China holds ‘serious’ investigation on sea collision in Recto Bank

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2019   •   2595

The Chinese government is conducting its own investigation on the sea collision that involved Chinese crewmen abandoning Filipino fishermen after the former hit the latter’s fishing boat in the evening of June 9 in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua in a text message to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the issue “is being thoroughly and seriously investigated.”

“We share your concerns about fishermen,” Zhao said.

“If it were true that it was a Chinese fishing boat which did it, they would be duly educated and punished for their irresponsible behavior. Incidents happen even in the best-regulated family,” he added.

The Chinese Ambassador also hopes that the incident will be held in a ‘proper context’.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang, meanwhile, said what happened was just ‘an ordinary maritime accident’.

He acknowledged, however, that abandoning a person in dire need of rescue is unacceptable.

“If the relevant situation turns out to be true, irrespective of which country the perpetrators come from, abandoning (others) should be condemned,” he said.

“China will continue to investigate this incident based on its responsible attitude towards the physical safety and safety of property of the people of both countries and will work with the Philippine side to properly handle,” he concluded.

Gov’t seeks single facility for COVID-19 patients

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 17, 2020

The government is looking for a single facility to house confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to prevent overcrowding in hospitals.

On Monday (March 16), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the recommendation will be discussed in a meeting with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“We are recommending that there should be only one place where we can put all those confirmed cases,” he said.

Panelo said this would lessen the risk of occupational transmission of the virus. He said placing patients in one or two facilities may help in controlling the spread of the disease.

“Baka maubusan tayo ng ospital na paglalagayan (We might run out of hospitals for the patients); and not only that, we are exposing our health workers to the same infection,” he said. — AAC

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)

Duterte to sign 2020 nat’l budget on January 6, Palace confirms

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 3, 2020

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech during his visit to the earthquake victims at the M’lang National High School in Cotabato on December 30, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Malacañang has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget on Monday (January 6).

Presidential Legislative Liason Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy said there will be a presidential ceremonial signing at the Malacañang Palace on Monday.

However, Sitoy did not confirm if the president will veto provisions in the said budget.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the president did not mention about a possible veto.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has finished the review of the General Appropriations Bill last week.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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