Duterte in ASEAN: South China Sea issue must be resolved peacefully in accordance with UNCLOS
Maris Federez • November 3, 2019 • 489
Malacañang has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte joined his fellow heads of state and government of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in their plenary session in the evening of November 2.
A statement released by Malacanang on Sunday reads that President Duterte talked about the challenges that face ASEAN, such as, transnational crimes, advances in technology, protectionism and trade-related tension among ASEAN partners, environmental sustainability and geopolitical transformation.
The Palace said that the President thereafter shared his insights in addressing said challenges.
In elaborating geopolitical transformation, the Chief Executive made mention of the issue of the South China Sea “which he considers as one that is of strategic importance to ASEAN”, stressing his firm stance that it “must be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”
The President further mentioned that maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight above the South China Sea is a priority of ASEAN.
With its role as ASEAN-China Country Coordinator, the Philippines “vowed to do its utmost best to conclude the negotiations on the Code of Conduct — one that is effective and substantive — at the soonest possible time.”
The President also discussed the changing landscape of the Southeast Asian region “which recognizes the rise of the dragon (China) in a world still dominated by a soaring eagle (United States).”
The statement also confirmed that the Chief Executive called on ASEAN leaders not to choose — or be forced to choose — sides by pointing out what he calls a “strategic mistake” committed by the Philippines’ past leaderships, which he is now rectifying through his independent foreign policy.
The Palace further said that, for the remainder of this year’s ASEAN Summit, the President will likely continue elaborating and discussing the Philippines’ position in relation to important matters that are beneficial not just to the Filipino people but to the citizens of ASEAN member countries. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Saturday condemned a supposed report claiming that President Rodrigo Duterte was ordered to behave at the ASEAN summit in Bangkok by no less than Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
In a statement, the Palace accused the President’s “unthinking critics” of peddling the “bogus” article that was allegedly published by the Bangkok Post with the header, “King orders PH Duterte, behave during ASEAN summit.”
“The Office of the President expresses its indignation over this cheap political stunt aimed at embarrassing PRRD, thereby humiliating our country which he represents, before the global audience,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“These raucous anti-Duterte forces should be educated that when the Head of State and the Chief Executive of the Government of the Philippines is on an official trip overseas, we set aside politics — even the bitterest one amongst foes. If this group cannot rally behind a nation’s mandated leader, as he represents not only his office but the image of the nation as a whole, it should at least observe moratorium on their campaign on hate,” he added.
He warned “peddlers of false information” by reminding them of Thailand’s strict lese-majeste laws which prohibits the insult of the monarchy.
“Harming Philippine -Thai bilateral relations by defaming the monarchy through lies and falsehoods is punishable by prison term, and those behind this recent insolence must face such a grim but deserving consequence,” Panelo said.
President Rodrigo Duterte plans to have a one-week break according to Senator Bong Go on Thursday (October 24).
This is after the chief executive suffered a lumbar muscle spasm caused by a minor motorcycle accident on October 16.
Go said the president will have his one-week break in Davao after attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok, Thailand on November 2.
“One week po ang gustong pahinga ng ating mahal na Pangulo para naman po gumaling iyong sakit na nararamdaman niya sa likod niya po dahil sa pagkadisgrasya po sa motor (Our beloved president will have a one-week break for his back pain to heal after he had a motorcycle accident),” he said.
Go clarified that the President will not have a leave of absence and will still continue his paperwork.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wants to look into research-based technologies to address the dengue problem in the country.
DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said the department has funded several research projects and programs to aid in addressing the different aspects of the disease.
“Through the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, we have funded a number of research projects and programs consistent with the multi-prong approach in the control of dengue that address different aspects such as diagnosis and treatment,” he said.
One of the researches supported by the DOST is the Biotek M which is a rapid diagnostic test for dengue. This kit can diagnose dengue as early as two to three days after the onset of illness.
They are also looking into a possible herbal medicine for dengue.
“Dengue research and development has always been one of the priority research areas in the country. This is stated in the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda led by the DOST,” said Sec. de la Peña.—AAC
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