[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 21 November 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Nov 21 16:54:50 PHT 2008

Newsbriefs 21 November 2008 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Villafuerte confirms push for Con-Ass, says 156 have signed (abs-cbnNEWS.com) 
At least 156 congressmen have signed a resolution calling for the convening of a Constituent Assembly that will amend the 1987 Constitution, a senior administration ally in the House of Representatives confirmed Friday. 

In an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), Rep. Luis Villafuerte of Camarines Sur said the main objective of the resolution is to force a judicial petition before the Supreme Court so that it can rule on whether the two houses of Congress should vote separately or jointly when it comes to amending the charter.

Villafuerte, president of President Arroyo's political party, Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI), clarified that there are two resolutions that have been filed in the lower house on charter change.

The first is House Speaker Prospero Nograles' resolution calling for a Constituent Assembly so that the economic protectionist provisions of the 1987 Constitution can be lifted in order to attract more foreign investors. 

But Villafuerte said he himself did not sign this resolution since it would be premature for Congress, being merely a law-making body, to take up Nograles' resolution.

He said Congress must first transform itself into a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) before Nograles' resolution can be taken up. Only a Con-Ass and a Constitutional Convention can amend the charter, he said.

Senators nix Charter change (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Senators on Friday crossed party lines to oppose the revival of efforts to amend the Constitution. 

"No way. Not at this time. I am against it. I will oppose it. It's dead in the water in the Senate," said Senator Joker Arroyo in an interview. 

Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said the opposition would "man Tirad Pass again" against attempts to rewrite the Charter, referring to the last stand by Filipino hero Gregorio del Pilar against American troops during the Philippine-American War.


Senator Francis Pangilinan said it is clear the initiative being pushed by the administration is not in the interest of the country but of the few people in power. 

Pangilinan warned that, this time, people are likely to rise up if the administration insists on tinkering with the Constitution


Arroyo leaves for APEC summit: Vows to focus rich nations' attention to poor


MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left for Lima, Peru Friday afternoon for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, with a vow to focus the attention of rich nations to the poor.

"This afternoon, we leave for the APEC leader's meeting in Peru. We are optimistic as we leave about our future and the hope, optimism, and resilience of the Filipino people, because we are revitalized by what we see here," Arroyo said in a speech before her departure, as she switched on the University of the Philippines-Ayala Land Techno Hub in Quezon City.

"We will express to the other leaders of APEC the hope of our people that in seeking common ground on ways to coordinate assistance to our economies, we must do so in a way that puts the interest of the poor and the dispossessed ahead of the rich and the powerful," she said.

Palace keeping hands off Charter change (INQUIRER.net)


MANILA, Philippines -- Malacañang is keeping its hands off moves in the House of Representatives, reportedly spearheaded by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's son, to amend the 1987 Constitution.

"While the Palace has consistently advocated for reforms in the Constitution, the process of achieving those needed reforms is something that is within the mandate and competence of Congress. Hence, we leave this issue to the legislative department to handle," Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said in a statement.

De Castro: Arroyo will step down in 2010 (Philippine Daily Inquirer) 

MANILA, Philippines-Vice President Noli de Castro believes President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is serious about stepping down when her term ends in June 2010, and is steering clear of any move to extend her term.

"I believe she's stepping down," De Castro, who is reportedly being groomed as the administration's standard-bearer in the 2010 presidential elections, said Thursday. "She has served nine years and she has proved her worth."

SC final ruling: MOA-AD unconstitutional (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- The Supreme Court denied with finality a plea to reverse its earlier ruling declaring unconstitutional the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In a three-page resolution, the high court dismissed the motion for reconsideration filed by the Muslim Legal Assistance Foundation Inc. and the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society.

The high court said the two organizations failed to raise any new issue that might warrant the reversal of its October 14 ruling.

"The Court resolved to deny with finality the said motions, as the basic issues raised therein have been passed upon by this Court and no substantial arguments were presented to warrant the reversal of the questioned decision," the decision said.

2 ex-PNP officers in Dacer murder case arrested in US (www.gmanews.tv)
MANILA, Philippines - Two former Philippine National Police officers linked to the killing of PR man Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in 2000 were arrested in the United States Thursday night, a justice department official said Friday.

Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor said former superintendent Cesar Mancao II is now detained in Florida while former senior superintendent Glenn Dumlao is detained in New York.

"Ang DOJ gumawa ng extradition request sa US DOJ, inaprubahan ng US DOJ. Kagabi picked up ang dalawa by virtue of extradition (Both have outstanding arrest warrants. The Philippine justice department made an extradition request to its US counterpart, which approved the request. The two were picked up Thursday night by virtue of the extradition)," Blancaflor said in an interview on dzBB radio.
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