[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 23 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Jan 23 16:48:02 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 23 January Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Arrest warrants out vs 3 Magdaló escapees (abs-cbnnews.com)

A Makati court on Monday ordered the arrests of three of the four Oakwood mutineers who escaped a detention cell in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, last week. 

DZMM reports quoted Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon saying that arrest warrants have been issued for 1st Lts. Nathaniel Rabonza, Lawrence San Juan and Sonny Sarmiento. 

Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Oscar Pimentel did not issue a warrant for the fourth escapee, 1st Lt. Patricio Bumindang. He said Bumindang was not facing sedition charges before the court martial. 

The Department of Justice said it will also request the Makati RTC to release a hold-departure order for the escapees.

Armed Forces chief confirms Arroyo ouster plot (inq7.net)

(UPDATE) ARMED Forces Chief of Staff General Generoso Senga confirmed on Monday that there was a plot to unseat President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, as he reaffirmed the military's continued support for the incumbent administration. 

At the same time, Senga downplayed the new destabilization attempt, which the military was "continuously verifying."

To show support for the President, Senga faced the media flanked by Army Chief Lieutenant General Hermogenes Esperon, Navy Chief Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga, and Air Force Chief Lieutenant General Jose Reyes.

"There is a threat. This is the object of our intelligence
[verification]," Senga told a news conference in Camp Aguinaldo.

"At this point, I cannot say that the threat is that serious," he added.

Senga was mum on details of the alleged plan to topple the Arroyo administration but said that they had "some leads that they were verifying."

"There are indications of some intention. But intentions are different from capabilities," he added.

"Many times, we have declared, the AFP should and will remain apolitical and will follow the constitutional dictum of non-intervention in politics," Senga said.


Military probe body submits report on poll fraud to Senga (inq7.net)

A MILITARY fact-finding board has submitted its report on an investigation concerning the alleged involvement of some officers in election fraud to Armed Forces Chief Generoso Senga, the lead investigator said. 

Navy Chief Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga submitted the report, six months after the fact-finding body began its investigation.

But Mayuga refused to reveal the contents of, saying they were being reviewed by Senga.

Mayuga told a news conference at Camp Aguinaldo on Monday that he submitted his report to Senga last Friday.

But Senga said he had not read the document since he was out of town during the weekend.

"All I can say is that we have investigated [80 officers]. It is now for the Chief of Staff to decide on the recommendations. Everything is tentative until the Chief of Staff has decided," Mayuga said.

Manila prelate raps rumormongers, Charter change backers (inq7.net)


MANILA Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales criticized those spreading coup rumors and relentlessly pushing to amend the Constitution as having selfish political interests. 

Rosales was concerned the rumors would scare away foreign investors like the series of armed uprisings during the Aquino administration did in the late 1980s.

"It's saddening even if it's just a rumor," Rosales said in Filipino in an interview over the Church-run Radio Veritas. "Yes, we have a problem, but is that [a coup] the solution?"

In the end, a coup, or simply rumors of it, would be costly for Filipinos, he said.

The prelate, who normally avoids commenting on political issues, urged the public to consider how coup rumors would affect the country's image with foreign investors.

SC asked to dismiss appeals to revive impeach rap vs Arroyo (inq7.net)


GOVERNMENT lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to dismiss appeals to revive the impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. 

In its 58-page consolidated comment, Solicitor-General Alfredo Benipayo said the opposition should have filed a motion for reconsideration before the House of Representatives first before elevating the case to the Supreme Court.

"Their failure to avail of this plain, speedy, and adequate remedy before the House of Representatives prior to the initiation of these instant petitions warrants their outright dismissal," Benipayo said.

Benipayo said Section 127 Rule 18 of the House of Representatives provides, "When a bill, report or motion is adopted or lost, a member who voted with the majority may move for its reconsideration on the same or succeeding day."

After Congress dismissed the impeachment complaint last Sept. 6, 2005, lawmakers led by Clavel Martinez, Benigno Aquino III, and Ernesto Francisco Jr. filed separate appeals before the Supreme Court.

RP 2005 budget deficit 21.7 percent under target (abs-cbnnews.com)

The Philippine government had a budget deficit of P146.5 billion ($2.77 billion) in 2005, 21.7 percent below target, but it missed its goal in December, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said on Monday.

The Philippines had set a 2005 shortfall goal of P180 billion or 3.4 percent of gross domestic product after a budget deficit in 2004 of P187 billion or 3.9 percent of GDP.

For December alone, the shortfall was P23.7 billion, higher than the target of P19.5 billion for the month.

The Philippine government -- Asia's largest sovereign debt issuer after Japan -- estimated earlier this month that last year's budget deficit would be below P160 billion to P165 billion.

This year, the government expects its shortfall to narrow to P125 billion or 2.1 percent of GDP, helped by anticipated revenues of about P80 billion from a planned hike in the sales tax rate to 12 percent in February from 10 percent now. 


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