[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 4 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Jan 4 17:04:18 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 4 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Arroyo names new PCGG commissioner, finance undersecretary (inq7.net)

"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has appointed a new commissioner in the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and an undersecretary in the Department of Finance (DoF), Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced on Wednesday. 

Former Sandiganbayan Justice Narciso Nario replaced Alvin Dans at the PCGG, Ermita said. Gaudencio Mendoza Jr. will replace Finance Undersecretary Emmanuel Bonoan who resigned in December, Ermita said. Ermita said there would be "minor changes" in the other government agencies."

Palace: New corruption exposé in military won't spark coup (inq7.net)

"MALACAÑANG is confident that the recent disclosure of an air force colonel about continued corruption within the military will not spark a new unrest in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). 

"We have undiminished faith in the professional loyalty of the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] and the full capacity of the command to deal with these controversies," Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said on Wednesday.

Bunye issued the statement after Colonel Efren Daquil revealed on Tuesday that generals and wing commanders in the Philippine Air Force (PAF) were each "illegally" receiving monthly allowances of 45,000 pesos on top of their salaries.

Daquil also confirmed grumbling in the military, saying he had been approached thrice by so-called "rebels" within the ranks who invited him to join a coup that was supposed to have taken place in September.

He said he told his peers however that while he had grievances, he still wanted a peaceful venue to air his complaints.  Bunye said coup rumors should now be set aside, adding, "The discipline and morale of the soldiery are firm and high and the chain of command, solid.""

Palace urges Congress to speed up approval of 2006 nat'l budget (philstar.com)

"Malacañang reiterated Wednesday its call on Congress to expedite the passage of the proposed 1.03 trillion peso 2006 budget, as it dismissed as baseless allegations of connivance with the House of Representatives to delay the approval of the national appropriations measure. 

Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye said Malacanang would not "dignify unfounded allegations over the budget that could only further delay its approval." 

"We are for the immediate enactment of the 2006 national budget, and we have been consistently calling on Congress to expedite its passage, for what is at stake here is the President's pro-poor agenda and our full economic takeoff," he said. 

Bunye called on the lawmakers to "concentrate on their legislative work in the interest of public welfare and good governance." 

The President's critics have alleged that the delay in the passage of the 2006 national budget was part of an alleged Malacanang push for constitutional amendments to the Constitution."

Senators defend Air Force colonel in new corruption exposé (inq7.net)

"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo must order the military inspector general to conduct a "transparent, credible" investigation on new allegations of corruption and unrest in the military by an Air Force colonel, Senator Rodolfo Biazon said Wednesday. 

Biazon, head of the committee on national defense and security, said he would "give the President a chance to clarify," among others, claims by Colonel Efren Daquil that generals were receiving 45,000-peso monthly allowances, which the military officer found "irregular."

Biazon said until then, he would not call for an investigation by his committee of Daquil's allegations that also include the ongoing recruitment of officers for a new attempt to oust President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He also advised the military against putting Daquil on court martial.

"They cannot go half-cooked. Di pa naiimbestigahan [They haven't even investigated], court martial na [already]," he said.

"If I were the chief of staff, I would first conduct an investigation before issuing an arrest order. Otherwise, it will affect the effectivity of the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines]," he said.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said the military leadership must encourage instead of threaten Daquil with disciplinary sanctions.

"If Colonel Daquil is telling the truth, the generals concerned should be investigated and punished accordingly. Let it not be said that all officers of the PAF and other major services of the AFP have been compromised by illegal payoffs," Pimentel said."

P30M 'missing' PAF fund used for sportsgear, says spokesman (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Philippine Air Force on Wednesday said the "missing" P30 million PAF fund revealed by Lt. Col. Efren Daquil were legitimately used to purchase athletic gear for the 17,000-strong PAF like shirts, short pants, shoes and bags. 

In a press conference, PAF spokesman Lt. Col. Restituto Padilla presented a document from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that indicates some P30 million were used to buy the athletic gear.

Daquil earlier asked Lt. Gen. Jose Reyes, PAF commanding general, to explain the alleged disappearance of P30 million in savings during Daquil's stint as chief of PAF Personnel Office in 2004. He also revealed that Air Force generals and wing commanders received monthly allowances of P45,000 each on top of their salaries.

Based on DBM records, the P30 million was used to purchase 10,000 shoes, 20,000 short pants, 20,000 bags and almost 40,000 shirts in 2004.

Padilla said all Air Force personnel, including officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees, were entitled to the athletic gear."

Palace mum on secret meeting of FVR, Drilon, Sotto (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Malacañan on Wednesday downplayed a secret meeting among former president Fidel V. Ramos, Senate President Franklin Drilon and former senator Vicente Sotto III on Monday night. 

Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said Ramos remains a staunch ally of President Arroyo although no one among the three political leaders spoke about the meeting's turnout. 

"Naniniwala po tayo na ang layunin po [ng pulong] ay para po sa kapakanan ng ating bansa base sa pagkakakilala natin sa pagkatao ni dating pangulong Fidel Ramos (We believe that the purpose of the meeting was for the country's welfare based on what we know about the character of former president Fidel Ramos)," Bunye told DZMM. 

He added that the former president is an "advocate of political consolidation" and was "very active in pushing economic diplomacy.""

RSF: 2005 deadliest for journalists since1995 (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Forty-seven journalists, including four from the Philippines, were killed in their line of work in 2005, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Tuesday. 

The annual survey said more than three-quarters of the victims were murdered to silence their criticism or punish them for their work. 

The four Filipino journalists killed last year were Marlene Garcia-Esperat, columnist of Midland News; Klein Cantoneros, radio commentator for DXAA-FM in Dipolog City; Philip Agustin, editor for Starline Times Recorder; and Rolando "Dodong" Morales, commentator for DXMD in Polomolok. 

Although the overall 2005 toll reflected a decline from 57 the previous year, it was still well above the annual average of 34 deaths that CPJ has documented over the past decade. One hundred four journalists were killed in 2004 and 2005, making it the deadliest two-year period since the war in Algeria raged a decade ago.

"Too many journalists have lost their lives just because they were doing their jobs, and unresponsive governments bear responsibility for the toll," CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said." 

Shares close up on economic optimism, PLDT (XFN-Asia) 

"SHARE prices closed at a 10-month high on Wednesday with investors upbeat about economic prospects as well as news of NTT DoCoMo's plan to invest 300 million dollars in PLDT, dealers said. 

Wall Street's overnight rise also helped boost sentiment. The composite index ended up 28.26 points or 1.34 percent at 2,138.05 after trading between 2,109.79 and 2,144.04. It was the main index's best finish since March 9, 2005 when it ended at 2,157.14. Volume grew 447.06 million shares worth 1.15 billion pesos. 

The broader all-shares index rose 17.51 points to 1,011.75. 

Gainers beat losers 68 to nine, while 38 stocks were unchanged. "This rise is really buoyed by investors' vote of confidence in the economy, with the strong peso as an indicator, and expectations of credit rating upgrades for the country," Westlink Global Equities Inc chairman Rommel Macapagal said. 

The peso has reached a more than two-and-a-half-year high against the US dollar on the back of record-breaking remittances from Filipinos working overseas. It averaged 52.40 to the US unit at the end of morning trade on Wednesday. 

Macapagal said today's increased turnover indicates that more investors have returned to the market after an extended holiday."

      Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate 
      Official Rate from the Philippine Dealing System 


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P52.416 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of January 04, 2006 3:01 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.







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