Thursday, 13 March 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

President Aquino praises Cardinal Quevedo’s contribution to Central Mindanao peace, development

(COTABATO CITY) President Benigno S. Aquino III attended Tuesday the thanksgiving mass in honor of Orlando Cardinal Quevedo recognizing his contribution to Central Mindanao’s peace and development.

In his message, the President particularly expressed his gratitude to the cardinal for his support to the Mindanao peace process that is expected to be signed late this month.

The President said Cardinal Quevedo became an inspiration for the Christian faith and for those doing volunteer works. He was admired by the people when he fought the dictatorship of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos, he noted.

Even after several decades of unwavering service, he has not changed his views and continues to persuade others to join and contribute for the benefit of society, the President said.

Cardinal Quevedo has given voice to the oppressed, rallied behind them and asked people to fight abuses, he added.

The administration is lucky to have peace advocates like Cardinal Quevedo that support the Bagngsamoro peace process, the President said. Quevedo advocated the benefits of forging a peace deal between the government and the MILF knowing the long-term effects of the peace pact.

”Kaisa natin siya sa paniniwalang sa tapat at mapayapang dayalogo, mawawakasan ang dekadekadang karahasan na umangkin sa maraming buhay at naging mitsa ng paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan,” the President said in his message.

“Sa pagtaas ng antas ng pamumuhay sa mga komunidad, sa pagsusulong ng mapayapang paglalahad ng damdamin at interes at pagpapatupad ng batas upang matiyak ang seguridad, tiwala tayong ang taumbayan na mismo ang sisigurong matatamasa natin ang malawakang kaunlaran.”

“Sinasalamin po ng mga gawain at inisyatiba ni Cardinal Quevedo na iisang direksyon lang ang ating tinatahak—ang higit na paglilingkod sa ating mga kababayan. Lumalakas po ang ating loob na ipagpatuloy ang ang agenda ng malawakang reporma dahil sa mga tulad po ninyo,” he added.

With the reforms being initiated in government, the President said the country has started to reap its benefits. And with the unity and cooperation among Filipinos, the nation could overcome whatever challenges that lie ahead.

Cardinal Quevedo, who was born in Laoag, Ilocos Norte on March 11, 1939, was ordained in October 1980 in Kidapawan, Cotabato. He initially started his primary education in Ilocos Norte before transferring to South Cotabato in the 1950s until he graduated from high school.

He was named cardinal by Pope Francis on January 14, 2014 and was elevated as cardinal on February 22 this year. PND (as)

Malacanang says Phl can not accept China’s nine-dash line concept

Malacanang said on Wednesday that it cannot accept the People’s Republic of China’s nine-dash line concept, which seeks to demarcate Philippine territory in the West Philippine sea to within 200 meters from shore.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said diplomacy and a rules-based approach is still the way to go when dealing with this international matter.

“The Nine-dash line is something we can not accept. Its as simple as that. That’s why we filed an arbitration case before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas (ITLOS),” Lacierda said.

“(Diplomacy) is a process that we will continue to exercise. It’s putting on record the—our protest and putting on record their offense as we see it, as the Philippine government sees it. And so, again, this emphasizes the need for a rules-based approach to the situation in South China Sea,” he added.

Lacierda pointed out that the nine-dash line concept does not conform to international law.

“So the long and short of our claim is that the nine-dash line does not—is not consistent with international law, is not consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” Lacierda said. PND (rck)

Malacanang committed to go after housing scam perpetrators

The Palace said it is committed to prosecuting those involved in the multibillion-peso housing scam allegedly perpetrated by detained businessman Delfin Lee during the previous administration.

I certainly know that this government is committed to prosecuting those involved in the housing scam. Let us know who this person is baka puwede pang isama sa kaso,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in press briefing in Malacanang on Wednesday.

With regards to the planned inquiry of the House of Representative on the housing scam and the possible participation of some officials from the previous administration, Lacierda said it’s up to the House leadership to conduct the investigation.

“It’s within their jurisdiction to choose, if they choose to do so. I remember there was already a Senate investigation on the housing issue. If the House would prefer to also conduct their own investigation, of course, it is their prerogative to do so.”

The House’s majority bloc received an authority to conduct a probe on the multibillion-peso housing scam.

Lee is the owner of Globe Asiatique Holdings Inc., which allegedly used “ghost buyers” to get close to P7 billion in loans from the Pag-Ibig Fund from 2008 to 2011. PND (as)