[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 27 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Oct 27 10:45:21 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 27 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


GMA eyes 'government of national unity' (www.philstar.com)


"MACTAN ISLAND, Cebu - Yet again, the olive branch is offered in the hopes that it will bear fruit. 

In what could be seen as an offer to share power with the opposition and reduce attacks against her, President Arroyo announced yesterday that she is beginning talks with political leaders for them to "share in public leadership and responsibility" to form a government of national unity. 

In her speech at the grand opening of the Hilton Cebu Resort and Spa here, the President immediately clarified that her offer was not a power-sharing scheme, nor was it meant to please the opposition. 

"To strengthen our republic, of course, means not only muscle. It may be establishing a government of national unity - and to do this, I shall initiate consultations on this," Mrs. Arroyo said. 

"The proposal of the government of national unity is not meant to please the opposition, but to consolidate the nation behind our economic takeoff," she clarified. 

Mrs. Arroyo added: "They (the opposition) talk about rejecting power-sharing, this is not power-sharing. it's sharing the public leadership and responsibility for the common good." 

Mrs. Arroyo said power sharing is only applicable under a parliamentary form of government, which has yet to be put in place."


Palace exec tears up 'summons' for GMA (The Manila Times)

"A Malacañan official Wednesday tore up the summons for President Arroyo to appear before a "people's court," calling it nothing but a political gimmick.

The document was delivered to the Palace by Romeo Capulong in behalf of the Citizens Congress for Truth and Accountability.

Emilio Magdangal, an executive assistant in the Office of the Press Secretary, received the paper and promptly tore it up.

"We all know that this document has no legal basis whatsoever. It will be useless to file it, so it's going to the trash can," Magdangal said.

The document listed the charges of electoral fraud, graft and corruption and human rights violations committed by the President.

It said the Citizens' Congress shall have the jurisdiction to receive and examine the body of evidence to support the charges.

Capulong said the notice gives Mrs. Arroyo a chance to participate and present her side personally or through her representatives at the proceedings, which start November 8 at the University of the Philippines Theater in Diliman, Quezon City."

Gonzales gets provisional liberty (www.philstar.com)


"Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Joker Arroyo and 13 other senators ordered yesterday the provisional release of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales to enable him to seek medical treatment. 

Gonzales' release was approved by the Senate without prejudice to the Blue Ribbon Committee's decision to reopen its inquiry into the government's contract with the US lobby firm Venable LLP in the future. 

"On the basis of the Senate physician's report, the Committee, for humanitarian considerations, hereby provisionally relieves Secretary Gonzales of the effects of his detention ordered by the committee on Sept. 21, 2005, to enable him to avail (of) medical treatment of his choice," the Blue Ribbon's Interim Committee Report 36 read. 

The report was approved unanimously by the Senate during plenary session. "Technically, he is a free man," Arroyo said. 

Senate President Franklin Drilon ordered the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms to notify Gonzales that he has been released. 

The Senate deliberated on Gonzales' fate before it went on its traditional All Saints' Day break last night. The Senate resumes regular session on Nov. 7."


Palace: No concession to 13 Magdalo officers (inq7.net)

"ARMED Forces chief General Generoso Senga yesterday said the 13 leaders of the failed coup of July 2003 who have twice apologized to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will not get any concessions for their trouble.

The 13 junior officers, who are among the 96 leaders of the military takeover of the Oakwood Premiere Hotel at the Ayala Center on July 27, 2003, sent "A Personal Letter to our Commander" last September 21.

In it, they said they had accepted "that we made a mistake with our actions at Oakwood" and reaffirmed their allegiance to the AFP, "the organization where we really belong."

The September 21 manifesto was made public late Tuesday when two of the signatory officers, Army Captains Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo, were interviewed by ANC television.

Senga said he knew about the TV appearance, the first for anyone from the group of mutinous officers-who called themselves the Magdalo group during the day-long mutiny-who have been barred from any media contact since their incarceration two years ago.

"No concessions were created. Their statements, their change of heart were done on their own... and I appreciate what they have done," Senga said in a chance interview yesterday"


MILF guaranteed it will get own territory (The Manila Times)

"The Philippine government appears intent on granting the Moro Islamic Liberation Front its own territory to govern despite seething opposition by politicians worried about the dismemberment of the resource-rich southern Mindanao region.

Under the peace agreement being negotiated with the MILF, the government will designate lands that the secessionist group could administer.

Briefing select ambassadors Wednesday on the status of the peace talks, Secretary Silvestre Afable assured them that support for the talks outweighs dissent. Afable is the President's adviser on the peace process.

"I also informed them that our negotiations are in the final lap and we expect our consensus points to be firmed up by the end of the year. . . . We hope [for the final peace agreement] to be signed early or toward the middle of next year," Afable told reporters after emerging from the hourlong meeting.

Low-level government and rebel negotiators have agreed on how to award ancestral lands for the MILF to govern although the final package has yet to be approved by their higher-ups."


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