[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 10 August 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Aug 10 19:22:00 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 10 August 2007

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



2nd UPDATE) Over 50 killed in Mindanao fighting (Reuters)


Philippine troops shelled Muslim rebel positions and raked them with helicopter fire overnight on the southern island of Jolo after a day of intense fighting in which at least 58 people, including 26 troops, were killed. 


The fighting which broke out on Thursday morning is the heaviest in the volatile Philippine south for almost three years, but the military said it suspended operations at daybreak on Friday following a request from the provincial governor.


The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a Muslim rebel group that signed a peace deal with the government in 1996, said its members were involved and that it had asked the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to help stop the fighting.


"We informed the OIC of the current situation through e-mails and a fax direct to Jeddah," said Hatimil Hassan, the MNLF deputy head and an elected member of the regional legislative assembly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.


Fighting has been confined to a small part of the island of Jolo but there were dangers that it could spill over to nearby areas and other rebel groups could take advantage of the situation, Hassan told reporters.


Govt rushes more troops to restive south (Agence France Presse)


Authorities in the Philippines are to deploy two more battalions to the troubled south after the Philippine Army suffered some of its heaviest casualties in decades of fighting militants, officials said Friday. 


The military has since Tuesday lost 26 dead and 17 wounded in fighting on the southern island of Jolo, military spokesman Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro said. 


Bacarro said two more army battalions, some 1,000 soldiers, will deploy in Jolo to support 4,000 infantry and Marines already stationed there. 


The Philippines has been rushing forces south since July 10 for a planned punitive campaign against Muslim rebels after 14 Marines were killed on nearby Basilan island. Ten of them were beheaded. 


On Thursday, 25 soldiers were killed in two ambushes on Jolo, Bacarro told reporters, the "biggest single-day casualty so far in recent years." 


SC upholds president's power to reform executive branch (abs-cbnNEWS.com)



The Supreme Court on Friday said the president has the power to effect organizational changes in departments and agencies under the executive branch provided the reorganization is done by reason of economy or to increase efficiency in the bureaucracy.


In a decision penned by Chief Justice Reynato Puno, the Supreme Court's First Division upheld the validity of Executive Order 102 underscoring the executive power and control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices given to the president under Article VII, Sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution.  


Concurring with the decision were Justices Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, Renato Corona, Adolfo Azcuna and Cancio Garcia.


In its decision, the court affirmed the dismissal of the Court of Appeals of the petition of Malaria Employees and Workers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MEWAP) for the nullification of EO 102, "Redirecting the Functions and Operations of the Department of Health (DOH)," issued by then President Joseph Estrada on May 24, 1999.   


The court said it found the implementation of the presidential issuance to be in good faith, in the absence of any showing that circumstances which may be considered as evidence of bad faith as provided under Republic Act 6656 or An Act to Protect the Security of Tenure of Civil Service Officers and Employees in the Implementation of Government Reorganization.


Angat Dam water level back at 180 m; cutback plan scuttled (Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- After the rapid rise in Angat Dam's water level, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) is scuttling its plan to further cut back the water supply for residents of Metro Manila and farmers in Central Luzon.

Two tropical storms -- "Chedeng" and "Dodong" -- this week raised Angat's water level back to 180.10 meters as of 4 p.m. Thursday, up by more than 8 meters from 171.5 m at noon Wednesday, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

"It doesn't make sense to continue the cutback at this point," NWRB executive director Ramon Alikpala said in a phone interview. "There's no more cutback unless the weather changes." However, he urged consumers to continue conserving water.

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