Palace respects former Sen. Arroyo call to reconsider appointment to Human Rights Claims Board
Malacañang on Sunday said it respects the views of former Sen. Joker Arroyo in calling on President Benigno Aquino III to reexamine his appointment of police Gen. Lina Sarmiento to the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board.
But Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. also noted the claims board will have only two years to do its job and must get working soonest.
"We respect the views of former Sen. Joker arroyo, who is an ardent freedom fighter and human rights advocate in the Martial Law period. Nagkakaiba ang pananaw niya sa pananaw ng Pangulo sa paghirang kay Gen. Lina Sarmiento. Sa batas na nagtatag ng Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board, may sunset clause kung saan binibigyan ang Board ng dalawang taon para magampanan ang tungkulin nito (We respect the views of former Sen. Arroyo, an ardent freedom fighter and human rights advocate in the Martial Law period. But his views differ from those of the President. And under the law creatng the claims board, the board has two years to do its work)," Coloma said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
"Maikling panahon lang, kinakailangan kumilos nang husto ang board na ito (The board has very little time to finish its work so it must get going)," he added.
Besides, he said the President himself is aware of the issue of human rights as he and his family had suffered human rights violations under Martial Law.
"Ito ang sinaalang-alang niya sa pagpili ng kasapi ng claims board (He has factored this in when he chose the members of the claims board)," he said.
Former Sen. Arroyo had written an open letter to President Aquino, appealing to have the President's senior staff reexamine the basis for the appointment of Sarmiento.
Arroyo argued Sarmiento "cannot have any track record of involvement in or understanding or knowledge of the human rights situation during the martial law period." PND (jl)
Palace: Tuesday a regular working day
While Tuesday will be a school holiday to mark the 28th anniversary of the EDSA-1 Revolution, it will also be a regular working day, Malacañang reminded the public Sunday.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said Proclamation 655 declares only the suspension of classes in all levels on Tuesday.
"According to Proclamation 655 (Series of 2013), ang ika-25 ng Pebrero, EDSA People Power Revolution Day, ay school holiday. Ibig sabihin walang pasok sa lahat ng paaralan, lahat ng antas at ito ay isang regular working day (Proclamation 655 (Series of 2013) declares Feb. 25 a school holiday. There will be no classes at all levels on that day. But it is also a regular working day)," he said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
On Tuesday, Coloma said President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead the commemoration of the People Power revolt that ousted Ferdinand Marcos and catapulted his late mother Corazon Aquino to the presidency.
Coloma said the theme of this year's commemoration is "EDSA 28: Kapit-bisig Tungo sa Pagbangon (EDSA 28: Joining Hands Toward Recovery)."
He said this year's commemoration will be unique as it will be held outside Metro Manila, with the traditional "Salubungan" in Cebu.
"Ang Cebu ang lalawigan na siyang naging tanggulan at balwarte ng oposisyon noong panahon ng Martial Law at kung saan namalagi si dating Pangulong Corazon Aquino noong ganap na tumiwalag ang militar sa pamunuan ni Pangulong Marcos noong ika-dalawampu't dalawa ng Pebrero, 1986 (Cebu was the then opposition's base during Martial Law. Mrs. Aquino was staying there when the military withdrew support for Marcos)," Coloma noted. PND (jl)
Palace: President Aquino to inspect calamity-hit areas on 'EDSA Day'
Aside from commemorating the peaceful revolt that ousted then President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, President Benigno S. Aquino III will spend Feb. 25 inspecting the progress of rehabilitation work in areas hit by recent calamities.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said the President will go to Cateel, Davao Oriental to check on the progress of rehabilitation work there in the wake of Typhoon Pablo in December 2011.
The President will then head for Loon town in Bohol, which was devastated by a magnitude-7.2 quake last October, for a town hall-style meeting.
"Makikipagpanayam ang ating Pangulo sa mga mamamayan at aalamin din ang kanilang sitwasyon apat na buwan pagkatapos ng lindol sa Bohol upang matiyak na ginagawa ng pamahalaan ang mga tamang hakbang bilang pagkalinga sa kanila (The President will interact with the the people and see for himself the situation in Bohol four months after a magnitude-7.2 quake. He will also make sure the concerned agencies are doing their work)," Coloma said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
He also said the President will visit Bantayan Island in Cebu, where super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made one of its landfalls last November, after attending the EDSA anniversary rites.
The President will also visit Guiuan town in Eastern Samar and Tanauan in Leyte province, which were also devastated by Yolanda.
Yolanda had left more than 6,200 dead. The destruction it caused triggered a massive international response.
Meanwhile, Coloma said the President will also inspect the Department of Health's project in Tacloban City, one of the areas hit hardest by Yolanda. PND (jl)
Palace: Request made for Michael Martinez courtesy call on President Aquino
Preparations are underway for a courtesy call on President Benigno Aquino III by Olympic figure skater Michael Christian Martinez, Malacañang said Sunday.
According to Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr., the Philippine Sports Commission already made a request for a courtesy call.
"Ang batid ko, nagpadala ng request ang Philippine Sports Commission. Inaalam na natin sa Tanggapan ng Pangulo kung kailan ang mainam na panahon para sa pagkakaroon ng courtesy call ni G. Michael Martinez (From what I know, the Philippine Sports Commission already sent a request for a courtesy call. The Office of the President is determining the right time for Martinez to make the courtesy call)," Coloma said on state-run dzRB radio.
He noted President Aquino has a hectic schedule this coming week.
Earlier, Coloma said the President will be marking the 28th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution in the provinces, including those hit by recent calamities.
Also, the President will have a two-day state visit to Malaysia on Feb. 27 and 28.
"Medyo hectic ang schedule ng pangulo sa darating na linggo dahil sa pagdiriwang ng EDSA at pagpunta sa Malaysia para sa isang state visit (The President has a hectic schedule this week due to the EDSA anniversary and his state visit to Malaysia)," he said.
For now, he said the Office of the President is considering all factors.
"Inaalam natin ang lahat ng factors na relevant diyan. Ang lalong mahalaga ay natanggap na natin ang recommendation ng PSC hinggil diyan (We are considering all relevant factors but what is important is that we have received the PSC's recommendation)," he said. PND (jl)
Palace: Government exerting efforts to avert crisis from Manila truck ban
Malacañang on Sunday said the government is exerting all efforts to avert a crisis in Manila due to a truck ban ordinance there.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said there will be another meeting on Monday involving representatives from government agencies.
"Bukas po ng umaga ay magkakaroon ng pagpupulong muli para talakayin ang iba pang mga detalye ng pinapanukalang truck ban. Nais lang po nating makita dito ay ang pagkakaisa ng iba't ibang sektor at ang pagtutulungan (On Monday morning, there will be another meeting to discuss the details of the truck ban. We also want the various sectors concerned to be on the same page)," Coloma said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
But he also appealed to all parties concerned to resolve the issue using dialogue.
"Mas magiging kapakipakinabang na subukan natin itong plantsahin sa pamamagitan ng talakayan (It is better to resolve the issue through dialogue)," he said.
Coloma said the agencies that are working to resolve the issue include the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, and Philippine Ports Authority.
Representatives of these agencies are working with truckers and operators to resolve the issue, he added.
"Ayon po kay Secretary Singson, isa sa mga points of attention natin dito ay ang kapakanan ng mga truckers at exporters dahil nga po kasagsagan ngayon ng pagbulusok ng ating ekonomiya ... Kinakailangan pong tulungan natin ang ating mga exporters at importers at mga truckers na makakilos ng mahusay habang isinasaalang-alang din ang epekto ng mga infrastructure projects katulad ng Skyway 3 na sinimulan na noong nakaraang linggo (Singson said one of the points of attention is the interest of the truckers and exporters. At a time the economy is doing well, we should help exporters, importers and truckers move their goods, especially since infrastructure projects like Skyway 3 are also in the works)," he said. PND (jl)
Palace: Coordination efforts of government meant to create clear understanding between affected agencies of truck ban
Malacanang said on Sunday that it is stepping up its coordination efforts with agencies that will be affected once a Manila ordinance banning the use of trucks on its roads takes effect on Monday, saying it wants to create a clear understanding of the ordinance in order for its rules to be enforced.
In a press briefing aired over government sation dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the government led by the Metro Manila Development Authority, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Philippine Ports Authority and the Department of Transportation and Communication are meeting with the group of truckers to discuss this.
“…kasalukuyan pa pong nakikipag-ugnayan ang iba't ibang ahensiya ng pamahalaan, nangunguna na diyan ang Metro Manila Development Authority sina Chairman Francis Tolentino, ang ating DPWH sina Secretary Rogelio Singson, at ang Philippine Ports Authority ng DOTC na pinamumunuan ni General Manager Juan Sta. Ana. Ito pong mga ahensiyang ito ay masinsin na nakikipag-ugnayan sa mga truckers natin, sa mga organisasyon ng mga may-ari at operator ng mga truck sa port area kung sila po ang sangkot dito,” Coloma said.
He added that one of the points to be taken up is the concerns of the industry and how to come up with a viable option in order for them to get their job of moving merchandise done.
“Bukas po ng umaga ay magkakaroon ng pagpupulong muli para talakayin ang iba pang mga detalye ng pinapanukalang truck ban. Nais lang po nating makita dito ay ang pagkakaisa ng iba't ibang sektor at ang pagtutulungan. Ayon po kay Secretary Singson, isa sa mga points of attention dito ay ang kapakanan ng mga truckers at exporters dahil nga po kasagsagan ngayon ng pagbulusok ng ating ekonomiya. Mataas po ang ating GDP growth dahil nga masigla ang kalakal, ang import and export. Marami pong mga movements in and out of the port area. Kinakailangan pong tulungan natin ang ating mga exporters at importers at mga truckers na makakilos ng mahusay habang isinasaalang-alang din ang epekto ng mga infrastructure projects katulad ng Skyway 3 na sinimulan na noong nakaraang Linggo,” Coloma said.
“Kaya ang sinisikap po ng pamahalaan ay magkaroon ng pagkakaunawaan ang lahat ng mga sektor para isaalang-alang kung ano ang pinakamainam para sa mamamayan. Lahat naman po ay nagpahiwatig na handa silang mag-ambag para sa ikatatagumpay ng ating mga infrastructure projects at para sa ikasusulong ng ating ekonomiya,” he added. PND (rck)
Palace: PSG member caught using cloned ATM card to face consequences of his alleged misdeed
A member of the Presidential Security Group who was caught using a cloned automated teller machine (ATM) card in Makati City will have to face the consequences of his actions, Malacañang said Sunday.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said PSG members as well as government employees are expected to be law-abiding citizens "at all times."
"They must face the consequences of their actions in accordance with the law," he said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
He was referring to Raphael Marcial, who earlier reports described as a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 2008.
Police reportedly arrested Marcial during a surveillance operation where he was caught using the cloned ATM card.
Coloma said PSG head Commodore Raul Ubando issued a relief order on Marcial, who will undergo inquest proceedings in Manila.
"Tinitiyak lang ng PSG ang paggalang sa kanyang mga karapatan, sa kanyang mga legal rights. Pagkatapos po noon, depende sa magiging findings ng inquest. Meron naman pong mga sinusunod na patakaran ang AFP at ang PSG hinggil sa appropriate disciplinary actions at ito po ang ipatutupad (The PSG wants to make sure his legal rights are protected. After that, what will happen to him will depend on the inquest proceedings. The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PSG follow procedures on appropriate disciplinary actions, and these will apply to Marcial)," he said. PND (jl)
Interaction with project beneficiaries to highlight President Aquino’s visit in Cateel, Davao Oriental Monday
(CATEEL, Davao Oriental) An interaction with at least three project beneficiaries of the government’s various rehabilitation and recovery programs for the victims of the 2012 super typhoon ‘Pablo’ (Bopha) will serve as one of the highlights of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s visit here this Monday.
President Aquino’s trip to Cateel on February 24 signals the start of his five-province tour this week, in solidarity with survivors of natural calamities that hit the country the past couple of years, coinciding with the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution.
“In fulfillment of its mandate to harness the legacy of the People Power Revolution in order to transform Philippine society, the EDSA People Power Commission will highlight modern-day Filipinos working together for the recovery and continued development of the country,” a press statement from the EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC) said.
In a program commencing the EDSA anniversary rites nationwide, President Aquino will address the residents of Cateel and listen to the testimonies of farmers who have exhibited extraordinary resiliency after being severely affected by the Category 5 storm in December 2012.
President Aquino will also conduct an aerial inspection on various areas hit by ‘Pablo’ and check on some significant infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways to aid Davao Oriental’s calamity-hit residents.
From there, the President may also take a short trip to rice granaries and palay farmlands assisted by the Department of Agriculture, particularly the so-called ‘Hot Pablo’ chili farms, which is soon to export chili products overseas.
Typhoon ‘Pablo’ was recorded as the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines in 2012 mostly affecting the areas of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley in Mindanao. It claimed over 1,000 lives and more than 800 people remained missing due to the massive floods and landslides it had caused. PND (hdc)