January 05, 2016 – News Releases
|05 Jan 2016|
|President Aquino attends wake of former Land Transportation chief Virginia Torres|
|(PANIQUI, Tarlac) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Tuesday paid his last respects to former Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Virginia Torres, who died last Saturday (January 2).
The President arrived at the Torres residence in Baltazar Subdivision here at 3 p.m. He stayed for 20 minutes and had a chat with the Torres family.
Torres, a friend of the President, suffered a heart attack and died at 2 a.m. last Saturday at The Medical City Clark in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
President Aquino was informed of Torres’ death while he was vacationing at the Presidential Mansion in Baguio City, where he spent New Year’s Eve.
Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. also visited the wake on Tuesday afternoon.
Torres, 62, will be laid to rest on Saturday (January 9) at the Lapaz Memorial Park, in Lapaz, Tarlac.
The President appointed Torres as LTO chief in 2010. She served the agency until her retirement in October 2013.
Prior to her appointment as chief of the LTO, Torres headed the LTO in Tarlac. PND (as)
|Palace assures security measures in place for the Feast of the Black Nazarene|
|Malacañang on Tuesday assured that security measures are in place for the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Saturday (January 9.)
Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said all police units are ready to ensure security during the annual feast.
“Puspusang naghahanda ang ating pambansang kapulisan sa pangunguna ng Philippine National Police, National Capital Region Police Office, si Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, at ang Manila Police District,” Secretary Coloma said during a press briefing at the Palace.
“Nakalatag na ang mga plano nila. Handang-handa na ang mga na-assign na police,” he added.
He noted the improvement in the performance of the country’s police force in terms of security preparations for major events, citing the successful visit of Pope Francis a year ago and the holding of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit last November.
“Kaya makakaasa tayo na lahat ng kahusayan at dedikasyon sa trabaho na ipinakita nila, iyon din ang kanilang ibubuhos para tiyakin ang seguridad ng ating mga mamamayan at lahat ng mga deboto ng Poong Nazareno,” the Palace official said.
Millions of devotees of the Black Nazarene are expected to flock to Quiapo this week to mark the annual feast.
The image of the Black Nazarene is scheduled to be brought to the Quirino Grandstand on Friday for the vigil.
On Saturday, the image will be brought back to Quiapo Church in a procession, which has traditionally been marred by injuries and deaths.
Police have assured that they would continue to monitor any possible threat to the security of devotees. PND (jb)
|Malacañang hails Sandiganbayan decision on Marcos and associates’ illegal acquisition of forestland|
|The Palace on Tuesday welcomed the decision of the Sandiganbayan on the 28-year-old behest case against the Marcoses and their co-accused, former Environment Minister Teodoro Peña and businessman Alfonso Lim, in connection with the illegal acquisition of vast forest areas for their logging business.
“The judgment rendered by the Sandiganbayan is a significant win for the Filipino people in the long-term effort to recover assets that had been illegally acquired during the dictatorship by known cronies of then President Ferdinand Marcos,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement.
“The PCGG will implement the decision once it attains finality,” he added.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) have won the ill-gotten wealth case against the Marcos family and their associates that has been in the court for nearly three decades.
In a 35-page decision promulgated last December 18, the Sandiganbayan Second Division granted the PCGG-OSG petition for recovery of unlawfully acquired assets filed on July 30, 1987 against former President Ferdinand Marcos, former First Lady now Ilocos Norte Congresswoman Imelda Marcos, former Minister of Natural Resources Teodoro Peña, and businessman Alfonso Lim, Sr. and his son, Alfonso Lim, Jr.
The PCGG-OSG alleged that Lim, taking advantage of his close ties with the Marcoses, obtained vast forest areas for his logging companies well beyond the limits imposed under the 1973 Constitution.
In November 1986, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported that Lim simultaneously held, operated and managed seven separate timber concessions with a total area of 533,880 hectares.
The maximum allowable concession area for a timber license then in effect was only 100,000 hectares.
The Sandiganbayan decision quoted the DENR report as saying that the ownership and acquisition of vast tracts of forestland well beyond the allowable limit “is certainly unfair, unacceptable, and unconstitutional by any standard”. PND (as)
|Palace: Foreign Affairs Department closely monitoring situation in Middle East|
|Malacañang on Tuesday assured that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East in light of mounting tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the government is ready to carry out its contingency plan to provide assistance to Filipinos there, if needed.
“Masinsing tinututukan ng DFA sa pamamagitan ng mga Embahada at Consulada ang sitwasyon sa Gitnang Silangan bunsod ng tensyon sa pagitan ng Saudi Arabia at Iran,” Secretary Coloma said during a media briefing at the Palace.
“Nakahanda ang pamahalaan na isagawa ang nararapat na hakbang upang pangalagaan ang seguridad ng ating mga kababayan sa nabanggit na mga lugar,” he added.
Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran have escalated following Riyadh’s execution of prominent Shi’ite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, which sparked outrage across the Middle East.
“Mayroon tayong umiiral na emergency procedures. Batid natin merong Alert Level 1, Alert Level 2, Alert Level 3 at Alert Level 4. Sa kasalukuyang administrasyon ay nagkaroon tayo ng iba’t ibang karanasan,” Coloma said.
“Kung maaalala natin ang pagpapalikas ng ating mga kababayan sa Egypt; naganap din ito sa Libya. At nakikipag-ugnayan din tayo sa iba’t ibang mga Embahada at Consulada ng ating mga kaibigang bansa,” he said.
Secretary Coloma said the government has contingency measures in place in case oil prices rise due to the growing tensions between the two major oil-producing countries.
“Meron din tayong pananaw na sa pangmatagalan ay kinakailangang mabawasan ang ating dependence on imported oil at kasama rin ito doon sa kabuuang estratehiya ng pagpapababa ng greenhouse gases,” he said.
“Ang ating nais, katulad ng ibang bansa, ay ang pag-iral ng katahimikan at estabilidad sa rehiyong iyon. At tayo ay isang importanteng stakeholder sa stability ng Middle East.”
Coloma noted that more than 2.5 million Filipinos are living and working in the Middle East, with more than one million Filipinos in Saudi Arabia. PND (co)