March 26, 2015 – News Releases
|26 March 2015|
|President Aquino signs law postponing sangguniang kabataan election|
| President benigno s. Aquino iii has signed into law the postponement of the sangguniang kabataan election to the last monday of october 2016, malacañang announced on thursday.
The president on wednesday signed republic act (ra) no. 10656, entitled “an act postponing the sangguniang kabataan elections to the last monday of october 2016,” which amends ra no. 9164, entitled “an act providing for synchronized barangay and sangguniang kabataan elections”, and ra no. 7160, otherwise known as the “local government code of 1991”.
The sangguniang kabataan election was originally scheduled on october 28, 2013. Pnd (ag)
|President Aquino confers Order of Sikatuna on Korean Ambassador Lee Hyuk|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday afternoon conferred the Order of Sikatuna to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines Lee Hyuk during the latter’s farewell call, held at the Music Room of Malacañang Palace.
Ambassador Lee received the prestigious Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu (Grand Cross, Gold Distinction) for his important contributions in further strengthening and deepening the foundation of the friendly and comprehensive bilateral relations between the Republic of Korea and the Philippines.
The Korean envoy was honored for his outstanding and dedicated service in the field of international relations and for having been an exceptionally worthy and competent representative of his government to the Philippines.
Ambassador Lee was also recognized for his valuable efforts in facilitating the various cooperation agreements in the fields of defense between the Department of National Defense and the Korean Ministry of National Defense; and sports between the Philippine Sports Commission and the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; as well as various exchanges of notes for the grant of aid and loan projects in the Philippines. The Korean diplomat’s immediate assistance to the Philippines during times of natural disasters, particularly the deployment of more than 500 members of the Araw Unit in Leyte to assist in the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) was also acknowledged.
The Order of Sikatuna, established in 1953, is conferred by the President of the Philippines to give recognition to individuals who have rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the Philippines and to diplomats, officials and nationals of foreign states who have rendered conspicuous services in fostering, developing, and strengthening relations between their country and the Philippines.
The awarding ceremony was attended by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, and Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, Jr.
Also present were Korean Embassy Consul General and Deputy Chief of Mission Lee Jaw Wan, Political Minister Counselor Kwon Won-jik, and Economic Minister Counselor Yang Dong Han.
Ambassador Lee earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Korea University. He was appointed envoy to the Philippines in September 2012. PND (jm)
|President Aquino leads Philippine National Police Academy’s 36th graduation rites|
| (SILANG, Cavite) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday led the 36th commencement exercises of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), challenging the graduates to use the education they got from the academy to perform their jobs excellently.
“Bilang mga pulis, malalagay kayo sa sitwasyon kung saan nakasalalay sa inyong pagkilos at pagpapasya ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan, pati na ang sarili ninyong buhay at ng inyong kasamahan,” he said in his message to the graduates.
“Inaasahan ko na gagamitin ninyo ang inyong pagsasanay at lahat ng natutunan dito sa PNPA, hindi lang upang magtagumpay ang inyong mga misyon, kundi upang mapangalagaan ang kapakanan ng bawat isa.”
The President spelled out the reforms that his administration has carried out for the police force, the Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology these past years.
He noted that improving the well-being of the country’s policemen would enable them to perform their duties properly in ensuring the welfare of the people.
“Ang nangyayaring transpormasyon sa inyo pong mga hanay ay bahagi lamang ng malawakang pagbabagong nagaganap sa ating lipunan,” he said.
“Bibigyan ko ng diin: Pagbabago ang ipinangako ko sa inyo, at pagbabago ang inaani natin ngayon,” he said, pledging that government reforms will continue under his administration.
As Filipinos unite to continue these reforms, slipping back to the old system, where abuses and wrongdoings were rampant, will not happen, he said.
This year’s PNPA graduates are fortunate because the PNP is now far more modern and more complete in terms of equipment, the President said.
“Ang hamon po sa inyo: Sundan, kung hindi man higitan, ang mabuting halimbawa ng mga nauna sa inyo,” he told the graduates.
“Sa bawat kriminal na inyong mahuhuli, sa bawat suhol na inyong tatanggihan, at sa bawat pagpapakita ninyo ng tapang sa panahon ng sakuna, makakapag-ambag kayo sa higit na kaligtasan ng kalakhang lipunan.”A total of 246 PNPA cadets graduated on Thursday. Some 225 of them will join the Philippine National Police, 11 will go to the Bureau of Fire Protection, and 10 will join the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. PND (as)
|Strong economy, good governance improve country’s public safety, says President Aquino|
| (SILANG, Cavite) Economic resurgence, coupled with efficient governance, has given the government greater opportunity to improve the country’s police force, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Thursday.Addressing the graduates of the Philippine National Police Academy on Thursday, the President said that when he assumed his post several years ago, the country had a less effective police force.
The members of the Philippine National Police then did not have enough and modern weapons to do their job effectively, he said.
“Sa ating pagtahak sa tuwid na landas, patuloy nating tinutugunan ang mga dinatnan nating kakulangan sa inyong hanay,” he said in his speech before the PNPA graduates.
“Ang hangad natin: lalong mapaunlad ang inyong kasanayan para sa tinaguriang ‘shoot, scoot, and communicate’.”
In 2014, he said, the government successfully addressed the backlog in pistols for policemen by purchasing 74,879 Glock 9mm pistols.
The President further said that the government has allocated P1.64 billion in this year’s national budget to fill 10,000 PO1 positions in the PNP.
With regards to the PNP’s Special Action Force, he said the police is carefully studying the lessons learned from the Mamasapano incident to minimize risks among policemen as they carry out operations.
“Daragdagan pa natin ang kanilang pagsasanay at kagamitan, at ibubuhos ang lahat ng pagkalingang nararapat [sa inyo] bilang isang elite unit ng PNP,” he said.
He also reported that the PNP’s Oplan Lambat Sibat has been able to reduce crime rate in the National Capital Region.
The PNP has recorded that the general criminality rate has decreased from 918 per week from January to June 2014 to a weekly average of 471 these past four weeks, he said.
Last week, the PNP was also able to reduce the general criminality rate to 400, he noted.
President Aquino challenged the PNP leadership to implement measures that will strengthen camaraderie among policemen by eliminating the culture of divisiveness within the police force.
“Ang hamon nga sa susunod na pinuno ng ating Pambansang Kapulisan: Maglatag ng plano upang higit pang mapagtibay ang pagkakaisa ng ating mga pulis. Baguhin na natin ang kultura na parang may magkakahiwalay na tribo sa PNP; may bata si ganito, may bata si ganyan. Iisa dapat ang ating paghakbang upang maging epektibong tagapagbantay ng ating mamamayan,” he said. PND (as)
|President Aquino appeals for public understanding over Mamasapano incident|
| (SILANG, Cavite) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday appealed for public understanding over the Mamasapano incident, maintaining that he was kept in the dark by people he trusted to carry out the January 25 operation.In his message to the graduating class of the Philippine National Police Academy, the President said police officials involved in the operation made him believe that Oplan Exodus was well-planned and the police commandos on the ground would be able to implement it with ease.
Noting that it was the last time he would talk about the tragic incident, President Aquino explained that there was no urgency in the text messages he received on the morning of January 25, leading him to believe that the Special Action Force commandos had successfully carried out their mission.
“Kung nalaman ko ito agad, sa tingin n’yo ba, hindi ako gagawa ng paraan para tulungan ang ating hanay?” he said.
No word would ease the pain and misery felt by those who have lost loved ones in the Mamasapano clash, he said, adding that all he could do is to appeal for understanding from the Filipino public.
“Sa bawat Pilipinong nabigo at nasaktan dahil sa mga pangyayaring kaugnay ng operasyong ito: buong pagpapakumbaba kong hinihiling ang inyong pang-unawa,” the President said.
He said that that regardless of the anger he felt for the disregard for the orders he had given, he could never erase the fact that the 44 SAF members had perished.
“Dadalhin ko—at uulitin ko po—dadalhin ko ang katotohanang ito hanggang sa aking mismong libingan,” he said.
As President, he said, he is fully responsible for any result—any triumph, any suffering, and any tragedy—that may be borne of his desire for lasting security and peace.
He also addressed accusations of insensitivity.
“Ikinalulungkot kong sa pagnanais kong bigyan ng espasyong magluksa ang mga makakakita, sa unang pagkakataon, ng nasawi nilang kaanak, ay may mga nag-isip na ako’y manhid at walang pakikiramay. Ang intensiyon ko noon ay makatulong sa paghilom,” he said.
The President also regretted that the Mamasapano incident has affected the peace process in Mindanao.
The President admitted that he is not without limitations.
“Opo, ako ang Pangulo, pero tao rin ako. Hindi ko kayang basahin ang iniisip ng bawat kausap ko, at hindi ko kayang mabantayan ang lahat sa lahat ng panahon,” he said.
He said it is his responsibility to ensure the welfare of 100 million Filipinos here and abroad and he cannot respond to their needs at all times.
The President however vowed to do what he can to protect the interest of every Filipino.
“Pero gaya po ng aking panata, patuloy kong gagawin ang tama at makatuwiran. Patuloy kong gagawin ang lahat ng aking makakaya upang paglingkuran ang lahat, at maging totoo sa aking sinumpaang tungkulin,” he said.
The President also pledged to respect due process and hold those responsible to account.
“Responsibilidad ko na itama ang mali kapag nadiskubre ang mga ito. Kaya sinisiguro ko po sa inyo: Nirerespeto natin ang tamang proseso. Mananagot ang dapat managot,” he said.
The Mamasapano clash killed 44 SAF commandos, 18 Moro Islamic Liberation Front combatants as well as several civilians.
The SAF commandos were on a mission to capture or neutralize Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and local terrorist Abdul Basit Usman.
However, as they were retreating, the police commandos clashed with the MILF, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and other armed groups, resulting in a huge number of casualties on the government’s side. PND (as)