Malacañang: Recall of PH officials over trash spat, a warning to Canada
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The order of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to recall the Philippine ambassador and consuls to Canada is a warning that the diplomatic relations between the two countries may be severed over a garbage spat, the Malacañang said on Thursday.
This was after the Canadian government missed the May 15 deadline to take back tons of trash it sent to Manila several years ago.
DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the recall order was to “maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship bound there.”
“The fact alone that Secretary Locsin has recalled our diplomats there shows that not only are we serious, we are already warning them, we’re gonna severe diplomatic relations,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters at a press briefing.
Panelo added that the recall order for envoys aims to urge the Canadian government to expedite the garbage shipment process.
“That order of the recall is to persuade them to make it fast. The more the delay, the more personnel will be coming back,” he said.
Panelo on Wednesday said there might be a slight delay in shipping out the Canadian garbage due to the processing of documents. He had then surmised that the shipment of the trash might begin in “one to two weeks.”
The Canadian government earlier agreed to pay for the expenses in shipping out all 69 waste containers it had dumped in the Philippines in 2013 following a stern warning issued by President Rodrigo Duterte last month.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday denied involvement in the filing of sedition charges against Vice President Leni Robredo and other known opposition figures over the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo insisted that the Palace had nothing to do with the complaint, when asked if the move is part of the Duterte administration’s “crackdown” against the opposition group.
“We have nothing to do with this case. None at all,” Panelo said in a statement.
The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Thursday filed the complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with videos, where a certain Bikoy linked members of the Duterte family to the narcotics trade.
Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed to be the hooded figure “Bikoy” in the videos, was named in the complaint as a witness and respondent.
Aside from Robredo, other named respondents in the complaint were former Senators Bam Aquino, Antonio Trillanes IV, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Leila de Lima and members of the Otso Diretso senatorial slate.
Cyber libel, estafa, and obstruction of justice charges were also filed by the police against a total of 38 respondents.
Panelo did not provide any detail on the topics that Duterte might discuss in his speech but the President earlier said he would use SONA to ‘educate’ the public on the constitutionality of his decision to allow Chinese fishermen to trawl in the Philippine waters.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Thursday, July 11th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The decision on whether to amend the Constitution to provide for longer terms of elected officials, as proposed by House speaker bet Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, is up to lawmakers, Malacañang said on Thursday.
“The decision would always lie on the members of Congress because they are the ones passing the bill. I will not preempt the wisdom of the members of Congress on this matter,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters at a Palace press briefing.
Cayetano, during a gathering of lawmakers on Wednesday, proposed to extend the term limits for elected officials, insisting it would be more “practical” and “productive” for the Lower House.
Panelo also suggested to congressmen to consult the public about the proposal.
“I think they should conduct a survey on the sentiments of the people, whether or not they agree on that proposal. And I’m sure since that has been floated, there will be opinions being expressed by many sectors,” he said.
At present, a congressman has a three-year term and may serve for no more than three consecutive terms.
A senator has a six-year team with one re-election. (with details from Grace Casin)
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