MANILA, DECEMBER 28, 2012 (PHILSTAR) Malacañang on Thursday appealed for space for President Benigno Aquino III, who is on a four-day holiday break.

"Maaari ho ba kaming humingi ng isang pakiusap sa mga taong gustong dumalaw sa kanya na bigyan po siya ng espasyo at hayaan po siyang magkaroon ng pagkakataong magpahinga kung nasaan man po siya ngayon para lang po talagang masabi niyang nakapagpahinga po siya," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing at the Malacañang Palace.

Lacierda refused to disclose where Aquino is taking his four-day holiday break, which started on Tuesday night.

Reports said that President Aquino arrived in Baguio City on Wednesday night. A picture of the President dancing "Gangnam" style with his newphew Vito was posted in the official Facebook page of the chief executive.

Lacierda said that President Aquino really needs to take the break as advised by Health Secretary Enrique Ona.

"Ito po ay talagang bakasyon po para kay Pangulong Aquino base na rin po sa rekomendasyon ni (Health) Secretary (Enrique) Ona... Our request is if we can ask those people who intend to visit him or who want to pay a courtesy call to the President to refrain from doing so and give him the freedom to rest properly," he said.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 He said that those who want to visit President Aquino on official business can instead meet with members of the Cabinet.

He (Aquino) is already in touch with us when it comes to matters of state. Hayaan po natin itong ilang araw niyang pagpapahinga na sa kanya lang po itong oras na ito," Lacierda said.

2012 Year of rebuilding the PHL - Lacierda

MANILA, Philippines - Year 2012 was a year of “rebuilding and restoration” and the time when the nation began to feel the “full effect of political will used correctly,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said yesterday.

In a statement, Lacierda said the reforms put in place by the Aquino administration as well as its achievements on the economic and political fronts should convince even skeptics that the nation is in good hands.

“The many achievements of the Aquino administration in 2012 should put those doubts to rest. At home and around the world, the Philippines has become recognized as a bastion of stability and good governance,” Lacierda said.

“Through hard work, deft decision-making, and intense political will, the President has laid down the foundations of justice and inclusive growth. Through it all, he continues to clean house, eliminate waste, and put primacy on restoring public trust in our institutions,” he said.

He called the past two and a half years of the administration “a period of continued renewal for the country.”

“By all indicators, this was the best year for the Philippines in a long time, a time for celebration and pride for the reclaimed standing of our country as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other rising nations of the world,” he stressed.

“We turned the corner, fixed the damage wrought by the crooked ways of the past, and established further that the straight path is the only way forward,” he said.

Natural disasters and tragedies – including the death of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo in a plane crash – failed to break the spirit of Filipinos, he said.

“As the administration embarks on 2013, there is all the more reason for Filipinos to travel on the straight path under the leadership of President Aquino and the adherents to his noble cause,” he said.

One of the biggest achievements of the administration, Lacierda said, was the signing of the historic framework agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The accord, Lacierda said, has set the stage for a final, enduring peace in Mindanao. He said it can be considered one of the first successful dialogues between a government and a Muslim separatist movement in modern era.

With judicial reforms in place and with the impeachment of chief magistrate Renato Corona, the “entire country is experiencing a newfound sense of justice and fairness.”

“This heralded the arrival of a judiciary characterized not by secrecy and patronage, but by integrity and competence. The appointment of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, and later Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, sustained the momentum of reform in the judiciary,” Lacierda said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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