[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 14 July Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Jul 14 11:41:18 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 14 July Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Farmers, teachers join impeachment complaint (The Philippine Star) 

"Forty-eight public school teachers and several farmers joined yesterday the 300 or so complainants in the impeachment complaint against President Arroyo, saying they want her ousted from office primarily on charges of poll fraud. 

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers' Antonio Tinio, son of the late National Artist Rolando Tinio, said that as "teachers and education sector employees, we will do our share in trying to convince the members of the House (of Representatives) to stand up for truth and justice by signing the impeachment complaint." 

"Even if it has a slim chance of getting past Congress, we're affixing our signatures because we're committed to exhausting every available venue within the democratic space to hold (Mrs. Arroyo) accountable," he said. 

Tinio also lashed out at Roman Catholic bishops who refused to support the opposition-led impeachment bid. 

"Silence would have been better than cynicism. We don't see how the search for truth can be helped by peremptorily dismissing the impeachment process even before it's begun," he said. 

Farmers were represented by Willie Marvella, deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Pamalakaya national chairman, along with the groups Amihan, Narra Youth and Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, who signed as co-complainants. 

The signatures of the latest set of complainants will be consolidated with those that have been gathered last week and will comprise the fifth impeachment complaint to be filed by the House minority bloc on July 26, two days after Mrs. Arroyo delivers her annual State of the Nation Address." 

Senga was 'used' to cheat in polls, says plotter (Philippine Daily Inquirer) 

"AN 'ADMISSION' by Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Generoso Senga that he was also "used" to cheat in the May 2004 elections showed Senga supported the plan by rebel soldiers to withdraw support for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, an Inquirer source privy to the plot said.

According to the source, Senga issued the admission in the presence of Brigadier General Danilo Lim, Marines Colonel Ariel Querubin and Major General Rodrigo Maclang hours before Lim and Querubin were to lead a military breakaway march on EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue) on the morning of Feb. 24.

The source, a key player of the planned breakaway march who granted the Inquirer a personal interview during the week, quoted Senga as having told them that "I was also used in the cheating."

"Why would General Senga confess his role in the May 2004 elections if he did not agree with the plot?" said the Inquirer military source.

Senga, however, flatly denied making such an admission when contacted yesterday.

"I was never involved in any cheating in the 2004 elections so I could not have told anyone anything like that," Senga said when asked if he told Lim, Querubin and Maclang that he had been "used" in election cheating activities for Ms Arroyo.

During the May 2004 elections, Senga, who will retire on Friday, July 21, was chief of the Philippine Army's 6th Infantry Division in Central Mindanao, where election fraud was also reported to have been committed."


Former banker unveils program for education (Philippine Daily Inquirer) 

"TARLAC CITY -- Developing the human component and financial engineering of the Department of Education are the top priorities of newly appointed Education Secretary Jesli Lapus.

To do this, Lapus said he was looking at two approaches -- school-based management and playing "catch-up" with the education budget to wipe out the system's accumulated backlogs.

Lapus, who is on his final term as representative of Tarlac's third congressional district, dismissed accusations that he would be education secretary for only a year and that his appointment was some kind of preparation for a senatorial candidacy.

"I wouldn't have accepted the post if it was only for a year. What can you do in a year?" said the 56-year-old Lapus, adding that those opposing his appointment should first see what he was capable of doing.

Lapus, a nephew of the martyred opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr., is the third Tarlaqueño to be appointed education secretary. The two others were the Marcos-era secretaries Carlos P. Romulo and Onofre D. Corpuz, who were both from Camiling town.

In looking at the problems of the education department, Lapus posed this question: Different schools, different quality, why is that?

"Because those who are in charge of the schools, like the principals and supervisors, do not look at themselves as managers. They do not even look at their secretary as a manager," he answered his own question.

Lapus said the DepEd has the biggest human resource of all government departments and this should be made the priority."

New coins expected to frustrate smugglers (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"THE central bank has changed the metal content of the coins it is minting to frustrate smugglers, but owners of vending machines complained yesterday that the machines might reject them.


Maria Gracia Malic, the central bank's currency analysis and redemption manager, says the bank started minting the "reconfigured" coins in May to frustrate people smuggling out one-peso and 25-centavo coins to make money from their copper, nickel and zinc contents. 

Rising metal prices are encouraging people to ship the coins out, she says. 

Customs officials confiscated three million pieces of one-peso coins early this week. The smugglers could have made a bundle if they had succeeded, Bangko Sentral Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr. said." 

Erap denies financing Magdalo coup plotters (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"DEPOSED President Joseph Estrada denied reports yesterday that he was a financier of a coup plot uncovered after six military fugitives were arrested Friday. 

"There is no truth to these stories," Estrada said in a statement read by his lawyer, former Maguindanao Rep. Didagen Dilangalen. 

Referring to the millions he had given to the Scout Rangers and the Marines, two units that have been linked to coup plots, Estrada said: "My donations to these groups were borne out of a sincere desire to help our soldiers and their families." 

Abalos, poll commissioners snub probe  (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

"COMMISSION on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. and other incumbent commissioners named respondents in the Ombudsman case in connection with the voided billion-peso poll automation contract snubbed yesterday's hearing.

The lawyers for Abalos, Florentino Tuason and Resurreccion Borra also questioned the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman panel conducting a preliminary investigation over impeachable officials with constitutional mandate as election commissioners.

"Since Borra is an impeachable official, it follows that a fiscal ought to dismiss any charge brought against him," said Borra's lawyer Gabriel Villareal before the panel tasked to look further into the Comelec officials' liability over the botched deal.

Federico Alday, the lawyer of Abalos and Tuason, added that before the Ombudsman could investigate the case against his clients, there must first be an administrative case of serious misconduct filed before the Ombudsman.

"I very much doubt the power, the jurisdiction of this honorable body to conduct clarificatory hearing," Alday said.

Alday said his clients are willing to appear before the Ombudsman but only when it has rendered a ruling that clarifies the questions of jurisdiction the office has over the respondent commissioners."

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