[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 13 August 2009 Thursday

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Aug 13 18:05:32 PHT 2009

Newsbriefs 13 August 2009 Thursday

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


ANONTHER ARROYO DINNER COST $ 15,000 - US PAPER (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines-Guess who came to another expensive Stateside dinner?

After a New York newspaper reported earlier that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's party wined and dined at the cost of $20,000 (about P1 million) at Le Cirque Restaurant in the Big Apple early this month, another US publication has come out with a story on yet another dinner for the presidential entourage in a Washington restaurant, this time costing $15,000.

According to the article "Heartburn Over Two Big Meals" attributed to The Washington Post's "The Reliable Source," Ms Arroyo's party of 65 dined at the Bobby Van's Steakhouse on 15th Street NW hours after her meeting with US President Barack Obama at the White House on July 30.

The Washington Post was the second paper to carry an item about an expensive dinner held by Ms Arroyo's party in the US.

"The group took over one of the restaurant's private rooms and dined on lobster, steak and fine wines; at the conclusion of the meal, an unidentified woman opened a handbag stuffed with cash, counted out bills and paid the $15,000 tab-which included a generous tip," added the article posted on the Washington Post's gossip column and blog site yesterday.


MANILA, Philippines-It was a lavish dinner, all right, but could the New York banquet be a basis to impeach President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?

For Acting Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera the answer is no.

"I don't think it can be a basis for an impeachment complaint or a criminal case for that matter," Devanadera said of Arroyo's dinner with her entourage at the French restaurant Le Cirque in Manhattan.

"It is just an invitation," said Devanadera, who was with Arroyo at the controversial dinner on August 2. "I don't think there's a prohibition on the President to accept an invitation."

MANILA - The election lawyer of President Arroyo is turning the tables on the messengers of the controversial news about a $20,000 dinner tab in New York. 

In a press conference in Malacanang on Wednesday, Romulo Macalintal said that the media has no right to broadcast or publish criticisms against a lavish dinner of President Gloria Arroyo and her entourage in New York last week since the media themselves have shown "illegal and immoral" behavior. 

Militant groups described the $20,000 (about P1 million) dinner at the five-star French restaurant Le Cirque in Manhattan as "highly immoral" considering the state of poverty in the Philippines. 

Macalintal said media's own "immoral" activities include accepting commercial placements of government officials and 2010 presidential aspirants. He said these infomercials aired in between TV shows circumvent provisions of the law on illegal campaigning and constitute early campaigning methods.

"Kasi ang issue kanina, sinasabi sa press [conference], naghihirap ang taong bayan. Wala silang makain so bakit ganun sila (President Arroyo and others) kung kumain? Eh kung naghihirap nga ang taong bayan, bakit sila lang ang inaatake [na] gumagastos ng ganoon kalaki. Ganun din naman sa advertisements, (The issue raised in the press conference was that Filipinos are in dire strait. Most people have nothing to eat while President Arroyo and her entourage spend that much for just one meal. But why attack only the President and her entourage for the ills of the country? The 2010 presidential aspirants are doing just the same)," he said in a follow up interview on ANC.



Journalists are seething over a tirade on morality against the media delivered Wednesday by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's lawyer over the $20,000-dinner the chief executive and her entourage had at a posh restaurant in New York.

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) chairman Nestor Burgos Jr. said he received text messages from colleagues angry over lawyer Romulo Macalintal's outburst.

"Kanina naka-receive ako ng galit na text reaction sa kasamahan natin sa media hinggil (sa) sinabi ni Macalintal. Legitimate issue at public interest ito [lavish dinner] kaya natin binabalita. Parang mali na bine-blame pa tayo sa pagputok ng issue na ito. Una, di naman tayo ang nagbalita nito. Ito ay balita mula sa abroad. At pangalawa, I think today, may lumabas may isang dinner pa pala," Burgos said in an interview on dzXL radio Thursday.



MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court has suspended indefinitely from practicing law a former colleague after he was found guilty gross misconduct and of violating the code of professional responsibility.

The high tribunal issued the ruling against retired associate justice Ruben Reyes over the premature release of a decision involving the case of Congresswoman Jocelyn Limkaichong.

      PNP REFORM LAW SIGNED (www.philstar.com)


MANILA, Philippines - President Arroyo signed a law yesterday giving policemen who have not met the minimum educational qualification for appointment or promotion the chance to fulfill the requirement in order to stay in the service.

Mrs. Arroyo signed into law yesterday the amendments to Republic Acts 6975 and 8551 or the laws establishing the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the reorganization of the PNP, respectively.

R.A. 9708 contained amendments aimed at addressing issues related to appointments and promotions in the PNP.


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