[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 20 November 2006 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Nov 20 10:57:38 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 20 November 2006 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



ChaCha advocates hold protest rally (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

Charter Change advocates supported by local officials will hold a massive indignation rally on Thursday, when the Supreme Court is expected to make a final ruling on the People's Initiative's motion for reconsideration. 

In a show of force, people's initiative supporters will troop to Padre Faura in Manila to protest the Court's dubious decision to throw out the petition with finality without even going into the merits of the new arguments presented by the 6.3 million verified petitioners. 

Dubbed as "People's Indignation Rally," Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn said these constitutional warriors are disappointed over the high court's manifest partiality and utter failure to recognize the "undeniable right of the people to exercise their sovereign power to amend the Constitution." 

"The Supreme Court should decide in favor of the people, no less. No one, except them, have the inherent right to amend the fundamental law of the land and that right is enshrined in and guaranteed by the Constitution itself," Hagedorn, chairman of the League of Cities, said. 

Cabinet men mum on politics (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

With less than three months before the start of the 2007 election campaign, senatorial wannabes from the administration camp are playing coy about their political plans while some Cabinet members, congressmen and local officials are hesitant to plunge into the senatorial ring. 

They are reluctant to talk about the senatorial race because the Arroyo administration is still pushing through with Charter Change that will usher in a unicameral parliamentary system. The administration is trying to persuade the Supreme Court to reverse its Oct. 25 ruling dismissing a petition to amend the Constitution by people's initiative. 

"All this talk that I'm running for senator is speculative. We are still focused on our work. As of now, politics is farthest from my mind," said Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes, who has been nurturing senatorial ambition since retiring as military general. 

A Palace source disclosed that Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya, Jr. is being coaxed by ruling party stalwarts to join the administration senatorial lineup, in case the Charter Change moves finally crumble. 

APEC leaders agree to restart global trade talks (Inquirer)

HANOI -- Pacific Rim leaders declared they would do their utmost to break the deadlock in global trade talks in a final statement at the end of their weekend summit yesterday, but made no reference to North Korea's nuclear program.

Warning that failure to forge a World Trade Organization agreement would bring "grave" economic consequences, the leaders of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum said they would "spare no efforts to break the current deadlocks" in the talks that collapsed in July amid disputes over farm trade.

Vietnam President Nguyen Minh Triet read a "Hanoi Declaration" that detailed issues that APEC members agreed on, including economic security threats and free trade.

Officials said the APEC chair also read out a statement in the closed-door session condemning North Korea's missile launches and its Oct. 9 nuclear test as a threat to peace and security.

North Korea's actions posed "a clear threat to our shared interest of peace and security and our shared goal of achieving a nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula," read the statement, which was circulated widely at the forum.

Fate of military officers in alleged coup plot known Monday (Inquirer)

THE ARMED FORCES of the Philippines is set to announce on Monday its decision on the fate of 38 Marine and Army officers allegedly involved in the aborted Feb. 24 coup plot.

AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Sunday said he would announce at a press conference this morning his decision whether or not to convene a general court-martial to try the Marine and Army officers.

"I already have (a decision)," said Esperon, when asked if he had decided on what to do about the officers.

The officers are led by former First Scout Ranger Regiment commander Brigadier General Danilo Lim, former Marine commandant Major General Renato Miranda and Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin.

Esperon said he was still reviewing the recommendations of the Judge Advocates General's Office (JAGO) which were submitted to him on Oct. 26.

"But I'm still subjecting it to another round (of review). I'm still reviewing it (the decision) as of now. I'll announce it tomorrow at 10 a.m.," he said.

Oil spill victims set to receive checks (Inquirer)

FISHERMEN and resort owners whose livelihood and businesses were adversely affected by the oil spill off the coast of Guimaras island-province in August will soon receive compensation from the London-based International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Fund.

An official of Petron Corp. said yesterday the IOPC was ready to issue checks to municipal fisherfolk and resort owners as compensation for the damage wrought by the oil spill which has been dubbed as the worst in Philippine history.

A team from the IOPC is scheduled to arrive today for a meeting with local government officials of the provinces of Guimaras and Iloilo who have been processing the claims for damages of fishermen and resort owners.

"They hope to be able to pay out the claims as soon as possible... If the claims and their criteria meet, then they can be ready to issue checks," Petron environment officer Carlos Tan said in a press conference in Manila yesterday.

Filipinos rally round Pacquiao (Inquirer)

FOR ANOTHER shining moment, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao held a deeply divided people together yesterday in an explosion of pride and joy.

When Pacquiao's deadly pair of fists slammed on Erik Morales's chin and head in their battle in Las Vegas, Filipinos around the country and others in the United States and elsewhere abroad seemed like one nation.

Most watched the fight in their homes. Others, including entire families, children and senior citizens, drove out to see the fight on giant screens in malls, cinemas, town plazas, public markets, restaurants and even in one church in Quezon City, which wanted to raise funds for its social projects.

Frenzied cheering erupted at Pacquiao's victory, as happened in January when the Filipino ring idol also demolished the Mexican legend.

Accolades for the "Pacman" poured in from everywhere -- from Hanoi, where President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, from local officials who promised Pacquiao "a superstar's welcome," and even from the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City, where criminals followed the match on a wide screen.

In some churches, attendance was low because the usual parishioners had stayed home to see the fight.

Police said Metro Manila was virtually crime-free while the fight was in progress. In one area, a traffic enforcer abandoned her post so she could watch the bout in a nearby mall.

Pacquiao finished off Morales even before the Filipino champion's mother Dionisia could finish saying her rosary at her home in General Santos City.

In Hanoi, Ms Arroyo said in a statement: "Manny will always be our hero, the bearer of the Filipino dream of winning the good fight in all fields of human endeavor."

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