MAY 11, 2009 (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, MALACANANG) Malacañang today paid tribute to Filipino mothers as the world marks Mother’s Day which falls on the second Sunday of May.

In an interview over Radyo ng Bayan, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde cited the selfless love, compassion, care and devotion mothers shower on their children.

At the same time, Remonde disputed a published report quoting a US-based group that the Philippines is not a good place for mothers.

“How could they say that about the Philippines? What is their basis for such an observation that the Philippines isn’t a good place for mothers,” he retorted.

Remonde pointed out that Filipino mothers are among the best in the world in terms of “pagkalinga, pag-aruga, pagmamahal and compassion for their children.”

The report said that the Arroyo government has not fulfilled its goals in the millennium development plans (MDP) for mothers and children in terms of delivering services needed in addressing poverty and other social ills.

Remonde pointed out that maternal child and healthcare are among the flagship programs of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The program is being implemented by the Department of Health (DOH) under the direction of the President, he added.

The Palace official also extended his greetings to the Iglesia ni Cristo on the 123rd birth anniversary of its founder, the late Felix Manalo.

We must thank God for sparing RP from swine flu

Malacañang today said Filipinos have a lot to thank God for sparing the Philippines from the swine flu virus sweeping several countries around the world.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde admitted that while it may be premature at this stage to feel totally safe from the swine flu scourge, the good news is that the global pandemic has not reached Philippine shores.

He lauded the vigilance and joint efforts of health workers, port authorities and other groups as well as individuals in keeping the guard up against the entry of the dreaded virus.

“We thank Almighty God for sparing us from this virus,” Remonde said.

He also thanked “our countrymen and visitors for their cooperation, and we must commend our health authorities, port authorities, and others for their vigilance and consistent preventive measures,” he added.

On Malacañang’s stance regarding the grant of executive clemency to elderly inmates, the infirm and sickly women in detention centers, Remonde reiterated that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s role is merely “ministerial although it is her exclusive prerogative.”

“She acts only on cases that have gone through the proper process from the Board of Pardons and Parole of the Department of Justice (DOJ) which are passed on to her,” he explained.

He pointed out that the established policy is if an inmate is 70 years old and above, sickly and has practiced good behavior, he is qualified for parole or executive clemency.

Still the case of the inmate must be properly processed by the Board of Pardons and Parole, he added.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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