[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 19 November 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Nov 19 16:48:48 PHT 2008

Newsbriefs 19 November 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


House probes Moscow fund mess (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 2) The House of Representatives has started its investigation into the Moscow fund mess.

Retired police director Eliseo de la Paz, the general caught with 105,000 euros in Russia last October, is present in the hearing, together with the police delegation that attended the 77th Interpol General Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia, Representative Rodolfo Antonino, the chairman of the committee on public order and safety said.

PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa is also present.

In his opening statement, Dela Paz said he would be willing to answer every question in the same manner that he answered questions during his testimony at the Senate last Saturday.

'Believe,' Ermita on Arroyo 2010 term (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Take her word for it, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is stepping down at the end of her term in 2010, Malacañang said, dousing fresh talk of alleged plans to amend the Constitution to extend her stay in office.

"We just have to believe in the spoken words and statements of the President," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita told a news conference at the Palace on Wednesday.

"The President has said in many occasions that she's stepping down by the end of her term in 2010. That's where it stands right now. The issue is not being discussed," he said.

On Tuesday, Arroyo was caught off guard when Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said in his prayer at the start of a weekly Cabinet meeting for her to continue leading the country "even beyond 2010."

House bars inclusion of Moro homeland accord in impeachment proceedings (abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak)
Voting 35-4, the House Committee on Justice on Wednesday ruled against the inclusion of the "complaint-in-intervention" filed by political analyst Manolo Quezon and two other complaints filed by lawyers Oliver Lozano and Guillermo Sotto against President Arroyo.
"The chair rules that the same be returned," panel chairman Matias Defensor said of the three complaints that followed the first impeachment complaint filed national broadband deal star witness Jose "Joey" de Venecia III and opposition lawyer Harry Roque. 
With objections from opposition solons, the matter was put to a vote. Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño appealed the ruling of Defensor and sought the consolidation of Quezon's complaint-in-intervention with the one filed by de Venecia.

"We should allow other people to include other causes of action against the President. Such should not be merely put aside," Casiño said.


Palace won in latest Senate coup - Pangilinan (www.gmanews.tv)

MANILA, Philippines - Independent Senator Francis Pangilinan on Wednesday expressed dismay over the change in the Senate's leadership, saying Malacañang won in the recent Senate coup.

In a statement posted on the Senate website, Pangilinan said the powers of Malacañang are very visible in the upper chamber now that Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and majority leader Juan Miguel Zubiri were installed as new leaders of the Senate.

Both Enrile and Zubiri are close allies of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

"Bukang-bibig lamang ang nagsasabi na lalong lalakas ang pagiging independyente ng Senado. Maliwanag na nakipagsabwatan ang mga taga-oposisyon at administrasyon sa Senado ng dahil sa kani-kanilang ambisyon sa 2010 at ang resulta, Malacañang pa rin ang panalo at nangingibabaw, sinadya man nila o hindi (It's a delusion to say that the Senate's independence will be further strengthened. It's very clear that the opposition and administration blocs in the Senate collaborated with an eye on the 2010 election. Intended or not, Malacanang is the biggest beneficiary," he said.


Estrada to run if opposition won't unite (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Former president Joseph Estrada has announced his decision to run again "if the opposition would not unite."

Estrada made this declaration in a television interview Wednesday when asked whether he would run in 2010, saying this will be his "last option."

"If the opposition does not unite, I will run. That's my last option. If they don't unite, I will run," said Estrada who was ousted in a popular revolt in 2001 and replaced by his then vice president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Bishops push debate among 2010 bets (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

THE Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has offered to host any debate among presidential candidates for the 2010 elections as part of its campaign to inform the voters. 

Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, CBCP spokesman, told reporters that the proposed debate may be patterned after the recent face-off between the American presidential contenders. 

"For now, I can say that the CBCP through its media office is very much willing to host a presidential debate," Quitorio told a forum hosted by CBCP's Catholic Media Network. 

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