Sunday, 22 June 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

President Aquino thanks Chinese-Filipinos for contributions to national progress

President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his gratitude to Filipino-Chinese businesses for their contribution to nation-building especially after the devastation caused by major disasters that hit the country last year.

In his message during the Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc.'s (FCCCII) joint celebration of the 116th Philippine Independence Day and 13th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day at the Manila Hotel Tuesday, the President said Chinese Filipino businessmen have never ceased partnering with the government to help calamity-stricken communities.

"It is that spirit of dedicated service and sincere sacrifice that we celebrate here—a spirit that likewise burned within our forefathers as they fought for our freedom 116 years ago," the President said in his message.

He mentioned the bravery of Chinese-Filipinos such as General Ignacio Paua during the Filipino-American War, and General Vicente Lim during the Second World War.

Both of them demonstrated utmost loyalty and bravery for the right of Filipinos to live with dignity on their own soil, he said.

This spirit has continued until now, with many members of the federation involved in volunteer works such as setting up fire brigades and building classrooms.

The federation has donated more than 9,200 classrooms, which have helped address the needs of students all over the nation, the President said.

Also he said that the country is reaping the fruits of reforms initiated by the administration in the bureaucracy.

"In stark contrast with the past, when government served as an obstacle to the growth of industry and to development, I assure you: our administration will continue partnering with you in pursuit of a prosperity that truly benefits all," he said.

The President also vowed to continue working towards protecting the rights of the people by combating corruption and upholding the rule of law in every aspect of governance.

This, he said, is the greatest tribute that the nation can give to the many who have fought for freedom: ensuring that the Filipino people will have the wherewithal to rise from poverty, injustice, and oppression.

At the same time, the President said he hopes that the federation will continue to work with his administration not just while he remains President, but even after he steps down from power in 2016. PND (as)

Malacanang welcomes Chinese Envoy’s remarks that dispute in West Philippine Sea is only ‘temporary’

Malacanang on Wednesday welcomed the statement of Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua that the dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) is only “temporary”.

“We certainly welcome the change of tone; one that would foster understanding between China and the Philippines when it comes to the South China Sea,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a press briefing.

During the celebration of the 13th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day on Tuesday, where President Benigno S. Aquino III was also a guest speaker, Zhao said in his speech, “Compared with our thousand-year-old friendship and extensive cooperation, the difficulties we are facing on South China Sea are temporary.”

Zhao emphasized that it is the two countries’ common responsibility to handle the issue “in a proper and peaceful manner”.

“The Chinese government has always attached great importance to its relationship with the Philippines, and I believe that we have the wisdom, the patience, and the courage to settle the disputes through negotiations and consultations,” he said.

Lacierda noted that the Philippines has “always resorted to diplomatic means” to resolve the dispute with China.

“We have deliberately de-escalated our rhetoric when it comes to the South China Sea,” Lacierda noted. “It is certainly a welcome change for us to hear the Chinese ambassador speaking in a more friendly tone.”

Manila and Beijing are locked in a territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea. PND (ag)

Palace pleased with appointment of three Cabinet members

Malacanang said it is pleased with the confirmation of the appointment of three members of the Cabinet by the Commission on Appointment (CA) on Wednesday.

The bicameral CA confirmed the appointment of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda congratulated the newly confirmed Cabinet members.

On Secretary De Lima’s appointment, Lacierda said she “displayed true grace under pressure”.

He also said that Secretary Soliman “truly deserved to be confirmed”.

Both De Lima and Soliman were bypassed by the CA 17 times and Paje 13 times since 2010. PND (ag)