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Duterte ‘tolerating’ Chinese fishing in PH’s EEZ draws flak

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MANILA, Philippines – Hoping to get the government to side with them, the 22 fishermen who were abandoned at sea by Chinese crewmen in the Recto Bank maritime incident have asked President Rodrigo Duterte to bar Chinese fishermen from fishing within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

A country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is an area which is beyond, and is adjacent to, a given country’s territorial seas. It extends no more than 200 nautical miles out from a country’s own coastlines.

In case of the Philippines, any marine resource available within a country’s EEZ is for the exclusive use and benefit of the Philippine government and the Filipino people.

The controversial Recto or Reed Bank is within the Philippine’s EEZ.

It is rich in marine resources that is why the so-called “Recto 22” wants the government to insist Philippine’s exclusive rights in the area.

However, President Duterte said he will not bar the Chinese from fishing in Recto Bank “for friendship’s sake” when asked if he would prevent the Chinese from doing so.

“I don’t think that China would do that. Why? Because we’re friends. And they are of the same view that that should not result in any bloody confrontation,” the President told reporters on June 26.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed the President’s statement.

“Kasi friends nga daw. Kung friends, ‘di magbibigayan kayo, (Because we’re friends. Friends share with each other), Panelo said.

But Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said the government cannot allow Chinese fishermen to fish in the Philippine’s EEZ because “it will violate the Constitution.”

Carpio explained: “The Constitution mandates, The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.”

He added that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has the specific task to be “the protector of the people” as mandated by the Constitution and to “secure the sovereignty of the state and the integrity of the national territory.”

“The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is the President, who has the constitutional duty to direct the Armed Forces is the President, who has the constitutional duty to direct the Armed Forces to protect the nation’s marine wealth in its Exclusive Economic Zone,” Carpio explained further.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, pointed out in his tweet that the word ‘friend’ is not stated in the Constitution criticizing the President’s remarks allowing the Chinese to enjoy resources in the country’ archipelagic waters.

Somebody, please help me find the word “friends” below:

Professor Jay Batongbacal, for his part, said the President’s stance on the issue is tantamount to ‘renouncing’ Philippine’s victory against China granted by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 which ruled in favor of the Philippines as having the sovereign rights over the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea. (Yahoo News PH)

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15 public schools in Pampanga to undergo rehab works

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CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga—A total of 15 public schools in Porac town in the province will undergo some improvement works that will make them conducive to students’ learning and wellbeing.

The move is through the support of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program aimed at improving the educational facilities for students in its neighbor communities.

The state-run firm has donated various construction materials that include paints, hollow blocks, cement, lumber, roofing, and steel bars, among others.

CDC president and CEO Noel F. Manankil, in a statement on Wednesday said the donated materials were identified based on the needs of each school as evaluated by the personnel of the CDC–External Affairs Division.

Among the beneficiaries of the project are Salu Elementary School, Balubad Elementary School, Jalung Elementary School, Pulung Santol Elementary School, Palat Elementary School, Pias Elementary School, Pio Elementary School, Mancatian Elementary School and Pulung Santol High School.

Likewise, elementary schools in Planas, Mitla, Sepung Bulaun, Katutubo and Sapang Uwak villages and at Camias Resettlement in Porac also received the same assistance from CDC.

Manankil said the said schools comprise the first batch of recipients under the project.

“We have the primary moral obligation to support our local government units (LGUs) and we have a lot of programs in CDC that we want them to be involved,” he said.

He added that the state-owned firm, together with its locator companies, will create more strategic and relevant programs for communities especially in terms of education.

“We have a high priority for education because we believe that it is what actually equalized everybody in terms of their social status and in Clark, we want everybody to get involved, come up together and plan to have more relevant and more strategic CSR,” Manankil said. (PNA)

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7 dead in Lubao, Pampanga multi-vehicle accident

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The start of the new year is bleak for the relatives of the seven people who died in a multi-vehicle accident that occurred in Lubao, Pampanga on Wednesday afternoon.

One of the fatalities, Marie Grace David, was on her way from celebrating the New Year with her 12-year-old child, who was injured.

Another fatality was identified as Rowel Flores, 32. Like David, he was on her way home from Dau where he celebrated the New Year. He left behind two children.

Linette Valite, 18, another fatality, meanwhile was on her way to meet her boyfriend.

The rest of the fatalities were identified as Princess Quinto, Alex Razheed Nilayan, John Raven Astrero, and Mary Grace Castro.

Nine others were hurt in the accident, seven of them confined at Pampanga Medical Specialist Hospital and two others at Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Footage from CCTV showed a pickup that was about to turn to the main road from Jasa Road. The passenger jeep carrying the victims, which cannot be seen in the video, collided with the pickup that was thrown toward the opposite lane where it was hit by an oncoming truck.

The passenger jeep was a total wreck.

A rescue operation was immediately implemented.

The driver of the pickup truck, 68-year-old Alexander Domingo, is facing charges for reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, physical injuries and damage to properties. He is now detained at the Lubao Municipal Police Station. — Vonne Aquino/BAP/KBK, GMA News

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2020 Public Holidays

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The regular holidays are:

January 1, 2020, Wednesday – New Year’s Day
April 9, 2020, Thursday – Araw ng Kagitingan
April 9, 2020 – Maundy Thursday
April 10, 2020 – Good Friday
May 1, 2020, Friday – Labor Day
June 12, 2020, Friday – Independence Day
August 31, 2020, last Monday of August – National Heroes’ Day
November 30, 2020, Monday – Bonifacio Day
December 25, 2020, Friday – Christmas Day
December 30, 2020, Wednesday – Rizal Day

Special non-working days:

January 25, 2020, Saturday – Chinese New Year
February 25, 2020, Tuesday – EDSA Revolution Anniversary
April 11, 2020 – Black Saturday
August 21, 2020, Friday – Ninoy Aquino Day
November 1, 2020, Sunday – All Saints’ Day
December 8, 2020, Tuesday – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
December 31, 2020, Thursday – last day of the year

Additional special non-working holidays:

November 2, 2020, Monday
December 24, 2020, Thursday

Malacañang will issue proclamations to declare national holidays for Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined.

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