[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 15 August Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Aug 15 17:24:06 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 15 August Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



'Government has failed to protect individuals' -- AI (INQ7.net)

"THE Philippine government has failed to protect individuals," Amnesty International (AI) said Tuesday in a strongly worded report on political killings, human rights and the peace process in the country.

The respected international human rights organization urged the Philippine government "to fulfill its obligation to protect the right to life of every individual under its jurisdiction.regardless of the political affiliation of those targeted, and whether or not security personnel are linked to the attacks."

A separate media release quoted AI's South East Asia researcher Tim Parritt as saying: "Stemming this tide of killings requires genuine political will to ensure prosecutions in all cases -- not only the ten cases in ten weeks recently called for by President (Gloria Macapagal-)Arroyo."

"No one deserves to die for their political affiliation," Parritt said. "It should be a deep embarrassment to the government that people in the Philippines cannot freely exercise their rights of political expression and association."

The report focused mainly on the unabated rash of political killings, almost all of which remain unsolved, that AI said "will continue to have a corrosive impact on public confidence in the administration of justice and the rule of law," and continue to make prospects for the revival of peace talks between government and communist rebels"unrealized."

Minority seeks protection for impeach complainants (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


House Minority Leader Francis Escudero on Tuesday asked the leadership of the House justice committee if it can provide security for complainants in the impeachment case against President Arroyo. 


Escudero said at least six leftist activist members who endorsed the complaint have been killed since July 29


He named the activists as Bayan Muna members Mario Florendo, Alice Claver and Vito Pao, League of Filipino Students member Raymond Guran and farmer activists Isias Sta. Rosa and Gilbert Jamile.


All of the victims were killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen. Leftist groups believe that the military and the police are behind the killings.


Justice panel chief Simeon Datumanong advised Escudero to put his request in writing. He added that the House of Representatives cannot protect the activists, adding that the request would be passed on to the police and the military.


Iloilo Rep. Arthur Defensor scored Escudero's request as "innuendoes versus the President."


Escudero denied linking the murders to the impeachment case. He added that securing the complainants would save them from being included in the list of political killings in the country.


Lawyer: Bolante in Chicago jail (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


A lawyer confirmed Tuesday that ex-agriculture official Jocelyn Bolante has been moved to a detention facility in Chicago, Illinois, DZMM reported. 


Lawyer Harry Roque said he received reports that Bolante's immigration hearing is scheduled at the office of US Department of Homeland Security in Chicago on August 21. 


"The hearing will be held at the basement, which is where cases of Chicago detainees under the jurisdiction of the immigration court are heard," he told DZMM. 


He added that the jurisdiction of Bolante's case has been transferred to Chicago. "All his papers are in Chicago," he added. 


Roque said Bolante could be transferred to a jail located in Chicago's suburb or in another jail at the city proper.


Duque: OWWA funds not used for 2004 campaign (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


A Cabinet official defended Tuesday a memorandum he issued on the transfer of overseas workers funds to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. amid allegations that the money was used for the 2004 elections. 


Health Secretary Francisco Duque, former Philhealth chief, said a memorandum he submitted to President Arroyo on the proposed fund transfer did not say that the money would be used to fund Mrs. Arroyo's campaign kitty. 


In the memo dated Nov. 20, 2002, Duque is quoted as saying that the proposed transfer will have a "significant bearing on the 2004 elections."


"What I meant by significant bearing has nothing to do with whether it would boost President Arroyo's bid in the elections but on transferring the funds as mandated by law," Duque told DZMM. 


He said he was concerned that a bungle in the transfer of funds could affect Mrs. Arroyo's bid to run in the 2004 elections.  He denied accusations that the order was irregular, adding that the transfer took place seven months after the polls.   


He said the funds were transferred in March 2005 after Mrs. Arroyo signed Executive Order 392 on Dec. 28, 2004.


Duque said he has evidence to prove that the P530 million funds meant for the welfare of overseas Filipino workers were not used to finance the Philhealth cards distributed by Mrs Arroyo in 2004. He said the money would benefit about 500,000 OFWs, saying that the funds would be used to pay for their hospitalization.


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