[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 10 August Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Aug 10 17:46:11 PHT 2006
Newsbriefs 10 August Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
SC extends Ombudsman probe of poll machines (INQ7.net)
"THE SUPREME Court has granted a request by the Office of the Ombudsman for an extension of its investigation on the 1.3-billion peso computerization project.
In a resolution, the high court said the Ombudsman had until September 30 to complete its inquiry.
Early this week, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez through the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), asked the high court that they be given up to Sept. 30 to complete and terminate the investigation on the liability of public officials and private individuals involved in the voided contract.
In its motion, the OLA told the high court that while the Ombudsman panel, headed by OIC-Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro, was conducting marathon hearings on the case, the team discovered that there were more things which needed to be clarified that would require more time.
The high court gave the Ombudsman until August 14 to determine whether there was probable cause against any of the public officials and private individuals involved in the anomalous contract."
Senate asks US to deny Bolante asylum (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
"Sen. Ramon Magsaysay said Thursday that the Senate agriculture committee has sent a letter to the United States to block ex-agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante's asylum bid.
Magsaysay said he sent a letter containing the Senate committee report on the P728-million fertilizer fund scandal to US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Senators believe Bolante masterminded the scam.
Magsaysay said he told Gonzales that Bolante applied for asylum to avoid possible charges of graft, money laundering and malversation of funds. He added that the Senate has issued an arrest warrant against Bolante for his repeated refusal to attend Senate hearings on the fertilizer fund.
The Senate agriculture committee earlier asked the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Bolante for possible violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Earlier reports said the fertilizer fund was funnelled into President Arroyo's campaign kitty for the 2004 elections.
Magsaysay said he is hoping that the US government will implement its "no safe haven policy" on Bolante's case."
Left snubs dialogue on political killings; PNP 'disappointed' (INQ7.net)
"(UPDATE) THE PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) said it was "disappointed" after leaders of major leftist groups snubbed on Thursday a multi-sectoral dialogue intended to tackle the extrajudicial killings of activists and journalists in the country.
PNP Director General Oscar Calderon said he was quite disappointed by the snub, although anti-crime, business, civil society, religious and media organizations attended the dialogue. Government agencies also sent representatives.
"The PNP is not your enemy, we are partners in our mutual quest for peace, security, and justice," Calderon said.
"We are a little disappointed because we are really sincere in soliciting information and support," said Deputy Director General Avelino Razon, chief of Task Force Usig, a special unit created specifically to address the killings.
He said it would have been better if militant leaders met with the PNP so they could share vital information and suggestions on how to solve the spate of killings.
"We want to meet them, especially [Human rights group] Karapatan since they reportedly have documents (and) proof to show that the military is involved in these killings," said Razon."
RP borrowing less from other nations (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
"The Philippine government is borrowing less from foreign governments as the country's fiscal position improves, Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri said Thursday.
Cumulative loans classified as official development assistance (ODA) dipped five percent to $10.2 billion in 2005, he said in a statement.
"From a peak of $13.3 billion in 2000, ODA loans have steadily decreased in the last five years largely as a result of the government's greater adherence to project quality and fiscal discipline," he added.
At the end of December last year a total of 160 foreign government project were supporting 147 projects.
Sixty-five percent of the loans went to infrastructure projects worth $6.6 billion.
Agriculture, natural resources and agrarian reform initiatives received 39 ODA loans amounting to $1.8 billion while social services and community development got 27 loans worth $1 billion.
Tokyo, through its Japan Bank for International Cooperation was the biggest source of ODA loans with $6.1 billion, comprising 60 percent of the total. AFP"
Japan provides P9.2B for road construction (INQ7.net)
"THE Japanese government has provided an 18.5-billion yen (or 9.2-billion peso) funding assistance for the construction of 199 bridges under the Urgent Bridges Construction Project for Rural Development, the Japanese embassy in Manila said Thursday.
In a statement, the embassy said the project also covers the replacement of 63 old bridges in the Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions, which will cost 2.6 billion pesos.
"To promote the interchange of people and distribution of goods within the country and support the development of urban regions, the Philippines urgently needs the development of a safe and efficient arterial road network," the statement said.
"However, the Philippines is an island country like Japan and has much precipitous terrain so that one of the main issues is to develop the bridges crossing many rivers and valleys and connecting a livelihood sphere," it added.
The statement noted that roads in the country account for some 90 percent of the movement of people and some 50 percent of the transport of goods.
It said this project will help improve the transport network and enhance growth of regional economies.
Both countries commemorate the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Philippines."
Blasts hit Cotabato, Kidapawan; 2 dead (abs-cbnNEWS.com )
"Two people were killed while six others were injured in separate bombings in the cities of Cotabato and Kidapawan in Mindanao Thursday afternoon, DZMM reported.
Correspondent David Oro said a suspect lobbed a hand grenade inside the Office of the Regional Governor in Cotabato City around 1:45 a.m. The grenade killed two people and injured four others, the report said.
A Reuters report said soldiers and police officers chased a group of men who lobbed the grenade at the sentry post of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao compound.
"We're still investigating the motive for the attack," Peraco Makukua, Cotabato City police chief, told Reuters. He added that the blast could be linked to recent arrests of members of a kidnap-for-ransom gang in the south."
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