[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 7 May 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon May 7 19:13:52 PHT 2007


Newsbriefs 7 May 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

http://www.slb.ph/newsbriefs.htm

 

Bishops tell voters: Remember broken promises during polls (Mindanao Bureau)



COTABATO CITY, Philippines -- The midterm elections on Monday can be a curse or a blessing, warned the Catholic Church as it urged its flock and the rest of the 45.5 million voters in the Philippines to pray and ask for discernment.



In a pastoral letter signed by Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo and Auxiliary Bishop Colin Bagaforo, they reminded voters of political promises "never fulfilled" by candidates, saying "the road they take could be a blessing or a curse."



"Since 1946, we have always been on a political road full of promise. But the promise was never fulfilled," the statement issued on Sunday said.



"The road is actually paved with corruption and dishonesty, the use of power for the interest of self and family, misdirected economic development, division and conflict, and the gradual loss of rich natural resources that the Loving God has given us," it added.



The bishops exhorted Catholics and other religious denominations to take advantage of the coming political exercise as another opportunity "to heal our land." They said voters could do that "if we choose leaders who are able to lead us on the road of blessing."



Quevedo, former president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, stressed the need for Divine guidance in choosing God-fearing leaders.

He urged the electorate not to vote for candidates based on popularity and generosity while on campaign sorties.



"Examine the qualifications of each candidate. Go and vote and see to it that that vote is counted correctly," he said.



Watchdog says Pichay, Villar have overspent for campaign ads (nquirer)



MANILA, Philippines -- An election watchdog group Sunday charged administration senatorial candidate Prospero Pichay and reelectionist Manuel Villar with spending more than the campaign expenditure ceiling allowed by law.



Pichay, a representative from Surigao del Sur, immediately denied the charge while Team Unity (TU) spokesperson Ben Evardone challenged the poll watchdog to explain how it arrived at its computations.



The group Pera't Pulitika, composed of four organizations of young lawyers and electoral reform activists, claimed Pichay (TU) had already spent P151.7 million, while Villar of the Genuine Opposition (GO) had spent P138.2 million.



Under the law, a senatorial candidate may spend, from his or her own campaign funds, P3 for each of the 45 million voters, or about P135 million.



'Got the wrong figure'



In a press conference in Manila, Vincent Lazatin, Pera't Pulitika co-convenor, said the overspending observation was based on the group's campaign expense monitoring for print and broadcast media from Feb. 18 to May 1.



Their monitor report also indicated TU candidates had spent P919.1 million, nearly twice the estimated P518.8 million spent by GO.



Reached by the Philippine Daily Inquirer for comment, Pichay said the group "got the wrong figure."



Explained Pichay: "First, (their computation was) not based on discounted rates. Second, some of the TV ads were actually paid for by the party and, therefore, were not counted against me.



"Third, if I had that much money, I will not spend so much just to be disqualified," he said.



Total gun ban in 5 'hot spots' (www.philstar.com)



ZAMBOANGA CITY - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has canceled gun ban exemptions in five areas under its control, where numerous poll-related violent incidents have occurred. 

During a stopover here yesterday, Comelec information chief James Jimenez said gun ban exemptions were canceled in the provinces of Abra, Kalinga-Apayao and Nueva Ecija, and in the cities of Valencia in Bukidnon and San Carlos in Laguna. 

"All (gun ban) exemptions have been canceled," he said. 



SC asked to order troop pullout in Metro Manila (INQUIRER.net)



MANILA, Philippines -- Militant partylist organizations, led by Bayan Muna, has asked the Supreme Court to order the Armed Forces of the Philippines to pull out its troops in Metro Manila.



In its 20-page petition, the groups also asked the High Court to nullify the AFP's order to deploy over 250 soldiers around the metropolis.



Bayan Muna, together with Gabriela, Kabataan, Suara Bangsamoro, and a certain Roberto Corbes said the deployment order of AFP Chief Hermogenes Esperon allegedly provided the military unlimited authority because the deployment order did not contain guidelines that should be followed by the non-combatant soldiers assigned to a civilian community."Petitioners who are most seriously affected by their presence were neither provided with a definition of the soldiers' mandate in the civilian communities nor the parameters of their stay thereat. The same insensitive treatment was given the people at large," they said.



Ombudsman: No politics in suspension order vs Binay (INQUIRER.net)



MANILA, Philippines -- The suspension order against Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay has nothing to do with politics, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez said Monday.



"It is important to stress that evidence and not politics dictates our actions, nothing more, nothing less. The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent institution, which means it does not give in to the dictates of politics," Gutierrez said.



Binay, an opposition leader, is seeking reelection against administration candidate, Senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid.



Retired generals band to guard vs poll fraud (INQUIRER.net)



MANILA, Philippines -- Retired generals have mobilized themselves to guard against election fraud amid allegations the military leadership is planning to use soldiers to ensure victory for the administration's senatorial slate in the May 14 elections.



Among those who will be deployed to the 10 provinces where the former officers believe cheating is likely to take place are: retired deputy director general Recaredo Sarmiento, former national police chief; retired lieutenant general Romeo Dominguez, former Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) chief; and retired lieutenant general Raul Urgello, former Army commanding general, said retired commodore Ismael Aparri, member of the newly-formed Bantay Boto (Vote Watch) Coalition.



"They will be posted, our retirees, in places were cheating can take place. These are 10 provinces," Aparri told Camp Aguinaldo reporters.



The Bantay Boto coalition identified the 10 alleged cheating hotspots based on reports of vote-rigging operations in the 2004 elections. On Tuesday, the group is expected to sign a manifesto in Quezon City proclaiming their opposition to vote-rigging, Aparri said.



"There will be cheating in certain areas. This is a group that has united to stop cheating," Aparri said.

 

8 candidates named for SC associate justice -- JBC sources (INQUIRER.net)



MANILA, Philippines -- The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has chosen eight nominees for the position of associate justice of the Supreme Court after Romeo Callejo Sr. retired last April 28, according to two of its members who requested anonymity.



Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Teresita De Castro and Court of Appeals Associate Justice Martin Villarama got seven votes each while Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Ruben Reyes got six votes, they said.



Candidates who received five votes each were Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Gregory Ong, Court of Tax Appeals Presiding Justice Ernesto Acosta, Labor Secretary Arturo Brion, Court of Appeals Associate Justice Edgardo Cruz, and Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Francisco Villaruz, they said.



The eight names will be submitted to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who has 90 days under the Constitution to choose Callejo's replacement, they said.

Callejo retired after turning 70, the mandatory age of retirement.

 
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