[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 23 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Nov 23 16:56:32 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 23 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

http:// newsbriefs.blogspot.com


300 cops secure venue of Subic rape case hearing (inq7.net)

"OLONGAPO CITY -- At least 300 policemen were sent to secure and maintain order at the Olongapo City prosecutor's office on Wednesday for the preliminary hearing of the rape complaint filed by a Filipina against six American soldiers.

Janet Lazaro, Department of Justice (DoJ) administrator in Olongapo, said at least 94 journalists have been issued press passes to cover the proceedings set at 2:30 p.m.

The entire DoJ prosecution team in Olongapo -- City Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni, First Assistant Prosecutor Raymond Viray and Prosecutors Pedro Parco and Roel Samonte - is handling the hearing, with Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño sitting as an observer.

Lazaro said the following United States Embassy officials are attending the hearing: spokesperson Matthew Lussenhop, Yolly de Guzman, Lt. Col. Jackie Lyons, Capt. Burrell Parmer and Chris Rowen."

Protests greet probe into rape allegations against U.S. Marines in Philippines (philstar.com)

"OLONGAPO (AP) - Women's rights activists on Wednesday picketed a government prosecutor's office southwest of Manila, where six U.S. Marines accused of raping a Filipino woman were set to answer the complaint at the start of a preliminary investigation. 

The alleged assault on the 22-year-old woman at the former U.S. naval base in Subic has stirred emotions in the Philippines once an American colony and the government last week formally requested custody of the Marines. 

They have been in the hands of the U.S. Embassy since the complaint was filed Nov. 1, and the U.S. government hasn't said if they will be transferred. 

About two dozen members of the Gabriela women's group trooped in front of the Hall of Justice in Olongapo city, 80 kilometers southwest of Manila, armed with placards calling for the scrapping of the Visiting Forces Agreement that allows U.S. troops to train in the Philippines. 

They chanted "U.S. troops out now" and "U.S. imperialists, sexual terrorists.""

Garci return revives House wiretap probe (abs-cbnnews.com)

"A congressional investigation on the wiretap controversy involving former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano will continue until the official turns up in the House committee probe, Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla said Wednesday. 

Remulla said he has instructed the House sergeant-at-arms to investigate an ABS-CBN News Channel report saying that the former poll commissioner is in Mindanao. 

"Mahirap naman na umasa tayo sa mga salita lamang ng kanyang asawa at basta ititigil po natin ang lahat ng mga deliberation tungkol po sa ating committee report until he is found, [hanggang] nakita natin [si Garcillano] in the flesh ay patuloy pa din po tayo (It would be difficult if we pin our hopes on the words of the wife. We will stop deliberations on the committee report until he is found. Until we see Garcillano in the flesh, we will continue the inquiry)," he said, referring to an ANC interview with Garcillano's wife Grace. 

Mrs. Garcillano earlier said the former poll commissioner is alive and well after returning to Mindanao last week. 

Garcillano was linked to alleged wiretapped tapes that discussed vote-shaving activities in the 2004 elections. He disappeared from public view for more than five months and was reported to have gone to various countries. 

Mrs. Garcillano said his husband decided to return to the country to clear his name about the wiretap tapes. She said her husband questioned why only his telephone conversations with a person who sounded like President Arroyo have been made public, when in fact, he talked to a lot of candidates in the 2004 polls, including several opposition figures." 

Soldier killed as govt continues ASG hunt (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Government troops and about 100 suspected Muslim militants exchanged heavy gunfire deep in the mountains of Jolo Island, killing one soldier and an unknown number of Abu Sayyaf Group combatants, the Philippine Army said on Wednesday. 

Brig. Gen. Alexander Aleo, commander of the military's counter-terrorism task force, said fighting broke out late on Tuesday when soldiers ran into a large ASG group in the mountains near Indanan town.

The clash was the first contact with the rebels since a week ago, when troops in Panamao town came under mortar barrages. 

"We lost only one but our troops may have inflicted a heavy toll on the enemy side," Aleo told reporters. "Sporadic fighting continued through the night." 

Abu Sayyaf, the smallest of four Muslim rebel groups in the southern Philippines, is suspected of links with al Qaeda and the regional militant network Jemaah Islamiah."

DOLE eyes worker's tax exemption next month (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas on Wednesday said deliberations on tax relief for the country's 2.8 million minimum wage earners may be wrapped up before the end of November, increasing the possibility of its implementation next month.

Among the proposed non-wage benefits in the tax relief program is the exemption of minimum wage earners from paying income tax, the deployment of rolling stores in companies and free public transportation for government workers. 

Sto. Tomas said the agency with the Department of Finance may come up with a tax relief program for minimum wage earners before end-November. 

"Once finished, we will send our recommendations to the President for her approval. I believe we can finish before the end of the month," Sto. Tomas told DZMM. 

Sto. Tomas said that the agencies have yet to decide on the level of exemption that will be implemented through the program. She said that some form of restriction in the tax relief program is necessary given the possibility of at least P3 billion loss in the government's income once the program takes effect."

House to pass measure on joint assembly for Charter change (inq7.net)

"A MEASURE calling on the Senate and the House of Representatives to convene jointly to tackle proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution is expected to be approved this Wednesday, a lawmaker said.

"If we have a quorum, if they won't put obstacles, if we stop asking too many questions and if they stay behind and not leave the session hall, yes we will approve it [the resolution] today [Wednesday], House Majority Floor Leader Prospero Nograles said in a text message.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Constantino Jaraula, chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments, said there were still 18 legislators lined up to interpellate him on the floor but that this would go down to six or eight once all questions had been raised.

Jaraula said the House leadership was bent on approving House Concurrent Resolution 26 even if it meant working until Thursday dawn.

He said they only needed a simple majority vote or 119 of the 236 members of the House to approve the measure.

After being passed in the House, the resolution will be sent to the Senate for its concurrence.

Jaraula said should the Senate reject the measure, they had "reserved options" to pursue the proposed changes in the Constitution."

Shares close lower on profit-taking (XFN-Asia)

"SHARE prices closed lower, hit by profit-taking that emerged after a three-day run-up which stirred the market to its strongest level in eight months, dealers said. 

Investors are expected to continue consolidating their gains ahead of a long weekend, they added. 

The composite index ended down 27.18 points or 1.28 percent at 2,103.75, after trading between 2,086.92 and 2,130.93. Volume turnover was 341.7 million shares amounting to 1.05 billion pesos. 

The broader all-shares index fell 14.52 points to 1,272.68, with all sub-indices retreating. 

Losers beat gainers 65 to 13, while 47 stocks ended unchanged. 

The main index had gained almost 4 percent during a rally that began last Friday, spurred by a string of positive economic developments such as a lower-than-expected government budget deficit and robust corporate earnings. 

A decision by the central bank to leave its benchmark overnight interest rates unchanged and the government's announcement that it will push through with a hike of two percentage points in the value-added tax rate to 12 percent early next year also boosted sentiment." 

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P54.358 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of November 23, 2005 10:44 AM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.



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