‘We’re fine’: Roque says after Locsin’s ‘drop the subject’ tweet
Robie de Guzman • May 12, 2021 • 473
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday said he is still on good terms with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. after the latter called out his recent remarks on the Julian Felipe Reef.
“I have talked to SFA (Secretary of Foreign Affairs) and we are fine,” Roque said in a message when asked for a reaction on Locsin’s comments.
The DFA chief earlier insisted that he was the only one who can speak when it comes to foreign affairs.
“This is my last warning. When it comes to foreign affairs, the Department of Foreign Affairs has the exclusive remit. I don’t come from diplomacy; I come from a life that settled the hash of a lotta people who talked tough and ended up biting dirt. I don’t talk, I deal,” he tweeted.
He also urged his fellow government officials to lay off the issue on the West Philippine Sea and leave it to his department.
“What can we do? Let’s try this: drop the subject and leave it entirely to the Department of Foreign Affairs under ME, the only expert on the subject bar none. I’ve known China since 1967; Chito Sta. Romana along with me. Even the military has nothing to do with foreign affairs,” he said.
This is my last warning. When it comes to foreign affairs the Department of Foreign Affairs has the exclusive remit. I don’t come from diplomacy; I come from a life that settled the hash of a lotta people who talked tough and ended up biting dirt. I don’t talk, I deal.
What can we do? Let’s try this: drop the subject and leave it entirely to the Department of Foreign Affairs under ME, the only expert on the subject bar none. I’ve known China since 1967; Chito Sta. Ramona along with me. Even the military has nothing to do with foreign affairs. https://t.co/DOCNRuQ54W
Locsin made the comment after Roque claimed on Tuesday that the Philippines was “never in possession” of the Julian Felipe Reef, where Chinese vessels were spotted since March.
“All we’re saying is we were never in possession of that area and we’re making a big thing out of the fact that that area naman in the first place was never under our possession… ni hindi po iyan kabahagi ng ating EEZ (exclusive economic zone) iyong Julian Felipe. Labas po iyan, ganiyan po kalayo iyan,” he said during his regular press briefing.
In a statement he issued later, Roque stressed that the Philippines will not abandon its claims on the Julian Felipe Reef.
“Pero it doesn’t weaken anything kasi hindi naman natin gini-give-up iyong claim natin to Julian Felipe pursuant to Marcos appending Julian Felipe into the territory of the Philippines. That is our evidence of effective occupation,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday announced it will be temporarily closing some of its consular offices amid increasing COVID-19 cases in the country.
In an advisory, the DFA said its Office of Consular Affairs (OCA), Consular Offices (COs) and Temporary Off-Site Passport Services (TOPS) sites will temporarily suspend operations from January 10 to 20, 2022 due to the steep rise in COVID-19 cases among their personnel.
During the temporary suspension of operations, no passport or Apostille applications will be processed or released, the DFA said.
Operations shall resume on January 21, 2022.
Kindly direct any inquiries to the Consular Office where the application was filed, the department said.
The following offices will be closed from January 10 to 20:
CO La Union (January 10-14)
CO NCR East
CO NCR North
TOPS Robinsons Novaliches
The following offices will be closed from January 12 to 20, 2022:
DFA Office of Consular Affairs in Aseana Business Park, Paranaque City
CO NCR Central
CO NCR Northeast
CO NCR South
CO NCR West
CO San Pablo
TOPS Newport Mall
TOPS Robinsons Las Pinas
TOPS Robinsons San Pedro Laguna
TOPS SM Manila
TOPS SM MOA
TOPS SM North EDSA
Affected Passport and Apostille applicants originally scheduled from January 12 to 20, 2022 at DFA Aseana are advised to refer to their new schedule of appointments posted at the DFA website.
“Please expect an email with further details about your appointment which will be sent to the email address you used when you booked your application,” the DFA said.
MANILA, Philippines — Persons unvaccinated against COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Consular Offices and Temporary Off-Site Passport Services in malls in areas under Alert Level 3, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday announced.
In a statement, the DFA said the prohibition, which also covers minors, was due to the restrictions imposed by malls hosting the Consular offices and off-site passport services.
“Consular Offices are unable to override the host malls’ security and health protocols,” the department said.
The department advised unvaccinated applicants, including minors, to first check the regulations of the relevant malls before proceeding to their appointments.
Applicants may also reschedule their appointments after having been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or after malls and local government units have lifted the entry restriction on unvaccinated persons.
“The department requests the public’s cooperation as it strives to deliver passport services to the public while ensuring the people’s safety and health amidst the ongoing pandemic,” the DFA said.
Metro Manila and nearby areas of Cavite, Bulacan, and Rizal are under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 until January 15 amid rising cases of COVID-19.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office of Consular Affairs (OCA) has advised applicants affected by the closure of consular offices (CO) due to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette last December 17 that they will be contacted for the rescheduling of their appointments.
In a statement, the DFA-OCA said it will reach out to applicants as soon as it has established contact with the consular offices and the situation stabilizes in Odette-ravaged areas.
The department said the consular office and Temporary Off-Site Passport Services (TOPS) in Cebu will remain closed until December 24 as network connection and sufficient power to continue operations are yet to be restored.
Meanwhile, the following COs in Visayas and Mindanao have resumed operations but shall cater to those who are scheduled from December 21, 2021.
CO Cagayan De Oro
CO General Santos
CO Puerto Princesa
“Applicants scheduled on December 17, 2021, are advised to wait for their new schedule before proceeding to the CO,” the agency said.
It also urged applicants to prioritize their safety and closely adhere to local government safety and precautionary measures set in place following the typhoon’s aftermath.
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