Indonesia seizes 210 tonnes of Australian trash, plans to send it back

Marje Pelayo   •   July 11, 2019   •   1027

A Customs officer showing trash from Australia in containers | Courtesy: Image grabbed from a Reuters video

REUTERS – Indonesia said on Tuesday (July 9) that it was planning to send back 210 tonnes of trash to Australia, in its latest attempt to push back waste imported from Western countries.

The eight containers seized at Tanjung Perak port in Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya, contain plastic bottles, used baby diapers and electronic products, East Java province Customs said in a press release.

Chief of the port’s customs told Reuters three companies were involved in the shipment and were responsible to re-export after an investigation.

This is the second time in less than a month that Indonesia re-exported contaminated waste. Last month, Indonesia sent a consignment of Canadian paper waste back from the same port.

Indonesia and its neighbouring Southeast Asian countries Malaysia and Philippines have been sending back trash amid a spike in imports from Western countries after China banned imports, disrupting the global flow of millions of tonnes of waste each year.

Indonesia requires travelers from PH to secure int’l certification vs. polio

Marje Pelayo   •   October 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Embassy in Jakarta on Monday (October 28) issued an advisory regarding the Indonesian government’s newly imposed measures for travelers coming from the Philippines following the reported third case of polio virus infection in the country.

According to the advisory, all travelers from the Philippines who wish to enter and stay in Indonesia for at least four weeks need to have immunization from vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) Type 2.

Each traveler should, at least, present an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) or other acceptable document as proof of anti-polio immunization.

The embassy added that in case the traveler is unable to present poof of immunization, Indonesian port authorities will provide vaccination and certification for a fee of IDR175,000 or about P675.

If the traveler refuses vaccination, the embassy said, he or she will be banned entry to Indonesia and eventually face deportation.

The advisory clarified, however, that the new measure applies only for travelers who intend to stay in Indonesia for at least four weeks.

Travelers who wish to stay for less than the given period are exempted from the forced vaccination.

Likewise, vaccination is not mandatory to departing passengers, the embassy said.

UPDATED ADVISORY ON POLIO

Posted by Philippine Embassy in Indonesia on Monday, 28 October 2019

Indonesian Navy warships arrive in PH for goodwill visit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 16, 2019

Two Indonesian vessels arrived at Alava Pier in Olongapo City on Tuesday (October 15) for a goodwill visit to the Philippines.

The ships, Bung Tomo-class corvette KRI John Lie (358) and SIGMA-class corvette KRI Frans Kaisiepo (368) will remain in the country until October 18.

The visit aims to establish diplomatic relations and promote Indonesian culture and tourism.

“The visiting navy personnel will engage their Filipino counterparts during confidence-building activities such as shipboard tour, reciprocal receptions, and friendly games,” according to the Philippine Navy.

It is the second goodwill visit of Indonesian Navy to the country this year following the arrival of their training ship KRI Bima Suci last August.—AAC

Supreme Court allows deposition of Mary Jane Veloso in Indonesia

Robie de Guzman   •   October 11, 2019

Celia Veloso, mother of Filipino death row prisoner Mary Jane Veloso reacts during a prayer vigil in Manila, Philippines, 13 September 2016. EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday said it has allowed the taking of the testimony of Filipina death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso against her alleged recruiters through deposition in Indonesia.

The SC’s Third Division granted the petition for review on certiorari that assailed the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) that reversed the August 2016 resolution of the Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court (RTC), allowing Veloso to testify through deposition by written interrogatories.

“Thus, the Court reinstated and affirmed with modification the ruling of the RTC and ordered that the deposition of Mary Jane be taken before the Philippine Consular Office and officials in Indonesia pursuant to the Rules of Court and principles of jurisdiction,” the SC Public Information Office said in a statement.

“To disallow the written interrogatories will curtail Mary Jane’s right to due process,” the SC PIO quoted the SC in its ruling.

The decision, penned by Associate Justice Ramon Hernando, was reached last October 9, a week after Veloso’s parents urged the SC to allow their daughter to testify by way of deposition to save her life.

The case was elevated to the high court after Veloso’s parents, represented by the National Union of People’s Lawyers, urged the SC to overturn the CA’s order.

The CA reversed the Nueva Ecija court’s ruling and barred Veloso from testifying by way of deposition, saying this will violate the rights of alleged recruiters Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao to confront the witness against them.

The SC said that such was not the case of Mary Jane, noting that “she cannot even take a single step out of the prison facility of her own volition without facing severe consequence.”

“Her imprisonment in Indonesia and the conditions attached to her reprieve denied her of any opportunity to decide for herself to voluntarily appear and testify before the trial court in Nueva Ecija where the cases of the respondents of illegal recruitment were pending,” the SC added.

Veloso was arrested in 2010 after she was caught by Indonesian authorities with 2.5 kilograms of heroin in her luggage when she arrived at a Yogyakarta international airport.

Mary Jane denied knowledge of the contraband and accused her recruiters of tricking her and placing the illegal drugs in her bag.

She was charged with drug trafficking before the District Court of Sleman, Yogyakarta, which later sentenced her to death by firing squad.

In 2015, she was given reprieve from execution after Philippine authorities informed their counterparts that Sergio surrendered to police.

Sergio and Lacanilao are on trial for qualified human trafficking, estafa and simple illegal recruitment before the Nueva Ecija RTC.

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