PCG successfully conducts resupply mission on Pag-asa Island

admin   •   August 23, 2016   •   2676



MANILA — For the first time since the dispute in the West Philippine Sea erupted between China and the Philippines, the Philippine Coastguard (PCG) has successfully conducted a supply mission to the Pag-asa Island last week.

BRP Batangas was able to deliver food, groceries, gasoline and other items for the soldiers stationed on the island and also for the people living in the area.

PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo says their personnel did not encounter any harassment or untoward incident in the course of the 3-day voyage to reach Pag-asa Island from Puerto Princesa in Palawan.

Pag-asa Island still has no port so a small boat fetched the supplies from BRP Batangas.

Civilians who also wished to visit their relatives were allowed to board the ship.

Coastguard has also added its personnel stationed in the island.

PCG is also assessing the possibility of conducting regular resupply mission in the island.

“Sa tingin ko naman hindi naman tayo gagalawin doon sapagkat puti yung barko natin,” Cdr. Balilo said.

(I think we will not be harassed there because these are white ships)

“Di kasi namin magawa noon sapagkat may utos ang pamahalaan na we should not do anything to jeopardize ang posisyon natin doon sa International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. So, di tayo gumagalaw doon sapagkat walang blessing ng pamahalaan,” Balilo added.

(We were not able to do it in the past because there was a directive from government that we should not do anything that will jeopardize our position in the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. So, we did not sail there because there was no permission from the government)

The Philippine Coastguard says the mission will not solely be meant to bring goods but also to patrol our territorial waters in the West Philippine Sea.

“Maganda para sa atin kasi we could continue to patrol the area and we could say na mayroon tayong presence lalo na doon sa  Pag-asa. In fact, maganda rin kasi makikita ng mga tao roon na mayroong government vessel on their side.”

(It is good for us because we could continue to patrol the area and we could say that we have presence in the pag-asa island. in fact the people would also sea the presence of a government vessel that is on their side.)

In the past, there were instances that Chinese coastguard and civilian vessels were reportedly seen near the Pag-asa Island. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

Duterte to insist arbitral ruling to China: ‘Whether you like it or not’

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

(L-R) President Rodrigo Duterte, Pag-asa Island and Chinese President Xi Jinping

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte maintained that he will raise the arbitral ruling that favors the Philippines in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea when he visits China next week.

Duterte is scheduled to fly to China for a working visit from August 28 to September 3.

He will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping and talk about the Hague ruling, the code of conduct, as well as the proposed joint oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

“So whether you like it or not, would it make you happy or not, angry or otherwise. Sorry, but we have to talk the arbitral ruling, then what we get, if there is a start of the exploration and extraction of whatever there is in the bowels of the earth,” the President said during the inauguration of the 7.5 megawatt peak solar power project in the municipality of Odiongan, Tablas Island in Romblon on Wednesday (August 21).

“The proposal of 60-40 in our favor, would be a good start. I hope it would graduate to something like towards how do we solve the arbitral ruling peacefully,” he added.

The event was the President’s first public engagement after being out of the public eye for more than a week. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte to decide on banning online gambling in PH amid China’s call – Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday (August 21) said it is up to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the operations of online gambling in the country.

“We have to ask the President on this policy or issue,” Panelo told reporters.

“Hindi natin alam kung may possibility or wala. We have to ask the President,” he added.

On Tuesday (August 20), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang has called on the Philippine government to ban all forms of online gambling.

“We have also taken note of the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciate it,” he said in a press conference in Beijing.

“We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling,” he added.

Defense officials expressed concern over proximity of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) near military camps arguing the possibility of Chinese workers becoming spies for Beijing.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), meanwhile, has already stopped accepting applications for POGO licenses in the country unless underlying issues are settled.

But Panelo noted that online gambling remains legal under Philippine law.

China detains employee of British consulate in Hong Kong

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang confirming detention of Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate, Simon Cheng | Courtesy: Reuters

A Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate has been detained in China’s border city of Shenzhen for violating the law, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday (August 21), likely worsening already strained ties between Beijing and London.

Simon Cheng did not return to work on Aug. 9 after visiting the neighbouring mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, Hong Kong news website HK01 reported.

Cheng’s family confirmed his disappearance in a Facebook post on Tuesday (August 20) night, saying he travelled from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on the morning of Aug. 8 for a business trip.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Cheng had been detained for 15 days by Shenzhen police for violating public security management regulations, though he gave no details.

“He is not a UK citizen. In other words that means he’s Chinese, so it’s entirely an internal matter for China,” Geng said.

“We’ve made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they’ve made on Hong Kong,” he added.

Britain has said it is “extremely concerned” by reports that the staff member at the consulate in its former colony had been detained.

Hong Kong has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, with Beijing accusing Britain and other Western countries of meddling in its affairs. (Reuters)

(Production: Martin Pollard)


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