Photo Release :16 September 2017   Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, AIPA president, and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III join hands with heads of delegates to the 38th AIPA General Assembly as a sign of unity during the opening rites held at the Shangrila Hotel in Makati. Apart from the Philippines, other AIPA member- states are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Also joining the group are heads of observer delegations from Australia, Canada, Belarus, China, European Parliament, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Russian Federation. The AIPA general assembly which runs from 14-20 September is hosted by the Philippines with Speaker Alvarez as president. ###

A Palace official on Thursday, January 5, welcomed the Japan Times article carrying the CNN story stating Asia’s Best Year goes to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“It’s heartening to know that certain media agencies are able to notice the good things the President is doing,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
Japan Times is the most widely read English language newspaper in Japan.
It will be recalled that CNN had named President Duterte as “Asia’s Big Winner” in 2016.
“For now, the Philippine leader’s unconventional moves seem a harbinger of things to come. This is no pivot to China, but a disruption of the old normal,” the article read.
“Rodrigo Duterte ended 2016 seeking to rebalance his nation’s ties, improve the life of the average Filipino and make the Philippines — a one-time economic and trade powerhouse — great again. And for that Asia’s Best Year goes to Duterte,” it added.
Just very recently, President Duterte was also named Person of the Year for 2016 by the Chinese Magazine Yazhou Zhoukan, the equivalent of Time magazine in the Chinese-speaking world.
                                Feast of the Nazarene
Meanwhile, at the same press briefing, Abella said several government agencies would be working together to secure the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9.
The government agencies that would work to ensure a successful and secured holding of the Feast of the Black Nazarene include the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Health and the Manila City Department of Public Services.
The Feast of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo is among the biggest and oldest Catholic religious celebrations in the country.
Every January, the statue of the Black Nazarene laid on a carriage, is pulled around the streets of Quiapo by devotees, many who swear to the fulfillment of miracles or personal wishes.
The event’s growing popularity continues to attract more believers and devotees. It is estimated that this year’s event would be attended by millions of devotees.
Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, in the same briefing, added that the concerned government agencies have laid out their plans to keep the devotees of the black Nazarene safe from harm.
“We will try our best to really keep our people safe. This is why we have the PNP, the military, and the other armed groups in our government to really maintain peace and order and keep our people safe,” Sueno said.PND