[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 27 Sep 2006 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Sep 27 17:18:43 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 27 Sep 2006 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Solons preparing 'justifiable basis' for Con-Ass (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

"An administration congressman said Wednesday that the majority in the House of Representatives is now drafting arguments that would become the "justifiable basis" for the approval of the constituent assembly petition before the Supreme Court.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Constantino Jaraula, chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, told DZMM that the so-called "Plan B" of the administration would also have to go through the high tribunal.

"It would also end up [in the Supreme Court] and the earlier we can do this... making the justifiable basis for a case before the Supreme Court, the better for the country," Jaraula said. 

"We know that the Supreme Court has the sole power to finally decide on a constitutional issue... There has to be finality in this regard," he added, noting that petitions for amendments to the 1987 Constitution have been pending in Congress for years.

He said the high court can simultaneously tackle the petitions for the people's initiative and the constitutional assembly.

Jaraula said the people's initiative to change the Charter that is being pushed by the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines and the Sigaw ng Bayan Movement only covers presidential and bicameral structures of the government.

"We in the House of Representatives, we are not limited to Articles 6 and 7 and we have plans of drafting a framework for a federal system. We have plans to lift some restrictive provisions on the economy," Jaraula said."

Santiago v Comelec may need second look, says Chief Justice 

Group confident of anti-initiative vote (INQ7.net)

"THERE may be a need to re-examine the Supreme Court ruling in Santiago v. Comelec ruling to allow a "real amendment" to the Constitution in the future, Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said.

Panganiban gave the opinion during the oral argument Tuesday on the bid by Sigaw ng Bayan and Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) for the reversal of the Commission on Elections' decision dismissing the charter change proponents' petition for a people's initiative to amend the Constitution.

The Comelec based its decision on the March 1997 high court ruling, which "permanently enjoined" the poll body "from entertaining or taking cognizance of any petition for initiative on amendments to the Constitution until a sufficient law shall have been validly enacted to provide for the implementation of the system."

The decision said Republic Act (RA) 6735 or the Initiative and Referendum Act was not sufficient to be considered the enabling law for a people's initiative.

"So, we may have to look at that (re-examination of Santiago v Comelec) to allow a real amendment to push through" or risk having the decision used to stop a "real amendment" to the charter, Panganiban said"

Bolante bail petition denied (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

"US immigration officials have denied the petition of former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante to post bail, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau reported Wednesday.

Bureau chief Ging Reyes reported that after the bail petition's denial, Bolante's lawyers focused on another tactic for the former agriculture official's temporary release.

Reyes reported that Bolante's lawyers are strengthening the petition for writ of habeas corpus that was filed before the US district court in Wisconsin.

In a hearing last September 20, the US district court denied the habeas corpus petition saying it has no jurisdiction over Bolante's immigration case. 

The court said Bolante's petition only questioned the legality of the revocation of Bolante's visa and did not question the validity of his detention."

RP rejects MILF demand on expanded autonomous region (Associated Press)

"(UPDATE) THE PHILIPPINE government rejected on Wednesday a rebel group's demands to expand a Muslim autonomous region without holding a referendum, a senior official said, raising prospects of a prolonged impasse in peace talks.

The government remains firm in its position that the region cannot be expanded unless residents in affected areas approve the move in a plebiscite, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.

Malaysian-brokered talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim group fighting for self-rule in the southern Philippines, hit a snag early this month over the issue.

The MILF wants the region expanded without any plebiscite.

"We will stand pat on our position that we must follow the constitutional process," Ermita told reporters a day after government negotiators and Cabinet security officials agreed on the position."

Arroyo wants P17.1B liquidations settled by year end (INQ7.net)

"PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants billion of pesos in unliquidated cash advances settled by the end of the year, a senior Palace aide said on Wednesday.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the order of the President followed the disclosure by Senator Franklin Drilon, quoting a report by the Commission on Audit (COA), that 17.1 billion pesos in cash advances drawn by different government offices had yet to be liquidated.

"The President wants this settled toward the end of this year," Ermita said during his weekly press conference.

He said the order to liquidate cash advances covered all offices of national agencies, local governments, government financial institutions, and government owned and controlled corporations.

"Nobody is exempted, everyone has to follow the COA laws," he added.

Arroyo orders retake of June nursing board exam (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

"President Arroyo on Wednesday ordered a retake of the leakage-marred June 2006 Nursing Licensure Examination, DZMM reported.

The report said the President ordered Labor Secretary Arturo Brion to supervise the retake. Brion was told to meet with Professional Regulation Commission officials to plan the retake, it added.

The report said Brion and PRC officials would decide whether to conduct a full or partial retake of the board examination. Brion and PRC officials will also consider if only the examinees who got the leaked questions from Tests 3 and 5 should retake the examinations.

The idea of the retake was suggested to the President during a cabinet meeting held Tuesday, the report said.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the President ordered the retake to protect the integrity of the nursing profession and the conduct of licensure examinations in the country."
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