#NasaanAngPangulo: Aquino a no-show at arrival honors for slain SAF men

The hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo became a worldwide Twitter trending topic after President Benigno Aquino III did not show up at Thursday's arrival honors for the 42 slain PNP Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in Villamor Airbase.

Netizens asked: "Where is the President?"

Aquino attends inauguration of new car plant

Aquino attended the inauguration of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation's assembly plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna on January 29.

According to a press release from MalacaƱang, the newly-completed plant has a production capacity of up to 50,000 units per year, and is expected to employ up to 1,150 individuals over the next six years. The company aims to market 100,000 vehicles annually by 2020.

The president said Mitsubishi’s expansion in Laguna manifests its optimism in the country’s economic prospects, which are driven by Overseas Filipino Workers’ remittances and the growth of various local industries.

Last year, the company had the second largest share of the local market, selling more than 50,000 units. In 2016, it aims to sell 62,000 units.

Mitsubishi transferred its operations to a 21-hectare location in Sta. Rosa to increase its production capacity and accommodate future expansions. The new plant will mainly produce the L-300 and Mitsubishi Adventure, with more than 60 percent of automobile parts to be sourced locally.

Image source: Twitter

Palace makes an appeal

MalacaƱang has appealed to the public for patience, following the death of 44 police commandos in Maguindanao, saying the nation must not deviate from real issues and has to remain focused on fighting terrorism and achieving lasting peace in Mindanao.

Communication secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said it is not a surprise that a lot of people are showing overwhelming emotion over the death of members of the police’s Special Action Force while trying to arrest high-value terrorist suspects in Maguindanao.

However, the people should not deviate from the two main objectives of the country—neutralizing terrorists operating in the Philippines and achieving an enduring peace in Mindanao, he said.

Coloma noted that if there were lapses in the police operation in Maguindanao, the public must understand the complicated nature of such police raids. The 44 elite police personnel who perished in the clash had done an extraordinary job and had paid the ultimate price to keep the country safe, he said.

President Aquino declared Friday, January 30, as a National Day of Mourning to honor the fallen police personnel and to show solidarity with their families.

Image source: Twitter

Aquino to lead National Day of Mourning

The president will lead the observance of the National Day of Mourning at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig during the memorial service in honor of the slain SAF troopers.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Coloma said the necrological service would be attended by the families of the slain police commandos, members of the Cabinet, and other government officials, as well as officers and personnel of the Philippine National Police.

Image source: Twitter

President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 953 on Wednesday in solidarity with the bereaved families and friends of the fallen heroes.

"The entire nation is requested to offer prayers and all public institutions are directed to lower the Philippine flag at half-mast on Friday," he said.

Aquino also made an assurance that the families of those killed will receive assistance from the government.

As of 10 p.m. Thursday, #NasaanAngPangulo continued to occupy the top spot of Twitter's trending box as netizens posted images relative to the arrival honors that took place earlier.