Tuesday, 2 September 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Saturday, August 23, 2014

President safe as woman tries to smuggle gun inside Palace complex, says official

The Palace made an assurance that the President is safe and the Presidential Security Group is doing its job to protect the chief executive, a Malacanang official said on Saturday.

This is in connection with the arrest of Flora Pineda on Friday who tried to enter the New Executive Building carrying a loaded .45 caliber pistol.

Pineda was apprehended by the PSG and was brought to the Manila Police District for investigation.

In a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said they took the incident seriously that's why the PSG conducted an investigation.

The PSG is sharing information with the police, she said.

"Of course, we take any incident like this seriously that is why the PSG immediately conducted their own investigation. Na-turn over ang babae sa police members ng PSG when she was apprehended," Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Valte said the suspect will be charged because a firearm was involved.

The Palace official also commended the PSG for handling the incident well that if not foiled may have threatened the people inside the New Executive Building.

There was no immediate threat to the President during the incident Friday because he was not inside the NEB at the time, Valte said.

Initial investigation of the PSG revealed that Pineda wanted President Aquino to step down allegedly for his failure to address social issues.

Pineda was originally from Cagayan but currently residing in Taguig City, according to the information from the PSG. PND (as)

Palace official allays public fears, says health officials trained enough to fend off Ebola virus

Health authorities in the Philippines have enough capability to fend off the entry of Ebola virus as the disease spreads in African countries.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed recently that there is a Filipino worker being tested for Ebola virus infection.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that the Department of Health (DOH) screens people who manifest symptoms and also those who travelled to countries with cases of Ebola infections.

This screening process is a measure being carried out as an extra layer of precaution, she said.

Based on the advisory issued by the World Health Organization last month, people in countries with reported infections are barred from traveling abroad, Valte said.

"Nasasalo na po sila doon sa point of departure at may extra stringent measures naman po tayo dito pagdating po sa ating bansa," she added.

The DOH implements a very stringent testing process on people with suspected infection, she said. Following arrival in the country, the DOH monitors them for 30 days.

Health official would call them daily to check if they have developed symptoms of the Ebola virus, she said.

Valte allayed public fears saying the country's health personnel are trained enough to handle such emergencies.

"Katulad nang 15 na katao na umuwi noong nakaraang buwan na galing sa mga lugar na merong Ebola, negative naman silang lahat ayon sa naging resulta after the 30-day monitoring period," she said.

Filipino health authorities were also able to protect the country from MERS-CoV, a virus that originated in the Middle East.

The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever that affects multiple organ systems in the body and is often accompanied by bleeding.

Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. Patients eventually experience vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver functions -- and sometimes internal and external bleeding.

Ebola spreads through contact with bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, urine and other secretions of infected people.

It has no known cure and the virus posts more than 50 percent death rate.

Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria are the leading African countries with a high number of reported infections. PND (as)