PH Armed Forces promotes Hidilyn Diaz to staff sergeant following historic Olympic win

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2021   •   912

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz has been promoted to a higher rank after clinching the country’s first gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In a statement, the AFP said the Philippine Air Force through its commanding general approved the promotion of Sergeant Diaz to the rank of Staff Sergeant effective July 27.

“We laud and support this move at the General Headquarters to mark SSg Diaz’ remarkable achievements in the field of sports and for bringing pride and glory to our country,” the military said.

The AFP once again congratulated Diaz for her victory.

“The AFP is proud of your accomplishments and may you continue to serve as an inspiration to your fellow service members,” it said.

On Monday, Diaz won the country’s first gold medal in the Olympics after successfully topping the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting event of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

Her victory ended the Philippines’ near century-long drought in Olympic gold since it first competed in the games in the 1920s.

Philippines adds more countries to COVID-19 ‘red list’

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has updated its list of “red, yellow, and green” countries and territories, Malacañang said Friday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the revised list of areas that are classified as “red, yellow, and green.”

“This new classification shall take effect on September 19, 2021 until September 30, 2021,” Roque said.

Territories under the red list are considered as “high-risk.”

The red list will now include Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Slovenia.

The government earlier said that inbound passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, coming from or have been to “red” nations are not allowed to enter the Philippines.

Filipinos returning to the Philippines through government-facilitated or non-government repatriation programs, as well as special commercial flights allowed under existing IATF resolutions are not covered by the travel restrictions.

Meanwhile, areas included in the “green” list are as follows:

  • American Samoa
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chad
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  • Gabon
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Madagascar
  • Mali
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Poland
  • Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands)
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Taiwan
  • Algeria
  • Bhutan
  • Cook Islands
  • Eritrea
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
    North Korea
  • Saint Helena
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikstan
  • Tanzania
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Yemen

 

Green countries are those considered “low-risk” for COVID-19 based on disease incidence rate.

All other countries/territories/jurisdictions not mentioned are in the yellow list, Roque said.

Inbound passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, coming from or who have been to the “yellow” countries within 14 days prior to their arrival in the Philippines are required to undergo strict entry, testing and quarantine protocols.

PH gov’t intensifying readiness vs terror threat amid Japan warning – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday assured that the military and police forces are intensifying their readiness against any possible threat to national security.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave the assurance following the advisory issued by the government of Japan for its residents to avoid crowded areas and religious ins six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa impormasyon. Pero lalo lang po nating pinaiigting ang ating kahandaan para po harapin ang posibleng terroristic attack muli,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

The Palace official said state forces have been on heightened alert since the Marawi siege happened in 2017.

Roque, however, urged the public to be vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious individuals and activities in their areas.

“Nakahanda naman po ang ating kapulisan at ang ating Hukbong Sandatahan at hinihiling din atin ang kooperasyon ng ating mga mamamayan. I-report po ninyo sa kapulisan kung mayroon kayong kaduda-dudang mga personalidad o di naman kaya mga kadudang mga bagay-bagay lalo na sa mga pampublikong lugar,” he said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police earlier said they have not monitored any terror threat but are working to validate the information.

Aside from the Philippines, the warning issued by the Japanese government also covers Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

Philippines won’t cooperate with ICC probe, Palace maintains

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday maintained that the Philippine government will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign.

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines and its decision to authorize an investigation into the killings under the government’s war on drugs is interference into the country’s domestic affairs.

He also stressed that the country has already withdrawn from the Rome Statute – the treaty that established the ICC.

In March 2019, the Philippines effectively withdrew from the Rome Statute after Duterte cancelled the country’s membership of the ICC’s founding treaty.

Under the ICC’s withdrawal mechanism, the court retains jurisdiction over crimes committed during the membership period of a state.

The ICC on Wednesday said that its Pre-Trial Chamber 1 has granted then Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to formally conduct a full investigation into the Philippines’ drug war.

Bensouda previously argued that there is a reasonable basis to believe that murder has been committed in the Philippines between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019 in the context of the state policy.

But Panelo said the ICC can only conduct an investigation if the state’s judicial system is no longer functional, which is not the case in the Philippines.

It must also be proven that the state is unwilling to prosecute suspects in order for the ICC to launch a probe.

Panelo said ICC probers will not be allowed to enter the Philippines. He also believes that the investigation was politically motivated.

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