[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 27 Sep 2006 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Sep 27 10:49:29 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 27 Sep 2006 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



SC justices question Cha-cha signatures 

Gutierrez: 'I cannot hear God's voice here' (Inquirer) 

"SUPREME COURT justices yesterday openly attacked or voiced doubts on the integrity of the 6.3 million signatures gathered by Charter change groups, their source of funding and the role the local governments played in collecting them.

In a marathon hearing, 12 of the 15 justices raised concerns on various issues involved in the plan to rewrite the country's Constitution and set up a new parliamentary government using the people's initiative mode.

Some questioned a supposed plan under a new Charter to clip the powers of the judiciary by doing away with the courts' "extraordinary certiorari" power -- or the power to review the acts of the executive and legislative branches of government.

Wrapping up the justices' interpellation of the pro-initiative lawyers, Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said the petitioners should understand the justices' concern about Cha-cha (Charter change) since the court was the defender of the Constitution.

"Any attempt to change or worse, mangle, the Constitution must be viewed by this court with strict scrutiny," Panganiban told a packed session hall."

SC justices slam initiative petition (The Manila Times)


"If the oral arguments on Tuesday are an indication, the petition for a people's initiative to amend the Constitution could be in for a turbulent ride at the Supreme Court.


One of the justices doubted the validity of the signature-gathering process that was used in the initiative.


Associate Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez was skeptical about the petition of Sigaw ng Bayan and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, which had gone to the Court to seek the reversal of the Commission on Elections' decision dismissing the petition.


"The process is doubtful," Sandoval-Gutierrez was quoted as saying."


Military chief hurdles CA committee, plenary is next 

'Mayuga report key to confirmation' - Biazon (INQ7.net)

"(UPDATE) ARMED Forces chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon moved a step closer towards confirmation to the rank of lieutenant general on Tuesday after a committee of the Commission on Appointments that deliberated on his promotion recommended him to the plenary.

But the decision by the committee on national defense and security to include Esperson on the list of more than 60 general, flag, and senior military officers whose promotions the plenary will either confirm or deny when it meets Wednesday, came after much debate between Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile and Sergio Osmeña III.

And committee chairman, Senator Rodolfo Biazon, said Esperon's confirmation would depend on the submission of the Mayuga Report.

"The Mayuga Report needs to be examined by the Commission on Appointments for the confirmation process," Biazon said."

'Government not bullying Piatco' (www.philstar.com)
"The government is not bullying the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco) and German-based Fraport AG in pressing criminal indictments for executives of the two firms for their alleged violation of the anti-dummy law, Malacañang said yesterday. 

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez directed State Prosecutor Philip de la Cruz to head the panel of prosecutors that would conduct the preliminary investigation of the executives involved. 

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye and Solicitor General Antonio Nachura, in separate statements, maintained that the recommendation of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for the filing of criminal charges against at least 18 executives of the firms was "separate and distinct from the legal issues between the government and Piatco" that had been resolved by a Supreme Court ruling upholding the government's expropriation of the facility. 

"The government has already complied with the court's compensation order and the government's objective is to expedite the opening of NAIA-3," Bunye said, referring to the P3 billion paid up front to Piatco. "It is about time that the people benefit from this facility."


Chemical dispersant used in Guimaras oil spill more harmful - DOST (www.philstar.com)
"The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) confirmed yesterday that the chemical dispersants used in containing the Guimaras oil spill may cause more harm to the already distressed area. 

"Dun sa katanungan na ang chemical dispersants na ito ay mas toxic, actually totoo 'yun (It's actually true that the chemical dispersants are toxic)," Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), of the DOST, said during a press conference at the Hotel Kimberly in Malate, Manila. 

Montoya made the statement in reaction to a scientific study conducted by Silliman University, which cautioned against the use of chemical oil dispersants in cleaning the oil spill. 

Reports said that the research team found that "the effects of dispersants on living organisms are worse that the actual effects of the oil spill." 

Montoya, however, said that the agencies concerned in containing the oil spill should weigh the risk and benefit of using chemical dispersants."
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