Tuesday, 1 April 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, March 28, 2014

President Aquino receives JICA President in courtesy call

President Benigno S. Aquino III received Akihiko Tanaka, the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in a courtesy in Malacanang on Friday.

Tanaka replaced Sadako Ogata as JICA president on April 1, 2012.
Before assuming his post, Tanaka was the vice president of the University of Tokyo and a scholar of international politics.

He obtained his B.A. in International Relations at the University of Tokyo in 1977 and his Ph.D. in Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981.

The current JICA president specializes on theories of international politics, contemporary international relations in East Asia, and Japan’s foreign policy. He also wrote numerous books and articles in Japanese and in English.

In 2012, he received the medal of honor with Purple Ribbon for his academic achievements.

JICA in the Philippines actively provides cooperation in economic growth, poverty reduction, disaster mitigation, other development issues such as health and governance, and in promoting peace and development in conflict-affected Mindanao.

JICA aims to promote inclusive and dynamic development for all Filipinos with its initiatives.

JICA is also a major partner of the government in rebuilding typhoon-ravaged areas in the Visayas. It said it will continue supporting the recovery of those areas and assist the government in fast-tracking rehabilitation efforts.

In his message before the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro Thursday, President Aquino thanked JICA, along with other international agencies for their assistance that led to the eventual signing of the Bangsamoro peace pact. PND (as)

Palace: AFP already investigating gun-running racket involving military official

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is already looking into allegations that a military official had dealings with US State Senator Leland Yee who has been arrested for firearms trafficking and corruption charges.

In a press briefing in Malacanang on Friday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte was asked by reporters if the Palace instructed the AFP to investigate the issue.

“There is no need for the directive. I spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala this morning, and the AFP is already looking into that particular report,” Valte told reporters.

“We have also been trying to get a name or at least more information about the alleged involvement of a supposed military officer.”

The Palace official said there is still no significant information produced by the ongoing investigation but she said the Palace trusts that the AFP will get to the bottom of it.

If true, Valte said it is alarming that a military official is involved in such a highly organized crime.

With regards to reports saying Yee allegedly visited the Philippines for the scheme, Valte said they are leaving the issue to the justice department to look into it.

US federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment Wednesday against Yee, accusing him of conspiring to commit wire fraud and traffic firearms.

Twenty six people, including a former school board president were indicted on charges related to an extensive crime ring headed by well-known Chinatown figure in the US. PND (as)

Palace expects success of pro-RH law advocates in Supreme Court deliberations

The Palace said it hopes pro-RH advocates could successfully defend their case during the oral arguments in the Supreme Court for the eventual implementation of the law.

Asked to comment on the government position on the controversial law, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government has allies to defend the RH Law in the Supreme Court.

“Hindi lang po ‘yung national government pero maraming Pilipino kasing sumusuporta talaga dito doon sa batas ng Responsible Parenthood,” she told reporters in a press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.

“Umaasa po tayo na nagiging maganda ‘yung mga pagtatanggol ng mga advocates for Responsible Parenthood doon sa oral arguments sa Supreme Court.”

Valte said the Palace backs the Responsible Parenthood Law because it will empower families to decide on the size of its members.

“I mean every family is different. So every family necessarily would have to make its own decision on how best they can take care of their families given the resources that are available to them,” she said.

If every Filipino family is empowered to make those decisions on their own with the appropriate information, then no family will have to be forced to fend for a bigger family when in fact they wanted a smaller family size, she added.

And if the government could assist families manage the size for their members, families could focus on other productive things other than child rearing, Valte said.

Pro-RH advocates argue that as more teenage girls get pregnant and experience complications arising from pregnancies, the SC must rule its legality.
The high court last year issued a status quo ante order effectively stopping the implementation of the law.

The Supreme Court is expected to deliberate on the petitions against the RH law on April 8 during its summer session in Baguio City. PND (as)