Monday, February 25, 2013

Trillanes: Focus more on the character of the candidates

Reelectionist Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV is urging voters to be aware and discerning of the character and mettle of the candidates for the 2013 midterm polls to ensure that only deserving elective officials who can forward the country to national development are in the government.

“The power to choose our own leaders is given only once every three years – this is the essence of democracy. Kung kaya’t ito pong darating na halalan marami pong mambobola, maraming magaling magsalita, marami may black propaganda. Kaya kailangan magsusuri tayo ng maayos,” said Trillanes, who is running under the administration ticket Team PNoy.

Para masuri nating husto ang kanilang pagkatao, itanong natin: unang-una, sila ba ay may malasakit sa kapwa at bayan? Pangalawa, sila ba ay mapagkakatiwalaan na hindi mang-aabuso at mangungurakot? Pangatlo, sila ba ay kumakatawan sa inyong mga hinahangad para sa ating bayan? At higit sa lahat, sa panahon ng pang-aapi at pang-aabuso, maaasahan ba sila na tumayo at makipaglaban para sa inyong  karapatan? The advent of information technology and social media have given us voters the capacity to verify any claim made by any candidate. Thus, we must use this potential to our advantage and empowerment. We wield the information and we must translate this into our votes,” he said.

“Kung iyan po ang inyong mga batayan, makakasigurado po ako na wala na po kayong kandidatong pipiliin pa kung hindi ang mga kandidatong mula sa Team PNoy!” Trillanes added emphatically.

Trillanes has been one of the most productive senators with a total of 734 bills and resolutions filed during the 14th and 15th Congress, of which 30 have been passed into law. He also ranked second both in terms of the number of national bills sponsored in the plenary and number of committee hearings conducted.

Trillanes is currently the chair of the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization, the Senate Committee on Amateur Sports Competitiveness, and the Senate Select Oversight Committee on Government Procurement.

Trillanes added: “I urge voters to be vigilant and make sure that they only elect leaders who have the ascendancy to promote good governance. Tapat dapat sa mga mahihirap at sa paglaban sa kurap.”


MANILA, February 25, 2013-Team PNoy campaign manager Sen. Franklin M. Drilon on Monday/Feb. 25 dismissed allegations by the opposition that he was eyeing the Senate presidency in the 16th Congress.

 “I will not dignify those statements because I am not a candidate” Drilon said. “They are barking up the wrong tree,” referring to the pronouncements made by the United Nationalist Alliance campaign manager Rep. Toby Tiangco that Team PNoy’s dream of a 12-0 sweep was anchored on Drilon’s bid for the Senate presidency.

“We are more focused on presenting Team PNoy as a team which fully supports President Aquino’s platform of good governance which in turn has resulted in an improved economy and better social and health services,” he said.

The Team PNoy campaign manager said the issue in this election “is not Drilon.”

“The issue is whether we are for good governance. If they say otherwise, it’s up to them as long as they spell my name correctly,” he added.

In Iloilo Thursday Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel introduced Drilon as “the next Senate President,” triggering a conspiracy theory speculation from the opposition.

“For all intents and purposes, it is the members of the 16th Congress who will choose the next Senate President.” Drilon said.

“These are the issues in the campaign and the senate presidency in the 16th Congress is a question that the senators will decide upon as an independent body, since the Senate has been known for its independence by law and by tradition,” Drilon said.

“By law, the 16th Congress will have a new set of officers, both the Senate and the House will elect its officers with the new Congress council, who believers of the House and the Senate will be is a matter for each House in chair,” he added.

“Let’s just move on and instruct what the people are looking for and what this campaign is all about. And this campaign for the Team PNOY is a campaign on good governance. It’s a platform that we should carry on, until the end of the elections,” he said. 

Legarda Denounces Killing of Ati Leader, Harassment of Environmentalist

MANILA, February 25, 2013-Senator Loren Legarda today denounced the killing of a tribal community leader and the harassment of an environmental group as she urged police authorities to be more proactive and aggressive in identifying and arresting the culprits.

Legarda likewise called for visible police protection for indigenous and environmental groups, particularly their leaders, that are presently fighting for their rights and those of their communities.

“These incidents are causing apprehension to marginalized and advocacy groups and may have bearing on their struggle and aspirations for a better life,” she said.

She added that police investigators should not only look for the perpetrators of the crimes but should dig deeper and determine their motives. The authorities would be able to prevent similar incidents in the future by being proactive, she said.

Legarda added: “Halatang pananakot ito sa mga indigenous communities at sa mga lumalaban sa paglapastangan ng ating kapaligiran.”

The Senator is especially concerned over the killing of the tribal community leader, being at the forefront in promoting and preserving the culture of  indigenous communities as Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities.

Legarda is likewise a leading environmental advocate, shepherding the passage of environmental laws and policies and pushing for initiatives to protect the environment.

News reports said Dexter Condez, community organizer of the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization (BATO), was on his way home when he was shot with a 9-mm pistol in Sitio Lugutan, Barangay Manoc-Manoc in Boracay.

Before the killing, at least 20 armed men stormed the tribal group’s community and harassed the villagers, apparently in connection with the award to 40 families belonging to the BATO of a Certificate of Ancestral Domain by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. Several businessmen have reportedly questioned the legality of the granting of the certificate to these families.

In another incident, several armed men barged into the home of Dr. Isidro Olan in Carmen, Surigao del Sur, tied him and other family members up and ransacked the place.

Olan, Founding President and Executive Director of the Lovers of Nature Foundation, has been vocal against mining and logging activities in the towns of Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen, and Lanuza.

Legarda on People Power Anniversary: We Must Always Fight for Our Rights

Twenty-seven years after the historic People Power Revolution that brought back democracy in the Philippines, Senator Loren Legarda engaged Filipinos to continue to fight for human rights as they always have. 
“In 1986, millions of Filipinos joined a nonviolent revolution that awed even the world. We were able to regain our democracy through peaceful means. Today, we must continue to fight for our rights without trampling on the rights of others. We must support ways by which we can protect and uphold our democracy,” she said.
“We should promote the proliferation of a free market of ideas, thus we must protect our freedom of expression. We should encourage constructive criticism especially in public service so that leaders can effectively carry out their mandate, thus we must protect freedom of speech. We should ensure honesty, transparency and accountability of government officials, thus we must have the freedom of information,” Legarda stressed. 
Legarda, co-sponsor of the proposed People’s Ownership of Government Information (POGI) Act of 2012, explained that it is important for all government agencies to disclose information on public interest transactions, documents or records to erase doubts on the capability of the government to do its mandate of serving the best interests of the people.

“We must supply our people with information about the leaders they elected into office and of the businesses of government offices. This will certainly elevate the citizens’ trust and confidence in the government,” she said.
The Senator also stressed the value of freedom of speech and expression, which is why she proposed measures that would decriminalize libel and repeal the libel provisions of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
“The reasonableness of adopting a policy to prevent cyberspace pollutants from spoiling the minds of our people must not be done at the expense of our valued right to free speech. We must eliminate a chilling effect that may impose undue boundaries on our people’s exercise of freedom of expression,” said Legarda.


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