Friday, 11 November 2011

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, November 11, 2011

Palace expects fair SC judgment on Arroyo’s travel petition

Malacanang expressed optimism on Friday that the Supreme Court would issue a fair judgment on the petition filed by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to allow them to travel abroad.

“We’ve always expected the Supreme Court to be fair and independent-minded when it comes to issues that confront them… and in this particular issue, we hope that they will see the merits of our arguments and see that the government’s response is reasonable and reflects the sentiments of the Filipino people as a whole,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.

Mrs Arroyo, who is now Pampanga second district representative and her husband Mike, are seeking a TRO on the watchlist order issued against them by the justice department. The former leader wants to leave abroad to seek medical treatment.

The Palace found an ally Friday after Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo issued a statement saying “fair judgment, not vindictiveness,” should prevail vis a vis Arroyo’s petition.

Pabillo said it is important that the people seek the truth in this issue and they shouldn’t be overcome by vindictiveness or revenge to make someone suffer even more. Pabillo chairs the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) National Secretariat for Social Action.

On Wednesday, President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his full support to Justice Secretary Leila De Lima’s decision disallowing the former president to travel abroad to seek medical help.

He said the government was willing to shoulder the expenses of flying in medical specialists to look into Arroyo’s medical condition to ease the former president’s need to travel.

The DoJ on Tuesday denied Arroyo’s request for an Allow Departure Order for lack of merit. The government’s arguments are bolstered by unconfirmed reports that Arroyo has sought asylum in the Dominican Republic. (PCOO)

Palace says Aquino satisfied over ongoing NAIA upgrade

President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed satisfaction over the ongoing refurbishment and upgrading works for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in a bid to support the country's tourism industry in the short term, a Palace official said on Friday.

The Chief Executive went to the NAIA Terminal 1 Thursday afternoon unannounced and checked the airport facility, according to Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda during a regular press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.

President Aquino and Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II strolled down the airport’s lobby to the customs and immigration areas, and even inspected the comfort rooms of the terminal. They were briefed by terminal managers on the work currently being done to improve the airport.

"The President was satisfied. Secretary Mar Roxas will be conducting another briefing next week on Terminal 1 and to discuss, for instance, how much it would take to renovate everything," Lacierda said.

Concerned government agencies are now fast-tracking the improvement of the country's airport terminals amid negative observations made by the international community on the inferior condition of the airport.

Interviewed over Youtube’s World View Interview Series on Friday, President Aquino acknowledged the need to improve the NAIA saying the 30-year old structure has already reached its saturation point.

It was reported earlier that the administration plans to relocate NAIA from Pasay City to Clark, Pampanga. The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is considering phasing out and selling NAIA in order to pay for the cost of the proposed Clark International Airport that will meet the long-term airport needs of the country, and boost the country’s tourism industry.

However, Sec. Roxas said the plan depends on the success of the NorthRail project and the privatization of the existing NAIA property. At the same time, the government hopes to raise around $2.5 billion with the privatization of the 440-hectare NAIA property to fund NAIA’s relocation to Clark. (PCOO)

Aquino leaves for Hawaii to attend APEC meeting

President Benigno Aquino III left for Honolulu, Hawaii Friday afternoon to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting, hoping to gain inputs that could solve the country’s economic, security and energy concerns.

In his departure speech delivered at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, the president acknowledged the importance of attending the summit noting the crisis happening in the Middles East, Europe and the Unites States.

He said the Arab uprising, the economic uncertainty in Europe and the US has affected the Philippines and cooperation among APEC member countries is important.

“Bawat estratehiya, mungkahi at kaalaman na makakalap natin sa APEC ay maaari nating gamitin upang solusyunan ang mga suliranin sa ating bansa, at isulong ang interes ng ating mga kababayan,” the President said in his speech.

“Ilan sa mga paksang inaasahan nating matututukan dito, at layon nating mapagbuti, ay ang seguridad ng ating ekonomiya, ang mainam na paggamit ng enerhiya, at ang paglikha ng mga karagdagang trabaho.”

Aside from meeting other leaders during the summit, the chief executive said he will take the opportunity to showcase the Philippines as an investment destination by showing to the world the reforms that his administration has initiated to make the country more competitive.

The President is also scheduled to meet with the Filipino community in Hawaii during his three-day stay in the US Pacific state.

The President said the Philippines joins other APEC member countries in their quest for progress and prosperity as they gather in the summit.

“Sa pagbalik po natin dito sa Pilipinas sa darating na Martes, tiwala akong uuwi tayo nang may mas matibay na ugnayan sa mga karatig-bansa at may bitbit na mas maraming pagkakataon para sa atin pong mga minamahal na kababayan,” he said.

He also announced his scheduled meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard during the APEC Leaders meeting. The President mentioned his intention to meet Gillard during the visit of Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd last month. (PCOO)