12 August 2015

President Aquino inducts National Police Chief Ricardo Marquez, other Police Officials
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday administered the oath of office to 50 officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP), led by newly appointed chief Director General Ricardo Marquez, during a simple ceremony at Rizal Hall in Malacañang Palace.

President Aquino also swore into office Deputy Director General Danilo Constantino, who was among the contenders for the top PNP post; two officials of the PNP-Special Action Force – Police Director Moro Virgilio Lazo, who was appointed as new SAF chief last March, and Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño, who was named officer-in-charge of the elite force following the Mamasapano encounter last January; PNP spokesperson Wilben Mayor and former police spokesperson Wilfredo Franco.

Also included in the oath-taking were Police Director Dominador Aquino Jr., Police Director Christopher Laxa, Police Director James Andres Melad, Chief Superintendent Ulysses Abellera, Chief Superintendent Arnold Albis, Chief Superintendent Roberto Aliggayu, Chief Superintendent Ramon Apolinario, Chief Superintendent Noel Armilla, Chief Superintendent Pablo Francisco Balagtas, Chief Superintendent Allen Bantolo;

Chief Superintendent Eddie Benigay, Chief Superintendent Pierre Bucsit, Chief Superintendent Joel Victor Canapi, Chief Superintendent Vert Chavez, Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz, Chief Superintendent Federico Dulay Jr., Chief Superintendent Teresita Dumlao, Chief Superintendent Rolando Felix, Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan, Chief Superintendent Rainier Idio;

Chief Superintendent Rudy Lacadin, Chief Superintendent Fernando Mendez, Chief Superintendent Jonathan Ferdinand Miano, Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana, Chief Superintendent Ramon Ochotorena, Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, Chief Superintendent Efren Perez, Chief Superintendent Alexander Pumecha, Chief Superintendent Robert Quenery, Chief Superintendent Nestor Quinsay Jr.;

Chief Superintendent Eric Serafin Reyes, Chief Superintendent Ronald Santos, Chief Superintendent Keith Ernald Siñgian, Chief Superintendent John Sosito, Chief Superintendent Alberto Supapo, Chief Superintendent Napoleon Taas, Chief Superintendent Rey Tang, Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio Jr., Chief Superintendent Cedrick Train, Chief Superintendent Orlando Ualat, Chief Superintendent Marietto Valerio Jr., Chief Superintendent Ericson Velasquez, and Chief Superintendent Ricardo Zapata.

Chief Superintendent Billy Beltran, acting secretary of the Directorial Staff of the Chief Directorial Staff, failed to make it to the ceremony.

The newly promoted PNP officials, together with their respective families, had a photo opportunity with President Aquino following the oath-taking ceremony. PND (jb)

President Aquino declares October 2015 to October 2016 as Centennial Year of the Senate
President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared October this year to October next year as the Centennial Year of the Philippine Senate.

President Aquino signed last August 7 Proclamation No. 1091, declaring October 2015 to October 2016 as the Centennial Year of the Senate of the Philippines.

The Philippine Senate will celebrate its 100th year anniversary on October 16, 2016.

“From being part of the bicameral Philippine Legislature under the Jones Law, it has become a revered democratic institution that consistently upholds the national interest, protects civil, political and human rights, and promotes transparency and accountability in public service,” President Aquino said in issuing the proclamation.

“It is timely and fitting to honor this institution’s history and contribution to economic development, social justice and political maturity, and its defense and promotion of democratic values,” he added.

The proclamation enjoins all departments, bureaus, offices, national government agencies, local government units, and government-owned or -controlled corporations to give their full support, assistance and cooperation in the observance of the Senate’s Centennial Year.

President Aquino also directed the Postmaster General to oversee the design, printing, and issuance of a special stamp commemorating the occasion. PND (co)

President Aquino orders all national government agencies to assist in the transition to Negros Island Region
President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed all heads of national government agencies, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, “to extend their full assistance” in the transition to the Negros Island Region (NIR).

The directive was issued through Memorandum Circular No. 81, signed by Executive Paquito Ochoa, Jr. on August 6.

Last May 29, President Aquino signed Executive Order No. 183, creating the Negros Island Region, composed of the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental.

The executive order provided for the creation of the NIR-Technical Working Group (NIR-TWG) composed of representatives of the Office of the President, Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, and representatives of the two provinces.

It also tasked the NIR-TWG to arrange the requirements for organizational development, staffing, and budgeting of regional line and regulatory agencies.

Under Memorandum Circular 81, all heads of national government agencies are directed “to extend full assistance to the NIR-TWG, in support of the required actions for transition to the NIR, subject to applicable laws, rules and regulations, as follows:

a. Undertake preliminary transition measures, including the designation of Interim Regional Directors, not later than October 1, 2015;

b. Complete transition measures by January 1, 2016, in time for the opening of the NIR;

c. Organize and/or establish Regional Offices (ROs), including ROs for attached agencies, in either Bacolod City or Dumaguete City, in accordance with the guidelines to be issued by the DBM, and until such time that the Regional Center is developed; and

d. Program the transfer of data and other assets of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental from Region VI and Region VII, respectively, into the new NIR.”

The memorandum circular shall take effect immediately. PND (co)

Palace issues Memorandum on commemoration of International Humanitarian Law Day
To mark the 66th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Convention, the Palace on Tuesday issued Memorandum Circular No. 82, commemorating International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Day.

The memorandum, signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., directed all officials and employees in all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the national government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and local government units, to actively participate in the observance of International Humanitarian Law Day on August 12.

The programs and activities in the observance of this year’s IHL Day, which carries the theme “Pagkilala at Pagpapahalaga sa IHL, Responsibilidad ng Lahat”, include the delivery of the message for IHL Day; the placement of 2015 IHL streamers in government offices and social media accounts; the holding of seminars by members of the IHL ad hoc committee; and a video presentation of the 2015 IHL video clip and International Committee of the Red Cross’ “IHL in a Nutshell”, to be launched at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) website.

All government agencies were requested to submit their respective narrative reports and photographs of their activities to the DFA for consolidation.

The Foreign Affairs Secretary in return will submit a report to the President, through the Executive Secretary, on the activities for IHL Day.

The International Humanitarian Law is a set of rules that seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects persons who are not or are no longer participating in the hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare. PND (ag)

2016 Budget not for election campaign, Palace official reiterates
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Wednesday assured that the proposed P3.002 trillion national budget for next year will be used to address the needs of the country and not for the election campaign.

The Palace official, during the daily press briefing at the Palace, made the assurance following insinuations that the government is funding the presidential bid of Interior and Local Government Secretary and Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II.

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate was reported to have questioned the sources of TV campaign ads of Secretary Roxas.

“The budget, especially in an election year, will always be an item they will use as an election issue,” Lacierda said, noting that the same issue was raised during the 2013 midterm elections.

“The Aquino administration is going to last only until the first half of 2016. That is a legacy budget. Because it’s election year, people will always say that it’s an election budget, but 2013 was also an election year. That was the 2013 budget. That was the same thing. But President Aquino has already mentioned we didn’t use the 2013 budget for the midterm elections. So I can tell you categorically that we’re not going to use the 2016 budget for the 2016 elections,” he explained.

With regards to Roxas using government funds for his presidential campaign, Lacierda said the interior secretary “has never been tainted with corruption” in his 20 years of public service.

“Do you think that he will, in his 20 years of experience, taint his name? Has he ever been accused of using government funds for a campaign?” the spokesman said.

Referring to President Aquino’s speech when he named Roxas as the Liberal Party’s presidential bet, Lacierda said Roxas had prohibited his own family from engaging in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which he promoted when he was still trade secretary.

“Secretary Mar Roxas has never used his position to advance a gain for his own family. In his 20 years of public service, he has never been tainted with corruption. He has always maintained his integrity. That’s also the statement of the President in his endorsement speech, and nobody has ever questioned him on his integrity, nobody has ever questioned his experience,” said the Palace official. PND (jm)