[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 1 February 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Feb 1 17:15:10 PHT 2008

Newsbriefs 1 February 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Neri to question Senate arrest order before SC (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


Former socioeconomic planning chief Romulo Neri said Friday that he will ask the Supreme Court to nullify an arrest warrant issued by the Senate against him after he refused to appear in the upper chamber's inquiry on the $329 million national broadband network deal. 


Neri, who is the chairman of the Commission on Higher Education, said only the high court can end the debate on whether he still needs to be subjected to another round of questionings about the NBN deal.


"I'm waiting for the proper documents and my lawyers will bring it to the Supreme Court, Monday at the latest," he told ANC. 


Palace: 'We're not hiding Neri, Lozada' (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Malacañang rejected accusations it was hiding two government executives facing arrest for refusing to testify before a Senate inquiry on bribery allegations regarding the botched National Broadband Network (NBN) project.

"We are not hiding them. There is no truth to that," deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said in a phone interview, when asked to comment on senators' allegations that the Palace is coddling former socioeconomic planning secretary Romulo Neri and government consultant Rodolfo Lozada.

But Fajardo could not confirm Neri's whereabouts. She said she had not talked to Neri, the current chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHR).

She added there was no word on when Lozada, who left the country just before his scheduled appearance before the Senate, would return from abroad.

Arroyo backs Speaker but not reining in kin (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo considers the decision of her two sons and brother-in-law to support efforts to oust House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. a "party matter," one of her spokespersons said Friday.

But Arroyo still backs De Venecia as Speaker even if she has not moved to rein in her kin in Congress, deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said.

"The President has not said anything about that. It's a party matter," Fajardo said in a phone interview, when asked if Arroyo has talked to her sons -- 

Representatives Juan Miguel Arroyo of Pampanga and Diosdado Arroyo of Camarines Sur -- and brother-in-law, Negros Occidental Representative Ignacio Arroyo.

POEA guidelines on direct hiring of OFWs draw flak (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


The Italian dream of many Filipinos may remain just that if a controversial circular of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) remains in effect. 


POEA Memorandum Circular No. 4 or the Guidelines on the Direct Hiring of Filipino Workers states that foreign employers opting for direct hiring have to put up a repatriation bond of $5,000 and a performance bond equivalent to three months' salary of the worker. 


The memorandum, issued on Dec. 18, 2007, makes no distinction between new and current overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).


An ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau report said the memorandum has turned off most Italian employers. 

(UPDATE) Petron, Shell announce LPG price rollback (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- Two oil companies announced Friday that they would reduce liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Petron Corp. will implement a P1-per-kilo price cut, said Raffy Ledesma, Petron's Corporate Communications officer.

Roberto "Bobby" Kanapi, Pilipinas Shell Corp. general manager for external affairs, updated Shell's LPG price rollback also to P1 per kilogram, from an earlier announcement of P0.50 per kilo.

Both oil firms cited the softening of the international contract price of LPG as the reason for the reduction.

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