[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 25 Sep 2006 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Sep 25 17:19:28 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 25 Sep 2006 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



All sides getting ready for 'war' over Charter change in SC (Inquirer)

BOTH ADVOCATES and opponents of the people's initiative to change the Constitution are gearing up for a showdown at the Supreme Court on Tuesday with both camps optimistic that the high tribunal would rule in their favor.

Government lawyers have been busy preparing for tomorrow's oral arguments before the high court.

The Senate is likewise preparing with Senator Joker Arroyo taking up the cudgels for the chamber.

Solicitor General Antonio Eduardo Nachura met with government lawyers on Sunday to prepare for the oral arguments on the petition filed by the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) and Sigaw ng Bayan.

While the government was not a party to the petition, Nachura said the high court had sought its comment in the matter.

Malacañang yesterday expressed confidence it could count on the support of the people in pushing for Charter change.

"The growing support of the people is a high point of the campaign for Charter change," Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said in a statement.

Ermita disputes Defensor on senatorial slate (INQ7.net)

SENIOR Palace aides Monday gave contradicting versions of administration plans for 2007, with one baring names he said were being considered in the administration's senatorial slate for next year's elections and another bluntly calling the claim an "invention."

In a radio interview earlier in the day, Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor said the administration coalition had begun searching for possible senatorial candidates, including some incumbent senators whose terms are ending next year.

Among those he said were being considered are Ermita, Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes, Manila Mayor Jose Atienza, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and House Majority Leader Prospero Nograles.

Asked to comment on the supposedly emerging slate, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita bluntly said: "There's none."

He added that he had no plans either to run for the Senate.

Asked why, he replied: "Because I don't like (to), Mike (Defensor) is just inventing that. We haven't even talked."

"No one has talked to me, nobody. We don't even talk about that in Malacañang," Ermita said. "Not even" in the administration Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, of which he is an official.

He said that they preferred to wait for the outcome of efforts to amend the Constitution through either a people's initiative or consultative assembly, the Palace' favored modes of charter change.

House opposition to present 'more realistic' 2007 budget (INQ7.net)

A "MORE realistic" alternative to Malacañang's 1.137 trillion-peso budget proposal for 2007 will be presented at the plenary by the opposition bloc at the House of Representatives, Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero disclosed on Monday.

Escudero said his group was preparing and finalizing the alternative budget, which would contain more realistic assumptions of debt servicing for example, as well as itemized "pork barrel" allocations for each congressional district.

Escudero said they would probably finish and present this to the floor next week.

"This is a realistic budget that sees the actual situation and recognizes the saying that the first step to resolving a problem is an admission that there is a problem," Escudero said in Filipino during his regular press briefing.

Palace confident retired generals will leave Boni land (www.philstar.com)
Malacañang assured the public that there will be no problem in the implementation of the Supreme Court (SC) decision evicting retired and active military officers and their families that are claiming a parcel of land inside Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City, which was declared as a military reservation. 

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the SC had already made a decision on the long-running issue and the retired military generals are "professionals and honorable enough that they would abide by the ruling of the highest court in the land." 

"They (officers) can still make an appeal but I believe they are responsible enough to abide by the High Court's decision," said Ermita, who is also a retired military general. 

Government says it's not letting its guard down (www.philstar.com)
The reported death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden does not mean Philippine forces will stand down in the fight against terrorism, Malacañang asserted yesterday. 

"Two things can happen. It (the death of bin Laden) can weaken al-Qaeda, but if the reports are true, then it is also possible that we will see more attacks. around the world just for al-Qaeda to show it is still a force to reckon with," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said. 

"That's why we should not let our guard down," he said. 

Ermita said the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of National Defense have been directed to verify reports that Bin Laden had succumbed to typhoid fever, as reported by a French regional newspaper last Saturday, citing information leaked from France's intelligence services. 

Ermita stressed the reports remain unconfirmed and the public should not become complacent.


Law groups back Nicole in fight vs Americans (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

EIGHTEEN law groups within an umbrella organization yesterday promised to campaign for a Filipina who accuses four US marines of raping her in Subic last year. 

"Nicole's fight is not just for her own right and dignity but for all women who continuously suffer from lack of access to justice," Glenda Litong, national coordinator of Alternative Law Groups Inc., said in a statement. 

"It is also a fight for national sovereignty against those who trample on the country's principles of justice, freedom and independence," she said. 

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