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PH at a disadvantage over Chico River deal—Carpio

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

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)

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China flood death toll hits 61, over 350,000 evacuated

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2019

Courtesy : Image grabbed from a Reuters video

As many as 61 people have been killed and 356,000 evacuated from their homes as heavy rain and floods swept through large parts of southern and central China this week, Chinese rescue authorities said on Thursday (June 13).

In a notice published late on Thursday (June 13), China’s Ministry of Emergency Management said 9,300 homes have collapsed and 3.71 million hectares of farmland damaged during the floods, with direct economic losses now estimated at 13.35 billion yuan ($1.93 billion).

It said more than 4,300 people had been rescued from floodwaters, which have affected regions stretching from Guangdong province in the southeast to southwest China’s Chongqing on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river.

During the summer, China routinely suffers from droughts in the far north and floods in the south. The emergency ministry has warned that northern regions face even lower precipitation levels this year, while heavy rains are expected to raise flood risks on the Yellow river’s upstream. (REUTERS)


Locsin files diplomatic protest vs China after West PH Sea collision

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. has filed a diplomatic protest against China after a collision with a Filipino vessel.

READ: DND: Chinese ship hit, sank PH vessel in West PH Sea

Locsin condemned the abandonment of the Filipino crew after a Chinese vessel allegedly hit and sank the Filipino vessel last Sunday (June 9).

“We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the scene of the incident, abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the foreign secretary expressed gratitude to the crew of the Vietnamese vessel for saving the lives of the 22 Filipinos.

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PH wants China to sanction ship crew for sinking Filipino fishing boat

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Still image of disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea taken from US Navy surveillance video May 21, 2015. REUTERS/US Navy

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana has called for a diplomatic action in relation to the sea collision between a Chinese vessel and a Filipino fishing boat (F/B GIMVER 1) that left 22 Filipino fishermen adrift in the middle of the sea.

“We call for the conduct of a formal investigation on the matter and for diplomatic steps be taken to prevent a repeat of this incident,” Lorenzana said Wednesday (June 12).

The incident happened on June 9 when a Chinese vessel hit and sank a Filipino vessel near the Recto Bank, a territory in dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

Lorenzana said the Philippines denounced the actions of the Chinese crew as they immediately left the scene and abandoned the Filipino crewmen instead of helping them.

Reports said the F/B GIMVER 1 was anchored at the time when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel.

Lorenzana thanked the crewmen of a Vietnamese fishing vessel near the incident for saving the distressed Filipino crewmen in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Command.

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz, which was on routine maritime patrol in the area, was sent to rescue the Filipinos.

“We thank the captain and crew of Vietnamese vessel, for saving the lives of the 22 Filipino crew,” Lorenzana said.

“However, we condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the suspected Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew. This is not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people,” he added.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, called the Chinese crewmen’s action as “uncivilised as it is outrageous”.

Panelo said, the Chinese crew should have at least saved the Filipino crewmen even despite the existing territorial dispute between China and the Philippines.

“Regardless of the nature of the collision, whether it was accidental or intentional, common decency and the dictates of humanity require the immediate saving of the crew of the downed Philippine vessel,” he said.

“The safety of the crew of the damaged Filipino vessel should have been the uppermost thought and helping them should have been the natural reaction of the crew of the other vessel,” he added.

Panelo joins Lorenzana in calling for an investigation and sanction against the Chinese crewmen for their actions.

“We call on the appropriate Chinese authorities to probe the collision and impose the proper sanctions to the Chinese crew,” he said.                            

Malacañang assured that concerned agencies are now providing assistance to the Filipino crewmen who were rescued from the incident. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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