News Briefs: April 16, 2019

Credit to Author: besguerra| Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2019 20:53:20 +0000

Duterte orders Navy: Blow up drug-carrying vessels

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine Navy to blow up sea vessels carrying smuggled drugs into the country, even if it means killing all the people on board.

The President noted that blocks of cocaine in waterproof wrappings had been found floating off the country’s eastern coasts in recent months.

“Every day another one is found floating,” Mr. Duterte said during a campaign rally in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, on Saturday.

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“But my order to the Navy was when it comes to smuggled goods, they have to make [the vessels] explode, including the people there,” he added.

The Navy should be discreet in blowing up the vessels, he said.

“Keep it quiet. Just let me know if you blew up a ship or anything belonging to the drug lords,” he said.

Last week, fishermen found 40 bricks of cocaine floating off Burgos town on Siargao Island. —Julie M. Aurelio

Palace dismisses fears on division of Palawan

Malacañang on Monday defended the new law dividing Palawan into three provinces and dismissed fears that the split might strengthen China’s claims in the South China Sea.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there was no connection between Palawan’s impending division and worries that China might infiltrate smaller local governments in the province.

“Even if there’s no province, if those Chinese want to infiltrate us … I think there’s no connection there,” he said.

Opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros earlier expressed fears that Republic Act No. 11259, which created Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental and Palawan del Sur, was favorable to China and its ambitions in the South China Sea. —Julie M. Aurelio

NUPL lawyers seek SC protection from military

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) has sought the Supreme Court’s legal protection, claiming the military is harassing its members.

In their petition for writs of amparo and habeas data on Monday, NUPL chair Neri Colmenares and president Edre Olalia asked the high court to issue a temporary protection order so that the Armed Forces of the Philippines would cease its “threats, harassment and intimidation” of NUPL members. —Dona Z. Pazzibugan

Oil companies raise diesel, gasoline prices anew

Pump prices of oil products went up for the second straight week as international crude prices rallied anew.

Shell, Seaoil, Phoenix, PTT, Unioil, Flying V and Caltex raised diesel prices by 75 centavos and those of gasoline by P1.05 per liter.

Shell, Seaoil, Flying V and Caltex also raised the price of kerosene by 60 centavos per liter.

The Asian bellwether Dubai crude touched $70.39 per barrel on Wednesday last week before easing to $69.70 per barrel on April 11. —Ronnel W. Domingo

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