[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 24 October Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Oct 24 11:10:49 PHT 2005
Newsbriefs 24 October Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
Velarde, Hyatt 10 push snap election (inq7.net)
"TWO INFLUENTIAL religious leaders and opponents of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are pushing for the holding of a presidential election in 2007 to end the political impasse.
Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde are calling for a "snap election" via a single amendment to the Constitution, according to opposition Senator Sergio Osmeña III.
The Black and White Movement, which includes the so-called Hyatt 10, is urging Vice President Noli de Castro to take the reins of power from Ms Arroyo and head an advisory council as "transition president" until a special election is held in 2007.
Both proposals would effectively cut short the six-year term of the President. Ms Arroyo, who has until 2010 to serve out her term, has been accused of stealing the presidential election in 2004. She has denied rigging the polls.
Romulo Macalintal, a lawyer of Ms Arroyo's, said there was nothing in the Constitution that authorizes cutting short the President's term.
Calling on Ms Arroyo to cut short her term was tantamount to asking her to resign, Macalintal said. "And if she agrees to cut short her term, she's considered resigned," he said.
Former President Fidel Ramos has proposed that Ms Arroyo make a "graceful exit" by cutting short her term. He also wants the holding of elections next year only after Charter change and a shift to a parliamentary form of government.
But local government officials and members of the House of Representatives adopted a manifesto on Thursday calling for Ms Arroyo to finish her term.
Vidal and Velarde met with big businessmen in Makati City about "10 days ago" and asked them to lobby Congress to pass the amendment to the Constitution that would allow the snap polls, Osmeña said on Saturday night."
Palace pushes Cha-cha debates (www.philstar.com)
"Malacañang is calling for a national debate on proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution and shift to a parliamentary-federal system of government.
Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the "great debate" on Charter change (Cha-cha) will allow the government to get the sentiments of the people and allow them to fully understand the issues at stake.
The ensuing debates would lead to a deeper public awareness of the imperatives behind the proposal to amend the Constitution's restrictive economic provisions, he added.
Bunye expressed confidence that the debates would muster popular support for Cha-cha.
President Arroyo has formed a 49-member presidential consultative commission (con-com) to submit proposals on which provisions of the Constitution needed to be amended.
Con-com chairman Jose Abueva said the commission's members are going around the country to hold public consultations on Cha-cha."
House speakership row seen delaying '06 budget (inq7.net)
"THE PASSAGE of the proposed P1.053-trillion budget for 2006 could be further delayed due to the squabble brewing among the leadership of the House of Representatives, administration Senator Ralph Recto warned yesterday.
"As it is, the passage of the budget is already delayed. But because of the squabble [over the House leadership] this will be further delayed," Recto, chair of the Senate committee on ways and means, said in a phone interview.
Recto was referring to the reported campaign launched by Surigao del Sur Representative Prospero Pichay Jr. to wrest control of the speakership from Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr.
Recto said the possibility the House version of the proposed budget would be transmitted to the Senate by mid-November was getting slimmer by the day due to these developments.
"Unless we're able to pass the budget before the year-end, we're giving the public the raw end of the deal," he said.
The proposed budget is P134.4 billion higher than this year's P918.6-billion outlay.
Opposition Representatives Jacinto Paras (Negros Oriental) and Rolex Suplico (Iloilo) had revealed the campaign to unseat De Venecia, saying that about 65 lawmakers had expressed their support for the bid of Pichay, a stalwart of the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party, for the speakership."
Labor asks high court: Strike down protest ban (www.manilastandardtoday.com)
"Two big labor groups have asked the Supreme Court to strike down the government's tough stance against rallies and protest actions, as spelled out in the policy of calibrated preemptive response (CPR).
As this developed, public transport groups have called off a strike scheduled for today, saying they would hold a protest rally at the offices of the Metro Manila Development Authority starting 10 a.m. instead.
Meanwhile, the Manila Police Department said it would file today charges of direct assault against Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo and six other leaders of militant organizations who headed last Friday's rally in the capital, which ended in a violent dispersal.
In a 32-page petition, the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and the National Federation of Labor Unions (NFLU) asked the Supreme Court to issue a writ of prohibition to stop government officials from implementing the CPR and the "no permit, no rally" policy.
In their consolidated petition, KMU and NFLU said high court should declare as unconstitutional Sections 4, 5, 6, 12, 13 and 14 of Batas Pambansa 880, or the Public Assembly Act, which imposed the "no permit, no rally" policy."
Pimentel urges colleagues to wrap up Senate probes (www.philstar.com)
"Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. urged his opposition colleagues in Congress yesterday to wrap up their inquiries and issue formal reports on the outcome to avoid public cynicism as to the worth of congressional investigations.
Pimentel called on legislators from both the Senate and House of Representatives to see to it that these inquiries are finished to their logical conclusion.
At the Senate alone, the public has yet to see resolutions over the inquiries on the jueteng controversy presided over by the committee on public order and illegal drugs, the allegedly anomalous Venable LLP contract by the Blue Ribbon Committee, the North Rail contract by the Committee of the Whole, the "Hello Garci tapes" by the defense and national security committee, fertilizer fund controversy by the committee on agriculture, and the missing ballot boxes issue by the laws and amendments committee.
Pimentel said the failure of these committees to complete the probe of certain fraudulent government deals and to establish the liability or guilt of the parties involved largely explains the people's feeling of disenchantment over legislative investigations.
"Senate investigations are worthless if they do not end in specific findings. The probe of the jueteng scandal, the Venable contract, the North Rail mess, the fertilizer fund scam and the missing ballot boxes - all of these investigations should result in concrete recommendations," Pimentel said"
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