President Aquino says local government units can expect honest, hard work from national government
BAGUIO CITY) President Benigno S. Aquino III said local government units can expect their national government to be a partner in achieving their respective constituents’ dreams and ambitions for their locale as he vowed to provide honest, hard work from his end.
In a meeting with local leaders here on Sunday, the President said his administration is working doubly-hard to improve roads interconnecting the province, provide electricity to remote villages, close the classroom gap and boost social spending through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
On improving road infrastructure, the President said rehabilitation work has already begun for the 65-kilometer Gurel-Bokod-Kabayan-Buguias Road that will cut travel time from two hours to just an hour.
“Direkta nitong magpapagaan sa biyahe ang halos may dalawanlibo at siyamnaraang motorista kada araw, gayundin ang mga turistang pupunta sa Mt. Pulag at Kabayan Caves sa Benguet,” the President said.
On closing the classroom gap and providing electricity to remote villages, the President said the 66,800 classroom shortage for the entire Philippines will be filled by the end of 2013 while 7,200 sitios already have access to electricity.
“May mahigit pitong libo at dalawandaang sitio na rin po ang nakabitan natin ng kuryente, sa mas murang halaga at patas na paraan. Sa probinsya po ng Benguet, umaabot na sa 118 sitios ang napalaya natin sa kadiliman, at tuloy-tuloy pa rin po ang pagkayod natin upang tanglawan ng maliwanag na pamumuhay ang bawat Pilipino,” the President said.
He also noted that 2,881 household beneficiaries here are already participants of the government’s pro-poor program 4Ps and are now on their way towards breaking the cycle of poverty.
“…ang tiwalang kaloob ninyo sa amin ay araw-araw naming sinusuklian ng sipag at katapatan,” the President said. PND (rck)
President Aquino leads groundbreaking rites for the development of the Mindanao Garden of Peace in Corregidor Island
(CORREGIDOR ISLAND, Cavite) President Benigno S. Aquino III led on Monday the groundbreaking ceremonies for the development of the Mindanao Garden of Peace in commemoration of the 45th year of the Jabidah massacre.
The Chief Executive spearheaded the groundbreaking rites which has for its theme "Learning from History, Uniting for People," signalling the start of the development of the Mindanao Garden of Peace at the tailside portion of the Corregidor Island.
President Aquino was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma Jr., Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manolo Quezon III, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronald Llamas and other government officials.
Also in attendance were Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman, Colonel Artemio Matibag, Sister Ma. Lourdes Arnold Noel.
The Mindanao Forum Inc. and the Corregidor Foundation Inc. agreed to put up the Mindanao Garden of Peace to remind the people of the tragic Jabidah massacre that happened 45 years ago. In 2010, the museum was put up in the place in recognition of the heroism of the Jabidah Martyrs.
The Mindanao Garden of Peace is a strong reminder not only for the Filipinos but also to the whole world that both Muslims and Christians, desire true, genuine and lasting peace.
After the groundbreaking ceremonies, President Aquino proceeded to the Jabidah Marker for the Hands for Peace where he placed his handprint on the Hands for Peace Wall.
The President led the nation in commemorating the grim chapter in the country's history known as the Jabidah Massacre. The incident refers to the massacre of a number of young Moro recruits from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, with estimates ranging from 28 to more than 200, by their military handlers on the island of Corregidor.
The recruits were undergoing training for a government-sponsored covert military operation dubbed “Operation Merdeka” with the objective of invading Sabah.
Records showed that Colonel Eduardo “Abdullatif” Martelino started the commando-type of training that involved jungle warfare at Camp Sophia in Simunol, Tawi-Tawi where the training camp was set up. The trainees were later shipped to Corregidor by a naval boat.
It was during the second phase of the training in Corregidor that the recruited Muslim trainees learned that their true mission was to invade Sabah, which would mean not only fighting their brother Muslims but also possibly killing their own Tausug and Sama relatives living there.
The recruits then demanded to be returned home but their military handlers prevented their return and instead killed them.
Jibin Arula, one of the Jabidah recruits from Siasi, Sulu was the lone survivor who managed to tell about the massacre. The Senate subsequently conducted a probe of the alleged massacre after the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. denounced the unfortunate incident in a privilege speech on March 18, 1968. PND (js)
President Aquino orders Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice and Office of the Executive Secretary to conduct a research and craft roadmap for peaceful solution of Sabah issue
CORREGIDOR ISLAND, Cavite) President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Monday that he directed the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Executive Secretary to conduct a research and craft a proposed roadmap towards a peaceful resolution of the Sabah issue.
In his speech keynoting the groundbreaking ceremonies for the development of the Mindanao Garden of Peace in commemoration of the 45th year of the Jabidah massacre here, the Chief Executive said the use of violence is not the effective way to resolve the Sabah issue.
"Ang tungkulin ko po: halughugin ang kasaysayan para sa mga katotohanang ito, at mula roon ay maglatag ng direksyon na tatahakin ng ating bansa ukol sa usapin ng Sabah—isang direksyong sinisiguro ko po sa inyo ay hindi gagamit ng dahas. Inatasan ko na po ang DFA, DOJ, at ang ating Executive Secretary upang magsaliksik at magmungkahi ng isang roadmap tungo sa mapayapang resolusyon ng isyu ng Sabah," the President said.
The President expressed sadness over the standoff in Lahad Datu in Sabah, Malaysia, that resulted in the loss of lives of many Filipinos.
He called on the Filipinos to remember the grim chapter in the country's history known as the Jabidah Massacre and asked his fellow countrymen to learn from history that violence is not the effective way to resolve the Sabah issue.
Following the tragic Jabidah incident, several Moro communities lost trust and confidence in the government of then President Ferdinand Marcos.
"Dahil sa insidenteng Jabidah, tuluyan na ngang nawala ang kanilang tiwala sa pambansang pamahaalan; nagsimula silang pumalag, kaya't pinadala ang Konstabularyo, na kinalaunan ay pinalitan ng Sandatahang Lakas. Nanganak ng dahas ang dahas; ang mali, nagbunga ng mas malalaki pang mali," he stressed.
"Trahedya po ang nangyayari ngayon sa Lahad Datu, gaya ng trahedya na nangyari sa Jabidah. Ngunit marahil ang pinakamalaki pong trahedya ay tila yata hindi pa tayo natututo sa mga aral ng nakaraan—na ang pagsunod sa batas, at ang pagrespeto sa mga patakaran, ang tanging makatarungang tugon sa mga hamong kinakaharap natin," the President said.
"Hindi po ba't puwede naman sanang maiwasan ang situwasyong ito, kung pumasok lamang tayo sa tamang proseso? Anuman pong pilit nating magsimpatiya, hindi po maiwasang manghinayang, malungkot, at masubok ang ating pasensya—dahil gaya ng nangyari sa Jabidah unit, may mga taong inuna ang sarili, kaysa ang kapakanan ng ating mga kapwa Pilipino,” he added.
The President underscored the need for cooperation among the government, the public and all other entities to achieve a solution to the dispute.
During the event, the President also honored the Jabidah martyrs who laid down their own lives for a just cause.
"Magsilbi rin po sanang tanda ng pagkilala ng pamahalaan sa pagdurusa ng mga Moro ang aking pagpunta rito. Hindi man po natin mababago ang pagkakamali ng nakaraan, tungkulin nating siguruhing hindi na mauulit ito. Nawa’y maalala natin ang naiwasan sanang pagdanak ng dugo ng ating mga kababayan; sa ating paggunita, harinawa, ay mabibigyang-saysay ang kanilang pagkamatay," he said.
The President likewise directed the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to recognize the Mindanao Garden of Peace as a historical landmark.
"Maaari na ring mabasa sa ating Official Gazette, sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa NHCP, ang ilang mga detalye: Ang kasaysayan ng mga pangyayaring kaugnay ng Jabidah unit, ang timeline ng mga peace process sa pagitan ng pamahalaan at ng MNLF at MILF, at iba pang kaalamang maaaring magmulat sa publiko at magtaas ng antas ng diskurso," the President said. PND (js)