Duterte declares Marawi ‘liberated from terrorists’
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Philippines never abandoned bilateral talks with China over sea dispute – Sec. Yasay
by UNTV News | Posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said some of his counterparts expressed concern over the alleged continued militarization in the West Philippine Sea.
Secretary Yasay said, “On the South China Sea, a number of ministers expressed concern over recent developments and escalation of activity in the area which may further raise tensions and erode trust and confidence in the region.”
Thus, some of the foreign ministers believe it is important for the Philippines to continue having dialogues with China to resolve the territorial dispute in the region.
During the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or Foreign Ministers Retreat on Boracay Island on Tuesday, Yasay said they are focusing now on bigger aspects of ASEAN integration since discussions on the West Philippine Sea dispute remain on deadlock.
Yasay added,“Since the decision of our dispute in the South China Sea is not the sum total of our relationship with China, we set it aside. We started to pursue the bigger aspects of our relationship which is promoting trade, promoting investments and pursuing to the hilt those areas where we have a convergence of natural interest to make sure that we could come up with something most beneficial mutually for the parties concerned.”
Despite this, the foreign ministers still insist on the importance of resolving the issue through peaceful means and according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Sec. Yasay said the Philippines is ready to have bilateral talks with China, which shall be conducted at the right time.
“The arbitral tribunal ruling in July 12, 2016 is something that we will have to pursue with China through bilateral engagements and we have not abandoned that.”
Meanwhile, ASEAN senior officials together with representatives from the Philippines will have a meeting in the United States in May.
Sec. Yasay said he hopes to personally talk with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during the said meeting.
“I would hope that this could be done as soon as possible. It would be very important for us as I am sure it will be important for the United States in our desire to forge closer ties and closer relationships with the two countries.” — Jun Soriao, UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will share the USD 22-million worth of firearms and ammunition donated by the Chinese government.
This is China’s second donation of military equipment to the AFP.
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said, 90 sets of sniper scope will go the soldiers battling terrorists in Marawi City while the guns and ammunition will go to the police for their special forces.
“For now, the PNP needs additional firearms, so we have to help the PNP so that they can do their job. They lack long firearms,” said Año.
Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Chinese donation is part of the friendship and cooperation between Beijing and Malacañang in terms of fighting terrorism.
“I want to thank China for its technical assistance in our anti-terrorism operations in Marawi City, this has been vital in winning the battle against extremist,” said Lorenzana.
Thirty-five sets of engineering equipment are also set to arrive before the end of the year. These sets of equipment, the Philippine authorities said, is for the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said China is in full support of the Philippines’ fight against the ISIS-inspired group Maute and illegal drugs.
The Chinese ambassador noted that Beijing has already donated an estimated of 5.5 billion pesos worth of humanitarian assistance and disaster reduction and military equipment to the Philippines.
“Let me assure you that China will provide additional grants and assistance to the Philippines. We would like to be your partner in a rehabilitation and reconstruction of the city of Marawi,” said the Chinese ambassador.
Jianhua explained that the donations will not push through if not for the efforts of President Rodrigo Duterte to repair the relationship of Manila with Beijing. It can be noted the two countries were at odds over the South China Sea during the term of Mr. Duterte’s predecessor.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed, China would like to be a friend in need so we cherish the friendship that rekindled by President Duterte,” said Jianhua. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue
by UNTV News | Posted on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
MANILA, Philippines — China is set to donate on Thursday firearms and ammunition to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
AFP PAO Chief Colonel Edgard Arevalo said the said donations include 3,000 units of M-14 rifles; three million rounds of various types of ammunition and 30 sniper scopes worth USD22-million.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief-of-Staff Eduardo Año will receive the donations which will be turned over by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhao.
“Definitely this will greatly help in the operations that we conduct because this can help in our fire power not just, of course, in Marawi, but in other areas of the country where our combat operations are ongoing,” AFP-PAO Chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said. – UNTV NEWS & Rescue
by UNTV News | Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
Sen. Antonio Trillanes in Singapore
Senator Antonio Trillanes personally went to Singapore to belie the allegations of President Rodrigo Duterte that he has an offshore account in the said country.
Trillanes went to DBS Bank and then to HSBC here in Singapore this morning, but found no account under his name.
The managers of the banks could not release certification as he is not their client.
Following his visit to Singapore, Trillanes has once again challenged the President to sign a waiver to allow authorities to scrutinize his bank accounts.
“So from this, everyone can see that all the allegations of the President against me are all made-up to divert the public’s attention away from the primary issue which is the President’s involvement in illegal drugs, and his hidden wealth,” Trillanes said. “They do this at the same to divert my attention and to harass me and damage my name.”
President Duterte initially disclosed that the lawmaker has currency accounts in Shanghai, China, Zurich and Geneva in Switzerland, Singapore, and in Cayman Islands.
Mr. Duterte, however, noted that the senator’s accounts in Zurich and here in Singapore are already closed.
Malacañang, meanwhile, said authorities have to validate Trillanes’ claims that he has a non-existent bank account in Singapore.
“Those things have to be verified, apparently like we said, the President already checked into the background of that particular account ,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said. – Mary Jo Maleriado | UNTV News & Rescue
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