Friday, November 30, 2012

Legarda Lauds Philippines’ Vote on Palestine’s UN Recognition

MANILA, November 30, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda today welcomed the United Nations General Assembly decision granting non-member observer state status to Palestine and lauded the affirmative vote extended by the Philippines during the general assembly voting.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that the UN has taken a constructive move towards the fulfillment of a long overdue two-state solution that will hopefully lead to lasting peace, recalling that the Philippines was one of the countries that had supported the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 in 1947 that partitioned Palestine into two states toward achieving a solution to the conflict.

“It is time for the Israelis and the Palestinians to take constructive and progressive steps toward achieving lasting and meaningful peace,” she said. 

“Our own experiences have shown that peace is only possible if there is political will and the openness by parties concerned to resume negotiations on the basis of a shared desire to achieve lasting peace,” she added.

Legarda explained that by the said vote, the world community calls the attention of the parties to be guided by various UN Security Council resolutions, the Madrid principles, and other relevant agreements.

“It is time the parties resume direct negotiations. More than 160 deaths, mostly civilians have been recorded recently as violence broke out this month on account of rocket attack exchanges between Gaza and Israel.  A ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Group Hamas has recently been declared bringing a temporary end to the hostilities,” she pointed out.

“A more durable and just peace is needed for the sake of present and future generations of Palestinians and Israelis,” Legarda concluded.

Legarda Joins Call to Save Philippine Marine Turtles

MANILA, November 30, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda today joined the call to save the Philippine Marine Turtles or "Pawikan" at the 2012 Pawikan Festival held at the Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong, Bataan.

Legarda, keynote speaker at the event, remarked that the Pawikan is one of the oldest species that have survived to this day, and are among those that live the longest.

“Pawikans are majestic creatures found throughout the country. However, because of poaching, theft of their eggs for commercial purposes, and destruction of their habitat, they are in danger of becoming extinct,” she said.

“There is no denying that we have become the biggest threat to their existence and to the existence of many other species of animals,” she added.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, emphasized that the destruction of marine habitats means great losses for many sources of livelihood, including tourism, as well as depletion of food supply.

“I laud the local government of Bataan for their initiatives to protect, conserve, and rehabilitate the Pawikan population. Future generations will be thankful for the concerted action they have achieved,” she said.

The Senator also urged the people of Bataan to spread their advocacy to other communities in the Philippines, saying that we can and should reverse the trend, and stop those who are plundering the seas for their own gain.

“The environment is threatened by the times, by the pressures of modern society, by our very species. But let this be a challenge to harness science and involve our citizens. Let us take that one vital step forward for a safe and green environment for all,” Legarda concluded.


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