[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 14 July Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Jul 14 17:38:16 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 14 July Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



SWS: Most Filipinos oppose Cha-cha  (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

More Filipinos will vote "No" if a plebiscite to approve constitutional amendments were held today, the latest Social Weather Stations survey showed. 

SWS said a solid majority of 67% of all Filipino adults will vote no to Charter change, according to results of the June 22-28, 2006 poll, compared to a small majority of 56% in the SWS national survey of March 8-14, 2006. 

The roughly 7% proportion of signatories in the survey, as well as the total of 8% in case the No-Answers are assumed to be signatories also, are statistically below the constitutional minimum requirement of 12% of the national electorate in order for an amendment to be directly proposed by popular initiative.

Six of every ten of those approached on a petition said that they were not shown the amendments that they were asked to sign. Less than half of those who signed, and one-fourth of those who did not sign although approached to do so, were shown amendments to read. 

SWS said the "No" votes led in all areas and socioeconomic classes. 

Lawyer confirms Bolante under asylum review (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

A Los Angeles-based lawyer confirmed Friday that ex-agriculture undersecreteary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante has been interviewed by US authorities after applying for asylum, ANC reported. 

Lawyer Roman Mosqueda said Bolante's camp contacted him after immigration officials arrested Bolante at the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) on July 7. 

He said Bolante could not be admitted to the US after his B1-B2 visa was cancelled. 

"My sources say he went through a four-and-a-half-hour interview [Wednesday] for a determination hearing (with an asylum officer)," he told ANC. 

He said applying for political asylum is one of the options for foreign nationals whose visas are cancelled. 

Super-regions a blueprint for federalism -- Ermita (Inquirer)

A PLAN by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to divide the Philippines into four economic super-regions may well be the blueprint for federalism in a post-Charter change scenario.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita admitted as much at a briefing at the Clark Special Economic Zone Thursday.

"Yes, we can say that. The President has been addressing the local governments' concerns about imperial Manila," said Ermita.

The government has identified four super-regions that are to be turned into investment and development areas -- North Luzon (to include the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions and the Cordillera Administrative Region, including the provinces of Aurora and Nueva Ecija), Metro Luzon (Central Luzon and Calabarzon regions and Metro Manila), Central Philippines (Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas) and Mindanao (Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Socsargen and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao).

Ermita said the super-region strategy was designed to give governors and mayors direct access to official development assistance funds without having to go through central government agencies to speed up the construction of infrastructure projects in their communities.

RP bans travel to Lebanon, weighs evacuation of nationals (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

The Philippines has imposed a ban on travel to Lebanon and is monitoring the escalation of the Israeli offensive amid fears for the safety of tens of thousands of Filipino workers there, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.  


The DFA said it had banned all travel to Lebanon "in view of the current security situation in that country." 


Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo ordered Philippine missions in the Middle East to monitor Filipinos caught by the travel ban and to "facilitate their immediate return to the Philippines," an official statement said. 


"We are looking at our contingency plans," DFA spokesman Gilbert Asuque told local radio here, while stressing that no decision has been made on evacuating them. 


He said there were an estimated 30,000 Filipinos working in Lebanon and a similar number in Israel. There have been no reports of Filipino casualties in the fighting. 

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