US-Iran tension definitely impacts local fuel prices — DOE

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2020   •   518

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) is monitoring the movement of fuel prices in the international market in view of the ongoing tension in the Middle East particularly between the United States and Iran.

Though the Philippines has a different fuel source other than Iran, the DOE said the conflict has hugely affected other Gulf nations where the country buys oil.

One effect, the DOE fears, is the delay in crude deliveries which will likely affect the prices of oil in the country.

“Ang Iran kasi napaka strategic ng location niya lalo na doon sa dadanan ng ating mga vessel o yung nga barges – iyong (Iran’s location is very strategic. Our vessels or barges pass through its territory, the) Strait of Hormuz,” explained DOE-OIMB Assistant Director Rodelo Romero.

“If you will notice in the past, once na magkaroon ng threat, yun ang target nilang sarahan (once there’s threat, that’s the first target for closure),” he added.

Among the countries in the Middle East that supply oil to the Philippines include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

Meanwhile, the DOE confirmed that no oil company has yet imposed the additional excise tax on oil.

The Department has ordered all oil companies to submit their respective inventory reports until January 8, 2020.

They are also required to put up advisory in their respective oil stations before they impose the third tranche of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law on their products. – MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

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DOE assures enough power supply for the rest of the year

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 10, 2020

The Department of Energy (DOE) assured that the country has enough power supply to last the rest of the year due to the high amount of power reserve ever since the government implemented community quarantine.

DOE Asec. Redentor Delola there was an average of 30% power demand reduction in Luzon when several areas in the region were put under enhanced community quarantine.

Luzon currently has an actual gross reserve of 3,329 Megawatts (MW). From the available power capacity of 13,356 MW last July 6, the region only had an actual peak demand of 10,335 MW.

Power demand in the Visayas went down by 19%, and 20% in Mindanao.

Mahalaga po ito to ensure na ang mga pangangailangan, lalong lalo na po sa ating mga tahanan, ay nandyan. Wala po tayong inaasahang problema sa suplay (ng kuryente) (This is important, to ensure that the needs of every household are met. We have no impending problem with our (power) supply),” he said.

However, Delola said the Energy Department continues to coordinate with various agencies to address the power interruptions. He clarified that sufficient power supply does not mean that no power interruptions will be experienced.

Inaamin po natin na hindi naman natin maiiwasan lahat ng power outages mayroon po talagang hindi kayang pigilan may mga emergency na nangyayari tulad ng may posteng nabangga (We admit we cannot avoid all power outages. There will be emergencies that might happen like vehicles hitting electric posts),” he said. –AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

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U.N. expert deems U.S. drone strike on Iran’s Soleimani an ‘unlawful’ killing

UNTV News   •   July 10, 2020

The January U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and nine other people represented a violation of international law, a U.N. human rights investigator said on Thursday (July 9).

The United States has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike on Soleimani’s convoy as it left Baghdad airport, said Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The attack violated the U.N. Charter, Callamard wrote in a report calling for accountability for targeted killings by armed drones and for greater regulation of the weapons.

Callamard presented her findings to the Human Rights Council, giving member states a chance to debate what action to pursue. The United States is not a member of the forum, having quit two years ago.

Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, was a pivotal figure in orchestrating Iran’s campaign to drive U.S. forces out of Iraq, and built up Iran’s network of proxy armies across the Middle East. Washington had accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region.

The Jan. 3 drone strike was the first known incident in which a nation invoked self-defence as a justification for an attack against a state actor in the territory of a third country, Callamard added.

Iran retaliated with a rocket attack on an Iraqi air base where U.S. forces were stationed. Hours later, Iranian forces on high alert mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner taking off from Tehran.

Iran has issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump and 35 others over Soleimani’s killing and has asked Interpol for help, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on June 29, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. (Reuters)

(Production: Cecile Mantovani)

Iran’s arrest warrant for Trump is a ‘propaganda stunt’ —U.S. official

UNTV News   •   June 30, 2020

U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook said on Monday (June 29) that an Iranian arrest warrant for President Donald Trump and 35 others over the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani was a “propaganda stunt”.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr announced the warrants, asking Interpol for help, according to the Fars news agency.

Hook speaking in Saudi Arabia alongside Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs Adel al-Jubeir, said: “This is a political nature. This has nothing to do with national security, international peace, or promoting stability. It is a propaganda stunt that no-one takes seriously.”

The United States and Interpol both dismissed the idea of acting on such a warrant.

The United States killed Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, with a drone strike in Iraq on Jan. 3. Washington accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region.

Alqasimehr said the warrants had been issued on charges of murder and terrorist action. He said Iran had asked Interpol to issue a “red notice” seeking the arrest of Trump and the other individuals the Islamic Republic accuses of taking part in the killing of Soleimani. (Reuters)

(Production: Mohammed Benmansour, Matthew Stock, Aiden Nulty)

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