01 AUGUST 2009 .

PGMA orders 10-day period of national mourning for Cory PGMA joins nation in mourning over Cory’s death PGMA’s Washington trip elicits praise, accolades, Remonde says PGMA witnesses signing of MOU on Maritime Counter Piracy training and education CNBC interview, Filipino community dinner meeting highlight PGMA sked in New York PGMA orders 10-day period of national mourning for Cory President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered all flags in government buildings and installations be flown at half mast for 10 days starting today in a period of national mourning for the late former President Corazon Aquino. The order is contained in Proclamation No. 1850 which was sent via fax from New York where President Arroyo is on the second leg of an eight-day visit to the United States. The proclamation was also signed by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita. The President said Mrs. Aquino will always be remembered and will live forever in the heart of every Filipino “as a beloved mother of the nation who led her people back to the road of freedom and democracy.” In Administrative Order No. 269, also signed and sent to Manila via fax, the President created a four-member Committee on the Funeral of the late president composed of: Executive Secretary Ermita as chairman; Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno, as members. In creating the committee, the President said “it is fitting and proper that appropriate official acts and observances be carried out in connection with the funeral arrangements for the former president, commensurate with the people‟s love and respect for her.” She said that representatives duly designated by the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court and the family of the late President are invited as committee members. The committee is empowered to create such subcommittees as may be necessary to assist in the performance of its functions. TOP PGMA joins nation in mourning over Cory’s death WASHINGTON DC – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today joined the nation in mourning the death of the late former President Corazon C. Aquino, who succumbed to cancer at 3:18 a.m. Saturday at the Makati Medical Center.

In her message before she left for New York on the second leg of her 8-day working visit to the United States, the President said the country lost a national treasure even as she announced the observance of a 10-day period of national mourning. The President‟s message follows:

Today, the Philippines lost a national treasure. Cory Aquino helped lead a revolution that restored democracy and the rule of law to our nation at a time of great peril. Our nation will mourn her passing.

History was thrust upon her when her noble husband was cut down in the prime of his life as he fought for democracy and the rule of law. She picked up the standard from the fallen warrior, Ninoy, and helped lead our nation to a brighter day. I am announcing today that we will officially observe a ten day period of national mourning. Our hearts go out to the family in this hour of grief and sorrow. The nation prays for Cory and her family. TOP PGMA’s Washington trip elicits praise, accolades, Remonde says WASHINGTON DC -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo‟s eight-day working visit to the United States that brought her to Washington has elicited praise and accolades as well as the “respect” of US President Barack Obama and other world leaders. “As you can see from this trip, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has command of the facts and commands the respect of other world leaders -- from Speaker Nancy Pelosi to President Obama. They have been outspoken in their praise for her commitment, ability and leadership,” Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said in a media briefing at the Beacon Hotel here today. Remonde described the Chief Executive as a leader, who can hold her own with any leader anywhere in the world adding that this ability gives her the clout, credibility and strength to protect and advance the interest of the Philippines.. According to the Press Secretary, President Macapagal-Arroyo‟s trip (to Washington, USA) is about upholding the deepest obligation of a President - namely, to ensure the peace, order and security of our nation and meeting with President Obama and American leaders helps keep the Philippines strong. “There is no price that can put on the safety and security of our nation and the value of establishing personal rapport through personal diplomacy as President Arroyo gained in her meetings with President Obama is priceless, “ he declared.. Whether in public and behind the scenes, Remonde noted that the President has been operating the levers of power with US policy makers to assure our national defense, advance

our

economic

prosperity

and

promote

the

importance

of

the

Philippines.”

“The Presidency is ultimately about leadership. Our President has been strong, assertive, and straightforward in expressing her opinions and advancing the needs of the Philippines while in Washington,” he stressed. Remonde pointed out that while too many Philippine politicians act as “if we truly are merely an island nation, isolated, detached and unaware of the world around us, President Arroyo has a different vision. “She understands that no person or any nation is an island. We are all connected and must be. This is a global world and she has the global vision to connect our nation and lift up our people.” “It is likewise a dangerous world and the President will continue her assertive style of foreign engagement. From the moment President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took office, she made global engagement a pillar of strength for the Philippines,“ he said. Citing the President‟s achievements, Remonde emphasized that the President, under her watch, has worked to expand markets, increase investors, build new alliances. And when the global economic crisis hit, we were better prepared to handle the flood than most every other nation. “It is also clear from her talks with President Obama that her relentless pursuit of peace in Mindanao is paying off. And the United States willl help provide the political, security and economic support to give peace a real chance in Mindanao,” Remonde said. TOP PGMA witnesses signing of MOU on Maritime Counter Piracy training and education WASHINGTON DC – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Friday (Saturday in Manila) witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in Maritime Counter-Piracy Training and Education between the Philippines and the United States. The MOU was signed between Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo on behalf of the Philippines and American Transportation and Communications Secretary Ray La Hood in simple ceremonies following the courtesy call of La Hood at the Capitol Suite of the Willard Intercontinental Hotel here. Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, in a press briefing, said the MOU on Cooperation signing is very significant for Filipinos considering that the Philippines is among the biggest seafaring nation in the world and the problem of international piracy especially in the Gulf of Aden with the Somali pirates has been a very serious cause of concern. “And the signing of this MOU between the Philippines and the United States is hoped to send the message to the international pirates that the US is solidly backing the Philippine seafarers in this case,” he stressed. Remonde noted that one of the salient features of the MOU on cooperation involves the

training

for

self

defense

of

the

Filipino

seamen.

The MOU primarily aims to promote cooperation between the two countries in the field of training and education on maritime personnel, primarily in counter-piracy training in protection and advancement of each country‟s maritime interests. The areas of cooperation under the MOU may include strengthening cooperative relationships so as to build institutional capacity to promote the training and education of maritime personnel, with a focus on counter-piracy training and may draw upon available resources of the participants, including the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and maritime personnel training institutions of the Philippines. Other areas of cooperation may include, but are not limited to the following:

- exchanges of information on best practices with respect to the enhancement of vessel security against threats of pirate attacks; - piracy and armed attacks as elements of current security threats and patterns; international execution of conventions, response legislation, plans for and regulation concerned attacks with by piracy; pirates;

incidents

involcing

- drills and exercises that provide practice in responding to acts of piracy or attempted piracy, including those based on lessons learned or experiences of seafarers held as hostages; and - exploring possible avenues for exchanges of maritime students and faculty, on mutually accepted terms. TOP CNBC interview, Filipino community dinner meeting highlight PGMA sked in New York NEW YORK – A media interview by respected CNBC business journalist Maria Bartiromo and meetings with American businessmen await President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo here Saturday (Sunday in Manila), a day after her historic meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington. The President, together with First Gentleman Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo and the rest of the official Philippine delegation, arrived 8:20 p.m. Friday (9:20 a.m. Saturday Manila time)at the Newark Signature Terminal. From there, she was whisked off to the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. Calls by executives of Coca Cola, Chardan Capital, Hedge Fund and Dr. Vassils Morfopoulus of Basic International Development Corporation are also lined up for the Chief Executive on the second leg of her eight-day working visit to the United States. She is also scheduled to have a dinner meeting with members of the Filipino community at the

Garden

State

ballroom

of

the

Newark

Sheraton

hotel

in

Newark.

Hours before they left for this city, the President received news of the death of former President Corazon Aquino in Manila. She immediately issued a proclamation for a 10-day national mourning for the acknowledged democracy icon whom she described as a national treasure. Aquino, 76, succumbed to colon cancer at the Makati Medical Center Friday afternoon here (Saturday morning in Manila). “I am announcing today that we will officially observe a ten-day period of national mourning. Our hearts go out to the family in this hour of grief and sorrow. The nation prays for Cory and her family,” the President said. The President issued her statement before leaving Washington.

„Today, the Philippines lost a national treasure. Cory Aquino helped lead a revolution that restored democracy and the rule of law to our nation at a time of great peril. Our nation will mourn her passing,” the President said. TOP

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