PH-China relations ‘restored to normalcy’ – Duterte

Marje Pelayo   •   November 20, 2018   •   3741

 

(L-R) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping | Photo via RTVM

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is confident that bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and China is stronger and deeper with the two-day visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The President admits, however, that the two countries’ diplomatic ties have been affected by the Philippines’ dependency on the United States’ economic and political policies.

President Duterte said Xi’s visit is proof that both leaders have “restored the normalcy” that the Philippines used to have or have had with China.

“We agreed on a renewed bilateral relationship, signed some trade and commerce and for the first time China was buying everything from us. This relation plus of course the commitment of China to help in the industrialization of my country,” Duterte said.

He vows to do his part in maintaining the Philippines’ good relationship with China by strengthening people to people exchange and strengthening friendship.

“One is people to people actually. I’m sure China is very lenient in issuing visas for Filipinos intending to go [to China]. Second is that China is planning to hire Filipinos to work there. China has gone by leaps and bounds and at one time your demographic experts say that we need some land here but some factories, but we do not have enough manpower or expertise. And it has sounded off a plan to employ Filipinos that would greatly enhance our friendship, people to people, our national interest now,” he said.

Some experts agree that Xi’s visit indeed will bring positive results beneficial to the Filipino people.

“The Belt and Road is not the only initiative driving Chinese economic capital in the Philippines. It can be the Duterte-China relations. It could be the interest of Chinese firms to invest in the Philippines,” explained Alvin Camba, a Pre-Doctoral Fellow from the Global Development Policy Center.

“To elevate such bilateral relations, I think we should expect the materialization of some of the MOU’s and agreements that have been signed between the two countries,” said political analyst Li Meiting.

The two countries’ diplomatic ties turned cold when China began its activities in the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea.

The atmosphere improved when Rodrigo Duterte became the President of the Philippine Republic. Just months after his election, President Duterte visited Beijing and returned home with billion of dollars-worth of investments and development aid. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Victor Cosare)

Duterte to deliver public address on April 12, Roque says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his public address on Monday (April 12), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. confirmed.

In a text message to reporters on Saturday (April 10), the Palace official said the President will push through with his weekly public address on Monday.

Duterte skipped his public address last week after several members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) tested positive for the COVID-19. Due to his several days of absence, speculations have surfaced questioning the state of the President’s health.

However, several officials, already assured that Duterte is of good health and will deliver his public address on Monday.

Meanwhile, Roque said he was admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment. AAC

SC junks petition vs PH withdrawal from ICC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (March 16) unanimously junked petitions against the Philippines ‘ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The high court said the issue of the country’s withdrawal from the ICC  has been considered moot as the withdrawal has already taken effect on March 17, 2019.

“In a unanimous decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, the Supreme Court dismissed the Petition questioning the unilateral withdrawal for being moot and academic,” the SC said in a briefer released on Tuesday (March 16).

The statement released by the SC public information office says the decision acknowledged that the President, as the primary architect of foreign policy, is subject to the Constitution and existing statute.

Therefore, the power of the President to withdraw unilaterally can be limited by the conditions for concurrence by the Senate or when there is an existing law that authorizes the negotiation of a treaty or international agreement or when there is a statute that implements an existing treaty,” it added.

Two petitions were filed against President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the ICC, stating the decision still requires concurrence from two-thirds of the members of the Senate.

“The Court also noted that the judiciary has enough powers to protect human rights contrary to speculations raised by the petitioners,” the briefer reads.

Duterte made the announcement in March 2018, after the ICC announced it will conduct a preliminary investigation on the government’s war on drugs. -AAC

Bong Go ‘not interested’ in running for president, says Duterte was joking

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go has clarified he has no interest in joining in the 2022 presidential elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (March 11) revealed Go has interest in becoming president, which Go denied on Friday (March 12).

Itong si Senator Bong Go pababa kami ng eroplano sabi niya sir may hingi sana ako sayo ng pabor. Sabi ko ano? Sabi niya, medyo it leaves a bad taste malayo pa pero ikaw nalang ang magsabi sa kanila. Sabihin ko ang totoo, isang bagay lang ang sasabihin daw sa inyo— gusto niya maging presidente (When we are about to disembark the plane, he asked me for a favor. I asked what it is and he said, ‘it leaves a bad taste and it is still way down the road but I want you to tell them”. I will tell you the truth, I will say only one thing—he wants to be president),Duterte said.

Go, on Friday, clarified that the President only said that in jest and added he is content in serving as a Senator.

Sabi ko (I said) I am not interested to run for higher office. Joke lang po iyon ni Presidente. Siya lang po ang nanunukso. Siya lang po ang nag-uudyok (The President was just joking. He was the one urging [me]),Go said.

He also appealed to his co-parties in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) not to include him in politics and only choose him as the last option.

Kung wala na kayong makita ako nalang po ang pinakahuli. Mauna na sila huwag niyo na po akong isali sa usapang politikal (If you cannot find someone, I can be the last option. Let others go first and do not me include in politics),” he said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

 

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