Sunday, 13 July 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Thursday, June 26, 2014

President Aquino graces 25th anniversary of Megaworld Corporation

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday graced the 25th anniversary celebration of property developer Megaworld Corporation and lauded the company for its achievements and contribution to nation building.

In his speech during the corporation’s Silver Tie Gala, entitled “Building Visions for 25 Years”, President Aquino praised Megaworld Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Tan for his “perseverance, patience and compassion.”

Recalling Tan’s words when Megaworld lost out on the bid for the Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) property, the President said, “Instead of barraging me and haranguing me with a litany of complaints, I was surprised when he simply told me: ‘Sir, the results are in.

We lost the bid. The government gets the maximum value for the property and we will keep our cash for other projects that we are more interested in.’”

“This is the complete lack of self-entitlement I have always admired in Dr. Tan—the kind of humility that I have prayed, at times, for a lot more individuals to acquire from all sectors to replicate. That is a trait that truly should be replicated,” he added.

President Aquino also congratulated Megaworld for its success

“You have been blessed with a great mentor in Dr. Andrew Tan, and it is my hope that ten, twenty, and even potentially fifty years from now, as you take on even greater roles in your companies, you will continue to embody the principles and values upon which this particular company was built upon,” he said.

As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, Megaworld also recognized 25 Visionaries who made outstanding contributions to their respective fields, including in business, banking, education, restaurant management, and fashion design. PND (co)

China’s new official map violates international law, says Palace

China’s newly unveiled official map, which includes an expanded claim in the South China Sea, violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a Palace official said on Thursday.

China appears to have extended its maritime claims from the original nine-dash line to a ten-dash line, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing.

“To put it simply, dinrowing lang nila ‘yon. Lahat naman ng drawing na ‘yan ay na-supersede na ng UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” Coloma added.

The new map shows that China’s territory is closer to the land mass of the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, which are all claimants to islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

He said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has already made a statement concerning the matter.

“Nagpahiwatig na po ang ating Department of Foreign Affairs at ‘yan din naman ang posisyon natin doon sa buong usapin hinggil diyan. Iyan din ang posisyon ng iba’t ibang mga bansa na mayroong claims to maritime entitlements in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, na hindi naman puwedeng ibatay sa drawing,” said Coloma.

He reiterated President Benigno S. Aquino III’s position that the maritime dispute should be resolved peacefully.

“Kaya patuloy pa rin ang ating paghahanap ng pangmatagalang solusyon na hahantong sa kaayusan at katahimikan sa buong rehiyon,” said Coloma. PND (ag)

More overseas Filipino voters register for 2016 national elections, says DFA

The number of overseas Filipino workers who have registered for the 2016 national elections is at a “record breaking pace,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

As of June 23, the DFA reported that the number of overseas voter registrants have reached 27,811. The Overseas Absentee Voter (OAV) registration, in preparation for the 2016 Presidential elections, began last May 6.

“The preparations by the Department and the Commission on Elections led to a successful start for the registration process,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a letter.

“The challenge for OAV registration is to maintain the momentum by keeping the overseas Filipinos interested and engaged in this democratic process,” del Rosario further said.

By region, the DFA reported that the number of registrants from the Middle East and Africa reached 11,421, the Americas 7,277, the European Union 5,117, and Asia Pacific 3,996.

The top ten performers were Dubai (1,889), Los Angeles (1,794), Jeddah (1,746), Abu Dhabi (1,647), San Francisco (1,437), Riyadh (1,434), Kuwait (1,268), New York (1,198), Singapore (1,160), and London (1,010).

Under Republic Act 10590, known as The Overseas Voting Act of 2013, overseas Filipino voters, who are not disqualified by law and at least 18 years of age on the day of elections, may vote for President, Vice-President, Senators and Party-List Representatives, as well as in all national referenda and plebiscites. PND (co)

Palace still confident in case filed against Senator Revilla

The Palace has expressed confidence that the case filed against Senator Ramon Revilla, Jr. would stand, despite the Sandiganbayan’s move to deny the filing of an amended information.

“We are confident that sufficient work has been done to build a credible and convincing case (against Senator Revilla),” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a press briefing on Thursday.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor under the Office of the Ombudsman has filed amended information at the First Division of the Sandiganbayan.

According to reports, the prosecutor deleted the sentence, “Napoles was said to have been enabled to misappropriate government funds for her personal gain,” and replaced it with: “to emphasize that the senator was the one who amassed, accumulated and acquired ill-gotten wealth in connivance or in conspiracy with his co-accused public officer and private individuals.”

However, chairman of the Sandiganbayan’s First Division, Justice Efren dela Cruz, said on Thursday that they will deny the motion to amend some information.

Coloma noted that making necessary changes is part of the duty of the prosecution.

“It is our view that in filing an amended information with the Sandiganbayan, the Office of the Special Prosecutor acted well within the rules of court that allow the prosecution to present its case in the manner it deems best consistent with its duty and mandate,” he said.

He assured the public that the government has a sufficient case against the senator, who faces plunder and graft charges in connection with the multi-million-peso pork barrel scam.

“Sa aming palagay naman ay ginawa ng mga kinauukulang ahensiya ng pamahalaan ang nararapat,” Coloma said. PND (ag)