PALACE HOPES U.S. WILL DEFEND PHIL IN SEA ROW

Malacañang hopes the US will come to the defense of the Philippines when China becomes more aggressive in claiming the entire West Philippine Sea. In a statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma said the government expects to get the same assurance that the US had given Japan when faced with a similar conflict with China. “We continue to believe that when the need comes, the US will stand by its commitments to our country based on existing agreements between the US and the Philippines,” he said in Filipino. Coloma said US Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned the continued cooperation between the US and the Philippines when he visited Manila in October last year. “From our perspective, the US is one of our two strategic partners, the other is Japan,” he said. Adm. Jonathan Greenert, US Navy chief of naval operations, will visit Philippine Navy units from Feb. 12 to 15 to boost defense ties between the US and the Philippines. Greenert will meet Philippine Navy chief Vice Adm. Jose Luis Alano at the Navy Headquarters in Manila.

ALSO: PNP spends P150,000 a month on Napoles detention in Sta. Rosa, Laguna

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is spending approximately P150,000 a month in securing
embattled businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the so-called pork barrel queen, in her detention cell in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. This makes Napoles a high-maintenance detainee of the cash-strapped police organization, enjoying privileges more than what’s allowed to a former PNP chief and other retired senior officials currently detained at the Custodial Center at Camp Crame in Quezon City. The budget does not include the expenses when Napoles is transported to the court or any investigating body. Aside from operational expenses, Sindac confirmed that a company of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) was tapped to secure Napoles 24/7 in a bungalow house at the Fort Sto. Domingo.A company of SAF is made up of at least 100 members. But despite the high cost of securing Napoles, Sindac said they are bound by a court order to keep her at Fort Sto. Domingo with cops on guard.

ALSO: Beijing blasts Noy’s WWII analogy

China has reminded President Aquino of Beijing’s role in the “World Anti-Fascist War,” noting that it was “inconceivable and unreasonable” for him to place the South China Sea disputes in the same category with the World War II history. “As an unwavering upholder of international justice, China made huge sacrifice and indelible historical contribution to the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei stressed. He noted that the maritime disputes “mainly stem from the Philippines’ illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of China’s Nansha islands.”
“The fact is crystal clear. Our two countries also have disputes over the delineation of maritime boundaries. China firmly opposes the Philippines’ occupation of China’s islands and reefs. The Chinese government has firm resolve to uphold territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” Hong said. But Malacañang was quick to defend the President’s remarks, boasting that an analogy applied by Aquino on the territorial dispute had captured the world’s attention.

 


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Palace hopes US will defend Phl in sea row


US Navy Petty Officer Geraldine Igualto, one of 10 Filipino sailors on board the USS Pinckney destroyer, cradles her niece during a brief visit by relatives at the South Harbor in Manila. The US Navy chief of naval operations will visit Philippine Navy units from Feb. 12 to 15 to boost defense ties between the two countries. AP

MANILA, FEBRUARY 10, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Delon Porcalla - Malacañang hopes the US will come to the defense of the Philippines when China becomes more aggressive in claiming the entire West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma said the government expects to get the same assurance that the US had given Japan when faced with a similar conflict with China.

“We continue to believe that when the need comes, the US will stand by its commitments to our country based on existing agreements between the US and the Philippines,” he said in Filipino.

Coloma said US Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned the continued cooperation between the US and the Philippines when he visited Manila in October last year.

“From our perspective, the US is one of our two strategic partners, the other is Japan,” he said.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, US Navy chief of naval operations, will visit Philippine Navy units from Feb. 12 to 15 to boost defense ties between the US and the Philippines.

Greenert will meet Philippine Navy chief Vice Adm. Jose Luis Alano at the Navy Headquarters in Manila.

In a statement, Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said: “The visit aims to strengthen the ties and interoperability between the two navies and further realize peace and stability in the region.”

Greenert and Alano will also tour Philippine naval units around the Manila-Cavite area, including the Philippine Fleet and the Naval Sea Systems Command in Cavite City.

Greenert is expected to call on Defense Secretary Voltaire in Camp Aguinaldo before visiting the Philippine Navy.

Department of National Defense spokesman Peter Galvez said Gazmin and Greenert might meet on Thursday.

The US has vowed to support Philippine efforts to modernize its military.

The US has given the Philippines two warships through its excess defense articles program.

Last month, Armed Forces chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista said the military needs to acquire about six naval vessels in the face of threats to Philippine territory.

The Philippines and the US are crafting an agreement to increase the rotational presence of American troops in the Philippines.

The agreement is meant to enable the Philippines to achieve a “minimum credible defense.”

The Philippines and the US have completed five rounds of talks since the negotiations started last August. – With Alexis Romero

FROM MANILA BULLETIN

PNP spends P150,000 a month on Napoles by Aaron B. Recuenco February 9, 2014 Share this:

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is spending approximately P150,000 a month in securing embattled businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the so-called pork barrel queen, in her detention cell in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.


Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the P10 billion pork barrel scam, is causing the Philippine National Police to spend P150,000 a month for her detention at a bungalow inside the Fort Sto Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. (Art by Oteph Antipolo for mb.com..ph)

This makes Napoles a high-maintenance detainee of the cash-strapped police organization, enjoying privileges more than what’s allowed to a former PNP chief and other retired senior officials currently detained at the Custodial Center at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

“We are spending more or less P150,000 monthly, all in,” said Senior Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac, chief police information officer.

Sindac said the fund includes electricity bills, three times a day meal and other expenses that include operating expenses of doctors and policemen assigned to secure her.

The budget does not include the expenses when Napoles is transported to the court or any investigating body.

Aside from operational expenses, Sindac confirmed that a company of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) was tapped to secure Napoles 24/7 in a bungalow house at the Fort Sto. Domingo.

A company of SAF is made up of at least 100 members.

But despite the high cost of securing Napoles, Sindac said they are bound by a court order to keep her at Fort Sto. Domingo with cops on guard.

Napoles has been at the Fort Sto. Domingo for six months now, since she surrendered to President Aquino for a case of serious illegal detention filed by whistleblower Benhur Luy. She is also facing a case of plunder for some P10 billion pocketed pork barrel funds.

There have been calls to transfer Napoles to an ordinary detention facility like the Makati City Jail based on arguments that the so-called pork barrel queen is useless in the case build-up of the government against those who allegedly pocketed millions of pesos from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

But the PNP said they will not initiate their own action to have Napoles transferred to regular detention facility.

“The PNP will support and comply with the Order of the Court, said Sindac.

However, he added that there was already a decision to transfer the security of Napoles to the police force of the CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) regional police.

Full security was extended to Napoles when she appeared before the Senate hearing on the pork barrel scam, reportedly due to serious threats on her life. But during the hearing, Napoles denied her involvement in the scam.

FROM THE DAILY TRIBUNE

Beijing blasts Noy’s WWII analogy Written by Tribune Sunday, 09 February 2014 00:00 


CHALLENGING CHINA. In a New York Times interview, President Benigno Aquino III reiterates the Philippines will not apologizes to Hong Kong, nor will it surrender the West Philippine Sea to China. File photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau

China has reminded President Aquino of Beijing’s role in the “World Anti-Fascist War,” noting that it was “inconceivable and unreasonable” for him to place the South China Sea disputes in the same category with the World War II history.

“As an unwavering upholder of international justice, China made huge sacrifice and indelible historical contribution to the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei stressed.

He noted that the maritime disputes “mainly stem from the Philippines’ illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of China’s Nansha islands.”

“The fact is crystal clear. Our two countries also have disputes over the delineation of maritime boundaries. China firmly opposes the Philippines’ occupation of China’s islands and reefs. The Chinese government has firm resolve to uphold territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” Hong said.

But Malacañang was quick to defend the President’s remarks, boasting that an analogy applied by Aquino on the territorial dispute had captured the world’s attention.

“As a result, the world has taken notice of the President’s appeal to support a multilateral approach, founded on the determination to uphold the rule of law, in resolving conflicting claims in regional waters,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told a radio interview.
“The Munich analogy speaks of a situation where President Aquino mentioned (that) ceding a property to appease someone else (Adolf Hitler). When does that stop? I think that is very, very clear: When does that stop? What also the (Chinese) Foreign Ministry spokesman failed to address is that we have already brought this matter to arbitration,” Lacierda said.

The Palace official explained that the territorial dispute involves not only the Philippines and China but other neighboring states also in the East Asia.

“This cannot be a dialog between the countries (China and Philippines) only as the issue is multilateral or multi-country.

How can you resolve a settlement? How can you have a dialog when the issue is multinational? So in that case, resolving a situation with one county will not necessarily resolve the conflict in other countries because this covers a number of countries,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda said the arbitration proceeding affecting China’s nine-dash line claim covers a number of countries in the South China Sea.

“So, all we’re saying is that we have a rules-based approach, we have endeavored to achieve peace through arbitration.

We ask the world to support us this in this endeavor and we ask China to join us in this arbitration proceeding. I think that’s not fairly shocking,” he added.

Lacierda said the Chinese Foreign Ministry has well been aware of the time when Manila filed the arbitration proceeding before the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea.

Despite the recent exchange of words, Lacierda said, the Philippines and China continue to enjoy close ties in other aspects.

According to him, both countries are “responsible enough” to continue other aspects of their ties despite conflicting positions in one subject.

“Our relationships with China on other aspects continue, such as in tourism and culture,” he said.

Earlier this week, . Aquino III was criticized in an article of China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency over the territorial row between the two countries.

But on Friday, the President noted criticisms that appeared in Xinhua, a state-owned publication, that resorted to vicious name-calling instead of addressing the maritime conflict.

Instead of getting offended, the President said the criticisms bolstered the country’s position in the territorial row with China.

“I thank Xinhua because it reaffirmed the validity of our position,” the President told a media interview.

The President, however, pointed out that if the Xinhua writer believed China has a good case, (the article) should have focused on the facts to argue and explain its position. Paul Atienza and PNA


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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