[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 6 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Oct 6 10:34:33 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 6 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Bill hit as 'creeping martial law' (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"Two opposition congressmen yesterday called for the rejection of the administration's draft antiterrorism bill, saying it could be used to curtail the democratic rights of Filipinos, especially Muslims, and to silence its critics rather than to fight terrorism. 

Anak Mindanao party-list Rep. Mujiv Hataman said that if the proposed measure is passed into law, Muslims and political dissenters will be among its first victims. 

He said the obnoxious practice of law enforcers and security officials of arresting Muslims without warrants will be legitimized, providing a legal basis for continuing their illegal acts. 

"I'm convinced that the bill is part of the 'creeping martial law' being implemented by the present dispensation that should be opposed vigorously. That would be added to the no-permit, no-rally policy; the Calibrated Preemptive Response and Executive Order 464," he said. 

Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador said the antiterrorism bill would not deter terrorism in the country because Indonesia, which has two harsh antiterrorism laws, failed to stop bombings and other terrorist activities in their country. 

Hataman and Virador issued their separate reactions after the House justice committee chaired by Maguindanao Rep. Simeon Datumanong on Monday approved the consolidated version of 10 antiterror bills." 

Antiterror bill 'not meant to protect GMA' (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"The President's political adviser on Wednesday denied the claims of opposition congressmen that the hasty approval of the antiterrorist bill on the committee level in the House of Representatives was meant to protect President Arroyo.

Gabriel Claudio, in an interview over DZMM, said there is no reason to protect President Arroyo through the antiterrorist law. He said the bill has in fact been long delayed.

He noted that the Philippines has been left behind by other democratic nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom, which have passed laws that enable them to confront the terrorist menace effectively.

In a statement issued during a roundtable in Malacañan, the President said it is enough for the government to realize that terrorists do not discriminate against their targets, and do not respect Ramadan in launching their attacks.

"The second series of bombings in Bali and the threat of the al-Qaeda to launch even bloodier attacks are enough warning for all," Mrs. Arroyo said."

CPR's mettle tested Friday (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"The controversial "calibrated preemptive response" (CPR) policy of the administration toward protesters will be put to its biggest test so far when supporters of deposed President Joseph Estrada and members of the United Opposition (UNO) stage a demonstration in Manila's Plaza Miranda on Friday.

Mayor Joseph Victor Ejercito of San Juan, a member of UNO, said the Partido ng Masang Pilipino will lead the rally, which is expected to draw at least 10,000 protesters.

The anti-Arroyo groups organized the demonstration despite the tough no-permit, no-rally rule of the administration.

"We are not afraid. We are doing this for the sake of the country. What will happen to us if we allow this illegitimate leader to continue?" Ejercito said in an interview.

UNO spokesman Lito Anzures said the group had acquired a permit for Friday's rally, which will start around 3 p.m."

NDF immunity revoked (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Philippines on Wednesday formally canceled immunity guarantees it gave to 97 communist rebel negotiators for the second time in three months after the insurgents refused to reopen peace talks. 

Talks having been suspended, the 97 negotiators of the communist National Democratic Front (NDF) faced immediate arrest and charges over deadly attacks allegedly conducted by the New People's Army, its armed unit, the government's peace negotiating panel said. 

The NDF negotiators last month announced a withdrawal from the talks, despite efforts by the panel to get them back to the table through the Norwegian government, which has been brokering the negotiations. 

The panel also cited "continued atrocities" by the NPA as a reason for canceling the immunity guarantees. The NPA was embroiled last week in a string of attacks that left three soldiers and six insurgents dead.

The NDF is the political wing of the Communist Party, which started its bloody Maoist guerrilla war in 1969." 

Marinduque files $100-M suit vs giant mining firm (www.philstar.com)


"The province of Marinduque filed yesterday what it described as a "landmark suit" against a Canadian transnational company which dumped mine tailings in a large part of the province in March 1996, damaging the environment and the health of residents. 

"This is the first time in history that a province has sued a multinational giant in another country," said Marinduque Rep. Edmund Reyes, whose mother, Gov. Carmencita Reyes, and other provincial officials filed the case against Placer Dome Inc. in the district court of Clark County, Nevada in the United States. 

An Associated Press report datelined Las Vegas quoted Governor Reyes yesterday as saying, "They should and must answer for what they have done." 

Congressman Reyes said the island-province is seeking at least $100 million from Placer Dome for the rehabilitation of areas, including rivers, damaged or silted when a large mine waste dumpsite collapsed, discharging thousands of tons of toxic waste into low-lying areas. 

He said the Canadian firm should also pay for "economic damages," including compensation for lost properties and income opportunities of the people affected, and for health problems caused by the toxicity of the mine tailings." 

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