[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 11 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Oct 11 10:34:13 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 11 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

Bunye, Raul clash over 'emergency' (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

The palace on Monday disputed the announcement of Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzales that President Arroyo was poised to declare a state of national emergency.

In a press briefing Gonzales said he prepared a five-page draft of the declaration, which he will submit to President Arroyo.

Gonzales said, however, that the draft will not lead to the declaration of martial law. 

"I made a draft for the declaration of a state of emergency, which is from my research paper. I just made it formal. It's a draft proclamation based on my research," Gonzales told reporters.

The President's spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, said Malacañan has not received a copy of the draft. "I talked to Secretary Gonzales; he has not submitted any draft of emergency declaration to President Arroyo. Neither has the President asked for one." 

Gonzales explained that under emergency rule, the government is authorized to take over vital industries while the country's political and economic situation is still rickety.

He said the takeover is justified under Article 12, Section 17, which states that "in times of national emergency, when the public interest so requires, the State may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest."

Palace issues EO 467 (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"MALACAÑANG last night released Executive Order 467, but it has nothing to do with the use of emergency powers or declaration of martial law. 

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita ordered the release of the document after opposition quarters, citing their "deep-throat" in Malacañang, revealed over the weekend that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had already signed EO 467 which would supposedly authorize her to invoke emergency powers to quell forces engaged in renewed attempts to topple her government. 

The opposition quarters claimed that EO 467 would be officially issued upon the adjournment of Congress by mid-October. 

Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye said he had just talked with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Merceditas Gutierrez and she informed him that "there is no such thing as EO 467 on the imposition of martial rule or state of emergency." 

"I also talked to Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, he has not submitted any draft of an emergency declaration to President Arroyo. Neither has PGMA asked for one," Bunye said. 

EO 467 defines "the implementation arrangements for the Land Administration and Management Project Phase 2, the creation of one-stop shops, and for other purposes." It was signed by the President Oct. 5 and attested to by Secretary Ermita." 

Joker to argue Senate case vs Gonzales in high court (news.inq7.net) 

"SENATOR Joker Arroyo confesses it's been two decades since he put on black robes and stood before the Supreme Court.

He is doing it again today -- to tell the high tribunal it should not allow the release of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales from Senate custody unless he answers questions on a deal he signed with a US lobby firm on July 25.

The P50-million contract with Venable LLP seeks US funding for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's plan to amend the Constitution and introduce the parliamentary system -- a move critics said invited foreign interference in a Philippine sovereign undertaking.

Yesterday, the Senate approved Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan's resolution authorizing Arroyo, chair of the blue ribbon committee, to argue the case for the upper chamber at the 1 p.m. hearing for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus filed by Gonzales and his family.

The Senate resolution was passed hours after Arroyo himself filed a comment with the high court seeking the dismissal of the Gonzales petition, insisting that his detention was legal."

US cool to RP offer of help in spy case (news.inq7.net) 

"MALACAÑANG is offering to help Washington unravel the first espionage case to be uncovered in the White House and prosecute all those involved, including President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's rivals who may have benefited from it. But Washington is apparently not biting.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez expressed disappointment that the United States had neither asked the Philippines for help in its investigation of Leandro Aragoncillo and Michael Ray Aquino nor had it responded to his request for information.

"That is the problem with the Americans," said Gonzalez. "I wrote them a letter and they have not even answered ... maybe it's been a month now. They meddle with us and then they don't cooperate with us."

Senators foresee prolonged debates over antiterror bill (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"Senators foresee protracted debates that will delay the passage of the antiterrorism bill in the Senate owing to "bad timing." 

Critics assailed the House for hastily passing the bill at the height of street demonstrations against President Arroyo. 

Sen. Manny Villar, chairman of the committee on public order, is scheduled to sponsor the bill on Wednesday.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a supporter of the bill, said the problem is timing. "We need to see the House version and a copy of the committee report before we can decide if we can fast-track the passage of the bill."

Gabriela Party-list Rep. Liza Maza pointed out that the country already has enough laws to curb terrorism. 

"The bill has a provision that says a group can be charged with terrorism if one of its members claims responsibility for a terroristic act. Now what happens when a group is infiltrated? The whole group would be persecuted," she said."

De Venecia told to go slow on Consa plan (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's party, the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi), is asking Speaker Jose de Venecia's Lakas-CMD why it is rushing the approval of a move in the House to amend the 1987 Constitution through a constituent assembly. 

The proposal, embodied in House Resolution 26 that was approved last Sept. 28 by the panel on constitutional amendments, is expected to go to the full House for approval in two weeks but Kampi has raised concerns over moves to cut the President's term short or reducing her role to a symbolic head of state and leaving real power in the hands of the prime minister. 

"We have been raising questions on the Charter Change being worked out in the House by Lakas leaders, but they are not answering our questions," said Antipolo City Rep. Ronaldo Puno, Kampi president. "Instead, they are just floating diversionary rumors and intrigues about us that are not true." 

Puno presented newsmen with a copy of the committee report that recommended the approval of Resolution 26, which calls for Congress to convene jointly to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution." 

GMA orders release of P17.5 billion to local governments (www.philstar.com)
"President Arroyo ordered yesterday the release of P17.5 billion in internal revenue allotment (IRA) to local government units - or the LGUs' share of the tax money collected by the national government - owed them by the past two administrations. 

For the first time, Mrs. Arroyo spoke out yesterday in defense of her administration's P8-billion budget for local government units following accusations that the allocation was a reward for those who supported her during the political crisis. 

She maintained the money is part of her administration's poverty-reduction program and meant to promote development in the countryside and ordered the internal revenue allotment release to prove it." 

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