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Palace: Phl not taking soft stance on China

The Palace denied it is going soft on China amid reports of a resumption of build-up over disputed portions of the South China Sea (SCS) that foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have criticized. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Philippines shares Asean leaders’ concern regarding China’s aggressive actions on what is said to be the world’s busiest waterways.The recently concluded Asean foreign and defense ministers in Singapore issued a statement that did not name China but said that “land reclamations and activities in the area . . . have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region.” The Asean ministers resolved to expedite the code of conduct (CoC) on how to negotiate with China regarding overlapping maritime claims.“Asean’s concern on the Chinese build-up is right because Asean, as a regional bloc, wants to adhere to discussions pertaining to the code of conduct,” Roque said.“We cannot be not joining the call because the Philippines is one of those concerned in this campaign,” he added.Roque also disputed views that Manila is not among those insistent in pressing Beijing to speed up the CoC drafting. “We are not being too soft (on China) but we have an established policy on that. Number one, of course, is we are one with Asean in recognizing that this is a concern for all Asean countries. Particularly that of the freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea,” Roque said.“Our common concern is peace security and stability in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes,” he added.During Manila’s hosting of the Asean last year, President Duterte did not cite the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling that nullified Beijing’s sweeping claim over nearly the entire South China Sea.It was the Philippine government that contested China’s nine-dash-line claim before the Hague court. China, however, refuses to recognize it.Apart from the Philippines, other Asean countries also have overlapping claims at the South China Sea including Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.Reclamation to continueChina in its known mouthpiece Global Times said Beijing is concentrating on civil and not military construction on islands in the South China Sea but insisted that the Chinese “will expand land reclamation.”“Most of the construction on islands in the South China Sea were completed in 2015 and the pace then slowed. Civilian facility construction is the major focus of the South China Sea islands building and the portion of defense deployment is relatively small,” Global Times quoted Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea.The size of some South China Sea islands will be further expanded in future through more dredging in the South China Sea region, Chen said.The relationship between China and other Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, has becalmed in recent years, providing a golden opportunity for China to upgrade these areas, he said.China and the Philippines are enjoying good terms as President Rodrigo Duterte maintains a friendly policy toward China, Chen said. “But there is still some domestic pressure that urges Duterte to take a tough stance on China and the South China Sea issue,” Chen said.Foreign media like to hype China’s construction in the South China Sea as they try to make excuses to prevent China’s activities in this region, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times.“China has the right to build whatever it needs within its territory,” Zhuang said.China’s military deployment in the South China Sea region was “not for military expansion,” but to defend its security and interests, he said.Zhuang and Chen warned the US is the biggest threat to stability in the South China Sea.“The US, Australia, Japan and other allies will constantly provoke China over this issue and that will incite other neighboring South China Sea countries to do the same,” Zhuang said.China’s construction projects in the region covered about 290,000 square meters in 2017, including new facilities for underground storage, administrative buildings and large radar, according to a report released in December on the nanhai.haiwainet.cn website run by the National Marine Data and Information Service and People’s Daily Overseas edition. No foreign vessels at BenhamThe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has not monitored any foreign vessels at the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, during its latest patrol in the area. Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, AFP-Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) spokesman, said that based on the latest patrol conducted by Nolcom troops, there was no presence of foreign ships at Philippine Rise.“As of now, we don’t have a report that there is presence (of foreign vessels) in Benham Rise,” said Nato.Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced that President Duterte has banned foreign ships at the Philippine Rise and ordered the military to patrol the area.The announcement came following an uproar from government critics after the Duterte administration allowed the Chinese to conduct scientific research at the Philippine Rise.Nato, however, said that Nolcom is yet to receive official order regarding the matter.But Nato maintained that with or without the latest directive, Nolcom has regularly conducted air and maritime patrols along Philippine Rise.Apart from Nolcom, the Air Force and the Philippine Navy, Nato said that the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) also conduct their own patrol in the area.He said the Nolcom uses air and naval assets of the Navy and the Air Force units under its jurisdiction.“We conduct our patrols regularly. It is a mandate of Nolcom forces so that is continuous with or without the directive from higher ups,” said Nato.According to Nato, Nolcom conducts three to four maritime and air patrol at Philippine Rise per month as part of the government efforts to secure the country’s maritime domain.ML ruling lauded, hitThe Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to uphold Mr. Duterte’s year-long martial law extension in Mindanao also drew mixed reactions.The High Court on Tuesday voted 10-5 junking militant groups’ petition and finding “sufficient factual basis” to extend martial law and suspend the privilege of wirt of habeas corpus in Mindanao until December 31, 2018.Roque welcomed the ruling saying that it affirms the need to continue protecting citizens from the threat of terrorist groups, primarily Islamic State (IS)-inspired fanatics.But for Left-leaning groups who petitioned the SC to lift martial law, the court decision opens up more crackdowns and human rights violations.The Palace official has insisted that human rights will be respected amid security operations.“The SC ruling underscores the unity of the whole government in its bid to defeat terrorism and prevent the spread in other parts of the country of DIWW and other like-minded local and foreign terrorist groups,” Roque said.“The majority of votes is a manifestation of confidence on law enforcement agencies that they shall, like they had been doing before, continue to protect our people, secure Mindanao, and pursue the bigger task of rehabilitation while upholding the rule of law, Human Rights, and International Humanitarian Law,” he added.Human rights watchdog Karapatan sees the contrary in the government’s motives, saying that the year-long military rule will boost attacks on the people.The continuous implementation of martial law in Mindanao will allow the unhampered massive rehabilitation in war-torn Marawi City and boost the security forces campaign to finish off the rebellion, the Department of National Defense (DND) said. In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Supreme Court’s decision affirming the constitutionality of the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao will definitely boost government efforts to rebuild Marawi City and address continuing rebellion.The defense chief welcomed the SC decision as a vote of confidence to the government security forces.“The DND – AFP is grateful for the trust and confidence of our public institutions and the support of the Filipino people,” said Lorenzana. Mario J. Mallari.....»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneJun 7th, 2018

Duterte foes use ‘China issues’ to attack president

POLITICAL FOES of President Rodrigo Duterte continue to criticize him for his soft stance against Chinese occupation of islands being […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJun 16th, 2018

Shoal incident ‘fish thievery’ — Roque

THE Philippines is not conceding to China the country’s legal rights to fish in Scarborough Shoal, Malacañang said yesterday, even calling “fish thievery” the taking by Chinese Coast Guard officers of the catch of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea. “We do not concede,” Roque said in a Palace….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

Philippines draws three hard lines on China

As China relentlessly militarizes contested islands and features across the South China Sea, the Philippines appears to be finally taking a tougher stance on its competing claims. How Beijing respo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMay 31st, 2018

Does the Philippines have limited options on the South China Sea issue?

President Rodrigo Duterte keeps on insisting that taking a stronger stance on against China's militarization in the South China Sea would mean going to war......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

PH Gov’t Will Talk to China About Chinese Bombers in WPS, Palace Assures

Malacañang on Monday, May 21, reassured the public that the government is not taking the alleged Chinese militarization of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) sitting down, as it expressed serious concern over the reported landing of Chinese bombers in the disputed territory. “We have no independent verification. Nonetheless, we take note of the reports that […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

Palace: Govt mulls ‘diplomatic protest’ vs China on PH reef ‘breach’

THE Philippines is considering taking diplomatic action against China over the reported presence of its two military planes on a reef in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a Malacanang official said on Thursday. “The Secretary of Foreign Affairs has said that they were preparing and exploring the possibility of a diplomatic protest,” Palace spokesman [...] The post Palace: Govt mulls ‘diplomatic protest’ vs China on PH reef ‘breach’ appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsApr 19th, 2018

PH Not Taking Sides Amid Possible US-China Trade War: Palace

The Philippines is not taking any side amid the possible trade war between the United States and China, according to Malacanang. President Rodrigo R. Duterte had emphasized during his bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday the need for Beijing to “defend the East” isolationist trade policies, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. “He […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

Palace: PH will not take sides on US-China trade war

Malacañang said that the Philippines will not be taking sides in the trade war between the United States and China, following the trade spat between the two superpowers which shook stock markets across the globe. Palace: PH will not take sides on US-China trade war HONG KONG—Malacañang said that the Philippines will not be taking… link: Palace: PH will not take sides on US-China trade war.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

Palace denies PH is ‘too soft’ on sea row with China

The Philippines on Wednesday downplayed criticisms that the government is being "too soft" in dealing with China's militarization in the South China Sea as it joined the call of Southeast Asian nations for non-militarization and self-restraintin the disputed territory.   Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Tuesdayraised concerns on the continued militarization and reclamation of China in the disputed sea despite an earlier agreement to proceed with talks in crafting a sea code.   The statement came after aerial photos showed that China was nearly done transforming disputed reefs in the South China Sea into island fortresses...Keep on reading: Palace denies PH is ‘too soft’ on sea row with China.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2018

Nation: Alejano beefs up impeachment bid

AN OPPOSITION lawmaker filed supplementary charges on Thursday to his impeachment complaint filed two weeks ago against President Rodrigo R. Duterte, accusing him of taking a "defeatist stance" by doing nothing to challenge Beijing's activities in the South China Sea......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 30th, 2017

Palace: PH taking 'soft landing' approach in sea dispute - Inquirer.net

Palace: PH taking 'soft landing' approach in sea dispute - Inquirer.net.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsJan 27th, 2017

Palace on wait-and-see mode on Tillerson remark

MANILA, Philippines - The Palace is taking a wait-and-see attitude on pronouncements from US secretary of state-designate Rex Tillerson that China should be.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

Palace: Only Sinophobes will find docking of China ship objectionable

There was nothing wrong with the docking of a Chinese research vessel in Davao City, the fourth vessel to visit the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed power, Malacaang saidTuesday.   "All ships from countries with whom the Philippines maintains friendly ties, may dock at our ports. Chinese survey ships, just like US warships, may dock at our ports," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.   Philippine Navy spokesperson Cdr. Jonathan Zata saidYuan Wang 3arrived in Davao City at8:14 p.m.for replenishment purposes.   Zata said there was "nothing unusual" about the presence of the Chinese ship in Davao City.   "Only those afflic...Keep on reading: Palace: Only Sinophobes will find docking of China ship objectionable.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 17th, 2018

Gov’t makes quiet protests on WPS – Palace

Malacaang on Monday denied that the government had not been protesting against China's aggression in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) following a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed 81 percent of Filipinos disapproved of official inaction on the sea dispute. In a radio interview, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government filed a protest every time Beijing violated Manila's sovereignty over the WPS, but it always did so quietly. Roque said all Filipinos should reject government inaction against Chinese aggression because the country could not allow its territory to be claimed by another state. "One hundred percent or 5 out 5 (Filipinos) should protest an...Keep on reading: Gov’t makes quiet protests on WPS – Palace.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 17th, 2018

Palace denies inaction on South China Sea dispute

Malacañang on Monday said it has been asserting the Philippines’ claims in the South China Sea after a nationwide poll suggested that four out of five Filipinos reject the government’s perceived inaction on the issue.  Source link link: Palace denies inaction on South China Sea dispute.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

Palace denies inaction on South China Sea dispute

Malacañang on Monday said it has been asserting the Philippines' claims in the South China Sea after a nationwide poll suggested that four out of five Filipinos reject the government's perceived inaction on the issue. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

Duterte admin ‘not guilty of inaction’ in West PH Sea dispute—Palace

The Duterte administration is "not guilty" of inaction in solving the country's maritime dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea, Malacaang said on Monday.   Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after a survey showed 81 percent of Filipinos rejected the government's inaction on the country's sea row with Beijing.   READ:4 of 5 Filipinos reject gov't inaction on China isle-building   "[H]indi po guilty ang gobyerno ni Presidente Duterte ng inaction, hindi lang po tayo maingay, pero meron po tayong action kaagad kapag ang tingin natin ay may ginagawa ang Tsina na nalalabag ang ating soberenya at mga karapatan ng soberenya," Roq...Keep on reading: Duterte admin ‘not guilty of inaction’ in West PH Sea dispute—Palace.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

With flags, song, pride, French celebrate unifying victory

By Elaine Ganley, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — It was a victory for all of France and the home crowd did it justice, pouring into Paris' Champs-Elysees Avenue by the tens of thousands to celebrate in an explosion of joy. France's 4-2 win over Croatia in the World Cup final in Moscow on Sunday marked the second time in 20 years that France has won the World Cup, and came at a time when the people feel needy. "It represents enormous things," said Goffrey Hamsik, dressed in a hat resembling a rooster — the French national symbol — and a shirt with the No. 10 for Kylian Mpappe, the 19-year-old breakout star who hails from the Paris suburb of Bondy. "We've had lots of problems in France these past years," he said, recalling deadly terror attacks. "This is good for the morale ... Here, we are all united. We mix. There is no religion, there is nothing, and that's what feels good." Troublemakers marred some of the festivities at the top of the Champs-Elysees, breaking the window of a major store, throwing bottles, temporary barriers and even a bicycle at riot police as the celebrations wound down close to midnight. Police responded with water cannon and tear gas. BFM-TV reported that the store was pillaged. Earlier, people wrapped in flags and dressed in crazy hats, and one man spotted totally nude except for the Tricolor, marched down the avenue where France displayed its military might a day earlier for Bastille Day. Revelers set off smoke bombs in the national colors — blue, white and red — obscuring Napoleon's triumphal arch. People climbed atop every newspaper kiosk and bus stop in the area to wave flags and lead the crowds below in cheers. The national anthem, the Marseillaise, rang out, cars honked horns and cherry bombs cracks. A young man sprayed a fire extinguisher on the crowd on a late hot afternoon. Hundreds of police in riot gear were discretely lined up on side streets to monitor revelers. Typically, celebrations in France end up with some broken shop windows and other destruction, and Sunday was no exception. Tear gas was lobbed at one point on the Champs-Elysees. About 4,000 police watched over the fan zone — packed to its 90,000 capacity — during the match, then moved to the Champs-Elysees and neighboring streets. As night fell, The Eiffel Tower flashed 1998-2018 to mark France's two World Cup titles. The Arc de Triomph was awash in the national colors, lit with the rooster, the faces of the winning team and the words "Proud to be Blue," or French. The celebrations were spread across the nation. For all the crazy antics — and some revelers who got out of control — a sense of patriotism and unity was almost visceral. Antoine Griezmann, the France striker who scored one of the goal's Sunday, told a news conference two days before the final, televised on BFM TV, that pride in country is in short supply. "We say it so little ... We should be proud to be French," Griezmann said. Mahmoud Bourassi was among those taking a longer-term view and he had some sobering thoughts about France's run to the title and the festivities it has sparked. Bourassi runs a youth center in Bondy — Mbappe's home that was among those scarred by riots in 2005 that exposed the fissures of France that have yet to heal — and he knows the teenage star of the tournament. "All this euphoria and effervescence, it's positive but it's emotional and ephemeral," he said ahead of France's win. Bourassi said sports is a "catalyst to bring people and nations together." But, he added, it must be built on. "What we're seeing is magic, exceptional. But what are we going to do with it tomorrow?" That is a question for President Emmanuel Macron, who was in Moscow celebrating with the team on victory night, and will receive the squad more formally on Monday at the presidential Elysee Palace. Revelers celebrated the moment. "We're happy. It took 20 years ... It's the pride of the nation. It unites everyone. It federates," Frederique Pourquet said as she and her friend left the Champs-Elysees. The win "shows that the French people are consolidated and the work of all France," said Omar Bzi. Hajar Maghnaoui, of Asnieres, north of Paris, said "It's a way to bring the French people together, and also the world." ___ John Leicester in Moscow contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

The clash: World Cup, Wimbledon men s finals could overlap

By Howard Fendrich and Ronald Blum, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Roger Federer almost sounded offended when asked whether he would be concerned about Centre Court spectators paying too much attention to the World Cup final during the Wimbledon men's singles final. "I'm more concerned the World Cup final will have issues because the Wimbledon final is going on," he quipped. "They'll hear every point, 'Wow, love-15, 15-30.' The players are going to look up in the crowd and not understand what's going on at Wimbledon." "That's how important Wimbledon is to me," the eight-time champion said, before he was eliminated in the quarterfinals this week, "and to us over here." What's a viewer to choose this Sunday? The Wimbledon final between the man who beat Federer, Kevin Anderson, and Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic could be only about halfway done in London when the World Cup final between France and Croatia kicks off in Moscow. This year's soccer final starts at 11 a.m. EDT, an unusual time: nine of the 10 World Cup finals from 1978 through 2014 started in the 2-3:30 p.m. EDT range. The exception was the 2002 finale in Japan, which began at 7 a.m. EDT. "I'm sure the change they made was to maximize their audience worldwide, considering the time in China, Japan, Russia, all the other major countries," said former CBS Sports President Neal Pilson, now an industry consultant. The soccer game begins at 6 p.m. local time at Luzhniki Stadium, which is 5 p.m. in Paris and Zagreb. The shift appears aimed at soccer's ever-increasing Asian audience, with the start time at 11 p.m. in Tokyo and midnight in Beijing. Four of FIFA's 11 top-level partners and sponsors are Chinese companies. "The kickoff times for the FIFA World Cup were set in cooperation with a range of stakeholders and taking into account a number of aspects such as the global broadcast market and feasibility for the fans — both in terms of attending the matches and reaching a wide TV audience," soccer's governing body said in an email to The Associated Press. In the U.S., the soccer is on Fox and the tennis on ESPN. In Britain, the soccer is on both BBC1 and ITV, and the tennis on BBC1. Tennis would switch to BBC2 if the finals overlap. "In due respect to the All England Club, the finals of Wimbledon is a blip on the radar when you're talking about the World Cup final," Pilson said. "It's unfortunate, and it does hurt in the United States, where tennis has a significant audience." Dates for the World Cup final have ranged from June 10 to July 30, and each has been on a Sunday except for the first tournament in Uruguay in 1930, played on a Wednesday, and the 1966 tournament in England, which finished on a Saturday at Wembley. The Wimbledon's men's singles final was scheduled for a Saturday through 1981. The World Cup final has twice been the same day as the men's singles final, on July 8, 1990, in Rome, and on July 9, 2006, in Berlin. Those soccer matches started at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EDT), about two hours after the tennis ended: Stefan Edberg's 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 win over Boris Becker in 1990, and Federer's 6-0, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-3 win over Nadal in 2006. The roots of this year's conflict go back six years. The All England Club announced in July 2012 that it would increase the time between the end of the French Open and the start of Wimbledon from two weeks to three starting in 2015, allowing players extra time to adjust to the switch from clay courts to grass. FIFA's executive council announced World Cup kickoff times in December 2015. Wimbledon never had any intent to alter the start time of its final, traditionally about 2:10 p.m. local (9:10 a.m. EDT). Its large-screen videoboard on Henman Hill will remain tuned to tennis. Pressure for a shift would have increased had England beaten Croatia and advanced to its first final since winning the World Cup in 1966. "We're very comfortable with the long-term view that we take," said Richard Lewis, chief executive of the All England Club. "We're not driven by short-term decisions, whether it be TV ratings or sponsorship. Wimbledon takes a long-term view. (The World Cup) is for this year. It's a one-year happening. And for the future, we'll still be at 2 o'clock on the Sunday. Nothing changes, from our point of view." ___ Fendrich reported from London......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2018

Palace: Philippines not giving up territory

As the country marked the second anniversary yesterday of its legal victory over China in an international court over maritime claims, Malacañang vowed to continue asserting the country’s sovereignty and dared critics to challenge its handling of the issue before the courts......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018