[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 6 November 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Nov 6 16:27:57 PHT 2008

Newsbriefs 6 November 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


New Senate order vs Bolante pushed (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero has urged the Senate blue ribbon committee to issue a new warrant of arrest against former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante just to remove doubts over the validity of the existing one that was issued by the Senate during the 13th Congress.

Escudero's proposal came ahead of the committee's reinvestigation next week into the P728 million fertilizer fund allegedly used to buy the support of administration allies during the 2004 elections.

He said the committee headed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano could issue a new arrest order based on the resolution filed by Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas, calling on the Senate to convene a committee of the whole to re-open the investigation.

"To be safe, nothing prevents the Senate from issuing another warrant of arrest based on the resolution filed by Senator Roxas," Escudero said Thursday.

Arroyo wants bishops as gov't 'partners' (INQUIRER.net)

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Zambales -- Upon the instruction of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the government will tap Catholic bishops as "partners in governance" and involve them in the government procurement process, a Cabinet official said.

Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said he made the offer to Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Angel Lagdameo in a meeting last Tuesday.

Andaya said Lagdameo had agreed but that he would have to get in touch with "each and every bishop" in the country.

"We would welcome it very much if they could be with us, participate with us, join with us in procuring all these things," Andaya said.

Arroyo calls for political ceasefire (INQUIRER.net)

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Zambales -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has called for a political ceasefire as Christmas approaches, but at the same time, reiterated her directive for security forces to defeat the communist insurgency before the end of her term in 2010.

Noting that Christmas was just 50 days away, the President said: "Our communities must pull together and set aside personal feuds and political differences. We must focus instead on what positive things we can all do together to improve the lives of our people."

"We would hope that our opponents would join us in putting the people first. Unfortunately, some will opt to put politics and even obsolete ideology ahead of the people. But for us, we will continue to protect the poor and move the nation forward during this challenging time," she said in a speech at a Local Peace and Security Assembly (LPSA) here on Thursday.

Arroyo presses Congress anew on CARP (INQUIRER.net)

SUBIC BAY, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pressed Congress anew on Thursday to pass a bill extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), four days before regular sessions resume.

"I hope Congress will pass the extension of CARP," Arroyo said in a speech 
at a Local Peace and Security Assembly here.

Central Luzon, which includes this province, is home to many farm lands that are supposed to be awarded to small farmers under CARP.

"Whatever shortcomings are said about the implementation of land reform, we exceeded the target of giving away 200,000 hectares [of land] every year," she said.

SC: Mandatory drug tests for candidates unconstitutional (ABS-CBN News)
The Supreme Court (SC) has struck down as unconstitutional the provisions of the country's anti-drug abuse laws requiring mandatory drug testing of candidates for elective positions and persons accused of crimes.

In a 23-page decision, the high court ruling on suits challenging provisions of the Republic Act 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002, however, upheld provisions on authorized "random" and "suspicion-less" drug testing on minor students and employees of public and private offices.

The decision, written by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco, is a consolidation of three suits filed separately by the Social Justice Society (SJS) private lawyer Manuel Laserna and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. Named respondents in the suit were the law's implementing agencies, Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Obama in White House is good news to RP - Kenney (ABS-CBN News)
United States Ambassador Kristie Kenney on Thursday assured Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, of good days ahead, with Barack Obama in the White House.

"He spent several childhood years in Southeast Asia. That is gonna be good news. I think when you grow up already loving Southeast Asia, with the region close to you heart, for us here, that is gonna be good news," Kenney said over ABS-CBN's morning show, "Umagang Kay Ganda."

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