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

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2018   •   3727

 

 

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 on MECQ extension: Health-economy balance needed

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 10, 2020

Amid requests for extension of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), Malacañang said it is up to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) to decide if an extension is necessary.

In a statement on Monday (August 10), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said a balance between health and the country’s economy is needed while fighting against the pandemic.

“On the suggestion to make the MECQ effective for one month, this is a decision that has to be made by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). It entails a delicate balancing of protecting and saving people’s health to protecting and saving the economic health of the nation,” Roque said.

Former Special Adviser to National Task Force Against Covid-19 Dr. Anthory Leachon said that in order to flatten the curve, MECQ in NCR and other provinces should be extended to one month.

“Kung talagang MECQ ang gusto nila, isagad nila ng isang buwan, tapos ibuild-up na iyong healthcare capacity. Magpa-flatten tayo ng curve, (If they really want MECQ, they should extend it for a month then build up healthcare capacity. We might flatten the curve),” Leachon said in a statement.

Meanwhile, several members of the IATF and Cabinet members will fly to Davao City for a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Palace unconvinced PH has higher COVID-19 cases than Indonesia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 7, 2020

Malacañang is not convinced that the Philippines has surpassed Indonesia in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

During a press briefing on Friday (August 7), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines is conducting more COVID-19 tests which resulted in more confirmed cases.

Ibig sabihin po dahil mas maigiting ang ating pagte-test hindi totoo na mas marami tayo kaso kaysa sa Indonesia. Hindi lamang nalalaman ng mga Indonesian kung sino-sino ang mga umiikot na mayroong sakit at least tayo alam kung sino po sila (It means we are conducting more tests. It is not true that we have more cases than Indonesia. The Indonesians don’t know who are sick at least, on our case, we know),” he said.

The Department of Health (DOH) has previously explained that the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines cannot be compared to other countries because of the population difference and health care system.

Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said no country can say they have been successful in their fight against COVID-19.

“No country could ever say they are successful. Look at Japan, look at Italy, even Vietnam, and Singapore,” he said. “We focus on what we are doing is appropriate, proper, and practical rather than everyday compare yourself.” -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

‘No need to panic buy,’ Palace reminds public

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 3, 2020

Consumers in Metro Manila flocked to grocery stores after President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday night, approved the reversion of some areas to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in response to the medical frontliners’ plea for a two-week “timeout”.

This prompted Malacañang on Monday to remind the public not to panic buy amid the implementation of MECQ in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“Walang dahilan para mag-panic buying. Supplies are high, delivered in supermarkets in anticipation of bigger demand prior to MECQ,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

The Palace official reiterated that only essential establishments will remain open including supermarkets, banks, and hospitals. He also said that the “time out” will be used to strengthen the government’s testing, tracing, and treatment of COVID-19.

“This is primarily to accede to the demand of the frontliners for a break. A ‘time out,'” Roque said. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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