January 26, 2015 – News Releases
|26 January 2015|
|President Aquino inspects explosion site in Zamboanga City|
| (ZAMBOANGA CITY) President Benigno S. Aquino III on Sunday inspected the site of the explosion here in Zamboanga City that killed two persons and wounded 52 others on January 23.
President Aquino, accompanied by some Cabinet officials, inspected the blast site near a bus terminal, located along Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat (MCLL) Highway in Barangay Guiwan.
Prior the inspection, the Chief Executive was briefed by Western Mindanao Command Commander Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero upon his arrival at Edwin Andrews Air Base on Sunday morning.
Also present at the briefing were National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco.
After the closed-door security briefing, President Aquino and the Cabinet officials headed to the explosion site. The President also visited various hospitals in the city where some of the wounded in the blast were taken.
Later in the day, President Aquino also inspected the facilities of Zamboanga City Jail, which has currently a population of 1,496. PND (co)
|President Aquino visits survivors of Zamboanga City blast|
| (ZAMBOANGA CITY) President Benigno S. Aquino III visited the survivors of explosion that rocked the city and left two persons dead and 52 others injured on January 23.
The visit was conducted on Sunday afternoon after President Aquino’s inspection of the site of the explosion, located along Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat (MCLL) Highway in Barangay Guiwan.
President Aquino was accompanied by National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, and Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco.
President Aquino headed to the explosion site after a closed-door security briefing. From the blast site, the President proceeded to various hospitals where some of the wounded were taken.
The Chief Executive first went to Zamboanga Peninsula Medical Center where five people injured in the blast are confined, including a policeman, SPO1 Sanzibal Bahari.
The President also visited other survivors who were confined at the Western Mindanao Medical Center, Zamboanga City Doctors Hospital, Ciudad Medical Center, and Zamboanga City Medical Center.
One of them is Kenmark Cabayacruz, a 20-year old student, who suffered a major injury and is at Zamboanga City Medical Center.
During the hospital visits, President Aquino had a brief interaction with the blast survivors.
They received financial assistance from the President. They also received P5,000 cash and a guarantee letter for the hospital bill from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
President Aquino, accompanied by Cabinet officials, also visited the wake of Reynaldo Tan, 39, and Dennis Valiente, 37, who died in the blast, at La Merced Memorial Homes.
Apart from financial assistance from the President, the families of those killed in the explosion also received P5,000 cash and a guarantee letter worth P10,000 for funeral fees from DSWD. PND (co)
|President Aquino’s family commemorates Cory’s 82nd birthday|
| A mass was held on Sunday to commemorate the 82nd birthday of the late president Corazon C. Aquino.
“Sa araw na ito ginugunita ng buong sambayanan ang ika-82 kaarawan ni Pangulong Corazon C. Aquino, ang kinikilalang isa sa mahahalagang haligi ng panunumbalik ng demokrasya at kalayaan sa ating bansa, matapos sumailalim sa mahigit isa’t kalahating dekada ng batas militar,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Sunday during an interview aired over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
“Nagsilbi siyang inspirasyon at tagapagbuklod ng iba’t ibang sektor at kilusan sa pagbabagong-tatag ng isang demokratikong republika pagkatapos ng mapaniil na diktaduryang umiral sa bansa,” he added.
The President’s sisters, Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee, Maria Elena Aquino-Cruz and Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada, attended the 5 p.m. mass held at the Manila Memorial Park and officiated by Fr. Catalino Arebalo.
President Aquino, who was in Zamboanga City to visit the survivors of the explosion that killed two people and injured 52 others, and sister, Kris Aquino, were not able to attend the mass.
An earlier mass offered by the Yellow Ribbon Movement was attended by former senator Rene Saguisag.
Cory Aquino served as the 11th President of the Philippines, and was the country’s first woman to hold that office. She was also Asia’s first female president.
She led the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled the 20-year authoritarian rule of then president Ferdinand Marcos.
She was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and died peacefully on August 1, 2009 at the Makati Medical Center at the age of 76. PND (ag)
|High-value terrorist ‘likely’ killed during encounter with police in Maguindanao, says Palace|
| A high-value suspected terrorist linked to Jemaah Islamiyah was “likely” killed during Sunday’s law enforcement operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, a Palace official has said.
“On Sunday, 25 January 2015, the PNP Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) conducted a law enforcement operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao to arrest a high-value suspected terrorist, Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, who was allegedly a member of the Markaziyah, Jemaah Islamiyah’s central command,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press briefing in Malacañang on Monday.
“The PNP-SAF performed this mission with courage and professionalism. Based on latest reports, there is a high likelihood that the primary target, Marwan, has been neutralized,” Coloma added.
Coloma further said that according to the AFP, a ceasefire was enforced starting 5 p.m. on Sunday.
“By 7 p.m. last night, the AFP had initiated retrieval operations in coordination with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), the international monitoring team and the Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities. Retrieval operations are still ongoing,” he said.
Coloma noted that the Department of Social Welfare and Development has been mobilized to give assistance to at least 200 families affected by the ongoing operation in Maguindanao.
In a separate press briefing, the PNP confirmed that some 43 members of the SAF died and 11 were injured during the encounter with members of the MILF.
The police were in the area to arrest Malaysian terror suspect, Marwan, and Filipino bomb-making expert, Abdul Bassit Usman, who have been blamed for terror attacks in Mindanao.
In the same briefing, Secretary Roxas said they would only confirm Marwan’s death once the DNA results are released.
Media reports have quoted Secretary Gazmin as saying that Bassir Usman had escaped during Sunday’s operation. PND (ag)
|Government will continue to push for Mindanao peace process despite Maguindanao incident, says Palace official|
| The government will continue to push for the Mindanao peace process despite Sunday’s encounter between the police and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said on Monday.
“Ang pananaw ng pamahalaan ay hindi nagbabago. Mahalaga ang peace process sa Mindanao, mahalaga ang pagpasa ng Bangsamoro Basic Law at patuloy pa ring itinataguyod ang prosesong pangkapayaan,” he said during a press briefing in Malacañang.
Some 43 members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) died and 11 were injured during the encounter with members of the MILF.
The police were in the area to arrest Malaysian terror suspect, Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, and Filipino bomb-making expert, Abdul Bassit Usman, who have been blamed for terror attacks in Mindanao.
Asked about the announcement earlier made by chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government, Senator Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos, that he will stop Senate consultations regarding the Bangsamoro Basic Law due to the incident, Coloma said this is the Senate’s prerogative.
“Karapatan naman po ng Senado ang pagtatakda ng mga pagdinig hinggil diyan. Nauunawaan natin na dahil sa ulat hinggil sa napabalitang insidente sa Maguindanao kahapon ay hahanap ng paliwanag ang ating mga mambabatas tungkol sa ano ba talaga ang naganap. Kaya’t nauunawaan naman namin ang kanilang hakbang na tinukoy,” he said.
“Ganunpaman, ay patuloy pa rin ang pagtataguyod natin ng prosesong pangkapayapaan at ang pagtingin sa posibleng pagsasabatas ng Bangsamoro Basic Law dahil ito ay mahalagang hakbang sa prosesong pangkapayapaan,” he added.
The government and the MILF signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro on March 27 last year, in an effort to end the decades-long conflict in Mindanao.
The draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law is currently being discussed in Congress. PND (ag)