[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 14 March 2008 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Mar 10 06:37:11 PHT 2008

Newsbriefs 14 March 2008 Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Bishops call for change, forgiveness in pastoral letter (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and bishops of the Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Province of Manila called for "change and forgiveness" in their pastoral letter set to be read to Catholics during Palm Sunday, abs-cbnNEWS.com learned Thursday.


The text of the pastoral letter was posted in the Multiply.com site of the Chancery of the Diocese of Parañaque, http://chancery.multiply.com Tuesday. An updated version of the statement was posted Thursday, a day before activists mount another massive street demonstration in Manila against President Arroyo.


The diocese's Circular No. 2008-020 was dated March 11, 2008 and addressed to "all parish priests, parish administrators, chaplains, rectors of shrines and superiors of religious congregations of men" in the Diocese of Parañaque.


"We are forwarding to you a copy of the Statement "Towards a Morally Rebuilt Nation" which came out in the last meeting with His Eminence, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, D.D., Archbishop of Manila together with their Excellencies, the Bishops of the Suffragan Dioceses of Manila on the current political situation," the circular read."


Proposed baselines: War or surrender (Philippine Daily Inquirer, INQUIRER.net)

"MANILA, Philippines-(UPDATE) House Bill No. 3216, which is in virtual limbo after being passed by the House of Representatives on second reading last December, proposes that islands in the South China Sea already occupied by other countries including China be enclosed within Philippine territory.

But in a paper for the House committee on foreign affairs, the Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs (CMOA), which is under the Office of the President, warned that the Philippines might be left to choose between declaring war to regain control of the islands or surrendering them outright.

"[The] proposed baselines will enclose foreign-occupied islands. This is a very critical situation," the CMOA said."

RP to lose hold on Spratlys without baselines bill (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

"MANILA, Philippines -- Security expert and former Navy Commodore Rex Robles said on Thursday that the country stood to lose a considerable deal if Congress were to fail to pass an archipelagic baselines bill before the United Nations deadline in May 2009.

Robles expressed pessimism that the bill would be passed on time, saying the country needed to set up structures on South China sea islets which it was claiming for them to be recognized as base points.

He said features in the South China Sea may only be seen during low tide and the Philippines should construct lighthouses on them so they may be considered as basepoints.

"We stand to lose a lot because the whole archipelagic thing is our project. The Unclos (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas) developed the archipelagic theory because of the Philippine initiative," Robles said."

China admits concern over Spratlys furor (www.philstar.com) 

"China is worried about the furor over its joint seismic undertaking with the Philippines and Vietnam in the disputed Spratly islands. 

Peng Xiubin, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Manila, said yesterday in a statement that his government "is worried about some recently emerged tendencies in the Philippines, which may impose negative influence on China-Philippine friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation." 

Peng said China also finds disturbing the turn of events in the national broadband network (NBN) scandal involving one of its biggest telecommunications firms, ZTE Corp.

"Beijing hopes to make joint efforts with the Philippines to properly handle the problems related to our bilateral cooperation, so as to maintain healthy development of China-Philippine relations and to safeguard peace and stability in South China Sea and the region at large," Peng said."

Chinese delegation keeps an eye on Senate inquiry (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"VISITING Chinese communist party officials expressed concern on the diplomatic implications of the Senate inquiries into the national broadband project and the Joint Marine Seismic Undertakings in the Spratly Islands. 

Vice Minister Liu Hongcai of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China said they are hoping that Chinese-Philippine relations will become "better and better" amid the ruckus generated by the Senate investigations. 

"I hope these 'small issues' will not affect our bilateral ties, especially the general picture of bilateral connections between our countries," Liu told reporters after a courtesy call on Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno at the National Police Commission in Makati yesterday. "

Malacañang security beefed up ahead of anti-Arroyo rally (www.gmanews.tv)

"MANILA, Philippines - Police and presidential guards tightened security around Malacañang early Friday, hours before anti-Arroyo groups were to stage another rally in Manila in the afternoon.

Radio dzBB reported that as of Friday morning, police and the Presidential Security Group increased patrols around the Palace perimeter.

While Mendiola Bridge remained open to traffic, police placed barricades and barbed wire on "standby" while the PSG increased their "presence" in the area."

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