Duterte may meet with ex-PH presidents to discuss West Philippine Sea row – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   May 20, 2021   •   868

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is looking to meet with his predecessors to discuss China’s continued presence in the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement when asked for a comment on former military chief and Senator Rodolfo Biazon’s proposal to convene the National Security Council (NSC) over the Duterte administration’s “confusing” stand on Manila’s maritime dispute with Beijing.

Roque insisted that there is nothing confusing with President Duterte’s stand on the sea row as his policy towards China is to temporarily set aside disagreements on some issues and push through with other matters, such as commerce and investments, that will benefit the country.

He also reiterated that the present administration will never give away a territory and will stand firm and protect the national sovereignty and sovereign rights.

But instead of convening the NSC, Roque said the president is mulling over meeting with former presidents and other personalities to tackle the issue.

“Nabanggit po yan sa akin ng presidente. Ang problema dun sa National Security Council, wala naman pong nare-resolve dun sa mga pagkakataon na naka-attend siya so kung kinakailangan, iniisip niya na imbitahin ang mga dating presidente, ilang mga personalidad na magkaroon ng isang pagpupulong to discuss the issue,” he said.

“Pero ang tingin po niya, may mga karanasan po siya sa National Security Council, eh walang resolusyon na nangyayari so parang bakit pa, eh pwede naman po yang through informal consultations,” he added.

The NSC is an advisory body on the proper coordination and integration of plans and policies affecting national security and foreign policy. It is composed of concerned officials of the Cabinet and Congress as members, as well as other government officials and relevant personalities who may be invited by the president.

Roque said there is no date yet for the possible meeting as this is still in the process of consideration. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

PNP Maritime Group nagtayo ng istasyon sa Pag-asa Island

Robie de Guzman   •   October 19, 2021

Nagsimula na ang deployment ng mga tauhan ng Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group sa Pag-asa Island na sakop ng West Philippine Sea.

Ayon kay PNP Maritime Unit-National Capital Region (NCR) chief Police Colonel Oliver Tanseco, walong tauhan na pinamumunuan ng isang opisyal na may ranggong Police Major ang unang batch na ipinadala sa lugar.

Aniya, tungkulin ng grupo na bantayan ang buong munisipalidad ng Kalayaan at pangalagaan ang seguridad ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda laban sa mga dayuhang sasakyang pangisda.

“Ang primary responsibility po natin, unang-una, magbigay-suporta at tulungan yung ating pamahalaan sa pagpapatupad ng batas natin doon sa Pag-asa Island,” ani Tanseco.

“Siyempre doon sa ating exclusive economic zone, ang ating sovereign right, at doon sa mga area na pasok sa territorial sea, ang ating sovereignty,” dagdag pa niya.

Lakip rin ng kanilang tungkulin ang pangangalaga sa kapakanan ng mga Pilipinong mangingisda na makararanas ng panggugulo mula sa mga dayuhang sasakyang pandagat.

“Sa Pag-asa Island po ang ating mga police are trained police investigators po para kung kinakailangan po ay magkakaroon tayo ng pag- arrest po ng mga barko na pumapasok, nagi-intrude, nagpo-poaching sa ating waters. Ang ating pulis po ang magko-conduct ng investigation and for filing of cases in court,” ani Tanseco.

Bukod sa mga maritime police sa Pag-asa Island, mayroon ding walong tauhan ang mga ito na nakasakay sa BRP Dagupan City na tumutulong naman sa Philippine Navy sa pagpapatrolya sa West Philippine Sea.

Ang Pagasa Island ang pangalawa sa pinakamalaking natural island sa West Philippine Sea at matatagpuan 480 kilometers kanluran ng Puerto Princesa sa Palawan.

Duterte appoints Antonio Parlade to Nat’l Security Council

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed retired military general Antonio Parlade as deputy director general of the National Security Council (NSC), Malacañang said Thursday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that the president signed Parlade’s appointment on Sept. 8.

Parlade retired as head of the military’s Southern Luzon Command in July.

“Deputy Director-General Parlade faithfully served the Armed Forces of the Philippines for many years until his retirement from the service,” Roque said.

“We are therefore confident that his length of fruitful service in the military would immensely contribute in the crafting of plans and policies affecting national security,” he added.

Parlade previously served as spokesperson for the government’s Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict.

He became controversial for his remarks linking some organizers of community pantries to the communist group. Some senators even called for his resignation and proposed defunding the task force over the issue.

In a separate statement, Parlade thanked Duterte for the “renewed trust and confidence.”

“Another opportunity to continue serving our people in a different capacity. Time to take care of unfinished business,” he said.

Warning signals lifted as Tropical Storm Jolina moves towards the West Philippine Sea

Marje Pelayo   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has lifted all wind signals across the country as Tropical Storm Jolina moves towards the West Philippine Sea.

As of 11:00 a.m. Thursday (September 9), the center of TS Jolina was estimated at 240 km West of Dagupan City, Pangasinan, packed with maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h and gustiness of up to 115 km/h.

It is moving westward at 10 km/h.

PAGASA forecasts that in the next 24 hours, light to moderate with at times heavy rains may be experienced over Palawan, Western Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Under these conditions, isolated to widely scattered flooding and rain-induced landslides are still possible especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.

Meanwhile, moderate to strong winds associated with the enhanced southwest monsoon will be experienced over the western section of Luzon.

Based on PAGASA’s forecast track, ‘Jolina’ will move generally west northwestward today over the West Philippine Sea and exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tonight.

However, the tropical storm is seen to re-intensify and may reach a severe tropical storm category within the day, PAGASA said.

Furthermore, the storm may reach typhoon category tomorrow (September 10).

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