Palace: Admin's high satisfaction ratings show people united with government in rising from calamities
The Aquino administration's continued high ratings in the fourth quarter of 2013 show the Filipino people's unity with the government in helping the nation rise from calamities, Malacañang said Wednesday.
In a statement, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also said the continued high ratings show the people did not fall for the "concerted efforts" by some groups to paint the picture of people dissatisfied with the government.
"(The Filipino people) remain one with their government as we continue to work, as a people, to help those affected by the calamities of the past few months to get back on their feet and reassume authorship of the next chapters of their lives," Lacierda said.
Lacierda was referring to the Social Weather Stations' fourth quarter survey conducted December 11 to 16 showing the gross satisfaction with the Aquino administration stayed strong at 71 percent.
He added that in spite of the efforts "of a few" to convince the public that most people are dissatisfied with how the national government has performed amid last year's challenges, "these results show that the Filipino were not misled."
The country is still recovering from the effects of calamities in late 2013, including:
- the failed siege of Zamboanga City by followers of Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari in September
- the magnitude-7.2 quake that devastated Bohol and parts of Central Visayas in October
- super Typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan), which devastated the Visayas and Southern Luzon in November
Under President Benigno Aquino III, Lacierda said the administration derives its strength "from this unbreakable union of purpose with our people; and it is ultimately your continued belief and participation that gives us strength, and accelerates our country’s journey on the straight path." PND (jl)
President Aquino: Death penalty revival will need more study
Despite the perception of increased criminality, the government will have to thoroughly study proposals to revive the death penalty, President Benigno Aquino III said Wednesday.
In an interview with media in Muntinlupa City, the President expressed concerns that a person sentenced to death may not be able to avail of all opportunities to prove his or her innocence due to imperfections in the justice system.
"Ang tanong, nabigay ba ang lahat ng kanyang karapatan na maipagtanggol ang sarili sa korte? Iyong bang talagang nakakasigurado ba tayo na iyong inosente ay hindi mako-convict? Sad to say ... iyan ay work in progress pa rin (The question is, is the convict given all the opportunities to defend himself or herself in court? Can we absolutely be sure we are not wrongly sentencing someone to death? Sad to say, this is still a work in progress)," he said.
"Hanggang hindi tayo nakatitiyak na talagang nabigyan lahat ng kanyang hustong karapatan para ipagtanggol ang kanyang sarili, iyong pag tayo’y may sinintensiyahan ng kamatayan na, wala ng bawian yon (We have to be absolutely sure a person is guilty because an execution cannot be undone)," he added.
The President noted the Public Attorney's Office is swamped with work and may not have the time or resources to review a convicted person's case.
A bill has been filed in the Senate to revive the death penalty, amid a series of recent high-profile heinous crimes.
"Sa palagay ko, kailangang pag-aralan ng husto yan (So I believe the proposal should be studied thoroughly)," President Aquino said.
On the other hand, the President said the death penalty is not the only deterrent to crime, since arrest and the certainty of punishment will also make people think twice before committing a crime. PND (jl)
President Aquino calls on the Outstanding Filipinos for 2013 to continue their endeavors to create an equitably progressive society
President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the awardees of the "2013 The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL)" to continue demonstrating integrity, passion and excellence to elevate their fields, promote public welfare and fuel national development.
In his speech during the TOFIL Awarding Ceremonies which has for its theme "Building Legacies" at the Insular Life Auditorium, Insular Life Corporate Center, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa on Wednesday, the Chief Executive urged the TOFIL awardees to continue their endeavors to help the government create an equitably progressive society.
President Aquino led the 2013 TOFIL awarding ceremonies, honoring scientist Arsenio B. Ella, Forester of the Department of Science and Technology for Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development; Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay, scientist and Executive Director of the Nationwide Operational Assessments of Hazards (Project Noah) for Geology and Earth Science and Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson for Governance and Public Service.
The President said the awardees have greatly contributed to the advancement of the country and fellow Filipinos.
"Imbes na magdahilan o magsulong ng pansariling interes, ginusto nina Ginoong Arsenio Ella, Dr. Alfredo Mahar, at Kalihim Rogelio Singson na maglingkod sa kanilang mga kapwa Pilipino. Gumawa sila ng paraan upang makiambag sa pagpapabuti ng ating lipunan. Karapat-dapat nga po talaga silang matawag na 'Outstanding' ng mga Pilipino," the President said.
The President acknowledged Singson's contribution for preventing corruption and implementing efficiency in the Department of Public Works and Highways.
"Nagpasimula siya ng isang panibagong kultura ng propesyunalismo at katapatan. Dahil po dito, hindi bababa sa 19 bilyong piso ang natipid ng kanyang ahensya mula Hulyo 2010 hanggang Nobyembre 2013," he said.
"Ito po ay nagmula sa pagsasaayos ng mga proseso ng bidding. Isipin lang po natin sandali kung ano ang katumbas niyan: ang isang classroom po, tinatayang 800,000 piso ang halaga. Sa ganitong kwentahan, 23,750 classrooms pa ang katumbas ng natipid ng DPWH sa pamumuno ni Secretary Babes," the President noted.
President Aquino said Lagmay devotes most of his time conducting research on geological hazards in areas hit by disasters.
"Si Dr. Mahar Lagmay naman ang nagpakita sa atin kung paanong magagamit ang teknolohiya upang mapangalagaan ang mamamayang Pilipino. Hindi po kalabisang sabihing 'rebolusyunaryo' ang kontribusyon ng Project NOAH, na nabuo dahil sa pagsusumikap ni Dr. Lagmay, sa ating kakayahang maghanda, tumugon, at makabangong muli kapag tumama ang kalamidad," he said.
"Para po talagang isang high-tech na People Power ang Project NOAH. Pinagtagpu-tagpo nito ang kaalamang hawak ng mga eksperto, local government unit, at ahensya ng gobyerno, upang magkaroon ng pakinabang sa kalakhang lipunan," the President said.
The President lauded Ella for his wood anatomy expertise at the Forest Products Research Development Institute.
"Samantala, si Ginoong Arsenio Ella naman ang nagturo sa atin kung paano balansehin ang pangangalaga sa kalikasan at ang pagtugon sa mga praktikal na pangangailangan ng mga mamamayan," he said.
"Sa isa sa maraming pananaliksik ni Ginoong Ella, nakahanap siya ng paraan para maparami ang ani ng resin sa mga puno ng almaciga nang hindi nagreresulta sa agarang pagkamatay ng mga puno. Dahil mas marami ang ani, mas malaki ang halagang naiuuwi ng ating mga kababayan. Bukod pa dito, nakatulong din ang pamamaraang dinisenyo ni Ginoong Ella sa preserbasyon ng mga punong almaciga," the President.
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.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., 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 also attended the event. PND (js)
President Aquino meets with Head of Pontifical Council Cor Unum in Malacanang
President Benigno S. Aquino III received Cardinal Robert Sarah, the president of Pontifical Council Cor Unum, in a courtesy call in Malacanang on Wednesday.
Accompanying Cardinal Sarah during the event were Rev. Msgr. Segundo Tejado Munoz, undersecretary for the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Rev. Msgr. Chibuike Onyeaghala, Deputy Head of Mission, apostolic nunciature in the Philippines, and Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines Giuseppe Pinto.
The Pontifical Council Cor Unum for Human and Christian Development is a part of the curia of the Catholic Church established by Pope Paul VI on July 15, 1971. It is based in the Palazzo San Callisto, Piazza San Callisto in Rome, Italy.
The name of the pontifical council means “one heart”. Its mission is care of the Catholic Church for the needy, thereby encouraging human fellowship and manifested through the charity of Christ.
The council carries out humanitarian relief operations following disasters, fosters charity, and encourages cooperation and coordination of other Catholic organizations.
The organization has a president, secretary, undersecretary, 38 members and nine consultors, all appointed for five-year terms. It also has nine permanent staff members. PND (as)
President Aquino assures the Armed Forces of the Philippines will go after Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter members to protect Filipinos
President Benigno S. Aquino III assured that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remains committed to go after Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) members and other lawless elements to protect the Filipinos.
In an interview with the media following his attendance to the "2013 The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) awarding ceremonies" at the Insular Life Auditorium, Insular Life Corporate Center, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa on Wednesday, the Chief Executive said the AFP continues to carry out its mandate to prevent lawless elements to inflict harm on the people.
"Iyong BIFF, I understand, the current operations, are due to the fact that they were engaging in harassment activities situated along the banks of the Pulangi River, — snipping attacks and so on," the President said.
"So the AFP, in its role to protect our people, is going on this operations to prevent these lawless activities from inflicting harm on our populace and to seriously degrade their abilities to again act as spoilers," he said.
The President also assured that the AFP and other law enforcement agencies are working to ensure that the peace process will not be disrupted.
"Ngayon, siguro batid naman ng lahat na merong mga grupo tulad nung Abu Sayyaf, for instance, na nakikinabang sa pananatili nung tinatawag na status quo sa Mindanao kung saan may kaguluhan lalo na po dito sa mga saklaw ng ARMM," he said.
"Inaasahan po natin na dito sa pagkapirma nitong agreement natin at saka nang mga annexes — at nangyayari na po na nagkakatulungan ang MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) at ang gobyerno para masugpo itong mga lumalabag sa ating mga batas; at lalo pang magiging mas maigting ang pagtutulungan ng bawat isa at lalong mahahabol natin lahat nga nitong mga desididong gumawa ng karahasan sa Kamindanaoan," President Aquino said.
Last Saturday, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) panels signed the Annex on Normalization and Addendum on Bangsamoro Waters.
The Annex on Normalization is the last of the four Annexes to the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).
The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, signed on October 15, 2012, serves as a roadmap for the creation of a Bangsamoro entity that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and lays down the groundwork to achieve lasting and genuine peace in Mindanao. PND (js)
Aquino says Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro is consistent with Constitution
President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Wednesday the Government of the Philippines (GPH)- Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Annexes is consistent with the 1987 Constitution.
"Pinipilit po natin mula nung umpisa na maging very transparent sa lahat ng pinag-uusapan para walang kagulatan," the Chief Executive said in an interview with the media following his attendance to the "2013 The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Awarding Ceremonies" at the Insular Life Auditorium, Insular Life Corporate Center, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa.
The President said he believes that there is no need to amend the Constitution to pave the way for the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
"Hindi naman ibig sabihin na ikinomit (commit) natin na babaguhin ang Saligang Batas. Pero iyong Saligang Batas mismo ay nakasaad doon ang mga paraan kung paano pwedeng ameyendahin at pwede itong imungkahi nga ng sinumang mamamayan," the President said.
"So, kaagad parang tila iniisip nga iyong pati iyong insinuation na ito ay hindi nakabase sa Saligang Batas, sana matingnan lahat ng panukalang ilalabas ng Transition Commission at doon tingnan bawat detalye kung meron nga na hindi kaalinsunod sa Saligang Batas. At kung meron, ako po ang unang magugulat dahil mula sa umpisa, ang framework nga ay dapat iyong nakasaklaw na sa Saligang Batas para mas madali nating mapatupad itong paguunawaan," he said.
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission is now drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will be submitted to Congress for enactment.
A “timetable” agreed upon by the GPH and MILF panels in Kuala Lumpur was for the transitory commission to submit the draft laws by May 5.
Last Saturday, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) panels signed the Annex on Normalization and Addendum on Bangsamoro Waters. The Annex on Normalization is the last of the four Annexes to the GPH-MILF Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
The Framework on the Bangsamoro, signed on October 15, 2012, serves as a roadmap for the creation of a Bangsamoro entity that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and lays down the groundwork to achieve lasting and genuine peace in Mindanao. PND (js)
President Aquino to first read anti-dynasty bill before deciding whether to certify it as urgent or not
President Benigno S. Aquino III emphasized the need to first thoroughly read the bill against political dynasties before deciding whether he would certify it as urgent or not.
"Gusto kong mabasa sana ng kabuuan yan. Marami tayong pinagkakaabalahan sa kasalukuyan both in the domestic and in the international scene. Gusto ko makita muna ang lahat ng detalye at hihingi ako ng paumanhin, hindi yan ang isa sa pinakamataas na priority natin sa kasalukuyan. Pero pag nakita nga ho natin at talagang doable, bakit naman hindi," the Chief Executive said in an interview with the media following his attendance to the "2013 The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) awarding ceremonies" at the Insular Life Auditorium, Insular Life Corporate Center, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa.
Third District Pampanga Representative Oscar Rodriguez, chairman of the House Committee on Good Government, filed House Bill 2911 which provides for an anti-dynasty law in the country.
The bill is seeking to equalize access to opportunities in public office by banning the practice of political families that alternately field its members to various elective posts to maintain control of local or national government positions.
President Aquino said his administration is presently inking a priority measure.
"For instance, nababahala tayo na meron tayong, in effect, obligasyon sa pension ng kapulisan, kasundaluhan na hindi funded ng pagkatagal-tagal. Ibig sabihin hindi sila miyembro ng GSIS. Iyong obligasyon na yan, lagpas limampung bilyon last year. Aabot ng mga 80 plus billion sa 2016," he said.
"At uulitin ko galing sa budget ito at medyo malaki ang kinukuha sa budget nitong pagbabayad ng kanilang pension at benefits. Ito rin ang nagiging hadlang para makakuha tayo ng dagdag na pulis at sundalo, lalo na sa sundalo kung saan napakarami ang kailangan natin --- mga dalawampung libo sa hanay ng kasundaluhan," he said. PND (js)