29 January 2017

 Palace wishes Miss Universe candidate Maxine Medina good luck
Malacanan wished on Sunday the country’s Miss Universe candidate Maxine Medina the best of luck as she competes in the beauty pageant tomorrow.“Well, we hope for the best. What is important is that naramdaman ng ating mga kandidata sa Miss Universe kung gaano kaganda ang ating mga lugar sa Pilipinas at gaano ka-hospitable ang mga Pilipino,” Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

“So we’ll wait for that and we are all excited to wait and see. Of course, we wish our candidate, the Miss Universe candidate good luck.”

Asked if President Rodrigo Duterte would attend the Miss Universe pageant on Monday, Banaag said there is still no official Palace statement confirming the President’s attendance.

The Palace official also tackled other issues such as Mamasapano incident where 44 members of the Special Action Force died.

Banaag was hopeful that the Mamasapano commission announced by the President last week will be organized in the next few weeks.

“Hopefully, within a few weeks from now, the Mamasapano commission will be organized because the President would like to have a fast investigation,” she said.

She said that more or less, the reports done by several agencies and Congress are already complete and what the Commission would do is to polish other evidence to piece the whole picture of the Mamasapano incident.

Reporters also asked Banaag about the agenda of the President’s meeting with AFP and PNP officials in Malacanan. She said the President will surely give instructions to the police and military.

“Well, since the PNP and the AFP and ‘yung mga concerned agencies are — have a lot of issues lately, it is proper na ano — it is proper na the President would give direction to how to go about it and we know na istrikto si Presidente, he wants results fast. So he called on the meeting,” Banaag said.

With regard to the Catholic Church’s criticisms about the administration’s war on drugs, Banaag said extrajudicial killings are not state sponsored and the government is opposed to it.

She suggested that the church should propose solutions on how to solve the illegal drug problem in the country to help the government instead of making judgments and even attributing those deaths under investigation to the administration. 

“Mas maganda siguro na magtulungan or kung may ibang suggestion sila na mas magandang gawin about the problem then maybe it’s best to talk,” she said.###PND