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DOTr plans return 48 Dalian trains to China

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has sent letters to four international certifiers to examine the construction of 48 new train coaches for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) bought by the Philippines from China.

DOTr Undersecretary for Rails, Cesar Chavez said the international third party will examine the 48 Dalian trains to determine its safety for passenger use.

The process will take three months. Once the international third party finds the coaches not compatible to the signaling system of the current trains used in the MRT, the DOTr will opt to return the coaches to China.

“If they say these are not operationally reliable, we will return it to China without spending any amount. Our option is to return these to China and have them fix it,” Chavez said.

Aside from the signaling system, there are also problems on the wheels of the new trains as these are bigger than the size of the rails of MRT.

The 48 Dalian trains are worth P3.8-billion.

The Philippines has already paid an amount of P800-million to the Chinese government.

The DOTr said the Philippine government will not ask for a refund of the amount, but instead it will ask the Chinese to repair the trains so it could still be used in the MRT.

The trains arrived in the Philippines in 2015.

However, after 2 years, the trains remain unusable for the millions of passengers of MRT.

On Wednesday, MRT operations encountered glitches six times, injuring two passengers when the train suddenly stopped.

In the Senate hearing on the proposed 2018 budget of the DOTr, Senator Grace Poe said officials involved in the purchase of the trains should be held liable in court.

The DOTr plans to return the Dalian trains to China before the end of the year. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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Without ICC treaty, PHL can’t sue China if it invades Panatag, Scarborough — Carpio

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the Pagasa (Hope) Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines July 20, 2011.
REUTERS/ROLEX DELA PENA/POOL

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has concluded the oral arguments on the petition questioning the validity of the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It was the Executive Department’s turn to argue that there is no explicit constitutional provision that states Senate concurrence is required in treaty withdrawal.

Solicitor General Jose Calida explained that President Rodrigo Duterte did not violate the Constitution, but only exercised his power as the chief architect that crafts and implements foreign policy.

But Justice Antonio Carpio said the ICC treaty is the only legal deterrent that can protect the country from China’s abuses, specifically, the Kampala Amendment which activated the court’s jurisdiction on crimes of aggression.

“If China invades Pag-asa [Island] and puts up a naval base in Scarborough Shoal, we will not be able to sue President Xi Jin Ping and his military leaders because we have withdrawn already from the ICC, correct?
I mean we cannot take advantage of this legal defense anymore because we are withdrawing from the Rome Statute.

Calida suggested that there might be other international treaties that can be used, but Carpio insisted otherwise.

“This is the only treaty in the world that holds political and military leaders of a state that commits the crime of aggression,” Carpio said.

The Philippines withdrew from the treaty in March 2018 via note verbale sent to the United Nations amid the preliminary examinations on Duterte’s war on drugs by ICC prosecutor Fathou Bensouda.

But according to constitutional law professor Tony La Viña, whether or not the high court rules in favor of the president, investigations on his controversial drug war will continue.

“Kahit sabihin ng Supreme Court natin na valid ang pag withdraw ni Duterte di ba? For any case filed against him, for acts he committed noong member pa tayo, continue iyon. Ang consequence lang ng pagwithdraw natin sa ICC ay any acts committed after April or March, when it takes effect, is no longer covered,” La Viña said.

The petitions asking for the nullification of the withdrawal were filed by opposition senators and the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court. — Mai Bermudez

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Gov’t: PHL-China joint oil exploration could solve surging oil prices, energy security

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A child holds national flags of China and the Philippines before President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and China’s President Xi Jinping attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

 

MANILA, Philippines — The government believes that the possible joint oil exploration between the Philippines and China in the West Philippines Sea will help address surging oil prices and ensure the country’s energy security.

The government is eyeing to sign a formal agreement with China during President Xi Jinping’s visit to the country this year.

However, Malacañang clarified that the agreement will not be immediately implemented pending processes and studies to be undertaken on the matter.

“That’s why we are studying it and the administration is pushing for the joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea because based on the initial study, there is natural gas or diesel especially in what we call the Service Contract No. 72,” said Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

 

 

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Dalian trains to go on simulation run prior to 2018 debut

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, October 1st, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Railway engineers from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), MRT-3, the Philippines National Railways, and CRRC Dalian recently convened to discuss the conduct of a simulation run of Dalian trains this October.

The said test run aims to review the reliability and compatibility of Dalian trains before officially hitting the tracks by the end of the year.

The MRT management, meanwhile, assured that the simulation run will not affect the MRT-3’s regular train services.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade previously said that they plan to inaugurate the official operation of the 48 Dalian trains before the end of 2018 only if they pass safety and security standards. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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