[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 4 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Oct 4 16:41:45 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 4 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Two held in nationwide search after Bali bombs (abs-cbnnews.com)

KUTA BEACH, Indonesia - Two people were taken in for questioning in connection with the Bali suicide bombings on Tuesday as a nationwide hunt focused on militants blamed for earlier blasts on Indonesia's holiday island. 

At the top of the list are Malaysians Azahari bin Husin and Noordin M. Top, fugitive leaders of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah militant Islamic network.

Police say the group was behind the first Bali bombings in 2002, which killed 202 people, and that Azahari and Top helped plan that and subsequent deadly attacks on a luxury hotel and an embassy in Jakarta.

Bali police chief Made Mangku Pastika told reporters two people were being questioned in connection with Saturday night's suicide bombings at beach restaurants, which a hospital official said killed 22 people and wounded 135.

'Supreme Court to delay EVAT ruling' (abs-cbnnews.com)

The Supreme Court has delayed its ruling on the latest challenge to a broader sales tax, two sources close to the court said on Tuesday, further setting back the government's most critical fiscal reform.

The justices had been expected to issue a ruling on Tuesday, with financial markets and the government looking for the court to dismiss several appeals against its decision in September that the expanded value-added tax (VAT) was constitutional.

"The court is waiting for some more comments from the government and the petitioners," one of the sources told Reuters.

Palace open to dialogue with Senate but... (abs-cbnnews.com)

Malacañan on Tuesday said the executive is open to a dialogue with members of the Senate, but insisted that a proof of sincerity first be presented before an agreement is reached to resolve the clash between the two branches of government.

"Yes, we are open to dialogue but we demand proof of sincerity before we sit down and talk," Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said in a statement posted at the government website www.ops.gpv.ph.

Senate President Franklin Drilon on Monday said he was open to a dialogue with President Arroyo after senators appealed for a dialogue among the President, Drilon and Speaker Jose de Venecia to prevent a constitutional crisis.

DOJ chief to Senate: Free Gonzales (abs-cbnnews.com)


Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales on Tuesday urged the Senate to release National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales from custody even as the chamber and Malacañan are at loggerheads in conducting inquiries on government scandals.

"The Senate should release Secretary Gonzales," the justice secretary told ANC.

The justice chief also said the executive and the legislature must sit down and set ground rules in the manner of conducting legislative investigations.

"Parliamentary language must be used in these [inquiries]. But [look at] what happened in the Gonzales investigation? He was called a pimp, he was called so many other names," the justice chief said.

The justice chief said Malacañan and the Senate should set parameters to solve the impassé. The Senate went on with several investigations on deals entered into by the administration while Malacañan issued Executive Order 464, which prevents government officials from attending such inquiries without President Arroyo's permission. 

"This matter of 'in aid of legislation' has been much abused," he said. 

Aquino denies 'kill Arroyo' plot (inq7.net)

FORMER President Corazon Aquino on Tuesday denied involvement in an alleged plot to remove or kill President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as claimed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Aquino told ANC television she would have opted to keep her silence on the issue since her son, Tarlac Representative Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, had already spoken, but she was forced to say her piece because Santiago has a "very wild imagination."

Aquino said she was surprised at Santiago's accusation, saying she would be the last person to advocate a coup or assassinate a president.

"My God, how could I do that," Aquino said.

Shares close lower on political, fiscal concerns (XFN-Asia)

SHARE prices closed lower on Tuesday as renewed political concerns and government's return to a budget deficit weighed on investor sentiment, dealers said. 

The composite index closed down 7.47 points or 0.38 percent at 1,938.35. Volume turnover stood at 366.02 million shares worth 892.91 million pesos. 

The all-shares index retreated 3.78 points to 1,178.52. 

Decliners outnumbered advancers 42 to 16, while 54 stocks ended unchanged. 

The Justice Department on Sunday ordered an investigation into an alleged plot to assassinate President Gloria Arroyo. 

On Monday, finance officials indicated that the government likely posted a budget deficit in September, swinging from a surplus the previous month, as expenditure growth exceeded the rise in revenue. 

"Talk of possible destabilization attempts have prompted investors to stay out of the market for the meantime," said Dianne Sy, an analyst at Unicapital Securities Inc. 

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P55.931 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of October 04, 2005 1:58 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.

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