Monday, 26 November 2012

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, November 24, 2012

18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women to be launched Sunday in line with Aquino government's efforts to protect and uphold rights of women
 The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is set to launch on Sunday the "18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women" as part of the Aquino government's efforts to protect and uphold the rights of women in times of armed conflict and disasters.

The PCW, which is under the Office of the President, will spearhead the campaign from November 25 to December 12, 2012. The event, which has for its theme "Violence Against Women --- Free Society in Times of Peace, Conflict and Calamity," will kick off on Sunday at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

The PCW is the primary policy-making and coordinating body on women and gender equality concerns.

Philippine Commission on Women chairperson Remedios Rikken will lead the kick-off activity on Sunday while Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim will give a message to the people.

The campaign is in line with the directives of President Benigno S. Aquino III for the PCW to spearhead the implementation of the Magna Carta of Women otherwise known as Republic Act No. 9710 and the promotion of gender equality.

Section 30 of the Magna Carta of Women classifies women victim-survivors of VAW during disasters and armed conflict situation as Women in Especially Difficult Circumstances (WEDC).

The 18-day campaign aims to raise awareness of the national government agencies, local government units, and the general public about gender-based violence in crisis situations. Gender-based violence refers to any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person's will on the basis of gender differences.

The drive also includes increasing support mechanisms to make it more accessible to Violence Against Women victim-survivors during disaster and crisis situation.

It also aims to forge partnership among stakeholders in addressing gender-based violence in crisis situation.

The event includes multi-media activities, launching of Barangay Violence Against Women Desk Handbook, information sessions for Internally Displaced Persons or evacuees, and forum by different organizations working in the conflict/disaster areas. PND (js)

President Aquino to lead conferment of Quezon Service Cross award on Robredo
 President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead the conferment Monday of the Quezon Service Cross award on the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash off Masbate coast last August.

 Monday’s event in Malacanang marks the 100th day of the death of Robredo.

 The awarding of the Quezon Service Cross on Robredo was announced by Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda during a radio interview over state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

 “There will be a ceremony. This is the highest award that the Republic of the Philippines can give to any Filipino. It is an award bestowed with the approved concurrence of the two Houses of Congress,” Lacierda said.

 The Quezon Service Cross was proposed by former President Manuel Roxas in honor of President Manuel L. Quezon to serve as the highest honor of the Republic.

 In August 1946, President Roxas submitted a proposed Joint Resolution to Congress for the creation of the Quezon Service Cross, the highest award the republic could bestow.

 The Quezon Service Cross was created by virtue of Joint Resolution No. 4 s. 1946 enacted by both houses of Congress.

 Although Congress was abolished upon the declaration of Martial Law, the Quezon Service Cross remained but was not awarded to any individual.

 In the reforms of the awards system of the Republic in 2003, Executive Order No. 236 retained the original intention of President Roxas to have the Quezon Service Cross as the highest decoration of the Philippines.

 In the Order of Precedence of Philippine Honors and State Decorations the Quezon Service Cross is the top recognition a Filipino can receive from the Republic.

 Three individuals were awarded prior to the abolition of the Third Republic in 1972.

 Since its creation in 1946, only four people, to date, have been awarded the Quezon Service Cross. Among those include the former president of the United Nation General Assembly Carlos P. Romulo, former presidents Emilio Aguinaldo and Ramon Magsaysay, and the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr., the father of the present president. PND (as)

Government continues to dismantle private armed groups, says Palace
 Government’s campaign against private armed groups has been continuing and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has already identified election hot spots in preparation for the election next year, Malacanang said on Saturday.

 There are some criticisms about government’s efforts to dismantle private armed groups in the country particularly after the country marked the third year of the Maguindanao massacre, in which several media men were killed.

 The government is dealing with private armed groups and Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas already released a watch list, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan Saturday.

 Also he said there was an agreement issued by the DILG, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) regarding the government’s campaign against private armed groups.

 On November 23, 2009, some 200 armed men forced the group of 58 people – 20 Mangudadatu relatives and supporters in Maguindanao, 32 journalists and media workers, and 6 passersby – off the highway near Ampatuan town and executed them.

 The Maguindanao massacre brought to light the dangers posed by private armies, militias, and paramilitaries in the peace and order situation in the Philippines.

 Several members of the Ampatuan clan, the alleged perpetrators, are now in jail and on trial for the massacre. Out of 197 identified suspects, the government has arrested 99. PND (as)

Malacanang: DFA to continue advancing country’s interest in international fora
 The government made an assurance on Saturday that it would continue to protect the country’s interests and territory particularly with the dispute over the West Philippines Sea.

 During a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Department of Foreign Affairs has already issued a note verbale protesting China’s new passport that contains map of the contested territory.

 “The DFA will continue to be vigilant in ensuring that our interests are protected in the international forum, and we will continue to make the necessary representations to protect our territories,” Lacierda said.

 China has enraged other claimant countries after releasing newly revised passports having a dashed map showing its claim on the West Philippine Sea.

 China claims the West Philippine Sea in its entirety, though parts of the waters are also being claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

 China's act of including the said map in its revised passports could be seen as a provocation as it would require other nations to endorse those claims by affixing their official seals to the documents.

 Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said he sent a note verbale to the Chinese Embassy to strongly protest the image. According to Del Rosario, China is claiming an area that is clearly part of the Philippine territory and maritime domain. PND (as)