[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 21 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Oct 21 16:15:05 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 21 October Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Bunye: Talk of shorter Arroyo term 'premature' (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Calls for President Arroyo to cut short her term are "premature" since Congress has yet to implement proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said Friday. 

"We respect the opinion of former president Fidel Ramos but these talks about term limits are premature because we should first discuss the fundamental reforms brought on by our proposed constitutional amendments," Bunye told DZMM. 

He added: "Maybe at a later time we could discuss the transitory provisions but right now we believe we should concentrate on more substantive reforms."

Ramos, a staunch ally of Mrs. Arroyo, told business leaders on Thursday that the President should subsume her personal goals to that of the national interest by "giving up a part of (her) elected term of office." 

He added that his support of Arroyo presidency was "secondary and incidental in the absence of a better alternative from the Makati Business Club, the Management Association of the Philippines and Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines in the protection of the national interest."" 

Military links 'Ka Satur' to seized explosives (inq7.net)

"GOVERNMENT troops have recovered two sacks of explosives allegedly intended to be used by the New People's Army to sow terror and hasten the downfall of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the military announced Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference, four generals cited letters purportedly written by NPA guerrillas stating that the explosives were purchased with P5 million provided by a "Ka Satur" and implicating militant associations identified with opposition Representative Satur Ocampo, who branded the allegations as "dirty tricks" to depict him as a terrorist.

They said the explosives could be used in opposition rallies, similar to the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing where a grenade was lobbed at a Liberal Party pre-election rally.

Armed Forces deputy chief of staff Lt. Gen. Samuel Bagasin said the explosives, along with 12 firearms and documents, were recovered by soldiers following two encounters with the NPA in Barangay Dimanayat, San Luis town, Aurora province last Sept. 27 and 28.

While the generals would not categorically say that the Ka Satur mentioned in the letters was Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, Tolentino left no room for speculation. "What is mentioned here is a person named Ka Satur. I think you are intelligent enough to discern who this person is."

The organizations were identified in the letters only by their initials: BM, AP, AB, which are those of Bayan Muna, Anak Pawis and Anak Bayan, all previously identified by the military as communist fronts.

The disclosure of the "spurious letters" amounted to a "death warrant," Ocampo said. "Now, every junior officer in the field will hunt me.""

Palace: Rally part of power grab effort (abs-cbnnews.com)

"A ranking Cabinet official warned Friday's rally near Malacañan Palace is part of an opposition plot to unseat President Arroyo. "This is part of the continuing effort by the opposition to grab power through people power," Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo told ANC.

Saludo said the group that amassed at Claro M. Recto Avenue was "more physically aggressive" compared to street demonstrators led by former president Corazon Aquino and other leading opposition figures in previous protests. 

"This is a different group and we understand their (rally organizers) frustration since they came from far away and even brought in people from the countryside by the busloads," he said.

Saludo said he has nothing against Southern Luzon farmers taking part in Friday's rally. He, however, said that by bringing farmers to the Mendiola rally, protest leaders only showed that their cause lacks support from people residing in Metro Manila.

Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, meanwhile, accused Manila Mayor Lito Atienza of violating Batas Pambansa 880 after he barred street demonstrators from entering Mendiola on Friday.  Maza told ANC that their organization applied for a permit at the Manila City Hall last week but was only given a permit on Thursday, a day before the scheduled rally. She added that the protests were limited to Liwasang Bonifacio and Plaza Miranda. 

She said BP 880 assures that an application for a rally permit is deemed approved if the local government concerned fails to act on it for two days. She said Atienza's approval of the rally was "in bad faith," since they cannot question it in court due to the time constraints.

She also said five ralliers were injured during a brief scuffle with the police on Friday. 

Atienza denied Maza's accusations, saying that activists have a way of twisting the facts in their favor."

Shares close at 5-week low after central bank raised rates (XFN-Asia)

"SHARE prices closed lower for the second straight session, with the main index settling at a five-week low, as the central bank's latest interest rate increase fuelled fears of higher business costs and declines in investment, dealers said. 

Lingering political tensions also continued to weigh on market sentiment, they added. 

The composite ended down 22.12 points or 1.14 percent at 1,922.50 after trading between 1,919.73 and 1,944.62. Volume stood at 583.1 million shares worth 821.5 million pesos. 

The broader all-shares index fell 9.88 points to 1,171.92. 

Losers beat gainers 64 to 20, while 39 stocks ended unchanged."

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P55.646 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of October 21, 2005 1:28 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.



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