PH at a disadvantage over Chico River deal—Carpio

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 26, 2019   •   2053

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said the Philippines is at a disadvantage over the Chico River deal with China.

Carpio said that looking closely at the contract’s provision, China can seize Reed bank’s oil and natural gas if the country is unable to pay its loans.

In addition to this, China’s policies will be followed and China’s International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission will also resolve any conflict about the contract.

Based on the document, the conditions on the contract will remain confidential unless it is needed to be put in public.

With this, Carpio reiterated that the Philippines will have the short end of the deal.

However, according to former presidential spokesperson and international law expert Atty. Harry Roque, Reed bank cannot be used as a collateral especially when the Philippines still hasn’t benefited from it.

“Inaasahan natin na mayroon nang natural gas at langis pero habang wala pa tayong nakukuhang kahit ano diyan, walang kahit sinong tatanggap diyan bilang collateral. So sa akin may pagkakaiba iyong propaganda para manira doon sa mabuting samahan ng Pilipinas at Tsina at iyong katotohanan (We expect that there is natural gas and oil but until we have not gotten anything from it no one will accept it as a collateral. So for me, there is a difference in the propaganda to tarnish the relation of the Philippines and China and the truth),” Roque said.

Meanwhile, constitutional law expert Prof. Tony La Viña said President Rodrigo Duterte can be impeached if he will allow the country’s natural resources as collateral in Chinese loans.

“Of course, it’s a culpable violation of the Constitution and it’s also a betrayal of public trust. But you have to have the numbers. So impeachment is a political thing. It’s a political instrument,” he said.

In Carpio’s presentation, China can also take the patrimonial assets of the Philippines like fuel and oil as loan payments.

Meanwhile, several communities to be affected by the Chico River deal worry that the deal will affect their ancestral domains.

“They did not even consult the community or the majority of the natives of Kalinga, especially the affected communities,” Rogyn Beyao said of Cordillera People’s Alliance.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

China bridge collapse kills three, injures two

Robie de Guzman   •   October 11, 2019

Three people died and two were injured when a highway bridge collapsed on Thursday (October 10) in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu, state media said.

State broadcaster CCTV showed footage, taken from a driver’s dashboard cam, showed the moment when the bridge collapsed onto several vehicles.

The bridge, in the city of Wuxi, fell on three cars below, killing three people in two of the vehicles, although the third vehicle was empty, official state news agency Xinhua said.

Three cars and two trucks fell from the bridge as it collapsed.

City and transport ministry officials are investigating the cause of the accident, Xinhua said. (Reuters)

(Production: Thomas Suen)

NCRPO records low crime rate in Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 2, 2019

Newly promoted policemen stand in formation during a mass promotion ceremony at the police headquarters in Taguig City, south of Manila, Philippines, 27 March 2019. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has recorded a low crime rate in Metro Manila from July 2016 to September 2019.

According to NCRPO Director PMGen. Guillermo Eleazar there were 49,835 crime incidents recorded from July 2016 to September 2019 which is 62 percent lower compared to the 131,839 crime incidents recorded from April 2013 to June 2016.

However, based on the NCRPO records, murder cases increased by 60 percent. From July 2016 to September 2019, murder cases increased by 4,295 compared with the 2,682 cases recorded from April 2013 to June 2016.

Eleazar said the increase in the murder cases is due to the illegal drug campaign of the government.

“Dahil sa ating campaign against illegal drugs. Ito’y mga sindikatong nagpapatayan dahil they want to silence ang mga members ng syndicates (It is because of our campaign against illegal drugs. There are syndicates who are killing each other because they want to silence syndicate members),” he said.

Meanwhile, the number of cases in homicide, physical injury, rape, theft, and robbery decreased.

Eleazar is confident crime rate will continue to decline.

“Kasi sa city ordinances naiiwasan natin iyong mga petty crimes. At kapag naiwasan iyan ay maiiwasan din natin ang mga serious crimes to happen— nagiging effective ang ating crime prevention, (Because in city ordinances, petty crimes are prevented. And once it is prevented, we can also prevent serious crimes to happen)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Hong Kong protesters throw petrol bombs; police fire tear gas

Jeck Deocampo   •   October 1, 2019

An anti-government protester throws a Molotov cocktail at the police during a protest on National Day in Hong Kong, China, 01 October 2019. Hong Kong has witnessed several months of ongoing mass protests, originally triggered by a now withdrawn extradition bill to mainland China that have turned into a wider pro-democracy movement. EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL

Hong Kong protesters threw petrol bombs and police fired tear gas in street battles across the city on Tuesday (October 1), posing a direct challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.

In the New Territories town of Sha Tin, police fired tear gas canisters directly at high-rise windows, though it was not clear why, as the Chinese-ruled city was gripped by the most widespread violence in nearly four months of unrest.

Police said “rioters” had used corrosive fluid in Tuen Mun in the west of the New Territories, “injuring multiple police officers and reporters”. No details were immediately available.

The Chinese-ruled territory has been tense for weeks, with protests often turning violent, as authorities scramble to avoid activists spoiling Beijing’s birthday parade at a time when the central government is already grappling with a U.S.-China trade war and a slowing economy. i

(Production: Ebrahim Harris, Dina Selim)

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