04 July 2015

Palace announces new appointments
President Benigno S. Aquino III filled the last commissioner post under the Commission on Human Rights by appointing Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz for a term expiring on May 5, 2022, the Palace announced on Saturday.

In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Cadiz’ appointment was signed by the President on June 25, 2015.

Cadiz, 55, has a degree in Philosophy from the University of the Philippines and also has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines.

Currently, he is serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the North Luzon Railways Corp. and is also the executive director of Libertas.

The President also appointed on June 25 Tahir Sinsuat Lidasan, Jr. as Executive Director of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.

The chief executive also appointed on June 26 Renato T. de Guzman as member of the Board of Trustees of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

De Guzman, 65, is currently the senior adviser of the Bank of Singapore. He is formerly the chief executive officer of the Bank of Singapore, and also the former CEO of ING Asia Private Bank. He was also the previous Philippine country manager of ING.

Other appointees were Juan Miguel T. Cuna as Assistant Secretary under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Amadeo Jose C. Forteza III as deputy director of the Bureau of Corrections. Forteza’s appointment was signed by the President on June 25.

Under the Department of Budget and Management, the President appointed Dara Acusar as Acting Undersecretary. Acusar’s appointment was also signed by the President on June 25. PND (as) 

Palace hopes UN tribunal to favor Philippine position in territorial row with China
Malacanang expressed optimism on Saturday that the United Nations arbitral tribunal will rule in favor of the Philippines with regards to the jurisdiction issue on the South China Sea territorial dispute with China.

“We’re hoping because our team essentially prepared a strong case,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“We believe that we stand on firm legal grounds and we hope that the tribunal will look at our position with favor because, while some people say that it’s merely a jurisdictional issue, if the tribunal sees that it has no jurisdiction, then we cannot proceed,” Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan in an interview.

“We cannot even present the merits of our case. But we are confident on the Philippine position on this matter.”

Commenting on China’s position not to send any representative in the UN tribunal, Valte said its China’s decision to do so.

“That is their choice. We cannot dictate on another country’s position. We can only speak about ours. But they have already spoken that they choose—I think this has been said months and months ago—that they will not participate in the proceedings,” Valte said.

The members of the Philippine delegation with the exception of Senate President Frank Drilon are leaving for Amsterdam, Valte said.

The delegation will be meeting upon landing in Amsterdam to brief everyone of what is going to happen. The delegation will be observing the proceedings, she said.

Valte said they will try to share as much information as they can to the press although they don’t have much leeway in getting details, including taking photographs.

“I’m told that the photo taking is limited, but we will be sending daily bulletins upon clearance of the Executive Secretary at the end of the hearing,” Valte said.

The high-level delegation from the Philippines will be composed of top officials from the government coming from different branches. These officials will come from the executive branch, the legislature as well as from the judiciary.

The Philippines filed a case in the arbitral tribunal as part of its thrust to peacefully settle the territorial dispute with China.

Aside from the case filed at the tribunal, the Philippines is also pushing for the creation of a binding Code of Conduct in South China Sea in the ASEAN to resolve the territorial issue and ease tensions. PND (as)  

Malacanang advises public to be wary of the effects of Storm Egay
The Palace advised the public to monitor Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) daily bulletin with regards to the Tropical Storm Egay for its safety.

In a radio interview on Saturday, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte warned areas declared by PAGASA at Typhoon Signal No. 1.

Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that by monitoring PAGASA’s announcements, communities affected by the typhoon could do the necessary preparations.

Once PAGASA made an announcement, local government units (LGUs) have anywhere between 10 to 18 hours lead time to carry out preemptive evacuation, Valte explained.

Asked about the national government’s instructions to the LGUs, Valte said: “Kapag sinabi po ng PAGASA na ito na ang storm signal at binigyan na kayo ng abiso ay sumunod na tayo at gumawa na ng preemptive evacuation at ihanda na po ang mga assets natin.”

She also said that the regional offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development are also ready to release prepositioned relief goods should there be a need.

“Kasama po sa mga prepositioning natin ang mga gamot, galing po ito sa Department of Health at ihanda na rin po natin ‘yung mga clearing equipment kung kakailanin at siguraduhin po nating ligtas ang mga pagdadalhan po nating evacuation centers para naman po sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.

“Alam na po natin ‘yung proseso. Kailangan lang nating gumalaw nang mabilis kapag naibigay na po ng PAGASA ang abiso kung saan po dadaan at gaano po kalakas kung sakali ang bagyo.”

As of 11 a.m. Saturday, PAGASA reported that Tropical Storm Egay slightly accelerated and moves closer to Northern Luzon. Egay has maximum sustained winds of 85 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph, according to PAGASA.

Tomorrow morning, the weather bureau said the storm is expected to be 90 km East Southeast of Aparri, Cagayan, or over the Eastern coast of Cagayan. PND (as)