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PIA Press Release

PGMA beefs up security measures at Senate, House

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga (15 November) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the beefing up of security measures at the Senate and the House of Representatives to ensure the safety of members of both houses in the wake of Tuesday's bombing of the Batasan building in Quezon City.

She also ordered an increase in the funding for intelligence operations, as she assured members of both House of Congress that "measures are being taken to enable them to continue their sessions in peace and security."

The President ordered the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) to identify and provide adequate security to possible targets of assassinations among members of the Congress.

The presidential directives came on the heels of the Batasan blast which killed four people, including Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar.

The President revealed her latest anti-terror directives when she addressed last night the 33rd Top-Level Conference of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas in a hotel here.

"I have instructed the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) to identify and secure possible assassin targets in Congress," the President said, adding that "I think we should do the same. KBP should do the same for the media. You must figure out who are the possible targets for media killings so that we can take special care of them."

She also said that she has instructed Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya to boost allocations for intelligence operations.

"We assure congressmen and senators that measures are being taken to enable them to continue their sessions in peace and security," she added.

Under the President's directive, bomb sniffing dogs will be assigned to the Senate and the House of Representatives on a 24-hour basis.

"I talked to (Local Governments) Secretary (Ronaldo) Puno this afternoon (Nov. 14, 2007) and I told him that we should permanently assign bomb-sniffing dogs in the Batasan and in the Senate," she said.

She also said that she met with the National Security Council (NSC) for two consecutive days to ensure the country's security:

"I've met the National Security Council Executive Committee twice last night (Nov. 13, 2007) and today (Nov. 14, 2007) to assess the security situation and institute immediate measures to address any threats…"

The government is "now offering a five-million-peso reward for information to catch perpetrators of political and media killings, and/or foil future attacks – so we have increased our kitty," she said.

The President has also created the Task Force Against Political Violence whose mandate is to "harness and mobilize government agencies, political groups, the religious, civil society and sectoral organizations – like, I hope, the KBP – and the public, for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of political violence."

Headed by the Department of National Defense (DND), the task force is mandated to care and protect "people and communities victimized and threatened by violence."

The Chief Executive also called on the KBP to help the government "promote a culture opposed to violence, and for the advancement of reconciliation and peace." (OPS) [top]

  prev  next  »|
»PGMA beefs up security measures at Senate, House
»PGMA seeks support for her vision to make RP modern nation by 2020
»PGMA remains focused on improving the economy, political stability
»Investments pouring in - PGMA
»PGMA appeals to religious leaders to support her vision of RP as a First World nation
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