[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 30 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Nov 30 16:21:44 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 30 November Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Army halts downsizing for insurgency fight (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Philippine Army has postponed a plan to downsize its divisions in the face of continuing counterinsurgency operations, Army chief Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon said on Wednesday.

Esperon said the intensified counterinsurgency campaign will target secessionist groups and insurgents especially the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People's Army (NPA). 

"The plan to deactive two divisions was held in abeyance. Instead we're coming up with probably another two battalions so that [our number] could be equal to the tasks of combatting threats to the nation, especially the CPP," Esperon told ANC. 

He said the CPP and NPA are both on the US government's list of foreign terrorist organizations. 

Earlier reports said the CPP Central Committee has ordered all rebel fronts to intensify attacks against the government to hasten the removal of President Arroyo."

Ong, willing to face house probe on "Hello Garci" (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Former National Bureau of Investigation deputy director Samuel Ong is reportedly willing to appear before the House of Representatives to testify on the "Hello, Garci" tapes.

ANC reported Wednesday that Ong's lawyer, however, Liwayway Vinzons-Chato said lawmakers should first assure her that her client will not be arrested.

Chato also revealed Ong's tapes do not include conversations with opposition candidates in last year's elections.

Garcillano, in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN, claimed he spoke with both administration and opposition candidates. 

The former poll official also said he will reveal the names of people he talked to during the 2004 election period. 

Meanwhile, Senate defense committee chairman Rodolfo Biazon said he has invited Garcillano, Ong and military intelligence agent Sgt. Vidal Doble to a committee hearing which will resume on December 8.  The senator said the Senate is willing to offer protection and immunity to Garcillano, Ong and Doble." 

Garcillano to face House but won't comment on tapes-lawyer (inq7.net)

"FORMER Elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano will attend the inquiry at the House of Representatives but will not comment about the tapes allegedly linking him and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to poll fraud, his lawyer told INQ7.net on Wednesday.

"We'll not comment on the tapes because we will only be dignifying an illegal tapped conversation," Eddie Tamondong said in a telephone interview.

Tamondong cited the petition his client filed before the Supreme Court to stop the House from playing wiretapped audio recordings of alleged conversation between Arroyo and Garcillano over the purported manipulation of the results in the May 2004 election."

Remittances boost Philippines service sector (philstar.com)

"MANILA, (AFP) - The billions of dollars sent back to the Philippines by its huge overseas work force is a major driver for growth in the services sector, a senior official said Wednesday. 

Overseas Filipino workers sent home a record 7.9 billion dollars in the eight months to August, according to the economic planning ministry. 

Such remittances "are at all-time high and projected to hit 10.3 billion dollars for the whole year. The amount does not include money sent outside the banking system," Economic Planning Secretary Augusto Santos said."

Gutierrez:  new Ombudsman (abs-cbnnews.com)

"President Arroyo has chosen presidential legal counsel Merceditas Gutierrez as the next Ombudsman, Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said Wednesday. 

Gutierrez bested two other candidates for the post of chief anti-graft buster namely Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta and Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Victor Fernandez."

President lauds House for Charter change initiative (inq7.net)

"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lauded the House of Representatives for passing a resolution empowering a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution.

"The first step towards sweeping political changes has been taken," the President said in a statement Wednesday.

"We appreciate and welcome the action of the House of Representatives on the mode of effecting Charter amendments, and we hope that this is the beginning of a broader consensus for the better future of the Philippines," she said.

Arroyo has been pushing for Charter change to reform what she claimed a "degenerated political system.""

Girl dies of meningococcemia in Davao (abs-cbnnews.com)

"A four-year-old girl died of meningococcemia in Davao City Monday evening.  April Grace Morilla died at the Brokenshire Hospital in Madapo Hills around 8 p.m.

In an interview with ABS-CBN, the girl's father Bernard confirmed his daughter died of meningococcemia based on her physician's diagnosis."

Shares close lower on gloomy GDP data (XFN-Asia)

"Share prices closed lower after a listless session, with investor sentiment still weak following the economy's weaker-than-expected performance in the third quarter and the possibility that the government will miss its full-year growth target, dealers said. 

The composite index ended down 7.62 points or 0.36 percent at 2,099.74 after trading between 2,095.67 and 2,107.36. Volume turnover totaled 981.14 million shares worth 1.07 billion pesos. 

The broader all-shares index retreated 4.07 points to 1,271.35. 

Gainers outnumbered losers 46 to 41, while 51 stocks finished unchanged. 

The government announced on Tuesday that the economy expanded by a slower than forecast 4.1 percent year-on-year in the third quarter due to high oil prices, weaker farm output and political instability. 

That prompted the government to declare it now expects full-year GDP growth to come in below its target of 5.3 percent. 

Dealers said investors bailed out of consumer-related stocks after third-quarter GDP data showed that growth in personal consumption has been slowing as commodity prices rise. 

Interest shifted to more defensive counters like oil, utilities and mining, thus limiting the broader market's weakness."

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P54.008 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of November 30, 2005 2:36 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.




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