Malacañang honors late JICA president

MALACAÑANG ON Tuesday expressed condolences for the death of Sadako Ogata, who served as Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) president from 2003 to 2012, recognizing her contribution to strengthening relations between the Philippines and Japan. “The remarkable and extraordinary service of Ms. Ogata, together with the time and effort she has devoted to strengthen the diplomatic relations of Philippines and Japan, will always be remembered given the beneficial and enduring consequences of her endeavors for our country,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement. Ms. Ogata passed away at age 92 on Tuesday, Japanese news site NHK World reported. She was the first woman minister at the Permanent Mission of Japan in the United Nations (UN), and was a UN high commissioner for refugees. According to JICA’s website, Ms. Ogata’s contributions to the Philippines under her term include accelerating the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and providing livelihood assistance programs for people in Mindanao’s poverty-stricken areas. In 2013, she was awarded the Order of Sikatuna by the Philippine government, a recognition given to diplomats and foreign heads of state for doing exceptional deeds and services to the Philippines. — Gillian M. Cortez

DoJ confirms President’s order for NBI probe on mayor’s killing

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) will issue a department order formalizing the directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe the death of a mayor in Misamis Occidental, who was shot and killed while in police custody in Cebu City. “The President has control over the entire Executive department including the PNP (Philippine National Police) and the NBI. His directive should therefore be sufficient for the NBI to commence its probe,” Undersecretary Markk L. Perete told reporters in a mobile phone message. “Nevertheless, and purely for record-keeping purposes, the DoJ shall issue a Department Order reiterating the President’s directive to the NBI,” he added. The president wants the state agents to handle the probe in the killing of Clarin, Misamis Occidental Mayor David Navarro has ordered the PNP to terminate their investigation and hand all documents and other evidence to the NBI.

The President also confirmed that he earlier met with Mr. Navarro, who was included in the list of local government officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade, and was told that somebody “is out to get him.” Mr. Navarro was being escorted by the police in Cebu City to a prosecutor’s office when he was ambushed last Oct. 25. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas