Crowd, not ISIS, seen as ‘threat’ to Pope visit, says CatapangBy Bong Lozada | INQUIRER.net 9:00 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines – Armed Forces chief Gregorio Pio Catapang said Tuesday that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria does not pose a threat to the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines next year.
Catapang said that Islamist militants in the country have only sympathized with ISIS and they do not pose a threat to Pope Francis.
What he sees as a problem though is the large crowd that would surround Pope Francis on his visit.
“The threat is the crowd; they may congregate on the small area where Pope is,” Catapang said. “People like him very much.”
He added that the stars of the “Greatest Escape” from Position 68 in Golan Heights would be the primary military men to guard the Pope.
2 AFP battalions to secure the Pope
Pope Francis wants to eat with the poor during visit to Leyte
PH won’t send health workers to Ebola-hit countries…for nowBy Kristine Angeli Sabillo | INQUIRER.net 7:52 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines – Malacanang on Tuesday said it was unlikely that the government would send volunteer health workers to West Africa to aid in the campaign against Ebola virus.
“Bilang bahagi ng United Nations ay handa naman ang ating bansa na gumawa ng mga hakbang na makakatulong sa pandaigdigang pagkilos laban sa pagkalat ng Ebola virus. Pero ‘yung partikular na aspeto na tayo ay magpapadala ng mga health workers doon ay ibang usapin ‘yon dahil nga maraming dapat na konsiderasyon hinggil doon,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a briefing.
(As a member of the United Nations we are ready to help in the international campaign against the spread of Ebola virus. But that particular aspect, the sending of health workers, is another issue because we have a lot of things to consider.)
He said they have to take into consideration the situation of the nurses and doctors that would be sent.
At the moment, there are still Filipino peacekeepers in the area and that issue has not been resolved, Coloma said.
“So siguro ‘yon muna ang ia-address natin bago tayo lumingon pa sa iba pang posibilidad katulad ng iyong nabanggit,” he explained.
(So perhaps we should address that first before looking at such possibilities.)
Media reports said the World Health Organization (WHO) was calling for a large number of health workers to help address the Ebola outbreak.
During a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) and Philippine Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), WHO Country Representative Dr. Julie Hall reportedly said the organization would welcome volunteers from the Philippines.
The Philippine government announced the recall of Filipino peacekeepers from Liberia, one of the countries affected by the outbreak.
PNP readies Crame hospital for possible Ebola case
‘Bring our troops home’
Banned ‘child flu medicine’ in US now in Manila store shelvesBy Jeannette I. Andrade | Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:50 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — An environment and consumer safety watch group alerted authorities to the local sale of a child flu medicine, which was banned in the US after it was found to contain high levels of the toxic metal lead and actually make kids sicker.
EcoWaste Coalition cited a September 26 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory warning parents and caregivers against buying the “Bo Ying Compound” for infants and children as it could cause lead poisoning.
The group said that although the product has not been registered with the country’s FDA, the medicine has found its way to the shelves of Manila’s stores.
EcoWaste said that it was able to buy on Monday for P580 the “Bo Ying Compound,” which was manufactured by the Hong Kong-based Eu Yan Sang Ltd and was made up of six small bottles of powdered Chinese medicine, from a store in the Binondo district.
Based on the product information, the medicine is supposed to “dispel wind and clear away heat, eliminate phlegm and tranquilize the mind.” It further claimed that it can relieve a baby’s cough, fever, indigestion, influenza, nasal discharge, poor appetite, restlessness and crying at night.
“We urge consumers providing Bo Ying to babies and kids to follow the US FDA health warning and to report any adverse reactions to the Philippine FDA that may be related to the consumption of Bo Ying,” said the group’s Project Protect coordinator Thony Dizon.
The New York City department of health and mental hygiene had tested and found high levels of lead in Bo Ying Compound after the US FDA received a report of lead poisoning involving an 18-month child who was administered the flu medicine.
According to the US FDA, “exposure to lead can cause serious damage to the central nervous system, the kidneys, and the immune system. In children, chronic exposure to lead, even at low levels, is associated with impaired cognitive function, including reduced IQ (intelligence quotient), behavioral difficulties, and other problems.”
EcoWaste seeks recall of kiddie sunglasses tainted with lead
Doll sold in Divisoria tainted with harmful chemical–EcoWaste
Del Rosario sounds alarm vs China’s ‘dangerous, reckless, forceful activities’By Matikas Santos | INQUIRER.net 3:09 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines—Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario sounded the alarm before the United Nations (UN) general assembly Tuesday against China’s “dangerous, reckless and forceful activities” in the South China Sea.
“We have invited a State Party to settle our maritime disputes peacefully through Unclos (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) including its provisions on dispute settlement, specifically arbitration,” del Rosario said referring to China.
“However, it has refused to join us and has continued to unilaterally embark on an expansionist claim that violates the legitimate rights of the Philippines. Instead of peacefully resolving the maritime disputes [under Unclos], said State embarked on a series of dangerous, reckless and forceful activities in an attempt to impose unilateral change in the maritime status quo of the South China Sea,” he said.
Philippines and China are locked in a maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea, which China claims in its entirety, including parts of the Philippines 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone through the nine-dash line claim.
Philippine has challenged China’s nine-dash line claim before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (Itlos). China however refuses to participate citing it has “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea based on “historical facts.”
Chinese Maritime Surveillance (CMS) vessels have maintained control over the South China Sea since the Scarborough Shoal stand in 2012. The region is believed to be rich in resources particularly oil and natural gas.
Filipino fishermen have reportedly been kept out of fishing grounds in the West Philippine Sea by CMS vessels by force even to the extent of using water cannons.
“These unilateral activities escalated tensions and threatened the peace and stability of the South China Sea. In 2012, after forcibly occupying the tiny rocks of Scarborough shoal, said state refused to abide by a mutual agreement to deescalate tensions by not withdrawing its vessels from said rocks,” del Rosario said.
“Earlier this year, said state imposed a unilateral moratorium on fishing in some areas of the South China Sea which infringes on the legitimate sovereign rights of the Philippines and other coastal states to their EEZ,” he said.
Del Rosario also raised the issue of China’s massive land reclamation activities in several reefs in the South China Sea that are believed to be a precursor to the construction of military bases.
“These unilateral activities, among others, form part of a pattern of forcing a change in the maritime status quo in order to advance a so-called nine-dash line position and expansive claim of indisputable sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea,” del Rosario said.
At least four reefs are being reclaimed by China in the Spratly Group of Islands: Johnson Reef, McKennan and Hughes reef, Cuarteron Reef and Gavin Reef.
Del Rosario referred to the proposed “Triple Action Plan” which he raised before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) as a way to deescalate the tensions in the region.
It involves a three-pronged approach that includes a freeze on all activities in the South China Sea, the exercise of self-restraint among all countries involved in disputes, and the final conclusive resolution of disputes through arbitration.
“The Philippines is more determined than ever in its pursuit of all possible means under international law to keep the conflict from escalating and undermining regional peace, security, and stability,” del Rosario said.
“We enjoin all to be united in addressing the challenge of resolving this issue in accordance with the rule of law,” he said.
China’s nine-dash line came ahead of Unclos, says expert
UNCLOS explained: Why China’s claims in South China Sea are invalid
‘China’s refusal to join arbitration a serious violation of Unclos’
OFWs in Hong Kong told to stay away from protestsBy Kristine Angeli Sabillo | INQUIRER.net 1:29 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday reiterated the government’s call for Filipinos to steer clear of the massive protests in Hong Kong.
“Kung maaaring umiwas sila sa paglahok sa mga aksyon na yan at magfocus na lang sa kanilang gawain (If it is possible for them to stay away from the protest actions there and focus instead on their work),” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a Palace briefing.
Thousands of Hong Kong residents conduct rallies in the city calling for genuine democracy.
DFA: No Filipinos hurt, involved in Hong Kong protests
Hong Kong protest spreads to new site across harbor
Hong Kong protests turn festive