antique has recalled its chief worker in Panay to Manila because of the fighting.


Journalist killed in Laguna; ninth in RP this year (www.philstar.com)

CABUYAO, Laguna - A newspaper reporter was shot dead by two motorcycle-riding men Sunday night, police said, bringing to nine the number of journalists killed in the country this year. 

Robert "Roby" Ramos, a reporter for the weekly local tabloid Katapat, was waiting for a ride home in front of a public market in Barangay Banlic in Calamba City at around 7:30 p.m. when suspects fired upon him at close range, according to Cabuyao police chief Superintendent Remilo Bamba. 

Bamba said Ramos, a resident of Barangay San Juan also in Calamba City, died on the spot from two gunshot wounds - one to his cheek, another to his neck. 

Manila-based radio dzRH quoted Ruby Garcia, Ramos' colleague, as saying he had exposed various illegal activities, including gambling and prostitution, in the province. 

House sure to pass Charter bill Nov 23 (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

The House leadership told The Times on Monday that it will approve on Wednesday its version of a concurrent House-Senate resolution calling Congress to convene as a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution.


At the same time, the Consultative Commission is optimistic that its proposals, which it will submit to the President on December 15, will be considered by the House and the Senate when they deliberate as a constituent assembly.


Expectedly, however, opposition leaders had negative words to say about the whole thing, promising to object to Speaker Jose de Venecia's constituent-assembly formula.


Having an overwhelming majority in the House, the Lakas coalition is expected, as its leaders told The Times, to pass the concurrent resolution in a marathon session that could last until past midnight on Wednesday.


DoJ vows to resolve rape case in one year (www.manilastandardtoday.com)


THE Department of Justice yesterday promised to resolve the controversial rape case filed against six American servicemen in one year, as mandated by the Visiting Forces Agreement, even if the accused remain in the custody of the United States embassy. 


However, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said he doubted if the US would give up custody of the accused until the charges filed against the marines are resolved. 


But he still held out hope that public opinion may influence the US to turn over the US servicemen to Philippine authorities. 


The preliminary investigation will start tomorrow, Nov. 23, whether or not the Philippine government has the custody of the accused, he said. 


Gonzalez said what is important is that US authorities have committed to physically producing the accused during the preliminary investigation or during trial, if the case is 

filed with the court. 


Arroyo wants gov't workers' non-wage benefits set (news.inq7.net)

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered government agencies discussing non-wage benefits for their workers to firm up their proposals soon so that workers can enjoy them this Christmas. 


Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas said on Monday that this was the instruction given by the President in their brief conversation at the Second International Maritime Employers Awards in Malacañang.


Departments concerned include labor, finance, budget, and trade and industry, which are expected to submit their proposals to the President at the end of this month so that it could be implemented in December, Sto. Tomas said.


Income tax exemption will be the biggest non-wage benefit workers can get from the government package, which also includes transportation assistance and
cheaper drugs, Sto. Tomas said.


Immigration to bar Viet sports official (www.manilastandardtoday.com)


THE Bureau of Immigration said yesterday it would bar the head of Vietnam's sports delegation from entering the country if Congress declares him persona non grata for accusing the Philippines of fixing the results of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games. 


"Under Philippine immigration law, any foreigner who insults, abuses or discriminates against the country's sovereignty and honor is considered undesirable and unwelcome," said Raymundo Salting, BI spokesman. 


The Vietnam embassy, however, denied reports that the Vietnamese delegation head, Nguyen Hong Minh, had made any such accusations and wrote off the incident as a misinterpretation by the local press. 


"Something (is) wrong with the media," said Vu Trong, first secretary of the Vietnamese embassy in Manila. "He didn't say the country fixed the results." 


Vu said ties between the Philippines and Vietnam are healthy and said his country would never make such comments. 


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