given fair day during deliberations, says Palace
Groups wanting to oust the President through impeachment were given an
opportunity to make their case in Congress but their move did not prosper,
the Palace said on Tuesday.
"The Committee on Justice of the House, after a thorough review of the
allegations in terms of its substance, has dismissed the complaints against
the President," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a
statement on the dismissal of the impeachment cases against the President.
"We take note that the process took place with transparency, not just
according to the rules, but to give the proponents every opportunity to make
their case," she said.
The Justice Committee of the House of Representatives on Tuesday trashed the
three impeachment complaints against the President after the cases were
found insufficient in substance.
With a vote of 54 against each complaint, the three complaints were
dismissed separately by lawmakers. Only four votes favored each of it.
The first two complaints stemmed from President Aquino’s Disbursement
The third complaint is over the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with
the United States. The agreement seeks for a greater American military
presence in the country. PND (as)
President Aquino wants detailed report on Golan
President Benigno S. Aquino III wants a comprehensive
report on last week’s incident in the Golan Heights that will serve as the
basis for future deployments of Filipino peacekeepers, a Palace official has
The Filipino peacekeepers will stay in the Golan Heights until they complete
their tour of duty next month, Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. of the
Presidential Communications Operations Office said in a press briefing in
Malacañang on Tuesday.
"The Philippines is committed to fulfill its commitment to the United
Nations Disengagement Observer Force or UNDOF," he said.
He said the President has instructed the Department of National Defense and
the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prepare a report on the events of
last week as a guide for future policies and actions in similar situations.
Some observers have demanded that the UNDOF commander in the Golan Heights
be investigated for putting the lives of the Filipino peacekeepers in
Coloma said this is why the President had asked for the report so that there
will be a clearer perspective.
The President has expressed his satisfaction and has commended the Filipino
peacekeepers who were courageous and determined in the face of the Syrian
rebel attack, Coloma said.
Syrian rebels harassed camps manned by Filipino soldiers in the Golan
Heights, demanding they surrender their weapons. The soldiers however
refused, resulting in a stand-off.
The Filipino soldiers eventually escaped following several hours of gunfight
and have since been transferred to a safe location.
Asked when the government could come up with a revised system of deploying
Filipino peacekeepers, Coloma said it will be an ongoing study, considering
that there is already an announced policy decision to complete the current
tour of duty.
He said the policy is the same for Filipino peacekeepers deployed in Liberia
-- to complete the engagements based on the country's commitment to the
Filipino peacekeepers in Liberia will also complete their tour of duty next
month, he said.
Concerns over the safety of peacekeepers have been growing due to the
changing security landscape overseas as well as the spread of diseases that
pose health risks to peacekeepers.
Prior to last week's attack on Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights,
some of the soldiers were wounded when bombs and munitions fell on their
camp. A few months ago, a number of peacekeepers were also kidnapped by
In West Africa on the other hand, the spread of the Ebola virus threatens
the Filipino soldiers maintaining peace there, prompting the government to
consider their pullout from the region. PND (as)
Office of the Solicitor General presents
After the appointment of new Solicitor General Florin
Hilbay last month, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) now presents
its roster of solicitors ready to serve as government counsels.
Outgoing Solicitor General, now a Supreme Court justice, Francis Jardeleza
joined Solicitor General Hilbay and the solicitors of the OSG for a photo
opportunity with President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Palace Monday.
All of the solicitors of the OSG were bar top-notchers, recruited by
Jardeleza, who was a 1974 bar top-notcher himself. Solicitor General Hilbay,
who graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law Batch
1999 was the 1st placer in the 1999 Bar Examinations.
The solicitors are:
Associate Solicitor Denise Dy-Flores, Ateneo de Manila University School of
Law Batch 2008, 7th placer 2008 Bar Examinations;
Associate Solicitor Luz Danielle O. Bolong, Ateneo de Manila University
School of Law Batch 2011, 2nd placer 2011 Bar Examinations; Associate
Solicitor Christian Louie C. Gonzales, University of Santo Tomas College of
Law Batch 2011, 5th placer 2011 Bar Examinations;
Associate Solicitor Ivan M. Bandal, Siliman University Batch 2011, 6th
placer 2011 Bar Examinations; Associate Solicitor Irene Marie P. Qua, Ateneo
de Manila University School of Law Batch 2011, 8th placer 2011 Bar
Examinations; Associate Solicitor Ma. Graciela D. Base, University of the
Philippines College of Law Batch 2012, 5th placer 2012 Bar Examinations;
Associate Solicitor Nielson G. Pangan, University of the Philippines College
of Law Batch 2013, 1st placer 2013 Bar Examinations; Associate Solicitor
Rudy V. Ortea, University of Batangas Batch 2013, 3rd placer 2013 Bar
Associate Solicitor Tercel Maria Mercado-Gephart, University of San Carlos,
5th placer 2013 Bar Examinations; and Associate Solicitor Manuel Elijah S.
Sarausad, University of Cebu Batch 2013, 6th placer 2013 Bar Examinations.
The Office of the Solicitor General is an independent and autonomous office
attached to the Department of Justice.
The Solicitor General is the principal law officer and legal defender of the
The OSG represents the government, its agencies and instrumentalities, and
its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding, or investigation on
matters requiring the services of lawyers. PND (as)
Draft Bangsamoro Basic Law in final stages of
refinement, peace adviser says
The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is currently in
the final stages of refinement and it will be submitted to Congress before
President Benigno S. Aquino III leaves for Europe and the United States next
"The draft BBL is now undergoing final stages of refinement. By the estimate
of the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) panel and Bangsamoro Transition
Commission chair Mohagher Iqbal, the draft bill is now 99.99 percent done,"
Presidential peace adviser Teresita Deles said in a statement on Tuesday.
The presidential review of the draft Bangsamoro basic law was completed
almost two weeks ago, based on the President's comments.
Both the government and the MILF panels have held discussions and exchanges
of notes, and the results were also submitted to the President, Deles said.
The government and the MILF signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the
Bangsamoro last March, aiming to end the decades-long Muslim separatism in
Once the BBL is passed by Congress, a plebiscite will be held and a
transition authority will be created prior to the holding of an election
synchronized with the 2016 elections.
President Aquino has vowed to push for the holding of a fair and democratic
election in 2016 that will elect leaders of the newly created Bangsamoro
region. PND (as)
President Aquino orders investigation on bomb threat in
NAIA Terminal 3
President Benigno S. Aquino III has ordered the
Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
to investigate the bomb threat at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)
“Inatasan na ng Pangulo ang Department of Justice at NBI na magsagawa ng mas
malalim na pagsisiyasat hinggil sa insidente sa NAIA Terminal 3 Lunes,”
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr.
said during Tuesday’s press briefing.
Coloma said that according to the DOJ, the four suspects arrested over the
incident have undergone an inquest investigation.
“Ang nais lang nating sabihin sa kasalukuyan ay wala namang malubhang
ligalig na dapat umiral dahil sa insidenteng ito. Sa pagkawari ng ating
Pangulo at ng pamahalaan ay nasabat ang anumang panganib na maaaring idulot
ng pangkat na ito, kaya nga’t masusing pinag-aaralan ang implikasyon ng
naganap kahapon,” he said.
NBI agents on Monday arrested four men caught with improvised explosive
devices inside a white Toyota Revo with plate number WMK-129, parked in
Parking B in NAIA-3.
According to reports, the suspects apparently wanted to call the attention
of the government regarding its stance on the country’s territorial dispute
with China. PND (ag)
Palace: Gilas Pilipinas can still make it,
let us support them
Malacañang is hopeful that the country’s Gilas
Pilipinas basketball team could still qualify in the round of 16 in the 2014
FIBA World Cup in Seville, Spain.
“Patuloy nating suportahan ang kampanya ng koponang Gilas Pilipinas sa 2014
FIBA World Cup Basketball Championship. Tunay na kahanga-hanga ang
ipinapakitang husay at tapang ng mga manlalarong Pilipino bagamat ang
kalaban nila ay higit na malaki at matangkad na mga manlalaro,” Presidential
Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during
the daily press briefing on Tuesday.
Coloma said he believes that Gilas Pilipinas’ performance has been
impressive despite its three straight losses under Group B.
In its first game against Croatia, the Philippine team lost during overtime,
81 – 78. In the second game, Greece defeated the team, 82 – 70, while in
game 3, Gilas lost to Argentina, 85 – 81.
In Group B, the Philippines (ranked 34 by FIBA) and Puerto Rico (ranked
17th) now share the bottom of the bracket, each having three losses.
Greece (ranked 5th) is in the lead with three wins, followed by Argentina
(3rd), Croatia (16th) and Senegal (41st), all three sharing the second spot
with 2 wins and 1 loss.
The Philippines has waited four decades to reenter the FIBA World Cup
“Kapag nagwagi ang Gilas Pilipinas sa kanilang huling dalawang laro, may
pag-asa ang pangkat nating mabilang sa apat na koponan mula sa Group B na
magtutunggali sa susunod na bahagi ng kompetisyon—ang Round of 16, na
susundan ng Quarter-finals, Semi-finals, at Finals sa paraang knockout o
direct elimination,” Coloma said.
He added that with the impressive performance of Gilas Pilipinas, hopes are
“Hindi naman kahiya-hiya ang performance natin…siguro para sa aking mga
kapwa basketball fans dito sasang-ayon kayo sa assessment na marami tayong
dahilan para mag-cheer sa Gilas Pilipinas,” Coloma said. PND (ag)
Government agencies agree on measures for immediate decongestion of
Port of Manila
Members of the Cabinet cluster for port decongestion,
during a meeting on Tuesday morning, agreed on measures for the immediate
decongestion of the Port of Manila, a Palace official has said.
In a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, Presidential Communications
Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the President
prioritizes the immediate resolution of the problem of congestion in the
Port of Manila.
The cluster meeting agreed that effective September 8, all cargoes cleared
by the Philippine Ports Authority and Bureau of Customs will be given five
days to pull out of the Manila ports or they will be shipped out by the
government to the Subic and/or Batangas ports.
It also agreed that effective October 1, all cargoes that have been cleared
by port authorities but have failed to pull out within the prescribed
five-day period will be charged a fine of P5,000 a day.
Coloma further said that the meeting reached a resolution on the
implementation of a 24-hour last-mile truck routes for two weeks.
"Ang isang susi dito kasi ang pag-operate ng mga truckers kapag araw ng
Linggo at Lunes ng umaga, so they can maximize the utilization of the
24-hour last-mile truck routes," he said, adding that the government will
give incentives to truckers who will operate on Sundays.
These truckers will be tagged by the Metropolitan Manila Development
Authority (MMDA) so they can use the 24-hour last-mile truck routes, he
said, explaining that with the last-mile routes, truckers can complete their
trip, even during the truck ban.
Truck routes that will be open 24/7 include the Roxas Boulevard and Quirino
Avenue truck lanes going to the south and the A. Bonifacio C3 to NLEX truck
lanes going to the north.
The Cabinet cluster for port decongestion is composed of the respective
heads of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of
Transportation and Communication, Department of Finance, Department of Trade
and Industry, the National Economic and Development Authority, and the MMDA.
Joining them during Tuesday’s meeting were the respective heads of the
Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Land Transportation Franchising and
Regulatory Board, and the Bureau of Customs. PND (as)
Department of Energy calls for drafting of
regional energy plans
In response to the President’s instruction for him to
ensure that the growing need for energy is met, Energy Secretary Carlos
Jericho Petilla has called for the drafting of regional energy plans that
would secure energy supply across the country.
“The need for regional energy planning is essential for us to explore
potential energy sources and promote energy security across the nation,”
Secretary Petilla said in a statement issued Tuesday.
During his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last
August 28, President Benigno S. Aquino III noted that despite its efforts to
ensure that the increasing demand for energy is met, the government has to
prepare for power plant breakdowns and maintenance, the El Niño weather
phenomenon and other “unforeseen events."
“We want to be completely ready so that we can
avoid paralysis if the worst-case scenario arises. The goal: to have planned
solutions for problems that will not arise until next year,” he said.
During the presentation of the Palawan Power
Situationer and Outlook, Petilla said that for the province of Palawan, the
Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded 25.08 megawatts of Renewable Energy
projects and has pending applications for 5 megawatts of projects and 1.7
megawatts of potential renewable energy sites. Most of these projects use
solar and hydro power.
The biggest project is the 10-megawatt Puerto Princesa City Solar Power
Project, which was awarded to Enfinity Philippines Renewable Resources Inc.
He further said that for the province of Mindoro, the DOE has already
awarded 189.3 megawatts worth of renewable energy projects, the biggest of
which is the 48-megawatt Puerto Galera Wind Power Project of the Philippine
Hybrid Energy Systems Inc.
Mindoro has 47.1 megawatts of potential renewable energy and 151.2 megawatts
of potential biomass energy resources, owing to its extensive farmlands.
Pitkin Petroleum operates Service Contract 53 to explore the island’s gas
reserves, estimated at 76.36 billion cubic feet.
Petilla said the Palawan Energy Plan is undergoing review by the Energy
Planning and Policy Bureau, while the Mindoro Island energy development plan
is still being drafted.
The energy plans for Palawan and Mindoro are
scheduled to be released by the last quarter of this year and January 2015,
respectively. PND (ag)