[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 22 November 2006 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Nov 22 17:08:42 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 22 November 2006 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Senator to House: 'Bite the bullet' on Charter change (INQ7.net)

"(3RD UPDATE) SENATOR Joker Arroyo on Tuesday dared the House leadership to "bite the bullet" and "act with dispatch" on its plan to amend the Constitution by turning Congress into a constituent assembly.

"The House cannot yoyo this case indefinitely, nor dodge this all the time, or be decided endlessly. That is not fair to the people," Arroyo said in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling Tuesday denying with finality a motion for reconsideration to change the 1987 Charter.

Arroyo, who represented the Senate in opposing Charter change through a people's initiative before the high tribunal, said the issue of constitutional amendment has been keeping the nation in limbo because its proponents "cannot make up their minds, both as to the wording of the amendments they want and as to the mode."

"It's time for the House leadership to bite the bullet and act, like the Supreme Court, with finality," the administration senator said."

'Don't celebrate yet,' Arroyo allies tell opposition (INQ7.net)

"ADMINISTRATION allies said it was too early for the opposition to celebrate the results of a recent survey showing critics of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lording it over next year's senatorial elections since the tide could still shift in the government's favor.

But a senior Palace official said the latest Pulse Asia survey should serve as a "wake up call" for politicians planning to run for the Senate even as he gave assurances that the administration would not let its candidates down -- should there be elections in May next year, that is.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, while stressing that Malacañang has not abandoned efforts to amend the Constitution, said senatorial aspirants should "better project themselves" in preparation for the elections.

"This is not yet the time to celebrate, said House Assistant Deputy Majority Floor Leader Arthur Defensor. "The opposition knows that the surveys can still change."

Opposition to dominate 2007 senatorial polls, survey shows (INQ7.net)

"WITH less than seven months to go before the May 2007 elections, the latest Pulse Asia survey on winning senatorial bets shows that the political opposition has a good chance of dominating the upcoming elections, with former Senator Loren Legarda topping the list of 19 probable senators from 64 possible candidates.

Broadcast personality Korina Sanchez got the 8th slot, while Michael Defensor, presidential chief of staff, failed to make it to the list of 19 probable winners, getting only 15.7% of the votes to get the 20th spot.

Pulse Asia on Tuesday released to media outfits the results of its 18-day (from October 21 to November 8), nationwide, face-to-face Ulat ng Bayan survey which asked 1,200 Filipinos of voting age to pick their 12 senators now.

The survey shows that 52.9% would re-elect Legarda to the Senate. She is followed by three incumbent senators: Panfilo Lacson, who announced his Manila mayoralty bid after the survey on November 13, got 41.1%; Francis Pangilinan, 36.6%; and Manuel Villar Jr. 31.4%.

The fifth to 12th spots went to: Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, who has been waging an active anti-corruption campaign against the First Family, got 30.5%; former Senator Vicente Sotto III, 30.3%; Senator Ralph Recto, 28.7%; radio and television personality Sanchez; 27.0%; bar topnotcher and the Senate minority floor leader's son Aquilino Pimentel III, 24.8%; former senator Gregorio Honasan, who was in hiding at the time of the survey, 24.1%; JV Ejercito-Estrada, San Juan Mayor and son of deposed president Joseph Estrada, 22.1%; and Senator Edgardo Angara, 20.3%.

"Given the survey's margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points, the following individuals also have a statistical chance of winning: (1) Tarlac Representative Benigno Aquino III (19.3%); (2) House Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero (19.3%); (3) former senator John Henry Osmeña (17.8%); (4) Muntinlupa Representative Rozzano Rufino Biazon (17.8%); (5) Ilocos Norte Representative Imee Marcos (17.6%); (6) Senator Joker Arroyo (17.0%); and (7) Senator Luisa Estrada (16.9%)," says the survey report released by Pulse Asia executive director Dr. Ana Maria Tabunda."

NDCC: Oil debris from Guimaras harmless (abs-cbnNEWS.com


"Officials assured Wednesday that the oil debris that spilled in waters off Misamis Occidental does not pose any danger to the province's marine environment.


"NDCC (National Disaster Coordinating Council) members met [Tuesday] and DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) officials said there are no deleterious effect. It is almost impossible for this oil debris to have deleterious effect," NDCC spokesman Anthony Golez told DZMM in an interview.


Golez said the PCG team that was dispatched to Plaridel town to check the sunken barge Ras saw no oil sheen from the site.


The barge was en route to a manufacturing plant owned by Holcim Cement in Lugait, Misamis Oriental for treatment and disposal when it sank four nautical miles from Plaridel around 11:10 p.m. Monday.


Ironically, the barge was carrying 59,000 sacks of oil debris from the August 11 sinking of the 988-ton Solar 1 tanker off Guimaras island. 


Golez said that outgoing Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz has asked the PCG and DENR to remain "watchful" of the sunken barge and its cargo to allay the fears of Misamis Occidental residents.


He said concerned government agencies are now seeking "expert opinion" to decide if the barge should be scooped out of Plaridel waters.


"DENR said the toxic content of the oil [from sunken tanker Solar 1] had already evaporated. So the [barge] has no cargo that has harmful substances," Golez said."


Japan issues travel warning after rare rabies death (Agence France-Presse)

"TOKYO -- Japan Wednesday urged travelers to take precautions after two nationals contracted rabies in the Philippines, with one of them dying in the first cases seen here in 36 years.

The two men both were infected after being bitten by dogs in the Philippines, the health ministry said.

One victim died last week in the first human rabies case confirmed in Japan since 1970, the ministry said.

The man, in his 60s, failed to take vaccination shots after being bitten and later showed symptoms such as delirium after returning from the Philippines to Kyoto in western Japan, it said.

In the other case, a man was in serious condition in Yokohama, Japan's second-largest city, near Tokyo, after returning from the Philippines last month.

"Rabies is outbreaking globally," said a health ministry official. "The ministry is calling for travelers to get vaccination shots if they were bitten by a dog overseas."

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