[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 16 February 2011 Wednesday

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Wed Feb 16 17:59:04 PHT 2011

Newsbriefs 16 February 2011 Wednesday

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Aquino keen on keeping military chief in gov't (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines-President Benigno Aquino III wants Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Ricardo David to stay on in government after he retires on March 8.

"I'm also convincing General David, he's still young, he might want to take on another responsibility afterwards. I'm almost a hundred percent that I was able to convince him," Aquino told reporters.

Aquino fielded questions from the media on Wednesday after a command conference with the Armed Forces top brass in Camp Aguinaldo

SC won't stop impeach proceedings vs Merci (www.philstar.com)

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) rejected yesterday Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez's bid to stop Congress from hearing the impeachment cases filed against her by two militant groups for her alleged inaction on corruption and human rights cases involving former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her officials.

 But SC spokesman Midas Marquez advised the House committee on justice to let the High Court rule first with finality on Gutierrez's plea before hearing the impeachment cases. Gutierrez was an Arroyo appointee.

He explained that with the ruling, the SC in effect has lifted its status quo ante order that temporarily stopped the House committee from proceeding with the impeachment cases.

"The decision is not yet final, and the rules provide for filing of a motion for reconsideration. It would be more prudent if the House will respect the procedure on appeal since this case is being prioritized by the Court anyway so that (possible appeal) would be immediately resolved," Marquez told a press conference.

PNP, too, has slush fund, reveals Lacson (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines-(UPDATE) Money for top officials is flowing not only in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), but in the Philippine National Police (PNP) as well, and no less than Senator Panfilo Lacson can attest to it.

Issuing a statement anew, Lacson, who served as PNP Director General from 1999 to 2001, said there was P40 million per year for the national police chief, credit card with high limit, and gas allowance enough to run more than 50 vehicles.

But Lacson he did not avail of these slush funds.

Asked who offered him the money and the perks, the senator said: "It was not offered. It was part of the tradition."

"It was already in place even before I took over. That has been the tradition. The only difference is, I did not follow the tradition," he said.

Lacson pitched his support to expand the investigation on alleged corruption in both the military and police establishments.

"Having first hand knowledge of these facts, I strongly support the proposal to expand the investigation of the 'welcome and send off gifts tradition' to include the AFP's across-the-street neighbor, the PNP," Lacson said in an email message to INQUIRER.net.

Palace mulls Mendoza, Padaca for top COA post (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

MANILA, Philippines - A Palace official on Wednesday floated the names of former state auditor Heidi Mendoza and former Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca as possible replacements of Commission on Audit (COA) chairman Reynaldo Villar. 

Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said so many names are being floated for the top COA post. Asked if Mendoza could replace Villar, he said: "I think it might be possible without being definite." 

Another Maguindanao massacre suspect falls (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines-A former driver of Datu Andal "Unsay" Ampatuan Jr. wanted in the Maguindanao massacre case was arrested early Wednesday morning, the Philippine National Police said.

Nasser Esmael, a.k.a. Nasrudin Guiapal Esmael, was captured by Maguindanao police during a raid in his residence in Meta village, Datu Unsay town at around 1 a.m., said PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr.

The 33-year-old suspect was brought to the Police Regional Office 12, Cruz said.

Death sentence vs 3 Pinoys in China final: embassy (abs-cbnNEWS.com)

MANILA, Philippines - The Chinese Embassy on Wednesday said the death sentence on three Filipino drug traffickers in China has been sustained after a judicial review of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) of the People's Republic of China. 

The embassy said the Philippines has already been informed of the SPC's decision through diplomatic channels. 

"The death sentence on the three Filipino drug traffickers is the final verdict by the Chinese judicial authorities in accordance with law. As criminals of death penalty, their legitimate rights and interests have been protected in accordance with law. The Chinese side will render their relatives assistance and facilitation as necessary to visit the inmates in China," the embassy said.

No classes on Feb. 25 (www.philstar.com)

MANILA, Philippines -  There would be no classes in all levels nationwide on Feb. 25 when the nation observes a special holiday to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution.

Malacañang though clarified it would be a regular working day in the government and the private sector.

Officials said the declaration of a special holiday on Feb. 25 is still in line with Proclamation 84 signed by President Aquino last year that specified all regular and special holidays for the year 2011.


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