By José Abeto Zaide
THIS LADY’S NOT FOR TURNING. It is a strange world when the Chief Justice is on dock. Speaking at the Araw ng Kagitingan (which my senior memory recalls as the “Fall of Bataan Day”), the Chief Justice-on leave Maria Lourdes A. Sereno said she is not quitting her post.
The feisty jurist addressed groups critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration at Quezon City Sports Club. She even challenged the President to explain allegations that he was behind the impeachment complaints in the House of Representatives and the quo warranto case filed before the Supreme Court by Solicitor General Jose C. Calida. The President denied the allegation; and the lawyer Larry Gadon said that the President was not involved in the complaints he filed with the House of Representatives.
Sereno said that the House of Representatives six articles of impeachment against her months ago are penny ante. The House has yet to vote on them and with one-third vote transmit the complaints to the Senate for trial.
She had also sought the inhibition of five colleagues in the Supreme Court, who had testified during the hearings on the impeachment complaints against her.
DEEP WATER. After President Donald Trump last month signed new rules allowing top-level US officials to travel to Taiwan, Washington agreed to allow US defense contractors help Taiwan construct its own submarines.
Predictably, China protested the move, saying the US should stop official exchanges with Taiwan to avoid “damaging Sino-US relations.”
US has not built conventional submarines for more than 40 years and Germany and Spain reportedly declined to offer their designs for fear of offending China.
Taiwan’s navy operates a fleet of four submarines, acquired from abroad. Only two of them can be deployed in the event of war. The first domestically-built submarine is expected to be deployed within 10 years.
DU30 TO ACCEPT ROHINGYA REFUGEES, CALLS TO EUROPE TO ASSUME EQUAL SHARE. . The Philippines has always had an open door policy for refugees,” RPresidential spokesman Harry Roque said, recalling the Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Morong, Bataan which was used as the transit stop for VietnamesE refugees making their way to permanent resettlement in other nations during the early 80s.
“The way it’s being presented to the world. Kawawa talaga ang mga tao doon (People there are really pitiful). Me? We? I’m willing to accept refugees. Rohingyas, yes. I will — pero hati-hati tayo sa Europe (But Europe should do the same),” he added.
Better yet, one OFW per one Rohingya. – Gary Lising
House Bill No. 7434 author Camarines Sur Rep. L Ray Villafuerte said he is recommending a fixed rate of US$25 as “Tourist Welfare Tax” to be collected from tourists staying here for less than 60 days.
Villafuerte said the government currently imposes travel tax on Filipinos traveling abroad without a similar imposition to foreigners traveling to the Philippines. “The bill intends to build on the growth of the tourism industry in the Philippines by generating funds for the improvement of tourist welfare services in the country,” Villafuerte said in HB 7434’s explanatory note.
On the other hand, National Tax Research Center opposes the plan to tax foreign tourists. Foreign tourism is still much lower compared to the traffic to our Asean neighbors. NTRC fears the proposed tax may dampen the country’s tourism industry and consequently derail all efforts of the government in promoting the country as a premier tourist destination. The possibility of government not attaining its projected tourist arrivals until 2022 is likewise not farfetched.”
From 2011 to 2016, the Philippines attracted only 29 million tourists, (6th among the 10 Asean countries after Malaysia’s 155.4 million, Thailand’s 155.3 million, Singapore’s 86.5 million, Indonesia’s 56.4 million, and Vietnam’s 46.3 million).
Both sides will have six months after the closure of Boracay to sort it out.
Feast of the Annunciation, traditionally March 25, was moved this year to April 9 (Fall of Bataan Day) Araw ng Kagitingan. The church encourages the faithful to pray the rosary and the angelus and reflect n the Magnificat.
Senator Ralph Recto: Marawi rehab should be ‘Made by Maranaos’, not Made in China nor Made in the USA.
Res ipsa loquitur.
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