[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 16 January Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Jan 16 12:06:46 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 16 January Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Lakas plans 7 revisions to Charter (news.inq7.net)

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's party will propose seven amendments to the Constitution in its bid to move the country to the parliamentary system in six months, working documents made available yesterday to the Inquirer showed.

"It will be tight but doable," said the President's political adviser, Gabriel Claudio, of the timeline proposed during Saturday's caucus of the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party.

"I see no reason why the party will not rally behind that timeline," said Claudio in a phone interview.

The amendments, proposed by House Speaker Jose de Venecia, are:

. Transformation from the presidential to the parliamentary system.

. Establishment of a unicameral legislature and abolition of the Senate.

. Lifting the term limits of elected officials.

. Providing for a five-year term of office for all elective officials.

. A ban on political "turncoatism."

. Creation of autonomous regions toward the establishment of a federal system.

. Easing of restrictions on foreign investments in the country.

The working documents included a paper titled "Option A with Timeline." It included the approval of the proposed seven amendments either by a constituent assembly or a people's initiative not later than March 22, 2006.

During the caucus, there was also a heated debate on another document, "Option B with Timeline."

The document states that "if elections are approved for May 2007, elected members of parliament (MPs) will assume office on June 30, 2007, and immediately thereafter, the parliament elects the prime minister and the president."

'Senate won't be rushed into Cha-cha' (www.philstar.com)

The Senate will not be rushed into approving Cha-cha or Charter change despite moves to pressure the chamber into doing so, Sen. Joker Arroyo and his colleagues belonging to the administration party said yesterday. 

"The timetable for constitutional change so loudly proclaimed by the constitutional change troika (of President Arroyo, former President Fidel Ramos and Speaker Jose de Venecia) amounts to nothing," Arroyo said in a statement. 

Arroyo, who is not related to the Chief Executive, chided Mrs. Arroyo, Ramos and De Venecia for thinking that "senators will agree to write their own obituary" by giving their nod to Charter change. 

The Senate is "not one bit" bound by a resolution of the House of Representatives for Congress to convene into a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution and "revise the structure of government from presidential to parliamentary," Arroyo said.



FVR backtracks before leaving (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

AFTER agitating over two weeks for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to cut short her term, former President Fidel Ramos backtracked and affirmed his support for calls to allow Mrs. Arroyo to serve until 2010 before leaving the country for a conference in India yesterday. 

Ramos announced his about-face in a media briefing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport before he departed at 2:15 p.m. on board a Singapore Airlines flight for Calcutta, India where he is to attend a conference with local business groups. 

"I have to be flexible. I am no longer in the administration," said the former president, who was rebuffed by the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party, of which he is chairman emeritus, in his campaign to shorten the President's term. 

The President, Ramos and ranking Lakas-CMD officials met at Malacañan Palace on Saturday to thresh out Ramos' appeal for Mrs. Arroyo to step down in 2007 to pave the way for the transition of the country's form of government. But Lakas-CMD officials reaffirmed their support for Mrs. Arroyo, effectively rebuffing Ramos. 

NPA raids jail, slays 4 troops in new attacks (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

THE communist New People's Army sorely tested the government's anti-insurgency campaign over the weekend, attacking in quick succession in Batangas City last Saturday and Western Samar yesterday. 

Without firing a shot, communist rebels disguised as soldiers and policemen freed 13 inmates, including nine of their detained comrades, from the Batangas provincial jail in Barangay Cuta, Batangas City Saturday night. 

In Motiong town near Catbalogan City, meanwhile, NPA rebels ambushed a group of soldiers returning from a medical mission, killing four government troopers and wounding eight others. 

NPA spokesman Gregorio Rosal crowed about the insurgents' latest exploits, saying the latest offensives disproved the military's claims that the 8,000-member armed unit of the Communist Party of the Philippines was already a spent force. 

The daring raid by NPA rebels on the Batangas jail prompted President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to direct the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to conduct intensified internal security operations against the rebels. 

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