[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 11 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Oct 11 16:35:54 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 11 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


SC junks motion to dismiss Loren election protest (abs-cbnnews.com)

The Supreme Court junked Tuesday a motion by Vice-President Noli de Castro to dismiss the election protest of former senator Loren Legarda. 

The high court, sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal, also allowed the tally of election returns from polling precincts of Cebu City for Legarda's protest. 

It ordered both camps to assign a watcher for the transfer of ballot boxes from the Batasan Pambansa Complex in Quezon City to the high court compound in Taft Avenue, Manila.  The high court earlier ordered a recount of election returns from the provinces of Surigao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. 

Legarda claimed she was cheated out of the vice-presidency by de Castro. A similar charge was aired by the opposition against President Arroyo, for reportedly committing fraud in the 2004 national election.

Senate derides Palace for paranoia, calls for more transparency (philstar.com)

Senate President Franklin Drilon Monday called for the return of public transparency even as he dismissed as "self-inflicted paranoia" the claim of Palace propagandists that the Senate investigations on alleged anomalies in government were intended to "destabilize" the Arroyo administration. 

Drilon said the "principle of government transparency became the biggest casualty" when President Arroyo issued Executive Order 464, barring civilian and military officials from appearing before congressional inquiries without her clearance. 

Speaking before the Senate's 89th anniversary flag raising ceremony yesterday morning, Drilon said the integrity and independence of Congress, particularly the Senate, as a co-equal branch of government has been put to a severe test following the issuance of EO 464, which he said was unconstitutional. 

"We celebrate under the most challenging times for the Senate as an institution," Drilon said.

Minority leader assails administration pressure on ombudsman  (philstar.com)

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. Monday denounced the reported attempts by the Arroyo administration to influence the Office of the Ombudsman on graft and plunder charges against certain personalities close to or identified with the powers-that-be. 

Pimentel dared the Palace to deny published allegations that intense pressures were exerted by the Palace on Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo to prevent him from elevating the graft charges against former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez to the Sandiganbayan after the investigation on the case was completed. 

Perez was accused of receiving US$2 million bribe from former Manila Rep. Mark Jimenez in exchange for excluding him as co-accused of deposed President Joseph Estrada in pending plunder case. 

The US$2 million was supposedly part of a bigger amount of bribe money from the Argentine power firm IMPSA (Industrias Metalurgicas Pescarmona Sociedad Anomina) following the Arroyo government's approval of its contract with the National Power Corporation for the rehabilitation of the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan power plant complex in Laguna. 

Pimentel said the allegations are very serious and tend to belie the Palace's oft-repeated assertion that it is not interfering in the work of the Ombudsman as an independent investigation and prosecution body. 

Navy chief exhorts troops to follow chain of command (inq7.net)

NAVY chief Vice Admiral Ernesto de Leon urged the Marine Corps to remain loyal to the chain of command, as the military leadership continued to downplay reports of unrest within its ranks.

De Leon said there was "nothing extraordinary" about his appeal, which he made during the turnover of command rites for the 1st and 2nd Marine Brigades in Iligan City on Monday.

"[The] Marines have proven time and again that our nation can count on the corps especially when our country's peace and security are threatened with various sorts of unrest and instability. Remain steadfast in your sworn duty and follow the chain of command," De Leon told the troops.

Military tags more Indon bombers in RP (abs-cbnnews.com)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has identified five more suspected Jema'ah Islamiyah members allegedly plotting bomb attacks in the Philippines, abs-cbnNEWS.com learned Tuesday.

Reports gathered late Monday evening quoted Lt. Col. Buenaventura Pascual, AFP spokesman, identifying the suspects as Anuar Yancong, Arsyad Sagoni, Suwito Tujimon, Amir Nanggi and Azarah Saraban.

The identities of the five were revealed following the manhunt launched by the Indonesian government for bomb expert Dulmatin. The suspect is reportedly hiding in the Philippines.

Philippines denies Australian troops joined hunt for Muslim militants (philstar.com)

MANILA - The Philippines has denied an Australian newspaper report that elite Australian troops joined Filipino soldiers in hunting for Jemaah Islamiyah militants. 

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Buenaventura Pascual said Australian security forces have only been involved in investigations into recent bomb attacks in the country, and that the Philippine constitution bars any foreign troops from engaging in military operations. 

"That is not true. The ground commanders will not allow it," he said Monday, a day after News Ltd. newspapers cited an unnamed former agent as saying that Australian agents and Special Air Service Regiment troops were cooperating with Filipino soldiers in the hunt for senior terrorist figures. 

NBI: Aragoncillo's docus ended in Reds' hands (abs-cbnnews.com)

Classified information allegedly stolen by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents analyst Leandro Aragoncillo may have ended up in the hands of communist rebels in the country, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Tuesday.

NBI Interpol chief Ric Diaz said new information coming from Washington indicate that the communist movement, specifically the New People's Army (NPA), may have been a recipient of the stolen information. 

He added that leftist groups in the Philippines are in the forefront of demonstrations against President Arroyo and may have links to communists groups included in the US government's list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Diaz earlier said the US Department of Justice could charge more Filipino politicians suspected of conspiring with Aragoncillo in stealing confidential documents from the White House and the FBI.   "They said they are widening their investigation because there could be more Philippine politicians that allegedly received confidential information," Diaz said.

"They already have evidence that they [the politicians] received information [through] -[e-mail] accounts [of Aragoncillo]," said Diaz.

Shares close up on bargain-hunting ahead of earnings reports (XFN-Asia)

(UPDATE) SHARE prices closed higher as investors chased stocks of companies likely to report strong earnings for the third quarter and stocks that have turned cheap following recent falls, dealers said. 

The composite index closed at the day's high, up 14.80 points or 0.76 percent at 1,964.22, after trading at a low of 1,949.42. Volume reached 313.19 million shares worth 1.24 billion pesos. 

The broader all-shares index gained 8.33 points to 1,190.20. 

Gainers beat losers 42 to 20, while 46 stocks were unchanged. 

Dealers said that recently foreign investors have been gradually accumulating stocks with robust earnings prospects, taking advantage of low prices and lingering political concerns that have kept most Filipino players on the sidelines. 

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P55.768 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of October 11, 2005 12:56 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.

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