[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 19 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Oct 19 16:05:13 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 19 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Opposition 'overreacting' on EO 454, Arroyo allies say (inq7.net)

"DISPUTING opposition claims that Executive Order 454 was designed to "gag" radio and television networks, two administration legislators Tuesday challenged the opposition to take the issue to the Supreme Court instead of resorting to "disinformation."

The opposition was "overreacting and being irresponsible" in claiming that the EO 454 was intended to curtail press freedom, said Lakas Representatives Monico Puentevella, vice chair of the House committee on communications, and Exequiel Javier, vice chair of the committee on constitutional amendments.

The EO's only intent was to return the supervision of the National Telecommunications Commission to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC), they said.

"It's a shame when public officials do not do their research exhaustively before using government documents like executive orders signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to malign her and scare the public," said Puentevella."

NTC transfer no big deal, senators say (inq7.net)

"SOME senators have voiced doubts that the transfer of the National Telecommunications Commission to the Department of the Transportation and Communication was part of the administration's plan to control the media.

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile said that the DOTC Secretary could not intrude into the "performance of quasi-judicial powers" of the NTC if ever the administration pressed ahead with the transfer.

"Personally I have not read the executive order, but if that's the only thing involved -- a transfer of the administrative power that will govern the NTC and nothing more -- I think it's too much to say that you are controlling media," he told reporters Tuesday.

"They cannot tell you how to write your stories. They cannot tell the editors how to deal with events or any newsworthy happenings," he said."

No quick solution against corruption, Palace says (inq7.net)

"THERE is no quick solution against corruption in government, Malacañang said, but assured the public that it was finding ways to curb the malaise.

"Corruption cannot be solved with just a snap of the finger as it is deeply rooted in our culture. But what is important is that we are not playing deaf and blind on the issue," Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said in a statement Wednesday.

Bunye was reacting to a survey by the global corruption watchdog Transparency International, which rated corruption in the Philippines as "severe."

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 as the "cleanest," the Philippines rated 2.5 based on the 2005 Corruption Perceptions Index.

The Philippines is among 70 countries -- comprising nearly half of those included in the TI index -- that scored less than 3, indicating the nation's "severe" corruption problem, according to TI."

'Hyatt 10' leads Plaza Miranda protest (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The "Hyatt 10" group of resigned Cabinet secretaries and line agency officials on Wednesday led a street protest in Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila, together with the Black and White Movement.

The rally was held to renew calls for President Arroyo's resignation as well as score the administration's "no permit, no rally" policy, especially after demonstrators, including former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, were hosed down by police in Mendiola on Friday. 

The street protest Wednesday started in Plaza Miranda at 1 p.m. and will proceed to Claro M. Recto Avenue and then to San Beda College in Mendiola, several meters away from the gates of Malacañan.

Relatedly, the Manila Police Department has fielded personnel to prevent the ralliers from going near the presidential palace and enforce the anti-illegal rally policy.

"Kung sila ay may permiso sila ay papayagan natin na magmartsa sa Recto pero kapag wala silang permiso siguro magisip-isip na sila dahil magkakaroon na naman ito ng [pag] mamainitan. (We will allow them to march to Recto if they have a permit but they will have to reconsider their plan if they don't as this could cause tension," Senior Superintendent Romulo Sapitula said."

Palace: No unrest among PAF officers (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Palace on Wednesday dismissed reports that five ranking officers of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) are plotting to remove President Arroyo from office.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said members of the country's Armed Forces remain firmly behind their commander-in-chief. 

He added that a Los Angeles Times report that supposedly quoted the officers did not identify the five. He said the report may be propaganda spread by groups intent on destabilizing the government. 

"The LA Times report was obviously based on rumors being spread by a bogus group of military officers and opinions of some self serving quarters. The AFP remains solidly behind the president and the constitution and continuously adheres to the chain of command," Bunye said in a statement." 

SC junks petition vs Northrail project (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition of the UP Law Center and the League of Urban Poor for Action (LUPA) to nullify the $503 million Northern Luzon Railways (Northrail) Project, DZMM reported.

In ruling against the petition, the Supreme Court said it is not the "trier of facts" and the petitioners should seek relief from lower courts or the Court of Appeals.

The tribunal said it is the wrong forum for the petition, which seeks to declare the contract null and void.

The petitioners argued that the project did not undergo public bidding and was severely overpriced. The UP Law Center said the project is the product of an agreement between two corporations rather than an agreement of two states, therefore laws on procurement should have applied.

The petitioners also said proponents of the project should have acquired a "certification of availability of funds" as required by Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Act."

Shares close firmer after SC lifts freeze order on tax law (XFN-Asia)

"SHARE prices closed slightly higher, ending five straight days of losses, after the Supreme Court lifted a three-month old freeze order on the new value-added tax (VAT) law paving the way for its implementation next month, dealers said. 

The composite index closed up 6.96 points or 0.36 percent at 1,954.29 after trading between 1,942.41 and 1,955.81. Volume reached 302.6 million shares worth 957.07 million pesos. 

The broader all-shares index advanced 4.84 points to 1,185.64. 

Gainers beat losers 47 to 17 and 39 stocks ended flat. 

The new VAT law, seen as vital to the government's efforts to rein in its fiscal deficit, will be implemented beginning Nov 1. 

It expands the tax base to include electricity, fuel and transport sectors and other previously exempt industries. The law also raises the corporate income tax to 35 percent from 32 percent for three years, bringing it down to 30 percent after that."



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      As of October 19, 2005 3:13 PM
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