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  1. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    House committees approve anti-terrorism bill

    First posted 05:29pm (Mla time) Oct 04, 2005
    By Maila Ager

    (3RD UPDATE) AMID renewed threats of attacks, the House of Representatives’ joint committees on justice and foreign affairs approved Tuesday a bill to combat terror as the Philippines' chief law enforcer admitted terrorism is now the country's top security threat.

    The House committees voted to approve the Anti-Terrorism Bill after consolidating several versions filed earlier in the chamber.

    The bill, which seeks to penalize terror acts with lifetime imprisonment or even death, was approved with only two dissenting votes. It carries a fine of 10 million pesos.

    The proposed law includes provisions on warrantless arrests lasting for three days, and limitation on the media’s right to interview known terrorist groups.

    Terror attacks

    The country’s first anti-terror law if passed by Congress, the bill’s committee level approval came in the wake of another terror attacks on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on Saturday night, killing at least 19 people and wounding more than 100.

    Cebu Representative Antonio Cuenco, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said the bill would be submitted for plenary debates next week and would be certified as urgent by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    On Tuesday, Interior Secretary Angelo Reyes said terrorism has replaced a communist insurgency as the top threat to national security.

    Reyes, who supervises the Philippine National Police and heads a newly created National Anti-Crime Task Force, said the past weekend's bombings on Bali island serve as a "warning to everybody that terrorism is with us and will be with us for many more years."

    "The threats to the republic would be, No. 1, terrorism," he said. "We have reports that some of them [terrorists] are probably here, so there is a clear and present danger of terrorist attacks here."

    He said the other threats are the country's 36-year-old communist insurgency and the Muslim separatist rebellion in the south.

    The proposed law defines terrorism as "premeditated, threatened, or actual use of violence, or force" or "other means of destruction" to create or sow "a state of danger, panic, fear or chaos to the general public, group of persons or segments thereof, or of coercing or intimidating the government to do or abstain from doing an act."

    "In other words, if there's an intention to force the government to do this or that, you are already committing an act of terrorism," said justice committee chair Simeon Datumanong of Maguindanao in a telephone interview.

    He said the bill also gives the Secretary of Justice the power to place organizations or individuals on a terrorism list.

    The former justice secretary said the approved bill will be forwarded to the House committee on rules to calendar its plenary deliberations.

    Under the proposed law, terrorist acts include assassination or threatening to assassinate the president or vice president; hijacking and piracy; attacking or threatening to attack cyberspace; willfully destroying natural resources; inflicting serious risks to health and public safety; kidnapping or threats of kidnapping; unlawful manufacturing of chemical, biological or nuclear agents; and unlawful manufacturing of explosives and bombs.

    A final House bill would be later consolidated with a counterpart version from the Senate before being signed into law by Arroyo, a staunch supporter of the US-led fight against terrorism.

    Datumanong said the consolidated bill will be formally presented to the House next week for debate.

    "These are extraordinary and very precarious times that call for a resolute and swift action from the State," he said. "Congress must no longer vacillate in instituting exceptional and expedient measures to thwart all terror attacks."

    But progressive legislators were skeptical over the haste in passing the bill.

    Gabriela Women's Partylist Representative Liza Maza and Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casiño accused the committees of railroading the anti-terror bill’s passage.

    "I suspect that this will be another [piece of] ammunition of President Arroyo against the opposition," Maza said in a telephone interview.

    She said the definition of terrorism is ambiguous and the proposed law deals with crimes already covered by the penal code, but imposes more severe penalties.

    "It covers crimes already [cited] in the Revised Penal Code but it carries more severe penalties like life imprisonment and a fine of 10 million pesos," she said.

    Casiño suspected that Malacañang was behind the hasty approval of the bill.

    "It is an unfortunate and an embarrassment that the joint committees on justice and foreign affairs decided to hastily put aside the usual House practice of scrutinizing bills provision by provision," said Casiño in a statement.

    "Considering its dire consequences on civil liberties and human rights," he said, "the committees should at least have allowed members to seek clarification and introduce amendments before approval of the substitute bill."

    Breeding ground
    The Philippines has been regarded as a terrorist breeding ground. Western nations have expressed concern over the presence of Jemaah Islamiyah training camps in the country's south, fearing they could produce militants who could strike anywhere.

    Officials, however, say that troops have overrun those camps and were pursuing Indonesian militants fleeing from a months-long offensive in the south with small groups of Abu Sayyaf guerrillas.

    The Abu Sayyaf, which is on a U.S. list of terrorist groups, has been blamed for high-profile kidnappings and deadly assaults, including a bombing that set a ferry ablaze last year, killing 116 people in the country's worst terrorist attack.

    Philippine security officials warned last month that at least two Jemaah Islamiyah would-be suicide bombers may have already slipped into the country to carry out an attack with the help of Abu Sayyaf Muslim militants.

    President Arroyo urged the public to help thwart attacks. "The new Bali attacks after the London attacks show the resiliency of terrorists to strike targets when our guard is down," she said in a statement.

    The Jemaah Islamiyah was also blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.

  2. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    here's another news...

    DoJ: Arrest anti-Arroyo evangelist Villanueva
    Brother Eddie says timing suspicious

    First posted 00:40am (Mla time) Oct 05, 2005
    By Armand N. Nocum, Edson C. Tandoc Jr., Christian V. Esguerra
    Inquirer News Service

    Editor's Note: Published on page A1 of the Oct. 5, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

    IT'S STARTING to look a lot like Malacañang is turning the heat up.

    Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to arrest Brother Eduardo "Eddie" Villanueva on charges of estafa filed by a cousin of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo's in connection with the operation of Channel 11 on free TV.

    "It is imperative that this warrant be immediately serviced and I do not see any reason why Mr. Villanueva cannot be located and arrested as we have full confidence in the capability and resourcefulness of the NBI," Gonzalez said in his order dated Sept. 27.

    Assuring that there was no persecution of certain people critical of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Gonzalez said his office had nothing to do with the issuance of the arrest warrant.

    Villanueva, leader of Jesus Is Lord Movement (JIL) and defeated presidential candidate, has joined anti-Arroyo rallies and has called on the President to step down because of allegations that she

    cheated in the 2004 elections and committed other illegal acts. Ms Arroyo has denied committing electoral fraud.

    Gonzalez said the Department of Justice (DoJ) came into the picture because the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court had asked it to implement the arrest warrant. "There’s no politics here."

    The evangelist refused to pay the P40,000 bail set by the court. Instead, he dared the government to arrest him, saying this would set off more damaging revelations against the administration.

    "I don't want to recognize this railroaded judicial process," Villanueva told reporters. "I might as well be imprisoned so I could expose and denounce this tyrannical and illegitimate regime, which fiddles with the justice system."

    Villanueva said the administration had been using the case to blackmail him and force him to declare support for Ms Arroyo. "This is really harassment."

    "They are doing this because I supported the impeachment (complaint against Ms Arroyo)," he said. "They are now going after people who seek the truth."

    Gonzalez's order to the NBI came two weeks after Malacañang announced it would go after people who had warrants of arrest and who had participated in moves to unseat the President, as part of its "calibrated preemptive response" policy.

    At a huge prayer rally in Manila's Rizal Park on Sunday, JIL, which celebrated its 27th anniversary, honored as heroes 10 former Cabinet members and agency heads who called for the resignation of Ms Arroyo, and 50 members of the House of Representatives who voted but failed to impeach her.

    The day before, administration Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago accused former President Corazon Aquino and Senate President Franklin Drilon of plotting to assassinate Ms Arroyo. Aquino and Drilon have also called on the President to resign.

    Suspicious timing

    Villanueva and his supporters found the "timing" of Gonzalez's order to the NBI suspicious. The evangelist said the arrest warrant was released on April 5, 2005, but was made public only the day after JIL's 27th anniversary rally.

    "If they had evidence, why didn't they implement the warrant as soon as it was released?" he asked. "Why only now in this time of many gag orders?"

    Villanueva said he was giving Gonzalez the benefit of the doubt, expressing the hope that "he will use his keen sense of justice and not be a tool in harassing us."

    His lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, said she was puzzled why the arrest warrant, issued six months ago, had not been served.

    Kapunan said she would file a petition for review with the DoJ and a motion to suspend proceedings with the Regional Trial Court Branch 212.

    Gonzalez said it was just "coincidental" that his directive to the NBI came days after the Department of Agrarian Reform decided to turn over Hacienda Luisita, which is owned by the family of Aquino, to its farm workers, and the order came out to investigate Aquino and Drilon in connection with the alleged plot against Ms Arroyo.

    Malacañang distanced itself from the arrest warrant issued against Villanueva.

    Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said Villanueva's case was strictly a private matter. "It's an argument between private parties and Malacañang has nothing to do with it."

    Benito Araneta

    The case dates back to March 2001, when Villanueva and his Zoe Broadcasting Network Inc. entered into an agreement with Benito Araneta and EnterNet for the operation of Channel 11.

    Araneta said Villanueva, chair and president of Zoe, "willfully, unlawfully and feloniously made it appear" that he could legally enter into a contract with his company, Entertainment Network Ltd. (EnterNet), despite Zoe having a similar agreement with Vintage Television Corp.

    Araneta said he paid Villanueva P15 million for the joint-venture agreement signed on March 29, 2001, and for the transfer of the operation and management of Channel 11 to his company on June 15, 2001.

    It turned out that Zoe and Vintage TV had already signed a similar agreement on Feb. 28, 1999, according to Araneta.

    Villanueva said it was his company that was duped by Araneta and EnterNet.

    In June 2001, he said Zoe agreed to manage and operate Channel 11 with Araneta on the condition that "necessary corrections will be made" to their memorandum of agreement and joint venture agreement.

    Both documents "did not accurately reflect all the essential points" they had agreed upon, he said.

    First Gentleman

    Three months earlier, the First Gentleman supposedly guaranteed to him by phone that Araneta was his cousin and was a "good man" in an effort to convince him to accommodate EnterNet.

    Villanueva said Araneta came into the picture knowing full well that Zoe's previous partner, Vintage TV, had already backed out from the operation of Channel 11.

    Vintage, in fact, "advised Zoe to entertain other groups, which may be interested to co-manage" the channel.

    From June 15, 2001, to July 2002, Villanueva said Araneta's company ran Channel 11 "24 hours, seven days a week."

    "For more than a year, Araneta pocketed all earnings of Channel 11 and all the while refusing to incorporate the joint venture company that was supposed to manage (the channel)," he said.

    Villanueva said Araneta owed him a balance of P70 million since he allegedly paid only P30 million in goodwill money on a staggered basis at the start of the project.

    The amount was supposedly on top of the P122,023 worth of airtime cost from November to December 2001.

    Villanueva said the businessman also ignored their agreement on a 60-40 sharing of the net income. "After a year, because of our long suffering, I decided to cancel their contract with Zoe," he said. "Perhaps this angered (Araneta)."

    Jesus Santos, lawyer of the First Gentleman, said Villanueva must be "hallucinating" when he insisted that his client had a hand in the case.

    "What has the First Gentleman got to do with the arrest warrant? He's not here anymore so what political harassment is he talking about?" said Santos.

    The First Gentleman has been in self-exile in the United States since late June (except for a two-week break when he returned to the Philippines to attend his half-sister's burial) to take the heat off the President.

  3. Join Date
    Mar 2005
    nakita ko nga sa TV kagabi yan si Villanueva, mukang kabado. may issue talaga before yan pagka-acquire ng channel 11. tama siya the timing is suspicious. kulit kasi nila mag-ama eh ... lalo na yun anak, grabe magsalita laban sa gobyerno sa mga media interviews.

    oh well, kung tutoong matapang sila ala Tulfo brothers, no problem. pero iba itsura talaga ni Villanueva sa TV ngaun, worried na worried.

  4. Join Date
    Nov 2002
    heheh. yan yung sinasabi nilang 'preemptive calibrated response'. get back at those people who are critical of the arroyo regime. cory, movie stars, binay, villanueva. susunod na siguro si father robert reyes.

  5. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    and lacson shuts his mouth.. hmmmn

  6. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    mag-abang na lang tayo ng "ambush me" scenario sa mga darating na araw tulad nuong 1971 kay enrile, who was the defense secretary then, na naging basis to declare martial law.

  7. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    meron na nga yan "ambush me" scenario, yung bintang nila kay cory and drilon na ipa-assasinate daw nila si unano. sana nga matuloy na kabaliwan niya, declare sila martial law at tignan natin saan siya pupulutin.

    and then the next wire tap tapes will be "hello garci, may space pa ba dyan sa pinagtataguan mo. sama naman ako..."

  8. Join Date
    May 2005
    IMO .. because the administration is being attacked by the opposition .. everything the they do against each other to retaliate is politically motivated .. and is timed to do the most damage .. or at least garner the most publicity .. it would be naive of villanueva to think he can go and oppose the admin without having some mud slung in his direction as well .. which only means if there is mud to be slung .. walang malinis .. ang mud nga lang kay villanueva at this point is not political in nature .. but because he is now a political figure .. binibigyan ng political flavor .. hay ..

    walang wala ito sa political situation nung martial law dati .. but i think the media is really playing up the situation ..

    as far as the terrorism bill ... siempre yung mga opposed eh yung mga left-leaning partylist members ... the thing is ... wala naman silang ibang suggestion ... masyado silang busy sa oust-GMA movement ..
    Last edited by mrpink; October 5th, 2005 at 11:15 AM.

  9. Join Date
    Jan 2004
    ano yung issue sa channel 11? Di ba pinsan ni miKe aroYo yung si araneta?

  10. FrankDrebin Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by RedHorse
    and lacson shuts his mouth.. hmmmn
    Sabi ko sa inyo na bayaran din si Lacson. Pulis yan eh!

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