Sunday, 8 June 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, June 7, 2014

Filing of charges against three senators, major step to unearth truth about 'pork barrel scam', says Palace

The filing of charges by the Office of the Ombudsman against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada is a significant step to ferret out the truth with regards to the P10-billion pork barrel scam, the Palace said on Saturday.

"This constitutes a major step forward in our mission to find out the truth about these anomalies," Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

And in the midst of misinformation brought about by dishonesty and politicking, the administration remains firmly committed to unearthing the facts, Valte added.

At the same time, Valte noted that the administration will continue to push for reforms in government aimed at strengthening the foundations of transparency and accountability in the bureaucracy.

Asked if the Palace is prepared for any backlash from the followers of the three lawmakers, Valte said the government has enough measures to deal with such circumstances.

And if the court issues arrest warrants for the three senators being accused of plunder, the executive branch is ready to execute the court order, she said.

"The executive will be the one to be tasked to carry it out. So in that case, as in any high profile case that involves high profile personalities, gagawin lang po ng ating pamahalaan ang iuutos sa ng korte at kung ano lang ang nararapat," she said.

The palace has not received any information about destabilization plots against the government, she said.

Valte also brushed off allegations that the filing of charges against the three senators was rushed as the President prepares his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

She said the Office of the Ombudsman was given enough time to review and to consider all the pieces of evidence that was submitted by the Department of Justice.

Also, the Office of the Ombudsman is an independent constitutional body from the executive branch, Valte added. PND (as)

Aquino to lead flag-raising rites in Naga City during Independence Day celebration

President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead the flag-raising rites in Naga City during the Independence Day celebration on June 12.

In a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the President has been holding Independence Day celebrations in different places to highlight the significance of different provinces to the country's freedom and democracy.

The President led the Independence Day celebration in Kawit, Cavite in 2011, in Malolos, Bulacan in 2012 and at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila last year.

On June 12, 1898, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo led the declaration of Philippine independence from Spanish colonial rule in Kawit, Cavite.

After the flag-raising event in Naga City at 7 am, the President will fly to Manila to lead the Vin D'Honneur in Malacanang at 11 am.

Vin D’Honneur is a traditional ceremony made during the Philippines’ Independence Day, where the President meets the members of the diplomatic corps.

Vin D’Honneur is derived from a French term, meaning ‘wine of honor,' which aims to strengthen diplomatic relations with other countries. PND (as)