Friday, December 12, 2014

Legarda Urges Nations’ United Effort Towards Marine Conservation

MANILA-Senator Loren Legarda today said that nations should unite towards the protection of our high seas and the responsible use of marine resources.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, made the statement during the Regional Seminar on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction held at the Century Park Hotel in Manila on December 12, 2014.

The event was organized by the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), in cooperation with Greenpeace Southeast Asia and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“There is no question that marine biological diversity is enormously important for the Philippines and the world. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recognizes this importance and very early came up with a work programme on marine biological diversity. However, the CBD is fairly limited to national biodiversity,” Legarda explained.

“It is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS that governs the use of marine resources in the high seas. But when the UNCLOS was negotiated in the 1980s, we did not yet have the knowledge and insight we now have on marine biological diversity. Today, we need a new implementing agreement under UNCLOS,” she added.

The Senator noted that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations warns that about 80% percent of the world’s fisheries are already fully exploited, over exploited or significantly depleted. Moreover, the World Bank states that an estimated $50 billion worth of economic benefits are lost annually due to overfishing.

She added that in the Philippines, among the poorest in are those in coastal communities, with 4 of 10 coastal residents living under poverty line, despite the fact that the country is located within the coral triangle, at the center of the highest marine diversity in the world.

“This situation, along with the fact that the Philippines is considered an epicenter of biodiversity and evolution, demands special focus on marine conservation efforts. However, conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity should not be concentrated in individual countries alone,” said Legarda.

“Our nations are interconnected, and an ecosystems approach towards a more holistic, multisectoral, integrated and sustainable coastal management and fisheries, across countries, governments and communities will be beneficial to all,” she stressed.

“As different nations living in one planet, we need to unite towards the protection of our high seas and the responsible use of marine resources. We need an UNCLOS agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. We must act now and work together to find the much-needed balance in using the resources of our oceans and protecting its biodiversity,” Legarda concluded.

Ecija Mason loses P.2-M cash, gun to burglars

CABANATUAN CITY – A 63-year-old businessman who is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons lost P200,000 worth of cash, jewelry and his pistol when unidentified burglars broke inside his house in Guimba, Nueva Ecija Wednesday evening.
Senior Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, identified the victim as Angelo Mendoza, 63, of Barangay Sta. Veronica, Guimba.
The break-in was discovered at around 5:40 pm Wednesday.
Police Superintendent Renato David, Guimba police chief, said Mendoza left his house at around 9 am Wednesday and went to this city.
He returned at around 4 pm.
Mendoza told police that when he was about to change his clothes in his room, he noticed that his gold bracelet with a Mason logo and necklace placed on top of his drawer were both gone.
When he checked on his money worth P200,000 kept in his closet, he learned it was also missing as well as his Glock 40 caliber pistol placed under his bed.
Mendoza said all the doors of the house were locked when he left in the morning.

But when police came, they saw no signs of any forcible entry. – Manny Galvez

2 robbery-holdup suspects killed in shoot-out with Ecija cops

SAN JOSE CITY, Nueva Ecija – Two suspected hold-uppers who were believed behind the string of robbery-holdup incidents in northern Nueva Ecija victimizing businessman and collection agents were killed following a shoot-out with Nueva Ecija lawmen in this city Wednesday afternoon, police said.
        Senior Superintendent Crizaldo Nieves, provincial police director, identified those slain as Mark Popera of Cagayan De Oro City, and presently residing at Brgy. Cabucbucan, Rizal, Nueva Ecija and Jimboy Alayaay, of Siquijor province.
        They both died-on-the-spot from gunshot wounds.
        Nieves said the duo were responsible for the series of robbery-hold up incidents in San Jose City and in the municipalities of Llanera and Rizal, victimizing collection agents, delivery trucks, lending agents of Indian nationals and traders along the national highway.
        The suspects were also tagged for the robbery hold-up incident on November 26, 2014, at Purok 2, Barangay Porais here.
       The shoot-out broke out at around 4:25 pm Wednesday along the provincial road in Barangay Villa Joson here when joint operatives of the 3rd mobile platoon of the provincial public safety company led by platoon leader Senior Inspector Alexander Reyes and the San Jose City police led by Inspector June Sugay encountered the duo who were boarded on an unlicensed blue motorcycle after they just held up a sales agent and delivery truck driver and helper.
       Police Superintendent Manuel Hidalgo, city police chief, identified the victims as Danilo Bejica, San Miguel Corp. Sales agent and driver/helper Melfer Nening of Barangay Caridad Norte, Llanera.
       The victims then sought the assistance of the patrolling lawmen who established a checkpoint along the highway where they came across the suspects. But instead of surrendering, the suspects fired at the lawmen, triggering the firefight which led to the suspects’ death.
        Recovered from the suspects were one caliber .45 Remington revolver, one  magazine, one caliber .38 pistol with three empty shells and two live ammunitions.      
        Also recovered were four fired shells from M-16 Armalite rifle, three fired shells from a caliber .9mm pistol and three empty shells from a calibre 45, one pouch containing seven pieces of caliber .38 revolvers, P2,520 in cash and paraphernalia. – Manny Galvez

Drilon urges Palace: Decide on Purisima’s fate

MANILA-In view of the two major events to be held in the country next year – namely, the Papal visit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministerial Meetings – Senate President Franklin M. Drilon urged President Aquino to decide on the fate of embattled Philippine National chief Allan Purisima.

"In an organization such as the Philippine National Police where authority and leadership is strictly observed, Purisima's suspension from his post would turn it into a ‘headless’ body," said Drilon, a close ally of President Aquino.

“That situation is what we wanted to prevent, especially in light of the forthcoming hosting of the Philippines of two high-profile events next year which would require a full-time PNP chief to be on top of all security preparations,” stressed Drilon.

Drilon noted that the government will have its hands full with two main high-security events in 2015 - Pope Francis’ much-awaited visit to the country in January, and the series of APEC meetings to be attended by world leaders in the latter half of next year.  

Purisima is facing a six-month preventive suspension order issued by the Ombudsman.

According to Drilon, even if there is an officer-in-charge (OIC), it is inevitable that uncertainty caused by the suspension the PNP chief would ensue, emphasizing that an OIC has a limited power to effect changes and reforms in the PNP.

He said it will be in the best interest of the country if the leadership issue in the PNP will be “acted on and resolved immediately.” 

“The about 150,000 police force need to see and feel the presence, the leadership and the authority of their leader in order to inspire them to deliver their commitments to maintain a peaceful and an orderly community and nation,” Drilon said.

Lastly, Drilon said he believes that the controversy involving the PNP chief has negatively affected the Filipino’s view of the police and could undermine the way the people look at the seriousness of this administration’s anti-corruption agenda. 


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