The ANC Brief: Relations with our long-time ally at stake


Posted at Feb 10 2020 12:21 AM | Updated as of Feb 10 2020 05:01 AM

Palace officials are issuing contrasting statements on the termination of an important agreement with the U.S. Here are the big stories making the headlines on ANC today:

Left hand, right hand
The official document ordering the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) could be available today. President Duterte had ordered the termination but Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said he has yet to receive any official instruction from the Chief Executive. This was affirmed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who also branded as “fake news” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s statement that Duterte already gave the orders to Medialdea. Is this a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing? When President Duterte ordered the ban on e-cigarettes, the Philippine National Police (PNP) implemented the ban despite only a verbal order.

The death toll of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) has surpassed that of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Filipinos who were evacuated from Hubei province in China have arrived in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac for their quarantine period. Interior Sec. Eduardo Ano assured concerned residents of the town that they will never glimpse even a shadow of those quarantined.

The nCoV scare is affecting the global economy as industries slowdown in China. Tourism is also affected because of less travel. The dip in travel also has an impact on oil prices. How deep will a virus influence the global economy?

Shock and awe
Vice President Leni Robredo said that the statement of the PNP’s anti-drugs chief was proof of her findings on the war on drugs. Police Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat had said the “shock and awe” strategy of the Duterte administration on drugs did not work because drugs are still widely available.

To infinity and beyond
While Joel Marciano doesn't describe himself as a space scientist, he is the President’s choice to lead the country’s space program. As ANCX finds out, the UP professor’s career has been spent looking at ways on how we can contribute to space data and exploration.