PH coast guard, BFAR conduct maritime drills in West Philippine Sea

Robie de Guzman   •   April 26, 2021   •   679

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have conducted maritime exercises in the West Philippine Sea following reports on Chinese vessels lingering in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The PCG said eight capital ships were used for the exercises held on April 24 near the Bajo de Masinloc and the Pag-asa Islands, which are part of the country’s EEZ.

Crewmembers of PCG vessels, as well as PCG-manned BFAR vessels, participated in some training that includes navigation, small boat operations, maintenance, and logistical operations.

Other PCG personnel composed of lawyers, medical doctors, nurses, rescue swimmers, weapons, communications, and information systems technicians, and other maritime specialists, also underwent lectures and drills on manual plotting, piloting, firefighting, and basic life support.

PCG Spokesperson, Commodore Armando Balilo said the maritime exercises led by the Task Force Pagsasanay were intended to achieve operational and logistical efficiency to optimize the utilization of Coast Guard’s manpower and assets through a harmonized command and control, and supply chain.

“We are supporting the whole-of-nation approach in securing our maritime jurisdiction, especially the efforts of the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) to undertake maritime security, maritime safety, maritime law enforcement, maritime search and rescue, and marine environmental protection roles in our country’s waters,” Balilo said in a statement.

Aside from the West Philippine Sea, the said capital ships will also be deployed to perform maritime exercises in the Batanes Group of Islands, Benham Rise, as well as in the southern and eastern portions of the Philippines, the PCG said.

The agency is also planning to conduct medical and dental missions among local residents and coastal families in the Pag-asa Islands next week.

Philippines adds more countries to COVID-19 ‘red list’

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has updated its list of “red, yellow, and green” countries and territories, Malacañang said Friday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the revised list of areas that are classified as “red, yellow, and green.”

“This new classification shall take effect on September 19, 2021 until September 30, 2021,” Roque said.

Territories under the red list are considered as “high-risk.”

The red list will now include Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Slovenia.

The government earlier said that inbound passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, coming from or have been to “red” nations are not allowed to enter the Philippines.

Filipinos returning to the Philippines through government-facilitated or non-government repatriation programs, as well as special commercial flights allowed under existing IATF resolutions are not covered by the travel restrictions.

Meanwhile, areas included in the “green” list are as follows:

  • American Samoa
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chad
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  • Gabon
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Madagascar
  • Mali
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Poland
  • Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands)
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Taiwan
  • Algeria
  • Bhutan
  • Cook Islands
  • Eritrea
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
    North Korea
  • Saint Helena
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikstan
  • Tanzania
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Yemen

 

Green countries are those considered “low-risk” for COVID-19 based on disease incidence rate.

All other countries/territories/jurisdictions not mentioned are in the yellow list, Roque said.

Inbound passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, coming from or who have been to the “yellow” countries within 14 days prior to their arrival in the Philippines are required to undergo strict entry, testing and quarantine protocols.

PH gov’t intensifying readiness vs terror threat amid Japan warning – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday assured that the military and police forces are intensifying their readiness against any possible threat to national security.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave the assurance following the advisory issued by the government of Japan for its residents to avoid crowded areas and religious ins six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa impormasyon. Pero lalo lang po nating pinaiigting ang ating kahandaan para po harapin ang posibleng terroristic attack muli,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

The Palace official said state forces have been on heightened alert since the Marawi siege happened in 2017.

Roque, however, urged the public to be vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious individuals and activities in their areas.

“Nakahanda naman po ang ating kapulisan at ang ating Hukbong Sandatahan at hinihiling din atin ang kooperasyon ng ating mga mamamayan. I-report po ninyo sa kapulisan kung mayroon kayong kaduda-dudang mga personalidad o di naman kaya mga kadudang mga bagay-bagay lalo na sa mga pampublikong lugar,” he said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police earlier said they have not monitored any terror threat but are working to validate the information.

Aside from the Philippines, the warning issued by the Japanese government also covers Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

Philippines won’t cooperate with ICC probe, Palace maintains

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday maintained that the Philippine government will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign.

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines and its decision to authorize an investigation into the killings under the government’s war on drugs is interference into the country’s domestic affairs.

He also stressed that the country has already withdrawn from the Rome Statute – the treaty that established the ICC.

In March 2019, the Philippines effectively withdrew from the Rome Statute after Duterte cancelled the country’s membership of the ICC’s founding treaty.

Under the ICC’s withdrawal mechanism, the court retains jurisdiction over crimes committed during the membership period of a state.

The ICC on Wednesday said that its Pre-Trial Chamber 1 has granted then Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to formally conduct a full investigation into the Philippines’ drug war.

Bensouda previously argued that there is a reasonable basis to believe that murder has been committed in the Philippines between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019 in the context of the state policy.

But Panelo said the ICC can only conduct an investigation if the state’s judicial system is no longer functional, which is not the case in the Philippines.

It must also be proven that the state is unwilling to prosecute suspects in order for the ICC to launch a probe.

Panelo said ICC probers will not be allowed to enter the Philippines. He also believes that the investigation was politically motivated.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.