Sunday, 13 January 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, January 12, 2012

Aquino keynotes 20th anniversary of Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order

President Benigno S. Aquino III keynoted Saturday the 20th anniversary of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO) in Intramuros, Manila, thanking the organization for its continuing support to the government’s efforts to fight criminality.

“Today’s gathering is marked by our determination to transform the circumstances that caused our tragedies into opportunities to empower and help our countrymen,” the President said in his keynote address.

Also in his message, the President reported recent developments in the government’s fight against crime.

For instance, the President reported that there has been a 10 percent decrease in crime volume for the entire country from 2011 to 2012. For kidnapping-for-ransom cases, he said it declined from 25 cases in 2011 to 11 cases in 2012.

There has been an even greater decline over the years, he continued. In 2009, cases perpetrated by organized crime groups stood at 35, dropping to 21 cases in 2010, 11 in 2011, and six cases in 2012.

There is also a decline in kidnapping-for-ransom cases perpetrated by terrorist groups, with only five recorded cases in 2012, down from 25 in 2009. In Mindanao, kidnapping-for- ransom cases have declined to only five incidents in 2012, compared to ten incidents in 2011, due to proactive efforts to promote community awareness and cooperation, the President reported.

The Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has arrested 29 individuals involved in kidnapping in 2012, and now being tried in courts.

The AKG also continues to solve kidnapping cases, through a three-pronged strategy: intelligence gathering and community awareness campaigns, tactical and strategic management of incidents, and the enhancement of investigation capabilities.

The PNP also mobilized more police personnel throughout the country and intensified its campaign against loose firearms and private armed groups to fight crime, the President said.

MRPO, which was supposed to be an ad hoc group, was organized on January 13, 1993 following the abduction and murder of 15-year-old Charlene Sy.

The convention, which marked the anniversary of MRPO, addresses the concerns of kidnapping victims, their families and the entire community. Kidnapping, particularly of the members of the Chinese-Filipino community, has been a continuing problem until today.

In the past 20 years, MPRO has served as a support group to kidnapping victims and their families, assisted the police and the justice department in investigating and filing cases in court.

The most notable cases pursued by MRPO include those of Charlene Sy and Coca-Cola executive Betti Chua, who were kidnapped 10 years apart.

MRPO also helped in the prosecution and conviction of the Jacky Rowena Tui kidnappers after a nine-year court battle.

To date, 57 cases were successfully tried with about 160 suspects meted life sentences after the death penalty was abrogated. Currently, 20 kidnapping-for-ransom cases are being tried in courts, the MRPO reported.

Among those who joined the President during Saturday’s event were Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, PNP chief Dir. Gen. Alan Purisima, Teresita Ang See, and journalists Jiggy Manicad and Ces Orena-Drilon. PND (as)

Aquino says Chinese-Filipino community inputs helpful in government’s anti-crime fight

President Benigno S. Aquino III invited the Chinese-Filipino community to share its inputs on how the government could effectively fight criminality happening the in the country.

“We are looking for solutions that are strategic, rational, and effective.
In the national discussion that is taking place today, your perspectives are more than welcome,” the President said in his keynote message during the 20th anniversary of the Movement for Restoration of Peace and Order (MRPO) held at the Kaisa-Angelo King Heritage Center in Intramuros, Manila on Saturday.

“After all, your movement was founded on the basic premise that law enforcement officials and the citizenry must empower each other; that both the private and public spheres must take active roles in keeping our communities safe and peaceful,” he added.

The President also acknowledged the gargantuan task that the government has been facing in deterring criminals and making communities safe.

For instance, he said that despite the decrease in overall crime incidence, crime volume in Metro Manila has increased from 2011 to 2012.

The government should work even harder to keeping cities and barangays free from crimes particularly those that are gun-related.

The country has also seen the revival of gun control debates following recent attacks related to the use of guns, he said.

“This public clamor only deepens the necessity of discernment to determine if this will be the solution to the issue. Is the problem about licensed gun owners, or lawless elements? Will a total gun ban really deter kidnappers, murderers, and robbers, and terrorists from committing their crimes? Is it a question of passing new legislation, or more strict implementation of existing laws?” he asked.

The President said in previous interviews that he’s not in favor of imposing total gun ban in the country. Instead he suggested that the state must go after criminals and private armed groups to prevent gun violence.

Imposing a total gun ban won’t reduce gun-related violence because outlaws will not yield their weapons and this will only make law abiding citizens defenseless, the President argued.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has stepped up its campaign against loose firearm to fight criminality, he said. This will not only make this year’s midterm election safer and peaceful but will also ensure greater peace and order in the country.

The police is also conducting stringent operations against private armed groups as part of the government’s anti-crime effort, the chief executive said. PND (as)

Aquino greets Romblomanons celebrating Biniray Festival

President Benigno S. Aquino III extended his greeting on Friday to the people of the Municipality of Romblon, Romblon, celebrating the Biniray Festival.

“Each locality plays a vital role in building on our country’s cultural heritage—channeling government programs towards uplifting the Filipino’s sense of fun and spirit of bayanihan,” the President said in his message.

“These initiatives are what you, the people and leaders of Romblon, uphold in this festivity. Your government is heartened by your people’s pride of place and sense of history.”

The President hopes that with the celebration of Biniray Festival, the people of Romblon will take the opportunity to foster unity and cooperation among themselves, particularly with the guidance of their patron, Nuestro Señor Sto. Niño de Romblon.

“Let us keep our faith, along with the ideals of fairness, integrity, and passion, as we sustain moral uprightness and good governance in our society,” he said.

The Biniray (Binirayan) festival is an event celebrated particularly in the province of Antique. “Biniray” or “Binirayan” literally means “where they sailed to”.

The Binirayan Festival, which was first celebrated on January 11 to 13, 1974, commemorates the legend of the arrival of the10 Bornean datus on the island of Aninipay now known as Panay. PND (co)