05 Mar 2016

Roxas’ steady rise on surveys will lead to victory, says Palace official
The administration is hoping that Mar Roxas, its presidential bet, would continue gaining momentum in the campaign and eventually win the May presidential election, a Palace official said.

Commenting on the latest Pulse Asia survey released on Friday, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office said the recent survey result is actually a statistical tie between the Vice President Binay, Roxas, and PDP-Laban bet Rodrigo Duterte.

“So what this tell us is that the race has tightened. Dikit dikit po lahat. In fact… No one can really be said in a major lead because dikit nga ang diperensya nung iba’t ibang mga kandidato,” Quezon told dzRB Radyo Ng Bayan in an interview.

“So this tells us that people are really thinking hard about their choices. And as Secretary Lacierda pointed out yesterday, this shows us that what may have been easier for some candidates in terms of coasting along on rhetoric has been cut down.”

He said that as people think harder and discern more, they become less susceptible.

“This is also tells us… we anticipate a breakthrough for the Daang Matuwid candidates.”

Asked whether the public now realized the need to understand the platform of governments of different candidates, Quezon said the good thing about the Roxas candidacy is his steady rise in terms of survey numbers.

“In this case, doon mo makikita yung pattern ng kanilang kandidatura. So as the campaign goes on, ang siguro dito malaki ang epekto ng mga debate, dahil nakikita sa debate sino ang may masustansyang sagot,” he said.

This shows that the voters are thinking and deciding based on the answers of candidates during debates, he noted.

Roxas got a 21 percent voter preference in a Pulse Asia survey released on Friday. Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay shared the top spot in the presidential preference poll, with 26 percent and 25 percent. PND (as)

Philippines impounds North Korean freighter based on latest resolution of United Nations
The government said it impounded the North Korean freighter Jin Teng being in Subic Bay Freeport based on sanction imposed by the United Nations after it carried out nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

Quoting an update reports from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said the Philippines has an obligation to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2270.

UNSC Resolution 2270 states that North Korean vessels such as the Jin Teng are subject to asset freeze by UN member states.

“So ang nangyari, ‘yung UNIO (United Nations and other International Organizations) office ng DFA coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard,” Quezon told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan in an interview Saturday.

“Ngayon, according to this clarification, sabi ng New York permanent mission natin, ang ibig sabihin ng asset freeze is that kailangan i-impound basically ang bapor na ‘yun.”

The ship will be impounded in the port and its crews will be deported to North Korea, according to Quezon.

A team from the UN might also come to inspect and the Philippine government will report to the UN on its actions after holding the ship, he added.

“Alam natin naabala ang daigdig sa mga nangyayari sa North Korea dahil sa mga nuclear weapons program nito at ang pagde-develop ng mga intercontinental ballistic missles at dahil dito nag-impose ng sanction ang United Nations Security Council,” according to Quezon.

“Bilang bahagi ng UN, meron tayong obligasyon na maki-isa sa mga sanctions na ito.”

The Jin Teng, carrying palm kernels, arrived in Subic from Palembang, Indonesia Thursday afternoon, just hours after the UN passed its latest sanction against the reclusive nation.
As a response, Pyongyang fired six short-range missiles into the sea on Thursday, while North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un ordered its nuclear arsenal put on standby for pre-emptive use. PND (as)

Palace affirms military assessment on presence of ISIS in the Philippines
Malacanang said it is standing by the statement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that there is no presence of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Mindanao despite the recent flare up of violence in the region in previous weeks.

There were reports quoting security analysts mentioning about growing ISIS’ presence in the country.

Countering those reports, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III on Saturday said in a radio interview: “Ayon kay General (Restituto) Padilla, there are no verified reports that local terrorists groups are getting support from the Islamic State.”

“Sinabi nga ni General Padilla: ‘Based on information at hand, there’s no presence of Daesh.’

“This has not been established; and that he said there’s no direct relation between the group here and the bigger terror group in the Middle East,” he told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

The job of the Armed Forces is to determine these security matters that concern the safety of the Filipino public.

The Armed Forces has proven its capacity in the past and the Palace believes that its assessment is correct, Quezon added.

The military reported this week that it has already taken control of the camp of the armed group Maute in Butig, Lanao del Sur after days of intense offensive.

The report said government troops overran the main camp of the armed group in Barangay Poktan, where the houses of Maute leaders, brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute, were located. PND (as)