Thursday, March 7, 2013

Team PNoy hails appointment of 2 Comelec commissioners

MANILA, March 7, 2013-The administration coalition Team PNoy on Thursday/March 7 welcomed the appointment of two new commissioners of the Commission on Elections as a step forward in ensuring that the Comelec’s efforts towards having a clean and fair elections in May is more achievable.

“We welcome President Aquino’s appointment of former Ambassador Macabangkit Lanto and election lawyer Bernadette Sardillo as replacements for retired Commissioners Rene Sarmiento and Armando Velasco as this now completes the commission's membership during this very critical period. We hope that their addition will now afford the Comelec enough manpower to carry out pending reforms to make the elections orderly, peaceful and credible,” Team PNoy spokesman Rep. Miro Quimbo said. 

The Marikina representative likewise said the appointment will allow the Comelec to carry out steps “towards making the elections truly balanced.”

“We trust that the new appointees will serve as instruments, not obstacles, to the government's pursuit of transparency and accountability," Quimbo said.

Team PNoy senatorial candidate former Sen. Jamby Madrigal also welcomed the appointments, noting the two commissioners will bring to the poll body fresh perspectives on election reform consistent with the President’s “daang matuwid” program.

“I am glad that the vacancies in the Comelec have been filled with people of integrity and competence. I trust that the Commission will do its best to ensure a clean and honest election this May," Madrigal said.
Former Sen. Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay meanwhile congratulated  Lanto and Sardillo on their appointments, saying they are welcome additions to the poll body.

“We are filled with optimism that, like the rest of the men and women of the Comelec, they will ensure that the mid-term elections will be clean and honest.

He advised the new appointees to be meaningful agents of change and work with a fair sound mind.

“We’re confident that they will contribute significantly to the Comelec’s conduct of clean, fair, orderly and peaceful elections in May as well as in future political exercises,” he said. 

Rule of law must be upheld in Atimonan incident, says Magsaysay

MANILA, March 7, 2013-Team PNoy Senatorial candidate Ramon Magsaysay Jr. on Thursday/Mar. 7 hailed President Aquino’s directive to the Department of Justice to file appropriate criminal and administrative charges against those involved in the January 6 incident in Atimonan, Quezon.

“President Aquino did the right thing in asking the DOJ to prosecute those involved in the Atimonan incident,” Magsaysay said, noting it clearly demonstrates his commitment to the rule of law.

“The rule of law must be upheld at all times,” he said, in reference to the incident which the National Bureau of Investigation found to be a rubout not a shootout. 

“The Aquino administration’s ‘daang matuwid’ is not only a war against corruption; it is also fighting abuses and human rights violations by the police and other law enforcement agencies. If the police commit abuses, then they must be held accountable for their actions,” he pointed out.

Agreeing with investigators’ findings of a summary execution, President Aquino on Wednesday ordered the filing of multiple murder charges against 35 police officers and Army soldiers over the Atimonan incident that left 13 people dead.

“No one in the PNP is above the law. They must all abide by their duty to serve and protect,” Magsaysay added.

Legarda Urges Women to Lead with Confidence, Serve with Compassion

MANILA, March 7, 2013-In celebration of Women’s Month, Senator Loren Legarda urged Filipino women to take on a more active role as leaders in the society as they continue to perform the role of serving their communities.

Legarda, who will attend the Philippine Women Judges Association’s National Convention in Palo, Leyte and the Women’s Congress in Baybay, Leyte, said that this year’s theme for the Women’s Month celebration, “Kababaihan: Gabay sa Pagtahak sa Tuwid na Daan”, underscores the need for women to be at the forefront of efforts to improve Filipino communities and take initiatives that would contribute to the nation’s progress.

“In celebrating Women’s Month, we aim to empower women so that they will have the confidence to lead and still have the compassion to serve. We must always assert what we believe is right and good for our citizens and for our nation,” the Senator stressed.

“Our government should invest more in strengthening women's role as leaders in our society because women have proven their leadership capabilities especially in times of crisis. There is no question on the importance of investing in women, and in getting them involved in decision-making, especially on issues concerning environment and climate change,” she added.

Legarda said that women have been at the frontline of disaster prevention and climate change adaptation efforts, like a group of women farmers in Montalban, Rizal who are practicing agroforestry to adapt to the prolonged wet season. Meanwhile, a group of women fisherfolk in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur reforested over a hundred hectares of mangrove areas to protect their settlements from storm surges and secure an additional source of food for their families.

“Climate change adaptation is just one area where women can prove that they are powerful agents of change. We must create meaningful opportunities for women’s participation and leadership. We should recognize and empower women, who are agents of solutions, indispensable holders of valuable knowledge and skills, and able leaders from the grassroots level to the global stage,” Legarda concluded.

Legarda: We Must Exhaust All Possible Means for Resolution of Sabah Conflict Without Further Bloodshed

MANILA, March 7, 2013-Senator Loren Legarda today said that the government needs to do everything it can to prevent further bloodshed in the on-going conflict between the Malaysian forces and followers of the Sulu Sultanate in Sabah.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, noting that Sultan Jamalul Kiram III has asked to speak directly with the President, said that “if by acceding to this request, a window of opportunity will be opened to end the bloodshed and the stand-off, then, the President should seriously consider this request. We should not be speculating what Malaysia’s reactions will be on matters that will be discussed during the meeting.”

“The situation demands that we exhaust all possible means, including an opportunity for the President to meet with Sultan Kiram. If our government is not willing to listen to them without pre-conditions, I wonder who will,” she added.

The Senator also urged the Malaysian government to allow the Philippine government to help Filipinos in Sabah who wish to return to the Philippines.

“We are asking Malaysia to provide a corridor by which non-combatants may return to the Philippines. We should not relent in pursuing this, but we should not abandon the rest of the Filipinos who are involved in the situation. We need to pursue all avenues by which we can avoid further loss of lives,” Legarda concluded.


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