[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 26 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Oct 26 10:41:30 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 26 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


People's court to try Arroyo (inq7.net)

"COMES NOW a "people's court" to hear the charges in the impeachment complaint that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's allies in the House of Representatives threw out in September.

The "court," to be known as the Citizens' Congress for Truth and Accountability, will hear accusations that Ms Arroyo stole the vote in the May 2004 presidential election, and committed acts of corruption and human rights violations -- charges that she has denied.

Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona will lead the Citizens' Congress which, he said yesterday, would give Ms Arroyo a chance to defend herself.

He described it as "a people's court, fair and square, for the people and by the people," and "not a kangaroo court."

The Citizens' Congress was initiated by Bukluran Para sa Katotohanan, a multi-sectoral alliance of organizations questioning the legitimacy of the Arroyo presidency."

No Palace aide to people's court (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has snubbed an invitation of the so-called Citizens' Congress to participate or send a representative when it conducts a "trial" of charges against her for alleged culpable violations of the Constitution. 

Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye said that as far as Malacañang is concerned, the impeachment complaints against the President, which the Citizens' Congress seeks to revive, are already a "closed case," a dead issue. 

Bunye said the attempt of the President's enemies to resurrect the charges is part of their demolition and destabilization campaign. 

Told that leaders of the Citizens' Congress are set to proceed to Malacañang today to serve a "subpoena" on the President, Bunye said: "That is another gimmick intended to give them media mileage." 

He hinted that these "unwelcome" people will be shooed away by the Presidential Security Group." 

13 Magdaló officers vow to back President (The Manila Times)


"Thirteen Army officers who took part in the Oakwood mutiny more than two years ago have pledged their support for President Arroyo as their commander in chief.


Captains Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo said in an interview on ANC that their group signed a manifesto of support for the President on September 21.


Gambala said his group sent the "statement to our commander" through the Armed Forces chief of staff, Gen. Generoso Senga, and the Army chief, Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon.


"We thought it necessary to write a personal letter to our commander because she is our President, she is our commander in chief," Gambala said.


Esperon confirmed in a phone interview having received a copy of the manifesto but would not reveal or elaborate on its contents.


"Whatever they would say in the interview, you just quote them," Esperon said."


Bishop Cruz: GMA ouster not answer (The Manila Times)

"Distancing himself from those who have been working for President Arroyo's resignation or ouster, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz-who had often been quoted before as an administration critic-told The Manila Times that cutting her term short or removing her from office won't solve the country's political crisis.


Cruz said the situation needs long-term and wide-ranging genuinely reformist solutions.


The President, he explained, is just a speck in a broad structure of systemic problems in our society. Taking her out of the picture would only create the perception that the problems have been solved when in fact they remain and sooner or later would rear their ugly heads again, he added.


"A structure composed of people is the cause of all our debacles and difficulties and poverty and instability. The way I see it, getting the President out of her office won't do the trick," Cruz said.


"That is one person out when in fact there are so many minuses and liabilities in our political reality-damaged institutions, like the COMELEC (Commission on Elections), the judiciary, a lot of government departments," he added.


According to Cruz, removing the President but letting the tentacles of problems remain is useless. 


He said emphatically that what the country needs is an overhaul of the entire system to enable it to function smoothly."


Armed conflict costs RP economy P200b (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"ARMED conflict has cost the Philippines more than P200 billion in economic losses and missed opportunities over the last two decades, according to the Human Development Report 2005, which was released yesterday. 

The report, prepared by the Human Development Network (HDN) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program and the New Zealand Agency for International Development, said persistent armed conflict hurts human development in the Philippines. 

>From 1970 to 2001 alone, the country lost P5 billion to P7.5 billion annually or P108 billion to P158 billion because of armed conflict, the report said. 

If the potential investments that would have come into the country without such conflicts are taken into account, losses could reach a staggering P10 billion annually or more than P200 billion over the past two decades, the report said. 

HDN president Arsenio Baliscan said the actual foregone revenues and investments as a result of armed conflict in the Philippines could be even higher. 

The report noted that armed conflict cost the lives of 4,700 combatants and wounded 1,500 others from 1986 to 2004. "From 1970 to 1996, around 100,000 were killed due to Moro conflict, of which 20 percent were noncombatants," it said." 


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