SLB Newsbriefs...daily news from different sources, truncated and compiled. updated daily.
Newsbriefs 06 January Morning
Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

Abalos won’t oblige senators by quitting (

Chairman Benjamin Abalos of the Commission on Elections is resentful at the senators who were demanding his resignation over his alleged involvement in the controversial P1.3-billion contract to computerize the polls.

In a roundtable with reporters and editors of The Manila Times on Thursday, Abalos chided the senators who he said were misinformed about the contract.

He reiterated that he will never resign. His term ends in 2008.

"Why should I glorify their call for resignation? I will not quit," he said.

Gingoyon slay probers mum about brains (

The Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation are hot on the trail of the mastermind behind the murder of Pasay City Judge Henrick Gingoyon but will not reveal how far their investigation has gone.

At a press conference Thursday at PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, the PNP chief, Director General Arturo Lomibao, and NBI officer in charge, Nestor Mantaring, presented to the Interior and Local Government Secretary Angelo Reyes six suspects in the case: the alleged gunman Rodolfo Cuer Jr.; Rudy Baclor; Efren Samonte; Mark Datas; Felimon Rabino; and Danny Sulaiman, alias Sahid Adam Sulaiman.

The six were charged with murder before Cavite Provincial Prosecutor Elmer Madriaga.
The PNP and the NBI at first considered charging only five of the nine suspects arrested but have included Sulaiman, who was identified by Cuer as the man who offered his group P150,000 to kill Gingoyon.

The judge was killed on December 28 near his home in Bacoor, Cavite, by gunmen on a motorcycle.

'Gingoyon got threats for PIATCo decision' (

Murdered Judge Henrick Gingoyon of Pasay City had told a confidant about threats from a government official and a lawyer close to Malacañan to vilify the judge after he made his ruling on the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 3 last year, The Manila Times learned Thursday.

A source showed The Times a text message sent to him by Gingoyon on January 14, 2005, the same day that he released his decision ordering the government to pay P3.2 billion to the consortium that built the terminal the government had expropriated.

The Supreme Court last month upheld Gingoyon’s ruling, and police have temporarily ruled out the case as a possible motive for the killing.

Gingoyon was gunned down near his house in Bacoor, Cavite, on December 31.
The text message said that one of Gingoyon’s friends close to the Palace had informed him about the plan to vilify him.

The message, shown to The Times, named the official and the lawyer. It read in part: "The demolition job will attack my morality. They will spread the word that I was caught in a raid on a gay club, and that I’m gay—Henrick."

Close associates of the judge who attended the necrological services for him Wednesday night told The Times they were sure the murder had something to do with the judge’s decision on NAIA-3.

They said that shortly before his death, Gingoyon was anguishing over what he said was the intimidation from some government officials for his firm stand that the Arroyo administration must pay the consortium Philippine International Air Transport Co. (PIATCo), for building the terminal, which has been mothballed.

Palace: Details of meeting upleasant for Drilon (

Were the details of the secret meeting among former President Ramos, former senator Vicente Sotto III and Senate President Franklin Drilon known, the Senate chief may find himself in an "unflattering position," Malacañan said Thursday.

In a chance interview, Ignacio Bunye, the press secretary and Palace spokesman, confirmed the meeting, indeed, took place on Monday.

There have been speculations that the meeting was meant to unite all opposition forces to
compel President Arroyo to resign and form a transition government.

But Bunye said what took place in the meeting could prove unpleasant to Drilon were it publicized.

"If I were to give out the details of the Drilon meeting as relayed by President Ramos I don’t think it will be very flattering as far as Drilon and Sotto are concerned," Bunye said.

He disclosed that he got his information from Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, who met with Ramos Wednesday night, and from Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio when they met earlier in the day.

RP calls for bids to supply P29-M worth of weapons (

The Philippines is opening tenders for $29-million worth of automatic weapons and communications equipment to boost its capability to fight various insurgencies, the defense department said Thursday.

A government procurement panel has authorized the department to open tenders for a P593-million ($11.31-million) contract for automatic weapons and a P930.8-million contract for VHF/FM tactical radios, it said in a statement.

Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz has said there was an "immediate need of the [Armed Forces] for this mission-essential equipment in its internal security operations."

The country is fighting a 37-year communist insurgency while observing a truce with Muslim separatists in the south that is now in its third year.

OSG asks SC to reverse order on P3-B payment to Piatco (

The government asked the Supreme Court yesterday to reverse its Dec. 20, 2005 ruling ordering the Philippine government to pay P3 billion to the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco), which built the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3), before it can take over the facility.

In a 42-page motion for reconsideration, the government said the high court’s decision will further delay, if not virtually foreclose NAIA-3.

"Contrary to the expectations of the majority, its decision dated Dec. 20, 2005, may have just dealt the death blow to the only real chance for the government to complete, open and operate the terminal," Solicitor General Alfredo Benipayo said in the government motion.

He added it would also be a grave injustice to the government and other lawful claimants of just compensation as there were pending claims filed by Japanese companies Takenaka and Asahikosan, the actual builders of the terminal, and Fraport AG, Piatco’s German investor.

Benipayo disclosed that on Dec. 29 last year, Takenaka and Asahikosan told the government that if they were not paid for the materials and services rendered, they would not be able to complete the terminal.

The two Japanese firms — and not Piatco or Fraport AG — hold the key to completing the terminal and making it operational, he added.

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