PH, China Coast Guard to hold joint maritime exercises next week

Robie de Guzman   •   January 10, 2020   •   1190

FILE PHOTO: A Chinese Coast Guard vessel is pictured on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese Coast Guard will dock in Manila on Monday, January 13 for a five-day goodwill visit, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Friday.

PCG spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said the China Coast Guard, headed by Director General Major General Wang Zhongcai, will visit the country for the conduct of maritime exercises with the PCG.

Participating coast guard members from the two countries will also hold search and rescue, and firefighting exercises. The drill will be held from January 13 to 17.

Balilo said that during the port visit, the Chinese and the Philippine coast guards will come up with a resolution that would ensure the security and safety of Filipino fishermen and public vessels traversing the country’s waters.

The PCG said it will welcome the China Coast Guard not with red carpet but with diplomatic reciprocity, the same way it welcomed the PCG during a past visit.

The Philippines has been in dispute with China over territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea.

On several cases, Chinese ships were reported to have been circling shoals under the Philippine territory, including the vicinity of Pagasa Island in the West Philippine Sea. There were also cases of Filipino vessels reportedly harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard vessels.

The PCG expressed hope that the drill would be an opportunity for both sides to discuss the issue, and help improve the line of communication between the two nations when it comes to maritime patrol.

“Para magkaintindihan din kasi ang iniisip nga namin kung merong ma-enhance iyong pagkakaibigan baka sakaling magkaintindihan, even doon sa patrol at tsaka sa mga challenges, baka magkaroon ng tamang protocol kung paano ang dapat na engagement,” Balilo said.

Magulang ng mga batang lumalabag sa curfew at ‘di nagsusuot ng face mask, ikukulong – Mayor Isko

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Nagbabala si Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso na papanagutin ang mga magulang ng mga batang mahuhuling lumalabag sa mga ordinansa ng lungsod gaya ng curfew at pagsusuot ng face mask sa gitna ng coronavirus crisis.

Ayon kay Domagoso, inatasan na niya ang Manila Police District (MPD) at Manila Social Welfare Department na hulihin at ikulong ang mga magulang ng mga menor de edad na hindi sumusunod sa mga nabanggit na ordinansa.

Ang hakbang ay kasunod ng mga ulat ng mga batang inaabutan ng mga otoridad sa kalsada kahit dis-oras na ng gabi at wala pang suot na face mask.

Sa datos ng MPD mula Marso 15 hanggang Hulyo 13, nasa 1,039 na ang nahuling lumabag sa Ordinance No. 8644 o ang Mandatory Use of Face Mask in the Public.

Nasa 9,367 naman ang nadakip dahil sa paglabag sa Curfew Ordinance. Karamihan sa mga nahuling pagala-gala sa kalsada sa oras ng curfew ay mga menor de edad.

“Kaya ngayon ang focus ng manila police district sa implementation ng curfew ordinance natin pati yung magulang kakasuhan natin yung mga pabayang magulang,” ani Police Brigadier General Rolando Miranda, MPD director.

Sa ilalim ng City Ordinance No. 8243 o ang Anti-Child Endangerment Ordinance, maaaring maharap sa multang P5,000 o kaya ay hanggang anim na buwang pagkakakulong ang isang magulang na napatunayang nagpabaya sa kanyang anak na may edad na 12 taong gulang pababa.

Multang P3,000 o kaya’y tatlong buwang pagkakakulong naman para sa mga magulang na nagpabaya sa kanilang mga anak na may edad 13 hanggang 14 taon habang P2,000 naman ang multa o isang buwang pagkakapiit ang parusa sa mga magulang na magpapabaya sa kanilang anak na may edad 15 hanggang 17 taong gulang. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Dante Amento)

Japan accuses China of pushing territorial claims

UNTV News   •   July 14, 2020

Japan’s annual defense review accuses China of pushing its territorial claims amid the coronavirus pandemic and suspects Beijing of spreading propaganda and disinformation as it provides medical aid to nations fighting COVID-19.

“We’ve written some details about China’s persistent moves to attempt to alter the status quo surrounding the Senkaku Islands which is our territory,” said Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono on Tuesday (July 14).

The white paper approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Tuesday described “relentless” intrusions in waters around a group of islets claimed by both nations in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

In the South China Sea, it said Beijing was asserting territorial claims by establishing administrative districts around disputed islands, that forced countries distracted by the coronavirus outbreak to respond.

Japan sees China as a longer-term and more serious threat than nuclear-armed North Korea. Beijing now spends four times as much as Tokyo on defence as it builds a large modern military. (Reuters)

(Production: Akira Tomoshige, Akiko Okamoto)

PCG sues energy company over Iloilo oil spill

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020

The Philippine Coast Guard has filed a complaint against AC Energy, Inc. and its executives for the oil spill in Iloilo City last July 3.

The PCG filed the complaint at the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for violation of Section 107 of Republic Act 8550 or the Fisheries Code.

Based on the initial investigation of the PCG, they saw sufficient evidence to prove the negligence of the thermal energy firm.

If proven guilty, there will be an initial fine of P300,000 or up to P500,000 for damage. The company might also face suspension or closure.

“The PCG, as a law enforcement body in marine environmental protection, will ensure that the failure of one company serves as a relevant lesson to others. We need everyone’s cooperation to protect and conserve our limited marine resources,” said PCG Commandant Vice-Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr.

The Iloilo oil spill caused contamination in some coastal areas in the city and 23 affected communities. Around 400 families were displaced and marine organisms were damaged.

READ: Mangrove trees likely to die due to oil spill in Iloilo, expert says

Meanwhile, authorities continue the cleanup operation where 90% of the spilled oil was already recovered. –AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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