Monday, 3 February 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Despite clash with breakaway group, Palace hopeful there will be no serious disruption of peace process

Despite recent reported clash between government troops and breakaway secessionist rebels, Malacañang on Tuesday voiced hopes there will be no serious disruption of the peace process.

Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said last weekend's clash as part of efforts to secure the Moro Islamic Liberation Front communities from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

"Government is hopeful that with the support of the citizenry there will be no serious disruption of the peace process as it moves towards full fruition," Coloma said at a media briefing.

Last Saturday, the Philippine government and the MILF signed the last of four annexes that would pave the way for a comprehensive peace agreement.

Coloma also cited online news reports last weekend quoting a BIFF spokesperson as saying the splinter group will not sabotage the peace process.

Meanwhile, Coloma reiterated the government remains open to inputs from other groups such as the Moro National Liberation Front for a draft bill on the Bangsamoro basic law.

"Ang pananaw ng pamahalaan, gusto pa rin maging kasali lahat na may taya sa prosesong ito (Our government wants the peace process to be inclusive)," he said. PND (jl)

Palace open to proposals that FOI Bill to include full disclosure of official’s earnings

Malacanang said on Tuesday that it is open to proposals that the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill that is currently undergoing deliberations in Congress will include an amendment that will require government officials to disclose all their earnings in order to know how much an official earns.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has proposed an amendment to the FOI Bill that will require all government officials to disclose all sources of income.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, Presidential Communications and Operation Office Secretary Herminio Coloma,Jr. said that the government will wait for the decision of lawmakers on this proposal and will abide by it.

“Hihintayin naming ang pagpapasya ng Senate Committee on Public Information at ng counter-part committee sa House. Hihintayin namin yung bubuuin na batas dahil ang pagpapanukala ng batas ay pangunahing tungkulin ng mga mambabatas,” Coloma said.

Nananatili ang ating pananaw ng pagbibigay ng sapat na oras sa ating mambabatas para itaguyod yung mga aspeto ng batas,” he added. PND (rck)

Palace: Status quo in Mindanao not acceptable

The failure to establish a new Bangsamoro political entity that will change the status quo in Mindanao will not be an acceptable scenario for Malacañang.

Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. stressed this as he said the government is focused on winning the peace in Mindanao by effecting needed changes.

"Government efforts are focused on winning the peace in Mindanao. The alternative to change is the status quo and the status quo is not acceptable," he said at a media briefing.

At the very least, he said the government will continue to perform its task of ensuring peace and statbility and protecting the citizens.

Coloma also assured the public the government has enough forces to maintain peace and order in Mindanao from various armed groups.

"It is still the primordial duty of the state to mtaintain law and order," he said.

The government is hoping to bring much-needed peace to Mindanao with the signing of an annex that would pave the way for a comprehensive peace agreement. PND (jl)

Aquino to lead the awarding to 3 outstanding Filipino for their significant contributions to national development

President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead on Wednesday "The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) 2013 Awarding Ceremonies," honoring Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, a forester and a scientist for their significant contributions to national development.

The Chief Executive will grace the TOFIL 2013 Awarding Ceremonies which has for its theme "Building Legacies" at the Insular Life Auditorium, Insular Life Corporate Center, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa at 10 a.m.

President Aquino will witness the awarding to Arsenio B. Ella, Forester of the Department of Science and Technology for Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development; Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay for Geology and Earth Science and Sec. Singson for Governance and Public Service.

The TOFIL Award is a project of Junior Chamber International (JCI) Senate Philippines and the Insular Life Assurance Co., Limited. Conceived in 1988, the institution honors the country’s men and women who have made significant contributions to the advancement in his/her field of expertise, public welfare and national development.

Vicente Ayllon, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Insular Life and John Enerio, Junior Chamber International Inc. (JCI) Senator and National Chairman 2013 TOFIL Executive Committee will also attend the event. PND (js)

Palace: Bangsamoro basic law may be certified urgent

A prospective basic law on the Bangsamoro political entity may be certified urgent as it is a priority program of the administration, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said they are hoping to have the political entity in place and its officials elected by 2016.

"Lahat ng indikasyon patungo diyan, dahil nga ito ay isang priority program ng ating administrasyon (The indications point to the bill being certified as urgent, because it is a priority program of our administration)," he said when asked if the Palace will certify the bill as urgent.

Following the signing last weekend of the annex on normalization, peace negotiators of the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front are now working on a comprehensive peace agreement that would end the MILF's rebellion.

Under Article VI, Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution, no bill passed by either house of Congress shall become a law unless it has passed three readings on separate days, "except when the President certifies to the necessity of its immediate enactment to meet a public calamity or emergency."

In the meantime, Coloma said the Palace is hoping lawmakers will be one with it in working to bring peace to Mindanao soonest.

"Umaasa tayo na pag-aaralan nila ang merito ng Bangsamoro Basic Law, at tutuparin nila ang tungkulin na kanilang sinumpaan na gagawin nila ang kanilang responsibilidad sa abot ng kanilang makakaya, at naaayon sa kapakanan ng pinakamalawak na sektor ng mga mamamayang Pilipino (We hope lawmakers study the merits of the proposed Bangsamoro basic law, and fulfill their sworn duty to serve the people)," he said.

He also expressed hopes the lawmakers will see the merits of the bill and use it as basis to decide on it.

"Umaasa tayo na pagkatapos ng talakayan, pagkatapos ng mga debate, lilitaw naman ‘yung katwiran at ‘yung pagiging tama ng mga probisyon sa ipapanukalang Bangsamoro Basic Law, at ito ang magiging batayan ng ating mga mambabatas sa kanilang pagpapasya (We hope that after the discussions, they will decide on the merits of the proposed measure)," he said. PND (jl)

Effective crime prevention needs public cooperation, says Palace

Fighting crime remains the government’s top priority, the Palace said on Tuesday adding however that effectively combating it needs public assistance.

“Lahat ng paglabag sa batas ay siniseryoso ng ating pamahalaan dahil ito ay hindi katanggap-tanggap. Kaya’t pinag-iibayo ang efforts ng ating law enforcement agencies to prevent crime,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a press briefing in Malacanang.

Coloma added that crime prevention is best achieved through community efforts and doesn’t solely rely on the deterrent or punitive aspects through the police and the justice system.

“Kaya’t matitiyak tayo na sineseryoso ng pamahalaan ang lahat ng uri ng krimen at ang ating layunin ay bawasan at supilin ito sa lahat ng anyo at sa lahat ng larangan.”

With regards to the re-imposition of the death penalty to deter would-be criminals, Coloma said the administration has some reservations implementing capital punishment because the country’s justice system has some flaws.

If the justice system is flawed, it might convict or punish innocent people and that is dangerous, the Palace official said.

And on judicial reforms, Coloma said it’s been a general observation that there’s a lot of things to be done to improve the country’s judicial process especially in terms of speeding up the pace of litigations.

“Kaya siguro nabanggit ng Pangulo yan noong nakaraan na kinakailangan talagang bigyan ng priority attention hindi lamang iyong proposal na magre-impose ng mas mataas na penalty kung hindi iyong pagsasagawa ng mga karampatang reporma sa ating criminal justice system in order to eliminate the flaws that have been noted,” he added. PND (as)