[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 23 October 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Oct 23 16:48:21 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 23 October 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



'High level of certainty' mall blast an accident--probers (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2) There is a "high level of certainty" that the explosion in a mall in Makati City last week was an accident, authorities said Tuesday, four days after the incident that killed 11 people and injured scores.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno said this was the report given by Philippine National Police chief Avelino Razon at the National Security Security Council meeting presided by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"There is a very, very high certainty that the blast was accidental caused by the presence of certain structures underground that caused the explosion," Puno told reporters in Malacañang after the meeting.

UPDATE) Comelec orders arrest of Maguindanao poll chief (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- The Commission on Elections en banc has promulgated a resolution ordering the arrest of Maguindanao provincial election supervisor Lintang Bedol, according to the poll body's spokesman.

Bedol was cited for contempt by the Comelec for, among others, failure to appear before the body when he was summoned. He is out on bail.

Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said the warrant was issued Monday.

Lawyer: Estrada appeal for pardon 'an act of statesmanship' (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Former president Joseph Estrada's decision to ask for a pardon from President Arroyo is an "act of statesmanship" meant to heed the administration's call for national unity, Estrada's lawyer said Tuesday. 


"What he did was a singular act of statesmanship that is meant for the greater, in the national interest. They (Filipinos) don't need a divided country. Our republic needs recovery, not revenge," lawyer Jose Flaminiano told radio dzMM. 


Estrada may run for office again if pardoned (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Former president Joseph Estrada can run for public office again if his request for presidential pardon is granted by President Arroyo. 


Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno, who was tasked by the Arroyo administration to negotiate with the Estrada family for the clemency, said the government has no problem in restoring the former president's full civil and political rights.


"In so far as the prison term and in so far as the restoration of full civil and political rights, I think there is no problem there...The restoration of full civil and political rights simply means he can vote again; he can run for public office," Puno said.


PAGCOR didn't fund cash gifts, says exec (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


An official of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. denied Tuesday that the agency distributed cash gifts to congressmen and governors in Malacañang Palace last October 11. 


PAGCOR vice-president Adolph Edward Plaza said PAGCOR could not have released the money that was received by governors Eddie Panlilio of Pampanga and Joselito Mendoza of Bulacan in a private room in the presidential palace. He said the money that Panlilio received came from the Philippine Bank of Commerce while PAGCOR maintains accounts in Landbank of the Philippines. 


Plaza, who was appointed by President Arroyo as vice-president for PAGCOR's service arm, also denied that he was invited to the governors' league meeting to oversee the distribution of the cash gifts to congressmen and governors. He said he was invited to the meeting to help solve an internal problem of the League of Provinces of the Philippines. 

Terrorism won't stop senators on bribe probe (Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- The self-styled "solid eight" opposition senators on Monday said they would not let the Glorietta mall bombing distract them from their probe of anomalies in the Arroyo administration.

In a statement on Monday, the minority bloc members said they would stay focused on investigations of the ZTE-National Broadband Network (NBN) scandal, the "Hello Garci" tapes and the distribution of bags of money during a recent meeting in Malacañang.

The eight senators -- Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Panfilo Lacson, Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino Jr., Rodolfo Biazon, Antonio Trillanes IV, Loren Legarda and Ma. Ana Consuelo "Jamby" Madrigal -- met Sunday afternoon at the Manila Polo Club to assess the political situation in the face of the suspected terrorist bomb blast in Makati City.

SWS: Producing own food no cure-all for hunger (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Owning a garden, fish pond or other supplementary food source is no guarantee that a Filipino family would no longer experience hunger, results of the latest Social Weather Stations survey revealed Tuesday. 


The SWS survey, conducted last September 3-5, showed that total hunger is higher among families with a supplementary food source (22.1%) than among those without such a source (20.6%). 


"The ideal scenario is that total hunger [incidence] wouldbe lower among those with alternative food source. However, this only affects families that experience severe involuntary hunger or those who experience hunger often," Leo Laroza, SWS senior survey research and communications specialist, told abs-cbnNEWS.com.

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