by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
Everyone may visit the disputed Panatag Shoal off Zambales, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said on Monday.
Balilo made the statement after Otso Diretso Senatorial candidate and Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano wrote a formal letter to the PCG to request for permission to visit the contested shoal.
The letter, dated April 13, was addressed to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino.
“Sir, the PCA ruling in 2016 clearly stated that the Scarborough Shoal is a traditional fishing ground of Filipino and Chinese fishermen, hence, both of our fishermen can fish there. However, our local media has reported otherwise, which, if left unchecked would greatly undermine our people’s rights to the resources found there,” Alejano’s letter read.
Balilo said there is no policy that prohibits people from visiting Panatag Shoal as long the trip is properly coordinated with the PCG station for rescue operation in case of emergency.
However, the Philippine Navy said Alejano and other opposition senatorial candidates cannot just sail to the disputed area, saying this should be cleared with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM).
The Philippine Navy said Alejano’s request should be forwarded to the AFP-NOLCOM as it has operational control of the navy ships deployed in Panatag shoal.
Nevertheless, authorities expressed doubt that the trip would be permitted if it’s going to be used for something other than fishing.
The PH Navy also stressed it can always deny request to travel to Panatag Shoal as it is not a tourist destination that anyone can visit.
The military said the AFP-NOLCOM’s priority concern is safety, and the current maritime dispute between the Philippines and China comes second. – Robie de Guzman
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019
Dengue cases in Zamboanga Peninsula rose to 81 percent, according to the Department of Health (DOH) 9. Cases had reached 1,743 from January 1 to March 7, 2019.
Based on the report of the DOH 9, Zamboanga City reported 719 dengue cases, a 213% increase compared to the same period last year which recorded 230 cases. Zamboanga del Norte, on the other hand, recorded 499 cases which is a 222 percent increase from last year’s 155 cases.
Meanwhile, Zamboanga Sibugay recorded 175 dengue cases; Isabela City , Basilan, 99 cases; and Zamboanga Del Sur with 251.
The DOH reminds residents to implement the 4-S campaign against dengue and work on controlling the mosquito population.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III previously said, “The first step to prevent dengue is within our homes. It is important to remove any space or container that can hold unnecessary stagnant water which may become breeding sites for mosquitoes.”—Aileen Cerrudo
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2019
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Authorities believe that the grenade attack on a mosque in the city, which killed two people and injured four others, is an isolated case.
Authorities suspect that it stemmed from a personal grudge because the victims were not residents of the place and perhaps the suspects as well.
It could also be politics, the police said, since one of the victims was a barangay councilman in the town of Basilan.
“I-che-check po natin. May kaalitan ba sila doon? Politically inclined ba ang mga persons (involved)? Makikipag-coordinate po tayo,” assured ZCPO Spokesperson PCInsp. Shellamie Chang. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Dante Amento)
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