[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 20 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Jan 20 16:07:28 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 20 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



House-proposed charter 'full of bribes', says lawyers' group (abs-cbnnews.com) 

A group of lawyers on Friday scored the House of Representatives for drafting proposed amendments to the Constitution that would gain support "through bribery by doling economic and political favors."

The Counsels for the Defense of Liberties (CODAL) said the working draft of the House committee on constitutional amendments contains provisions that uphold the much-opposed "no elections" proposal, among others.

"It seeks to bribe the Senators and opposition members of Congress by dangling the 'no election' scenario, which will extend their terms to 2010. It hopes to bribe all public officials by extending their terms to five years and removing term limits," CODAL spokesman Neri Colmenares said in a statement. 

Colmenares said the draft also contains a provision increasing the retirement age of members of the Supreme Court from the current 70 years to 75 years. He said the provision was " nothing more than an attempt to influence its decision in support of the proposed Constitution should it be challenged in the judiciary."  

Military to look into Oakwood mutiny leader's warning (inq7.net)

THE MILITARY is taking seriously the warning of a former mutiny leader that the escape of his four comrades from detention was part of a bigger plot against the government, officials said Friday.

Brigadier General Marlu Quevedo, chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), said he ordered an investigation to verify the statement of detained Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes IV.

"Meron siguro, kasi si Trillanes ang nagsabi [There could be. It was Trillanes himself who disclosed it]," Quevedo told Camp Aguinaldo reporters when asked to confirm the mutiny leader's claim.

"We are assessing all that [Trillanes' statement], then we will submit our report," Quevedo added.

Trillanes, one of the alleged ringleaders and designated spokesman of a shortlived military mutiny in 2003, said on Thursday that the escape of Captain Nathaniel
Rabonza and First Lieutenants Patricio Bumidang Jr., Sonny Sarmiento, and Lawrence San Juan was "just part of things to come."

Nograles: Junking of Lozano's impeach rap vs Arroyo 'final' (inq7.net)

THE House of Representatives' decision to scrap the revived impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was "final," House Majority Leader Prospero Nograles declared Thursday.

"It's fatally defective. We can't do anything about it," said Nograles, referring to the complaint re-filed by lawyer Oliver Lozano.

Lozano "can always question the House action anywhere he likes but that's our stand," Nograles added. "His impeachment complaint is returned as a scrap of paper."

Like Nograles, Speaker Jose de Venecia said Lozano's hasty filing violated the constitutional ban on the filing of more than one impeachment complaint against the same official within a year. The ban on the filing of a new complaint against Ms Arroyo expires in July. 

Pimentel cites EO 464 behind his refusal to attend state meet (www.philstar.com)

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. Thursday said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should not expect the opposition to positively respond to her peace overtures as long as she impedes the efforts of Congress to resolve the controversies hounding her administration. 

Explaining why he was not attending the Council of Meeting called by the President on June 24, Pimentel said he was constrained by principle not to participate in such activity while the President continues to prevent Cabinet members and other officials of the executive branch from appearing before congressional inquiries through Executive Order 464. 

In a jocular vain, Pimentel sent a letter to Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita explaining his rejection of the invitation to the Council meeting and noting that, "Sorry, Ed, I invoke EO 464 as my excuse for not attending." 

The minority leader said he feels it would be inappropriate on his part to lend his presence in a meeting meant to boost support for President Arroyo when she herself refuses to cooperate in the efforts of Congress to address the issues related to the legitimacy of her government.


Subic rape case faces more delays (abs-cbnnews.com)

The rape case against four US marines suffered more delays Friday after Olongapo Regional Trial Court Judge Renato Dilag failed to set a date of arraignment of the accused due to legal maneuverings. 

Dilag said he will first resolve two separate motions filed by the defendants before he can set a date for the arraignment. 

"I would have to resolve first the pending motions before I can push thru with the proceedings. Just give me four to five days," Dilag told ABS-CBN. 

Two of the accused, Staff Sgt. Chad Brian Carpentier and Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, earlier petitioned Dilag to void the arrest warrants he issued for the four servicemen. 

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. 

Dilag said the four accused also filed a motion with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review the charges against them. The petitions came a day after the US government refused to turn over custody of the four to the Philippines. 

Radio reporter killed in Pagadian City (abs-cbnnews.com)

Unidentified gunmen shot dead part-time radio journalist Rolly Cañete in Pagadian City Friday in the first reported media killing this year. 

Initial reports said assailants shot Cañete three times in the back while he was driving his motorcycle in the city. 

Police have yet to establish a motive for the killing.

Cañete was the spokesman for Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Antonio Cerilles and the politician's wife and provincial governor Aurora Cerilles.

Shares close flat ( XFN-Asia)

(UPDATE) Share prices closed flat, with bargain-hunting in select counters offsetting extended profit-taking in heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), dealers said. 

They said sentiment was mixed, with investors a bit nervous about the latest political developments but at the same time bullish about the long-term prospects for the economy and the government's fiscal performance. 

At the closing bell, the 30-company composite index was down 0.83 point at 2,108.25, on volume of 3.13 billion shares worth 1.13 billion pesos. It moved between 2,101.57 and 2,112.79. 

The all-shares index fell 1.31 points to 995.54. 

However, gainers beat losers 47 to 27, with 49 stocks unchanged. 

"The political noise, rumors about new attempts to destabilize the government and the spikes in oil prices this week somehow affect investor sentiment. But most analysts are maintaining their positive outlook on the economy," said First Grade Holdings Inc managing director Astro del Castillo. 

      Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate 
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      PDS Wtd. Avg. 
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      As of January 20, 2006 2:42 PM
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