[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 13 March 2009 Afternoon

Simbahang Linglod ng Bayan (SLB) slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Mar 13 16:54:04 PHT 2009

Newsbriefs 13 March 2009 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Arroyo signs P1.4 trillion 2009 budget (INQUIRER.net, Agence France-Presse)

MANILA, Philippines-(UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has signed into law the P1.414-trillion 2009 national budget that will boost state spending to stave off recession, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said.

The budget "will pave the way for public spending that will blunt the effects of the global economic downturn on the country," Andaya told reporters at the signing ceremony.

The budget measure, which Arroyo signed without fanfare, includes a P330 billion stimulus package for infrastructure, temporary jobs and cash handouts for the poor to keep the economy working as exports tank.

The government last month cut its 2009 growth forecast to between 3.7 and 4.4 percent and warned the budget deficit would soar to P178 billion, about 2.2 percent of gross domestic product, as it borrows more money for the stimulus program.

'Postpone or limit increase in House seats' (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- A senator has asked Congress to either postpone the approval of a measure seeking to increase the number of seats in the House of Representatives by 100, or to limit the additional seats to 25 at most. 

Senator Francis Pangilinan said the measure, if approved, would require a billion pesos he said would be better spent on measures to cushion the impact of the world financial crisis.

"It may be more prudent to either postpone the increase or limit it to 20 to 25 additional seats, instead of the proposed 100," Pangilinan said in a text message.


New witnesses in Dacer slay come forward (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines -- Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez said Friday two witnesses, who claimed they gathered the firewood used to burn the bodies of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito, have come forward to offer their testimonies in the case filed against suspects in the 2000 crime.

Gonzalez vouched for the credibility of the witnesses, who he said came forward to provide new information on the celebrated crime after Senator Panfilo Lacson claimed Malacañang was sending in "clowns" to implicate him in the murders.

"They [witnesses] are the ones who gathered the firewood for the burning of the bodies. I don't think these are the revelations of clowns," Gonzalez told a news forum in Manila.

PNP activates tracker teams vs journlist killers (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Friday it is forming tracker teams to hunt down 27 people involved in journalists killings.

PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa said the tracker teams from the police's Task Force Usig, which was formed to solve the killings of journalists and activists, will be activated pursuant to President Arroyo's order to hasten the arrest of wanted suspects.

Mrs. Arroyo told the PNP recently to come up with a reward system for the capture of most wanted persons around the country.

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