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Locsin files diplomatic protest vs China after West PH Sea collision

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. has filed a diplomatic protest against China after a collision with a Filipino vessel.

READ: DND: Chinese ship hit, sank PH vessel in West PH Sea

Locsin condemned the abandonment of the Filipino crew after a Chinese vessel allegedly hit and sank the Filipino vessel last Sunday (June 9).

“We denounce the actions of the Chinese fishing vessel for immediately leaving the scene of the incident, abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen to the mercy of the elements,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the foreign secretary expressed gratitude to the crew of the Vietnamese vessel for saving the lives of the 22 Filipinos.

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Duterte to Recto 22: ‘I’m sorry, but that’s how it is’

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Courtesy : Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to the Recto 22 after he reiterated that the abandonment of the 22 fishermen was just a “maritime incident”.

During the premiere of the movie “Kontradiksyon,” Duterte told reporters that the incident did not result in any confrontation.

“Well, I’m sorry, but that’s how it is,” he said. “They know that that area is claimed by both. For China, it happened within their jurisdiction. For us [it happened] within our jurisdiction. We have two conflicting claims of ownership.”

READ: Filipino boat captain laments Duterte’s remark on West PH Sea allision incident

The Filipino boat captain previously expressed disappointment over Duterte’s remarks when he said the allision was only a “maritime incident”.

A Filipino vessel was allegedly hit by a Chinese vessel on June 9. The Filipino fishermen were abandoned at sea and were saved by Vietnamese fishermen after a few hours.

Duterte clarified that he is not belittling the situation. However, he said that it would not justify sending military troops to the area.

“It’s a maritime incident. ‘Little’ in the sense that it did not result in any confrontation. This not to belittle anything. There was damage but luckily nobody died,” he said. “That is not a reason to go to any military exercise there. If you do that, that’s war.”—AAC


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China’s Xi holds talks with N.Korean leader Kim about ‘new era’: foreign ministry

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019

Xi, Peng, Kim, Ri posing for photo with DPRK officials. Pyongyang, DPRK – June 20, 2019. Courtesy : Reuters

China’s President Xi Jinping held talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang as part of his two-day state visit.

They discussed the ‘new era’ of relations between the two countries, as they mark the 70th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in North Korea on Thursday (June 20) as Beijing looks to bolster its neighbor, hit by U.N. sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs, a week before Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump meet amid a bitter trade dispute.

Xi, whose entourage includes the head of China’s state economic planner, will be in reclusive North Korea for two days, becoming the first Chinese leader to visit in 14 years, and could bring fresh support measures for its floundering, sanctions-bound economy.

China is the North’s only major ally and the visit comes amid renewed tension on the Korean peninsula as the United States seeks to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons. (REUTERS)

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Makabayan bloc believes boat captain was pressured to change statements

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019

Courtesy :Secretary Manny Piñol’s FB page

Makabayan bloc believes that the boat captain of the sunken fishing vessel was pressured to change statements after their meeting with Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate said the fishermen might have been intimidated or bribed in order to change their statements about the incident.

“There was really a pressure. They are bombarded by so much misinformation. Itinu-twist ang kanilang statement siguro may mga pagbabanta pa and offer of parang bina-bribe bigyan ng mga ganitong bangka etc. but it will not erase the fact, (They twist [the fishermen’s] statement maybe there are even threats and bribes. They may have bribed them with these kinds of boats etc.),” he said.

Outgoing Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano said the Reed Bank fishermen are facing a lot of pressure.

The group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) called for transparency on the closed-door meeting with Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

“We demand an explanation and transparency from Piñol on what actually happened inside that house that led to the complete turnaround on the position of the boat captain on the incident that happened on the night of June 9,” their statement reads.

In a radio interview, Secretary Piñol denied there was any intimidation during the meeting. He said his actions are only brought by good intentions.

Meanwhile, Occidental Mindoro Representative Josephine Sato said there should be a ‘marine inquiry’ on the incident.

“Kami po ay humihiling, sa lalong madaling panahon, na magkaroon ng marine inquiry, (We wish to have a marine inquiry as soon as possible)” she said.

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