[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 6 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Sep 6 16:25:40 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 6 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Garcillano evades Senate subpoena for wiretap probe (INQUIRER.net)

(UPDATE 2) MANILA, Philippines -- It looks like former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano will not be at the Senate investigation of the wiretapping scandal this Friday as the legislative body failed to serve his subpoena, Senator Rodolfo Biazon said Thursday


Biazon is chairman of the committee on national defense that will lead the investigation into the case linking President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Garcillano and other personalities to cheating in the May 2004 elections.

But Garcillano's lawyer, Eddie Tamondong, assured the Senate in a letter that his client would be present on September 21, according to Sergeant-at-arms Jose Balajadia.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. has likened Garcillano to a "slippery eel" after the Senate did not find him in either Cagayan de Oro City or Bukidnon -- the two places where he was supposed to be found.

Garcillano was scheduled to attend the hearing, along with Bishop Socrates Villegas, General Efren Abu, retired Armed Forces chief; Rear Admiral Tirso Danga; Samuel Ong, former deputy director of the National Bureau of Investigation; and Vidal Doble, the military intelligence agent who had admitted to wiretapping the President.

Garcillano to attend Senate hearings, says lawyer (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


The lawyer of former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano on Thursday said his client will be able to attend Senate hearings on the wiretapping controversy despite his failure to receive a subpoena issued by the upper chamber. 


Lawyer  Eddie Tamondong said Garcillano was not home when authorities brought the subpoena to Cagayan de Oro because he is in Manila for over a week now.


He asked the Senate to allow his client to appear before the inquiry on September 21 since Garcillano is scheduled to undergo minor surgery on September 11. 


Meanwhile, Bataan Bishop Socrates Villegas and former Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Efren Abu have confirmed their attendance in the hearing.


EO 464 war looms in 'Garci' probe (www.philstar.com) 

A new battle over Executive Order 464 may erupt as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) invoked the controversial gag order even as senators threatened to seek clarification before the Supreme Court in its ruling on the issue.

AFP Public Information Office chief Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro said military officials are required to seek permission from President Arroyo as the Commander-in-Chief before appearing before congressional inquiries.

Bacarro made the statement after AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence (J2) Vice Admiral Tirso Danga was summoned by the Senate to appear before the reinvestigation of the "Hello, Garci" wiretap scandal on Friday.

Danga was chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) during the 2004 elections when the wiretap scandal broke out.

Bacarro said as a matter of procedure, the AFP's Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) will act on behalf of Danga in notifying the Judge Advocate General's Office (JAGO) regarding the Senate summons.

The JAGO, in turn, will be sending notice to the Office of the President regarding the Senate summons and seek clearance to allow Danga to appear before the inquiry.

Bacarro said OLA is initially drafting a letter directly addressed to the President seeking her clearance to allow Danga to appear before the Senate. He said the letter will be endorsed by AFP chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

"This letter will be addressed to the President... seeking clearance for the appearance of the requested officer (at) the hearing in accordance to the provisions of EO 464 and to the military's Memorandum Circular No. 108," Bacarro said.

Abalos welcomes impeach try (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Embattled Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. of the Commission on Elections welcomed Thursday an impeachment complaint against him which is set to be filed by Iloilo Vice Gov. Rolex Suplico next week.


Abalos said the impeachment complaint will give him a chance to refute allegations that he brokered the $329-million national broadband network (NBN) contract between the Philippine government and Chinese state-run firm ZTE Corp.


"If they think they have sufficient evidence, then they should file the complaint so that I will see their evidence and answer all the charges. I will answer," the COMELEC chief told ABS-CBN.  


CPP: Government amnesty program, a worthless gimmick (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) considered the announcement of the Arroyo government to set aside P500 million for the amnesty program for communist rebels as "just a worthless gimmick."


The communist rebel group made this reaction following the approval on Tuesday of the National Security Council of a program that would grant amnesty to members of the New People's Army who would return to the folds of the law and surrender their firearms as well.


"The amnesty gimmick of the Arroyo regime will be totally ignored and roundly rejected by the revolutionary forces," said CPP spokesman Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal.


On Tuesday, President Arroyo allocated P500 million in livelihood support for rebels who will seek amnesty as part of the government's initiative to achieve peace and security in the country.      


"NPA fighters and revolutionaries are driven not by personal interest but by the desire to serve the people and their revolution. They will never accept offers to surrender. NPA fighters will never grow tired of fighting for the people especially in the face of the worsening oppression under the Arroyo regime," Rosal added.


Pollution, sanitation, hygiene RP's biggest concerns--report (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Air pollution, lack of good sanitation and hygiene practices are the most significant environment-related health risks in the country, according to a joint report by the World Bank and two government agencies.

The Philippine Environment Monitor 2006 of the World Bank, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Health, which was launched Tuesday, show that these concerns account for 22 percent of reported disease cases and six percent of deaths and cost P14.3 billion per year in lost income and medical expenses.

The report states that water-borne diseases, poor sanitation conditions and poor hygiene practices account for one-sixth of all deaths in the Philippines and about 6,000 premature deaths per year. Diarrhea is the most common water-borne disease, followed by intestinal worms, typhoid, and cholera.

Over 25 million Filipinos do not have access to basic sanitation and another 13 million do not have proper water resources contributing to the problem, the report said. Due to water pollution, cost of treatment and lost income amounted to P6.7 billion in 2006, it says.

Air pollution is another problem and among the diseases attributed to this are chronic bronchitis, pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases. City dwellers, amounting to 18 million Filipinos, are the biggest victims of air pollution due to their proximity to smoke belching vehicles, and even tobacco smoke, the report says.

It states that losses from cost of treatment and lost income due to air pollution amounts to P7.6 billion per year, it says.

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