[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 3 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Oct 3 10:49:18 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 3 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Authorities on alert after new Bali attacks (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday called on Filipinos to exert greater vigilance in safeguarding their communities from terrorists in the wake of the latest bombings in Bali, Indonesia. 

The President said the latest Bali bombings, coming after the terrorist attacks on London, show the propensity of terrorists to strike when authorities let their guard down. 

No Filipino has been killed or injured in the latest bombings at the resort island of Bali, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gilberto Asuque said. 

The attack came almost exactly three years after terrorists bombed the resort island on Oct. 12, 2002, when more than 200 people where killed. 

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) placed its forces on heightened alert yesterday in the wake of the Bali attacks. 

PNP Chief Arturo Lomibao said security was beefed up at so-called "soft targets," particularly tourist spots, to preempt any attempt by terrorists to conduct similar attacks." 

Swift passage of antiterrorism bill pushed (inq7.net)

"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday called for the swift passage of the Philippine antiterrorism bill following new attacks by suicide bombers in Bali, Indonesia.

Director General Arturo Lomibao said the Philippine National Police had been placed on full alert as of 6 p.m. yesterday. Security also had been reinforced on the resort island of Boracay to reassure local and foreign tourists.

In Metro Manila, Police Director Vidal Querol said stepped-up security measures had been taken in malls, markets and train stations. Police have also been instructed to be extra vigilant at checkpoints although there had been no specific threat against the capital region.

"We have to keep our guard up and pass the antiterrorism bill to interdict terrorists quickly and isolate them from doing harm," said Ms Arroyo in a statement condemning Saturday's bomb attacks in Bali."

P6.6B resettlement tab is North Rail nightmare (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"Imagine uprooting 40,000 families-twice the entire population of the municipality of San Juan, Metro Manila,-and relocating them elsewhere.

By any stretch of the imagination, this would be a logistical and sociological nightmare. The financial cost alone would also be staggering. This is exactly what is happening in the government program to relocate those who will be displaced by the North Rail Project. The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) estimates that the government needs to shell out at least P6.6 billion in resettlement costs, but it is not clear where this money is going to come from.

The Senate began last week hearings on the controversial North Rail project, which envisions the rehabilitation of the north line of the old Philippine National Railways (PNR). So far the hearings have focused on the allegedly onerous and illegal provisions of the North Rail contract, inked by the government with a Chinese company.

Little attention has been given to the fact that rebuilding and extending the 80-kilometer railway, a project intended to spur economic growth in Central and Northern Luzon, also means evicting more than 200,000 poor people who live alongside the railroad tracks. This would make it the biggest-and costliest-resettlement project ever undertaken by the Philippine government."

Miriam's oust-GMA plot claim causes stir (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"Lawmakers are divided over Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago's allegation that Senate President Franklin Drilon and former President Cory Aquino were conspiring to overthrow President Arroyo. 

Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. said he found it hard to believe Santiago's allegation. "I have known Senator Drilon as a colleague and friend and can guarantee that his heart is for the country. Former President Cory Aquino, on the other hand, is the embodiment of integrity," said Magsaysay, an administration senator.

He said circumstances would indicate that the allegation is a "pure smear campaign" against Aquino and Drilon.

Senators Rodolfo Biazon and Francis Pangilinan, members of Liberal Party whose head is Drilon, also found Santiago's allegation incredulous. 

Pangilinan said, "Malacañan is now in a state of paranoia and has been acting on impulse that it seems and unable to view matters in an objective and sober manner."

He added that Malacañan should "get hold of itself before it ends up digging too deep into a hole it may not be able to get out of."

Bunye: Cory clear, but Drilon in deep (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"MalacaÑang yesterday doubted if former President Corazon Aquino could be involved in any plot to oust or assassinate President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo - but refused to give Senate President Franklin Drilon the same benefit of the doubt. 

Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye said he has reasons to believe that Drilon is involved in the alleged plot disclosed by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago to remove the President from office by Oct. 15. 

"I can only comment on the Drilon side, not on Cory's. What we are saying is that based on his actuations and antecedent events, Senate President Drilon may be involved in the plot to destabilize the Arroyo government," Bunye said in a telephone interview. 

Both Drilon and Aquino have denied any involvement in any plan to illegally remove the President from office." 



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