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Makabayan bloc believes boat captain was pressured to change statements

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019

Courtesy :Secretary Manny Piñol’s FB page

Makabayan bloc believes that the boat captain of the sunken fishing vessel was pressured to change statements after their meeting with Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate said the fishermen might have been intimidated or bribed in order to change their statements about the incident.

“There was really a pressure. They are bombarded by so much misinformation. Itinu-twist ang kanilang statement siguro may mga pagbabanta pa and offer of parang bina-bribe bigyan ng mga ganitong bangka etc. but it will not erase the fact, (They twist [the fishermen’s] statement maybe there are even threats and bribes. They may have bribed them with these kinds of boats etc.),” he said.

Outgoing Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano said the Reed Bank fishermen are facing a lot of pressure.

The group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) called for transparency on the closed-door meeting with Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

“We demand an explanation and transparency from Piñol on what actually happened inside that house that led to the complete turnaround on the position of the boat captain on the incident that happened on the night of June 9,” their statement reads.

In a radio interview, Secretary Piñol denied there was any intimidation during the meeting. He said his actions are only brought by good intentions.

Meanwhile, Occidental Mindoro Representative Josephine Sato said there should be a ‘marine inquiry’ on the incident.

“Kami po ay humihiling, sa lalong madaling panahon, na magkaroon ng marine inquiry, (We wish to have a marine inquiry as soon as possible)” she said.

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Duterte to explain Chinese fishing in PH waters at 4th SONA

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte will explain his decision on allowing Chinese fishermen to fish in the Philippine waters during his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.

The chief executive said he will explain why his decision was not unconstitutional.

“Maybe during SONA, I will educate people. By any stretch of imagination, hindi unconstitutional iyong ginawa ko (what I did was not unconstitutional). As a matter of fact, it was in keeping with the law,” he said.

READ: Allowing China to fish on PH waters a ground for impeachment vs Duterte, law experts say

Duterte also slammed his critics for saying his action to allow Chinese fishermen in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is an impeachable offense.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also reiterated that the president will explain his decision and not defend it.

“He will not defend; he will educate people who think that what he did was unconstitutional. He will lecture on the constitutionality of what he has done,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Rain-triggered floods force evacuations, disrupt traffic in south China

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Various of firefighters evacuating trapped people. Lingchuan County, Guilin City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, south China | Courtesy: Reuters

Torrential rains battered cities in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region over the past two days, causing massive flooding.

In the city of Guilin, persistent downpours unleashed a severe flood in a local village, stranding many people.

The local fire department dispatched 54 members, 9 fire engines and 4 rubber boats to evacuate locals.

As of 14:50 Sunday, 300 affected people have been evacuated to safety.

Transportation, electricity, and communications are still under repair in the flood-affected areas, and the local authorities are still determining the losses caused by the flooding.

Heavy rain also caused waterlogging in the urban area of Liuzhou City on Sunday, disrupting traffic in many streets. Several low-lying roads were submerged by knee-high floodwaters.

The local transportation department initiated temporary traffic control and dispatched police officers to assist stranded motorists and pedestrians.

In the city’s Liubei District, firefighters on Saturday rescued a woman who was stranded in a tree by the fast-moving floodwaters. (REUTERS)

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Mega bridge connecting three provinces to be joined in southwest China

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

Aerial shots of workers joining two segments of Jimingsansheng Bridge together | Courtesy : China Central Television (CCTV)

A mega bridge connecting three remote southwest China’s provinces will have its main structure joined on Sunday.

The arch bridge named Jimingsansheng Bridge, or cockcrow heard in three provinces, is built at the juncture of provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan.

The vertical distance from the highest point of the bridge to the river surface below is 159 meters, equivalent to the height of a 50-story building.

During the construction of the bridge, builders overcame difficulties formed by rough terrain and rugged limestone cliffs flanking it, which had never been met in previous projects.

With the construction started in 2016, the bridge will open to traffic at the end of this year.

Once completed, it is expected to play an important role in alleviating poverty in the local area. (REUTERS)

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