[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 14 September 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Sep 14 13:38:50 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 14 September 2007 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Communist leader Sison walks free (INQUIRER.net)


MANILA, Philippines -- Communist leader Jose Maria Sison has been freed from prison, just hours after a Dutch court ordered his release after it failed to find "sufficient indications" he was involved in the murders of former political colleagues in the Philippines.


But Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People's Army (NPA), is not off the hook yet as the District Court of The Hague does not preclude him from being prosecuted on murder charges.


"The charges are not being dropped. The investigation will continue and the national police still consider him a suspect," spokesman Wim de Bruin of the national prosecutor's office told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.


The Dutch court only rules on the request to keep someone in custody, while it is the public prosecutor's office that decides on whether or not to prosecute. 


"Now that he is released, there is no need for a trial within three months," De Bruin said. "It can start longer than three months."


Joma says incarceration 'painful, humiliating' (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Self-exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison, who was released from prison after 17 days of solitary confinement in the Netherlands, has described his ordeal at the Scheveningen prison as "extremely painful and humiliating."


In a statement issued following his release Wednesday, Sison said it was extremely painful and humiliating to be subjected to solitary confinement for more than two weeks and tough interrogation under overheated lamps for two to three hours everyday.    


"The ordeal is acute because I am innocent of the false and politically motivated charge leveled against me.. You cannot imagine how happy I am [to be released from prison]," the 68-year-old founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines said.  


Gov't close to forging peace pact with MILF (www.philstar.com) 

The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are close to forging a final peace agreement that would bring more foreign aid to Mindanao, President Arroyo said.

Mrs. Arroyo issued the statement after she held bilateral talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit last week in Sydney where the two leaders committed to ensure the success of the peace negotiations. Malaysia is brokering the four-year-old peace talks.

"We are close to a peace agreement with the MILF - thanks once again to the Bishops-Ulama Conference," Mrs. Arroyo said in her speech at the launching of the BUC Forum with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police at Malacañang Wednesday night.

'Many people commit plunder every day' (www.philstar.com) 

On any given day, many people like former President Joseph Estrada commit plunder, if one were to go by the decision of the Sandiganbayan in convicting the disgraced leader, former solicitor general Estelito Mendoza said yesterday.

Mendoza, legal counsel of Estrada, protested the guilty verdict, saying it was based on the predicate act of "receiving and collecting jueteng money in the total amount of P545 million."

"Jueteng is not a public fund, so how could there be plunder?"  Mendoza asked.

He said the Sandiganbayan should also convict known illegal gambling operators who rake in millions every day.

According to Mendoza, the decision of the Sandiganbayan's Special Division convicting Estrada of plunder last Wednesday was "flawed."

Mendoza announced the defense would seek a reconsideration of the decision.

If the motion is denied, Mendoza said they have no recourse but to elevate the case to the Supreme Court.

Barangay polls filing sked reset (Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- The Commission on Elections has reset the date for the filing of certificates of candidacy for the barangay (village) and Sangguniang Kabataan (youth council) elections to Sept. 29 from Sept. 14.

In a statement, the Comelec said Thursday it would accept the certificates until Oct. 18. 

The Comelec also set the ban on firearms from Sept. 29 to Nov. 13.

The Comelec en banc, in Resolution 8301, cited the need to adjust the schedule "to ensure accomplishment of the activities in preparation for the barangay and SK elections [on Oct. 29] and so as not to deprive voters of their right of suffrage.


Tropical storm Falcon intensifies (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Tropical storm Falcon (international codename Nari) has strengthened and continued to move west-northwest at the tip of Luzon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said late Thursday.


As of 10 p.m., Falcon was spotted 980 kilometers east-northeast of Basco, Batanes, with maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour near the center. It was moving west-northwest at 19 kph.


PAGASA forecast Falcon to be 770 kilometers northeast of Batanes or 70 kilometers south of Okinawa, southern Japan by Friday evening.


The weather bureau said Falcon will not directly affect any part of the country. It, however, it will enhance the southwest monsoon and bring rains over Southern Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

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