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Enrile Senate chief by unanimous choice By Angie M. Rosales 07/26/2010

Monday, July 26, 2010


Enrile Senate chief by unanimous choice

By Angie M. Rosales
Undeclared candidate Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile will be named today Senate President of the 15th Congress after the two senators who have contested the position relented on their bids yesterday after failing to muster the necessary votes for the position. Pangilinan, the bet of President Aquino’s Liberal Party for the post, announced his withdrawal from the race early yesterday.

Sen. Edgardo Angara later said that senators agreed unanimously to hand to Enrile the Senate presidency and that the voting today would be merely ceremonial and will be done through acclamation.
This is the first time that a grand coalition is formed in the upper chamber, supporting a common candidate, Sen. Edgardo Angara said after attending a meeting with Enrile and colleagues in an undisclosed venue where they finalized committee assignments.

“You can describe it as a grand coalition. All the blocs, all the parties all combined,” he said.

Angara said they need not conduct an election during the ceremonial opening of the Senate session since 20 senators have already rallied behind Enrile’s presidency.

This means that even the former aspirants, Pangilinan and Manuel Villar Jr. of the Nacionalista Party (NP), were among those who agreed in installing Enrile to the top Senate post.

Angara, who was instrumental in the negotiations concerning the Senate presidency, conducting almost daily meetings with colleagues, also acknowledged the cooperation of Villar and his allies as well as those from the Liberal Party (LP).... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100726hed1.html

Noynoy backers want show of will in Sona 07/26/2010

Noynoy backers want show of will in Sona

Civil society groups supporting President Aquino wanted him to show political will and commitment in the State of the Nation Address (Sona) he will deliver today, saying that he should not sacri-fice the delivery of basic social ser-vices to the poor despite the fiscal crisis he inherited from former President Arroyo.

Aquino’s administration begins with an extremely high trust rating of 88 percent, higher athan any of the post-dictatorship presidents which is a measure of people’s belief in the commitment of the Aquino administration to reverse the anti-poor policies implemented during the regime of Arroyo, the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) said.

The Sona should ensure that no Pinoy will be left behind by the P-Noy adminis-tration’s poverty eradication efforts, Social Watch Philippines (SWP) said.

“Our bottom-line is those at the bottom. These are millions of abso-lutely poor and absolutely hungry Filipinos who will be left behind even if we achieve the Development targets as embodied in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” said former national treasurer Leonor  FDC said it submitted to Aquino an agenda outlining demands for changes in the debt and public finance policy, the power industry, the water sector, and government’s stance on climate negotiations and responses to climate crisis. 

“This is in the context of a looming fiscal crisis due to the record-breaking deficit and empty public coffers left by the Arroyo administration, electricity prices soaring past major Asian cities save Tokyo, a water crisis that is pushing Filipinos to desperate extremes, and a looming La Niña that might bring us another devastating Ondoy,” it said.

Aquino should stop Arroyo’s practice of using band-aid solutions to the country’s chronic problems, the FDC said.
A business-as-usual approach will only delay the inevitable descent of the economy to oblivion, but it will not change its course, the group added.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100726hed2.html

House ally offers Aquino supplemental ’10 budget By Gerry Baldo 07/26/2010

House ally offers Aquino supplemental ’10 budget

By Gerry Baldo
The House is willing to grant a supplemental budget to President Aquino this year if he will require it to keep the government afloat amid reports that the Arroyo administration had siphoned off most of this year’s budget prior to former President Arroyo’s stepping down last June 30, an ally of Aquino in the House of Representatives said yesterday.

According to Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, the House of Representatives can push the passage of a special appropriation to keep the government afloat.

“We will provide a special budget if it is necessary to give this new government new cash for the next five months,” Gonzales, who is expected to be elected as House majority leader and chairman of the House committee on rules, said yesterday.

Gonzales, however, said that the proposed amount of the special appropriation should come from Malacañang and not from the Lower House.

“It will have to come from them,” said Gonzales. The Aquino government has proposed for a 14 percent increase in the national budget from last year’s P1.54-trillon to P1.757-trillon for next year but had said nothing yet about the need for extra appropriations for this year..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100726hed3.html

DoJ ordered to answer Ampatuan’s plea to drop murder charges 07/26/2010

DoJ ordered to answer Ampatuan’s plea to drop murder charges

The Court of Appeals (CA) has directed the Department of Justice (DoJ) to immediately answer the petition of former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan to nullify a resolution issued by former Justice Secretary Alberto Agra that ordered his indictment in the Maguindanao massacre case.

Agra’s May 5 resolution ordered the filing of 57 counts of murder charges against Ampatuan before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court in connection with the massacre that left 57 persons dead, including 30 journalists, on Nov. 23, 2009 in Maguindanao province.

The CA Eleventh Division, in the decision penned by Associate Justice Danton Bueser, gave the Justice department 10 days within which to submit its comment on Ampatuan’s petition.

In his petition, Ampatuan also asked the CA to reinstate Agra’s April 16 resolution ordering his exclusion and those of former Maguindanao Vice Gov. Datu Akmad Ampatuan Sr. as co-accused in the 57 counts of murder charges due to lack of probable cause to implicate them to the brutal killings.

“Without necessarily giving due course to the petition for certiorari, public respondent (Agra) is hereby directed to file his comment within 10 days. Petitioner is hereby given five days from receipt of said comment within which to file reply,” the CA ordered.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100726hed4.html


DFA not commenting on Rep. Singson’s arrest in HK 07/26/2010

DFA not commenting on Rep. Singson’s arrest in HK

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) neither confirmed nor denied that Rep. Ronald Singson, son of Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson, was arrested at the Hong Kong international airport last July 11 for alleged drug trafficking.

Reports said Singson, 41, was accosted by Hong Kong authorities at the Chek Lap Kok Interna-tional Airport after 26.1 grams of cocaine and two tablets of Valium were found in his possession. He is reportedly scheduled to appear at the Tsuen Wan court on Aug. 19.

“The Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong has communicated with the Filipino who is in custody for alleged drug offenses in the territory. The latter has retained the services 

of a private counsel and is now representing him in court proceedings,” a senior DFA official told the Tribune.
The official, who is privy to the case, said the Filipino has not requested the consulate general for any assistance at this time.

The official also called the case a “sensitive matter.”

But a report by ABS-CBN News reported the elder Singson confirming the arrest of his son, a second-term congressman representing the district of Ilocos Sur..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100726hed5.html

SC to NBI: Prove release to court of victim’s specimen in Vizconde case 07/26/2010

SC to NBI: Prove release to court of victim’s specimen in Vizconde case

The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to prove that it handed over to the lower court the semen specimen used during the trial of the Vizconde case in 1996.

It also directed the NBI to explain the alleged conflicting representations in its April 27, 2010 compliance and manifestation, saying the specimen was already turned over to the Paranaque City Regional Trial Court (RTC) as early as 1996 and its 1997 letter which categorically stated that “the specimen gathered is still existing and in the custody of the NBI” as of April 23, 1997.

The SC, in its resolution, granted the request of Vizconde massacre case
prime suspect and convicted rapist Hubert Webb, for the NBI to show proof of the release of the specimen to Parañaque RTC.

The semen sample was taken from Carmela Vizconde, who was raped before she was murdered along with her mother and baby sister in 1991 in Parañaque City.

The Parañaque RTC staff earlier denied that the semen specimen was still with them.

Last April, the SC approved Webb’s request to submit for DNA analysis the specimen and see if findings produced a match with his DNA..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100726hed6.html

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