27 Feb 2016

Social Welfare Department will assist evacuees displaced by Lanao encounters
Malacañang has assured that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will assist communities affected by the ongoing military operations in Butig, Lanao del Sur province.

It was reported that people have fled from conflict areas and some of them have lost their livelihood.

In a radio interview on Saturday, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said he will let the Armed Forces release information on the ongoing operation.

“You can be sure that in the refugee areas and mga areas where ang mga kababayan natin are finding refuge, mga evacuation centers, that the DSWD will be there and the various LGUs (local government units) upang mabigyang lunas ang kanilang paghihirap sa panahon na ito,” he told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

“And it is only through the achievement of peace na makababalik ang mga kababayan natin sa kanilang mga tahanan upang hindi lang bumalik ang katahimikan kundi para manatili ito,” he added.

Undersecretary Quezon said they are also glad that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been coordinating with the military as it repositioned its troops to give way to military operations and avoid misencounters.

“There have been many successful cases where the MILF has shown good faith and has cooperated with the authorities, precisely to avoid untoward incidents and let us give them their due in this regard,” Quezon said.

Asked to comment on strong indications that the fighters in Butig are influenced by the ISIS, he said it is difficult to make a conclusion. He however noted that they will let the Armed Forces inform the public about this. PND (as)

President Aquino to lead transfer of President Quirino’s remains to Libingan ng mga Bayani
President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday will lead the transfer of the remains of the late president Elpidio Quirino from the South Cemetery in Makati City to the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.

“The President, on behalf of the nation, will be leading the ceremonies at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said during a radio interview on Saturday.

“President Quirino will be the third president to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, joining President (Carlos) Garcia and President (Diosdado) Macapagal,” he told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

February 29 (Monday) will be Quirino’s 60th death anniversary, according to Quezon.

Born in 1890, Quirino was elected to the Philippine Congress in 1919. He was part of the independence mission to Washington that freed the Philippines from American control in 1934.

He served as vice president under Manuel Roxas, becoming president upon Roxas’ death in 1948. For six years, Quirino oversaw postwar reconstruction. His administration however suffered from corruption. PND (as)

Palace appeals for speedy resolution of Zamboanga broadcaster’s killing
Malacanang condemned the killing of a Zamboanga broadcaster appealing to the public to support a thorough investigation of the case for its immediate resolution.

It was reported that UNESCO chief Irina Bokova condemned the killing of Elvis Ordaniza, a Zamboanga Del Sur journalist.

Asked to comment on the Ordaniza killing, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said it is always a cause of grave concern and great outrage that journalists should die for doing their jobs.

“In these cases, we should bear in mind that there is a task force that has been setup and that we can point to cases moving faster,” he told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan on Saturday.

Media killings like the case of Ordaniza requires thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“So let us all call for and support the thorough investigation of this terrible tragedy to ensure that a case that is water tight is filed,” Quezon said.

“And let us also appeal dahil at the end of the day even the best investigation will only take you so far.”

But Quezon also said that the case is already in the disposition of the court and the executive branch can do nothing about the pace of the litigation in the court.

“There have been many instances when we have all been waiting for justice and a resolution dahil mabagal ang proseso sa korte at independiente po ang mga korte, walang magagawa ang pamahalaan doon,” the Palace official said.

“And it requires our constant appeals to the judiciary in a respectful but firm manner to bear in mind that justice delayed is justice denied.”

Ordaniza was very critical against the proliferation of prohibited drugs and illegal gambling and police suspected that he was gunned down because of his stand against drugs and gambling.

Elvis Ordaniza, 49, works for the dxWO Power 99 FM of the Times Broadcasting Network based in Pagadian City.

Police said Ordaniza was gunned around 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, February 16, at Purok Bagong Silang in the village of Poblacion, Pitogo in Zamboanga Del Sur. PND (as)