[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 5 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Jan 5 17:12:55 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 5 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Palace reveals FVR-ConCom leaders meeting (abs-cbnnews.com)


"Government officials and members of the Consultative Commission met with former president Fidel V. Ramos last month to convince him that the Palace did not influence the consultative body to recommend the scrapping of the 2007 elections, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said on Thursday.


Ermita said, he, Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio and Ramos at his office at the Urban Bank building in Makati last December 27.


"We met with president Ramos for four hours and 20 minutes.  ConCom officials explained that there was no truth to the rumor that there was a precooked scenario or that Malacañan used its influence so that the report would have a no-election proposal, "Ermita told DZMM.


He claimed that the former president was convinced by the explanation 'since Ramos has not talked about the deadline he gave President Arroyo regarding the proposal.'  He reiterated that Ramos remains a supporter of the Arroyo administration."


Solons downplay Daquil disclosure of Air Force anomalies (inq7.net)


LAWMAKERS at the House of Representatives described as mere "sour graping" an Air Force colonel's disclosure of alleged anomalies within the Philippine Air Force. 


Cebu Representative Antonio Cuenco and Malabon-Navotas Representative Federico Sandoval II said in a joint statement on Wednesday that unless Efren Daquil could show proof that PAF generals were "illegally" receiving 45,000-peso monthly allowances on top of their basic salaries, his claim would be considered as baseless allegations.


"Failure on Daquil's part to prove his accusations will only make us believe that he is really sour graping because of his relief last December 10," Sandoval said, referring to reports on the Air Force colonel's dismissal.


Cuenco said the burden of proof lies on Daquil, who himself admitted receiving a monthly salary amounting to about 8,000 pesos.


"If Daquil says such allowance is anomalous, then he is as guilty as the others who benefited from such perks," he said.


Dilangalen: Erap won't ally with FVR, Cory (abs-cbnnews.com)

Deposed president Joseph Estrada will not ally himself with former presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Corazon Aquino, his spokesman said Thursday.

Estrada's spokesman Didagen Dilangalen said the former president has always sought the ouster of President Arroyo who replaced him in 2001. 


"He never supported the proposal for a transition government because he still believes that he is the true president of the Philippines. If Mrs. Arroyo is removed from power, then he should be the one to replace her. That is his belief," Dilangalen told DZMM. 


Philippines vows "swift resolution" of press murders (www.philstar.com)

The Philippine government said Thursday it wants a "swift resolution" of journalists' murders, after a global press watchdog said the country was the world's deadliest place for journalists next to Iraq in 2005. 

The Paris-based Reporters sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) report said 63 journalists were killed worldwide in 2005 and 1,300 physically attacked or threatened, making it the deadliest year in a decade. 

Of the total deaths, seven were from the Philippines, second only to Iraq, where 24 journalists and five media assistants were slain last year. 

The local union of journalists however said nine were killed in 2005, most of whom worked for provincial radio stations and who were murdered for tackling local corruption. 

Reporters Without Borders said that when it comes to crimes against journalists "impunity remained the rule" in the Philippines, even as it noted the recent conviction of the killer of Filipino broadcaster Edgar Demalerio, who was murdered in 2002. 

Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said national police had been ordered to "double its efforts in the prevention (of) these heinous crimes. 

"Our law enforcement authorities are working round the clock on the swift resolution of the murders of journalists," Bunye said in a statement.


Peso poised to break into 51 to $1 (money.inq7.net)

THE PESO rallied further to 52.37 to the dollar during trading Wednesday before closing at a new three-year high of 52.425 to the greenback on strong regional currency markets and rosy prospects on government's finances, traders said. 


The peso may break into the 51-to-the-dollar level once the government delivers the projected revenues from an increase of two percentage points in value-added tax (VAT) rate starting February, said Jose Emmanuel Hilado, president of foreign exchange association ACI Philippines. 


"The trend is toward appreciation," Hilado said in an interview. "Of course, it can't be all the way up because sooner or later, it needs a healthy correction. But the uptrend is intact." 


"The direction is toward 51.50 to 52.00 to the dollar, but not too soon, because the market is becoming oversold," he said. 


The peso gained another P0.235 on the dollar from Tuesday's closing of 52.66 to the greenback on heavy trading volume of $622.5 million. 


More Filipinos left for jobs abroad in 2005--labor chief (news.inq7.net)

THERE is a "continued high global demand and preference for skilled overseas Filipino workers," Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas said Thursday. 


Sto. Tomas noted that the deployment for Filipino seafarers breached the 300,000 mark for the first time last year.


She said the total global employment contracts processed for Filipino seafarers reached 302,328, or 10,812 higher than the 291,516 contracts processed during the previous year.

Citing records from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Sto. Tomas said the total number of overseas employment contracts processed for OFWs reached 981,337 from January 1 to December 31, 2005, or 39,615 higher than the 941,722 contracts processed in the same period in 2004. 

The labor chief said the figures she cited did not include the records from the country's regional and international exit points outside Metro Manila -- Davao, Clark, and Laoag. 

"We expect the total global deployment and number of overseas employment contracts for 2005 to increase further as the final data come in," she said. 

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