04 June 2016

Government lines up activities for this year’s Independence Day celebration
The public could join several activities during the Independence Day celebration this year such as job fair and medical and dental missions, the Palace said on Saturday.

In a radio interview, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said the Philippine Information Agency, which represents the Presidential Communications Operations Office, had joined the preparatory meetings for the celebration spearheaded by NHCP.

Among the activities at the Rizal Park on June 13 include a job fair organized by DOLE, Diskwento Caravan of the DTI, and free medical and dental mission of the DOH.

“At ang ating ahensya, Philippine Information Agency ay magtataguyod ng Pasig River at Escolta Tour para sa publiko sa Miyerkules, Hunyo 8,” Coloma told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Coloma also said the public should wait for further announcements from the Historical Commission of the Philippines.

With regards to President Aquino’s activities during the Independence Day celebration, he said the President will lead the traditional Vin d’Honneur for the diplomatic corps at the Malacanang Palace.

The Vin d’Honneur will be held in the morning of June 12, he said. PND (as)

Government strives to secure release of abducted Davao Oriental police chief
The government said it will do everything to secure the release of the chief of the Governor Generoso police station who was abducted by NPA rebels following an attack on their police station in Davao Oriental.

In a press conference, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he is no longer interested in rescuing the abducted cop due to his connections to illegal drug activities.

Chief Inspector Arnold Ongachen was taken captive by the group of rebels who attacked the Governor Generoso police station in Davao Oriental Sunday evening.

In a radio interview Saturday, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said he is not aware of Duterte’s comments but the government he said is sticking to the statement by the Philippine National Police.

“Ang batid ko yung ay pahayag ng ating Philippine National Police at ang opisyal, ang posisyon ng PNP ay patuloy nilang sinisikap na mapawalan o ma-rescue o maalis sa pagkabihag ang mga police officers natin dahil hindi naman makatwiran at labag sa batas ng Republika ang pagkuha sa kanila at ito ay sisikapin nating maisagawa sa mga nalalabing araw ng Aquino administration,” he said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

The NPA said the police station was attacked due to the demand of the local residents to seek punishment for the protectors of illegal drug activities in their municipality.

The Governor Generoso Police Station has served as a gateway for illegal drugs to be circulated in Davao Oriental, the rebels said.
The locals also complained that policemen have been protecting land-grabbing activities of prominent families in the province, the group added. PND (as)

Acting AFP chief to talk terrorism in Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore
Acting AFP chief Glorioso Miranda will be discussing terrorism today during his participation to the Shangri-La Dialogue being held in Singapore, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said on Saturday.

Miranda will be one of the speakers during the 15th security summit in Singapore and he will be talking about the country’s experiences on jihadi terrorism, Coloma said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

“Mayroon kasing session hinggil sa pagtugon sa banta ng jihadi terrorism sa Asya. Siya ay nasa programa, na isa siya sa mga resource persons. Ibabahagi niya yung karanasan ng Pilipinas sa bagay na yan,” he said during the radio interview.

Asked to comment on China’s statement saying the Philippines is seeking to negate its sovereignty in the South China Sea by describing Taiping Island as a reef and not an island in its arbitration court case, Coloma said it is better to just wait for the ruling of the international arbitral tribunal due this year.

“Mainam siguro dahil binanggit nila na yan ang bahagi ng inihain nating petisyon, mainam na hintayin na lang ang pagpasya kasi meron namang takdang panahon kung saan ay naihain natin ang ating mga isyu at marapat lamang hintayin na lang natin ang pagpapasya ng international court,” he said as a response.

“Sa lahat ng pagkakataon… ay mapayapa ang ating intensyon, ang ating approach ay rule-based at diplomatic,” the Palace official said noting the Philippines has no bad intentions towards other countries.

“Tumatalima tayo doon sa Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Kasama din naman niyan ang People’s Repubic of China at ang iba’t ibang bansa ng ASEAN.”

The South China Sea issue is expected to be the focal point in the well-attended security summit with much attention focusing on China’s island-building activities in the contested water. PND (as)