17 July 2015

President Aquino greets Muslim community on Eid’l Fitr
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday greeted Muslim Filipinos on the occasion of Eid’l Fitr, which marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

In his message, President Aquino joined the country’s Muslim community in celebrating Eid’l Fitr, expressing hope that the activities during Ramadan have strengthened their faith.

“Today, we gather for the culmination of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Eid’l Fitr, to commemorate the time when Allah, the Merciful and the Compassionate, revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). We celebrate this festival to thank Allah for His kindness and generosity in giving to us His word, that we may be guided in the ways and truth of purpose towards paradise,” the President said.

“It is my hope that the activities during Ramadan strengthened your faith, even as the feast that now follows, nourishes and rejuvenates both your body and spirit,” he added.

President Aquino noted that the country is closer to achieving genuine and lasting peace and development for the people of Mindanao.

“This occasion comes at a most auspicious time when our country is finally nearing its goal of achieving genuine, lasting peace in Mindanao. Like your festival, this is the much awaited end to a long, protracted period of reflection, sacrifice, and rediscovery of the values that our nation and our people cherish,” he said.

The President also hoped that through Ramadan activities, the Filipinos would “emerge better citizens and devotees of God”.

“May peace and unity prevail over our lands and waters, as we proceed to the next chapter of our journey on the straight and righteous path towards a more equitably progressive future,” he said.

President Aquino declared Friday (July 17) a regular holiday in celebration of Eid’l Fitr. PND (co)

Palace reiterates President Aquino’s stand on Charter Change
President Benigno S. Aquino III will not support any move to change the Constitution that would lift the term limits of the country’s leaders, as he has always maintained, a Palace official said Friday.

“The President has reservations about lifting term limits,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a text message to the media.

“He has expressed this many times, as lifting term limits opens the door to dictators, who can abuse the resources of the State to stay in power — which was precisely the concern of the framers of the 1987 Constitution.”

Valte further said that doing away with term limits would also make it easier for families inclined to build political dynasties to perpetuate themselves in power.

In a separate text message, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said removing the limits of the tenure of elected officials would open up possible abuses of power, such as what happened during the Marcos dictatorship.

“Ang term limit ay isinabatas dahil sa katuwirang maaaring abusuhin ang pinalitang sistema, tulad ng naging karanasan sa diktadurya,” he said.

“Pinakamahalaga ang nag-iisang termino ng Pangulo at kailangang marinig ang tinig ng mga Boss hinggil dito.”

Vice President Jejomar Binay has said he wants the term limits of elected officials to be lifted, allowing them to govern for as long as the people support them.

Under the present Constitution, the President could not seek reelection after a six-year term. PND (as)

Palace spells out President Aquino’s considerations for Presidential bet
In choosing who he would endorse in next year’s presidential election, President Benigno S. Aquino III will consider this candidate’s capability to continue the administration’s reform programs and unquestionable integrity, a Palace official has said.

“The primary consideration of the President is the continuation of the reforms he has set in place during his term. It is imperative that good governance must continue to enable Filipinos to reap its benefits,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a text message sent to the media on Friday.

“Anyone willing to continue this must be honest, with unquestionable integrity and capable of competently facing the challenges that come with being President,” said Valte, who is still in The Netherlands.

Valte is part of the Philippine government’s delegation attending the hearings of the Arbitral Tribunal at The Hague regarding the case the country has filed against China on the West Philippine Sea issue.

President Aquino said in an event in Camp Crame on Thursday that he is close to announcing the candidate he will support in next year’s election.

He said is pleased to find that a number of qualified people could succeed him as chief executive when he steps down from office next year.

The President had a six-hour meeting with Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero and Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II on Wednesday night.

The main goal is to ensure the continuance of the country’s transformation so that more people would benefit from a more progressive Philippines, he said.

President Aquino also noted that he will continue to meet with different people and organizations in the coming days to know their pulse.

He is expected to announce his presidential bet after his state-of-the nation address (SONA) on July 27.

Based on recent surveys, Senator Poe is the front runner among the possible presidential candidates, while Senator Escudero tops the possible contenders for Vice President. Secretary Roxas is the Liberal Party’s presumptive presidential candidate. PND (as)