Deadline all the time

breaking news stories, photos, and video

Archive for December 2nd, 2008

Arroyo congratulates Hillary Clinton

leave a comment »

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:43:00 12/02/2008

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo congratulated New York Senator Hillary Clinton on her appointment as incoming secretary of state of the United States, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Arroyo conveyed the message through the senator’s husband, former US president Bill Clinton, whom she met in Hong Kong for the Clinton Global Initiative meeting, the Palace said in a statement.

“I’m looking forward to working together for the US-RP relations to become stronger,” Arroyo was quoted as telling the former US leader.

According to the statement, Clinton had this to say of Arroyo: “I’m especially proud of her for her extraordinary leadership. She was my college classmate but she looks 20 years younger than I am.”

Arroyo and Clinton were classmates at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

Senator Clinton will serve in the cabinet of US president-elect Barrack Obama, who beat her for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Obama won over Republican John Mc Cain in November, making history as the first African-American president of the US.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002008-12-02T12:31:04+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Tue, 02 Dec 2008 12:31:04 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm12

Posted in Uncategorized

Bid to restart talks with NDF fails

leave a comment »

Rebels say gov’t ‘not interested’

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:28:00 12/02/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Efforts to resume to formal peace negotiations between the government and communist rebels bogged down during an informal meeting in Norway last week, with the National Democratic Front (NDF) accusing the government of being “not at all interested in peace negotiations.”

Among the main bones of contention was the extent of a ceasefire, with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) panel pushing for a “prolonged” ceasefire and the NDF preferring an “immediate” truce effective only for the duration of every formal meeting, Fidel Agcaoili, spokesman of the rebel negotiating panel, said in a statement.

Deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez declined to comment on the matter, saying he has yet to contact the GRP panel. Presidential adviser on the peace process Hermogenes Esperon Jr. did not return calls on his mobile phone.

“The Arroyo regime is not at all interested in peace negotiations. All illusions must be cast away. The regime is solely interested in destroying or debilitating the revolutionary movement…It is highly unlikely that there would ever be formal meetings of the GRP and NDF negotiating panels while Arroyo is in power,” Agcaoili said.

The two peace panels met for informal talks in Oslo from November 27 to 30, Agcaoili said.

Former labor secretary Nieves Confessor headed the GRP panel. The NDF panel is chaired by Luis Jalandoni.

Agcaoili said the NDF sees the government’s prolonged ceasefire proposal as a ploy to “convert the peace negotiations into negotiations of surrender and pacification under the pretext of ceasefire.”

Formal peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels bogged down in mid-2004, after the insurgents protested their inclusion in the United States’ and European Union’s lists of terrorist organizations.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002008-12-02T09:50:07+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Tue, 02 Dec 2008 09:50:07 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am12

Posted in Uncategorized

Gov’t braces for more OFW layoffs

leave a comment »

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 16:45:00 12/02/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The government is bracing for the possibility of more layoffs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the first quarter of 2009 as the impact of the global financial crisis deepens, Palace officials said Tuesday.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has instructed the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to prepare training programs for retrenched OFWs so they can apply for more in-demand jobs abroad, deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said.

The government has also readied microfinance packages for the OFWs and their families, deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said.

Over 100 retrenched Filipino workers in Tawian are expected to return to the Philippines on Tuesday.

“Our businessmen are saying that we could expect many retrenchments by the first quarter of next year,” Fajardo told a news conference at the Palace.

“That is part of the contingency plan of the government. Assistance will be provided to [OFWs’] families for micro-financing, so that they can invest. There will also be transfer of skills or change of skills,” Golez said.

A retrenched mechanic, for example, could be retrained as a welder, since the demand for welders remains high, Golez said.

In October, Arroyo announced a P250-million livelihood fund for OFWs who could be displaced by the global financial crisis.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002008-12-02T09:26:52+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Tue, 02 Dec 2008 09:26:52 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am12

Posted in Uncategorized

Palace: Moves for term extension to fail

leave a comment »

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:55:00 12/02/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has acknowledged that efforts to amend the Constitution to extend the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other incumbent officials were “doomed” to fail, because the people would not allow it.

At the same time, Deputy Presidential Spokespersons Anthony Golez and Lorelei Fajardo, in a joint news conference, maintained that the President would step down in 2010, because it was mandated by the Charter.

“We find it [Charter change] to be doomed if it includes term extension because the people themselves will not allow it. We know that the people are not in favor of a term extension,” Golez said.

“We have said this before, the President will step down by 2010. That is why Charter change, if it pushes through, we are not supporting a term extension as far as the President is concerned,” Fajardo said.

Fajardo said that the fate of Charter change ultimately rested on the people because it would be submitted to a plebiscite.

But Fajardo reiterated that the Palace was keeping its hands off on efforts at the House of Representatives, initiated by Arroyo’s allies, to rewrite the 1987 Constitution.

Congress is independent. They are a separate branch of government. We have to leave it to them,” she said.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002008-12-02T09:25:56+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Tue, 02 Dec 2008 09:25:56 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am12

Posted in Uncategorized

Palace hopes House kills impeachment

leave a comment »

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:56:00 12/02/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is hoping the House of Representatives, which is heavily populated by administration allies, kills the latest impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo so the nation could move on.

“We are hoping that it would happen, so that we can all concentrate on our work,” deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez told reporters when asked if the Palace expects lawmakers to kill the complaint.

The House will convene in plenary later Tuesday to vote on a report by the House committee on justice dismissing the complaint against Arroyo for insufficiency in substance.

Golez noted that the committee dismissed the complaint because the charges were based on “newspaper clippings and hearsay.”

The administration majority in the House has dismissed all impeachment complaints against the President since 2005. The complaints have invariably been based on charges of massive corruption and election fraud.

The latest complaint includes allegations of bribery surrounding the allegedly overpriced $329-million national broadband network contract between the government and China’s ZTE Corp.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002008-12-02T09:25:01+00:00+00:0012b+00:00Tue, 02 Dec 2008 09:25:01 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am12

Posted in Uncategorized