[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 17 January 2012 Afternoon

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Jan 17 17:49:03 PHT 2012

(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 17 January 2012 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Aquino to Arroyo: There can be no pride amid so much poverty (Philippine Daily Inquirer)


"MANILA, Philippines-Apparently responding to criticism from his predecessor, President Aquino said Tuesday his administration does thump its chest over improved economic indicators that remain unfelt by most Filipinos.


Mr. Aquino's statement came several days after former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, his former economics professor and now a bitter political foe, made public critique of the Aquino administration's economic policies.


Among other points, Arroyo indicated in a paper that President Aquino failed to build on the 7.9 percent growth rate the Philippines had when she left office in mid-2010. She said the growth rate for the third quarter of 2011 was a mere 3.2 percent.


"We don't quote statistics that aren't felt by the majority; we can't be proud that we are achieving progress when there is apparent suffering in our society," President Aquino said a speech at a ceremony in Malacañang recognizing government agencies that have won ISO 9001 certifications.

"We won't pretend to be blind or deaf and won't stop speaking about the need for rendering service especially to those who are in need," he added."


Corona impeachment trial resumes (INQUIRER.net)


"MANILA, Philippines-The Senate impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona has resumed with the prosecution expected to tackle first his alleged failure to disclose his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.


The Senate acting as an impeachment court resumed at around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, the second day of Corona's impeachment trial.


It turned  down  the  prosecution team's request to subpoena the Chief Justice, wife  and family members   and require them to appear before the  impeachment trial.


"This court resolves to deny  the request," said  Senate Secretary  Emma Lirio Reyes, who sits as  clerk of court,  reading from  the prepared  ruling of the Senate on  Tuesday."


Prosecution asks for postponement (www.philstar.com)


MANILA, Philippines - The prosecution panel asked the Senate Impeachment Court to postpone the proceeding against Chief Justice Renato Corona today after they failed to concur that their computer generated pieces of evidence were authentic.


This after prosecution member Rep. Elpidio Barzaga said they will not present a witness today but only computer-generated evidence.


Presiding Senator-Judge Juan Ponce Enrile said he will only accept the documents if it were authenticated.


With it,  Barzaga  said it would be better to postpone today's proceeding for them to secure the necessary documents.


The Impeachment Court postponed the hearing until 2 p.m. tomorrow."


Corona inhibits self from SC deliberation on validity of impeachment articles (INQUIRER.net)


"MANILA, Philippines-Chief Justice Renato Corona has inhibited himself from participating in the en banc deliberation on the five petitions questioning the validity of the articles of impeachment leveled against him by the House of Representatives, High Court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez said.


"The Chief Justice inhibited on these cases," Marquez said at a press conference Tuesday, adding that the five petitions-filed by lawyer Oliver Lozano, Danilo Lihaylihay, lawyer Vladimir Cabigao, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Vicente Millora, and lawyers Homobono Adaza and Alan Paguia-have been consolidated.


Marquez said Corona presided over the deliberation but left the en banc session room when the petitions on the impeachment were tackled.


Marquez said that the High Court had ordered the House of Representatives and the Senate to comment on the five petitions to also determine if the court still has jurisdiction over the cases.

"The jurisdiction is an issue-whether or not the court still has jurisdiction on these cases considering that the Senate is already proceeding with the impeachment trial," Marquez said."


Palace: World Bank report on Supreme Court loan genuine (Philippine Daily Inquirer)


"MANILA, Philippines-Palace officials insisted on Tuesday that the World Bank report on a loan extended to the Supreme Court was "genuine."


Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that he was able to verify from 10 officials in the executive who were furnished a copy of the report by the WB that "the version uploaded by a media outfit online, and theirs, are a match."


"It seems that what the WB has done is clarify that it did not release the report to the media, but a careful reading of its statement shows that they did not deny the authenticity of the report itself," he said in a statement which he read at a briefing."


Arroyo, Uriarte face raps over PCSO intel funds (ABS-CBN News)

"MANILA, Philippines - The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has recommended to the Ombudsman the filing of plunder and technical malversation charges against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Rosario Uriarte for the disbursement of P325 million in confidential intelligence funds from 2008 up to the months leading to the 2010 elections.


In the 124-page blue ribbon committee report, it says that at least P244.5 million of PCSO funds, released to Mrs. Uriarte from the years 2008 to 2010, were never used for public purposes but were illegally siphoned into the pockets of Mrs. Uriarte and then former President Arroyo.


The report further says that because of Arroyo's approval, several checks were indeed released to the PCSO through Mrs. Uriarte, whose name appears on the checks and the liquidation certifications submitted to the Commission on Audit.


The report alleges that the continuous, sophisticated, and criminal scheme to plunder away people's money began when Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo immediately and indiscriminately approved additional confidential/intelligence funds.


The report says the enormously large sums of money requested by Mrs. Uriarte were obviously greater than the regular allocation of PCSO for confidential/intelligence funds. The mere approval of the alleged excessive and disproportionate requests is already an act of misusing public funds, the report says.

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