Friday, 9 May 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, April 5, 2014

Search continues to find abducted Chinese tourist, Filipino hotel employee from Sabah, says Palace

Security forces from the Philippines are conducting search and rescue operations in Mindanao following a kidnapping incident in Sabah, Malaysia, the Palace said on Saturday.

“According to the AFP, patuloy po ang best efforts natin for search and rescue doon sa probable areas in BASULTA kung saan allegedly dinala daw po 'yung dalawa mula sa Sabah,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“Nagko-conduct na ng extensive search and naval blockade ang ating AFP para matingnan ang mga suspected seacrafts… ang mga hindi pangkaraniwang mga seacraft na nagta-travel doon sa mga lugar na ‘yon. Tapos na-alert na rin ang ibang WestMinCom units natin doon sa BASULTA area to aid in the search,” she told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

On Wednesday, a Chinese tourist and a Filipino hotel employee were abducted by gunmen in Sabah, Malaysia, known for its natural attractions and scuba diving sites.

The Malaysian government said the kidnapping may be intended to sour further the relations between Malaysia and China, which is already strained by the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner with many Chinese passengers onboard. Search operations are continuing to find the missing plane.

In the past, bandits kidnapped tourists and fishermen in the area and reportedly brought them to nearby Philippine Islands. PND (as)

Palace hopes Santiago-Ferrer meeting could thresh out legality issue of Bangsamoro peace pact

The Palace said it hopes Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago could meet government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer to discuss the legality of the newly signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

While Senator Santiago said she supports the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, she’s worried about its constitutionality. The senator also said she wanted to ensure the CAB could pass the constitutionality test which is why she is questioning its legality.

“Mabuti po ‘yon kasi maganda din na nagkaroon sila ng ganitong exchange because the government is always open to explain ‘yung contents of the agreement,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

“Kahit noong Framework Agreement pa lang nag-ikot po talaga ‘yung ating panel sa mga civil society organizations, sa members of the academe, sa ating mga legislators para ipakita nila talaga ‘yung nilalaman,” she added.

She said the Palace hopes the meeting to push through so that the executive branch could explain the processes in coming up with an agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Although a lot of people support peace in Mindanao, the Palace official said she hopes the Supreme Court will uphold its constitutionality if ever there’s a legal challenge.

The Philippine government and the MILF signed last week the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in Malacanang. The peace pact aims to bring an end to several decades of conflict in Mindanao that has claimed more than 100,000 lives. PND (as)