PH withdrawal from ICC, no effect on the justice system — Calida

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 25, 2019   •   1471

courtesy : reuters

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will not have an effect on the country’s justice system, according to Solicitor General Jose Calida.

“The Philippine justice system functions independently with or without membership in the ICC. Hence, the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute has no effect on our justice system,” Calida said.

Calida made the statement after former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario filed a complaint at the ICC against China’s President Xi Jinping.

According to the two former officials, they filed the complaint on March 15, or two days before the ICC withdrawal became effective.

They want President Xi and two other Chinese officials to be accountable for the destruction of marine resources and harassment of fishermen in the disputed South China Sea.

“I think we discussed that there might be four avenues that might be considered one is imprisonment. I understand that the maximum number of years is 40 years. We might consider penalties, we might consider monetary considerations and reparations,” Del Rosario said.

“They are almost complete in the militarization. And that’s the reason why we have to file this case because while we wanted to arrest this. There are almost …the secretary of foreign affairs stated a while ago other things that we expect from this…could be reparation,” Carpio-Morales said.

Meanwhile, former presidential spokesperson and ICC advocate Atty. Harry Roque doubts the outcome of the complaint filed by Carpio-Morales and Del Rosario.

“Kasi unang-una, hindi po partido ang China sa Rome Statute. Pangalawa, hindi naman po ito ni-refer ng security council at pangatlo, hindi naman ito ni-refer ng bansang Tsina, (First of all, China is not a part of the Rome Statute. Secondly, it was not referred by the security council and third, it was not referred by China)” Roque said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the complaint will not be successful because “it was more of a political statement than a true legal action”.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

COVID-19 cases in Phl jump to 707; death toll at 45

Marje Pelayo   •   March 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday (March 26) reported an additional 71 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 707.

Meanwhile, two more patients have recovered, bringing the total to 28.

However, the Department confirmed seven additional deaths, bringing the nationwide death toll to 45.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in a live broadcast Thursday afternoon also announced that the country has recorded 657 patients under investigation (PUIs) who are confined in hospitals.

The number of persons under monitoring (PUM) or under self-quarantine, on the other hand, is at 6,321.

The DOH is planning to establish community quarantine facilities to accommodate more PUIs and PUMs as a measure to decongest the major hospitals overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 patients.

The DOH added that these community quarantine facilities will also house COVID-19 recoveries who need further medical observation.

Among those eyed for community quarantine facilities are schools and evacuation centers.

“Sa ngayon nga po tayo ay nakikipag-usap na sa pamunuan ng Quezon Institute, sa Philippine Red Cross para makapag-umpisa tayo ng isang malaking community quarantine facility kung saan pwede po nating ilagak ang ating mga mino-monitor,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

(As of now, we are coordinating with the management of the Quezon Institute and the Philippine Red Cross to start with the establishment of a big community quarantine facility where we can house patients who need monitoring.)

“Ang layunin po ng ating gobyerno ay para hindi maghalo ang ating mga (The purpose of our government is to separate) severe at critical with mild and asymptomatic and also, of course, to decongest our hospitals,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has signified its offer of more than 100 evacuation centers across the country to be converted into quarantine facilities.

The DOH is now forming the necessary protocols for the operations of the proposed community quarantine facilities. MNP (with inputs from Aiko Miguel)

PH’s COVID-19 cases hit 111

UNTV News   •   March 14, 2020

The Department of Health on Saturday night (March 14) reported 13 additional cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Cases PH99-PH111 were confirmed to have the virus on March 13, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 111.

The DOH is currently validating information of the new cases and assured to release details to the public as soon as it is available.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has called for the public’s cooperation and appealed on behalf of the frontline health workers and medical personnel who are “risking their safety to respond to the needs of the public.”

“All we ask is for you to do your part: practice preventive measures, go on strict home quarantine if you are experiencing mild symptoms,” Duque said.

“At this most trying time, our strongest weapon as a nation is Vigilance, Preparedness, and Solidarity. We are seeing these values at play now as DOH is receiving an influx of support from individuals and organizations who are willing to render assistance in any way they can. Let this be a reminder for all Filipinos to step up to the plate and heed the call for cooperation,” he added.

COVID-19 cases in Philippines rise to 64 with 12 new patients

UNTV News   •   March 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday confirmed 12 more cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), increasing the total number of infections in the country to 64.

The DOH has yet to release the details of new positive cases, as of posting time.

The department added it has deployed surveillance teams, with the help of concerned local government units, to conduct extensive gathering of information and tracing all those who had contact with the new patients.

The DOH also called on the public to help the government in the contact tracing activities by reporting information to its designated hotline.

“We continually ask the public to cooperate and help us in the investigation and contact tracing activities. Please contact DOH and call the designated hotline at (02) 8-651-7800 loc 1149-1150 for any new leads,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

He also urged those who have been confirmed to have contracted the virus to let the government assist them in fighting the disease.

“For those who are confirmed cases, please let our hospitals take care of you. Studies show that chances of recovery are high. Let us take it upon ourselves to protect our family and our community’s health and well-being,” Duque said.

Available data on COVID-19 show that elderly people, average of 66 years in age, and those with underlying medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease, and immunosuppression are vulnerable to the disease.

“We further urge those who are immunocompromised and are with existing health conditions to be more vigilant and avoid crowded areas and mass gatherings,” the health chief said.

Duque also reminded the public to keep calm and stop hoarding basic commodities as denying others access to such necessities only adds to the problem at hand.

“I also implore everyone to please stop hoarding basic commodities, particularly hygiene and sanitation products. It does not help us fight off COVID-19. Realize that when you hoard, you are being part of the problem by denying the rest of your fellowmen the means to protect themselves,” he said.

The Philippines is currently under a state of public health emergency following the hoisting of Code Red Sub-level 2 due to growing coronavirus infections, particularly in Metro Manila.

President Rodrigo Duterte has placed Metro Manila under a 30-day community quarantine to combat the spread of the virus which will start from March 15 to April 14.

During the quarantine period, land, domestic air, and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila are suspended.

Work in the executive branch and classes in all levels in Metro Manila are also suspended.

Mall and shop owners are urged to continue operations. The delivery of goods and services will also be allowed as long as it follows regulations.

Private companies, however, are encouraged to implement a flexible work arrangement or a work from home set up for the meantime to protect their employees.

Duterte said all these measures are subject to daily review depending on the situation.

Authorities have stressed that movement of residents in Metro Manila will not be restricted but everyone should cooperate and obey the rules to help stop the contagion.

“The decision to implement a community quarantine was made in the best interest of the public. I enjoin everyone—young and old—to cooperate fully with our government. Together, we can contain COVID-19,” Duque said.

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