April 22, 2016 – News Releases
|22 Apr 2016|
|President Aquino urges Batanguenos to support administration candidates|
|(SAN PASCUAL, Batangas) President Benigno S. Aquino III has called on the people of Batangas to support the administration’s candidates in next month’s elections.In his meeting with local leaders and the community here Thursday, the President emphasized the importance of voting wisely on May 9 to ensure the continuity of the government’s programs, aimed at improving the lives of the Filipino people, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and PhilHealth.
The Chief Executive also thanked the Batanguenos for trusting his leadership.
“Paano natin inabot ito? Dahil sa inyo. Bakit? Binigyan ninyo ako ng pagkakataon. Naniwala kayo doon sa iniisip natin at habang nanungkulan ako, panatag ang loob ko na maski anong hamon haharapin ko, nandiyan kayo sa likuran ko. Kakayanin natin maski anong hamon. Kaya ayan na po ang mga resulta,” President Aquino said during his speech delivered at the Municipal Hall covered court.
The President said some 86,999 households in Batangas are beneficiaries of the 4Ps while 2.4 million are members of PhilHealth.
He also mentioned the 4,087 classrooms constructed in the province and the allocation of P309.89 million for the health facilities enhancement program under the Department of Health.
The President said 162 companies are now operating in the province, thus providing job opportunities to Batangas residents.
He said Batangas was alloted P16.49 billion for infrastructure from 2011 to 2016, a huge increase compared to only P4.33 billion from 2005 to 2010. Included in the budget were farm-to-market roads and irrigation projects.
The President also noted that the towns of Balete, Lobo, Lipa and San Juan have been identified as sites for the intercropping testing program, aimed at increasing the income of coconut farmers.
“Ano po ‘yung intercropping? ‘Yung pagitan ng mga puno, tatamnan ng mais, tatamnan ng kape, tatamnan ng cacao at iba pa. Pag tinaniman po ng kape, tinataya mula 20,000, magiging 170,000 plus ang kita kada hektarya kada taon, ang layo sa 20,000. Pina-pilot testing na po ito at apat na lugar nga po dito sa Batangas ang kasama sa testing program,” he explained.
President Aquino reiterated the government’s commitment to help the Filipino people reach greater heights.
“Talagang nadadama na ho ninyo, talagang may malasakit kami sa inyong lahat. Ambisyon namin ang Isagad ang opurtunidad ng bawat Pilipino na talagang umangat sa kanilang estado sa buhay,” he said.
“Simple lang ho sa akin. Husgahan ninyo: Itong pagtahak natin sa Daang Matuwid pinakinabangan ba ninyo? Nagbago ba ang Pilipinas? Malayo na ba tayo sa ating dinatnan? Kung ang sagot ay ‘Oo’, dapat ho tulungan na natin si Mar at si Leni!” he said.
The event was attended by Paolo Gerardo Roxas, son of Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas; Jessica Marie Robredo,daughter of LP vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo; House of Representatives member Raneo Dabu of Batangas District 3; Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste; and San Pascual Mayor Antonio Dimayuga. PND (jm)
|President Aquino: Cutting ties with U.S., Australia not good for the Philippines|
|(LIPA CITY, Batangas) It would be difficult to imagine the Philippines cutting ties with the United States and Australia, as stated by a presidential aspirant, because they are major trading partners of the Philippines, as well as aid donors, President Benigno S. Aquino III said here Thursday.Presidential candidate for the May 9 election, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, has come under fire for saying that he is willing to sever ties with the US and Australia if he gets elected. He made the remark after envoys of the two countries reacted against the mayor’s controversial statement on the rape and killing of an Australian lay missionary.
President Aquino acknowledged that he did not read or hear the comment himself.
“Pero assuming ganun na ganun ang sinabi niya, ano ang pakinabang natin doon? America is a very big trading partner, always in the top three,” he told reporters during a media interview here after the inauguration of the Lipa-Alaminos Road.
“Australia has been helping us even in the peace process in Mindanao and he (Duterte) comes from Mindanao and I am sure he would want to have lasting peace in Mindanao,” he said, adding that the country also extends help in terms of training for livelihood projects.
One must ponder the value of severing ties with those countries, the President said.
“Ano ang value? Ngayon kung walang value, bakit mo gagawin? At kung ang sagot sa dulo, ‘Feel ko lang,’ baka dapat maintindihan ng taumbayan ‘yon,” he said.
President Aquino however said he trusts the discernment of Filipinos.
“Sa dulo, ulitin ko lang, tiwala akong marunong mag-desisyon ang taumbayan. So, obligasyon natin siguraduhin na ang desisyon nila ang lumabas sa balota,” he said. PND (as)
|President Aquino vows to punish masterminds of violent Kidapawan mass action|
|(LIPA CITY, Batangas) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday said he is awaiting the result of the investigation on the bloody dispersal of a rally of farmers in Kidapawan City, vowing that those responsible will be held accountable.In an interview with reporters here, the President said the farmers’ quest for government support in the midst of a severe drought in Mindanao should not have resulted in violence.
“Siyempre, nakikiramay muna ako doon sa namatay. Awang-awa ako sa lahat nang nasaktan,” he said.
He however noted that it appears that an organized group duped people from different places into believing that they will receive rice from the government by joining the mass action.
“Tila may mga nag-organize na talaga parang pinagsabong ang mga tao at balewala ‘yung buhay ‘nung lahat ng dinala nila doon. Iyon ang kailangan nating tugisin rin. Kung hindi man sila ang sole na may kasalanan, e malaki ang parte nila doon,” President Aquino said.
“Ulitin ko, ihiwalay ko ‘yung mga naengganyo, naudyok, naloko na sumama doon; at ‘yung kabilang grupo naman na nanloko, na nangengganyo, na nagplano nitong karahasan na ito para humantong na merong… Ginawa nila para meron silang isyung i-exploit.”
He said the Department of Justice has finalized the process to free those who were deceived into joining the rally, so they could go home.
Although there is still no comprehensive report, the President said he believes it was not justified for the protesters to block the main highway and attack policemen when they tried to send people home.
The actions of authorities to disperse the protesters were lawful since the activists did not secure permits for the rally, he said.
The President also dispelled the notion that his government did nothing to ease the suffering of the people as the El Niño weather phenomenon hit Mindanao.
Since last year, when El Niño was predicted to affect the country, the government began adopting the Roadmap to Address the Impact of El Niño or RAIN, he said.
He pointed out that under RAIN, the Department of Agriculture distributed seeds, fertilizer, and other soil ameliorants to affected areas.
The department also distributed equipment, such as those for drip irrigation, solar pumps, high-density polyethylene pipes, drums, pump, and open-sourced irrigation systems, he said.
He further said that the Department of Health released more than P2 million to its regional offices for the provision of drinking water containers, commodities, logistics, and water purifiers, while the Department of Trade and Industry monitored food supply and prices.
As quick support, he said, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributed 34,277 family food packs and implemented the cash-for-work program.
The Department of Labor and Employment also carried out cash-for-work interventions, benefitting 1,658 farmers region-wide, in coordination with the National Irrigation Administration and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Region 12.
The TESDA trained and certified 27,348 farmers on masonry to give them an alternative source of livelihood, he added. PND (as)
|President Aquino discusses May 9 polls, fight against criminals during security meeting|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday met with security officials in Camp Aguinaldo and tackled issues on how to ensure a peaceful election on May 9, as well as the government’s campaign against lawless elements.
“The security cluster meeting focused on continuing efforts to ensure peaceful and orderly elections and ongoing law enforcement operations against communist insurgents and other lawless elements,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement.
Prior to his meeting with security officials, the President attended the change of command rites of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the retirement ceremony for outgoing chief of staff, Gen. Hernando Iriberri.
Meanwhile, Secretary Coloma condemned the hacking of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) website, saying different government agencies are coordinating with the commission to strengthen its cyber security.
“Government strongly condemns the latest cyber-attack on the website of the COMELEC. Concerned government agencies, including the DOST-Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO), are closely coordinating with the COMELEC, to further strengthen its security protocols,” he said in a separate statement.
Although the recent attack has not compromised the integrity of the automated election system, he said the Palace shares the public’s concern on the ill effects of such breach.
“Government is determined to ensure that similar acts will not be repeated in the future and that the perpetrators will be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” he said. PND (as)
|President Aquino names Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda as Acting Armed Forces Chief|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday named Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda as Acting Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), replacing outgoing chief, General Hernando Iriberri.During the AFP Change of Command ceremony held at Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City, President Aquino lauded Gen. Iriberri’s service to the military.
“Sa panahong nakatrabaho natin siya, nakita natin ang propesyunalismo, husay, at matinding dedikasyong tatak ng sundalong Pilipino,” he said in his speech.
“Sa panahong tumindig na timon ng AFP si Gen. Iriberri, nadakip at na-neutralize natin ang high-value targets tulad ng Moroccan bomb instructor na si Mohammad Khattab, at si Maria Concepcion Bocala ng NPA (New People’s Army). Sa ating panunungkulan, tuluyan ngang natalagang ‘peaceful and ready for further development’ ang 52 sa 76 na probinsyang apektado ng panggugulo ng NPA. 21 sa 52 na probinsya, nadeklarang mapayapa sa termino ni Dodo bilang hepe ng Army at AFP,” he added.
The President also recognized Iriberri’s efforts for laying the foundation for ensuring a peaceful and clean election next month.
“Ngayon nga po, bagaman hindi na tayo makakapagtalaga ng Chief of Staff dahil sa mga pamantayan ng Saligang Batas, tiwala pa rin tayo na ang papalit kay Gen. Iriberri ay maipagpapatuloy ang maganda niyang nasimulan sa nalalabing mga buwan ng ating termino. Magiging Acting Chief of Staff si Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda, na kilala sa pagiging mapanuri at maparaan bilang strategist at sundalo,” he said.
President Aquino took the opportunity to thank every soldier, officer, reservist and employee of the AFP.
“Bilang Commander-in-Chief, talagang naging mapalad akong magkaroon ng mga katuwang sa DND (Department of National Defense) at AFP na tunay na sumasalamin sa pinakamatataas na ideyal na inaasahan ng ating lahi,” he said, thanking Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, all those who served as AFP Chief of Staff under his adminsitration, as well as former and present service commanders of the Philippine Army, Air Force, and Navy.
“69 days na lang at babalik na ako sa buhay pribado. Hindi ko nga maiwasang tanawin ang layo ng ating nilakbay sa Daang Matuwid, at ang masasabi ko sa lahat ng ito: Wala nang makakatapat pa sa karangalang ibinigay sa akin na maglingkod bilang inyong Commander-in-Chief at bilang Pangulo ng isang dakilang lahi, na araw-araw na pinatutunayang ‘The Filipino is definitely worth fighting for..,’” he said.
Iriberri, 56, has reached the mandatory age for retirement.
Both Miranda and Iriberri are members of the Philippine Military Academy’s “Matikas” Class of 1983.
Miranda has been serving as vice chief of staff since March. According to the AFP website, he served as the 26th Commander of the Northern Luzon Command in August 2015. He is a scout ranger, a paratrooper, an infantry and intelligence officer with commando training in the United Kingdom and Singapore. He has two master’s degrees – one in national security administration and another in business administration.
He is a recipient of The Distinguished Conduct Star, four Distinguished Service Stars, four Gold Cross Medals, and numerous other badges and awards from both military organizations and civilian institutions. PND (jd)