SLB Newsbriefs...daily news from different sources, truncated and compiled. updated daily.
Newsbriefs 25 November Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng BayanOil prices rolled back for 5th time
Local oil companies yesterday cut pump prices anew by 50 centavos per liter for all products, the fifth time this month since the softening of world oil prices.
The latest price slash brings the total rollback to P2.85 per liter for gasoline and P2.60 per liter for diesel since Nov. 1. Peso rallies to 54.17 vs $
THE PESO yesterday rose to its highest level in over six months, extending a month-long rally that has made it Asia's best performer this year.
The peso rallied to 54.17 per dollar, its highest traded level since May, before ending at 54.30 or the same rate as the previous day, as corporations found a good opportunity to scoop up cheaper dollars.
The local currency has risen 2 percent in the past month.Roche okays local Tamiflu production
THE Philippines is free to produce a generic version of Tamiflu, a known antibird flu drug, at its discretion and without paying compensation to Swiss-based Roche pharmaceuticals.
In a Nov. 23 letter to Senator Mar Roxas, Roche Philippines general manager Warwick Bedwell said that Tamiflu, otherwise known as “oseltamivir,” is not patent-protected in the Philippines, “therefore, voluntary or compulsory licensing cannot be pursued where no patent protection exists.” Garci seeks SC help
Former election commissionerVirgilio Garcillano on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to lift the warrant for his arrest issued by the House of Representatives.
Garcillano, who is said to have returned to the country recently after staying abroad for four months, submitted his 29-page petition through his lawyer, Eddie Tamondong.
The House had called Garcillano to testify in its inquiry into the wiretapped recordings between an election official and President Arroyo regarding poll fraud. When he failed to appear, he was cited for contempt and ordered arrested by the House sergeant at arms.
Garcillano said the House committed grave abuse of discretion by issuing the warrant.Arroyo allies rolling out red carpet for Garcillano
PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's allies are rolling out the red carpet for the appearance of Virgilio Garcillano at a House inquiry, after a night of long knives that saw the reorganization of key committees apparently to pave a smooth closure to the "Hello Garci" affair.
The ax fell on four of the five heads of the House committees that jointly conducted an investigation of the wiretapping scandal and came up with a draft report last week that found that the Arroyo administration attempted to cover up revelations the President stole last year's election.
Discussions in an executive session of the panels, also last week, resulted in a deadlock with administration lawmakers insisting that the report highlight a conclusion that the wiretapped telephone conversations purportedly between Ms Arroyo and Garcillano, a former election commissioner, were fabricated in an attempt to oust the President.
On Wednesday night, House Majority Leader Prospero Nograles moved and got the assent of the majority to replace Cavite Representative Gilbert Remulla, public information; Bayan Muna party-list Representative Satur Ocampo, peace, reconciliation and unity; Akbayan party-list Representative Loretta Ann Rosales, human rights, and Marinduque Representative Edmundo Reyes Jr., basic education and culture.
Remulla was replaced by fellow Nacionalista Party Rep. Emmylou "Lala" Taliño-Santos (North Cotabato), Ocampo by Sulu Rep. Hussin Amin, Rosales by Rep. Bienvenido Abante (Manila), and Reyes by Jose Carlos Lacson (Negros Occidental).
Driver now a suspect in Subic rape case
OLONGAPO CITY – The former star witness in the rape case against six US marines is now a suspect as well.
In a telephone interview yesterday, City Prosecutor Prudencio Jalandoni confirmed that a subpoena has been issued for Timoteo Soriano Jr., the driver of the blue Starex van where the alleged rape took place.
Jalandoni said Soriano, who failed to appear before the preliminary investigation on Nov. 23, is considered not only an accomplice but a principal suspect, based on the evidence and his actions before and after the incident.
Soriano had initially supported the charge of the 22-year-old Filipina who charged that the marines raped her in the van on Nov. 1. Bolante told: Do a Garci, return to RP
Senate President Franklin Drilon urged former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn "Joc-Joc" Bolante yesterday "to do a Garcillano" and return to Manila to face a congressional inquiry into the P728-million fertilizer fund controversy.
"Ang mensahe ko po kay Joc-Joc, mag-Garcillano, bumalik na kayo dito at sabihin kung ano ang nangyari (My message to Joc-Joc is to do a Garcillano, return to the country and tell us what happened). This is no trial by publicity. We do not engage in a trial. What we are doing is inquiring into the disposition of these huge amounts of money," Drilon declared. If someone lied, let God be the judge, bishop tells flock
IN ESSENCE, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales wants the people to see, hear and speak no evil.
"Let us leave the judgments to the Lord," Rosales said yesterday in Filipino.
He added, in apparent reference to accusations leveled at President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: "I'm not taking sides. To me, whether or not there is a problem, a war, or someone lied, cheated or stole, let's put that aside."
Rosales, who has spoken up only rarely since the start of the political crisis swirling around Ms Arroyo, said the people should just concentrate on being and doing good regardless of their position in society.
But setting aside the raging issue of the legitimacy of the Arroyo administration may not sit well with certain quarters, including Rosales' colleagues in the Catholic Church, who maintain that the only way to move on is to settle the issue once and for all.
The president-elect of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, has been reported as saying that there would be no closure to the controversy triggered by the "Hello Garci" tapes if the administration would not address it squarely.Wycoco condition ‘grim but hopeful’
Director Reynaldo Wycoco of the National Bureau of Investigation survived the 24-hour critical period but remained in a "deep coma," his doctors from the Manila Doctors’ Hospital told reporters on Thursday.