[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 24 August Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Aug 24 17:58:34 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 24 August Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



House junks impeach rap (INQ7.net, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press)

(3RD UPDATE) IT'S over.

Voting 173 - 32, the House of Representatives upheld at around 10 o'clock on Thursday morning the justice committee report dismissing the impeachment complaint.

Speaker Jose de Venecia announced the results after 17 hours of debate and explanation of votes.

"After 17 hours of grueling debate, no sleep and fatigue, I am happy to report to our nation, to our people that we have finally put an end to the impeachment complaint," de Venecie said before announcing the tally.

There was only one abstention, by Catanduanes Representative Joseph Santiago.

De Venecia called the vote a victory for the Philippines, which has been constantly hamstrung by partisan politics since ousting dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and restoring democracy.

"What we have seen in the Philippines happen time and time again (is) this culture of boom and bust, when you see improvement in the economy but by our own hands we commit suicide and destroy these same gains that we're trying to achieve," he said in a speech.

De Venecia urged Arroyo's allies to end "poisonous, disruptive politics" and concentrate on helping the President solve the country's myriad problems.

He said Arroyo called immediately after the vote and said she was happy that the debates were over.

Arroyo's chief political adviser, Gabriel Claudio, said Malacañang is "thankful" to Congress for ending the impeachment issue and is "extending the hand of reconciliation" to the opposition.

"The sooner we are able to bind our wounds, the sooner that we are able to get the process of healing under way, the sooner the nation will be on the road to better harmony," he told dzBB radio. "We trust that the issue of impeachment will be replaced by more important issues."

Nene: Polls will judge anti-impeach solons' fate (abs-cbnNEWS.com) 


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said Thursday that congressmen who voted for the dismissal of the second impeachment case against President Arroyo should brace for political backlash in next year's elections, DZMM reported.


In a statement, the senator said voters would decide on the fate of those anti-impeachment lawmakers who are seeking reelection next year.


The House of Representative voted 173-32 with one abstention to approve the justice committee report that sealed the case in favor of the President. A similar case was turned down last year.


He also said that the watching congressmen debate and explain their votes for 17 hours since Wednesday afternoon was a waste of time. Voting ended at 10 a.m. Thursday.


Pimentel, a staunch critic of Mrs. Arroyo, has been demanding her resignation amid alleges that she was involved in electoral fraud in the presidential election in 2004.

GMA launches national identification card (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday launched the People's ID Card, which integrates all existing ID systems in different government agencies. 

The new ID system seeks to strengthen good governance, improve transparency, empower citizens, and give them faster access to dependable government services, the President said. 

"This system fills the last mile in the gap between people's needs and a streamlined government that serves those needs," the President told a press conference in Malacañang. 

The ID system is now being tested in three agencies-the National Economic and Development Authority, the National Statistics Office, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. 

High court rejects test of poll machines (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

The Supreme Court yesterday rejected the petition of an election lawyer to allow the Commission on Elections to conduct a public test of the automated counting machines. 

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal asked the high tribunal to allow the commission and the Department of Science and Technology to find out if the ACMs are accurate and reliable as claimed by the supplier, Mega Pacific Consortium. 

But the high court, in an 11-page resolution, said allowing the test would be tantamount to a reversal of the high tribunal's decision banning the use of the ACMs because these failed the mandatory legal requirements. 

The ACMs have been lying idle at a commission's warehouse since 2004 following the tribunal's decision declaring null and void the commission's P1.2-billion contract for the purchase of the ACMs from Mega Pacific. 

The high court pointed out that it would be an admission that the SC committed a "horrible mistake" and the commission's "impugned acts" were aboveboard, if the petition would be granted. 

According to the high tribunal, such decision would remove all grounds for any legal action by the government to recover the funds used to purchase the ACMs. 

The SC reiterated its resolution issued on June 15, 2005 mandating the commission to return the ACMs to Mega Pacific and to recover the amount paid for the said machines. 

"That the Comelec officials have chosen to this day to keep the ACMs-in direct contravention of our directive-and, worse, to incur imprudently and pay illegally for costs for their storage at the expense of public funds will simply add to their liability in the end," the SC warned. 

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