Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

Finally! Canada agrees to shoulder return of trash shipment

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Canadian government has agreed to pay for the expenses in shipping out all the 69 waste containers it had dumped in the Philippines in 2013.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) confirmed the matter during the 37th Cabinet meeting on Monday (May 6) with President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The President is firm that we are not garbage collectors, thus he ordered that the Philippines will no longer accept any waste from any country,” Panelo said in a statement to reporters.

In April, President Duterte issued a stern warning saying he would declare “war” against Canada if it failed to remove its trash illegally exported to the country, and emphasized that he would no longer allow the North American country to turn the Philippines into a “dumpsite.”

“We will declare war. Load the containers onto a ship and advise Canada. I will advise Canada that, ‘Your garbage is on the way. Prepare a grand reception. Eat it if you want to,’” he added.

READ: Canada vows to resolve trash dumping issue after Duterte’s war threat

In response, the Canadian Embassy to the Philippines reiterated its government’s commitment “to working collaboratively with the Government of the Philippines to ensure the material is processed in an environmentally responsible way.”

 “A joint technical working group, consisting of officials from both countries, is examining the full spectrum of issues related to the removal of the waste with a view to a timely resolution,” the Canadian Embassy said in a statement. – Marje Pelayo

Tags: , , , , , ,

Palace sees ‘exciting times’ ahead with rumored incoming US envoy Mina Chang

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Deputy Assistant Secretary Mina Chang

MANILA, Philippines – The United States is reportedly sending Deputy Assistant Secretary Mina Chang as the replacement to outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, according to insider information from the US Executive Department.

The report set the country’s diplomatic scene abuzz and though he couldn’t confirm it, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was obviously thrilled saying days ahead would be “exciting” if Chang’s appointment would push through.

Why?

First, the 32-year-old Korean-American diplomat is a stunner and is among the top-caliber official of the United States government.

She is currently assigned to the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

Second, she is an advocate of global education. Before assuming a government position, Chang was the Chief Executive Officer of the non-government organization Linking the World.

Likewise, she is an advocate “for proactive stabilization as a strategic tool of foreign engagement and an investment in a stronger America abroad.”

According to her U.S. State Department profile, Chang has “extensive on the ground experience in conflict areas such as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, and the Philippines.”

Third, Chang has impressive academic credentials: “An alumna of the Harvard Business School, a graduate of the United States Army War College National Security Seminar, a Harvard John F. Kennedy Senior Executive in National and International Security and a former International Security Fellow at New America.”

Aside from good looks, Chang also had a flourishing career as an international pop singer and recorded both English and Korean songs, a platform she used to push her humanitarian goals.

With the Filipinos’ weakness for beauty pageants and President Rodrigo Duterte’s fondness for beautiful women, U.S. President Donald Trump is perhaps using this ‘beauty queen diplomacy’ to convince the President to make a turn around as he pivots to China.

Once confirmed, Chang will be the second female US ambassador to the Philippines after Kristie Kenney, who served as ambassador to Manila from 2006 to 2009.  

Tags: , , , , ,

Term-sharing in House speakership won’t affect legislative agenda—Malacañang

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Courtesy : HOR Facebook page

Malacañang has assured that the term-sharing in the House Speakership will not affect the legislative agenda of the administration.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it is the decision of the House of Representatives if they will follow President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement about the term-sharing.

READ: Duterte: Cayetano, Velasco to share term as House Speaker

“Nag-agree na nga iyong tatlo, sila nga ang magkakalaban, (The three have already agreed) they forged into unity so how can there be disruptions?” Panelo said.

READ: Duterte: I don’t want to interfere in House affairs

Duterte already announced the term-sharing on Monday (July 8) between Taguig City Representative Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco as House Speakers.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Malacañang slams Amnesty International over calls to probe Duterte’s war on drugs

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang lambasted human rights group Amnesty International (AI) over calls for the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to investigate the administration’s war on drugs.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday (July 8) accused the group of politicking and using the issue to malign the reputation of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s government.  

According to Malacañang, the group doesn’t have the right to probe the human rights situation in the country given that the Philippines has a local human rights body authorized to conduct an inquiry on the alleged abuses as a result of the government’s drive against illegal drugs.

Panelo added that there are organizations in the Philippines that can provide legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses such as the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

“The problem is this Amnesty International is politicizing the so-called extrajudicial killings of this country,” Panelo argued.

“There is bias. There is prejudice. We’d rather have our own groups here protective of human rights, to help, those who feel that there have been police abuses in the matter of police operations” he added.

The Palace insisted that the international group has no basis for its claims adding that its figure on alleged deaths related to the government’s drug war is exaggerated and is not backed by factual reports.

Likewise, the Duterte administration challenges its critics to file a formal complaint if there is any proof or confirmed victims of abuse in relation to the drug war as the government will not tolerate such practice especially among law enforcers such as the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Filing a complaint, Panelo said, is the most appropriate action against any case of abuse, if there’s any, during the conduct of anti-drug operations.

“I think it is incorrigible on the part of the Amnesty International to make that call. It keeps on calling for an investigation ever since. But the fact remains that the basis for their call is factually wrong,” argued Panelo.

“They’re saying that there have been murders in this country as if all those who are killed in the police operations have been intentionally slaughtered or killed by the policemen” he concluded.

Earlier on Monday, AI, made public its report – “They Just Kill” – which demanded the UNHRC to approve a resolution that seeks for an investigation into the Philippines’ drug war.

It also called for the UN body to “immediately initiate an independent, impartial and effective investigation into human rights violations in the ‘war on drugs,’ including the commission of crimes under international law.” – with reports from Rosalie Coz and April Cenedoza

Tags: , , , , ,