SLB Newsbriefs...daily news from different sources, truncated and compiled. updated daily.
Newsbriefs 01 December Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng BayanFilipinos start to pull away in medal tally
THERE must be something in the water at the Trace College Aquatics Center in Los Baños, Laguna.
Whatever it is, Sheila Mae Perez found the water to her liking, so much so that she continues to emerge from it with a gold medal.
Yesterday, the 19-year-old Perez scooped her third gold in five days of diving competitions to crown herself the meet’s most productive gold producer so far, and in her own little way, helped Team Philippines to gain enough breathing room to stay ahead in the medal race halfway into the 23rd Southeast Asian Games.
Fifteen other Filipino bets won nine gold medals as Team Philippines kept its lead intact with a 52-26-30 (gold-silver-bronze) output, enough to stave off the challenge of the Vietnamese, who remained at second spot with 30 golds, 30 silvers and 33 bronze medals. SEA Games rigged, Thai PM complains
LOCAL sports officials cried foul yesterday after Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra led a chorus of complaints that suggested the 23rd Southeast Asian Games were rigged in favor of the Philippines.
“Normally I have no time to watch sports but I often watched these Games and kept thinking, ‘Why do results turn out to be that way?’ I don’t know what to say,” the Thai prime minister told reporters in Bangkok.
Without explicitly mentioning the Philippines’ lead in the medal count, he said that regional sportsmanship must not be sacrificed at the expense of winning.
“It’s normal to win or lose. But it’s not nice if we host such Games and do this to other countries. We should not focus only on medals and forget about being good sports,” he said.
Responding to Thaksin’s complaint about the heavy emphasis on medals, Keon added: “Let’s get on with the Games and learn to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. For the Philippines, it’s not the winning or the losing that is paramount. It’s how we played the game and how we treated our guests.” LPG dealers announce P1/kg price cut
The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketing Association (LPGMA) said members have slashed P11 for the 11-kg LPG cylinder starting 12 p.m. Wednesday.
Arnel Ty, LPGMA president, said consumers should expect lower LPG prices after Omni Gas, Pinnacle Gas, Island Gas, CAT Gas and Nation Gas announced a P1 per kilogram cut for the 11-kg cylinder. Liquigaz on the other hand, will slash P0.60 per kilogram for its 11-kg LPG cylinder beginning 6 a.m. Thursday.
Ty said the price cut was made possible by the slump of December contract rates for LPG. He said LPG contract prices went down between 11 and 15 dollars for December, which equates to P11 for every 11-kg LPG cylinder sold in the local market.
Ty said that with the price cut, consumers should expect LPGMA members to sell an 11-kg of LPG at an average of P475.House scraps warrant, ‘invites’ Garcillano instead
THE HOUSE of Representatives yesterday paved the way for the appearance of former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano before the joint inquiry into the “Hello Garci” election scandal by temporarily setting aside the arrest warrant issued against him last August.
Instead of serving the warrant, Speaker Jose de Venecia and the chairs of the five investigating House committees decided to extend a formal invitation so Garcillano can “present (his) testimony on the issues raised in connection with the alleged wiretapped tapes” on December 7.
“This will hasten the defining moment. That’s what we want. The whole country wants him to appear and to testify,” De Venecia told a press briefing yesterday.Teves sees lower deficit by yearend
The government’s budget deficit is likely to fall well below the target of P180 billion by yearend, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said.
Teves explained before the Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC) late Tuesday that a reduced budget deficit will result from intensified collection efforts by the government’s revenue-collecting agencies and a lower fiscal deficit of the National Power Corp. (Napocor) and the National Food Authority (NFA).
The Napocor and the NFA account for the biggest slice of the annual deficit of the national government. Poll: One in three Pinoys wants to leave
One in every three Filipinos wants to move to another country and almost one quarter believes the Philippines is hopeless, according to an independent public opinion poll.
Only about two out of every 10 Filipinos feel this Christmas will be more prosperous for their family compared to last year while the rest say it will either be the same as last year or become worse, the Oct. 15-27 Pulse Asia survey also found.
Despite that, 70 percent of Filipinos remain hopeful that 2006 will be a better year.
"It would seem that the prospect of Christmas encourages a majority of the people to summon up the courage to hope against their own expectations," Pulse Asia said in a statement. New Ombudsman: No one can bribe me
A deluge of questions greeted new Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez yesterday after her appointment as the country’s chief graft-buster was announced.
While her integrity is unquestioned, the public wants to know how she plans to tackle the graft cases of former and incumbent ranking officials identified with President Arroyo and other political issues that might impinge on the independence of the Ombudsman.
"I think people know that I cannot be approached on cases pending before my office. No one can approach me and bribe me and tell me that for a disposition there is an exchange," Gutierrez said.
Mrs. Arroyo named her chief legal adviser as Ombudsman despite the opposition’s concern that her closeness to the First Family could hinder her work.
Gutierrez, 56, an expert in international law and human rights, replaced respected lawyer Simeon Marcelo, who announced in September he was resigning effective yesterday due to ill health. House Charter change resolution headed for Senate archives
THE SENATE is still in no mood to Cha-cha. Not through a constituent assembly and definitely not this Christmas season.
“I don’t think this will prosper (in the Senate). Cha-cha (Charter change) cannot compete with Christmas,” according to administration Sen. Ralph Recto. If at all, the House resolution could be tackled in the Senate only next year, Recto said. Congress adjourns in two weeks for the Christmas holidays.
Maverick administration Senator Joker Arroyo said the House resolution is headed towards the Senate archive “for a much needed rest.”DFA exec bares bribe attempt by Americans
A HIGH-RANKING official of the Department of Foreign Affairs says the 22-year-old Filipina who accused six US servicemen of rape has been offered $25,000 to drop the charges, but a US government spokesman denied suggestions that the American embassy had done so.
“The $25,000 is probably just the initial amount. We don’t know whether she accepted or not,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
US embassy spokesman Matthew Lussenhop initially declined to comment on the reported offer, saying only that the Americans, like the Philippine government, are working under the framework of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
Pressed for a categorical denial, he added: “That would not be something that is within VFA. It is not something that we will do.”