[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 16 January 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Jan 16 10:29:10 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 16 January 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Applause in Cebu as summit ends (www.philstar.com)
CEBU -  Volunteers and organizers of the ASEAN and East Asia summits broke into applause and cheered as President Arroyo sent off her last guest - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen - from the Cebu International Convention Center, where the 12th annual gathering of regional leaders wound up yesterday. 

The President herself had reason to cheer as she cited the success of the summits in terms of outcome agreements and documents as well as the tremendous amount of goodwill for the Philippines and the host province. 

"We have emerged triumphant," Mrs. Arroyo told Malacañang reporters before heading to the airport at 4 p.m. to go back to Manila. "A lot of those people clapping were the student-volunteers who have been helping out and they really did great work. All the leaders said everything had been so smooth so I clapped for them as well." 

Before saying goodbye to her guests, the President posed for photographs and expressed her gratitude for the honor they gave the Philippines in hosting the twin summits since Saturday. 

The leaders came despite terror warnings. 

"You have made the Filipino people proud as we have emerged triumphant with all Asians from the agreements reached and signed. The people of Asia are the victors in these summits as we march forward in the collective spirit of hope within this century," she said. 

She said the Filipino people put their best foot forward for the sake of one caring and sharing community. "For that, I thank them."


RP, China sign 12 agreements (www.philstar.com)
The Philippines and China signed 12 agreements at Malacañang last night, including a $500-million loan from China for the first phase of the Northrail project. 

Most of the agreements, signed by ranking officials of both countries, centered on the expansion of their economic and trade partnership. 

President Arroyo and visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao witnessed the signing at the Reception Hall of the Palace shortly before 8 p.m. Wen, who flew to Manila from Cebu after attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia summits, was given arrival honors at Malacañang. 

Before the signing of the agreements, Mrs. Arroyo and Wen met for about 20 minutes at Malacañang's Music Room and this was followed by an expanded meeting with officials from both sides at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room. A state dinner hosted by the President followed at the Rizal Hall. 

Wen is scheduled to lay a wreath at the Rizal Monument today at around 8:30 a.m. and head for the Century Park Hotel for a meeting with agriculture officials.


Governors sidestep ChaCha, prepare for May polls (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

The League of Provinces of the Philippines has officially dropped the plan to launch a second people's initiative to amend the Constitution as it shifts attention to the election campaign, according to the league's spokesman, Eastern Visayas Gov. Ben Evardone. 

Evardone said the provincial governors arrived at this consensus on this issue during the league's conference in Manila last Friday. 

"We want to concentrate on the efforts to work for the victory of administration candidates in the local, congressional and senatorial elections," he said. 

The same position was taken by the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, headed by Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado, president of the League of Provinces. 

Comelec keeps an eye on Abra, Nueva Ecija (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

THE Commission on Elections will discuss today petitions to place Abra and Nueva Ecija, among other potential hot spots, under its control. 

Gov. Vicente Valera of Abra and Rep. Aurelio Umali and the Joson clan of Nueva Ecija filed separate petitions to have their provinces placed under Comelec control and prevent violence during the election period. 

Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. welcomed the efforts of the three local officials to seek help from Comelec to ensure peaceful, orderly, clean and honest mid-term elections. 

"We would carefully look into these [petitions]. I thought Valera had been suspended and was just sourgraping. That's why he was requesting Comelec to place Abra under Comelec control," he said. 

AFP maintains extreme alert (www.philstar.com)
ZAMBOANGA CITY - Military officials maintained the extreme alert status of all forces in western Mindanao as offensive operations were intensified against the Abu Sayyaf and the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in Sulu. 

Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo, chief of the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), ordered thousands of troops now in Sulu to continue the search for Indonesian bomb experts Dulmatin and Umar Patek, both JI members wanted for the 2002 Bali bombings in Bali, Indonesia that killed 202 people. The Abu Sayyaf led by Khadaffy Janjalani is protecting the Indonesian terrorists. The US government has offered a $10-million reward for the capture of Dulmatin while Patek has a $1-million bounty for his capture. 

"The extreme alert is still there. We have not captured the leaders of the terrorists," Maj. Eugene Batara, Wesmincom spokesman, said.
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