China protests against Sec. Lorenzana’s visit to Pag-asa Island

admin   •   April 24, 2017   •   3501

MANILA China is gravely concerned over the visit to Pag-asa Island last Friday of several Philippine government officials led by National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana .

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has initially said that even before their plane landed on Pag-asa Island last Friday, they received four warnings from the Chinese forces.

However, the official said this is but normal when there are visitors that come to the island.

“Protocol yan, we also reply that we are flying  over Philippine territory, so yung challenged na yan, sagutan lang yan. Wala namang untoward incident na nangyari,” Secretary Lorenzana said. (That’s protocol. We also replied that we are flying over Philippine territory. So those challenge responses are required. There has been no untoward incident.)

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said this move runs counter to the important consensus reached between the two leaderships, President Xi Jinping and President Rodrigo Duterte. It is said that this is in line with resolving the issue in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.

But the Department of National Defense (DND) said it is part of the department secretary’s duty to inspect all facilities under his administration.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año sees no issues in these.

The official said Pag-asa Island is part of the Philippine territory where military troops are deployed.

Pag-asa Island is part of a municipality in Palawan.

The Department of Foreign Affairs maintained the department has initially stated it is the government’s duty to protect and ensure the security of Filipinos living on the island.

Meanwhile, upon visit to Pag-asa Island Secretary Lorenzana said he is not concerned over China’s reaction on the Philippine government’s move.

“Sagutan lang ng protest yan, so ganun lang muna yan, although we are managing the issues, through protests and dialogue, so wala naman sigurong mangyayarig hindi maganda,” he said. (There will be a series of protests. Although we are managing the issues, through protests and dialogue. So perhaps nothing bad will happen.) — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

Duterte warns water concessionaires: I will order the AFP to take over

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 13, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte has warned Maynilad and Manila Water that he will order the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to take over water distribution operations.

“I will order the Armed Forces to operate the water, ‘Sige, sundalo, take over kayo’ (Soldiers, go take over). And I will declare the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus but only against economic sabotage,” he said during the birthday celebration of former Senator Manny Villar on Thursday (December 12).

The Chief Executive has previously threatened the two water concessionaires with “economic sabotage” due to alleged irregular water deals.

In a letter, the two companies revoked their compensation claims prompting the government to pay almost P11 billion, as ordered by an attribution court in Singapore.

They have also offered to revisit the contracts in order to come up with possible amendments.

However, Malacañang said the President is still reviewing the said letter and has yet to decide on his next action on the issue.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo has advised the two water concessionaires that the President will strive to enforce the law.

“The concessionaires are put on notice that the Chief Executive will not renege from his constitutional duty of enforcing the law. Neither will he be swayed nor enticed into accepting a compromise. Dura lex sed lex,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to give incentives to SEA Games athletes on Dec. 18

Marje Pelayo   •   December 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – All athletes who participated in the recently concluded 30th South East Asian Games (SEA Games) will be awarded and will get additional incentives from President Rodrigo Duterte.

The ceremony will be held at the Malacañang on December 18, Senator Bong Go told reporters.

The former Special Assistant to the President said the President is also giving the Order of Lapu-Lapu Award to all the athletes.

“Lahat ng gold medalist, silver medalist at ang bronze medalists ay makakatanggap ng Lapu-Lapu Award mula sa Pangulo (All gold, silver and bronze medalists will receive the Lapu-Lapu Award from the President),” Go said.

Among the recipients will be the ‘hero’ surfer Roger Casugay for exemplifying the Filipino value of bayanihan and showing the true spirit of sportsmanship when he chose to save his Indonesian competitor over his quest for a gold medal.

Go said the incentives and the awards are on top of what the athletes deserve to receive as mandated by law. – MNP (with inputs from Dante Amento)

P10-M worth of hot meat from China seized in Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   December 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila Veterinary Inspection Board confiscated on Friday morning (December 13) over 10 tons of hot meat in a warehouse in Tondo.

According to Manila Mayor Isko Domagoso, the contraband composed of various meat products, Peking duck, sausage and other similar items sealed inside boxes imprinted with Chinese characters, may worth up to more than P10 million.

Authorities are now tracing the whereabouts of the warehouse owner identified as Daniel Yulo.

The seized products will be turned over to the Department of Agriculture (DA) for disposal.

Those behind the smuggling of the said hot meat will face criminal charges, according to Domagoso.

Currently, the Philippines is implementing an import ban on pork and chicken from China due to the outbreak of avian flu and the African Swine Fever. – MNP (with details from Bernard Dadis)

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