Indian president to visit PH from Oct 17-21

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 11, 2019   •   240

am Nath Kovind, President of India, speaks in Bern, Switzerland, 13 September 2019.  EPA-EFE/PETER SCHNEIDER

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind will arrive in the Philippines for a state visit from October 17 to 21 upon the invitation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Based on the statement of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the state visit commemorates the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

“The State Visit marks an important milestone in the Philippine-India bilateral relations as both countries commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year,” according to the DFA statement.

The two officials will also hold a bilateral meeting during the state visit to discuss areas of mutual interest, including political, economic, cultural and people-to-people engagement.

“President Kovind is expected to meet with the members of the Indian community in the Philippines and the Filipino beneficiaries of the Mahaveer Philippine Foundation, Inc,” the statement read.—AAC

Robredo: Majority of illegal drugs in PH came from China

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 15, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo who is also the co-chairman of the government’s anti-illegal drug program, said that the majority of the illegal drugs in the country came from China.

After the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) Enforcement Cluster Meeting on Thursday (November 14), Robredo said this is based on the reports they currently have.

“Kasi iyong pinaka-report talaga sa atin ngayon, karamihan sa supply na pumapasok dito, galing China. Pati iyon mga nahuhuli sa ma nago-operate within the Philippines, karamihan Chinese nationals or Filipino-Chinese national (Because based on the reports we have, most of the supply entering the country came from China. Even those who are arrested for operating in the Philippines, most of them are Chinese nationals or Filipino-Chinese nationals),” she said.

The vice president also said she wants to collect more data and review the information they have gathered regarding the supply of illegal drugs entering the country.

However, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Chief Aaron Aquino the drugs entering the country came from the Golden Triangle Drug Syndicate.

The Golden Triangle, Aquino said, is an area on the border of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos.

Aquino added that due to the crackdown of illegal drugs in China, drug syndicates in the said country opted to get their supply from other places instead of manufacturing it.

Meanwhile, Robredo also plans to coordinate with other countries including the United States regarding the drug war in order to strengthen the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

PH as world’s biggest rice importer concerns Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   November 12, 2019

Filipino port workers unload sacks of rice, which are imported from Vietnam to be distributed by the National Food Authority (NFA), inside a ship docked at Surigao port, Mindanao, southern Philippines. EPA-EFE/ALLANAH TORRALBA (FILE)

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang does not deny being concerned about recent reports that the Philippines is currently the world’s top rice importer.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, such report may be true but the government is making sure that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is on top of the situation.

“Ginagawa naman ni Secretary Dar ang kaniyang mga pamamaraan (Secretary Dar is finding ways) to solve whatever problems confronting the farmers,” Panelo said.

The report published by the United States’ Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA-FAS) projected the Philippines rice importation to reach a record high by year-end – about 3 million metric tons – the highest in the world and the country’s highest ever recorded.

This projection is way higher than China, the biggest rice importer so far at 2.5 million metric tons by year-end.

Malacañang, meanwhile, blames the country’s lack of irrigation as the main reason for the increase in rice importation. – MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

NHCP on Spanish-produced animated film: We respect artistic freedom

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 8, 2019

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has said they respect artistic freedom and has clarified that they do not endorse or critique films and other art forms.

This is amid the backlash from the Spanish-produced animated film, Elcano and Magellan.

In a statement, chairperson of the NHCP and the vice-chairperson of the National Quincentennial Committee Dr. Rene Escalate said the public should understand the nature of history as biased, subjective, and selective.

“This is true with the Spanish-produced animated film, Elcano and Magellan, which is, obviously, biased in favor of Spain and conforms to the Spanish point-of-view of the history,” he said.

“We are also biased toward our national sentiment and perspective: that Lapu-Lapu is our hero and Ferdinand Magellan was the defeated foreign intruder,” he added.

Escalante, meanwhile, requests the public to be critical and make use of the opportunity to discover who truly are our ancestors through books and museums.

“To enrich your knowledge about our identity as a people,” Escalante said.—AAC

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