[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 31 May 2012 Afternoon

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu May 31 18:02:59 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 31 May 2012 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Corona won't appeal Senate verdict (ABS-CBNnews.com)


"MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - Former Chief Justice Renato Corona will not appeal the decision of the impeachment court finding him guilty of betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution for his failure to disclose his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth as required under the Constitution.


Corona, who is still in The Medical City undergoing medical treatment, said on Thursday his impeachment was now a "closed chapter" in his life."


PNoy won't be forced to sign waiver--for now (ABS-CBN News)


"MANILA, Philippines - Even if it was a campaign promise, President Aquino would not be forced to sign a waiver on his bank deposits, at least for now. 
Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said it would not be fair to put the President in the same category as former Chief Justice Renato Corona, echoing Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's description of Corona's waiver and challenge as mere "theatrics."
"Not at this time," Valte said. "'Yung tao hong inaakusahan ang naghamon to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who would like to take him up on the challenge. Is it fair to put the President who has not been accused of graft, who has not been accused of dishonesty to put him in the same category as the man who was just removed from his post?" Valte said." 

Midas no longer speaks for Supreme Court (www.philstar.com)


"MANILA, Philippines - With chief justice Renato Corona convicted and removed from office by the Senate impeachment court, Jose Midas Marquez has been replaced as spokesman and public information office (PIO) chief of the Supreme Court (SC).


Marquez was replaced by his deputy, lawyer Ma. Victoria Gleoresty Guerra, who was appointed acting SC PIO chief by acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio.


A visibly sad Marquez was spotted at the SC lobby yesterday afternoon.

When mobbed by media, he said: "I can't speak for the SC now."


The staff of Marquez in the PIO, as well as the staff of Corona, were given 30 days to remain in their offices.


Marquez can stay as SC court administrator until he turns 65, unless removed by the full court."


Ombudsman unruffled by bomb scare (ABS-CBN News)

"MANILA, Philippines - Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales is unperturbed by the bomb scare at her house in Muntinlupa yesterday. 


In an ambush interview at the Office of the Ombudsman, Morales said the grenade was inside a package, which bore the letters, "pangdensa, ccm, malakit."


Morales said CCM is her initials, but she doesn't understand what the rest meant. "It's a grenade alright, pins were there, you have to pull them to let it blow."


She said her family didn't seem disturbed by what happened. "They're okay. They're cool, that's part of the trade, part of the office."


Witness in Arroyo electoral sabotage case missing (ABS-CBN News)


"MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) failed to present two of its witnesses during the bail hearing of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former provincial election supervisor Lintang Bedol at the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) today.


According to Comelec lawyer Jane Valeza, local election officer Russam Mabang has gone missing after initially agreeing to testify before the court. She says Mabang has also been unreachable since this morning.


Another witness, former Maguindanao provincial administrator Norie Unas, was also a no show at the hearing. Valeza says they have decided not to present Unas because of an alleged shoot-to-kill order against him.


"We have a strong case, kaya mukhang ginagapang na rin ang witnesses namin. Hindi na natuloy ang testimony ni Unas because of the threat to his security," says Valeza."


Congress set to pass bill to muzzle media (www.manilastandardtoday.com)


"WHILE the public was being distracted by the trial of impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona, Congress was quietly rushing the passage of a data privacy bill that would penalize and imprison journalists who "breach confidentiality."


Several bills were also filed in the House increasing the penalties on crimes such as libel, slander and "intriguing against honor," all authored by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, a member of the majority.


The Philippine Press Institute, an organization of 71 national newspapers that counts the Manila Standard as a member, expressed alarm over the penalty clause of Senate Bill 2965, which is principally authored by Senator Edgardo Angara.


Angara's bill was the counterpart of House Bill 4115, principally authored by House Assistant Majority Leader and Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo.

The two versions of the bill are now being reconciled by the bicameral conference committee, which is led by Angara and Taguig City Rep. Sigfrido Tinga."


Aquino flies to Britain to woo investments (www.manilastandardtoday.com)


"PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III will make his first official trip to the United Kingdom on June 4 to 6, and he is expected to bring home investment pledges from some of the top companies there, an official said Wednesday.


He will meet with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street, where they are expected to discuss political and economic cooperation, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Elizabeth Buensuceso said.


She said the agenda will include Britain's participation in the International Contact Group for the Philippine government's peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.


"Several business meetings have also been lined up for the President with top British investors, who have an interest in doing business in the Philippines and participate in the Aquino administration's Public-Private Partnership program," Buensuceso said."


PH economy grows by 6.4% in 1st quarter (Philippine Daily Inquirer)


"MANILA, Philippines-The Philippine economy grew 6.4 percent in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2012, driven mainly by a robust services sector, government officials said at a press briefing on Thursday.


In comparison, GDP growth in the first quarter of 2011 was 4.9 percent.


National Statistical Coordination Board secretary-general Romulo A. Virola said that services contributed the most to GDP growth with 4.7 percentage points (the highest since the third quarter of 2004), followed by industry with 1.6 percentage points and agriculture, fisheries and forestry with 0.1 percentage point.


The services sector, which accounts for more than half of the economy, was supported by a rise in real estate and tourist arrivals.


Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the first-quarter growth was well above the market's consensus forecast of 4.8 percent.


"Also, the Philippines posted the highest growth among Asean and other neighboring countries except China," Balisacan added."




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