Solon respects DND’s move to terminate UP-DND accord

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Wednesday said he respects the decision of Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to abrogate a 1989 agreement with the University of the Philippines prohibiting the uncoordinated entry of military and police officers in UP campuses outside very limited circumstances.

In an interview right after he visited and distributed assistance to fire victims in Taytay, Rizal, Go said that Lorenzana’s move is only upholding what is best for the welfare of the community and its students, some of whom are reportedly being recruited to join subversive groups involved in overthrowing the government.

Ako naman, nirerespeto ko po ang desisyon ng Secretary of National Defense. Hindi naman po lahat, iilan diyan talagang ginagamit po, nakikita niyo naman po, ilan sa kanila nanawagan na pabagsakin ang gobyerno (I respect the decision of the Secretary of National Defense. Although not all of them, some of them are being used as well all see. Some of them (students) are calling for to topple the government),” Go said.

Go said he supports the decision of Lorenzana, calling on the students not to worry as he assured that the rule of law will always be upheld, especially in promoting the welfare and freedom of expression of all Filipinos.

“Pero wala naman silang dapat ikabahala. ‘Di naman aabot sa puntong mang-aabuso ang ating mga kasundaluhan (But they should be wary of anything. It would not reach a point that the soldiers would be abusive). I trust our soldiers. I trust our policemen and women,” Go said.

He also said the military and police will always enforce the rule of law in fulfilling their duties.

Walang dapat ikatakot. Respetado ang military at kapulisan ngayon (There’s nothing to fear. The military and police are now respectable),” he added.

Go urged students and youth groups to focus on their studies and finish their education so that they can help the government and contribute further to the country’s development as “iskolars ng bayan.”

Hindi naman kayo pinag-aral para pabagsakin ang gobyerno, mag-aral po kayo, makapagtapos at tumulong kayo sa ating gobyerno (You are not in school to just overthrow the government. You should study, graduate and help our government),” Go said.

He added that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has a fixed term after being elected in an open and fair election and those against it may exercise their democratic right to pick their own leaders in 2022. (PR)

No strings attached in PH vaccine deals with other countries: DFA

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday assured that the Philippines’ vaccine transactions with China and other foreign partners do not have strings attached. 

“Allow me to convey our assurances that our transactions on the vaccine supply with our global partners, in the bilateral and multilateral levels, do not have strings attached nor bearing any quid pro quo of any sovereign territorial consideration,” DFA Assistant Secretary Eric Gerardo Tamayo said in a Senate hearing.

Tamayo said the vaccines China would be donating to the Philippines are not tied to any consideration and are at best a sign of goodwill.

“(A)t no time did the China side even hint at tying the vaccine donation to any consideration,” he said. “Vaccine diplomacy would, at best, be an expression of goodwill and solidarity with the Philippines, especially during this time of the pandemic.”

Tamayo noted that the global collaboration for vaccine access (Covax) facility could also be considered as “some form of donation mechanism to benefit lower and middle-income countries.”

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi earlier announced that Beijing would donate some 500,000 doses of vaccine to the Philippines.

He also assured that Beijing would render Manila its needed facilitation for the procurement of additional Chinese vaccines.

In the same hearing, National Policy Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., underscored that Manila’s vaccine deals with China have been done separately from talks involving the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

“We will not compromise our stake, meaning in this pandemic, we… I’m telling the public that our selection of vaccine is science-based,” Galvez said, adding that the decision on vaccine selection would be based on the recommendation of Manila’s vaccine expert panel and the Food and Drug Administration. 

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