[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 26 February 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Feb 26 15:40:12 PHT 2008

Newsbriefs 26 February 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Arroyo on 'flawed' NBN deal 'lost in translation'--Palace (INQUIRER.net)

"MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's statement about knowing that the national broadband network contract was "flawed" had been "lost in translation" when it was reported in media, her spokesman said Tuesday.

"The President categorically denies that she said that the deal, or the contract, is flawed. It was misinterpreted. It was lost in translation," Anthony Golez, deputy presidential spokesman, told reporters at the Palace.

Golez issued the clarification three days after Arroyo's interview with radio station dzRH, and two days after Senate President Manuel Villar said that the President's admission could be grounds for her impeachment.

At the same time, Golez reiterated that the President had moved to cancel the project after she was informed of alleged anomalies surrounding it."

Cory to Arroyo: Resignation is 'noble' way out of moral crisis (www.gmanews.tv)

"(Updated 2:55 p.m.) Former President Corazon Aquino reiterated on Tuesday her call for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

A GMA Flash Report said that Mrs Aquino made the call before members of the Makati Business Club and Management Association of the Philippines during their Joint General Membership Meeting and 22nd Anniversary of the Pinoy Micro Entrepreneur at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati City.

In her speech, she told the audience that there was a way out of the country's "severe moral crisis."

"Let us heed the call for discernment and together act with a sense of moral purpose and urgency. Our guiding light should not be an obsession (to evict) the President from Malacañang. Given our concern to protect the pillars of our democracy, the extra-constitutional removal of the President is not an ideal we would want to aspire for,"she said.

"But, in an environment where abuse of power in the face of weak democratic institutions closes all doors of legitimate redress, sadly we are too often pushed to the brink. That is why the most noble and least disruptive way out of the moral crisis would be for the President to resign from office,"she added."


Palace: No ground for impeachment (www.philstar.com) 

"Malacañang officials claimed yesterday there is no basis to impeach President Arroyo despite her admission that she allowed the signing of the $329-million national broadband network (NBN) deal with ZTE Corp. of China even if she knew that the deal was attended with irregularities.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sergio Apostol and Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde in separate interviews pointed out the NBN deal was not consummated since there was no contract signed.

"There was no culpable violation of the Constitution so the admission (of Mrs. Arroyo of knowledge of possible irregularities) is not an impeachable offense," Apostol told The STAR."

Police officials again snub Senate's abduction probe (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"Police officials again snubbed Tuesday's Senate inquiry on the alleged abduction of Rodolfo Noel "Jun" Lozada Jr. who testified on the botched national broadband network (NBN) project with China's ZTE Corp. 

Those who did not again attend the Senate probe even after subpoenas were issued last week were Director General Avelino Razon Jr., Philippine National Police chief, Chief Superintendent Romeo Hilomen of the Police Security and Protection Office and his deputy, Senior Superintendent Paul Mascariñas, and Chief Superintendent Atiliano Morada of the Aviation Security Group (ASG). 


Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, a committee member, said he was bothered by the non-appearance of the invited resource persons on the alleged abduction who only sent a letter to the Senate. 


"Instead of a response to our invitations and subpoena Santos, Santos and Santos law offices gave us a reply," Biazon." 


Gaite says he gave Lozada P500,000 out of 'pity' (abs-cbnNEWS.com) 


"Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Manuel Gaite testified in the Senate hearing Tuesday on the scrapped broadband deal that he provided P500,000 in financial assistance to Rodolfo Lozada Jr. while the latter was in Hong Kong out of "pity" for the controversial witness. 


"I cannot provide a rational justification for my act. All I know is that my action at that time was moved by my faith and conscience. I believed Mr. Lozada and I pitied him," Gaite said when asked why he would give such a big amount of money to Lozada." 


'United, definite' statement expected after CBCP emergency meet (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"Bishops will try to come up with a "united and definite" stand on whether or not to support calls for President Arroyo's resignation because of allegations of corruption in her administration, a more aggressive prelate said Tuesday.


"Ang inaasahan namin ay talagang malinaw at diretsong usapan na (We are expecting [the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)] to come up with a clear and direct statement)," Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz told ABS-CBN's morning show, Umagang Kay Ganda.


The CBCP on Monday called for an emergency meeting at the Pope Pius Center in Manila to "discuss the current situation" on calls for Mrs. Arroyo's resignation and the allegations of corruption in government."

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