China holds ‘serious’ investigation on sea collision in Recto Bank

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2019   •   2822

The Chinese government is conducting its own investigation on the sea collision that involved Chinese crewmen abandoning Filipino fishermen after the former hit the latter’s fishing boat in the evening of June 9 in Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua in a text message to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the issue “is being thoroughly and seriously investigated.”

“We share your concerns about fishermen,” Zhao said.

“If it were true that it was a Chinese fishing boat which did it, they would be duly educated and punished for their irresponsible behavior. Incidents happen even in the best-regulated family,” he added.

The Chinese Ambassador also hopes that the incident will be held in a ‘proper context’.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang, meanwhile, said what happened was just ‘an ordinary maritime accident’.

He acknowledged, however, that abandoning a person in dire need of rescue is unacceptable.

“If the relevant situation turns out to be true, irrespective of which country the perpetrators come from, abandoning (others) should be condemned,” he said.

“China will continue to investigate this incident based on its responsible attitude towards the physical safety and safety of property of the people of both countries and will work with the Philippine side to properly handle,” he concluded.

DFA summons Chinese Ambassador over Julian Felipe Reef issue

Marje Pelayo   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it summoned China’s ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian over the Julian Felipe Reef issue.

In a statement, the DFA expressed displeasure over the “illegal lingering” presence of Chinese vessels in the said territory in the West Philippines Sea.

Through DFA Acting Undersecretary Elizabeth Buensuceso, the DFA stressed that Julian Felipe Reef lies within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of the Philippines.

The DFA also noted the ‘untoward statements’ of the Chinese Embassy spokesperson on Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and reminded of the proper decorum and manners in the conduct of their duties as guests here in the Philippines.

The DFA reiterated the Philippines’ firm demand to China to immediately remove all of its vessels from Julian Felipe Reef and from other areas covered by the Philippine maritime zone.

‼️READ‼️ DFA Summons Chinese Ambassador, Expresses Utmost Displeasure over Julian Felipe Reef Issue

#DFAForgingAhead

Posted by Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines on Monday, April 12, 2021

Gov’t seeks single facility for COVID-19 patients

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 17, 2020

The government is looking for a single facility to house confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to prevent overcrowding in hospitals.

On Monday (March 16), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the recommendation will be discussed in a meeting with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“We are recommending that there should be only one place where we can put all those confirmed cases,” he said.

Panelo said this would lessen the risk of occupational transmission of the virus. He said placing patients in one or two facilities may help in controlling the spread of the disease.

“Baka maubusan tayo ng ospital na paglalagayan (We might run out of hospitals for the patients); and not only that, we are exposing our health workers to the same infection,” he said. — AAC

Duterte, Panelo one-on-one interview deferred anew

Robie de Guzman   •   January 28, 2020

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo and President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – The scheduled televised one-on-one interview of President Rodrigo Duterte with his spokesperson Salvador Panelo has been postponed anew.

In a televised advisory, Panelo said the interview with Duterte, which was supposed to be held Tuesday, will be moved to a later date because the president is feeling “under the weather.”

Panelo said it may be rescheduled next week.

The said interview was initially set on January 22 but was postponed due to “pressing matters.”

The president conducted his first televised interview with Panelo in September 2018 where they discussed wide-ranging topics on martial law in Mindanao, reopening of Boracay Island, increasing rice prices, his critic former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, among others. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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