[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 4 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Oct 4 11:00:53 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 4 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Recto sees Drilon ouster (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"Senate President Franklin Drilon's ouster is imminent if no compromise is reached to end the deteriorating relations between the Palace and the upper chamber of Congress. 

Senator Ralph Recto made this observation after Malacañang and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago directly named Drilon as among those plotting to force President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from office by Oct. 15. 

Drilon has denied those charges. 

In a privilege speech yesterday, a fuming Santiago stood by her revelation about the plot and challenged her critics to resign if she proved her allegations. 

Amid the growing tension, 12 members of the majority bloc in the Senate - including Recto and Santiago - called for a "constructive dialogue" between Malacañang and both houses of Congress. 

Recto, a member of the so-called Wednesday Club, said Santiago and Senator Manuel Villar are contenders for the Senate presidency if the move to oust Drilon succeeds. 

Neither of the senators, however, have the numbers to make the move just yet, he added. 

"Things will come to a head at the proper time," Recto added, if nothing is done to heal the rift between the executive branch and the Senate." 

'Only sure evidence is GMA corpse' (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on Monday lashed out at her critics from the House for demanding that she produce evidence to prove her charge that Senate President Franklin Drilon and former President Corazon Aquino were involved in a plot to assassinate President Arroyo.

She described the reactions of the critics to her charge as "the hubris of the ignorant."

"My ignorant critics clamor for evidence of an assassination plot. The only sure evidence is the corpse of President Arroyo, and I assure you as a lawyer that I am under no obligation to produce that," Santiago said in a privileged speech."

Drilon open to dialogue; Palace wants Gonzales freed first (www.philstar.com)


"Senate President Franklin Drilon said yesterday he is open to a dialogue with Malacañang if that is what it would take to break the standoff between the Senate and the Palace. 

Malacañang, however, said the Senate should first release National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales from his detention with the Senate sergeant-at-arms. 

Drilon, who has been at the center of attacks by the Executive branch on the chamber that he leads, said his openness to dialogue should be accompanied by a reciprocal response from Malacañang. 

"I am always open to a dialogue but respect must be accorded to the Senate," he said. 

Ten senators belonging to the majority bloc have appealed for a constructive dialogue among Malacañang, the Senate and the House of Representatives to end the standoff. 

The senators who signed the appeal were Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan, Manuel Roxas II, Juan Ponce Enrile, Ralph Recto, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Juan Flavier, Pia Cayetano, Ramon Revilla Jr. Richard Gordon and Manuel Lapid Jr. 

Senators Rodolfo Biazon and Miriam Defensor-Santiago have also agreed to sign the appeal." 

Cha-cha consultative commission illegal, says House leader (www.philstar.com)


"An opposition lawmaker said yesterday the consultative commission (con-com) on Charter change created by President Arroyo is "illegal" and a waste of taxpayers' money. 

In a privilege speech, Deputy Minority Leader Rolex Suplico said under the Constitution, it is only Congress than can create an agency or office and appropriate public funds for it. 

"Section 29 of Article VI (of the Constitution) provides that 'no money shall be paid out of the treasury except pursuant of an appropriation made by law,'" he said, quoting the Charter. 

"There is no appropriation for a con-com in the 2005 General Appropriations Act," he added. 

Suplico said Executive Order 453 creating the con-com has appropriated an initial P10 million for the commission." 

AFP belies talk Rangers commander on way out (news.inq7.net) 

"AS TALK of a coup d'etat rose a decibel higher in the rift between President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Senate, speculation swirled around an idealistic general assigned at the capital's doorstep.

Officially, Brigadier General Danilo Lim has not heard the Palace talk that he was being moved as head of the First Scout Ranger Regiment in San Miguel, Bulacan, to "a more neutral place."

"Not true," Lim told the Inquirer. "I don't know anything about that but if there is such an order, it is all right."

Lieutenant General Generoso Senga, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, also sought to knock down reports of growing restiveness among the troops.

"We will not be manipulated by groups who want to sow disorder within the military," Senga said at the start yesterday of the weeklong "Salute to the Filipino Soldier" organized by the Marikina City government and honoring him as a native son."

Meralco increases rates by 42.78c/kwh (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"RESIDENTIAL consumers will pay 42.78 centavos more per kilowatthour for electricity next month as the Manila Electric Co. phases out subsidies from commercial and industrial users. 

At the same time, commercial and industrial power consumers will experience a reduction in electricity rates of as much as 46.93 centavos per kwh, depending on their level of consumption. 

Rates of very large nonindustrial users will go down by 46.93 centavos per kwh, large users by 41.75 centavos per kwh, medium users by 34.68 centavos per kwh and small nonindustrial users by 18.99 centavos per kwh. 

Industrial customers will experience a reduction of 37.84 centavos per kwh for extra large users, 30.83 centavos per kwh for very large users, 16.43 per kwh for large users and 5 centavos per kwh for medium industrial users. 

Ivanna de la Peña, Meralco head of utility economics, said the removal of inter-class subsidies that made commercial and industrial users pay more to reduce rates for residential customers, hospitals and street lighting, is mandated under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001. 

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) directed Meralco to implement a two-year phase out of the inter-class subsidy starting November 2004." 

Govt agencies told to draft rules on EO 464 (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"Malacañan has directed all government agencies to draw up their own rules to guide their employees in observing President Arroyo's Executive Order 464.

In a related development, party-list congressmen questioned the constitutionality of the order in a petition before the Supreme Court.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the internal rules will be part of the administration's information drive on how government employees should conduct themselves when invited to a congressional probe.

Bunye welcomed the filing of a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the legitimacy of EO 464, saying this "will further enlighten the nation on the separation of powers [principle] and the inherent authority of the Chief Executive." 

He added: "We stand pat on our view the EO's legitimacy can be defended in any forum. Meantime, it remains in effect and shall be enforced." 

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