[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 28 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Oct 28 10:46:34 PHT 2005


Newsbriefs 28 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

 

Gonzales vents ire on leftist party-lists (The Manila Times)



"Fresh from his discharge from a hospital where he had been confined for more than a month, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales on Thursday appeared to have been flushed with a new burst of energy.



Gonzales said he will ask Speaker Jose de Venecia to hold the budgetary funds for party-list groups until the issue of violent incidents in Central Luzon reported to have been initiated by the New People's Army is resolved.



Gonzales, who had been confined at the Philippine Heart Center since September 21, hinted that party-list groups such as Satur Ocampo's and Teodoro Casiño's Bayan Muna, Crispin Beltran's Anak Pawis and Liza Maza's Gabriela were serving as conduits for the country's communist movement.



The money allegedly extorted by the New People's Army from their victims is being used to support the daily rallies of militant groups linked with the communist party, Gonzales said.



He noted that left-leaning party-list groups have been at the forefront of the protest actions and have joined the "multifront destabilization campaign against the administration."



He urged de Venecia to request Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzales to start the investigations to determine the extent of the party-list organizations' involvement in fomenting rebellion against the Arroyo administration."



Opposition tells Arroyo: Thanks but no thanks (inq7.net)

"THANKS but no thanks.

Saying the opposition was not interested in obtaining government positions, House Minority Leader Francis Escudero yesterday turned down President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's proposal for a government of national unity.

Escudero said the offer was only part of an administration "campaign to woo" the opposition under the guise of "sharing power and responsibility."

He said what he had told Environment Secretary Michael Defensor -- that he was willing to join the government "at the proper time" -- was really just "a polite way of declining" the invitation to join the Cabinet.

"The problem is (their) wrong premise. The administration has been acting a tad too condescending of late, that instead of addressing the root (cause) of all our political problems fair and square, (it) is now insinuating that position and power (are) what we in the opposition have been fighting for all this time," Escudero said."

Fire hits DBM main office (The Manila Times)



"Fire hit a two-story building housing the main office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in Malacañan, Friday morning, DZMM reported.



The Bureau of Fire Protection said the fire started at around 6:20 a.m. at the computer server room located at the ground floor of the building. 



The blaze immediately spread to the executive offices on the ground floor where important documents pertaining to budget appropriations and fund disbursements were stored. 



The fire, which reached the fifth alarm, was put out 30 minutes later



Damage to property was still being assessed. No casualties were reported. 



Budget Secretary Romulo Neri dismissed speculations that the fire was intentional following former Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin's deposition regarding the P2.8 billion fertilizer fund, which according to government critics, was used in President Arroyo's campaign.



Boncodin earlier confirmed that the DBM had released P728 million for buying farm inputs to the Department of Agriculture."



Gov't takes further steps to stem bird flu threat (inq7.net)

"STARTING this month, the government is taking further steps to prevent the spread of the deadly avian flu virus by banning duck-raising in migratory bird zones in 20 provinces.

"Beginning this month until March, duck-raising will not be permitted within the radius of migratory bird zones we have identified in 20 priority provinces," said Director Davinio Catbagan of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

Ducks are the known carriers of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, which has infected 121 people in four Asian countries and killed 62, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said on Wednesday it was "only a matter of time" before bird flu reached the Philippines.

Catbagan also announced that the sale and delivery of ducks from one province to another would need a permit from the BAI, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA)."

Govt sets aside P52.9 million to fight bird flu (The Manila Times)



"Reflecting the government's grave concern about the avian flu threatening to reach the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture on Thursday unveiled a P52.9-million program that includes closer monitoring of migrating wild fowl and protecting poultry farms from the disease.



At a press briefing, Agriculture Secretary Domingo Panganiban said "Project Blue" is an avian flu crisis preparedness program in 37 areas in the country where poultry farms are abundant and migratory birds flock to.



The program involves an information drive on avian flu and the establishment of a crisis preparedness network involving the National Avian Influenza Task Force and barangay bird flu task forces.



"We're in a critical stage now with the coming of migratory birds," Panganiban said. "We hope by the end of December we have already covered the whole areas [for the information drive and social networking in the local level]."



The program has a budget of P52.9 million, P40 million from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.



It will also set up border controls in the event the flu, particularly the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, hits a poultry farm.



The program, spearheaded by the departments of agriculture, environment and natural resources and health, will strengthen the monitoring of migratory birds that visit some 55 areas in the country to escape the harsh winter and scarcities of food in Siberia, Mongolia and extreme northern China."





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