|25 Apr 2016|
|President Aquino orders intensified operations to rescue four hostages|
|President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed Acting Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief, Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda, and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director Ricardo Marquez, to conduct appropriate military and law enforcement operations to rescue the four hostages who were kidnapped from Samal Island last year, a Palace official said on Monday.Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Filipina Marithes Flor were abducted by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) from the Holiday Ocean View Samal Resort on September 21 last year.
The ASG has threatened to behead one of the hostages on April 25 at 3 p.m. if the government fails to pay the ransom demanded by the bandits.
“Maximum efforts are being exerted by a joint AFP-PNP task group to effect the rescue of four hostages who were kidnaped in Samal island after the ASG announced the possible beheading of one of its hostages. This follows intensified anti-ASG operations in Basilan and Sulu in recent weeks,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement.
Secretary Coloma said an estimated 400 Abu Sayyaf members and supporters are reportedly involved in the kidnapping.
He said the President also ordered local authorities to cooperate with the AFP-PNP Task Force.
“The local authorities are instructed to extend cooperation to the joint task group and ensure the safety of citizens in the affected communities,” said Coloma. PND (jm)
|President Aquino launches Listong Pamayanan and Listong Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Pampanga|
|(CLARK, Pampanga) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday launched the Listong Pamayanan and Listong Pamilyang Pilipino Program at the Grand Ballroom of the Royce Hotel and Casino Park here.
The new program of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is an offshoot of “Operation Listo”, which was launched in 2014, a few months after Typhoon Yolanda devastated Eastern Visayas.
“Sa pagpapatupad natin ng Oplan Listo, naging mas handa ang ating mga lokal na pamahalaan, gaya nang nanalasa si Bagyong Chedeng noong 2015, kung saan nagkaroon tayo ng zero casualty sa mga apektadong lugar sa Region 2 at Region 3, kasama na ang Pampanga, sa kabila ng pagtaas natin ng storm signals sa mga lalawigan dito,” the President said in his speech before local leaders and beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
“Ngayong araw, sa pamumuno naman ni (Interior and Local Government) Secretary Mel Sarmiento, inilulunsad natin ang dalawang bagong components ng Oplan Listo: ang Listong Pamayanan at Listong Pamilyang Pilipino,” he said.“Sa Listong Pamayanan, nagsasagawa tayo ng mga diyalogo kasama ang iba’t ibang stakeholders, at community simulation drills para sa tsunami at storm surge. Nandiyan rin ang Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, na nakatutok sa ating mga barangay, para alam nila kung paano at ano ang gagawin tuwing may kalamidad,” the President explained.
“Sa Listong Pamilyang Pilipino naman, katuwang natin ang DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) sa pamamahagi ng mga ‘Gabay at Mapa’, na nagsasaad ng mga dapat gawin sa panahon ng unos. Sa ilalim pa rin ng Listong Pamilyang Pilipino, ginagabayan ang mga pamilya sa pagbuo ng isang household plan, na tutukoy sa mga ligtas na lugar sakaling kailanganin ang agarang paglikas,” he added.
The President noted that Oplan Listo is only part of the government’s numerous efforts to respond to disasters, which include providing the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) with modern equipment, and implementing the Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment and the Flood Management Master Plan for Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan.
“Sa pagiging handa, nakakaiwas tayo sa peligro, sa halip na gugulin ang oras at pondo sa paglutas sa perhuwisyong dulot ng sakuna. Bakit hihintaying magdusa pa bago kumilos, kung puwede naman itong iwasan?” he said.
President Aquino also led the ceremonial turnover of the e-Balde, or Emergency Balde, which contained essential items to be brought during evacuation, such as ready-to-eat food, three gallons of water, medicine, first-aid and hygiene kits, clothes, flashlights, and radios.
Organizers of the event also mounted an exhibit on partner agencies’ disaster preparedness programs.
The program, which carried the theme Kahandaan at Kabayanihan, is being conducted in partnership with the DSWD, Department of National Defense, and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. PND (sm)
All content is in the public domain unless otherwise stated.
Learn more about the Philippine government, its structure, how government works and the people behind it.