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Malacañang on fishing rights in Scarborough Shoal: ‘We do not concede’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018

 

 

Secretary Harry Roque with three of the fishermen who had encounters with the Chinese coast guard

 

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang called the incidents in Scarborough Shoal between Filipino fishermen and some Chinese coast guard, not a barter trade but a form of “fish thievery.”

Filipino fishermen reported that some members of the Chinese Coast Guard have been taking the best of their catch in exchange for noodles and drinking water.

“So for lack of a better word, let’s call it ‘pangongotong’ in Tagalog, which is fish thievery. I have never really addressed it as a barter,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque.

Malacañang in previous interviews said the incident has already been reported to China, and which the latter assured is being investigated.

For the local government of Masinloc, Zambales, fishermen seem to pay China a toll-fee for fishing in Panatag Shoal which belongs to the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.

“Iyon nga parang may toll-fee sa gitna ng karagatan. Ang mga Masinlokenyos po ay mga mababait na tao iyan. Ayaw po nila ng gulo. Ayaw nila makiaway kaya okay na lang na magbigay sila kaysa bawalan po sila,” said Mayor Arsenia Lim of Masinloc, Zambales.

Following the incident, the local government of Masinloc is appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to make sure Filipino fishermen can still fish freely and safely in Panatag Shoal.

Meanwhile, Malacañang stands firm that the Philippines has the sovereign rights over Scarborough Shoal and that the territory is not owned by China.

This is in reaction to the statement of the  Chinese Foreign Ministry that they let Filipino fishermen fish in the area out of goodwill.

Asked if the Philippines concede fishing rights in Scarborough shoal, Roque firmly said, “We do not concede.” – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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Without ICC treaty, PHL can’t sue China if it invades Panatag, Scarborough — Carpio

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the Pagasa (Hope) Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines July 20, 2011.
REUTERS/ROLEX DELA PENA/POOL

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has concluded the oral arguments on the petition questioning the validity of the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It was the Executive Department’s turn to argue that there is no explicit constitutional provision that states Senate concurrence is required in treaty withdrawal.

Solicitor General Jose Calida explained that President Rodrigo Duterte did not violate the Constitution, but only exercised his power as the chief architect that crafts and implements foreign policy.

But Justice Antonio Carpio said the ICC treaty is the only legal deterrent that can protect the country from China’s abuses, specifically, the Kampala Amendment which activated the court’s jurisdiction on crimes of aggression.

“If China invades Pag-asa [Island] and puts up a naval base in Scarborough Shoal, we will not be able to sue President Xi Jin Ping and his military leaders because we have withdrawn already from the ICC, correct?
I mean we cannot take advantage of this legal defense anymore because we are withdrawing from the Rome Statute.

Calida suggested that there might be other international treaties that can be used, but Carpio insisted otherwise.

“This is the only treaty in the world that holds political and military leaders of a state that commits the crime of aggression,” Carpio said.

The Philippines withdrew from the treaty in March 2018 via note verbale sent to the United Nations amid the preliminary examinations on Duterte’s war on drugs by ICC prosecutor Fathou Bensouda.

But according to constitutional law professor Tony La Viña, whether or not the high court rules in favor of the president, investigations on his controversial drug war will continue.

“Kahit sabihin ng Supreme Court natin na valid ang pag withdraw ni Duterte di ba? For any case filed against him, for acts he committed noong member pa tayo, continue iyon. Ang consequence lang ng pagwithdraw natin sa ICC ay any acts committed after April or March, when it takes effect, is no longer covered,” La Viña said.

The petitions asking for the nullification of the withdrawal were filed by opposition senators and the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court. — Mai Bermudez

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Duterte’s EJK statement not an evidence for impeachment – Malacañang

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, October 1st, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang maintained its stand in defense of President Rodrigo Duterte amid criticisms over the President’s remark on extrajudicial killings (EJK).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque lambasted former College of Law Dean Atty. Antonio La Viña who claimed that Duterte’s statement was indeed an “admission of guilt” and a culpable violation of the Constitution.

La Viña added that the President’s EJK statement could be a basis for impeachment and can be used as evidence against him in the case filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

But Roque believes otherwise.

He dared the lawyer to begin the challenge by the filing of an impeachment complaint against Duterte.

“Let him start, he cannot vote because he is not a member of Congress and I’m sure it will also be dismissed by Congress not because it’s a political process but because it’s utterly bereft of merit,” Roque said.

The Presidential mouthpiece stressed that the President’s remarks cannot be considered an admission because he did not directly mention he killed someone.

Roque added that there was no such crime as extrajudicial killing in the Philippines or in the international law.

“I’d like to emphasize that there is actually no crime under both domestic or international law as EJK. in fact, this is a misleading term because killing in our constitution and in our laws is never legal so there is no such thing as extrajudicial killings. It’s either lawful killing or unlawful killing,” he explained.

Roque also noted that the EJK statement is in no way can be used as evidence to back up the complaint against President Duterte in the ICC because the international tribunal has no pending investigation in the Philippines.

He added that being a lawyer himself, he would not allow the ICC to meddle with the country’s judicial system which, Roque said, is actively functioning. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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Malacañang on Trillanes arrest: ‘The court has spoken’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

 

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement that Malacañang respects the order of the court to arrest Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

The Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 on Tuesday, September 25, issued an arrest warrant and hold departure order (HDO)  against Trillanes after the revocation of  the amnesty granted to him in 2010 revived his  rebellion cases.

“The court has spoken. As the President has said, we will respect the decision of the judiciary. Whatever Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has to say can be addressed to the court. Let us stop the drama by presscon and allow the legal process to take its course,” said Roque. —  Marje Pelayo.

 

 

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