[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 26 Sep 2006 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Sep 26 17:30:56 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 26 Sep 2006 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



'Petition, not law, lacking for people's initiative' (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"Advocates of Charter change on Tuesday said a 1997 petition to change the Charter was lacking because it did not include the required number of signatures for a people's initiative. 


Bernardo Pardo, a former Commission on Elections chairman and Sigaw ng Bayan representative, argued before the Supreme Court that the high tribunal's 1997 decision in the case of Santiago v COMELEC did not declare illegal Republic Act 6735 or The Initiative and Referendum Act. 


Pardo said the petition was rejected because it did not include the required six million signatures needed for a people's initiative. 


He added that the COMELEC committed a grave abuse of discretion for not giving due course to the petition.


Solicitor General Eduardo Nachura said the petition did not seek a total revision of the 1987 Constitution but several provisions that support a move from the bicameral to a unicameral-parliamentary form of government. 


Nachura admitted that forms used to gather signatures for the people's initiative were written in English. He added, however, that Sigaw ng Bayan workers explained the questions in Pilipino before getting the signatures."


Miriam predicts high court will void people's initiative  (www.philstar.com)

"Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago shocked administration stalwarts Tuesday by predicting that the Supreme Court will declare 'unconstitutional for lack of legal basis' the people's initiative for charter change, which she called 'dead on arrival.' 

"Using the words of an old decision, the people's initiative petition is a patent illegality which, when it rears its ugly head, should be slain on sight," Santiago said. 

The senator said that the present people's initiative is illegal on three grounds: it defies judicial precedent; it is not limited to an amendment but constitutes a revision which is prohibited by the present charter; and it has no budgetary appropriation for the necessary plebiscite. 

"The first fatal flaw of the people's initiative is that it defies the Supreme Court ruling in the 1997 case of Defensor Santiago v. Comelec, where the Court required that there should first be a law passed by Congress providing for a people's initiative on charter change," said Santiago."


Palparan expects 'vindication' (INQ7.net)

"(UPDATE) RETIRED Army Major General Jovito Palparan expects vindication from a Palace-formed commission investigating the wave of killings and abductions of left-wing militants, which he faced for the first time on Tuesday under heavy guard.

Palparan told the five-man Melo Commission that he did not have a hand in the wave of violence against activists and dismissed as "propaganda" the "butcher" tag that militants bestowed on him.

"That's the truth. The truth will not incriminate me," Palparan told reporters after being grilled for over three hours.

"Yes, I have to be positive," the 56-year-old Palparan said, when asked if he expects the commission to clear him of involvement in the murders.

Dozens of policemen, including troops from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), patrolled the vicinity of the Integrated bar of the Philippines (IBP) headquarters at the Ortigas financial center in Makati City, where the hearing was held.

P17.1B in unliquidated cash advances by gov't bared (INQ7.net)

"(UPDATE) THE GOVERNMENT has acquired 17.124 billion pesos in total unliquidated cash advances as of 2005, Senator Franklin Drilon disclosed Tuesday, quoting from a report by the Commission on Audit (COA).

Drilon, head of the finance committee, made the disclosure during its hearing on the proposed 2007 budget by Malacañang.

As of December 31, 2005, Drilon said the national government had unliquidated cash advances amounting to 9,379,342,609 billion pesos; government corporations, 2,664,651,632 billion pesos; and an estimated 5 billion pesos from local government units.

Drilon noted that of the 17.124 billion pesos, 2.6 billion pesos have not been liquidated by employees, 2.8 billion pesos from cash disbursing officers, and 1.9 billion pesos from collecting officers who have failed to remit their collections.

Drilon said of the amount, the executive department has not accounted for 1.5 billion pesos, which include 39.76 million pesos from the Office of the President and 25.39 million pesos from the legislature.

Drilon said that among the government offices, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has unliquidated cash advances worth 2.731 billion pesos.

Elections Commissioner Florentino Tuason said that of this amount, 1.1 billion pesos represented advances to the Department of Education, the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which are placed under the supervision of the Comelec during elections."

Arroyo commends top 10 agencies in fight vs corruption BIR, PNP, DPWH included (INQ7.net)

"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recognized on Tuesday the top 10 government agencies that have instituted measures to curb corruption.

In her opening statement before a Cabinet meeting in Malacañang, the President commended the Department of Health (DoH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Science and Technology (DoST), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Office of the President (OP), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

They were recognized for their efforts in putting in place anti-corruption measures through the Integrity Development Action Plan (IDAP) of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC), the President said.

"Congratulations to the 10 agencies, keep up the good work, I hope the other agencies will follow suit," Arroyo said."


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