[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 23 January Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Jan 23 10:30:22 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 23 January Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

People's champ TKOs Mexican legend (inq7.net)

SOON AFTER scoring an electrifying victory in Las Vegas, ring sensation 
Manny Pacquiao expressed one wish for his country: "Sana magkaintindihan 
na po tayong lahat (I hope we'll all finally end our differences)." And 
for three or four hours yesterday, Filipinos looked like they did.

In Metro Manila and elsewhere in the country, families stayed glued in 
front of their television sets, many motorists and jeepney drivers stayed 
off the streets, traders closed their shops and others set up TV monitors 
in markets to watch their idol hammer Erik Morales to submission.

In one hospital in Quezon City, doctors and nurses burst into cheers, 
although a patient was undergoing surgery in a nearby operating room.

Communist guerrillas and Moro separatist insurgents also listened to or 
watched the fight.

Even if only fleetingly, a people deeply divided over their President had 
united behind a former bakery worker.

Pacquiao expressed his wish for his country on national and cable 
television when interviewed in his dressing room after the fight.

Malaca¤an concerned over collusion in Magdal¢ escape (The Manila Times)

Malaca¤an seems to be taking seriously reports on collusion between the 
four former Magdal¢ soldiers and officials in the Armed Forces of the 
Philippines, leading to the escape of First Lieutenants Nathaniel Rabonza, 
Lawrence San Juan, Sonny Sarmiento and Patricio Bumindang Jr.

A Cabinet official, who was allegedly in a special emergency meeting, 
disclosed the information.

President Arroyo on Friday afternoon called a meeting after the 
announcement of Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez that anti-Arroyo groups 
are to march to Malaca¤an to allegedly force the President to step down.

The source said the meeting began at 4 p.m. and ended at past 7 p.m. The 
National Security chief Norberto Gonzales, Executive Secretary Eduardo 
Ermita, PNP Chief Arturo Lomibao, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Generoso Senga, 
the justice chief and the Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor, were 

The official, who requested anonymity, said the statement by the group of 
Lawrence San Juan, claiming that Armed Forces officials planned their 
escape, bothers the President.

He quoted Mrs. Arroyo as saying, "I want to know the traitors inside the 
Armed Forces." After her statement she stared sharply at Senga, he added.

Senga tells top brass to stay united, loyal (inq7.net)

ARMED Forces Chief of Staff General Generoso Senga called on the top brass 
to remain united and loyal to the chain of command amid reports of a 
brewing military uprising.

Senga said he called up commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force late 
Saturday evening to remind them to stay focused on their job to address 
threats to national security.

"I have already called the major service commanders to assure them that we 
will stay united, not resigning," Senga told Camp Aguinaldo reporters, 
referring to rumors spread via text message that he had resigned.

"Let us work together and do what is right, which is to remain loyal to 
our Constitution and to the flag and adhere strictly to the chain of 
command," Senga said.

Attend Council meet, pro-Arroyo solons beg opposition (inq7.net)

THE administration camp Sunday virtually pleaded with the opposition to 
support the Council of State meeting called for Jan. 24 by President 
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Administration Representatives Edwin Uy (Lakas, Isabela), chair of the 
House committee on bases conversion and development, and Eduardo Veloso 
(NPC, Leyte), a member of the Commission on Appointments, asked Senate 
President Franklin Drilon and other opposition leaders who had chosen to 
skip Tuesday's meeting to "reconsider" for the sake of the nation.

"The people will greatly appreciate it to see our leaders unite for our 
nation's sake. The opposition and even all those not supportive of the 
government should participate in this process," Uy said.

Besides Drilon, former President Corazon Aquino and the minority leaders 
of Congress  Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Sorsogon Representative 
Francis Escudero -- declined the invitation coursed by Malaca¤ang through 
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.

So far, only former President Fidel Ramos, Speaker Jose de Venecia, 
Majority Leaders Rep. Prospero Nograles and Senator Francis Pangilinan, 
Senate President Pro Tempore Juan Flavier and the presidents of local 
government executives' associations had confirmed their attendance at the 

Rogue military group has 200 on its hit list (The Manila Times)

A group who claimed to have helped four military officers escape from Fort 
Bonifacio last week threatened on Sunday to liquidate some 200 "hard 
targets" in the Arroyo administration, saying newly named Presidential 
Chief of Staff Mike Defensor is first on its list.

The group, the Young Officers Union New Generation (YOUng), issued their 
threat as Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez revealed that he and 
President Arroyo are also targets of assassination. 

The group, the Young Officers Union New Generation (YOUng), faxed a 
statement to the Defense Press Corps office at the Armed Forces of the 
Philippines headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo. 

In it, the YOUng Central Command spokesman, a Lt. Col. Arsenio Alcantara, 
took up the challenge of the President, issued through Defensor, of 
fighting fire.

Revamp on by months end (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

THE revamp of the Arroyo Cabinet will reel off by the end of January, 
coinciding with the departure of Presidential Management Staff (PMS) chief 
Rigoberto Tiglao from Malaca¤ang and his assumption of the ambassadorial 
post to Greece. 

Incoming presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor said yesterday 
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita has informed him that at least one more 
week was needed to finalize the new appointments and reassignments in the 

In my last discussion with Secretary Ermita, I was told that by the end of 
the month, we will know who will be the new appointees and where they will 
be assigned, Defensor told newsmen covering the Palace. 

Administration sources, meanwhile, revealed that former Justice 
Undersecretary and government corporate counsel Manuel Teehankee is being 
groomed to be the next chief presidential legal counsel, which became 
vacant when its previous holder, Merceditas Gutierrez, was named Ombudsman 
last Nov. 30. 

New ill-gotten wealth raps hound Marcoses (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

(First of a series) 

TWENTY years after the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was toppled through 
a popular revolt in February 1986, the human rights victims belonging to 
Claimants 1081 and Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at para 
sa Amnestiya (Selda) decided to actively pursue the ill-gotten wealth 
recovery efforts to hound the Marcoses until they had been indemnified. 

But the focus of the court battle and recovery efforts has now shifted 
from Liechtenstein, Credit Suisse and the Swiss banks in Europe to Texas 
and Colorado in the United States, the island-state of Singapore, Congress 
and the Supreme Court. 

New alleged Marcos ill-gotten wealth amounting to $80 million has been 
traced to the United States. Selda and Claimants 1081 want the properties 
foreclosed and sequestered in their favor. 

Selda and Claimants 1081 also vowed to pursue the P10 billion compensation 
bill pending before the House of Representatives. 

In recent months, the Marcos ill-gotten wealth recovery cases were 
separately filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of 
Texas and the US District Court for the District of Colorado. 

The Marcos properties involve a ranch in the foothills of Colorado Springs 
surrounded by ponderosa pine trees that is being converted into a 
mixed-use residential and multifamily apartment community and other prime 
real estate properties in Texas. 

Army officials in Mindanao back joint US-RP exercises (The Manila Times)

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Military officials in Mindanao on Saturday threw their 
support to the joint RP-US Balikatan training exercises, despite calls 
from lawmakers to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement.

Scrapping the agreement, the officials said, could paralyze efforts to 
upgrade the capabilities of Filipino troops in combating terrorism. 

The Balikatanwhich means shoulder to shoulderis a series of annual joint 
military maneuvers aimed at improving the combined planning, combat 
readiness and coordination of Filipino and American soldiers.

The exercise also hopes to enhance security relations between the two 
countries, and show US resolve to support the Philippines against 
aggression and terrorism. 

"There is a need to continue the joint RP-US exercises, and the scrapping 
of the VFA will surely paralyze our efforts to upgrade the capabilities of 
our soldiers," Brig. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, the military commander in 
Basilan, said. 

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