[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 19 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Jan 19 17:10:53 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 19 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



4 fugitive officers warn of 'new Armed Forces' vs Arroyo (inq7.net)

"A FORCE within the Armed Forces of the Philippines is growing "stronger by the day" that will fight for a "change of system" where the people's interests "are truly supreme," warned four junior officers who escaped detention from a military camp Tuesday. 

At the same time, Captain Nathaniel Rabonza, and First Lieutenants Lawrence San Juan, Sonny Sarmiento, and Patricio Bumidang Jr. urged their comrades to "act now" to end the "corruption, illegitimacy, and neglect . and repression of a bogus regime."

The "new AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines]" will fight for a "change of system" to end "corruption,
illegitimacy, and neglect," they said in a statement sent via e-mail to GMA Network news anchor Arnold Clavio, copies of which were distributed to newsmen.

"We are a force that grows stronger by the day, working in solidarity to usher a new nation where the people's interests are truly supreme," the group said.

"The imperative is on all of us. The time to act is now," the group said.

The group said "most of the Armed Forces" remained loyal to their oath to uphold the sovereign will of the people.

"Those who insist on the neutrality of the military, and who now occupy the positions of power, are those who would rather that we stay silent, betray our oath, and in effect even help them perpetuate their own selfish interests. They are the enemies of the people. We refuse to be their pawns," the four said."

It's business as usual for Arroyo amid new threats (inq7.net)

"NOTWITHSTANDING the prison break by four rebel junior officers and the resumption of the wiretapping investigation at the Senate, it was business as usual for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as she welcomed investors who paid her a courtesy call in the Palace Thursday. 

The President met with Doreswamy Nandkishore, chairman and chief executive officer of Nestle Philippines, who announced that they would venture into producing "real Pinoy [real Filipino]" coffee to be called Nescafe First Pick, made out of Philippine coffee beans.

Arroyo's visit to a Nestle plant in Laguna province was one of the trips cancelled by the Palace after four rebel junior officers escaped detention at Fort Bonifacio Army headquarters late Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Senate has resumed its investigation on the wiretapping issue that has linked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to cheating in the 2004 election.

"This is an indication that business is looking at the gains we have registered last year," Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila told reporters after the meeting.

Favila said businessmen remained upbeat on the economy amid the political noise. In his meetings with them, Favila said investors were not bothered by politics in the country."

Compressed workweek proposed (inq7.net)

"THE COMPRESSED workweek arrangement some firms have adopted as a capital-saving measure must be incorporated into the country's labor laws to meet growing demands of the global market, Senator Edgardo Angara said. 

"Our labor laws must allow business to become more efficient, competitive, and flexible in responding to client needs, and at the same time protect the interest of the work force by providing for an enhanced work-life balance," Angara said.

In Senate Bill 2188, Angara also proposed the following amendments to the Labor Code:

. Adoption of flexible time arrangement

. Exemption from night-work prohibition on women in establishments that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week or 24/7

. Revision of the doctrine against the elimination and diminution of benefits under certain conditions.

Angara said even the Senate adopted the compressed workweek scheme.

"It has significantly reduced our expenses and allowed our employees more quality time to spend with their families," he said."

Honasan heads witness list in Senate wiretapping probe (inq7.net)

"FORMER Senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan will head the list of resource persons who will testify at the resumption of the Senate investigation on wiretapping on Thursday. 

Major General Rodolfo Canieso, retired Commodore Rex Robles, former Palace employee and "jueteng" witness Michael Angelo Zuce also said they would attend.

On Wednesday, Senator Rodolfo Biazon, head of the committee on national defense and security, said the witnesses would show that aside from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, other people were also wiretapped.

The controversy stemmed from the public disclosure of tapes that recorded Arroyo's alleged conversation with a male voice that reports had identified as Garcillano's over the supposed manipulation of results in the 2004 election.

Although Arroyo had admitted to the conversation and apologized on national television for her "lapse in judgement," she denied rigging the polls.

But the President's expression of regret was not enough as doubts on the legitimacy of her government surfaced, triggering a political crisis that has been threatening to topple her administration."

Lozano asks House to reconsider impeach rap vs Arroyo (inq7.net)

"LAWYER Oliver Lozano has asked the House of Representatives to reconsider the impeachment complaint he filed against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as he prepared to file charges against a House official who returned the document to him. 

In a four-page letter to Speaker Jose de Venecia on Thursday, Lozano said the Speaker "erred" in returning the complaint for "lack of endorsement of the letter-transmittal."

"Complaint is different from transmittal. That is elementary," he said.

He reminded the Speaker that when he first lodged a complaint against the President last year, this did not also bear any endorsement from legislators but still the Office of the Secretary General kept it until it was endorsed and transmitted to Congress.

Alagad Partylist Representative Rodante Marcoleta and pro-opposition Representative Rolex Suplico of Iloilo endorsed the original Lozano complaint."

New tapes show FPJ, Lacson office phones wiretapped (abs-cbnnews.com)

"New audiotapes played at the Senate wiretap inquiry Thursday showed that the office phones of former presidential candidates Panfilo Lacson and the late Fernando Poe Jr. were wiretapped during the May 2004 elections. 

Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, chairman of the Senate committee on national defense and security probing the controversy, presented the tapes allegedly containing conversations between persons identified with the camps of Lacson and Poe.

One of the conversations was between Mira Dumlao, former senator Gregorio Honasan's secretary during the May 2004 campaign, and former Commodore Rex Robles. The two discussed Robles' meeting with Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile sometime in January 2004. 

Honasan is the head of Poe's vote security group.

Dumlao and Robles both confirmed their voices in the tape. 

Another conversation in the tapes was that of a son of former Army chief and retired Maj. Gen. Rodolfo Canieso and another unidentified man.

Canieso, former head of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, said the conversation was between his son Bong and an unidentified person.

Canieso was a member of Soldiers for Peace and Progress, a group of retired military officials formed to protect Lacson's votes in the 2004 polls.

Other witnesses to the wiretap inquiry included Marietta Santos, Honasan, Robles and former Malacañan technical assistant Michaelangelo Zuce."

RP arrests MILF rebel over 2000 bombings (abs-cbnnews.com)

"COTABATO CITY - Authorities arrested a Muslim rebel suspected of ties to foreign Islamic militants in connection with bombings in the capital in 2000, ABS-CBN learned Thursday. 

Ustadz Abdulgani Pagao was on his way to pay his respects to a dead relative in Maguindanao town when a team of soldiers and police arrested him on Tuesday, said an army intelligence official.

"The police served him an arrest warrant for multiple murder," the official told Reuters.

A police official said Pagao, a member of the country's largest Muslim rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), had been implicated in five coordinated bombings in Manila in December 2000 that killed 22 people and wounded more than 100.

The government said the attacks were planned and funded by the regional militant network Jemaah Islamiyah and carried out by local Muslim rebels in revenge for the military's capture of guerrilla bases on Mindanao."

Shares close lower on extended profit-taking (XFN-Asia)

"Share prices closed lower for the second straight session as investors continued to take profits in the wake of higher oil prices and renewed political concerns, dealers said. 

Wall Street's overnight decline also dampened market sentiment here, they added. 

The composite index ended down 16.37 points or 0.77 percent at 2,109.08, after trading between 2,106.61 and 2,125.45. 

Volume was 1.97 billion shares worth 751.5 million pesos. 

The broader all-shares index fell 2.91 points to 996.85. 

Losers beat gainers 47 to 27, while 57 stocks finished unchanged. 

"The rising geo-political risks in Iran and Nigeria have put pressure on oil prices, raising concerns that inflation might escalate again," said Banco de Oro Universal 

Bank market strategist Jonathan Ravelas. 

Dealers said investors have been unnerved by renewed political concerns here which include the escape from custody of several officers who took part in a military uprising against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003, and further congressional investigation of the circumstances in which allegations arose that Arroyo cheated in the presidential election in 2004."

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


      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
     Previous Close 
      P52.828 = $1.00 
            Volume (US$)

      As of January 19, 2006 3:05 PM
      Disclaimer: These are based on Philippine Dealing System rates.
      Actual bank rates may vary.



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