Thursday, 21 August 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

President Aquino appoints Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza as new Supreme Court Associate Justice

After serving the administration for more than two years as its primary counsel, Francis Jardeleza moves up to the Supreme Court after President Benigno S. Aquino III signed his appointment to replace retired Associate Justice Roberto Abad, Malacañang has announced.

“President Aquino has appointed Solicitor General Francis H. Jardeleza as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The appointment was transmitted to the Supreme Court this morning, 20 August 2014,” read Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr.’s note sent to reporters on Wednesday.

Jardeleza bested four other nominees for the post -- Court of Appeals Associate Justices Apolinario Bruselas and Jose Reyes Jr., Commission on Audit Chair Grace Pulido-Tan, and Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Reynaldo Daway, despite not being included in the initial shortlist submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) to the Supreme Court.

The JBC, however, eventually included Jardeleza on its list after his third attempt to make it in the selection process, with the Supreme Court granting his petition for certiori and mandamus.

Jardeleza had served as the Aquino administration’s Solicitor General since February 2012, following his stint as Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon from July 2011.

He graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1974, placing third in the bar exams the same year, before obtaining his Masters of Law degree in 1977 from the Harvard School of Law.

He is a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Philippine Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Inter-Pacific Bar Association. In 1997, he was admitted to the New York Sate Bar and the US Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. PND (hdc)

President Aquino swears in 39 newly promoted Police Generals

President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday inducted into office 39 newly promoted Police Generals in a ceremony held at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace.

Promoted to the equivalent military rank of lieutenant general were Police Deputy Directors General Leonardo Espina and Marcelo Garbo, Jr.

Also promoted were Police Directors Ronaldo Purugganan, Francisco Uyami, Jr., Francisco Don Montenegro, Charles Calima, Jr., Benjamin Magalong, Ricardo Marquez, Jamie Morente, Rodrigo de Gracia, Melito Mabilin, Getulio Napeñas, Jose Jorge Corpuz, Catalino Rodriquez, Jr., Juanito Vaño, Jr., Edgardo Inking, and Danilo Constantino. A Police director has the equivalent military rank of major general.

Also joining them were Police Chief Superintendents Richard Albano, Asher Dalina, Prudencio Tom Bañas, Jose Getiles, Robert Kiunisala, Ferdinand Sevilla, Abelardo Villacorta, Edgar Basbas, Rodel Calungsud, Diodado Valeroso, Edwin Erni, Manolito Labador, Oriel Bragais, Wilfredo Franco, David Ombao, Ferdinand Yuzon, Ronaldo Asuncion, Rene Ong, Antonio Viernes, Reuben Theodore Sindac, Augusto Marquez, Jr., and Danilo Pelisod. The rank of Police chief superintendent is equivalent to the rank of brigadier general in the military.

After the oath-taking ceremony, the newly promoted generals and their respective families had a photo opportunity with the President. With the President during the ceremony was Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. PND (ag)

Palace announces new appointments

President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed new officials of various government agencies, the Palace announced on Wednesday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. informed members of the Malacañang Press Corps in an email of the appointment of Jan Co Chua as an PCOO Undersecretary.

New appointees at the National Security Council were Ma. Carmina Acuña as Assistant Director General; Lorenzo Clavejo as Director V; and, Ruperta Salvanera as Acting Director III.

Other new appointees were Christine Antonio as Director IV for the Public-Private Partnership Center of the Philippines under the National Economic Development Authority; Allan Montaño as member of the Board of Trustees of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration representing the Labor Sector; Benjo Santos Benavidez as Acting Director IV of the Department of Labor and Employment.

Also appointed were Ma. Vilma Diez as Acting Director III of the Department of Health; Raul Serrano as member of the Board of Directors of the Development Bank of the Philippines; John Eulalio Nepomuceno Aparis II as regular member of the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Ormoc City, Leyte; and Alberto Escobarte as Acting Director IV of the Department of Education (DepEd).

A total of 17 new School Division Superintendents under DepEd, were also appointed: Ruby Abundabar, Miguel Mac Aposin, Roel Bermejo, Wilfredo Cabral, Reynaldo Guillena, Juliet Jeruta, Evangeline Ladines, Esperanza Laya, Portia Mallorca, Cesar Medina, Ponciano Menguito, Jorge Reinante, Cecille Bernadette Rivera, Carlito Rocafort, Joel San Luis, Josilyn Solana, and Alma Ruby Torio. PND (ag)

Naming of Mount Hamiguitan as UNESCO World Heritage Site is boon to Davao Oriental, Governor says

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) inscription of Mount Hamiguitan range wildlife sanctuary as a World Heritage Site is a boon to Davao Oriental, Governor Corazon Malanyaon has said.

Mount Hamiguitan was recently inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site during a UNESCO Conference in Doha, Qatar, Governor Malanyaon said during a press briefing after she paid a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday morning.

"It was declared as a World Heritage Site because of its outstanding universal value. It has a huge biodiversity. It was the endemism actually that caught the attention of the UNESCO people," she said.

Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation, country or other defined zone, or habitat type.

Mount Hamiguitan, home to about 2,000 people, boasts of pygmy or bonsai forests.

According to the UNESCO, Mount Hamiguitan showcases terrestrial and aquatic habitats at different elevations, and includes threatened and endemic flora and fauna species, eight of which are found only at the mountain range. These include critically endangered trees, plants and the iconic Philippine eagle and Philippine cockatoo, it said.

The designation of Mount Hamiguitan as a heritage site is good news to Davao Oriental as it will open a lot of opportunities for the province, especially in terms of eco-tourism, she said.

“It is one gift that we would like to share to the world and also a way of showcasing our concern for our environment,” the governor added.

The UNESCO encourages the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

To fulfill this initiative, the international body adopted in 1972 an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. PND (as)

Davao Oriental already in rehabilitation stage after Typhoon Pablo, says Governor

Davao Oriental is making headway in rebuilding communities devastated by Typhoon Pablo in December 2012, Governor Corazon Malanyaon said on Wednesday.

“We are now in the reconstruction and rehabilitation stage. So much is going on there in Davao Oriental now, so parang alive na alive talaga ang tatlong towns. Everybody seems to have work. Everybody seems to be involved in all the activities,” Malanyaon said during a press briefing after paying a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III.

She was referring to the towns of Boston, Cateel, and Baganga, where about a thousand housing units are being turned over every 15 days.

"We hope to turn over at least 60 percent of the total housing requirement for our typhoon victims by the second anniversary of Typhoon Pablo in December," she said, adding that they aim to build a total of 24,000 housing units for the victims.

The governor said they have also begun efforts to give the typhoon victims permanent livelihood in agriculture and fisheries.

“Nakikita ko talaga na everybody talagang nagtatrabaho. Everybody has been given the opportunity to earn income. Construction is a boom there. We are going to construct a lot of housing units, school buildings, barangay halls, ‘yung mga daycare center, and even mga infrastructure like roads, bridges, and all that,” she said.

Typhoon Pablo hit Davao Oriental on December 4, 2012, claiming hundreds of lives and displacing thousands of families. The typhoon also destroyed billions of pesos worth of infrastructure and properties.

The magnitude of the devastation prompted President Aquino to create a special task force led by Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras to facilitate a smooth disaster response mechanism for all the affected areas.

Last February, the people of Davao Oriental thanked President Aquino for mobilizing the entire national government machinery to address their urgent concerns following the onslaught of the Typhoon Pablo. PND (as)

Ninoy Aquino's martyrdom must inspire young generation of Filipinos, says Palace official

The Palace has encouraged the public to educate future generations of Filipinos about the martyrdom of former senator Benigno Aquino Jr., father of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

"Let us pledge to transmit his thoughts and the reasons he took his fateful stand to the generations who were not yet around in 1983, but who continue to enjoy the freedom of choice, thought, and expression that he fought and died for, and which characterizes our country today," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement on Wednesday.

Secretary Lacierda asked the people to pause in prayer and reflection, and revisit Ninoy Aquino’s undelivered arrival statement available in the original English and Filipino translation on the Official Gazette.

Thirty-one years ago, Ninoy Aquino came home to prove that the Filipino is worth dying for, Lacierda said.

With his martyrdom, Ninoy Aquino joined the ranks of other heroes such as Dr. Jose Rizal, Jose Abad Santos, and Aquino’s fellow victims of Martial Law who stood for national freedom and integrity, he added.

Ninoy Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983 after arriving from several years of living in exile in the US.

Three years after his death, his widow, Corazon Aquino was swept to power following the bloodless 1986 People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship. PND (as)

Mindanao to boost cacao production

Mindanao will boost the production of cacao in the region to capitalize on the dwindling cacao supply in the global market, Mindanao Development Authority Chairwoman Luwalhati Antonino said.

"We are trying to jump-start the cacao industry in Mindanao because of the diminishing supply of cacao in the world market, and Mindanao has a very big chance to catch up to be a big supplier of cacao," Secretary Antonino said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.

She noted that it was only in the 1960s when Mindanao started planting banana trees.

“Now we are one of the major suppliers of banana and we intend to do that with cacao as well,” she said, adding that they are planning to intercrop cacao trees among the region’s two million hectares of coconut trees.

Planting cacao trees in 5 percent of the total hectares of coconut trees will mean 100,000 hectares of cacao and that will have a big share in the market, she said, adding that the initiative will create 1,000 jobs for the people of Mindanao.

Antonino also announced that Mindanao is ready to break India's record in planting the most number of trees in an hour.

India has a record of 1.9 million trees planted in one hour and Mindanao aims to plant 4.6 million trees in an hour on September 26.

One million of these will be cacao trees, she said.

The Aquino administration has said it intends to carry out a targeted approach to improve the lives of the people in the agriculture sector. One of its major thrusts is intercropping to boost the productivity of farmers. PND (as)