Sunday, 10 March 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Sunday, March 10, 2013

President Aquino cites contribution of Presidential Security Group to national development

President Benigno S. Aquino III thanked the members of Presidential Security Group (PSG) that served the administration of his mother, the late President Corazon C. Aquino, as he recognizes the group’s contribution to national development.

“Gagamitin ko na rin po ang pagkakataong ito upang ipaabot ang aking taus-pusong pasasalamat sa pagbabantay ninyo sa aming pamilya at sa pakikibalikat ninyo sa pagsisikap naming magdala ng pagbabago sa ating bansa,” the President said in his message during the PSG Reunion circa 1986 to 1992 at Camp Aquinaldo Saturday night.

“Alam ko pong mahihiya kayong iangat ang sariling bangko at sasabihin ninyong ginagawa lang ninyo ang inyong tungkulin. Pero ang totoo po, hanggang sa ngayon, tinatanaw naming pamilya ang napakalalim na utang na loob dahil sa mga sakripisyong dinaanan ninyo noong mga panahong ‘yon.”

During the birth of the PSG after the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986, the President said it was also the dawn of the promises of new democracy in the country, giving the momentum for the country’s progress.

“At habang may PSG masisiguro nating hindi matitisod, hindi malilihis; tuloy-tuloy ang arangkada ng mga plano’t paninindigan natin upang sa wakas ay mapitas na ang bunga ng mga pangarap na ipinunla ng taumbayan noong 1986,” he said.

The PSG then overcame so many adversities given its meager resources, manpower and capability, the President said. Personnel providing security to the former president have to operate using unconventional techniques to be effective, the President stressed.

According to the President, during the coup d’etat in 1987, the PSG defended the Palace grounds with antiquated equipment, mainly by using World War II era weapons adding that despite the odds, they were able to perform their duties well in defending the Aquino family and the country’s democracy.

The PSG’s years of facing adversities and challenges made it a stronger, dependable and formidable organization today, the President said.

“Binigay sa atin itong mga eksperyensang ito, lalo tayong tumibay, lalo tayong humusay, lalo tayong gumaling dahil nga may mahalaga kayong bahagi para sa pagsasaayos ng bansang ito,” he said.

The organization is also well-respected because it also produced leaders in the military. Many of the officers from the PSG rose to later become chiefs of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND), chief of the Philippine National Police and many other positions.

Many officials of the PSG also became members of the civilian government and some are serving as local executives and leaders.

The group providing security to the President was originally organized by President Emilio Aguinaldo after he was elected president in 1897.

The then Department of War, the forerunner of the Department of National Defense, set up the El Cuerpo dela Guardia Presidencial or the Corps of Presidential Guards.

It became the Malacanang Guards during the time of President Manuel L. Quezon. During the presidency of Sergio Osmena it was called Presidential Guards Battalion. And during the administration of President Ramon Magsaysay it was changed to Presidential Security Force.

When Ferdinand Marcos assumed power, the Presidential Security Agency was expanded to the Presidential Security Command.

President Corazon Aquino disbanded the Presidential Security Command in 1986 and replaced it with a leaner PSG with then Army Col. Voltaire T. Gazmin as its chief.

Gazmin is the current secretary of the DND under the present Aquino administration. PND (as)

President Aquino elated over release of 21 Filipino peacekeepers in Syria

President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed elation over news relayed to him on Sunday that the 21 Filipino peacekeepers abducted in Syria four days ago have been released, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

In a news briefing aired over government-run radio station dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Valte said the Philippine officials are now in close coordination with their counterparts in the United Nations over the next steps to take for the freed hostages.

“We received the news, I think, early this morning today and now we are very happy to note that our peacekeepers have been released, they're safe and I think they are now still in Jordan when they were handed over in the Syria-Jordan border, Valte said.

“Na-update naman ang Pangulo tungkol sa pagka-release sa ating 21 Filipino peacekeepers at talaga pong natuwa naman po ang Pangulo. Of course he was very happy to receive the news,” she added.

Valte said the President was very concerned with the plight of the 21 Filipino peacekeepers and was relieved upon learning that they had been released.

“…of course he was very concerned and he welcomes the news; maganda naman pong balita po ito,” Valte said.

“As to kung uuwi po sila or will they have to complete their tour of duty, our people are in close coordination with the UN as to what will happen next to them,” she said. PND (rck)