05 MARCH 2013.

bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) Aquino declares March 8 as special non-working day in Compostela Valley in celebration of 15th Foundation Day
bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) President Aquino appoints Contreras as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals
bulet-arow.gif (856 bytes) Palace says Sabah standoff not a stumbling block to ASEAN integration

Aquino declares March 8 as special non-working day in Compostela Valley in celebration of 15th Foundation Day
 
President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared March 8, which falls on a Friday, as a special non-working day in the province of Compostela Valley in celebration of its 15th Foundation Day.

The Chief Executive issued the declaration by virtue of Proclamation No. 553 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on February 21, to give the people of Compostela Valley the full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occassion.

The province, called Comval for short, used to be part of Davao del Norte until it was made independent in 1998 by virtue of Republic Act No. 8470. The law was subsequently ratified through a plebiscite conducted in the 22 municipalities of the province. PND (js)

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President Aquino appoints Contreras as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals
 
President Benigno S. Aquino III has appointed Roxas City regional trial court (RTC) judge Edward B. Contreras as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals (CA), a Palace official said.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda announced the appointment of Contreras during the regular press briefing at Malacanang on Tuesday. Contreras replaced Associate Justice Abraham I. Borreta.

Born in Panay, Capiz, Contreras obtained the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1979 from the University of the Philippines-Iloilo. In 1987, he graduated Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sto. Tomas. He was admitted to the Bar in 1990.

His career in the Judiciary started when he worked as Pasig RTC court interpreter from 1984 to 1986. He served as the confidential assistant at the CA (1988 -1989) and court attorney at the Supreme Court (1990-1993).

Contreras was appointed as the provincial administrator of the Capiz Provincial Capitol from 1993 to 1997. He was designated as the Presiding Judge of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court from 1997 to 1999 and the Municipal Trial Court in Cities-Roxas City from 1999 to 2002

Contreras served as presiding judge of the Roxas City RTC Branch 17 since 2002 until he was named as CA Associate Justice. He taught corporation law at Filamer Christian College from 1996 to 1997 and Administrative Law at the Colegio dela Purisima Concepcion from 2001 to 2002.

The Chief Executive also appointed Julianito G. Bucayan Jr. as Transportation and Communications Undersecretary, co-terminus with the appointing authority.

He obtained the degree of Bachelor of Science in Applied Science (major in Operations Analysis) from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, United States of America (USA) in 1985 and Master of Science in Computer Science from the Ateneo Graduate School in 1995.

He worked as Division Head of the Information Systems Division, Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association (June 2008-June 2011), Department Head/Assistant Department Head, Management Information Systems Department, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)-Retirement and Separation Benefits System (June 1998-May 2008), member of the Technical Working Group, Philippine Navy Modernization Board (Sept. 1996-June 1998) and the Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Intelligence, AFP-Philippine Navy (1993-1998).

He served as the vice president of Business Development, Philcox Philippines, Inc. from July 2011 until his appointment to the Department of Transportation and Communications. PND (js)

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Palace says Sabah standoff not a stumbling block to ASEAN integration
 
The Aquino administration doesn’t see the ongoing standoff in Lahad Datu in Sabah a hindrance for the realization of a single community by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by December 2015.

The regional grouping agreed last year during a summit in Cambodia to realize the ASEAN Community by 2015.

President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak have been in touch with each other on the Sabah crisis and both are working to resolve the issue at the soonest possible time, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday.

“Hindi po magiging sagabal ito [Sabah]. Nakita natin at the highest level, nag-usap na si Prime Minister Najib at saka ang Pangulong Aquino. Hindi namin ito nakitang isang obstacle,” Lacierda told reporters.

Lacierda said the administration doesn’t believe the Sabah issue would be an obstacle to the ASEAN's goal of achieving a single community by 2015.

The President’s perspective is much broader and he cares not only for the 180 people holed up in Lahad Datu, the Palace spokesman said.

“He cares not only for the 800,000 Filipinos in Sabah, he also has to be concerned with the interest of the 95 million Filipinos here in the Philippines. We have a national interest to protect and to promote.”

The ASEAN Community will be based on three pillars, namely, a security community, an economic community and a socio-cultural community. PND (as)

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