The Philippines might have won an arbitral ruling on the China’s claim over parts of the South China Sea in 2016. But it looks like that’s all water under the bridge now. Here are the top stories making the headlines on ANC today:
The controversy over the Reed Bank incident has taken another turn. The Palace said China will be allowed to fish in our waters “out of friendship.” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that while the Philippines is not necessarily granting fishing rights to China within our territorial waters, fishing by China is tolerated. In another briefing just after the Reed Bank incident, Panelo said China is not allowed to fish in our waters. ANC will check with experts on the maritime dispute on these recent statements from the Palace.
Dead in the water
President Duterte said if the public doesn’t want federalism, we should just change the Constitution. How deep and how far these changes are, he did not elaborate. In January, the Palace said the President was not abandoning his push for federalism. Let’s remember that federalism was his campaign promise. And with both houses of Congress dominated by allies of the administration pushing either charter change of federalism should be cinch. With his new pronouncement, is the push for federalism dead in the water? The president will be at the anniversary of the Presidential Security Group tonight at 8 p.m.
The proclamation of President Duterte that he will no longer endorse a candidate for Speaker of the House was likely a monkey wrench thrown at the plans of some aspirants to the post. If the Chief Executive won’t make his choice public, it is likely that privately he will be favoring a candidate to marshal his forces in the lower House. Aspirant Rep. Martin Romualdez will hold a meeting at 12 noon to consolidate his candidacy.
Killing in the name of…
When asked if he would inhibit himself from a probe into extrajudicial killings in the country, Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa quipped that it wasn’t he who killed those who were “tokhang-ed.” Meanwhile, a report by ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights said there are deliberate efforts to harass opposition lawmakers in the Philippines who are critical of the government’s war on drugs.
Randy Ribay is a big believer in seeing multicultural characters in books, particularly those targeted to a younger audience. “When you don’t see yourself in books, you feel alone. That can be really damaging,” says the 35-year-old Fil-Am, whose novel Patron Saints of Nothing has Amazon all abuzz.