300 year-old Philippine map, makatutulong sa arbitration case — Malacañan

admin   •   June 8, 2015   •   4416

FILE PHOTO: Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Edwin Lacierda and Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson ASec. Charles Jose (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Walang nakikita ang Malakanyang na pagbabago sa relasyon ng Pilipinas at China pagdating sa kalakalan at turismo sa kabila ng territorial dispute ng dalawang bansa sa West Philippine Sea.

Ito ang pahayag ng Malakanyang sa pagdiriwang ng ika-40 anibersaryo ng Philippine-China diplomatic relations.

Pahayag ni Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Edwin Lacierda, “In terms of tourism, we have a number of Filipinos going visiting China and we have also Chinese tourist visiting Philippines, we have also lot of trade relations with China.”

Batay sa datos ng Department of Tourism sa 1st quarter ng 2015, pang-apat ang China sa may malaking kontribusyon sa turismo sa bansa.

Ayon pa kay Sec. Lacierda, ang posisyon o paniniwala lamang sa isyu ng agawan ng teritoryo sa West Philippine Sea ang naging pagkakaiba ng dalawang bansa.

“Just to be clear, we have no conflict with the Chinese people. Our conflict for instance, are differences, are with the approach of the leadership in dealing with the South China Sea.”

Samantala, naniniwala ang Malakanyang na may maitutulong ang naiulat na pagdating sa bansa ng 300-year old Philippine map o ang tinatawag na Murillo-Velarde map sa arbitration case ng Pilipinas laban sa China.

Ani Lacierda, “I’m not in the position to weigh in on how the weight of that evidence. But certainly, it does help the Philippines when we present a map which shows the basis for saying that, for saying, one thing and together with our reliance on international law.”

Pinatutunayan umano ng naturang mapa na sakop ng Pilipinas ang Bajo de Masinloc.

Ayon naman sa Department of Foreign Affairs, pag-aaralan muna nila ang naturang “Mother of All Map”.

Saad ni ASec. Charles Jose, “Una, masasabi lang namin diyan, we are glad na itong map na to ay ngayon ay nasa kamay na isang Filipino. As to its value to the arbitration case na meron tayo ngayon, we defer to the legal team.” (NEL MARIBOJOC / UNTV News)

DFA logs 41 new cases of COVID-19 among Filipinos abroad; active cases at 6,018

Marje Pelayo   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported on Wednesday (May 5) that 41 overseas Filipinos added to the list of active cases of COVID-19 abroad.

Overall, 18,457 Filipinos abroad have been infected with the disease.

Of the said number, 6,018 Filipinos in different countries are undergoing treatment; while 11,292 have recovered. Those who succumbed to the disease are now at 1,147.

The highest number of COVID-19 cases reported among overseas Filipinos are in the Middle East and Africa, in Asia and the Pacific, and in Europe and the Americas.

To date, a total of 94 countries and territories have reported cases of Filipinos infected with coronavirus, the DFA said.

Hontiveros calls on the DFA to address fake passports used in human trafficking

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Risa Hontiveros has called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to take actions against fake passports being used in human trafficking.

During a Senate Committee hearing on Tuesday (May 4), Hontiveros said the DFA should look into illegal schemes and enterprises that tamper with or forge passports, including a modus called “baklas passport.” Under the said scheme, the trafficked individual assumes the passport details of another person.

Hontiveros revealed three accounts of Filipino Muslim girls who were victims of human trafficking. They were identified as Omaima, Aleah, and Lenlen (not her real name). During the hearing, the women attested that their passports were fabricated to hide the fact that they were underaged.

“Our witness, Lenlen, went to the DFA in Cotabato to get her biometric passport in 2018. Why then did the DFA give her a fake passport?” the senator said.

One of the Filipino Muslim girls who were trafficked to Syria as minors also said that her passport was ‘baklas’ or fake.

The senator asked if there was a government official colluding with human trafficking criminals. She also called on the Foreign Affairs Department to conduct an investigation on its officials from across the country who may be facilitating the production of fake passports.

Another survivor of human trafficking in Syria said she was recruited when she was 14 years old. She said she was also a victim of verbal sexual harassment by an employee of the Philippine Embassy in Syria.

“I call on the DFA to regularly check the welfare of our women and girls abroad. We would not have known of this case, had Lenlen kept this story to herself. The DFA should be proactive in protecting our women,” Hontiveros said.

Meanwhile, pastillas scheme whistle blower Alex Chiong confirmed that corrupt Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers have a Viber group chat that displays the list of names of women to be trafficked out of the country. The list may include underage girls with fraudulent passports.

According to the BI, the immigration officer who stamped the passport of 2018 survivor Lenlen in the list of individuals, is being investigated by the agency for being part of outbound human trafficking activities.

“If we find that this is syndicated trafficking, or trafficking committed by a group of three or more persons conspiring or confederating with each other, the prescription period is 20 years.  Let’s all help finally resolve this revolting issue. Let’s do all we can for our children,” Hontiveros said. AAC

DFA files two protest vs China for “belligerent actions against the Philippine Coast Guard”

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has filed two protests against China for the continuous presence of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea, and its “belligerent actions against the Philippine Coast Guard.”

In a statement, the DFA said it has protested the shadowing, blocking, dangerous maneuver, and radio challenges by the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) on the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessels conducting legitimate maritime patrols and training exercises in the vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc.

The department also mentioned in its protest “the incessant, illegal, prolonged, and increasing presence of Chinese fishing vessels and maritime militia vessels in Philippine maritime zones.”

“From January 1 to March 18, 2021, Philippine maritime law enforcement agencies monitored the continued unauthorized presence and activities of hundreds of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea, particularly in the areas around the Pag-asa Islands, Zamora Reef, Panata and Kota Islands, Ayungin Shoal, Quirino Atoll, and Bajo de Masinloc,” the statement said.

The department also rejects the statement of the Spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 26 April 2021 that China enjoys sovereignty over Bajo de Masinloc, reiterating that such statement has no “basis in international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and is not recognized by the international community.”

The DFA further emphasized that “the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and Bajo de Masinloc are integral parts of the Philippines over which it has sovereignty and jurisdiction.”

It also reiterated that China has no law enforcement rights in these areas.

The DFA also called on China “to withdraw its government vessels around the KIG and Bajo de Masinloc and respect Philippine sovereignty.” AAC

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