[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 18 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Jan 18 16:50:08 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 18 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



NBI joins manhunt for 4 escaped mutineers (inq7.net)

"NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation (NBI) officer-in-charge Nestor Mantaring ordered the bureau's intelligence division to help the military search for the four military rebels who escaped from detention in Fort Bonifacio Tuesday night. 

Mantaring said he had asked Edmund Arugay, NBI intelligence chief, to take steps in hunting down Captain Nathaniel Rabonza, First Lieutenants Lawrence San Juan, Sonny Sarmiento, and Patricio Bumindang Jr.

Arugay said he had dispatched several intelligence agents to help the military in its pursuit operations.

Rabonza, San Juan, Sarmiento, and Bumindang were among the 300 junior officers and soldiers who participated in a brief military revolt on July 27, 2003 when they laid siege on the Oakwood luxury apartments in Makati City."

Police on highest alert after 4 mutineers' escape (inq7.net)

"THE POLICE have placed stations on highest alert near midnight Tuesday, hours after four junior officers who participated in a brief military uprising in 2003 escaped from their detention cell in Fort Bonifacio.

Police chief Director General Arturo Lomibao also told field and camp commanders to strictly observe "standard operating procedures," particularly in detention centers and firearms and explosives depots.

Lomibao told guards to control the flow of people visiting their detained kin in custodial centers."

Army links lawyer to mutineers' escape (abs-cbnnews.com)

"The Philippine Army on Wednesday said it is investigating the possible connivance of a lawyer in the escape of four Oakwood mutineers from the Fort Bonifacio detention facility in Taguig City Tuesday night. 

Army chief Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon said the jailed soldiers may have escaped while lawyer Ruel Pulido was negotiating against the soldiers' transfer to another building inside Fort Bonifacio. 

"Attorney Pulido said we had no authority to transfer (the soldiers) to another building. What I can say is that the four got the opportunity to escape while he was still inside the camp," Esperon told ABS-CBN's Magandang Umaga Pilipinas. 

He said 1st Lts. Nathaniel Rabonza, Lawrence San Juan, Sonny Sarmiento and Patricio Bumidang bolted out of the Army's military police compound around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, just 30 minutes after Pulido left Fort Bonifacio." 

Palace hangs on to vow of 'full cooperation' by 'old friend' (inq7.net)

"EVEN after the United States has refused the Philippines' request to turn over four American soldiers accused of rape, Malacañang remains firm in its belief that that its "old friend an ally" will "cooperate fully" on the case.

Amid demands by some sectors for the government to insist on the custody of the Marines, Bunye appealed for restraint in making an "emotional issue against an old time friend and ally."

The US Embassy turned down a request by the Philippine government on Tuesday to relinquish custody of the Marines who were charged with raping a 22-year-old Filipina at the former American naval base in Subic, Zambales province on Nov. 1, 2005.

The embassy invoked the Philippine-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which allows the US to keep custody of its soldiers during their trial.  The VFA allows Philippine and US troops to hold joint military exercises. The four soldiers were part of the American contingent that participated in the drills.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, which negotiated with US diplomats on the custody issue, said it would await the advice of the Department of Justice on the government's next move."

VFA 'mutually beneficial,' says US embassy spokesman (inq7.net)

"AMIDST calls by some Philippine lawmakers for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement, the United States, through its embassy in Manila, has maintained that the treaty remains "mutually beneficial."

In a phone interview with INQ7.net Wednesday, US embassy spokesman Matthew Lussenhop refused to comment on Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago's statement to have the VFA terminated after the US rejected a request by the Philippines to turn over four American Marines accused of rape.

"I read the stories about it but I cannot comment specifically on it. It remains the embassy's point of view that the Visiting Forces Agreement is mutually beneficial. It is a useful framework for joint training, military-to-military training, for the national security of both our countries," Lussenshop said."

4 GIs seek review of rape case (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Four US marines accused of raping a Filipina Wednesday filed a motion with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review the charges against them. 

Two of the accused, Staff Sgt. Chad Brian Carpentier and Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, also petitioned Olongapo Regional Trial Court Judge Renato Dilag to void the arrest warrants he issued. 

In a separate motion, Smith asked Dilag to inhibit himself from the case, saying that the judge's comments to the media showed that he had already prejudged the case. 

The petitions came a day after the US government refused to turn over custody of the four to the Philippines. 

In a note verbale to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the US Embassy said the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) allowed for US custody of the accused until the case was concluded. Aside from Carpentier and Smith, the other accused are Keith Silkwood and Dominic Duplantis."

Villar scores House on budget delay (abs-cbnnews.com)

"Sen. Manuel Villar, chairman of the Senate finance committee, on Wednesday scored lawmakers at the House of Representatives for not yet passing the national budget for 2006, saying they may be delaying it on purpose.

Villar said he thinks the lower chamber is delaying the enactment of the General Appropriations Act of 2006 so that the President can have leeway in managing the budget. The government is at present working on a re-enacted 2005 budget. 

"Kapag re-enacted budget kasi siyempre ang flexibility ng paggamit ng budget ay nasa Pangulo (When we have a re-enacted budget the President will have flexibility of use of funds)," Villar said. 

He added that the budget delay is related to the administration's efforts to amend the Constitution. 

Congress is expected to have approved the proposed P1.05 trillion 2006 national budget in March, when President Arroyo is also expected to sign it, Rep. Rolanda Andaya Jr. said last week."


Shares close lower by 1.33 percent, peso also down  (philstar.com)

"Stocks took a beating Wednesday, the index down by 28.85 points to 2,125.45. The All-Shares market also closed lower by 15.06 points to 1,292.47. 

All of the subindicators were in trading in the red with mining and oil the biggest losers, down by 45.37 points, and followed by industrial with 26.62 points. 

Volume was marked at 2.67 billion shares worth 2.34 billion pesos. Decliners whipped advancers, 57 against 21, with 52 issues unchanged. 

At the foreign exchange, the local currency was weaker against the US dollar at 52.760 pesos in mid-day trades as compared to yesterday's close 52.570 pesos."


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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P52.760 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of January 18, 2006 12:37 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.





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