Our Miss Universe


She may not get the crown as Miss Universe, But our countrymen is proud of Ms. Janine Tugonon winning as the first runner-up of such beauty pageant because she just proved the best qualities of Filipina and being ‘world-class’ of the Filipino.

“Ms. Janine Tugonon, by winning 1st runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant, held up the country’s banner and showed the world, once again, the grace, sophistication and beauty that Filipinas possess,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

“From her winning as Binibining Pilipinas to representing our proud nation on the stage of Miss Universe, the Filipino people have supported Ms. Tugonon throughout her journey and in the hearts of our countrymen; she is our winner, our Miss Philippines. With the victory of Ms. Tugonon, we find even more proof of the exceptional characteristics of Filipinas and Filipinos to be truly world-class,” Valte added.

Many Filipinos alleged that Tugonon should have be the Miss Universe since her answer is great in the Q&A portion compared to the winner, Olivia Culpo of USA.

The Filipina beauty was given a Twitter question from Judge Nigel Barker, “As an international ambassador, do you believe that speaking English should be a prerequisite to being Miss Universe? Why or why not?”

Tugonon responds, “For me, being Miss Universe is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language. It’s being able to influence and inspire other people. As long as your heart wants to serve and you have a strong mind to show people, then you can be Miss Universe.”

“Janine’s win in the Miss Universe pageant is a triumph for the Filipino people and the perfect way to end the year,” statement of Vice President Jejomar Binay.Tugonon’s triumph as the 1st runner-up is also considered as every Filipinos achievement.

According to Binay, the attainment of Tugonon proves that Filipino women stand out in beauty pageants.


Glorietta Blast: A Reinvestigation

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte indicated that the Palace is receiving well the news of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s order tasking state prosecutors to conduct a fact-finding probe on the cause of the Glorietta blast shortly before the Christmas season three years ago.

The reinvestigation of the explosion that killed 11 persons and left more than a hundred people injured in October 2007 would be more discreet and wise than leaving the lingering questions go unanswered, Malacanang said last month.

Speculations like the findings point to a bomb attack by the alleged retired Army Col. Allan Sollano, who were one of the first to look into the Glorietta explosion, lead to the laying off of the case.This was in contrary to the official findings of the PNP point to a methane gas leak as the trigger of the explosion. The police’s findings were confirmed by experts from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The prosecutors shall review reports of investigative agencies made relative to the blast, assess and evaluate existing evidence, gather more evidence and take additional statements from witnesses as may be available and submit their report and recommendation thereon within 45 days from receipt of this order,” De Lima said in her department order dated Oct. 26.

Palace washes hands off ‘fake’ party-list groups

Malacañang on Tuesday washed its hands off claims of poll watchdog groups linking it to supposedly “fake” party-list groups in the May 10 elections.

Deputy presidential spokeswoman Charito Planas said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should be faulted and not Malacañang for such claims against some party-list groups.

“Yang mga party-list na yan sa Comelec yan…. Sila ang nag-recognize, sa kanila, sila nagbibigay… gawin nalang natin kanya-kanyang trabaho. Di naman jurisdiction ng executive eh (The Comelec is the one that accredits party-list groups. Accreditation of such groups was never in the Executive Department’s jurisdiction),” Planas said in an interview on dzXL radio.

She added the Comelec should have scrutinized the nominees of such groups in the early on.

Planas said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should not be faulted for all supposed irregularities.

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Palace dares critics to present power generation solutions

MANILA, March 4 — Malacanang is challenging its critics to present, for assessment and possible implementation, measures that can help President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo address the country’s power problems.

“They must give solutions and not just attack government,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Charito Planas said.

She noted that people, including the 2010 presidential aspirants, must be pro-active and give their suggestions because merely criticizing and blaming government for the power crisis would not address this problem.

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Erap visited Malacanang after nine years.

Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrade made his first visit to Malacanang Palace after nine years. Erap made a statement that after six months, he will return to the Palace.

The National Security Council invited Estrada to talk about the incoming national automated election. Also about the dismantling of private armies and recovery loose firearms.

Estrada expressed he was glad to have a chance to share his opinions and advice regarding the peace and order. But he point out that he’s not so excited about the visit.

Estrada showed his excitement over the first national automated election and he wants to ensure that no failure of election will happen.

The meeting between President Arroyo and Estrada was described as “cordial”, by Press Secretary Cerge Remonde and Secretary to the Cabinet Silvestro Bello III. Arroyo and Estrada were seated beside each other. Bello said that no one could hear what they were talking about.

Press Secretary Remonde was asked if Estrada’s presence was a clear indication to reconcile with the administration, he said “President Estrada, in fairness to him, has always said that he will support those whom he believes, he agrees with. In other words yung tinatawag na critical collaboration or constructive engagement. And I think the former president has been a statesman in that way.”

Philippines receives $73-million US environment grant

Representatives of both governments yesterday signed an “affirmation of commitment” for the bilateral assistance agreement in Malacañan Palace.

Under the agreement, the United States Agency for International Development will support efforts to conserve biodiversity and sustainably manage natural resources; promote clean and renewable energy; mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change; and improve access to water and sanitation services.

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