Tuesday, 25 October 2011

PIA News Dispatch - Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spanish envoy commends Aquino's commitment to peace process

President Benigno S. Aquino III’s stance to pursue lasting peace in Mindanao by following the rule of law has gained recognition from the international community most notably from Spanish ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq.

Domecq commended the President for his implementation of “all out justice” directive for the immediate arrest of the culprits responsible for the killing of 19 soldiers in Basilan last week, in his welcome remarks at the inauguration of a photo exhibit organized by the Spanish Embassy to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal held at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex in Manila Monday.

Domecq said the President’s stance was a testament to the fact that “foreign politics and violence…do not work well together in the achievement of peace.”

“That is why in these days of unjustified violence in Mindanao, we commend you, Mr. President, for your stand and commitment to the peace process,” Domecq said.

President Aquino on Monday assured Filipinos that the government is exerting all necessary efforts for the immediate arrest of those responsible for the killing of 19 soldiers in Basilan last week, as he made it clear that these efforts should not put the lives of the residents in the area in peril through the implementation of “all-out justice” instead of “all-out war” against the criminals.

“We will not pursue all-out war…we will instead pursue all-out justice,” he stressed, pointing out the ill-effects of an all-out war on the people and the benefits of pushing for steps towards winning lasting peace.

“All-out war is indiscriminate and borne out of anger. All-out justice is sober and fair… it is based on the rule of law, and leads to lasting peace,” President Aquino continued. (PCOO)

Exhibit commemorating Rizal's 150th birth anniversary ensures continuing friendship with Spain, says Aquino

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the inauguration of a photo exhibit organized by the Spanish embassy commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal at the Metropolitan Museum in Manila on Monday.

In his speech keynoting the event attended by Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Armando Tetangco, members of the diplomatic corps and other officials, the President lauded the event as a fitting tribute to Rizal that further strengthens the relationship between Spain and the Philippines.

“Once our national hero separated himself from his family for years to travel to Spain to learn about and understand its culture, and today we see ourselves presented with the opportunity to follow in his footsteps in our own ways, to better familiarize ourselves with Spain now, more than a century after his time,” the President said.

“Both our countries have changed so much in the past years and the Philippines and Spain have been fortunate enough to rebuild our ties and to build an enduring friendship with each other,” he added.

The exhibit entitled “Photo a Photo: A Portrait of Spain,”is a visual journey that depicts the evolution of Spanish cities from the fifties until the present day, focusing on the two cities where Rizal lived and studied: Madrid and Barcelona.

The exhibit offers 60 snapshots taken by 15 of the best Spanish photographers who, from the middle of the last century up to the present, have carried out their work starting from their personal approaches and visions that differ not only in content but also in the aesthetic way of addressing its representation.

“Today we see that this is the Spain we have fostered such a productive relationship with. Today as we view these photos together, photos that show the rapid changes of Spanish society in the half past century, we take another step in ensuring that the friendship between our countries will only gain strength in the coming years,” the President said.

He enjoined Filipinos to take time to visit the exhibit for a “refreshing” view of things in a different perspective.

“If the eye is the window to our soul, then our friends from Spain today have truly opened their windows to us,” the President said.

“May we see them through those windows with the same spirit of understanding, the same embracing of change and the same love of life that in the past had made firm friends between our founding fathers and those Spaniards who even then dared to dream of liberty for our country,” he added. (PCOO)

Aquino confers Order of National Scientist on Father Nebres Jr.

President Benigno S. Aquino III encouraged the Filipino people to emulate the exemplary contributions and hard work of distinguished individuals in their efforts to help the government push for the development and progress of the country enry through sincere service and integrity.

In his message during the conferment ceremonies of the rank and title of the Order of National Scientist on Father Bienvenido Nebres S.J. at the Rizal Hall of the Malacanang Palace on Tuesday, President Aquino highlighted the prelates’ contributions to education and social reforms.

“May Father Nebres serve as an example of integrity, hard work and service to all of us as we continue to dedicate ourselves to the development and improvement of those who need help the most,” the President said.

“Father Nebres has been a consistent advocate of educational reform, a leader who has pushed for the formulation and implementation of a long-term plan to improve our nation’s competitiveness in the natural sciences and mathematics,” he added.

Over the years, Father Nebres has worked tirelessly to find effective ways of improving education in the public school system. His works include the establishment of the Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED), an institution dedicated to developing public schools.

Currently, ACED assists local governments and over 400 public schools in Quezon City, Paranaque, Valenzuela, Nueva Ecija, La Union and other parts of the country.

Also present during the event were Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo, National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) president Dr. Emil Javier, NAST secretary Dr. Evelyn Mendoza and other national scientists.

The conferment of the rank and title of national scientist on Fr. Nebres is the highest honor given by the government, as stipulated in Proclamation No. 209 issued on July 27, 2011.

Fr. Nebres, 71, is the 37th national scientist of the country and one of the 15 awardees living today. He served as president of the Ateneo de Manila University, the alma mater of President Aquino for 18 years.

Fr. Nebres contributed to the national and local governments and direction of various Task Forces and Commission on Higher Education and Basic Education such as the Third Engineering And Science Project of the DOST and the Third Elementary Education Project of the DECS to realize his vision of quality science education for everyone. (PCOO)

Offensive against lawless elements to continue, Palace says

Malacanang vowed that military operations against the killers of the 19 soldiers in Basilan will continue stressing, clarifying however that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is not being targeted as an entity and the offensive will only target lawless elements.

“The pursuit of the lawless elements will continue. The President is very categorical, ‘you cooperate or you stand aside.’ Dahil we are trying to make the distinction kung sino talaga ang gusto talaga ay kapayapaan at kung sino po yung nakikihalubilo lang at nagkukubli,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday.

Going after the bandit groups is a different thing from the peace talks with the MILF, Valte said, adding that security forces know how to handle the offensive.

With regards to the population being displaced by the military operations, Valte said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is on the ground and Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman was given instructions to help civilians affected by the military operations.

Reacting to reports that the MILF is providing sanctuary to criminal groups, Valte said it is prohibited in the ceasefire agreement with the government for the MILF to provide safe haven to lawless elements in its jurisdiction.

President Benigno S. Aquino III assured the nation on Monday that the government was exerting all necessary efforts to arrest the killers of the 19 soldiers in Basilan last week calling the offensive “all-out justice.”

In his message during a press briefing in Malacanang, President Aquino vowed to put the killers to justice and continuously attend to the needs of those people that may be affected by the operations.

He likewise noted that while there will be some who will use the incident to gain political leverage and further agitate the public, rash decisions fuelled by a thirst for vengeance can only serve to dishonor the memory of the 19 soldiers who died in the Basilan clash. (PCOO)