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Senator: Recall Philippines envoy to China

After the sixth attack of the China Coast Guard on Philippine vessels on a resupply mission in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), a senator is recommending to the executive department the recall of the Philippine ambassador to China as a “high level of condemnation” for their continuous aggression......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarNov 12th, 2023

DFA: Chinese envoy’s remarks against Taiwan OFWs part of his job

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday said Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian is only doing his job when he issued his alleged threat on overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan. In a chance interview, DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Eduardo de Vega said that Huang being China’s representative in the country is expected to advance Beijing’s interest. "Any diplomat will say things to advance their country's interest... I don't think he meant, nobody means they are going to harm our workers,” De Vega said. He issued the statement after Senator Risa Hontiveros on Sunday called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to ask his counterparts in Beijing to recall its representative in the country following the ambassador's “disgraceful” statement. “The Palace should tell Beijing to recall their representative in Manila as soon as possible. He has no business being a diplomat if he is unable to engage with us in a respectful and dignified manner,” she said. “He, along with his country’s ships and artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea, should pack up and leave,” she added. On Friday, Huang said the Philippines should “unequivocally oppose” Taiwan’s independence if it “genuinely cares” about 150,000 OFWs on the self-ruled island. “The Philippines is advised to unequivocally oppose ‘Taiwan independence’ rather than stoking the fire by offering the US access to the military bases near the Taiwan Strait if you care genuinely about the 150,000 OFWs,” he said. On Sunday, the Chinese Embassy in Manila defended Huang from criticisms, saying the latter was only “misquoted.” “It is appreciated that there was extensive coverage of Ambassador Huang Xilian's speech at the 8th Manila Forum,” the Embassy told Daily Tribune. “Unfortunately, some misquoted or misinterpreted Ambassador Huang's remarks or simply took part of the Ambassador's words out of context,” it added. ‘Contingency plan’ Meanwhile, De Vega allayed fears about the safety of some 150,000 OFWs in Taiwan. “We have a contingency plan which has been in place for some time,” he said. “We know where they are, we have records.” He added that the DFA will always believe in diplomacy. Last week, Beijing issued a slew of warnings against the military cooperation of the Philippines with the US, stressing that it will “eventually backfire.” “Our region’s peace and stability hinges on trust, solidarity and cooperation and requires that we, as members of this region, take our security firmly in our own hands,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said. “We would like to once again remind the relevant country in the region that pandering to forces outside the region will not bring greater security, but will cause tensions, put regional peace and stability at risk and eventually backfire,” he added. Wang particularly hit the locations of the additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreements between Manila and Washington, to which American forces will have access. Wang said that based on locations of the four additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement sites in the Philippines, which US forces will have access to, the “intention behind those sites is more than obvious.” The locations of the additional four EDCA sites are in Camilo Osias Naval Base in Sta. Ana town and Lal-lo Airport in Lal-lo town, both in Cagayan province; Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela province; and Balabac, the southernmost island in Palawan province. The post DFA: Chinese envoy’s remarks against Taiwan OFWs part of his job appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 17th, 2023

Senator asks Beijing to recall envoy to Manila - The Manila Times

SEN. Ana Theresia "Risa" Hontiveros wants Beijing to recall its ambassador to Manila over his "threatening" statements regarding the Philippines' partnership with the US. The senator said that if China has issues with the United States, she should "not drag the Philippines" into their fight. Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian on Friday "advised" the Philippines to unequiv.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsApr 16th, 2023

President Marcos upset but won’t seek China envoy’s recall

While he may be personally “upset” by what has been described as the “hostile” behavior of Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, President Marcos said he won’t seek the recall of the envoy because the Philippines cannot afford to commit mistakes that may cause “huge trouble.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 18th, 2023

Save BRP Sierra Madre

Geopolitical tensions rise by the week at the West Philippine Sea with the consistent occurrence of untoward incidents deliberately committed towards our citizens. This week, Chinese sea vessels collided with Philippine boats on their way to resupply the troops stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre. This type of news breaks out so often that we feel it is a regular thing. What we might be missing is that this might blow up to gargantuan proportions, which we may fail to control.  We must save the BRP Sierra Madre at all costs. This relic of a military jewel has gained enormous significance in our territorial claim over the disputed islands, specifically the Spratlys. It is symbolic of our culture and socially specific mannerisms. The ship was built for the US Navy, passed to Vietnam, and went to the Philippines. At the peak of the territorial tensions before the victorious UNCLOS ruling, the Philippines ran the ship aground on Ayungin Shoal, located in the Spratly Islands, to stake our claim.  Reminiscent of the Filipino jeepney — an artifact and mode of transportation that we inherited from the Americans that still plies our roads nationwide — the BRP Sierra Madre is here to stay. Just like the jeepney drivers who refuse to give up their affordable and practical way of transporting passengers to make a living, the Philippine Navy refuses to give up the grounded BRP Sierra Madre, leaving several troops there to guard it, to stake the Philippines’ sovereign claim over the West Philippine Sea. It may be unfortunate that this is the best that we can do. This is saddening, especially since the Chinese emphasize their claim by building artificial islands and military outposts and bullying our people by exhibiting their high-powered sea vessels. But the Filipinos are resilient and will come into a fight, bringing whatever they can pick up, which, in this case, is a dilapidated and retired navy ship.  The National Security Council categorically stated that we will not be deterred by the collisions caused by the Chinese Coast Guard. The Department of Foreign Affairs filed another diplomatic protest, but the Chinese envoy did not show up at their offices. Instead, we received news that the Chinese government is no longer interested in funding several projects in the Philippines. The first project that bit the dust was the Mindanao Railway, a much-heralded transportation system that would have linked key cities in Mindanao. If we recall, the Chinese also backed out of the Makati Subway System, even after right-of-way acquisitions had been made.  In diplomatic relations, the key skill is making everyone happy, which is highly improbable. The President’s evident closeness to the US is manifested by the routine war games conducted by American and Filipino soldiers. The expansion of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement to other military bases early in the Marcos administration showed the preference of our President. The question here is if there will be a US payback to the Philippines for the renewed and strengthened relations by the administration, considering that there are still five years until the next presidential election.  What we must worry about is the possibility of war erupting in the West Philippine Sea, where we would surely be the victims if we fail to associate ourselves with strong countries. And we hope China is not taking note of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Destructive wars should be avoided, and it would be advisable for our President to exercise due diligence in dealing with the USA and China.  For comments, email him at darren.dejesus@gmail.com. The post Save BRP Sierra Madre appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 26th, 2023

Beijing going on an island-building binge?

The harvesting of corals on Rozul Reef could be part of China’s preparations for new reclamation in the West Philippine Sea, senators warned Monday. Citing China’s “playbook,” Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri suspected the destruction of the shoal’s seabed could be in preparation for reclamation activities in the area. “It’s possible. That has been their guidebook and playbook since the beginning where they destroy an area first and then reclaim it. That’s why we have to remain vigilant,” Zubiri said. The warning came on the same day that Japan’s ambassador to the Philippines, Kazuhiko Koshikawa, revealed in a social media post that his country had also been a victim of coral poaching in the past. “In the territorial waters and EEZ (exclusive economic zone) around Japan’s Ogasawara Islands, the large-scale poaching of precious corals by foreign vessels occurred 10 years ago, causing marine environmental and economic damage to Japan, leading to [a] diplomatic issue and strict JCG (Japan Coast Guard) controls,” Koshikawa tweeted on X. The envoy, however, did not name the country responsible for the pillaging of corals off Ogasawara Islands. Over the weekend, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command reported that there was massive coral harvesting at Rozul Reef. The report of missing and destroyed corals came following the sightings of Chinese maritime militia vessels in the area. The report was confirmed by the Philippine Coast Guard, which observed the same coral inundation in the seabed of Escoda Reef (Sabina Shoal), also in the West Philippine Sea.   Airstrips Senator Francis Tolentino, who chairs the Senate Special Committee on Maritime and Admiralty Zones, echoed the Senate chief’s observation that China may be planning to build manmade structures at Rozul Reef like it did in the Spratlys group of islands, also in the WPS. China built artificial islands in the Spratlys — at the Fiery Cross, Subi, Mischief, Johnson South, Cuarteron, Gave and Hughes reefs — where it constructed airstrips, radar stations and missile sites. “There might be a different plan for that, not only the harvesting of corals and the destruction of it. Because killing the corals is a prelude to one thing — when you kill it you can now do reclamation,” Tolentino said in a television interview. He noted that China’s actions in the reefs that are all within the Philippines’ EEZ violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. “If we are to file a claim for damages, it should be in the tribunal recognized by UNCLOS and the United Nations,” he said. He noted that the Philippine government may file cases against China before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the International Court of Justice, or the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros said the recent developments in the West Philippine Sea called for a Senate inquiry. “It’s ripe for a Senate resolution and investigation because it would not be the first time that China caused environmental degradation in our sea,” Hontiveros said. “They also dredged our seafloor to invent their artificial islands, militarize them, within the West Philippine Sea and our exclusive economic zone, to claim it as their territory,” she pointed out. The lawmaker expressed gratitude to the Armed Forces of the Philippines for its discovery of the damaged seabed at Rozul and Escoda Reefs. WITH LADE JEAN KABAGANI The post Beijing going on an island-building binge? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 18th, 2023

BBM: Our calm, kind, gentle President

The most challenging thing is to write an essay about the country’s President who is celebrating his birthday. I should probably go back to the years when he was the “crush ng bayan.” From London, he would come home for vacation and would be met at the airport by his doting parents, with his mother kissing him on the forehead. He was very fashionable, from his haircut to his clothes and, well, he was the epitome of “cuteness” as cute could be. He did not sport long hippie hair but had bangs and his lips were well-pronounced. His mom took pride in his looks. “Kamukha ko (he looks like me),” she would say. Bongbong grew into the Oxford student who would come home and occasionally appear on television. I recall in 1973, he and his friends danced the latest craze on live television. He was, by then, oozing with appeal, his shy and boyish smile adding to the enigma that comes with being the president’s son. Many years later, I saw him when he and his sister Irene graced the opening of a project in Isabela. I am trying to remember if it was for natural gas or the largest dam in Asia. But he was there on the stage set up at the Cauayan airport, looking fresh and friendly, although he was smiling at everyone and no one in particular. I stood alone, away from the other welcomers, and somehow got him to look at me. I looked at him like I was telling him I know you or we know each other, and he stared back, smiling too, looking like he was wondering if he might have seen me before somewhere. It was one of my tricks. [caption id="attachment_183135" align="aligncenter" width="525"] The President has a long way to go, but that’s no reason for him to relax and wait for things to happen. | Photograph courtesy of BBM FB[/caption] Much would be said of the young gentleman, of his not being who he was supposed to be because he had died somewhere. Also, that he had killed someone who had called his father a dictator. Bongbong Marcos, for better or worse, was the fodder for both favorable and malicious talk. He became governor of Ilocos Norte in the mid-1980s when he took over from his aunt, Elizabeth Keon. At the same time, he wore the military uniform of the officer rank bestowed on him by his father, the President. Moving fast forward, Bongbong Marcos became a congressman and a senator, ran for vice president, and lost. Sometime after he caught Covid-19. After he had lost the vice-presidential contest and was protesting its result, he appeared on Daily Tribune’s online show, Spotlight. I remember only a little, not because he or his remarks were forgettable, but I blame my old age for not remembering. But I recall a pleasant interview, for he was relaxed and calm, and while he seemed occupied by his electoral protest, he was at the same time accepting of it. It was the Marcoses’ turn to be cheated, people said. The next presidential election had him and Leni Robredo, along with others, slugging it out. And while everyone had taken to microphones to condemn and attack him and his father, martial law and the dictatorship, he remained silent. He chose not to participate in the debates, leaving it to his supporters and fans to fight back for him. One UP professor who may have been unbiased took a liking to him, like an older woman in love for the first time, gushing over the assets of a fine, young, sexy gentleman. But that was not unexpected. Bongbong Marcos, after all, was the “crush ng bayan” from the time he was a teenager. Today, he is the President of the Philippines. I was talking with one youthful matron who possesses both beauty and wisdom and whose family was best known to be in the opposition against the Marcoses. She said that when President Rodrigo Duterte began his term, she gave him a chance to prove himself because he had been elected. As her gauge for the success of a presidency had much to do with how the stock market fared, she was disappointed because stocks dived very low to the depths. She gave RRD a failing mark. When BBM became President, she also gave him a “chance.” She told me, “I have yet to see what will happen next because he has just finished his first year, and it is too early to know how well or evil he has done. The people elected him, he is now the President, so let’s give him a chance.” The woman’s statement, I believe, more or less sums up the general feeling of the Filipino people. Here is one President perceived to be good and kind, and one who is not to be feared compared to his father or even his daring and feisty elder sister. One would hear, “Matatakot kayo pag si Imee ang presidente (You would be afraid if Imee were president),” which is people’s way of saying what they feel and think about the Marcos siblings. So, we have a kind President who has had to deal with all kinds of issues and problems: Typhoons, the pandemic, and now the rice shortage. I have always been a BBM fan (after all, he was “crush ng bayan” in our youth), and even if he had not become a statesman in the tradition of many of our top legislators, one thinks of him as a pleasant guy who plays it cool and is lovable. Now comes a wife who is perceived to be running the show. All because, like it or not, she has the educational credentials; she proved herself in the Big Apple; and as her husband himself would tell one and all, she has excellent organizational abilities. She ran the campaign, many would assume, although she much preferred to keep to the sidelines. Like it or not, Liza Marcos, the First Lady, is a potent mover in this administration. Her many worthy projects in the creative industry, health care, education, and environment, along with her brand of diplomatic maneuvering using Filipiniana fashion as a vehicle for international friendship, bode well for this administration. We got two leaders for one vote, and we are better off as a nation. To the President’s credit, he recognizes the role his wife plays in his administration, and that speaks of a man secure in his position as the head of his family. Regarding cronyism, BBM has his friends in the business sector, top men and women, titans and tycoons, czars and magnates, who accompany him on his travels abroad. One of them described their roles as similar to those of club guest relations officers — entertaining guests and clients. We are told that they talk with their counterparts on the international scene, wherever the presidential itinerary takes them. Hence, the public does not see the usual kind of cronies who are there for what they could take. These friends want to help because if this administration succeeds and the economy improves, the Filipino people, including the business sector, will live better lives. The greatest challenge to BBM, everyone perceives, is the conflict with China over the West Philippine Sea. In this regard, BBM has proved to be wise, circumspect and decisive. He has the backing of the international community and his people. We hope he will pass the test, because if he passes it we are all together the victors. BBM deserves our prayers and hopes for the best of his administration. If he succeeds, and we hope he does, we will rise as a people. The President has a long way to go, but that’s no reason for him to relax and wait for things to happen. There are some things that people feel he should handle with steel gloves, akin to his father’s style, and that is up for him to decide. A kind and gentle President may be all we need to make this nation great again, and there’s Bongbong Marcos to take on the role and fulfill the promise of a happy, progressive, and peaceful country and people. BBM is not only the best-looking President, but the kindest and, of late, the most eloquent, as he is proving himself to be. He is also the coolest. The post BBM: Our calm, kind, gentle President appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 12th, 2023

JV backs Kalayaan reso on Chinese envoy

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Monday expressed his support for a resolution approved by the Sangguniang Bayan of the municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan declaring Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian persona non grata. In a Viber message, Ejercito, a staunch critic of China’s encroachment in the West Philippine Sea, justified the resolution declaring the Chinese envoy to the Philippines persona non grata. “The Chinese Ambassador representing the Chinese government has been caught lying several times,” he told DAILY TRIBUNE. Last week, the municipality of Kalayaan — the lone municipality in the West Philippine Sea — declared Huang a persona non grata. In its Resolution 125-0125, SB of Kalayaan, Palawan, declared Huang a persona non grata after the latter defended the harassment of the China Coast Guard against Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea last 5 August. For his part, Ejercito said the Philippine government should no longer consider China as an “ally,” stressing its repeated illegal actions in the West Philippine Sea. “China should not be regarded as an ally anymore but instead as an adversary,” he said. “Note verbales coming from the Philippine government seem to be falling on deaf ears,” he added. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, as of 7 August, the country had filed a total of 445 diplomatic protests in the past three years. This year alone, the country has filed a total of 35 diplomatic protests, including the 5 August incident where China used a water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels while en route for a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal. Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.   ‘Go slow’ Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday reminded local government units to be cautious in declaring foreign ambassadors in the country persona non grata. “We should go slow in declaring foreign ambassadors as personas non grata,” Pimentel told Daily Tribune. “Avoid this as much as possible,” he added. According to the Minority leader, an ambassador of a foreign country to the Philippines is the representative of that country to our country. He noted that grievances against any foreign diplomats in the country must be coursed through the Department of Foreign Affairs to be addressed “professionally.” “All grievances related to ambassadors and foreign relations must be coursed through our Department of Foreign Affairs so these grievances can be professionally handled,” he said. The vast South China Sea, which is claimed by the People’s Republic of China, covers the West Philippine Sea, which is also claimed by the Philippines. On 12 July 2016, the Philippines won its arbitral case against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration — a landmark decision that the People’s Republic of China continues to reject.   The post JV backs Kalayaan reso on Chinese envoy appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 21st, 2023

Locsin’s appointment as special China envoy lauded

Senators on Thursday welcomed the appointment of Teodoro Locsin Jr. as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s special envoy to China, amid the escalating tension in the West Philippine Sea. Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri commended Locsin’s appointment, whom he said is the “perfect” person for the job. “Being a former DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) secretary as well as the former ambassador to the United Nations, he has expertise and experience in dealing with China,” Zubiri said in a statement. “(H)e is extremely loyal to the cause of protecting the sovereignty of our country as proven by the hundreds of diplomatic protests that he personally filed on behalf of our country during the Duterte presidency,” he added. Locsin previously served as secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs under the Duterte administration from 2018-2022. The Presidential Communications Office on Wednesday announced that Locsin will be the country’s special envoy to China weeks after the controversial actions of China against Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Locsin was earlier tapped by Marcos to be the country’s envoy to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland last year. Citing Locsin’s track record as a seasoned diplomat, legal expert, and accomplished legislator, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito also expressed his support for his newest appointment. “Given his experience as Department of Foreign Affairs secretary, lawyer, and former legislator, I’m sure Ambassador Teddy Locsin could be the best one for the job as special envoy for special concerns,” he said. Ejercito noted that Locsin is the “most fitting candidate” for the role as “he is known as a troubleshooter during his DFA days.” “It is also a good timing as it is still important to keep lines open in the midst of the West Philippine Sea conflict,” he pointed out. ‘Interesting’ Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe described Marcos’ decision to tap Locsin as his special envoy to China as “impressive and interesting.” “He is an adroit diplomat and skilled leader, unafraid to go to whatever lengths necessary for the best interest of the Filipinos,” Poe said in a separate statement. “We hope he can help the country navigate through the rough waters of the West Philippine Sea to defend and protect what belongs to us,” she added. Locsin’s new role is considered crucial as the geopolitical tension between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea is at its new height. Earlier this month, various Philippine government officials condemned China’s use of water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels while en route for a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal. Since then, the word war between the two countries — mostly from their diplomatic officials — further aggravated the already tensed South China Sea. Without providing any documents, China urged the Philippines to honor its “commitment” to remove the dilapidated BRP Sierra Madre from the Ayungin Shoal, which had been grounded in the low tide elevation since 1999. Marcos had already denied the Philippine government made such a promise to China. “I’m not aware of any such arrangement or agreement that the Philippines will remove from its own territory its ship, in this case, the BRP Sierra Madre from the Ayungin Shoal,” Marcos said in a video message. He also asserted that he is rescinding any commitment should there be an agreement between the two countries to remove the vessel. “And let me go further, if there does exist such an agreement, I rescind that agreement now,” Marcos said.   The post Locsin’s appointment as special China envoy lauded appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 18th, 2023

Kalayaan declares Chinese envoy persona non grata

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — The municipal council of Kalayaan unanimously approved Wednesday a measure declaring Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian persona non grata, signifying their strong opposition to his presence in their area at any time. Councilor Maurice Philip Alexis Albayda’s resolution will be forwarded to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Senate, and the Chinese Embassy in Manila to convey the sentiments of the island town. Albayda said this will serve to inform high government officials of their feelings and to make Xilian aware of their strong concerns regarding his country’s oppressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, where their hometown Kalayaan is located. The resolution was prompted by the 5 August incident during which China Coast Guard ships attempted to ram and used a water cannon on two supply boats being escorted by the Philippine Coast Guard. Albayda said the aggressive behavior by China not only put the lives of the supply boats’ crew and passengers at risk but also of the crew aboard the escorting PCG’s BRP Cabra who included three Kalayaan residents. “Did you know that we had fellow Kalayaan residents on board the BRP Cabra? Yes, they were there,” he said. “Without a doubt, the actions of our neighboring country are truly infuriating.” The Kalayaan residents were en route to Lawak Island at the time to build a shelter for coastal enforcers, he said. “I want to propose that we declare Ambassador Huang Xilian persona non grata in the town of Kalayaan, the only town in the West Philippine Sea,” Albayda said in his privilege speech shortly before the resolution was passed. Albayda also said he was calling on the DFA to downgrade the Philippines’ diplomatic relationship with China given what it is doing in ignoring the safety of the people in the WPS. Kalayaan Vice Mayor Beltzasar Alindogan supported Albayda’s move declaring Xilian persona non grata. “I’ve personally experienced China’s harassment, like being driven away, but the situation with the two supply boats was much more intense,” Alindogan said, emphasizing that Kalayaan should also communicate to China their strong disapproval of its actions. He said he has volunteered to join the reservists and encouraged the military to conduct training on Pag-asa Island, to allow residents to display their patriotism. Former Kalayaan Mayor Joel Bito-onon, who is now a municipal councilor, also voted to approve the declaration against Xilian, but cautioned that it might jeopardize diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines given what happened in the past when two government officials were denied entry to Hong Kong. “Since way back, I’ve thought that due to China’s deceptive behavior, very deceitful. They say one thing, do another. I’ve seen countless instances on YouTube of them overturning ships, like what they did to Vietnam. I’ve wondered when that will happen in the Philippines. And now, this incident with our supply boats, it’s the worst that I have seen so far,” Bito-onon said. “But I’m thinking, maybe we should add a bit more wisdom, because you might end up like me, being told not to go to any city in China,” he added. Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero on Wednesday said he will propose the allocation of at least P100 million in the 2024 national budget to fund the construction of permanent structures at the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea “to strengthen the country’s presence in the contested maritime territory.” “I will propose the allocation of a minimum of P100 million to fund the construction of a pier and lodging structures for our soldiers assigned in the area, and for our fishermen who might seek temporary refuge in times of bad weather,” Escudero told the Senate reporters. The senator said the structures could serve as permanent lodging for military personnel stationed at the old BRP Sierra Madre, a warship intentionally grounded in the shoal in 1999 as a Philippine military outpost. It can also serve as temporary shelter for foreign fishermen “who will be caught in bad weather” in the waters. Lade JEAn Kabagani @tribunephl_Lade The post Kalayaan declares Chinese envoy persona non grata appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 16th, 2023

 Phl ‘promise’ to tow away BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin, not under my Pa’s term – Ejercito

Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito on Thursday asserted that it was not his father, former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, who allegedly promised China that the Philippines would remove the BRP Sierra Madre in the Ayungin Shoal. “It was former President Joseph Estrada who ordered that BRP Sierra Madre be placed in Ayungin Shoal in 1999 as a symbol of our sovereignty and to mark our territory,” Ejercito said in a statement. “I cannot recall such a commitment from the Philippine government to remove the Sierra Madre,” he added. Over the weekend, China claimed that the Philippines had promised to tow away the grounded BRP Sierra Madre at the Ayungin Shoal. "The Philippine side has repeatedly made clear promises to tow away the warship illegally 'stranded' on the reef," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. In a separate statement, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines further supports Beijing's claim that the Philippines promised to tow away the vessel several times. “For instance, in November 1999, the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines met with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Domingo Siazon and Chief of the Presidential Management Staff Leonora de Jesus to make another round of representations. Many times the Philippines promised to tow away the vessel, but it has taken no action,” the embassy said. “In September 2003, upon the news that the Philippines was preparing to build facilities around that military vessel illegally run aground at Ren'ai Jiao, China lodged immediate representations. The Philippine Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs Franklin Ebdalin responded that the Philippines had no intention to construct facilities on Ren'ai Jiao and that, as a signatory to the DOC, the Philippines had no desire to and would not be the first to violate the Declaration,” it added. On Wednesday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. denied that the Philippine government made such a promise to China. “I’m not aware of any such arrangement or agreement that the Philippines will remove from its own territory its ship, in this case, the BRP Sierra Madre from the Ayungin Shoal,” Marcos said in a video message. He also asserted that he is rescinding any commitment should there be an agreement between the two countries to remove the vessel. "And let me go further, if there does exist such an agreement, I rescind that agreement now,” Marcos said. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines decided in 1999 to deploy the BRP Sierra Madre as a permanent station on Ayungin Shoal in response to China’s illegal occupation of Panganiban Reef in 1995. “The deployment of a Philippine military station in its own areas of jurisdiction is an inherent right of the Philippines and does not violate any laws,” it added. The agency also explained that the Philippine station on Ayungin Shoal was deployed in 1999, years ahead of the conclusion in 2002 of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. “[It] is therefore not a violation of the DOC,” it pointed out. The DFA also reiterated that China Coast Guard’s actions on 5 August which includes the use of water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels were in violation of the relevant provisions of the 1982 UNCLOS, the Award on the 2016 South China Sea Arbitration, the 1972 COLREGS, and the 2002 ASEAN-China DOC. “The 2016 Arbitral Award is based on UNCLOS and affirms UNCLOS. It is final, legal and binding,” the agency said. The post  Phl ‘promise’ to tow away BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin, not under my Pa’s term – Ejercito appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 10th, 2023

Meeting between FPRRD and PBBM an occasion to come together—Bong Go

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said the meeting between former president Rodrigo Duterte and incumbent President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., marked a rare occasion where two leaders from different administrations come together. In an interview after his visit to Tuy, Batangas on Thursday, August 3, Go stressed the importance of the said meeting on the country's foreign relations and domestic political landscape. It can be recalled that Duterte just came back from a recent personal trip abroad, where he was given an opportunity to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “Isinama lang po ako ni dating pangulong Duterte sa pulong nila ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos. Sila naman po ang nag-usap muna. Sa pagkaalam ko ang napag-usapan nila ay tungkol doon sa pagbisita ni former president sa China kung saan po ay naimbitahan siya sa inagurasyon ng building na pinangalanan po sa kanyang yumaong nanay, si Soledad Duterte,” Go said. “Bilang dating presidente ng bansang Pilipinas at kaibigan n’ya si President Xi ng China, naimbitahan po siya sa pagpupulong. Napag-usapan nila ang kanilang pinagsamahan noon bilang parehong lider at si (dating) pangulong Duterte naman po ay pumunta kay Pangulong Bongbong Marcos para ireport po, bilang kanyang obligasyon as a citizen nitong bansa natin, na ireport po sa Pangulo kung ano ang napag-usapan nila doon at ano po ang makakatulong sa ating bansa,” he added. Go underscored the significance of such dialogues, stating that they foster a sense of continuity in governance and allow for the exchange of valuable experiences and wisdom between the two leaders. He added that the Philippines values its relations with China while upholding its sovereign rights and pursuing a rules-based approach in handling disputes in the West Philippine Sea. “I’m sure interest po ng Pilipino ang uunahin ni (dating) pangulong Duterte sa kanyang pakikipagpulong sa bansang Tsina. Kung ano po ang atin ay kanyang ipinaglalaban parati yan. Interes ng Pilipino — yun po ang dapat nating ipaglaban. Ang atin ay atin. What is ours is ours,” he said. Go said “kaya natutuwa po ako na siya mismo si (dating) pangulong Duterte ang bumisita kay Pangulong Bongbong Marcos para mag-usap po ang kasalukuyang Pangulo at dating Pangulo na dati pa namang magkaibigan po... kung ano po ang detalye (ng pag-uusap nila), hayaan na nating ang Palasyo ang maghayag nito.” Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who served as secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs under the Duterte administration, previously suggested the possibility of appointing Duterte as a special envoy to China in light of the former president's positive rapport with Chinese authorities. He argued that Duterte's capacity to earn the trust of both the Chinese government and his fellow Filipinos could make him a suitable option if Marcos desires it. Go said that with Duterte's unique communication style and his success in gaining China's confidence, he has consistently remained devoted to what is best for the Philippines.   The post Meeting between FPRRD and PBBM an occasion to come together—Bong Go appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

Duterte as special envoy to China: ‘Why not?’ Zubiri says

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri on Thursday said he sees nothing wrong with the proposal to appoint former President Rodrigo Duterte as special envoy to China. In a television interview, Zubiri was asked about his stand on the proposal to appoint President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s predecessor to represent the country in its negotiation with China on the issue of the West of the Philippines. “Why not? Anyone who can help diplomacy in this part of the world, in this economic zone of ours, the exclusive economic zone would be a big help,” he said. “It could be president former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he added. Aside from the former chief executive, Zubiri said that Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who floated the idea to tap Duterte, could also represent the country in its negotiation with China. “It could also be Alan, why not Senator Alan as well to help in the backchanneling since he’s quite close to some of the officials there being the former Secretary of Foreign Affairs?” he said. On Wednesday, Zubiri and 20 other senators met with Marcos and his wife First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos in the Malacanang Palace after the latter hosted a “casual dinner.” Prior to his dinner with senators, Marcos also met with the older Duterte, who went to China last month. Zubiri said during their meeting with the president, the latter mentioned that it was Duterte who brought up the issue of the West Philippine Sea during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “What he mentioned to us, was during the duration of President Duterte’s meeting with Xi Jinping, the topic of the West Philippine Sea never was brought up,” he said. “Apparently, it was never, according to the President, casually saying that it was never brought up,” he added. He continued: “It was actually President Duterte to mention to Xi Jinping that on the issue of the West Philippine Sea, look kindly to the Philippines.” Duterte’s trip to China caught the national attention as the country was waiting for the decision of the International Criminal Court on the appeal of the Marcos administration to block its investigation into the former president’s controversial war on drugs which killed thousands of suspected drug personalities. Asked whether the Department of Foreign Affairs was aware of Duterte’s trip to China, the agency said it “had no official information on the visit of the former president to China.” Marcos, however, clarified that Duterte’s trip to China was “not a surprise.” During his term, Duterte veered away from the Philippines’ traditional ally – the United States -- and developed warmer ties with America’s rival, China. The post Duterte as special envoy to China: ‘Why not?’ Zubiri says appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2023

Phl-U.S. deal stands on its own — envoy

United States Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson on Wednesday reiterated that the defense and security pact between Manila and Washington does not concern any country, including China. In a television interview, Carlson said the US commitment to the Philippines “stands on its own,” citing the Mutual Defense Treaty which was signed in 1951. “Our commitment to the Philippines stands on its own. Our relationship stands on its own. It’s not about any third country. It’s not about any single challenge,” Carlson told ANC. She added: “It’s not about China. It’s certainly not about China alone. It’s about what we do together and it dates back decades. Carlson issued the remarks after Beijing repeatedly criticized the increasing presence of American troops in the country amid the growing tensions in the Indo-Pacific Region. Last month, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin particularly lambasted the locations of four additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreements sites between Manila and Washington in the country. The locations are in Camilo Osias Naval Base in Sta. Ana town and Lal-lo Airport in Lal-lo town, both in Cagayan province; Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela province; and Balabac, the southernmost island in Palawan province.   ‘EDCA sites, not US sites’ In the same interview, Carlson clarified that EDCA sites are not an extension of American military sites in the Philippines. “These are not US bases, let’s get that straight first and foremost. These are Philippine military bases, where we provide funding and insert capital to make improvements that are to the benefit of the Philippine military,” she said. She added: “(It) would also be helpful to the US military in the event of any threat against either one of the two members of this mutual defense treaty alliance.” Asked whether the additional EDCA sites could be used for offensive operations, the American ambassador said, “it can be used for whatever the Philippine government invites the United States to do.” “These are not our sites. We do not have any rights to these sites. It’s not as if somehow somebody snaps a finger and all of a sudden everything is open to the United States,” she said. “Everything that we do in the Philippines is at the invitation of the Philippine government and particularly, in this case, the two militaries working together,” she added. Carlson continued: “I understand people are concerned about that but we would not be here without the request of, and collaboration, and close contact — every aspect of this is coordinated between our two militaries with the approval of the Cabinet and with the highest levels of the Philippine government. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier said the additional EDCA sites would not be used for offensive actions.   ‘EDCA sites for natural threats’ Carlson also defended the locations of three of the additional EDCA sites located in the northern part of the Philippines, near Taiwan. The establishment of EDCA sites in the northern part of the Philippines is about preserving the security and the safety of all Filipinos and their treaty allies in the United States working together. “It’s not about specifically targeting any single threat, it’s about making sure that you have a comprehensive response capability and to be able to interoperate with your partners and allies,” she said. The locations of the additional EDCA sites were heavily criticized by no less than the president’s eldest sister, Senator Imee Marcos. In a Senate hearing, Imee, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioned the locations of the four additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement sites in the country. “So, we have given up all claims on the east sector and West sector in the Philippine Seas, is that correct? We are now obsessed with the Taiwan Strait?” she asked. Two of the four new EDCA sites will be established in Cagayan province, one in Camilo Osias Naval Base in Sta. Ana and Lal-lo Airport in Lal-lo. The two remaining EDCA sites will be in Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela province; and Balabac, the southernmost island in Palawan province. Of the four additional EDCA sites, three are situated in the northern part of the country, with the naval base at Cagayan’s Santa Ana being about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Taiwan. Taiwan, an ally of the United States, is considered by China as part of its territory that will reportedly be retaken one day — by force, if necessary. The post Phl-U.S. deal stands on its own — envoy appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 17th, 2023

Lady solon raises China’s WPS ‘aggression’

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at her residence in Taipei City, making her the highest incumbent Philippine official to meet with the leader of the self-ruled island. In their meeting, Hontiveros shared with Tsai the Philippines’ frustration over “China’s aggression” not only in the West Philippine Sea but in the entire South China Sea. “While I am here in Taiwan to particularly check on the overseas Filipino workers who were threatened by the Chinese Ambassador’s dangerous statements, I cannot help but raise an urgent issue that looms large over the Philippines — the external threat posed by China in our territories, a similar dilemma Taiwan also faces,” said the lady lawmaker. Hontiveros is referring to the remarks issued by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian where he allegedly threatened overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan. To recall, Huang earned the ire of Philippine government officials after “advising” the Philippines to “unequivocally oppose” Taiwan’s independence if it “genuinely cares” about 150,000 OFWs on the self-ruled island. The lady senator’s visit to Taiwan also came after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reaffirmed the Philippines’ adherence to the One China policy during the visit of Chinese FM Qin Gang to Manila last month. China considers Taiwan, an ally of the United States, as part of its territory, to be retaken one day — by force, if necessary. Hontiveros also shared that China’s “intimidation, threats, and harassment” are a “daily occurrence that Filipino fisherfolk and Philippine Coast Guard personnel experience, adding that the tensions in our own seas have deprived our fisherfolk of their livelihood, especially since Chinese vessels have constantly shooed them away, at times even confiscating their bountiful catch.” Underscoring that the Taiwanese people should have the basic human right to self-determination, Hontiveros, however, emphasized that the Philippines will not meddle with the issue of Taiwanese independence. “While we in the Philippines will never interfere with the issue of your independence, I will always support nations who err on the side of democracy,” Hontiveros told Tsai. “We know that democracy is a powerful vaccine against armed conflict, as it requires fostering peaceful relations among citizens. When carried into the realm of foreign policy, this will result in peaceful international relations not only among our nations but also across the world,” she added. “Peace is necessary for the safety and security of all our citizens. Peace is essential for our economies to survive and thrive. Peace is our only option. With the continued and strengthened ties between the Philippines and Taiwan, I trust that true and lasting peace will reign,” said Hontiveros. The post Lady solon raises China’s WPS ‘aggression’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 12th, 2023

Palace should recall Chinese Ambassador for ‘disgraceful statements’ – Hontiveros

The senator emphasized that the Philippines will not allow China to “decide on the future of Filipino families.” There are around 150,000 OFWs working in Taiwan......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 16th, 2023

Imee urges President to appoint special envoy to China

Senator Imee Marcos has backed up President Duterte’s policy of shunning confrontation and instead “pursuing common ground with China and other maritime claimants” to ease security tensions in the West Philippine Sea. Marcos urged the President to immediately appoint a special envoy to China to discuss the continued presence of Chinese militia in the Philippines’ […] The post Imee urges President to appoint special envoy to China appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2021

China summons Philippines envoy as Manila congratulates Taiwan s President-elect

Beijing [China], January 16 (ANI): In swift action after the Taiwan election results, China summoned the Philippines ambassador as Manila congratulated the winner of Taiwan's presidential election, Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday. It reported that the Chinese side on Tuesday lashed out at the Philippines after President Ferdinand Marcos sent Taiwanese President-elect Lai Ching-te a note on his victory in the recent vote. T.....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2024

China summons Philippines envoy as Manila congratulates Taiwan s President-elect

Beijing [China], January 16 (ANI): In swift action after the Taiwan election results, China summoned the Philippines ambassador as Manila congratulated the winner of Taiwan's presidential election, Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday. It reported that the Chinese side on Tuesday lashed out at the Philippines after President Ferdinand Marcos sent Taiwanese President-elect Lai Ching-te a note on his victory in the recent vote. T.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJan 17th, 2024

China opposes funding destabilization claims in Philippines

The Chinese embassy in the Philippines has expressed firm opposition to the allegation made by a Philippine Senator that China is funding Filipinos to destabilize the Philippines, affirming China's steadfast adherence to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. "In recent months, some Filipino politicians and officials have repeatedly dramatized and h.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsDec 21st, 2023

China opposes funding destabilization claims in Philippines

The Chinese embassy in the Philippines has expressed firm opposition to the allegation made by a Philippine Senator that China is funding Filipinos to destabilize the Philippines, affirming China's steadfast adherence to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. "In recent months, some Filipino politicians and officials have repeatedly dramatized and h.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsDec 20th, 2023