[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 2 August 2007 Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Aug 2 18:40:04 PHT 2007
Newsbriefs 2 August 2007 Afternoon
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
Villar says no to emergency powers (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
Senate President Manuel Villar rejected Thursday a proposal to give President Arroyo emergency powers to enable the government to address the effects of the dry spell on the economy if the drought worsens.
Villar said that instead of emergency powers, the government should augment funding for programs that would dull the impact of El Niño on agriculture and water supply in general.
"Aside from the Contingent Fund, the biggest source for the anti-drought initiative is the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act, with a P20-billion funding in the 2007 national budget," Villar said in a statement.
E-voting project for Singapore OFWs secure, says IT firm (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
A technology firm hired by the Commission on Elections to conduct mock elections through the Internet for overseas Filipinos in Singapore has successfully repelled malicious attacks to its online voting platform.
Pere Valles, CEO of Scytl, said the company was able to repel attempts by security experts to hack their Internet voting system since the project started last July 20.
"For the Philippine project, there have been attempts to hack the system in Singapore but these have been unsuccessful. We monitor those attacks. They try to get into the servers and bring down the system," Valles told abs-cbnNEWS.com.
"It's the similar type of attacks used on e-commerce sites. These are people who are testing the security of the system. When it's high-profile, it can be tempting for some hackers but it's a way to test the security of the system," he added.
4 Abu Sayyaf members linked to beheading of Marines--probe (INQUIRER.net)
(UPDATE) MANILA, Philippines -- Four members of the Abu Sayyaf are responsible for beheading 10 Marines during an encounter in Basilan province last July 10, Acting Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales said Thursday.
Gonzales was quoting from the results of the fact-finding mission that had been formed to investigate the incident.
In its report, the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) identified the four bandits as Umair Indama, Nurhasan Jamiri, Buhari Jamiri, and Suaib Kalibon.
These were the same suspects identified by Basilan Representative Wahab Akbar in his privilege speech last Wednesday.
Gonzales said security forces would seek arrest warrants for three of the four Abu Sayyaf bandits. The fourth bandit is among 130 suspects with standing arrest warrants.
In testimonies before the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, two witnesses claimed that they saw the bandits behead the four Marines, Gonzales told a news conference in Camp Aguinaldo.
Gonzales said that as per the CCCH investigation, security forces would seek a reinvestigation of the arrest warrants for the 130 suspects.
"Police are duty bound to arrest the 130 until the courts issue otherwise. We are now asking the police to proceed," he said.
'Gov't responsible for solving extrajudicial slays' -- EU (INQUIRER.net)
MANILA, Philippines -- Responsibility for solving the extrajudicial killings that have claimed hundreds of lives in the country lies with the government, the European Union said Thursday.
"The responsibility [for solving the killings] lies on the shoulders of the Philippine government," Javier Solana, the EU's chief foreign policy official, told reporters after the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum.
Solana said he had discussed the killings, which human rights groups have claimed more than 860 lives since 2001 when President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power, with Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo.
The killings, which many quarters, including United Nations special rapporteur Philip Alston and the Malacañang-created Melo commission, have attributed mainly to state security forces, have brought increasing international scrutiny and criticism on the Arroyo government.
The EU envoy said he had been informed of the recommendations drawn up during a recent summit on the killings called by the Supreme Court.
The EU is giving the government technical assistance to improve the capability of various agencies and branches to solve the killings.
"We have been working with the government, but the government is responsible to solve this problem, not us. We are only helping. We were asked to help and give technical assistance," Solana said.
Gov't on right track over Basilan incident--US envoy (INQUIRER.net)
MANILA, Philippines -- US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney said the government was on the right track in being deliberate about its move against the suspects in the beheading of the Marines in Basilan province.
Kenney said she believed the report of the joint fact-finding team of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would help law enforcers in serving the arrest warrants on the right suspects.
The peace process should always be a consideration in dealing with the incident in Basilan, where 10 of the 14 Marines were beheaded by suspected members of the MILF, according to the US official, who was present at the inauguration of Kraft Foods Philippines Research and Development Center in Parañaque with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Thursday.
Luzon farms go dry amid fears of drought (AFP/Agence France Presse)
Tens of thousands of hectares of farmland are being laid to waste by a lengthening dry spell in Luzon, officials said Thursday.
However, the farm sector that accounts for just under a fifth of domestic economic output should still post modest growth because the rest of the country has received normal rainfall or has adequate irrigation, the agricultural department said.
The civil defense office said farms in the northern section of Luzon were the worst hit with at least 127,359 hectares of farmland affected, while some 41,815 hectares of fishponds in these areas had gone dry.
Relief aid has been disbursed in the province of La Union, with three other neighboring provinces considering the same, it said in a statement.
LPGMA to raise prices by P0.50/kg (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
The LPG Marketers Association (LPGMA) announced Thursday that the prices of their liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) producs will increase by P0.50 per kilogram effective Friday.
Arnel Ty, LPGMA president, told DZMM that the price increase was due to a $10 increase in the contract price of LPG in the world market last July. He added that a further increase may occur in the next months when world demand is higher especially during the "ber" months.
He said the strong performance of the Philippine peso in the past four months has slowed the increase in the prices of LPG products to a minimum level. He added that if the peso-US dollar exchange rate was still at the P55 to $1 level, the increase would be more than P0.50.
He, however, clarified that the current price of autogas - the LPG for vehicles - will remain. He said that they will have to monitor world contract prices further before they implement a price increase for autogas products.
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