[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 13 October Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Oct 13 16:25:45 PHT 2005
Newsbriefs 13 October Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
Arroyo lashes out anew at critics (inq7.net)
"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo renewed her word war against the Senate on Thursday, as she criticized the legislative body for focusing too much on her national security adviser instead of passing important legislation.
"Would it be a miracle if the Senate focuses as much time to passing anti-terrorism legislation as promoting one investigation after another based on half-truths and speculations masquerading as facts. And would it be a miracle if your main answer to bolster terrorism would be not to lock up the National Security Adviser [Norberto Gonzales]? " she said at the 31st Philippine Business Conference and Expo at the Manila Hotel.
"To those who oppose me, it's their right to do so as long as it's a matter of fiscalization, but power grab and ouster are another matter," she said.
Arroyo also chided the Senate for "creating a wedge" on her efforts to unlock the gridlock in Metro Manila, apparently referring to the North Rail project, which the Senate was also investigating amid reports that the contract between the Philippine government and a Chinese firm was anomalous."
Biazon sees anti-terror bill delay in Senate (abs-cbnnews.com)
"Senator Rodolfo Biazon said Thursday the opposition welcomes debates on the anti-terrorism bill in the Senate though the measure may be delayed in the chamber despite the sponsorship of Sen. Manuel Villar, chairman of the public order and illegal drugs committees.
Biazon, himself a former Armed Forces chief of staff and defense secretary, said his colleagues would only agree to pass the anti-terrorism bill if three issues in the measure are clarified and debated exhaustively.
He said that senators would want to define the term "terrorism" and what acts constitute it, Biazon said, during an ANC interview Thursday.
"There is no Senate definition yet. ...[this issue] could result in the stifling of basic constitutional rights of the people," the former Marine commandant said."
Drilon absolves Senate in 'destab' yarn (abs-cbnnews.com)
"Senate President Franklin Drilon on Thursday said the legislative inquiries such as those done by senators on alleged anomalies in government are not meant to destabilize the Arroyo administration.
Drilon made the statement hours after President Arroyo accused her critics, particularly those in the Senate and the political opposition, of engaging in "politics of degeneration" instead of focusing on more important problems of the country.
"The latest tirade of President Gloria Arroyo against the Senate as an institution is unfortunate. In our system of government, these investigations are in line with the oversight functions of Congress, as well as in aid of legislation, which are clearly provided for in the Constitution," Drilon said."
Military can disobey Arroyo if martial law illegal-Biazon (inq7.net)
"IF PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declares martial law or a state of national emergency without Congress' approval, the military may disobey this "unconstitutional and illegal order" of the commander-in-chief, a senator said Thursday.
"If the President unilaterally assumes these powers without the concurrence of Congress she would be violating the Constitution," Senator Rodolfo Biazon said in a statement.
"The military therefore in defense of the Constitution may disobey the orders, rules and instructions of their superiors and even the commander-in-chief if these orders, rules, and instructions are based on a declaration of emergency in violation of the Constitution," Biazon said in reaction to Malacañang's three conditions for martial rule.
Biazon, head of the committee on national defense and security, said military disobedience could be similar to what then Armed Forces chief of staff Angelo Reyes did when he withdrew his support from former president Joseph Estrada."
Extended political uncertainty is "primary risk" to Philippines: IMF (philstar.com)
"MANILA - Protracted political uncertainty is the "primary risk" facing the Philippine economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Thursday.
The fund also identified "soaring oil prices ... (and) adverse developments in international capital markets" as other potential threats to the country's economic growth.
"The primary risk to the near-term outlook for the Philippine economy is that the prevailing state of uncertainty proves to be protracted and sidelines economic reforms," the IMF said in a report.
"If reforms were to stall, investment is likely to remain subdued and (gross domestic product) growth of 4.75 percent is projected for 2005 and 2006," the IMF said, referring to the opposition's five-month campaign to oust President Gloria Arroyo on charges of cheating to win last year's elections and other alleged anomalies."
Gov't officials cleared to attend confirmation, budget hearings till end of year (philstar.com)
"President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has given senior government officials, including officers of the armed services, the go-signal to attend legislative hearings until the end of the year.
Memorandum Order No. 192 which was signed by the President last Oct. 7, however, limits the attendance of those covered by Executive Order No. 464 to confirmation hearings before the Commission on Appointments and to budget hearings before Congress on the proposed 2006 General Appropriations Act.
Although the consent was granted to heads of departments of the Executive branch of government and all other public officials covered by EO 464, they will have to observe the rule of confidentiality based on executive privilege, according to the MO.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said EO 464 was meant to ensure observance of the separation of powers, adherence to the rule on executive privilege and respect for the rights of public officials under the Constitution."
Gonzales: DOJ did not stamp Northrail deal (abs-cbnnews.com)
"The $503 million contract for the North Luzon Railways Corp. (Northrail) project did not undergo the scrutiny of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Secretary Raul Gonzales said Thursday.
In an interview with DZMM, Gonzales said what the department examined was the loan agreement between China's Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) and the Philippine government for the project. The DOJ, however, was unaware of the deal between Northrail and contractor China National Machinery and Equipment Corp. (CNMEC).
"Ang loan agreement po diyan ay ini-uphold po ng Department of Justice, pero ang agreement mismo tungkol sa kung sino ang i-grant diyan, hindi po dumaan sa amin 'yan," Gonzales said."
Shares close slightly lower on lack of leads (XFN-Asia)
"SHARE prices closed slightly lower in a lethargic session, given a lack of fresh leads, dealers said.
However, last-minute buying in index heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) provided some support to the market, they said.
The composite index closed down 3.25 points or 0.16 percent at 1,955.01, on volume of 404.3 million shares valued at 1.05 billion pesos. It moved in a narrow range of 1,953.09 to 1,963.29.
The broader all-shares index fell 2.63 points to 1,184.83.
Losers led gainers 37 to 23, with 56 stocks unchanged.
The market was consolidating above the support level of 1,950 points.
Dealers said the continuing volatility of oil prices also discouraged investors from taking positions.
In Asian trading this morning, oil prices remained above 64 dollars a barrel after the US government predicted that demand in the US would rise 2.2 percent in 2006 after declining this year."
Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate
Official Rate from the Philippine Dealing System
PDS Wtd. Avg.
P55.878 = $1.00
As of October 13, 2005 2:32 PM
Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
Actual bank rates may vary.
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