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Malacañang eyes probe on ‘artificial’ Manila Water shortage

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Residents line up for rationed water

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (March 14) raised the possibility that the ongoing water shortage in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal Province and supply issues being experienced by the Manila Water may be “artificial.”

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement during a press briefing Thursday, citing information that Angat Dam is not yet at a critical level.

Angat Dam is the main source of Manila Water’s supply while La Mesa dam serves as its emergency reserve.

Panelo said the information about Manila Water supply issues struck him as not true after reading reports about Maynilad’s current supply, which also gets its allocation from Angat Dam.

“Inefficiency yan, mismanagement. Eh di artificial (shortage) lang ‘yun kung ganun. If the source is puno and another concessionaire is puno also, eh ‘di bakit naman ‘yung isa, hindi [It could be just inefficiency, mismanagement. In that case, it’s only artificial shortage because the source is full and another concessionaire is also full. Why is the other one not having supply issues?],” Panelo said during a press briefing in Malacañang.

Panelo, however, clarified that the water shortage is still being investigated and Malacañang has yet to make any conclusion on the matter.

Eastern Metro Manila and parts of Rizal province has been grappling with limited to no water supply since last week after Manila Water announced it will implement adjustments in its water service operations.

Manila Water admitted on Tuesday (March 12) that aside from the effects of El Niño, delays in projects designed to boost its supply led to the water shortage in eastern Metro Manila.

READ: MWSS Chief Regulator: Rising population, no new water source caused Manila Water’s supply shortage

Senators, for their part, said on Wednesday (March 13) they are eyeing to launch an investigation into the actions being taken by the government to resolve the water shortage in the country.

READ: Senators eye probe on water shortage

When asked, Panelo assured to hold Manila Water accountable if it is at fault for the water shortage.

“Siyempre, kung sila ang may kasalanan, we’ll make sure that they will be (held) accountable [Of course, if they are at fault, we’ll make sure that they will be held accountable],” he said.

Panelo also said that the ongoing water shortage should prompt local government units to install respective water reservoirs to address any future water-related problems.

READ: Malacañang to release executive order on water shortage

Malacañang earlier said it is now drafting an Executive Order (EO) to address the ongoing water supply woes. It is expected to be released next week. – Robie de Guzman (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Palace lauds BOC for early detection of mixed plastic waste in Misamis Oriental

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

Courtesy : Ecowaste Coalition Facebook page

Malacañang has lauded the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for the early detection of mixed plastic waste in Misamis Oriental from Hong Kong.

READ: EcoWaste slams botched plastic waste shipment from Hong Kong

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, in a statement, also called on other government agencies “to continue exercising vigilance and hinder the entry of such shipments of garbage into our territorial jurisdiction at the first instance.”

The said mixed plastic waste that was discovered in Misamis Oriental had been declared as “assorted electronic accessories”.

The Palace also acknowledged BOC’s action to export the shipment back to its port of origin. It also reiterated its “firm position of the Republic of the Philippines that it will not allow its territory to be treated as a dumping ground for trash by any foreign country or entity,” the statement reads.

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Alias ‘Bikoy’ should prove allegations to be credible — Malacañang

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

(L-R) Vice President Leni Robredo and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (May 23) refused to give its assessment on the credibility of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy following the retraction of his previous claims.

Advincula previously confessed as the man behind a series of narco-videos entitled “Ang Totoong Narcolist” that linked President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to illegal drugs trade.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Advincula should submit first evidence that would prove his claims and allegations against the personalities he was implicating.

The Palace is leaving it up to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) on what charges they will file against Advincula as consequences of his actions and for any violations of the law.

“We will have to wait for Bikoy or Advincula to substantiate his charges and after that we’ll see if there are charges to be filed in court then the truth will come out,” Panelo said.

“As I said repeatedly, no matter how you close, you cover, truth will always come out,” he added.

Malacañang, meanwhile, strongly denied the allegation of opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who claimed that alias Bikoy’s retraction was another ploy by the Duterte administration to pin down the opposition.

“In the first place the opposition has been harassing this government, this administration. they are the ones sowing intrigues as we repeatedly said,” Panelo said.

Advincula surrendered to the police and revealed that everything he said in the videos were orchestrated by the Liberal Party (LP) and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Vice President Leni Robredo in a televised conference following Advincula’s surrender said all allegations is “unfair” to the opposition party.

“Napakaraming pangalan na nasambit. Ang Liberal Party once again (ay) nahila dito sa controversy. I can speak for the party. Wala kaming kinalaman dito sa Bikoy issue,” Robredo said.

“There were so many names mentioned. The Liberal Party was once again tagged in the controversy. I can speak for the party. We have nothing to do with this Bikoy issue.)

“Unfair na isali uli ang LP dito. Kung ito ay harassment, kung ito ay ginagawang paraan para lalong yurakan o tapakan ang Liberal Party o kaming nasa oposisyon, hindi ito magiging dahilan para magpatinag tayo, para huminto tayo sa pagpupuna kung may kailangang punahin,” she concluded.

(I find it unfair to again tag LP. If this is harassment to pull down the Liberal Party or the opposition, this will not be a reason for us to stop to criticize.) (with reports from Rosalie Coz) Marje Pelayo

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No need to protest Morales’ HK incident – Malacañang

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday (May 23) said there was no harassment inflicted against former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales when she was barred by immigration officials at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday (May 21).

Thus, Malacañang believes there is no reason for the Philippine government to file a protest against the Chinese state.

“Parang ang gusto yata ng iba, bumanat tayo. But you know, tinanong ko si ano, kumusta naman ang trato? Kung binastos siya o minis-treat siya, hindi pwede sa atin iyon. We will definitely protest pero hindi naman,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

(Others want us to hit back. But you know, I asked how she was treated. Was she harassed or mistreated? If that’s so, we will not allow that. We will definitely protest but that was not the case.)

Panelo’s remarks were in response to opposition senator, Risa Hontiveros who urged the government to protest against Hong Kong over the incident.

Panelo said the Palace does not want to speculate of the reason why Immigration authorities denied the former Ombudsman entry to their domain.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said that the incident might be related to the charges filed by Morales to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Chinese President Xi Jinping over territorial dispute in the South China and West Philippine Sea.

Hong Kong legislator Ted Hui Chi-Fung, meanwhile, criticized the actions of the Hong Kong Immigration personnel against Morales saying: “This incident yet again showed that Beijing has exercised control over Hong Kong’s immigration which is clearly against the Rule of Law and Hong Kong Basic Law.”

But for Malacañang, Panelo said they do not consider Morales a threat to national security nor a destabilizer.

“She is entitled to her opinion she exercises her right to freedom of expression. And we respect that, all of us,” Panelo concluded. – (with details from Rosalie Coz) Marje Pelayo

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