[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 22 November 2011 Afternoon

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Nov 22 18:06:01 PHT 2011

(The contents of this newsbrief service do not necessarily reflect the views of SLB. News and opinion are summarized from various sources; and headlines are retained as they are in the original. Rights on the article remain on the websites indicated. For more detailed information about any story in this bulletin visit the website indicated in every news item.)

Newsbriefs 22 November 2011 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


No halt order yet on arrest of Arroyo (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE) The Supreme Court has not issued for now a status quo ante order on the arrest of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.


In a press conference, SC spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said 10 out of 14 magistrates took cognizance of three petitions that were consolidated on Tuesday's full court meeting.


Mrs. Arroyo, her husband Mike, and former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos separately filed petitions questioning the legality of the panel that recommended the filing of an electoral sabotage case."


Speaker waters down resolution on Arroyo cases (ABS-CBN News)


"MANILA, Philippines - House Speaker Sonny Belmonte revealed Tuesday he toned down a proposed resolution in support of President Aquino's handling of the cases against the Arroyos.

House Resolution 1918 expresses support for Aquino without mentioning the Arroyo cases.


Belmonte said the original draft was premised on the issue of the Supreme Court's restraining order on the Department of Justice preventing them from imposing a travel restraint on the Arroyos. He said the issue is now moot.


Belmonte said he wanted a resolution that does not come from just the administration party, but from all the members of the majority coalition.


"I proposed this version that really expresses support for efforts of the President. In a matter of hours, 120 people signed it. They were all willing to sign this. We expect more or less 200 will 

affix signature today or tomorrow," he said."


DOH chief wants Arroyo's docs to tell all (abs-cbnNEWS.com)


"MANILA, Philippines - Health Secretary Enrique Ona on Tuesday urged doctors of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to give a full report on Arroyo's condition. 


Ona said he will ask doctors at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig to divulge Arroyo's medical condition to dispel doubts that the former President is trying to make her illness worse than it really is. He, however, added that the Department of Justice cannot compel Arroyo's doctors to break doctor-patient confidentiality. 


The health secretary said he stands by his earlier recommendation that the former President can get treatment in the Philippines."


Gov't officials disagree on authenticity of Arroyo mug shots in Inquirer (Philippine Daily Inquirer )


"MANILA, Philippines-The mug shots of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are stirring a hornet's nest, as government officials alternately gave conflicting statements on the authenticity of the set of three pictures  published Tuesday by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.


Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo insisted the photos, which were posted by INQUIRER.net on Monday evening,  were not the same as the official mug shots submitted by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to the court.


INQUIRER.net posted a screen grab of the photos from mugshots.com.


"The photos are valueless," the official said. "The mug shots that appeared in the front page of the Inquirer today are not the actual mug shots," he said."


Lawyer's outrage at Arroyo mugshots (Agence France-Presse)


"MANILA, Philippines-A lawyer for Representative Gloria Arroyo expressed outrage on Tuesday that police mugshots taken of the former president in hospital after she was arrested were leaked to the media.


The photos, splashed across the Philippine Daily Inquirer, were supposedly those taken Saturday at the St. Luke's Hospital, a day after the 64-year-old was charged and arrested with conspiring to rig the 2007 senatorial election.


The three photos show a tired-looking Arroyo, who says she is suffering from a life-threatening bone disease, wearing a bulky neck brace and head strap with her unbrushed black hair showing flecks of grey.


"The former president does not deserve this and neither should an ordinary person be subjected to this because everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence," one of Arroyo's lawyers, Ferdinand Topacio, said on GMA television."


Speed up massacre trial, govt challenged (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"TWO opposition lawmakers on Monday demanded that the Justice Department stop wasting so much of its time and effort in prosecuting the Arroyos and focus on attending to other important cases like the Maguindanao massacre.


Maguindanao Rep. Simeon Datumanong, a former Justice secretary, said the victims of the Maguindanao massacre deserved swift justice, but it had been two years since 58 people were killed, including reporters, in the carnage, and they had yet to get it.


"[Justice Secretary Leila de Lima] should also focus on other cases, not just on the Arroyos'," 

Datumanong told the Manila Standard."


Senate OKs proposed P1.816-T budget for 2012 (www.gmanews.tv)


"The Senate on Tuesday approved on third and final reading the proposed P1.816-trillion budget for next year.

With 18 affirmative votes and one negative vote, the Senate passed House Bill 5023 or the General Appropriations Bill of 2012."


'Anti-epal' bill gets Senate backing but... (ABS-CBN News)


"MANILA, Philippines - A Senate committee backed Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago's "anti-epal bill," but wants to remove a provision punishing guilty officials with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
Santiago's Senate Bill 1967 prohibits public officials from putting their names and pictures on signage for public works projects.
During a hearing on Tuesday, Senate civil service committee chair Antonio Trillanes IV said the penal provision may be too harsh, and may be taken advantage of by a politician's rivals."


2012 deadline set for Spratlys Code (www.philstar.com)


"MANILA, Philippines - Member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to set July 2012 as the deadline for the draft of the Code of Conduct in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said yesterday.


At the sidelines of the state visit of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Del Rosario said the drafting of the Code of Conduct "will now fall within the purview of Cambodia," the incoming chair of ASEAN.


During the recently concluded ASEAN-China Commemorative Summit in Bali, Indonesia, Beijing had agreed with leaders of the regional bloc that it is time to create a binding Code of Conduct.  


At the same time that the drafting of the Code of Conduct was discussed in the summit, the Philippines proposed the creation of a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation (ZoPFFC) in the disputed islands. The creation of a zone of peace is meant to identify the disputed areas from the non-disputed areas which can later become areas of cooperation and development. ASEAN members, however, agreed to continue negotiations on the Code of Conduct"
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