[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 10 May 2012 Afternoon

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu May 10 17:41:35 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 10 May 2012 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Supreme Court may review CJ dollar probe (The Philippine Star)


"MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) may stop the Office of the Ombudsman from investigating Chief Justice Renato Corona's alleged $10-million bank deposit, its spokesman Midas Marquez said yesterday.


Marquez told The STAR the high court may rule on the legality of the Ombudsman's order if a petition is filed before it.


"That (order) can always be questioned before the SC on the ground of grave abuse of discretion," he said.


He cited a case when Morales, as then associate justice of the SC, stood against harassment complaints filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.


"In one case where the retired justice concurred, the Court held that if the complaint against the impeachable officer is unwarranted, he or she should be spared from harassment of an unjustified investigation," Marquez said


Ombudsman: Public must report all corrupt acts (The Philippine Star)


"The public must join the fight against corruption and should report all such instances to authorities so that something can be done about them, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Wednesday.


Morales said a survey commissioned by the Office of the Ombudsman showed that 10 percent of some 26,000 citizens had reported experiencing corruption.


But out of those who were asked to pay bribes, 99 percent did not report the incident to authorities.


The survey on experience with corruption in the country was initiated two years ago and was conducted by the National Statistics Office. It was a rider to the 2010 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey conducted by the NSO.



"I hope that we will encourage all persons who are asked to give grease money to report them because if they do not report, what can we do? It is as if we are tolerating the incidents of corruption," Morales said in a speech at the Quezon City Circle after the Office of the Ombudsman's indignation march against corruption for its 24th anniversary."


Chief Justice ready to bare all - lawyer (Philippine Daily Inquirer)


 "He has reached a point of no return. If he gets convicted, he would gladly accept it. If he gets acquitted, that will be a blessing from God."


Asked if the Chief Justice was prepared to bare all and answer the allegations thrown at him, even the rumors about his purported extramarital affairs, Esguerra replied, "Yes."


In a meeting with his lawyers on Tuesday morning, embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona talked about how he had decided to cross the Rubicon and testify in his impeachment trial after an emotional meeting with his wife, Cristina, and daughter Carla Corona-Castillo.


"The Chief Justice asked for a minute for him to talk with Carla and his wife. We just left them in one room. After that, he met with us in a bigger room," said Ramon Esguerra of the somber gathering in the law office of one of the counsels.


"Before he told us of his decision, we were a little bit anxious because we didn't know what he wanted to tell us. But our faces brightened when he finally announced his decision," Esguerra told the Inquirer."


Trade, public anger sharpening Beijing-Manila spat (The Philippine Star)


"BEIJING (AP) - The monthlong standoff between China and the Philippines over a remote South China Sea shoal is snowballing with hints of economic retaliation and sharpening public opinion on both sides - possibly narrowing the space for a hoped-for negotiated settlement.


Beijing is suspending some tourism to the Philippines and ordered stiffened inspections on imported Philippine fruit such as bananas, of which China is the single largest buyer. That follows Beijing's summoning of Manila's charge d'affairs three times, while retired and serving military officers have called for a limited military operation to shore up China's credibility on the matter - a potentially explosive move that could trigger the 1951 U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty.


The Philippines has registered its own diplomatic protests, with Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario cautioning foreign governments over what the Philippines perceives as China's looming threat to freedom of navigation.


Manila's Department of Foreign Affairs is preparing to bring the territorial rifts to international arbitration. The Philippines is also seeking to shore up its territorial claims with new warships, fighters jets and radars from the United States.


Actions by both nations are shrinking the room for maneuverability, but they are exacerbated by perceptions that Washington is backing what Chinese see as deliberate provocations by the Philippines, said Jonathan Holslag, a research fellow at the Institute for Contemporary China Studies at the University of Brussels.


"China can't give in, since that would be the same as backing down to American bullying," Holslag said."


Chinese travel agencies suspend routes to Philippines (The Philippine Star)


"MANILA, Philippines - Chinese travel agencies have suspended travel to the Philippines following the escalation of the situation at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, which is called by the Chinese as Huangyan Island.


Tourists companies such as Ctrip.com, China's largest online travel service company, and Beijing Caissa International Travel Service Co. Ltd., have halted travel tours to the Philippines and promised to refund tourists that have signed for tours to the country.


The travel agencies said they will watch the development of the situation, and adopt precautionary measures to ensure safety of their clients currently traveling in the Philippines."


DOH hit for failing to cut medicine prices (abs-cbnnews.com)


"MANILA, Philippines - One of the proponents of a law lowering the price of medicines vented his frustration at health officials for the agency's failure to expand the list of drugs covered by the measure.


During a hearing of the Quality Affordable Medicine Oversight Committee on Thursday, Iloilo Rep. Ferjenel Biron pointed out that the secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) has the authority to recommend to the President the drugs to be covered by price control under the Cheaper Medicines Act.

The DOH said in an earlier hearing that it was able to bring down the prices of only 202 essential drugs out of the 900 mandated by the law. Five of these are subject to compulsory price cuts.


"What prevents the DOH from expanding the list?" Biron asked DOH officials during the hearing."

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