PH, China cooperation against illegal online gambling a must – Locsin

Marje Pelayo   •   November 28, 2018   •   3058

 

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jinping of People’s Republic of China shake hands after declaring their joint press statements during the successful expanded bilateral meeting at the Malacañan Palace on November 20, 2018. | PCOO\Alfred Frias

 

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. believes there must be an established cooperation between the Philippines and China against illegal online gambling.

On Wednesday (November 28), Locsin said such a measure will prevent misunderstanding between the two countries on matters concerning their respective migrant workers living and working in both of their soils.

Locsin’s suggestion comes after calls from senators who were pushing the government to launch a crackdown against Chinese foreign workers.

Most of the Chinese migrant workers in the Philippines are into the online gaming industry.

“But far from endangering or anyway affecting our relations with China, apparently we are going to do two things. One, online gambling is illegal where gonna stop it out with the help and not against the objection of China,” Locsin said.

Locsin said it is likely that the countries would join hands and help each other in addressing the issue.

 “Two law enforcement agencies will be able to coordinate without it looking as we had surrendered our sovereignty,” the Foreign Affairs secretary said.

During Wednesday’s deliberation of Locsin’s confirmation, senators expressed concern that Filipino workers will end up competing with illegal aliens seeking for employment opportunities in the country.

This, according to Senator Risa Hontiveros, is a ‘direct assault’ on our sovereignty and economy.

For his part, Senate President Vicente Sotto III reminds the government to be careful in mentioning the number of alleged illegal Chinese workers in the country as it would bring a negative effect on Filipino workers in China.

‘Iyong undocumented na nahuli is not less than 1,000. We must remember that there are over 200,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong that are undocumented,” Sotto said.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be forming a special task force to check on the operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming operators (POGO) in the country.

Majority of Chinese workers with valid working permits are linked to POGO industry. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

P10-M worth of hot meat from China seized in Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   December 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila Veterinary Inspection Board confiscated on Friday morning (December 13) over 10 tons of hot meat in a warehouse in Tondo.

According to Manila Mayor Isko Domagoso, the contraband composed of various meat products, Peking duck, sausage and other similar items sealed inside boxes imprinted with Chinese characters, may worth up to more than P10 million.

Authorities are now tracing the whereabouts of the warehouse owner identified as Daniel Yulo.

The seized products will be turned over to the Department of Agriculture (DA) for disposal.

Those behind the smuggling of the said hot meat will face criminal charges, according to Domagoso.

Currently, the Philippines is implementing an import ban on pork and chicken from China due to the outbreak of avian flu and the African Swine Fever. – MNP (with details from Bernard Dadis)

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Morales, Del Rosario insist ICC did not reject communication vs China’s Xi Jinping

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario insisted that the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not reject the communication they filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping for Beijing’s actions in the West Philippine Sea.

This is after the ICC said in its report that it had no jurisdiction over the case.

In a report released Thursday, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the tribunal does not have jurisdiction over Morales and Del Rosario’s complaint against China’s alleged crimes against humanity in the West Philippine Sea.

The Court also found it does not have jurisdiction over the complaint as the accused are from China, which is not a state party to the Rome Statute – the treaty which formed the tribunal.

“The crimes referred to in the communication were allegedly committed by Chinese nationals in the territory of the Philippines. China is not a State Party to the Rome Statute. Accordingly, the Court lacks personal jurisdiction,” the report read.

On March 15, 2019, Morales and Del Rosario filed a communication before the ICC against Xi and other Chinese officials over China’s alleged “atrocious actions” in the West Philippine Sea.

They accused the Chinese executives of committing of crimes against humanity for purportedly damaging the resources at the disputed territory through Beijing’s ongoing reclamation activities in the area.

The ICC noted that while the alleged crimes of Xi and other Chinese officials occurred in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), it cannot be considered a territory of the state.

“Criminal conduct which takes place in the EEZ and continental shelf is thus in principle outside of the territory of a Coastal State… This circumstance is not altered by the fact that certain rights of the Coastal State are recognised in these areas,” it said.

Del Rosario and Carpio-Morales, however, said in a joint statement that the ICC’s report only strengthened their resolve, adding that the Prosecutor welcomes new facts and evidence to proceed with the case.

“Let them gloat in the meantime. This is just the beginning. Abangan,” Carpio-Morales said.

The ICC report stated that its findings may be reconsidered in light of new facts and evidence, which Del Rosario and Carpio-Morales vowed to provide. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

China threatens US after Trump passes bills backing Hong Kong protesters

Robie de Guzman   •   November 28, 2019

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang speaks to reporters during a daily Foreign Ministry press conference in Beijing, China, 28 November 2019. China responds with anger and warns of countermeasures after US President Donald Trump’s signing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on 28 November 2019. EPA-EFE/HOW HWEE YOUNG

Beijing – The Chinese government Thursday threatened the United States with “countermeasures” and “consequences” after the US president signed two bills into law backing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.

Donald Trump in a statement said he had signed the bills — the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019 and one against crowd control munition exports to the territory — out of “respect” to Chinese President Xi Jinping and the people of Hong Kong.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement Thursday responded by reminding “the US that Hong Kong is part of China and Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs where no foreign government or force shall interfere. This Act will only further expose the malicious and hegemonic nature of US intentions to the Chinese people, including our Hong Kong compatriots.”

“We urge the US to not continue going down the wrong path, or China will take countermeasures, and the US must bear all consequences,” it added.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng also summoned US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad “to lodge stern representations and strong protest” to the passing of the Act, state news agency Xinhua reported Thursday.

The two countries are still immersed in negotiations to end their trade war, which could be affected by the bills, however the statement does not specify the countermeasures it intends to apply.

The Hong Kong government also expressed its “strong opposition” to the new laws, saying in a statement that they “contravene in Hong Kong’s internal affairs” and would harm relations with the US.

“The two acts are unreasonable. Although human rights and democracy are mentioned in the title of the Act, some of the provisions in the Act are actually about export control and enforcement of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations in Hong Kong, which are totally unrelated to human rights and democracy in Hong Kong,” a government spokesman said.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act 2019, passed last week by the US Senate, requires the US State Department to conduct a review at least annually as to whether Hong Kong retains enough autonomy from mainland China to qualify for special trade considerations, and threatens sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations.

Following the approval by the Senate last week, the Chinese government threatened that “China will take strong opposing measures and the US has to bear all the consequences” if it was passed into law. Beijing also reportedly summoned a senior US diplomat over the move.

The second bill signed into law Wednesday prohibits US exports of specified police equipment such as teargas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and stun guns to Hong Kong.

“They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all,” Trump said.

At the weekend, the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong swept the local elections, winning 388 of the total 452 district council seats up for grabs. The side aligned with Beijing suffered a crushing defeat with only 59 councilors, compared to the almost 300 it had, while independents won five seats in the elections which saw a record 71.2% turnout.

Hong Kong was passed to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, although it still retains a degree of independence from Beijing under the “one country, two systems” formula. According to the handover deal between London and Beijing, this political system — which includes certain legal freedoms not recognized in mainland China — must be preserved until 2047. EFE-EPA

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