27 June 2015

Palace extends sympathies to countries affected by terrorist attacks Friday
Malacanang extended its sympathies to friendly countries devastated by terrorist attacks on Friday adding that the Department of Foreign Affairs has already instructed its embassies in those locations to determine if there are Filipinos affected.

“Nakikiramay po tayo doon sa mga kaibigan po natin, doon sa ating mga kaibigang bansa na nawalan po ng kanilang mga mamamayan dahil po diyan sa mga pag-atakeng ‘yan,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“Kagabi po ay nag-overtime ang Department of Foreign Affairs. Inutusan na nila ‘yung ating mga embahada na mayroon hong jurisdiction doon sa mga lugar na ‘yon na siguraduhin kung mayroon nga ho bang Pilipinong nasangkot,” she told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan.

But based on the information at this time, Valte said there is still no report of Filipinos being affected by the attack in Tunisia and France.

In Kuwait, Philippine authorities are still checking if there are Filipino casualties in terrorist attacks there.

The ISIS group claimed responsibility for the attack on a seaside resort hotel in Tunisia on Friday that killed at least 38 people and wounded at least 36 others, many of them Western tourists.CNN reported that among the dead were at least five Britons, three Belgians, one German, and one woman from Ireland, citing reports from the foreign ministries of Britain, Ireland and Tunisia.

An unknown number of French nationals were also among the dead, according to the report.

In France, a man caused an explosion at a chemical plant after beheading his boss and leaving the head hanging on a fence.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for an apparent bomb blast at a Shiite-affiliated mosque in Kuwait during Friday’s prayers. The attack left at least 25 people dead and more than 200 injured. PND (as)

Palace asks support of Congress, judiciary to address human rights concerns
Malacanang rallied the support of Congress and the judiciary to address the Philippines’ biggest challenge in upholding human rights, as cited in an annual report released by the US State Department Thursday.

In a radio interview on Saturday, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that on the side of the executive branch, it always analyzes such reports by the US government.

“Sa Executive branch taon-taon tinitingnan naman talaga natin ang mga ganyang observations,” Valte said encouraging Congress and the judiciary to also take a look at the report.

Valte said the objective is to be able to work together in addressing the points of concern that have been raised by the US State Department report.

Cooperation is needed because there are observations and suggestions that are solved by either passing the necessary legislation, amending existing legislations, or addressing the judicial process, noted Valte.

For instance, the report suggested that the number of prosecutions must be enhanced, Valte said.

“Meaning, kailangan mas maganda ay tumaas ang mga numero natin dito and we are quite open to our colleagues in the other branches of government, so we can come together and work on these points of concern.”

The Palace official also made an assurance that the Philippines is solving the human rights situation in the country, especially in Mindanao.

Valte said the government is working to improve the situation in conflict areas, especially through peace initiatives, to once and for all achieve a lasting peace in the region.

Extrajudicial killings, delays in the justice system, corruption and abuse of power remain to be the country’s biggest challenge in upholding human rights, according to the annual report by the US State Department. PND (as)