Wednesday, 9 January 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, January 9, 2013

President Aquino leads rites honoring 2012 Outstanding Young Men

President Benigno S. Aquino III honored seven individuals who were chosen The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of 2012 in ceremonies held at MalacaƱang on Wednesday.

The TOYM is the Philippines’ most prestigious awards search for young men and women between the ages of 18 to 40 whose selfless dedication to their profession or vocation has resulted in significant contributions to the welfare of their countrymen as well as to the advancement of their fields of endeavor.

The President, who was joined by proponents of TOYM, namely: the TOYM Foundation represented by its vice chairman Lorenzo Tan; the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines led by its president Randolf Ivan Ruste; and the Gerry Roxas Foundation represented by its chairperson Judy Roxas; led the awarding of trophies to this year’s TOYM awardees.

The 2012 TOYM awardees are: Democratic Independent Workers’ Association (DIWA) Partylist Representive Emmeline Aglipay for Public Service; Warren Baticados for Veterinary Medicine; Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong for Sports; Abelardo David for Community Occupational Rehabilitation; Ivan Anthony Henares for Heritage Conservation; Rodrigo “Jiggy” Manicad, Jr. for Broadcast Journalism; and Allan “” Pineda for Contemporary Music.

In his speech, the President lauded this year’s awardees for “advancing and excelling in their professions and advocacies” as he assured all Filipinos “that in the future, there will be no shortage of brilliance in this country—that there will be people who can carry our collective quest forward to accomplish permanent change in our country and people.”

“Beginning today, you are no longer merely private individuals, but symbols—symbols that clearly show our countrymen and the rest of the world that the Filipino is world class, and that, no matter how successful he or she becomes, the Filipino never loses the spirit of bayanihan, and always comes back to help his fellowmen. This is what we see in the people we honor today,” the President said.

He challenged the awardees to “do more” as with this prestigious award heralds that “the best of your work is still to come.”

“To our awardees today: the best of your work is still to come: you are going to be a vital part of our nation’s future. And so I am here today not merely to award you, but to personally challenge you to do more,” the President said.

“What I have learned as president is that no single person, no single entity, or corporation, or government can manage the full-scale turnaround of this country on their own. We need each Filipino to do their part. So I say to you apl, Em, Warren, Chieffy, Jiggy, Archie, and Ivan: this country needs you to continue being creative, excellent, and relevant,” he added.

“You are no longer just artists, politicians, medical professionals, athletes, champions of heritage, or journalists; you are inspirations to our countrymen, and your continued pursuit of excellence will tell our people that the fight to bring this country to prominence continues,” the President said.

He urged the awardees to go back to their professional lives energized and revitalized than ever before to “show our countrymen and the world just how outstanding the Filipino is.” PND (rck)

President Aquino swears in new government officials

President Benigno S. Aquino III administered the oath of office of newly appointed Philippine ambassadors and other government officials in ceremonies at Malacanang Palace on Wednesday.

Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya Lamberto V. Monsanto and Philippine Permanent Representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Ambassador Elizabeth P. Buensuceso took their oath of office at the Malacanang’s Heroes Hall.

Ambassador Celia Anna M. Feria was also sworn in as Chief of the Presidential Protocol which is under the Office of the President.

Other officials who also took their oath of office were Ramon Allan V. Oca as Undersecretary of the Department of Energy, Jose I. Lorena as Undersecretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Maria Edita Z. Tan as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Finance, Luis A. Mamitag Jr. as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Javier R. Jimenez as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Rommel R. Abesamis as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Rolando T. Canizal as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Tourism and Amador S. Pabustan as Assistant Secretary of the Dangerous Drugs Board.

The President also swore in Antonieta F. Ibe as Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Erlina T. Agus as Commissioner of the 2nd Division, National Labor Relations Commission of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) , Jose G. Gutierrez as Commissioner of the 7th Division of the National Labor Relations Commission of the DOLE, Jose Ramon G. Albert as Executive Director V of the National Statistical Coordination Board, Robert D. Villanueva as Deputy Administrator of the Office for Transportation Security, Department of Transportation and Communications, Henry R. T. Abella and Katrina Manahan as Directors IV; Atty. Nancy D. Quimpo, Immanuel Cedrik L. Forbes and Rafael Victor L. Ignacio as Directors III, all of the Presidential Management Staff. PND (js)

President Aquino orders NBI to conduct full and exhaustive investigation of the January 6 incident between government forces and alleged criminals in Quezon province

President Benigno S. Aquino III ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to ferret out the truth behind the January 6 shootout between the government forces and alleged criminals at a checkpoint in Atimonan, Quezon province

The Chief Executive said he wants the NBI to conduct a full and exhaustive investigation of said incident that claimed the lives of 13 persons.

"Siyempre, unang-unang reaction, labing-tatlong namatay, medyo maraming namatay, tapos may presumption of regularity, initially; may nasugatan on the side of the people who are manning the checkpoint. On the surface, parang may proof na may encounter," the President said in an interview after administering the oath of office to new Philippine ambassadors and government officials in Malacanang Palace on Wednesday.

The President said he is interested in the details of the case amid allegations of a police rubout.

"However, I asked for a lot of the details at doon sa details medyo napag-isip na ako doon sa salaysay na ibinigay, at brining-up (bring up) ko ito kay Director General Alan Purisima and kay Secretary (Mar) Roxas also to look into what seemingly was not normative or normal behavior," the President said.

He stressed that he opted to first wait for the official results of the NBI probe rather than discuss the details of the development of the investigation.

"Sorry, I’m a bit hesitant to talk about the details---that is an ongoing investigation. I don’t want to prejudge and perhaps, give the impression that I’m leading the investigators to a certain conclusion," President Aquino stressed.

"Pero, I think, suffice to say, yesterday, in two of the broadsheets, nakita natin ‘yung pictures; the pictures themselves speak a lot. ‘Yung talagang literally---what is the phrase? 'A picture says a thousand words.' So may I invite you to look at yesterday’s pictures on the front page and the inside pages, medyo ‘yung idea nung checkpoint and the signages, etcetera, inconsistent between the photographs on the front page and inside (pages)," the President noted.

The President said he wanted the NBI to dig deeper into the new information presented by witnesses.

"Subsequently, may mga iba pang impormasyon na dumating na parang inconsistent with the purported story. Gusto nating malaman ang katotohanan at maparusahan kung sino man ang mga may sala," he said.

The President also stressed that he decided to task the NBI to solely investigate the incident to avoid the public perception of a whitewash.

"PNP is competent to investigate. So para ma-preclude na merong bias, favoritism, factionalism, etcetera, ilagay na natin ’yung mas klarong independent agency," he said. PND (js)

Aquino nixes imposing total gun ban: Vows to go after private armed groups criminals to prevent gun violence

President Benigno S. Aquino III said he doesn’t favor imposing a total gun ban in the country and instead suggested that the government must go after criminals and private armed groups to prevent gun violence in the country.

In an interview Wednesday in Malacanang after spearheading the oath taking ceremony, the President said a total gun ban sounds nice but it won’t reduce gun-related violence because outlaws will not surrender their weapons and will only make law abiding citizens defenseless.

“It sounds nice, total gun ban, but the total does not happen because the outlaw will not surrender guns. So we will not stop in our pursuit of these people who are outside of the law and get them before the bars of justice,” the President said referring to criminals and private armed groups.

The government, through the security forces, is dedicated to go after private armed groups in the country, the President said.

He noted that the government made notable successes in driving private armed groups away from areas where they operate and that does not mean that it is stopping, adding that the police and the military will be more active in preparations for the upcoming midterm elections this summer.

The President said he was alarmed by the proliferation of these armed groups, prompting him to instruct the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to coordinate efforts in dismantling these groups.

According to the President, the Constitution prohibits the creation of private armed groups. Among his concerns include the rising number of local officials or former local government officials or people being attacked, killed or injured especially as the country gears towards this year’s election.

The President said that so far the authorities have arrested 64 individuals, killed nine, and detained 50 persons. The police also cited a total of 123 members of private armed groups. A total of 249 firearms were also recovered, he stressed.

He said that there was an ongoing campaign to make this year’s election orderly and peaceful.

While the police and the military crack down on private armed groups, the President said the government will remain committed to fighting graft and corruption that also threatens peace and security.

“Talagang seryoso tayo doon sa ating anti-corruption efforts so baka ‘yung iba nag-iisip kung wala silang perang pambili at pang-corrupt ng mga kung sinuman ay baka daanin sa dahas,” he said.

“So gusto natin itong unintended consequences of the anti-corruption effort not to happen. So tuloy-tuloy ‘yung kampanya and this is nationwide.”

Asked to comment on pending legislations seeking the imposition of a more comprehensive gun control law, the President said there was a summit held last year that will reform the whole process.

He added that he’s awaiting the result of the legislation that will improve gun regulation in the country. PND (as)