[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 18 January 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Jan 18 18:07:30 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 18 January 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



COMELEC: 18,000 warrants of arrest vs flying voters (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"Chairman Benjamin Abalos of the Commission on Elections said Thursday that COMELEC has acquired warrants of arrest against "flying voters."


Abalos said that after investigations, COMELEC sought 18,000 warrants of arrest against proven double registrants or flying voters.


He added that if arrested and convicted in court, double registrants will spend one to six years in prison. They will also be ordered to appear before the court for the cancellation of their double registration.


Abalos said COMELEC's anti-flying voters task force concentrated its efforts on Metro Manila, which is considered a haven of flying voters.


The task force recently said there are at least 200,000 double registrants in Metro Manila. 


"Metro Manila has about 94,000 voters who registered more than once in 2004 and we expect that number to have doubled by now," task force chief Ferdinand Rafanan said. "

Lawyers question court martial of 'coup plotters' (INQUIRER.net)
"CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Philippines -- (UPDATE) Defense lawyers are questioning the legality of the court martial that will try their clients accused of allegedly plotting to overthrow President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo early last year.

Military Chief General Hermogenes Esperon, who had accused the suspects, had authorized the holding of the trial against 30 officers, which Homobono Adaza, a defense lawyer, objected to.

"This is tantamount to [the] Chief of Staff [acting] as accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury...that cannot be done," said Adaza, a lawyer for Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin, one of the soldiers charged with violations of the Article of War 67 (attempting a mutiny) and Article of War 96 (conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman).

Aside from Querubin, also charged are Major General Renato Miranda, former Marine commandant; Brigadier General Danilo Lim, former Scout Rangers commander.

Adaza challenged the existence of the court, which convened for the first time this Thursday, and also asked for a copy of the pre-trial investigation (PTI) report.

"We cannot proceed on any hearing unless we resolve this issue and let this court dissolve," Adaza said."

Leftist farmers to rap AFP for 'electioneering' (INQUIRER.net)
"MANILA, Philippines -- The leftist farmers' group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines or KMP) will file an electioneering case and seek the exclusion of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from voting in several areas nationwide.

The petition will be filed before either the Regional Trial Courts or the Commission on Elections, KMP secretary general Danilo "Ka Daning" Ramos said.

Ramos said allowing soldiers to register as voters in areas where they are assigned is questionable.

"What if these military people are registered voters in areas where they live?" Mariano asked, adding that the soldiers would, in effect, be "flying voters."

He also claimed troops in full battle gear have been deployed in known bailiwicks of progressive organizations and party lists groups, both in Metro Manila areas such as Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, Parañaque, Pandacan, Payatas and Isla Puting Bato in Tondo, and in several provinces.

"They are roaming the streets to dissuade the people from supporting our party list," Ramos said. The KMP's Rafael Mariano is representative of the Anakpawis party list.

"They should return to their barracks," Ranos said."

2006 'bloodiest year' for journalists, says group (INQUIRER.net )
"MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines has again been tagged as the second deadliest country for journalists, next to war-torn Iraq, as 2006 made its mark as "the bloodiest year on record for journalism worldwide," with at least 155 killed and 22 more dying in accidents, an international media organization said.

In its report, "Journalism Put to the Sword in 2006," the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) noted: "Second only to Iraq among the world's hotspots for journalism is the Philippines where 13 journalists died in 2006, bringing to 49 the number of media staff murdered since [President] Gloria [Macapagal] Arroyo came to power in 2001 -- surpassing the numbers killed under the 14-year Marcos dictatorship."

In 2005, the IFJ counted 154 media deaths but said that the total included 48 Iranian journalists accidentally killed while on a military assignment. Last year's 22 accidental deaths were recorded separately from violent deaths.

Many of the killings, the report said, were "targeted assassinations with political motives," even in Iraq, where "media were prime targets for terrorist attacks," while others were "at the hands of gangsters."

Despite the worsening death toll, the IFJ said there was "one positive sign" as the "year of tragedy and unprecedented brutality" came to a close -- the December 23 United Nations (UN) statement condemning the targeting of journalists and calling for the prosecution of killers of media workers."

'Moderate' rating for RP in global index (The Manila Times)


"The Philippines has a rating of 73 points, classified as "Moderate," in the 2006 Global Integrity Index, according to the report on over 40 countries released on Wednesday by Global Integrity, an international nonprofit organization that tracks governance and corruption trends around the world.


The Philippine is classified as "Strong" in the category of oversight and regulation (RP score: 85), "Moderate" in civil society, public information and media (72), government accountability (71), administration and civil service (73) and anticorruption and Rule of Law (78), and as "Very Weak" in the category of elections (60).


Mahar Mangahas of SWS was the lead social scientist who gave initial scores, after consulting specialists in certain cases, to some 290 indicators designed by Global Integrity, and who revised them later based on feedback from anonymous peer reviewers.


The Philippine Country Report describes the indicators and provides references, persons consulted and comments for the scores. Global Integrity is responsible for grouping the scores into six categories, averaging them, and classifying them as "Very Strong," "Strong," "Moderate," "Weak" or "Very Weak."


The 2006 Global Integrity Index has no countries generally classified as "Very Strong."


Those generally classified as "Strong" are (alphabetical order) Israel, Romania, South Africa and the United States. Those in the "Moderate" class are Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and the Philippines. In the "Weak" class are Guatemala, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, and Zimbabwe. The Very Weak class includes: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Lebanon, Liberia, Montenegro, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Vietnam and Yemen."
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