Phl must reject ‘lopsided’, ‘unconstitutional’ verbal deal with China – Carpio

Maris Federez   •   July 5, 2019   •   744

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio believes that the Philippines must set aside and reject what he calls as a “lopsided” and “unconstitutional” verbal agreement it forged with China.

The court official also expressed his agreement with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. when the latter said in an interview that only the Philippines is allowed to fish in Philippine waters.

Justice Carpio, in a statement, said there is no official policy that allows China to fish in Reed Bank (locally known as Recto Bank).

“Secretary Locsin knows that there is no recorded minutes of the so-called verbal agreement between President Xi and President Duterte allowing the Chinese to fish in Reed Bank in exchange for Filipinos fishing in Scarborough Shoal,” said Carpio.

The Senior Associate Justice added, “Any such verbal agreement, if confirmed by the Philippine government, will bind the Philippines to allow the Chinese to fish in Reed Bank for as long as China allows Filipinos to fish in Scarborough Shoal.”

Carpio also underscored the difference between Reed Bank which is 8,660 sq. km in area, and Scarborough Shoal which is only 150 sq. km in area; emphasizing that “Filipinos can fish only outside the lagoon of Scarborough Shoal, not inside the lagoon which is the rich fishing area.”

He also noted that China has the largest fishing fleet in the world with huge modern trawlers, comparing it with the Philippines whose Filipino fishermen only have wooden boats with outriggers. 

“The Chinese can deplete the fish in Reed Bank very quickly,” he stressed.

Justice Carpio also pointed out that the verbal agreement, aside from being clearly against the Constitution, is so lopsided it should be rejected by the Philippine government.

Reed Bank is within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone.

“Under the Constitution, the use and enjoyment of the fish and other natural resources within Philippine EEZ is reserved exclusively for Filipinos,” Justice Carpio further said. (with reports from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

Hundreds queue for masks in Shanghai as virus spreads

UNTV News   •   January 29, 2020

Hundreds in Shanghai were queuing on Wednesday (January 29) to buy protective face masks as fears over a deadly coronavirus originating from Wuhan grew in China.

The coronavirus outbreak, which started in the central city of Wuhan late last year, has killed 132 people, with nearly 6,000 infected in China.

In the commercial capital of Shanghai, the municipal market regulator has ordered the closure of a drugstore that sold sub-standard masks, the city government said.

“I left my place before 8 in the morning. I came by bus from Pudong District. I don’t think it’s good to queue here because it’s a large crowd here. I am worried about cross infection but I have no choice but queue here,” said a local resident Zhang Dahua.

There were rumours of food shortage but supermarkets in Shanghai showed a good supply of fruits, eggs and vegetables.

Almost all in Hubei province, which includes the city of Wuhan, is under virtual lockdown, while the number of confirmed cases rose by 1,459 to a total of 5,974.

The case number in China now exceeds the 5,327 who were infected in the country with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus which killed about 800 people around the world in 2002-2003. (Reuters)

(Production: Xihao Jiang)

Two hospitals being built urgently for viral pneumonia patients in Wuhan

UNTV News   •   January 29, 2020

Two hospitals designed for the novel coronavirus pneumonia patients are being built urgently in Wuhan City, the center of the epidemic outbreak in central China’s Hubei Province.

After three days of non-stop construction, the land-leveling work has been finished for the Leishenshan Hospital, the second makeshift hospital under construction, and the supporting work, such as sewage treatment and power supply, is also going on.

The project of Leishenshan Hospital has been designed to be equipped with special medical sewage treatment facilities, so as to ensure that the medical sewage will not flow out and that the secondary pollution will be prevented.

The main body of the hospital consists of a medical isolation area and medical accommodation area, with a construction area of 30,000 square meters and an estimated 1,500 beds.

As of 14:00 on Tuesday, the frame of the first ward at Huoshenshan Hospital, the first hospital under construction, had already taken shape.

The foundation of the ward is supported with square steels of over 30 centimeters in height, thus reserving enough underground room for the future construction of water and electricity supply, and drainage pipes.

“Last night, the workers worked all through the night, and another shift of workers started to work at 02:00,” said Liu Fei, a worker of the Huoshenshan Hospital.

In view of the traffic and distribution of construction materials on the construction site, builders have optimized the construction plan and adopted the method of setting up the frame first and then assembling planks to improve construction efficiency.

In terms of power facilities in the ward, 14 of the 24 newly added box-type transformers have been installed and tested.

These two hospitals follow the building model of the Xiaotangshan Hospital in Beijing to use movable plank houses so that the construction can be completed quickly.

In the treatment and control of SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, that spread rapidly on the Chinese mainland in 2003, Beijing built the Xiaotangshan Hospital, a temporary medical center in the northern suburb of the city. REUTERS

Japan plane evacuating citizens arrives in Tokyo from virus-hit Wuhan

UNTV News   •   January 29, 2020

A chartered plane carrying 206 Japanese nationals evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of China’s coronavirus outbreak, arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on Wednesday (January 29), as the death toll from the new strain rose to 132.

Two passengers from the flight told journalists how they felt while they were in Wuhan.

“I was very worried (in Wuhan) because the situation changed very rapidly,” a Nippon Steel Corporation employee Takeo Aoyama said. Aoyama said other passengers fell asleep as soon as they seated. “I suppose they are relieved and so exhausted at the same time,” he added.

Another passenger Takayuki Kato said the situation drastically changed since the Chinese authorities announced a public transport lockdown of the city on January 23.

Four of the 206 people aboard the flight have claimed to feel ill since returning to Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said to reporters at a daily briefing on Wednesday. Suga said these four passengers feeling sick will undergo a medical examination.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Tuesday (January 28) that 650 Japanese citizens were hoping to come home, and the government was making arrangements for additional flights.

(Production: Akira Tomoshige, Kim Kyung-Hoon, Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)

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