Tuesday, 1 April 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Monday, March 31, 2014

President Aquino leads PNPA graduation ceremony; tells graduates to serve with utmost dedication

President Benigno S. Aquino III said he expects the new graduates of Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) "Mandilaab" 2014 will serve the people with justice, integrity and dedication when they go outside the academy.

In his message during the graduation rites in Camp Castaneda in Silang, Cavite, the President said he hopes the new police, jail, and fire officials will shun corruption and will serve their "bosses" with utmost dedication.

"Ang tinitiyak ko naman: kung handa kayong tumalikod sa tukso; kung handa kayong tugisin ang tumatakas sa batas, at walang takot kayong susuong sa peligro para protektahan ang inyong kapwa, magiging katambal ng inyong serbisyo ang tiwala ng bawat isang Pilipino," the President told the graduates during the graduation rites.

"Tandaan din ninyo: Anumang pinalusot ninyong katiwalian sa inyong hanay ay pihadong magdadala ng perhuwisyo sa ating kababayan. Kapag pinili ninyong magbulag-bulagan sa pang-aapi sa karapatan ng mamamayan, asahan ninyong bukas-makalawa, karapatan naman ninyo ang mismong yuyurakan."

The President also challenged the PNPA Class Mandilaab to always stick to their principle and not be tempted by material things.

"Saan man kayong lugar madestino, anumang luho o tukso ang sumubok sa tibay ng inyong prinsipyo; lagi kayong pumanig sa tama, at sa kung ano ang mas makabubuti sa inyong kapwa," he said.

"Nawa'y isabuhay at panindigan ninyo ang panata ng bawat kadeteng Mandilaab: ang saysay ng buhay ninyong mga mandirigma, ay nasa pag-aalay nito sa kapwa," he added.

The chief executive also mentioned the ongoing reforms being in carried out in the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and the Bureau of Fire Protection. Policemen can now serve the public with ease after the government purchased 74,879 Glock 17 pistols. Most of the firearms have been distributed to the PNP personnel and additional pistols will also be distributed once ballistic tests are completed, the President said.

With the release of the new pistols to policemen, the PNP will soon achieved the 1:1 police-to-pistol ratio. PNPA Class Mandilaab will also be issued with new Glock pistols, the President said. The government has so far allotted more than P2 billion for PNP's mobility, firearms, investigation, communication, and rehabilitation components under its Operational Transformation Plan.

The procurement of 882 units of patrol jeeps, 17,680 units of assault rifle, and more than 200,000 magazines for basic assault rifle and around 5,000 units of mobile radio is also ongoing, the President said.

The government will also soon approve the domestic manufacturing of small arms ammunition to address the needs of the AFP, PNP, and other law enforcement agencies, the President reported.

Jail personnel will also be issued with 4,888 units of 9mm pistols to address the 41 percent deficit on firearms among jail guards.

The Bureau of Fire Protection will also get new equipment, the President noted. Last year, the government purchased 76 Rosenbauer fire trucks with high quality engines and improved water pump discharge capacity.

The government also allocated P3.6 billion to buy 300 fire trucks and build 300 fire stations nationwide, he added. These reforms became possible through clean and efficient management of the present government, the chief executive said.

"Abot-tanaw na po ang permanenteng transpormasyon sa ating lipunan. Binubuksan na natin ang bagong kabanata sa kasaysayan ng ating bansa kung saan ang kumakayod nang husto ay ginagantimpalaan ng pag-asenso," he said.

"Nawa'y maging alagad kayo ng positibong pagbabago upang magpatuloy ang kaunlarang tinatamasa. Sa gabay at tulong ng Panginoon, at sa pakikibalikat ng sambayanan, lalo pa nating palakasin ang hanay nating tumatahak sa tuwid na daan, diretso sa kinabukasang tunay na mapayapa, patas, at maunlad," the President added. PND (as)

President Aquino to meet Singaporean counterpart this week

 President Benigno S. Aquino III will meet Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam who will be on a four-day state visit to the country this week, MalacaƱang announced on Monday.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda in a statement said the two heads of state would discuss matters of mutual interest to the Philippines and Singapore, including trade and investment, as well as the Filipino community in the Lion City.

Like the other heads of state that visited the country recently, President Tan’s itinerary would include a side trip to the areas devastated by super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ on top of his other activities.

Lacierda said President Tan would hand over donations contributed by the people of Singapore to the partners of the Singapore Red Cross involved in rehabilitation projects in Yolanda-affected communities.

“He will also fly to Basey, Western Samar to present medical supplies to the Basey District Hospital, a joint rehabilitation project of the Singapore Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross,” he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in an earlier announcement said this would be President Tan’s first state visit to the Philippines reciprocating President Aquino’s state visit to Singapore in March 2011.

President Tan will be accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Mary Tan, and a delegation composed of Minister Grace Fu, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Hawazi Daipi, and Members of the Parliament Dr. Lam Pin Min and Mr. Vikram Nair during his visit here. PND (hdc)

President Aquino says he has an obligation to defend country's sovereignty

President Benigno S. Aquino III reiterated his obligation to defend the country's sovereignty adding other countries should recognize the Philippines's rights to defend its own interest in West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

In an interview during the graduation rites at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Silang, Cavite, the President said his government is not challenging China or initiating a provocation.

But he said he believes that China should recognize the country's right to defend its sovereignty. He also said the country is pursuing a requirement on a peaceful and rules-based approach in resolving the dispute in the West Philippine Sea when it elevated its case to the international tribunal.

"We went through arbitration primarily because that is a means to resolve the dispute na consistent with the policy na peaceful, at saka in conformity with the international law," he told reporters.

Another track being pursued by the country is the crafting of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

So far, ASEAN member countries only agreed in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in 2002, and the Philippines wants to push a Code of Conduct after ten years. The Philippines has no other choice but international arbitration, he said, arguing that the Ayungin Shoal currently being contested by China is clearly within the country's 200 exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The President also commended the members of the Armed forces who have been manning a government position in the Ayungin Shoal through a dilapidated ship.

"I should pay special tribute to the men of the AFP. We have men who had to be provisioned in Ayungin Shoal. They accomplished the mission without, I believe, increasing the tension and did it in a way that didn't pose a threat to any other country--again consistent with the peaceful approach," he said.

Changing personnel and bringing supplies are becoming a challenge for the Philippines as China has started to block supply ships from reaching government's position.

On Sunday, the Philippines filed a memorial or a written pleading in the international tribunal containing evidence and basis for its claims in the West Philippine Sea. PND (as)