Sunday, 13 July 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Palace renews support for reinterpretation of Japan's Constitution

Malacañang has renewed its support for Japan's move to reinterpret its Constitution to make it more attuned to current global security situations.

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said any Asian country that promotes regional peace and stability would support Japan's move to revisit its Constitution.

"I think everyone who has a stake in regional stability would certainly support any action that would move towards promoting peace in the region," Lacierda told reporters.

"Clearly, our belief is that Japan, by revisiting its Constitution, enables it to meet its international obligations, that is -- in the case of the South China Sea issue -- to promote and to ensure peace and stability in the region."

Both the Philippines and Japan have territorial rows with China.

The Palace official reiterated President Aquino's statement that he supports Japan's extended role in ensuring global security and stability.

During his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week, President Aquino said he supports the idea of Japan revisiting its Constitution to fulfill its international obligations more effectively.

The President also said the Philippines is looking at forging a stronger military cooperation with Japan, similar to the Enhanced Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US, so that the Philippines could benefit during times of emergencies and disasters.

Japan made a historic step away from its post-war pacifism on Tuesday by ending the ban on exercising collective self-defense or aiding a friendly country under attack.

The ban has kept Japan's military from fighting abroad since 1945 after the US defeated it during World War II.

The change is a dramatic policy shift, which will allow Japan's armed forces to be more aligned with the militaries of other advanced nations in terms of its options.

The Japanese government said however that it would be wary of putting soldiers on the ground in multilateral operations, such as the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

Prime Minister Abe said on Tuesday that his administration pushed the changes to make Japan more responsive to the increasingly tough security environment. PND (as)

Palace joins prayers for Senator Santiago’s recovery

The Palace said it joins the people in praying for Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s recovery from lung cancer.

“We are one with the people in praying for the health and recovery of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a text message to members of the Malacañang Press Corps on Wednesday.

Senator Santiago earlier announced in a press briefing that she has been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

She said she will undergo six weeks of chemotherapy to battle her cancer.

Coloma praised the senator for her unwavering devotion to her work as a stateswoman.

“Despite her condition, she has devoted herself to the performance of her duties as legislator and public servant,” he said. PND (ag)