[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 19 October 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Oct 19 17:21:11 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 19 October 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Makati mall blast kills 4; top cop says not LPG but 'a bomb'  (www.gmanews.tv)

 (Updated 3:25 p.m.) At least four people were killed while 67 others were hospitalized after an explosion of still undetermined origin rocked a Makati City shopping mall at about 1:30 p.m. Friday. 

The police on site had earlier traced the blast to an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) tank but Director Gen. Avelino Razon Jr, PNP chief, said that an assessment by ground commanders showed that what exploded was "a bomb."

Police Director Geary Barias, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), said initial information showed that the explosion emanated from the Luk Yuen Noodle House at the first level of the Glorietta 2 shopping mall.


PAGC willing to give way to Ombudsman on bribery probe (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


An official of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission on Friday said the agency is willing stop its investigation into allegations of bribery involving Malacañang officials and give way to the Office of the Ombudsman. 


"If Ombudsman will push through [with its investigation], we might give way," PAGC Commissioner James Jacob told radio dzMM. 


Jacob said PAGC started its investigation Monday by sending subpoenas and invitations to the people involved in the bribery allegations. He said the agency initiated the investigation because "we wanted to know the truth and no government agency is investigating it," he said.


Rift within ruling coalition grows over bribery allegations (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Bribery allegations hounding President Arroyo's leadership is allegedly causing division among three factions in Malacañang. 


An ANC report identified the factions as the Lakas group of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, partymate of both the President and Speaker Jose de Venecia; the military bloc of former generals like Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza; and the Kampi bloc led by Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno.


On Thursday, Puno confirmed a rift between the President and de Venecia after the speaker sought the ouster of Mendoza and other former police and military generals from the administration for allegedly giving the President bad guidance, particularly on the national broadband network deal. Various groups have scored Mendoza for signing the $329-million NBN deal with China's ZTE Corp., which has been marred by bribery allegations. 


Gov't assures troops of combat pay hike (Agence France-Presse)

MANILA -- The government pledged Friday to come through with a promised pay increase for combat troops fighting Communist and Muslim insurgencies, defusing a potential rift within the military.

President Gloria Macapaga-Arroyo's spokesman Ignacio Buyne told Agence France-Presse (AFP) the government had the money, and that soldiers on the front lines would get their P150 (just over $3) daily raise in combat pay.

Erap confident of verdict reversal (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Ousted president Joseph Estrada said Friday he is confident that the Sandiganbayan will reverse its verdict convicting him of plunder after his lawyers presented oral arguments before the anti-graft court. 


Estrada attended Friday's oral arguments on his motion for reconsideration at the Sandigabayan Special Division, which began around 9:20 a.m. 


"I'm not only optimistic, I'm pretty sure. Very clearly there is no case against me," Estrada told reporters after emerging from the courtroom. 

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