[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 9 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Jan 9 17:08:35 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 9 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Biazon has 3 new wiretap tapes (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

Sen. Rodolfo Biazon on Monday revealed that he has three new tapes of alleged conversations wiretapped by military intelligence agents, DZMM reported. 

Biazon, chairman of the committee on defense and national security, said the three tapes were given to him by a new witness in the wiretapping controversy. 

Aside from the new tapes, he said the new witness could corroborate the alleged wiretapping of conversations between President Arroyo and former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano during last year's elections as revealed in the "Hello Garci" tapes. 

"Nasa kamay ko ngayon ang tatlong affidavits at tatlong tapes. (I have in my hands three affidavits and three tapes) One is about 15 minutes and another is about 20 minutes," Biazon told DZMM. 

He added: "Kung lalabas ang testigo ay mayroon pa akong dalawang testigo o apat na testigo na magko-corroborate doon sa pag-uusapan (If the witness testifies, I have two to four more people who could corroborate the conversations.)" 

He said the tapes will be played when the Senate wiretap inquiry resumes on January 19. The new conversations involve political figures including those from the opposition, Biazon said. 

He declined to reveal the name of the new witness, adding that the person is "no longer covered Executive Order 464." 

EO 464 requires top government, military and police officials to get the President's permission before testifying in congressional inquiries. 

Hagedorn: No jueteng without LGU, PNP connivance (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn on Monday called for stricter implementation of the country's anti-jueteng campaign, adding that the illegal numbers game would not prosper without the blessing of local government and police officials. 

Hagedorn, head of the national anti-jueteng task force, issued the statement following the arrests of 46 jueteng operators and collectors caught organizing a numbers racket draw in General Trias, Cavite. The arrests led to the sacking of the General Trias police chief. 

"Hindi magpo-proliferate ang jueteng kung walang go signal ng local official at saka ng PNP. Maliwanag po 'yan na magpo-proliferate kung talagang mayroong connivance (Jueteng will not proliferate without the go-signal of local officials and the [Philippine National Police]. It's clear that it would only proliferate if there is connivance)," he told DZMM. 

Opposition boycott of Council of State meeting urged (news.inq7.net)

AFRAID that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo might use the January 24 Council of State meeting as a "photo opportunity," a partylist lawmaker at the House of Representatives urged the opposition on Monday to boycott the event.

Anakpawis Representative Rafael Mariano said the opposition should snub the meeting because there was no single basis to unite with the "extremely isolated President."

He said Arroyo called for a meeting only "to make it appear that she still has the political initiative."

"The so-called Council of State meeting is anchored from Malacanang's state of panic on the ongoing talk in the opposition," Mariano said in a statement, referring to the January 2 meeting among Senate President Franklin Drilon, former senator Vicente Sotto III, and former president Fidel Ramos, a staunch ally of the President.

Instead of attending the meeting, Mariano called on opposition leaders to join a nationwide protest rally on January 20 to commemorate the 19th year of the infamous "Mendiola Massacre" and the 5th year anniversary of People Power 2, which catapulted Arroyo to the presidency.

"This protest will be the opening salvo of farmers in an expected avalanche of protests this year for Mrs. Arroyo's ouster from power," Mariano said.

The "Mendiola Massacre" commemorates the deaths of several farmers in Mendiola in 1987 during a rally against the land reform program of then president Corazon Aquino.

Reinstate raps vs Marcos kids, lawyers urge Sandigan (news.inq7.net)

THE GOVERNMENT last week asked the Sandiganbayan to reverse its ruling dismissing ill-gotten wealth charges against the children of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos -- Ilocos Norte Representative Imee Marcos, Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Irene Marcos-Araneta and her husband Gregorio Araneta III.

In a 55-page motion for reconsideration submitted on Friday, lawyers from the Solicitor General's office and the Presidential Commission on Good Government said the anti-graft court's Fourth Division erred when it scrapped on Dec. 6 evidence presented against the Marcos children and Araneta.

They said that all documentary exhibits presented in court had been gathered by the PCGG in the course of its investigation into the hidden assets of the Marcos family and their cronies.

Because of this, they said, the documents were deemed to have acquired public records status which exempted them from the rule on evidence that made authentication mandatory.

The lawyers also said the court's ruling denied the government's right to due process since they (the Marcos children) were the heirs of their parents' estates.

In its Dec. 6 ruling, the Sandiganbayan upheld the government's case against former first lady Imelda R. Marcos but said the government had failed to present evidence to show that her children and Araneta had played a part in amassing ill-gotten wealth.

Remittances to bring in 13.5 billion dollars for Philippines (www.philstar.com)
MANILA (AFP) - Cash transfers to the Philippines by its large overseas work force should rise 10 percent to a record 13.5 billion dollars in 2006, central bank governor Amando Tetangco said Monday. 

Overseas workers group remitted an estimated 12.3 billion dollars to the Philippines last year, significantly above the original forecast of 10.7 billion dollars, Tetangco told reporters. 

A strong rise in remittances last month in the run-up to Christmas pushed the peso to a 32-month high against the dollar and boosted consumer spending. 

In 2004, remittances were up 11.8 percent to 8.5 billion dollars. 

Up to eight million Filipinos work abroad, many of them in the United States, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, Britain, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.


Govt eyes feeding program in Q1 (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

Economic Planning Chief Augusto Santos on Monday said the government will start a feeding program in the first three months of the year after a national survey showed an estimated 2.8 million families went hungry at least once last quarter. 

Santos said the President has already instructed the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to sort the segment of the population identified in the survey. The two departments will work hand in hand with local government units for the feeding program. 

"Ang mangyayari yata ang maga-identify kung saan talaga 'yung mga mahihirap na 'yan at mga nagugutom ay ang mga local government tapos ang mag-iimplement ay ang DSWD siguro (The local government will identify the needy while DSWD will implement the program)," Santos told DZMM. 

Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye earlier said the current administration is bent on alleviating poverty in the country after the results of the Social Weather Station survey on Filipino families experiencing hunger hit a new record high in the last quarter of 2005.

Transco says Panay power situation critical (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

The National Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO) on Monday warned the power supply situation in Panay remains critical.

Panay residents currently suffer from rotating brownouts of three to six hours a day because the area does not have an indigenous source of power.

Panay imports all its power requirements from Negros and parts of Cebu.

"To have a reliable supply you have to pay more. And we have the Panay electric situation, they are asking for higher rates in order to supply reliable electricity," TRANSCO president Alan Ortiz told ANC Money. 

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