President Aquino endorses team 12 senatorial candidates of Team PNoy at proclamation rally in Plaza Miranda
President Benigno S. Aquino III formally endorsed the 12 senatorial candidates of the Team PNoy for the May 13, 2013 national and local elections, expressing his strong belief that the senatoriables will stand on the platform of good governance through his Daan Matuwid advocacy during the proclamation rally at the historic Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila on Tuesday.
Clad in a yellow shirt, the Chief Executive, who is chairman of the Liberal Party, personally introduced to the people during the proclamation rally the 12 senatorial candidates namely, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, his cousin Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Francis Escudero, former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Senator Loren Legarda, former Senators Jamby Madrigal and Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, former Movie Review Board Chair Grace Poe, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and former Las Piñas Representative Cynthia Villar.
In his speech, the President called on the Filipino people to vote wisely and choose the candidates who would affirm his administration’s commitment to tread the straight and righteous path in transforming the Philippines into a progressive nation.
"Sa aking mga Boss --- sa darating na Mayo a-trese, muli tayong haharap sa sangandaan. Nakaatang sa ating mga balikat kung aling landas ang tatahakin ng ating bansa. Kukunin ba natin ay ang mga tutulong para lalo pang pabilisin ang pagbabago ng atin pong lipunan? O ang kukunin ba natin ay ang mga pilit na hahadlangan ang pagbabagong minimithi natin?," he said.
The President said he needs good lawmakers in the Senate to help his administration in pushing for programs and initiatives that will provide the Filipino citizenry with better lives.
"Sila ang labindalawang kasama natin sa Team PNoy, buong-buong humaharap sa inyo ngayong gabi, at hindi liliban o tatanggi sa panawagan nating ituloy ang krusada ng katapatan, katarungan, at malawakang kaunlaran," he said.
"Kumpleto silang tumitindig dito sa Plaza Miranda, sa dambana ng demokrasya’t kalayaan, bilang tanda ng kanilang panata sa mamamayan: hindi sila magnanakaw, hindi nila ipagkakanulo ang tiwala ng sambayanan, at lagi nilang isasaalang-alang ang inyong kapakanan," he stressed.
The President thanked the Filipino people for their overwhelming trust, confidence, and support to his administration and assured them that he would continue to undertake development programs that would uplift the lives of the people.
"Marami pa po tayong nais na ihatid na makabuluhang programa sa bansa; may mga kababayan pa rin po tayong nangangailangan ng pagkalinga’t naghahangad ding mabigyan ng pagkakataon para itimon ang sarili nilang kapalaran," the President said.
The President said he cannot single-handedly pursue his program of governance that’s why he needs the support of the Team PNoy's senatorial bets to continuously effect the positive change.
The President said he is endorsing the Team PNOY's senatorial bets because they have demonstrated a shared commitment with the government to fight corruption and poverty.
"Sila po ang labindalawang tiyak nating tuwid sa daang matuwid. Galing po sa unang listahan ng apatnapu, sa tulong ng lahat, hinimay po natin ang kanilang mga kakayahan at pagkatao; binuo po natin ang mga kasama sa ating agenda ng pagsugpo sa katiwalian, at pag-angat ng kabuhayan ng ating mamamayan," he said.
The President also called on the citizens to take an active part in his administration's efforts towards permanently changing the society.
"Sa pagtatapos po, may mga nagtatanong ho sa akin, medyo dumadalas: Paano ‘pag dating ng 2016? Ano ang solusyon natin? Baka naman temporary lang ang nangyayari sa atin. Ang parati kong sagot: Kaya tayo nagbago, dahil sa ating mga Boss," he said.
"At ang mga Boss natin ang susi para maniguradong ang pagbabagong ito ay manatili maski pagdating ng panahong ako po’y nagretiro na. ‘Yan po ang paniniwala ko; buo ang tiwala ko sa inyong lahat na tuluy-tuloy na po tayo sa matuwid na landas," he said.
Also in attendance were Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim who delivered the welcome remarks, Senator Manny Villar, Senator and LP vice chairman Franklin Drilon, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Transportation and Communications Secretary and acting LP President Joseph E.A. Abaya, among others. PND (js)
President Aquino receives 2012 Miss Tourism International and Miss Universe first runner up in Malacanang
President Benigno S. Aquino III warmly welcomed 2012 Miss Tourism International Rizzini Alexis Gomez and 2012 Miss Universe 1st runner-up Janine Tugonon in Malacanang Palace on Wednesday.
Gomez and Tugonon paid their respects on the Chief Executive at the Music Room of the Malacanang Palace. Gomez was accompanied by Mutya ng Pilipinas President Jacqueline Tan while Tugonon was accompanied by Stella Marquez-Araneta, founder and chairperson of the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. and former Miss International title holder.
Gomez was crowned the 2012 Miss Tourism International at the Sunway Resort in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on New Year's eve.
The 22-year-old Gomez is the reigning Mutya ng Pilipinas Tourism 2012. The Cebuana beauty bested 55 other delegates from around the world vying for the 16th Miss Tourism International crown and became the second Filipina to win the title after Maria Esperanza in 2000.
The 22-year-old Tugonon, on the other hand, finished first-runner up at the Miss Universe pageant held at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 19, 2012. PND (js)
Aquino signs Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act
President Benigno S. Aquino III signed the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act that plugs the loopholes in the existing law to effectively fight such offense, the Palace confirmed on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the signing of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act will make the government’s fight against human trafficking more effective.
A year ago, the US State Department removed the Philippines from the Tier 2 category in its Annual Trafficking in Person report but the country remains in the watchlist.
“We’re still in the watchlist. We would like to improve our standing in the watchlist and we hope that, with this expanded coverage of anti-trafficking, we will be able to remove ourselves from the watchlist,” Lacierda said.
“This is a concern and a priority of the President and this measure will be enforced by the different agencies, especially the Department of Justice as well as our police agencies.”
Lawmakers has called on the President to immediately sign the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act to address human trafficking in the country particularly in disaster areas where women and children were being victimized.
The expanded law is a strengthened version of the Anti-Trafficking Law, covering attempted trafficking. It has accessory or accomplice liability, which covers more related acts and individuals.
Recruitment in the guise of domestic or overseas employment for sexual exploitation, forced labor or involuntary debt bondage, can now be considered human trafficking.
Also, included in the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act are recruitment of any Filipino woman to marry a foreigner, engagement in sex tourism, recruitment for organ removal and recruitment of a child to engage in armed activities abroad are human trafficking and punishable under the law. PND (as)
Palace assures government funds won’t be used for Team PNoy campaign
MALACANANG on Wednesday assured that no single centavo from government funds will be spent for the campaign operations of Team PNoy.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said while President Benigno S. Aquino III earlier pledged to actively campaign for Team Pnoy’s senatorial candidates, he will not be using government money and resources noting that his decision to join the campaign trail “involve governance."
“The presence of the President will involve governance in all things that he does,” Lacierda said at a press briefing in Malacanang.
“Those are events of the President. You cover them regardless of whatever the President does…that’s part of the President’s work as a president and, in furtherance of his agenda, this is part of those measures that the President would like to do. And part of this pushing forth the agenda of the President is to campaign for the people he wants elected,” he added.
The Palace official also defended the presence of several Cabinet secretaries in political sorties saying that they are allowed to campaign and support political candidates.
“Let’s take it two-fold: legally, there is no prohibition. The Supreme Court has already rendered a decision on that. That being alter-egos of the President, we are allowed—and being political appointees—we are allowed to campaign and there is no prohibition with that aspect,” Lacierda said.
“On governance, we need the senatoriables—the people that the President has chosen—to help us in reform measures. So that’s the reason why we believe in the candidates of the President. We stand side by side with the senatoriables of the President and so we believe that we are in a position to also convince our countrymen the need to elect the 12 chosen candidates of the President,” he further said.
Lacierda also said that it is part of the job of Cabinet secretaries to accompany the President depending on the event.
He clarified, however, that the expenses of officials who are not members of the Liberal Party will not be shouldered by the administration party.
“Ang may sagot po, ang Liberal Party—ang may mga gastusin po. Walang gagastusing pera ng gobyerno dito sa kampanya,” he stressed.
Malacanang, likewise, assured that the President's duties in running state affairs will not be affected while campaigning for the Team PNoy candidates.
President Aquino formally endorsed the 12 senatorial candidates of Team PNoy during the proclamation rally at the historic Plaza Miranda, in Quiapo, Manila on Tuesday.
They are Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Francis Escudero, former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Senator Loren Legarda, former Senators Jamby Madrigal and Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, former Las PiñasRepresentative Cynthia Villar and former Movie Review Board Chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
President Aquino said he personally selected the people who will comprise the administration's coalition team believing that they will be able to push forward the government's reform agenda. PND (jb)