[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 1 October 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Oct 1 12:08:02 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 1 October 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



I have nothing more to say on broadband deal--Neri (Inquirer) 

MANILA, Philippines -- Senators who hope that Commission on Higher Education Chairman Romulo Neri could provide the missing piece in the story that would "directly link" President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the controversial National Broadband Network (NBN) deal are in for a big disappointment.

Neri indicated on Sunday that he had nothing more to say to the Senate committees investigating the $329-million contract for the NBN project that was awarded to China's ZTE Corp.

"The Senate grilled me for 12 hours. Did they miss on any significant question?'' he said in a text message to the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net) when asked if he had said everything he needed to say to the senators.

'GMA allies ready to sacrifice Abalos' (www.philstar.com) 

Embattled Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos, facing an impeachment case in the House of  Representatives, will most likely be "sacrificed" by President Arroyo's congressmen-allies, according to Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora.

"He will be the sacrificial lamb. Many of Mrs. Arroyo's loyalists that we've talked to felt that he should be impeached to take the heat off GMA (Mrs. Arroyo) in the ZTE-NBN scandal," Zamora told reporters over the weekend.

China to accept RP decision on ZTE deal (www.philstar.com) 

The Chinese embassy in Manila has assured Filipinos that China will accept any decision of the Philippine government on the $329-million national broadband network (NBN) contract with Chinese telecommunications firm Zhong Xing Telecommunication Equipment (ZTE) Corp., including the possible scrapping of the agreement .

Political counselor Deng Xijun of the Chinese Embassy  said Saturday that Beijing is ready to accept whatever decision the government will make on the ZTE deal.

"We will respect and agree with President Arroyo's decision," Deng said in an interview at the reception for China's 58th National Day and welcome reception for new Chinese Ambassador to Manila Song Tao at the Manila Hotel.

Broadband mess prompts call for bidding reforms (www.manilastandardtoday.com) 

The Senate is eyeing drastic reforms in the government's Procurement Act, including the bidding of projects, to avoid the recurrence of the alleged irregularities that have tainted the $329-million National Broadband Network contract with China's ZTE Corp. 

Senator Mar Roxas, chairman of the committee on trade and commerce, said yesterday measures to plug the loopholes in the Procurement Act (Republic Act 9184) and to shield government transactions from corrupt practices will be the output of the Senate inquiry into the broadband controversy. 

Election gun ban in force (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

The National Police yesterday announced that the 45-day election gun ban takes effect today until Nov. 13. 

The gun ban is being imposed as part of measures to prevent violence in the runup to the Oct. 29 election, National Police spokesman Chief Supt. Samuel Pagbilao said yesterday. 

Pagbilao said the gun ban excludes the law enforcers and the military. But these peacekeeping forces are required to be in uniform when carrying their service firearms. 

Meanwhile, security agencies which are tasked to guard the transport of money to and from the bank are required to apply for exemption from the ban from the Commission on Elections. 

Today is the start of filing of certificate of candidacies for those seeking barangay positions, namely Sangguniang Kabataan chairman, SK councilors, barangay chairman and barangay councilors. 

Calderon retires as 13th PNP chief (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- For those who believe in superstitions, 13 is a very unlucky number.

But for outgoing Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Calderon, who became the 13th chief of the 120,000-strong police, the cursed number only meant luck.

"I can say 13 is my lucky number. That is also my favorite number when I was still a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy," Calderon, a member of PMA Class '73, said in one of his last interviews with reporters as PNP chief.

Calderon, who formally retires Monday, will be replaced by the second highest ranking police officer, Deputy Director General Avelino Razon. Later in the day, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will officially install Razon in turnover ceremonies in Camp Crame national police headquarters.
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