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SC junks rebellion raps vs Beltran, ‘Batasan 5’ (tags)
Rebellion charges against six legislators identified with leftist groups were thrown out by the Supreme Court yesterday in what the opposition described as a defeat for President Arroyo’s administration. The court ruled that state prosecutors did not have probable cause to file charges against Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran and the group dubbed as the “Batasan 5,” who were accused of plotting a coup against Mrs. Arroyo last year along with military rebels and opposition politicians.
US lauds ratification of Philippines' anti-terrorism bill (tags)
The US Embassy lauded yesterday the House of Representatives’ ratification of the anti-terrorism bill and the approval of the bicameral conference committee report on the bill. "For us, it is a very good and positive step (for the Philippines). The Philippine law enforcement and judicial authorities should have this kind of tools that are needed to counter terrorism," press attaché Matthew Lussenhop said. He also said the US government was not disappointed with the delay in the passage of the anti-terror measure, pointing out that "we respect Philippine democracy and its legislative consultative process and it takes time."
VERDICT HAILED BUT OTHERS "HALF-SATISFIED" (tags)
Women's groups celebrated their court victory while lawmakers and Malacañang hailed the conviction yesterday of a US Marine and the acquittal of his co-accused on rape charges. But there were ordinary people who were not fully satisfied with the verdict of the Makati Regional Trial Court, which convicted US Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith and acquitted three other Marines.