[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 20 September Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Sep 20 12:20:38 PHT 2006
Newsbriefs 20 September Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
ChaCha advocates assert: High court can reverse itself (www.manilastandardtoday.com)
The Supreme Court was asked to reject the arguments raised by opponents of Charter Change, and invoke its power to change a legal doctrine in favor of a new jurisprudence, particularly on the issue of the adequacy of Republic Act 6735 as basis for a people's initiative to amend the Constitution.
In an 88-page consolidated reply, Raul Lambino, spokesman of the Sigaw ng Bayan, and Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado, president of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, stressed that the opponents of people's initiative have no legal standing.
They were referring to One Voice and Alternative Law Groups, both of which cannot intervene in the case because they do not meet the requirements.
Lambino and Aumentado said these requirements call for ALG and One Voice to prove that their members/officers are Filipino taxpayers and registered voters representing diverse interests.
They also said that the Supreme Court has the power to reexamine its 1997 ruling on Santiago vs Comelec case, which rejected people's initiative without declaring RA 6735 as unconstitutional.
According to them, the SC can abandon an existing doctrine and come up with a new one because its decisions are not permanent, and the justices, depending on the factual setting surrounding a particular case, can reverse it.
Senate president joins abolish-PCGG chorus (www.manilastandardtoday.com)
SENATE President Manuel Villar yesterday backed moves to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government, saying that after 20 years of being around the agency should be scrapped.
He also said the manhunt for the rest of the PCGG commissioners would continue despite a pending case before the Supreme Court on the Senate's arrest of PCGG chairman Camilo Sabio.
The Senate had ordered Sabio and the other commissioners arrested after they repeatedly ignored summonses to testify in hearings about alleged anomalies in the Philippine Communications Satellite Corp. or Philcomsat.
Sabio was arrested Sept. 12 but the four other commissioners went into hiding.
"It has been 20 years [since the PCGG was created] and I think that if the PCGG has not collected what is was supposed to collect, it can do no better now," Villar told reporters.
ChaCha, Sabio cases pit SolGen vs Joker (www.manilastandardtoday.com)
Senator Joker Arroyo will represent the Senate as lead counsel in the habeas corpus petition filed before the Supreme Court by chairman Camilo Sabio of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
Likewise, the Senate designated Arroyo as lead counsel to intervene in another case before the high court, this time on people's initiative as a means to amend the Constitution.
Sigaw ng Bayan and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines filed the case assailing the Commission on Elections rejection of their petition for ChaCha via people's initiative.
As proposed by Senator Francisco Pangilinan, the Senate move would pit Arroyo head-to-head with another legal eagle, Solicitor General Antonio Eduardo Nachura, in the twin case before the SC.
As counsel for the government, it was the Office of the Solicitor General that filed the habeas corpus petition in behalf of Sabio.
It was also Arroyo who represented the Senate in the SC when the Upper Chamber challenged the legality of Executive Order 464, a Malacañang directive requiring Cabinet officials to secure presidential clearance before testifying in legislative inquiries. Both Malacañang and Senate claimed victory in the case of the EO.
Marcos victims' hopes boosted
US ruling may lead to award of $35M (Inquirer)
HONOLULU -- A lawyer for human rights victims of the Ferdinand Marcos regime said she was optimistic a federal appeals court's refusal to rehear the case will finally lead to the awarding of $35 million in Marcos money being held in Honolulu.
Sherry P. Broder, representing 9,500 victims who hope to collect the recovered Marcos wealth, said she received formal notice on Monday that the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 12 had rejected Philippine government motions to rehear the case.
The court said that none of its more than 30 judges had been persuaded by the Philippine position that the court had erred in its May decision to disburse the money to those who had suffered under a US-backed regime that carried out summary executions, disappearances and torture.
The court referred to Marcos as "a rough and rapacious ruler, who often exercised arbitrary power."
In a revised decision, the court said the money, while only a small part of the $2 billion awarded to Marcos' victims in a 1995 decision by Judge Manuel Real of the US District Court in Hawaii, would have "symbolic significance" and will have monetary meaning for the poorest of the claimants.
Europeans offer aid for windmills, bio-energy (www.manilastandardtoday.com)
PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has secured a commitment from Denmark to expand the Bangui wind power plant in Ilocos Norte, and from Finland to explore the use of biomass as an alternative energy source, an official said yesterday.
Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said Hawaii was also studying importing car maker Ford Philippines' flexivehicle that runs on ethanol.
Mrs. Arroyo's bilateral talks with European leaders during her recent trip to the continent had resulted in firm commitments to boost the Philippines' energy sector, he said.
"In Denmark, 20 to 25 percent of their power comes from the wind, so they will explore ways of bringing down the cost of wind power with the use of other facilities," Lotilla said.
Guimaras execs banking on London-based oil fund (Inquirer)
ILOILO CITY -- National and provincial officials of Guimaras are banking on the London-based International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF) to indemnify residents of the province affected by the oil spill, especially those who have fallen sick because of toxic fumes from bunker fuel oil spilled by the MT Solar I.
"The victims of the oil spill are supposed to be covered by the IOPCF. The local government units know how to present their claims," Glenn Rabonza, executive officer of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, said.
High levels of hydrogen sulfide, a highly toxic gas, found in the villages of Tando, La Paz and Cabalagnan have sickened 29 people, including four children.
Malacañang yesterday said the government was monitoring the barangays affected by the oil spill.
"The health and safety of the residents in Guimaras are our utmost concern and we urge them to cooperate with the health authorities by staying away from health hazard zones and heeding evacuation orders implemented by the local authorities," Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said.
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