Panelo: Chinese envoy won’t be summoned over Recto Bank allision

Robie de Guzman   •   June 18, 2019   •   1799

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on the sidelines of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee head Song Tao’s courtesy call on the President at Matina Enclaves in Davao City on March 27, 2019.

MANILA, Philippines – Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua will not be summoned over the allision incident involving Filipino and Chinese fishing vessels in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

“The president, I think, is not inclined to do that,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

“Because ang feeling niya, ginagawa na nila, may statement na si Ambassador about seriously and cautiously studying the facts,” he added.

Panelo’s statement contradicts the earlier remark of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that China’s representative would be invited to the Palace to explain about the matter.

Duterte on Monday described the sinking of a Philippine boat by a Chinese ship as a “little maritime accident.”

‘Wag kayong maniwala sa mga politiko na bobo, gusto papuntahin ‘yung Navy. You do not send gray ships there. Banggaan lang ng barko ‘yan,” the chief executive said in a speech during a Philippine Navy event in Cavite.

The president’s remark disappointed many, including the Filipino fishers.

READ: Filipino boat captain laments Duterte’s remark on West PH Sea allision incident

But Panelo explained, the President was just being cautious about the matter to prevent it from becoming an international crisis, which might affect trade relations between the Philippines and China and other sectors, including the ordinary fishermen visiting disputed territories and the Filipino workers in China.

“He doesn’t want this blown into an international crisis given the fact na matagal din na nabago ‘yung relasyon from the time ng previous administration na masama ang relasyon,” he said.

The Palace official also reiterated that the Philippine government would wait for the investigation to be concluded before taking any action.

Panelo said concerned agencies are already conducting further probe to clear any doubts on whether the incident was accidental or intentional, following the seemingly contradicting statements of some Filipino crew members.

“Kaya medyo nagkaroon ng doubt tuloy, of course, sinasabi ng Kapitan sinadya, sinasabi naman ng cook, mukhang ‘di sila nakita, with more reason na kailangang imbestigahan,” he said.

Panelo also floated the possibility of a joint investigation by the Philippines and China on the incident. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte tells Filipinos: Emulate Bonifacio’s courage, determination in facing challenges

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called on Filipinos to emulate the courage, determination, and patriotism of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio in facing challenges such as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that the world is facing.

In a taped message aired during the wreath-laying ceremony at the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City to mark the 157th birth anniversary of the Filipino hero, Duterte noted Bonifacio’s legacy of sparking the fires of a revolution that “awakened our national consciousness and served as the foundation” of the Philippine Republic.

“His love of country — which aroused our ancestors to fight for our freedom and secure our rightful place in the community of nations —- is very vital now, more than ever, as we overcome the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic,” Duterte said in his message.

“As we remember his life and deeds, may the values he fought for, inspire us all to become worthy heirs of the just, progressive, and inclusive society that he envisioned more than a century ago,” he added.

Duterte also encouraged Filipinos to draw inspiration from Bonifacio to overcome challenges and secure a much brighter future for the country.

“Fueled by Bonifacio’s extraordinary courage and determination, let us surmount the many challenges ahead and secure a much better and brighter future for every Filipino.

Mabuhay si Gat Andres Bonifacio at ang ating inang Bayan!” he said.

Duterte did not attend the Bonifacio Day commemoration rites held in Caloocan City on Monday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at the Bonifacio Monument.

Simultaneous ceremonies were also held in other historic sites in the country in honor of the Filipino hero.

Gloria Arroyo named presidential adviser on Clark projects – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has designated former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as his adviser on Clark flagship programs and projects, Malacañang announced Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte signed Arroyo’s appointment papers on Nov. 24, with her compensation pegged at one peso a year.

Roque said Arroyo’s wisdom and experience as a former head of state and head of government “would be valuable as she would assist the Administration in the planning and execution of programs and projects to turn Clark as the next premier metropolis of Asia.”

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) welcomed Arroyo’s appointment.

“We greatly welcome the appointment of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Presidential Adviser on Clark Programs and Projects. Her wisdom and gravitas will be invaluable in making the vision of Clark as the next premier metropolis of Asia a reality,” it said in a statement.

The BCDA manages the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, which hosts local and foreign businesses as well as the Clark International Airport.

Arroyo served as the country’s president for 10 years, from 2001 to 2010, before being elected as a representative of Pampanga’s second district. She later became Speaker of the House from 2018 to 2019.

Duterte nominates Davao del Norte poll exec as COMELEC commissioner

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2020

Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has nominated Davao del Norte Provincial Election Supervisor Aimee Ferolino-Ampoloquio as commissioner of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte signed Ampoloquio’s nomination on Nov. 24.

“With her vast experience in election matters, Ms. Ampoloquio, would certainly contribute in ensuring our elections would be honest, orderly, peaceful, and credible,” Roque said in a statement.

The poll body has welcomed the nomination of Ampoloquio.

She will fill the position of COMELEC Commissioner Al Parreño who retired last February.

Should the Commission on Appointments approve her nomination, Ampoloquio will serve as Commissioner for a term expiring on February 2, 2027.

Lawyer Ampoloquio first joined COMELEC in 1994 as an emergency laborer then became an election assistant for 12 years.

She also served as an election officer in the First District of Davao City for a decade before she became the Provincial Election Supervisor of Davao del Norte.

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