19 deals signed during Duterte’s ‘highly successful’ trip to China — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 29, 2019   •   2207

Courtesy : PCOO President Rodrigo Roa Duterte disembarks from the plane upon his arrival in Davao City on Saturday, April 27, 2019, after a productive visit to the People’s Republic of China. With the President is his daughter Veronica.

MANILA, Philippines – The “highly successful” fourth official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China has yielded 19 signed business agreements on investments, Malacañang announced on Sunday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s latest trip to Beijing paved the way for the signing of $12.16 billion estimated worth of business deals which will generate more than 21,000 jobs for Filipinos.

These agreements include investments in energy, infrastructure, tourism, internet connectivity, agriculture, and training of Filipinos working in China, among others.

“As PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) noted, the People’s Republic of China is the largest trading partner and a major source of foreign investments of the Philippines,” Panelo said in a statement.

Duterte assured prospective foreign investors that the Philippine government will create an enabling environment for their investments to prosper.

Duterte and his delegation attended the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing last week. The President also held separate bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Kequiang.

Panelo said the bilateral talks, described as “productive and fruitful,” yielded a one billion Renminbi grant to the Philippines.

The President also affirmed during the bilateral talks the country’s commitment to friendship and understanding with China.

“He expressed the country’s readiness to pursue more high-quality and good impact projects,” Panelo said.

On the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Duterte reiterated to China his resolve to make it a sea of peace, prosperity and stability, and address the issue through bilateral talks.

He also expounded the need for both countries to exercise restraint and caution to avoid actions that could complicate situations.

READ: Duterte, Xi agree to resolve sea dispute through bilateral talks

Panelo also assured Filipinos that Duterte is chartering an independent foreign policy “to a new height of diplomatic relations with other nations.”

He said this will be solely based on the country’s national security and interest and towards a direction that will contribute to national development and the realization of the aspiration to attain economic progress and comfortable life. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte, Panelo one-on-one interview deferred anew

Robie de Guzman   •   January 28, 2020

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo and President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – The scheduled televised one-on-one interview of President Rodrigo Duterte with his spokesperson Salvador Panelo has been postponed anew.

In a televised advisory, Panelo said the interview with Duterte, which was supposed to be held Tuesday, will be moved to a later date because the president is feeling “under the weather.”

Panelo said it may be rescheduled next week.

The said interview was initially set on January 22 but was postponed due to “pressing matters.”

The president conducted his first televised interview with Panelo in September 2018 where they discussed wide-ranging topics on martial law in Mindanao, reopening of Boracay Island, increasing rice prices, his critic former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, among others. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Panelo: One-on-one interview with Duterte to push through on Tuesday

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2020

After its postponement on January 22, the one-on-one interview with President Rodrigo Duterte will push through on Tuesday (January 28), said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday.

The January 22 schedule for the one-on-one interview was postponed due to “pressing family matters”.

“Due to pressing matters, the tête-à-tête Part 2 of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo has been moved to January 28, 2020 at the Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace at 5:00 p.m.,” a previous media advisory read.

This will be the President’s second têtê-a-têtê. The first televised interview was held last September 2018.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

PH now working on terminating PH-US VFA, says Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   January 24, 2020

Philippine Marines rush to shore during an amphibious landing exercise with United States counterparts on a beach on the coast of the Naval Education and Training Command in Zambales Province, northwest of Manila, Philippines, 09 May 2018. The Philippines-US Balikatan (Shoulder to Shoulder) Military Exercise is on its 34th iteration, which is aimed to enhance interoperability between security forces of the two countries. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang confirmed Friday that the Philippines has started the process of terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to end the deal if it does not reverse the cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president issued the termination order Thursday night despite giving a month for the US to restore the senator’s visa.

Panelo said the order has already been relayed to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. as well as Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

“I just talked with Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, and he said that he will start with the process and he called up already the vice chair and they talked, and Ambassador Romualdez has already been informed, I was also talking to him earlier,” he said.

In a tweet on Friday, Locsin confirmed he and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana have taken the first step in ending the 1998 deal with the US government.

Locsin sits as the chairperson of the Commission on Visiting Forces while Lorenzana serves as vice chairman.

“Del Lorenzana and I- as Vice and Chair of USVFA – are starting the process of terminating it by first contacting the Senate because it is a treaty on our side, an executive agreement on the US side. I’m leaving for Washington on a totally unrelated matter,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

Lorenzana, for his part, refrained from commenting into Duterte’s latest pronouncement.

“Will study it first,” he said in a message to reporters. “No comment muna. Too soon to comment.”

The VFA is a bilateral accord between Washington and Manila that came into force in 1999. It outlines the guidelines about the treatment of their troops when visiting the US or the Philippines. It includes provisions on visa and passport policies for US troops and the American government’s right to retain jurisdiction over its personnel, among others.

The deal may be terminated by either of the two countries by writing to the other party signifying their intent to end the agreement. Its expiration will come 180 days from the date of notification. – RRD (with details from Correspondents Rosalie Coz & Lea Ylagan)

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