, November 13, 2005
(STAR) President Arroyo will lead the meeting of world leaders on global efforts against terrorism for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Busan, South Korea next week.

Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said Mrs. Arroyo would also likely meet with US President George W. Bush on the sidelines of the summit from Nov. 17 to 19 to discuss the efforts of the two countries’ in addressing the worldwide menace.

Bunye said the President will highlight developments in the fight against poverty and terrorism as head of the APEC Counterterrorism Task Force.

"As chair of the Counterterrorism Task Force, the Philippines is expected to bring the issue up as one of the points of intervention during the summit," he said.

The Philippines was chosen to head the anti-terror task force during the APEC meeting in Santiago, Chile last year. President Arroyo subsequently named retired Armed Forces chief Benjamin Defensor as task force head with the rank of ambassador. — Aurea Calica

RP to bring issue of poverty, terrorism to fore in APEC Leaders' Summit in South Korea

MALACANANG, OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY) noV. 13, 2005 - The fight against poverty and terrorism is expected to take the spotlight when Asia-Pacific leaders, including President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, converge from Nov. 17 to 19 in Busan, South Korea for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit.

Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye said in a radio interview this morning that no less than the President will take up the cudgels in the fight against terrorism as head of the APEC task force against the worldwide menace.

"As chair of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force, the Philippines is expected to bring the issue as one of the points of intervention during the summit," he said in the vernacular.

The Philippines has been chosen to chair the task force during the APEC meeting in Santiago, Chile last year. President Arroyo subsequently named retired Armed Forces Chief Gen. Benjamin Defensor as task force head with rank of ambassador.

The President considers the APEC meeting in Chile as a remarkably successful economic diplomacy engagement, which served to further consolidate the Philippines’ economic cooperation with other APEC member economies.

Bunye said the President will also share the country’s experience in the field of business processing and call center industry, which she hopes would spark interest from possible investors.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila are among those expected to join the President in the summit.

A short list of other officials who will join the delegation will be announced soon, Bunye said.

He said there is a great chance that President Arroyo and US President George Bush will have a one-on-one meeting of their own during the summit to discuss the anti-terrorism bill now being pushed in Congress.

"We all know that President Bush is a staunch supporter of the fight against terrorism, that’s why we believe it’s going to be the hottest topic in the summit," he said.

View from the Palace (For the week ending November 13, 2005)

We are surprised at how some segments of the press have been stung by the statements of the President and appalled at how some personalities have seized the opportunity to lambast the President rather than join her in her appeal for greater responsibility in media.

Media is all powerful in our society. They expose, criticize, exalt and destroy. They shape minds, influence opinions and even dictate our political and business climate just by wielding their pens (or their mikes as the case may be). However, they are not above scrutiny. They should also be not onion-skinned. It appears that some of them can only dish out but can not take criticisms. While the greater number of our friends in media exercise responsibility, there are also those who take perverse glee in highlighting all that is ugly in our country and people, when there is much more that is positive and uplifting.

It is no wonder then that in a recent SWS survey commissioned by the AMA Computer Learning Center, 41 per cent of Filipinos nationwide think that the country’s media have become ‘purely negative’ and are no longer helping the country. In Metro Manila Manila, where most of the media outfits are concentrated, a bigger percentage of 47 per cent share this perception.

Media should not take offense at the President’s statements nor complain that it is being gagged. In fact our media enjoys so much freedom and one only has to read the daily headlines or switch on the prime time news on broadcast to know this. Some of them need to be reminded of the fundamental rules of balance and fairness.

Media should not only inform. It should also educate, uplift and inspire our people. Our people deserve relief from excessive politicking. It is time to turn self-destructive negativism into positive images about our country and our people that we can rally behind.


The findings of Reporters without Borders do not hew to reality. It is unfortunate that journalists have been killed in the pursuit of their profession, but this has not in the least intimidated the rest of crusading and hard hitting reporters. The police are on top of these killings and we are bringing several culprits to justice, and these cases should not be reason to say that the press is being gagged in any manner.


We are embarking on charter change not for politics sake but for the nation’s destiny. In the end, the people’s voice will be heard and we shall all be bound to obey it. We must see through our vision to become a first world country in the next 20 years. Everybody must be willing to sacrifice for that vision and we should not be thinking or talking about term limits or turf. Let us get the big ideas moving first, particularly the shift to a parliamentary-federal form of Government.


We congratulate DOLE Secretary Pat Sto. Tomas for the very successful 4-day jobs fair recently held at PICC. We understand that more than a 100 overseas recruitment agencies offered thousands of overseas jobs in new and existing labor markets abroad.

The job opportunities at the PICC fair included those for nurses, physical therapists, caregivers, teachers, college professors, private tutors, programmers, encoders, computer and cell phone technicians, researchers, editors, hotel and restaurant workers, administrative, clerical and managerial workers, engineers, welders, plumbers, fabricators and other technical personnel, sales workers, entertainers, cooks, domestic workers, dressmakers, beauticians, drivers and transport equipment operators, laborers, factory workers, fishermen, hunters, and other agricultural workers.

The PICC jobs fair was only one of several undertakings being conducted by DOLE nationwide through its various regional offices between now and up to the end of the year.


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