Thursday, May 04, 2006

And its FINAL!!


MAY 4, 2006 (STAR) By Jose Rodel Clapano - In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday upheld the constitutionality of Proclamation 1017, in which President Arroyo declared a weeklong state of national emergency in February to quell a reported coup.

Voting 11-3, the tribunal declared that the proclamation was "constitutional insofar as it constitutes a call by the President for the (military) to prevent or suppress lawless violence."

In the same vein, it also upheld as constitutional General Order No. 5 — PP 1017’s implementing order — that directed security forces to take "necessary and appropriate actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of lawless violence."

However, the court declared "unconstitutional and illegal" the way PP 1017 was implemented by security forces, saying the military and police "committed acts which violate the citizens’ rights under the Constitution."

It held that the ensuing government crackdown on street protests, warrantless arrests of political opponents and a police raid on The Daily Tribune, a newspaper critical of the administration, were illegal for lack of enough legal basis.

Malacañang is considering whether to seek reconsideration on that score.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita nevertheless hailed the court decision, saying it sustained Mrs. Arroyo’s authority to call on the Armed Forces to maintain order and protect national security.

Full Article

Would this be the final argument? Hope this would be the last...


MAY 4, 2006 (STAR) By Roel Pareño - Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Generoso Senga appealed to critics yesterday not to prematurely blame the military for the recent assault on a Chinese fishing boat that left four crew members dead in the disputed Spratly Islands.

Senga said there is no initial basis to pinpoint the military as responsible for the attack last week which also left three others wounded.

"Huwag niyo naman gamitin ang AFP dahil wala pang basehan ‘yong ganoong reports (Don’t accuse the AFP because there is no basis for such reports)," Senga appealed to the media during the 30th anniversary of the AFP Southern Command here.

Senga said initial reports indicated the attackers could be pirates.

He stressed the attack could have been carried out by pirates or any armed group.

"Maraming masamang elemento na ganoong karahasan. Walang indication na AFP ang gumawa (There are many criminal elements capable of carrying out such senseless attack. There is no indication the AFP is behind the attack)," he said.

Full Article

I hope the politicians would defend the military. The media has been unpatriotic..I hope the law makers will set aside differences and be patriotic in this issue...


MAY 4, 2006 (STAR) For the third straight year, the Philippines ranked second to Iraq as the most dangerous country for journalists, a sad note for the news industry as the world marked World Press Freedom Day yesterday, according to a media advocacy group.

With seven journalists murdered in 2005 and continuing moves by officials to muzzle the media, local journalists pay a high price for their outspokenness, the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders, or RSF) said in its annual report.

"For the third year in succession, the Philippines, with seven murders and as many murder attempts, ranked after Iraq on the list," RSF noted.

Last year was the deadliest for journalists worldwide in a decade, RSF said, with 63 reporters and five media aides killed. Iraq accounted for 24 of the deaths.

RSF-Asia chief Vincent Brossels noted that in a way the Philippine government is "struggling to rebuild confidence" even as President Arroyo, "weakened by a series of scandals, tried to stop the press from doing its job of safeguarding democracy."

At least five Filipino journalists were sentenced to jail for defamation, and four media outfits closed last year, RSF said.

Full Article

Well, quite interesting...too much press freedom? I hope the journalist will learn that there are limitations about press freedom. But some legitimate stories, stories about corruption and lies in government or in the private sector should be taken action by the government.

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