Friday, 16 December 2011

PIA News Disptach - Friday, December 16, 2011

Ceasefire declaration shows government’s sincerity in attaining peace, Palace says

Malacanang expects the communist New People’s Army (NPA) to respond to the government’s declaration of an 18-day holiday ceasefire in the spirit of the Yuletide season.

In a press briefing at Malacanang on Friday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Thursday’s declaration of the ceasefire with the communists shows the Aquino administration’s sincerity in pursuing peace in the country.

“It shows our sincerity for the pursuit of peace that however doesn’t stop us from defending ourselves,” Lacierda told reporters. “If the soldiers are attacked they will defend themselves. This is a declaration of ceasefire and we would expect in the spirit of the season for the other side to also declare a ceasefire to allow the rebels to be with their families at this time,” he said.

President Benigno S. Aquino III declared the ceasefire that will take effect Friday, December 16 and ends on January 2 next year. The Chief Executive made the announcement during an interview after the ceremonial signing of the 2012 Budget at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room in Malacanang on Thursday.

"There will be suspension of military operations starting Friday until January 2, on the advice of both the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Department of National Defense," the President said.

The President directed the military to suspend their offensive operations for the period covered by the ceasefire and be on the defensive mode and just respond if provoked.

The government panel was instructed by the President to remain focused in pursuing the path to peace towards a just and honorable settlement of the decades-old conflict. (PCOO)

Malacanang says exchange of ideas between Executive and Judiciary has no direct effect in country’s growth

Malacanang said the present exchange of ideas and principles between the Executive and Judiciary branches of government has no direct effect in the country’s economic growth as it assured that the economic team of the Aquino government will continue to pursue further efforts to uplift the lives of the Filipino people.

In a press briefing at Malacanang on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that even the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) was convinced that President Benigno S. Aquino III’s programs in government pertains to abiding by the rule of law and achieving political stability.

He cited an interview with Amcham Executive Director Jeffrey Woodruff over ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Business Nightly,” where Woodruff told the show’s host, Coco Alcuaz, that rule of law and political stability in the Philippines are among the top concerns of the business community. He said businessmen are pleased with President Aquino's efforts to fight corruption.

“The American Chamber of Commerce said that it would not affect… the foreign direct investments in the region have generally decreased so the dialogue between the Executive and Judiciary is not in any way a factor in the slow down or in the decrease of foreign direct investments,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda noted the considerable decrease in the unemployment rate in the country despite the ongoing events in the political arena.

“We also just want to let you know that the unemployment numbers have gone down… so, in spite of the discussions between the Executive and the Judiciary, we’ve seen an increase in employment in the country,” Lacierda said.

He added that the early signing of the General Appropriations Act bearing the national budget for the year 2012 stands proof that more developments will happen in the coming year.

“And because of the early signing of the budget … as we have promised, and as the President have stated, that come January (2012), a full implementation of our infrastructure projects, and that the economic team is devoted and focused on further improving the economy,” Lacierda said adding that the first Public-Private Partnership project has been bidded out.

“Whatever is going to happen in the political landscape the economic landscape will not be affected, it will in fact be accelerated with the signing of the 2012 budget… also, we just bidded out our first PPP project so tumatakbo po ang ating economy despite of whatever you’re hearing in the political arena,” Lacierda said.

The public works and highways department announced Thursday the awarding of the P2-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway link road, the very first infrastructure-building project auctioned by the Aquino administration under the public-private partnership (PPP) framework. The project was bagged by the Ayala Group. (PCOO)