The tension between the Philippines and China suddenly ebbed following the departure the other day of the People’s Liberation Army Missile Frigate No. 560 that was salvaged by Chinese warships.
Reports said the frigate had been struck on a reef in Hasa –Hasa Shoal 110 kilometers West of Palawan Wednesday night.
They must have proved embarrassing for Beijing although the Philippine government opted to remain tight-lipped about it and chose not to engage in chest-thumping.
Instead, the Philippines offered the assistance of Philippine Navy and Coast Guard vessels to help the Chinese frigate.
But a salvage party from a Chinese flotilla refloated the 103.2q meter .425 kms frigate Sunday. The vessel headed back sans the help of the Philippine vessels, reports also said.
The Philippines, however, did not officially protest the presence of the Chinese vessels in the area and instead let things speak for themselves.
But there was also some degree of opening from Beijing when Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Friday that China is open to hold talks with Southeast Asian nations on a code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea which China calls South China Sea.
Discussion on the code of conduct should be made “on the basis of full compliance with the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea by the parties.”
Well, one can only hope that diplomacy will ultimately ease the problem over the issue of the Philippine Sea.
Yesterday’s column made mentions of my failure to interview Senator Gringo Honasan on major issues. The reason – I was unaware that he had arrived in Bacolod last Saturday for the Ballesteros Clan reunion.
So that my discovery of his presence at McDonald’s at the corner Lacson and 6th Streets was actually my failure to monitor his presence here earlier.
My apologies to Gringo and to Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Roy Kayamko, former Mindanao Army commander, for my mistake in saying that hardly anybody had been aware of Gringo’s presence in Bacolod.
Simultaneous raids by the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency last weekend netted P175,000 worth of suspected shabu and the arrest of 12 persons.
Supt. Remus Canieso, officer-in-charge of the Negros Occidental Police office, said four of those arrested were from Cadiz City. Police also recovered P175,000 worth of alleged shabu. He described it as a major breakthrough.
Arrested by the police team led by Sep. Noel Manaay were Jolito Alopenia, in Brgy. Zone 4, Cadiz City, reports said.
Chief Rico Santotome of the NOPPO Anti-Illegal Drug special operations group, nabbed Alopenia, 45, yielded six big packs and 16 small plastic sachets of suspected shabu and various paraphernalia and a motorcycle.
Santotome also said the P24, 568 recovered from Alopenia was believed to come from the sale of the prohibited drugs.
Four others were also reportedly arrested by the raiding police team from the Alopenia residence. They were Precy, live-in partner of Joselito, Sheila Mae Canoy, 32, and Jerry Lopue Ybiernas, 24, both of Banquerohan, Cadiz City.
Three more shabu peddlers were arrested by PDEA in separate anti-narcotics operations in Purok Lampirong, Brgy. 2 of Bacolod.
Those arrested were Stephanie Duadores, 25, Edgardo Derla, 39, and Miguel Tarog, 42.
In Silay City, Silay police chief Rosauro Francisco, said a team, headed by SPO1 Rayjay Rebadomia also arrested Lorene Canson, alsia Daming, 44, while CIDG and BCPO2 operatives arrested Ian Dionson, Alvin Abiner, Roberto Tabolong, and Richard Aspan, allegedly at a pot session in a house in Purok Sigay, Brgy. 2, reports also said.
Definitely, we must salute the police for having nabbed so many shabu vendors and users. But the question – how come despite the series of arrests, we still have to know the name of a big-time drug lord? Just asking.
The Neo-Catechumenate I community of Bata had originally been scheduled to leave for Israel on July 27.
Yesterday, Sammy Penado, our first responsible, said he had recovered word from our cathechist coordinator, Fr. Angel Mojica, that our departure has been rescheduled for October or September.
Fr. Angel, who is coordinating the pilgrimage, is supposed to explain to the group the reason for the delay. He has just returned from Rome, Italy, and will try to explain the circumstances behind the delayed scheduled of the pilgrimage.*
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