[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 27 February 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Feb 27 15:26:42 PHT 2008

Newsbriefs 27 February 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Arroyo forms team to study CBCP call to scrap EO 464 (INQUIRER.net)

"MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has formed a "legal team" of Cabinet executives to study the recommendation of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to lift Executive Order (EO) 464, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Wednesday.

Ermita said the team -- himself, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sergio Apostol, Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera, the deputy executive secretary for legal affairs and the head of the government corporate counsel -- would meet on Wednesday afternoon.

He said the team would come up with a "definite recommendation" to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo by Thursday morning on the controversial order, which bars government employees from appearing before congressional inquiries without the President's personal clearance.

"The President instructed me to compose a legal team to take a look at EO 464 in relation to the recommendation of the CBCP and we hope to be able to submit the position of the team by tomorrow morning [Thursday]," Ermita said."

CJ Puno: SC to determine parameters of executive privilege (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"Chief Justice Reynato Puno stressed on Wednesday the importance of the oral arguments set on March 4 in the Supreme Court on the petition of former socioeconomic planning secretary Romulo Neri questioning the Senate's arrest order against him as the SC would then discuss and determine the parameters of executive privilege.


"We'll decide what communications of the president are included in executive privilege. Its a new issue," said Puno.


Puno made the statement as he spoke at a forum launched by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance with the theme "Impunity and Press Freedom".


Puno said that while the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) recommended to President Arroyo the revocation of Executive Order 464 which has been used to prevent top government officials from attending hearings in Congress, the doctrine of executive privilege remains in the Constitution.


The Chief Justice said that executive privilege cannot be abolished because of this but he said it is important to determine the parameters of its use."


Bishop says sorry, insists CBCP can't call for Arroyo to resign (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"A bishop on Wednesday apologized to people who were expecting the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to finally call for President Arroyo's resignation.


"... kung sa inyong akala ay kulang. Sorry na lang po pero iyon po ang aming narating (If you think [the pastoral letter] fell short of your expectations. Sorry, but that is what we have decided)," Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez told radio dzMM.


He added: "Whatever its worth, I hope we will continue to discern together, look for solutions together and act together."


CJ Puno pushes Congress for cap on civil liabilities for libel (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"Chief Justice Reynato Puno on Wednesday asked Congress to put a cap on the civil liabilities that could be imposed on those found guilty of libel.


Puno made the call during a forum launched by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance with the theme "Impunity and Press Freedom".


The Supreme Court Chief Justice said that the determinations of civil liabilities on those found guilty of libel were often "too arbitrary". He said that there should be standards that should be defined in a law on the "maximum amount" that could be set as civil liabilities to victims of libel."

Three criminal charges filed vs Arroyo at the Ombudsman (www.gmanews.tv)
"Former Senate president Jovito Salonga on Wednesday filed three criminal charges against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with her role in the controversial national broadband network project.

Salonga accused Mrs Arroyo of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019), the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713 section 7-A) and the Anti-Plunder Law or RA 7080.

The former senator and the civil society groups Kilosbayan and Bantay Katarungan accused Arroyo of having a role in the allegedly anomalous deal entered into by the government and China's ZTE Corp on the implementation of the NBN project."
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