[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 18 February 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Feb 18 17:46:32 PHT 2008


Newsbriefs 18 February 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

Cabinet behind GMA all the way (www.philstar.com)
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said that all members of the cabinet are solidly behind President Arroyo despite the calls for them to resign. 

Ermita said Mrs. Arroyo has done so much for the country and that they will support her no matter what. 

Government officials who served under former Presidents Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada called on Cabinet officials to resign during the Mass held at the La Salle Greenhills yesterday. -- Alexa Villano

Neri lost faith in Arroyo over ZTE controversy - Lozada (www.philstar.com)
 

Dropping bombshells at a Senate hearing on the controversial $329.48-million ZTE national broadband network (NBN) deal, witness Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr on Monday said Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chair Romulo Neri had thought of resigning from government in his capacity as then-socioeconomic planning secretary after losing faith in President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In his Senate testimony, a reluctant Lozada said Neri was "agonizing" over the thought of resigning from his post as director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) after his conversation with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regarding the alleged P200-million bribe offer from resigned Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Benjamin Abalos for the approval of the ZTE contract.

"He (Neri) has been agonizing over it (resigning)... because the President has lost all moral authority over him," Lozada said.

 

Neri: I cannot recall describing Arroyo as 'evil' (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

 

Embattled Chairman Romulo Neri of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said he cannot recall describing President Arroyo as "evil" during a previous meeting with Senate witness Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada Jr. and two other senators. 

 

"I know Jun is very sincere with me and cares for me but I really cannot recall that statement. I don't remember. I cannot up to now," Neri told a press conference in Malacañang Monday.

 

Palace officials called a press briefing to answer the allegations of Lozada during the Senate hearing on the scrapped national broadband network contract with China's ZTE Corp. 

 

 (UPDATE) Ombudsman Gutierrez inhibits self from NBN probe (INQUIRER.net)



MANILA, Philippines -- Ombdusman Merceditas Gutierrez has inhibited herself from her office's investigation into the national broadband network scandal.



In a statement at the start of the hearing Monday, Gutierrez said some people have questioned her impartiality because of her ties with First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, who was her classmate at the Ateneo Law School.



The First Gentleman has been linked to the NBN scam, which he has denied.



But Gutierrez assured her critics that her office had installed "safeguards" to ensure a fair ruling on the case.



SC Decision on 'Hello, Garci' Falls Short in Upholding Press Freedom (abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak)

 

The Supreme Court decision on the 'Hello, Garci' case, in considering the wiretapped conversations unprotected speech, falls short in championing the cause of free speech. 

 

 

The decision in effect states that media should not be barred from airing the tape but would not be immune from possible sanctions imposed by the anti-wiretapping law.

 

In Chief Justice Reynato Puno's ponente, the 'Hello, Garci' tape is classified as unprotected expression which can be subjected to prior restraint if government is able to justify that it presents clear and present danger.

 

Feb. 25 a special non-working holiday--Palace (INQUIRER.net)



MANILA, Philippines -- February 25, the anniversary of the first people power revolution, is a special non-working holiday, Malacañang has announced.

 
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