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

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2018   •   3479

 

 

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

Palace: Lorenzana to probe AFP-third telco deal

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 16, 2019

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will investigate the deal between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and third telco firm, Dito Telecommunity Corp.

This was after the third telco was allowed to build their facilities near the military bases of the country.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Lorenzana was not aware of the said deal.

“The DND Secretary texted me about it, and said he doesn’t know anything about it,” he said.

Panelo also said Lorenzana will investigate the matter and that the government can terminate the said deal if there is a proven security threat in the country.

“He’s going to investigate and ask the concern people involved in the deal so we’ll wait for his findings,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace: Duterte will not set aside arbitral ruling on joint oil exploration with China

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 12, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (L) and People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping (R) pose for posterity prior to the start of the bilateral meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on August 29, 2019.

The Malacañang insisted that President Rodrigo Duterte will not set aside the West Philippine Sea arbitral ruling for the joint oil exploration with China.

This was after former Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert Del Rosario slammed the president’s statement.

“[Because the] exclusive economic zone is part of the arbitral ruling which we will ignore to come up with an economic activity,” President Duterte was quoted saying during the oath-taking of the Malacanang Press Corps on September 10.

Vice President Leni Robredo expressed dismay over what she referred to as ‘irresponsible’ statement of the chief executive.

However, the palace said President Duterte is not setting aside the decision of the Hague Arbitral Tribunal, as well as the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the country.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the negotiation between the Philippines and China will remain.

“The setting aside doesn’t mean that we will abandon it. what the president means, as we have repeatedly said, and as he has said too, the arbitral ruling is still subject to talks between two countries, negotiation is ongoing peacefully, meanwhile we focus on other concerns may mutually benefit the two countries,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace condemns ambush on former Pangasinan Gov. Espino

Robie de Guzman   •   September 12, 2019

The vehicle that former governor and congressman of Pangasinan Amado Espino, Jr. was riding in when he was ambushed on September 11, 2019 | 📷 Senator Richard Gordon Twitter

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday condemned the ambush on former Pangasinan governor Amado Espino Jr.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo called the attack a “felonious act” and assured the public that authorities are on top of the situation.

He also vowed that the government will spare no effort in finding and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

“We condemn this felonious act as we believe that any unjustified killing has no place in a civilized society like ours,” Panelo said in a statement.

“We guarantee that police authorities are already on top of the situation and will spare no effort in finding the perpetrators of this crime and ascertaining their motive for consummating the same,” he added.

A group of unidentified gunmen on Wednesday afternoon attacked the two vehicles carrying Espino and his companions in Barangay Magtaking in San Carlos City, Pangasinan.

Espino survived the ambush but one of his police aides was killed. Four other bodyguards were wounded but are now recovering at the hospital.

Ilocos Regional Police early Thursday morning reported that Espino was already in stable condition.

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