[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 6 September Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Sep 6 17:38:09 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 6 September Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



OneVoice asks SC to junk people's initiative (Inquirer)

THE Supreme Court, meeting en banc yesterday, set for oral arguments on Sept. 26 the petition for a people's initiative to amend the Constitution filed by Sigaw ng Bayan (Cry of the People) and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).

The Court also ordered the Commission on Elections and the Office of the Solicitor General to submit their comments within 10 days.

The OneVoice civic group promptly filed a petition asking the high court to junk the petition.

Lawyer Carlos Medina said there was no basis for the SC to reverse the Aug. 31 decision of the Comelec denying the Sigaw ng Bayan and ULAP petition.

He claimed that Republic Act 6735, or The Initiative and Referendum Act, was not sufficient to allow the exercise of a people's initiative.

Even assuming that RA 6735 was a sufficient enabling law, OneVoice said the scope of a people's initiative is limited to amendments and does not extend to revisions of the Constitution.

"[It] is clear that there is yet no enabling law sufficient to empower the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution. It is also readily apparent from the provisions of Article 12 of the 1987 Constitution that there is a clear distinction between an amendment to and a revision of the Constitution, and that only Congress, acting as a constituent assembly, or a constitutional convention, can propose both amendments and revisions," said the group which is opposed to Charter change.

'No choice but to approve Cha-cha resolution' (abs-cbNEWS.com)


The constitutional amendments committee had no choice but to approve the proposal for a constituent assembly because it has been pending for more than three years at the House of Representatives, Rep. Constantino Jaraula said Wednesday.


"It will not reach Supreme Court if we [did] not act on it. That's why we did something for [the proposal] to reach the Supreme Court," Jaraula, the committee's chairman, told a DZMM interview. He added that committee members had expected those against House Resolution No. 1230 to take the case to the high tribunal.


Jaraula, an administration ally, said the committee approved the resolution because it has been pending since its filing on June 27, 2003 during the 12th Congress.


He said the committee had approved and transmitted the resolution to the Senate but it was not acted upon.


"Nothing happened and we re-filed it with certain amendments on July 2004. Then last year, 2005, it was debated upon on January 17 and on February 1," he said.


The committee passed the resolution on third and final reading Tuesday 

with a vote of 30-7.


'Terror bill remains casualty of executive-legislative row' (www.philstar.com)
The proposed anti-terrorism bill remains a casualty of the lingering dispute between the executive and legislative branches of government despite the urgent need to strengthen the country's security against possible terror attacks, Malacañang lamented yesterday. 

Five years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, the Philippines has yet to enact a law that will address the global threat, presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor said. 

He said the absence of an anti-terror bill remains a national security concern, with security forces lacking legal weapons to fight terrorism. 

"We need to have this bill passed soon to protect our countrymen from any possible terror attack," Defensor stressed.

60,000 grads may have no board exams in December 

PRC chief rejects P14M retake budget (INQ7.net)

AN estimated 60,000 nursing graduates may not have any licensure examinations to take this December because the Board of Nursing remained vacant as of Wednesday, four months before the scheduled tests.

At the same time, Profession Regulation Commission (PRC) chairperson Leonor Tripon-Rosero rejected the 14-million peso appropriation intended for a retake of the scandal-ridden June 2006 board exams, insisting on her earlier stand against a retake.

"We do not intend to give the re-examination, but if you would give us the money, we can use it for something else," Rosero told the Senate hearing on the 46.42-billion peso supplemental budget.

If the money is given to the PRC, Rosero said they would use it to pay the proctors for exams administered to Filipinos abroad.

After the hearing, Rosero told reporters that the preparation of the 500 test questions for the five subjects covered by the nursing board usually takes six months.

NDCC still has no estimate for Guimaras cleanup 

Folk showing 'spill-related symptoms' (INQ7.net, Inquirer)

ALMOST four weeks after the M/T Solar I sank on August 11, releasing more than a million of its 2.1-million liter load of bunker fuel into the sea, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) still does not have an estimate for the cost of cleaning up the oil spill in Guimaras province.

This was learned by the Senate Tuesday even as the Western Visayas Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) and health department office reported that hundreds of people in Guimaras and in Iloilo exposed to the bunker fuel the Solar I are showing "oil spill-related diseases or symptoms."

At the Senate hearing on the 46.42-billion-peso supplemental budget, defense undersecretary Cecilio Lorenzo asked that he be allowed to return with the figures needed for the cleanup.


One-third of Pinoy HIV carriers working abroad (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

ONE-THIRD of all Filipinos who are positive for HIV or AIDS are people working abroad or have worked abroad, a United Nations report says. 

That makes the Philippines the country with the highest number of migrant workers who are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, says the 2006 State of the World Population Report published by the United Nations Population Fund. 

"Although there is little data on HIV and migration in poorer parts of the world, migration has been associated with an increased vulnerability to communicable diseases," says a copy of the report e-mailed to Standard Today. 

The report cites a Department of Health study saying that of the 1,385 Filipinos reported as HIV-positive in 2005, 33 percent or about 457 were migrant workers-and 74 percent of them were male. 

"The link between population mobility and HIV constitutes one of the most poorly understood and overlooked factors behind the rapid spread of the disease," the report says. 

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