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Philippine News Digest 52

March 19, 2003 · 

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Contents:

  • Complaint against PREDA dismissed
  • 9bars closed down for employing minors
  • RP outstanding debt reaches P2.8 trillion

Complaint against PREDA dismissed

The complaints for libel and filing of false charges (sic) filed by Swiss national Markus Leo Widmer against Fr. Shay Cullen of PREDA Foundation was dismissed for lack of merit through a resolution signed by Asst. City Prosecutor Gerardo Antonio Santos and approved by City Prosecutor Teilo P. Quiambao on February 18, 2003. The object of the complaint was PREDA’s newsletter in July 2000 which reproduced a resolution by Associate Commissioner Linda Malenab-Hornilla ordering the preparation of charge sheet against Widmer for overstaying, for giving false testimony constituting undesirability and for drug trafficking. In the resolution, Santos said PREDA is “no doubt an authorized or accredited organization which the government looks on with favor because it is considered as one of its partners of ridding the society of undesirable elements that destroy its moral fiber.” It further asserts that “PREDA’s role in the community creates a moral and social obligation to reasonably employ ways and means to carry into effect its purpose.”

9 bars closed down for employing minors

Nine videoke bars and clubs in Angeles City, including the G-Spot Club and Club Funtastic, were ordered closed by the city government for employing minors in violation of Republic Act 7610 while two others are under close monitoring and further investigation. This development came after the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Region III, the International Justice Mission and the PREDA Foundation made a report on the presence of minors in bars when they conducted an undercover operation in 2002. American Thomas Glenn Jarrel and Australian Terrence George Matthews, operators of Club Fantastic and G-Spot, and four other Filipinos have been charged in court by the National Bureau of Investigation.

RP outstanding debt reaches P2.8 trillion

The outstanding debt of the Philippines reached P2.815 trillion (around $51.37 billion) at the end of 2002, up 18.03 percent on 2001, data from the Department of Finance showed. Domestic debt accounted for 52% as foreign debt made up the remaining 48%. The government has forecast a budget deficit of P202 billion, or 4.7% percent of gross domestic product this year, after it blew past its targets three times last year. It closed 2002 with a budget deficit of P212.68 billion. Source: Reuters report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 11 March 2003.

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