[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 19 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Sep 19 18:48:57 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 19 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



House majority challenged to file impeach case vs Abalos (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Since most of the personalities involved in the national broadband network fiasco are allied with the administration, the majority bloc in the House of Representatives should be the one to initiate an impeachment case against Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos, an opposition lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Abalos has been accused by Jose "Joey" de Venecia III, son of Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr., of allegedly brokering and receiving commissions from the anomalous NBN contract between the government and the ZTE Corp. of China.

Deputy Minority Floor Leader Roilo Golez noted that like Abalos, his accuser was also identified with the administration."We, in the minority, feel that we prepare to await the move of the majority bloc considering that all dramatis personae, including accuser Joey de Venecia, are identified with the administration or majority," Golez said in a statement.

"It should be the majority, which should initiate the impeachment move. If and when that happens, the minority will study and discuss whether to join," he said.

Arroyo OKs Cabinet men's attendance at ZTE probe (www.gmanews.tv)
 (Update 2:09 p.m.) Shortly after belittling the proceedings as a mere "vaudeville," President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Wednesday allowed senior Cabinet officials to attend the Senate investigation into the $329.4-million national broadband project, a senior Malacañang official said.

Radio station dzBB quoted Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita as saying that Mrs Arroyo gave her consent to show that her administration has nothing to hide about the government's contract with ZTE Corp. of China.

The President gave her nod to Secretaries Leandro Mendoza (transportation and communication) and Peter Favila (trade and industry) as well as Chairman Romulo Neri of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and other officials linked to the contract, the report said.


Mike Arroyo won't attend Senate inquiry on NBN deal (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


First gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, husband of President Arroyo, will be unable to attend the Senate inquiry on the government's $329-million national broadband network contract with China's ZTE Corp., Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sergio Apostol said Wednesday. 


Apostol said Mr. Arroyo had just undergone a heart operation and cannot be exposed to stressful situations. He added that the first gentleman cannot be charged with contempt for not showing up at the Senate hearings if making an appearance would be detrimental to his health.


Estrada demands full pardon (Agence France-Presse)


Disgraced former president Joseph Estrada on Wednesday said he would only consider an unconditional pardon from arch-rival and incumbent President Arroyo.


Estrada, 70, maintained he was innocent of massive corruption, the crime he was sentenced to life in prison for last week, and said he would shortly file an appeal before the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court.


"I will accept an absolute or unconditional pardon without any conditions," the charismatic former movie star Estrada told Agence France-Presse in a telephone interview.


"I will never admit I am guilty. I have been in detention for six years and went to the court. I could have left the country, but I did not."


Senate rejects postponement of barangay, SK elections (www.philstar.com) 

Senators reached a consensus yesterday after a caucus to reject the proposal of the House of Representatives to postpone the Sangguniang Kabataan and barangay elections scheduled on Oct. 29.

Congressmen had passed on third and final reading last Monday the proposed bill moving the SK and barangay polls from Oct. 29, 2007 to May 2009.

Majority Leader Francis Escudero said the Senate had reached a consensus that there will be no postponement of the SK and  barangay elections and these will push through on Oct. 29.

PAGASA: Heavy rains brought by southwest monsoon (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Weather bureau PAGASA on Wednesday said the country will continue to experience heavy rains after Typhoon Goring (international codename Wipha) enhanced the southwest monsoon. 


PAGASA chief weather forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said the the southwest monsoon will largely affect Western Luzon and Visayas. He warned that the rains may bring floods or landslides in some parts of the country. 


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