The Philippines’ top diplomat said Thursday he has filed a diplomatic protest after an anchored fishing boat was hit by a suspected Chinese vessel which then abandoned the 22 Filipino fishermen as the boat sank in the disputed South China Sea. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he filed the protest Wednesday. He disclosed the move in a tweet in response to a suggestion by opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that an independent investigation be conducted by the International Maritime Organization, a U.N. agency. Another opposition senator, Risa Hontiveros, called on President Rodrigo Duterte to recall the Philippine ambassador and consuls in China to pressure Beijing to identify and punish the Chinese crewmen allegedly involved in the incident. China condemned the incident but did not immediately confirm or deny that a Chinese vessel was involved. The sinking is a delicate development in the long-contested South China Sea, which is seen as a potential flashpoint in Asian relations. Tensions escalated after China converted seven disputed reefs into islands which can serve as forward military bases and intimidate rival claimant states in the strategic waterway, where U.S. forces undertake “freedom of navigation” patrols. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed on Wednesday that a boat, identified as F/B Gimver 1, was carrying 22 Filipino fishermen and sank Sunday night after being hit by the suspected Chinese vessel at Reed Bank off the western Philippine province of Palawan. Lorenzana strongly condemned the crew of the vessel, which he said was identified by the Filipinos as
During Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s first two years in office, his daughter Sara had barely any interest in politics. One year on, she is front and centre in a midterm election that she isn’t even running in, playing kingmaker for candidates allied with her father in what’s being widely seen as a not-so-subtle trial balloon for her own presidential run in 2022.
Monday’s elections are to a great extent a referendum on the Duterte administration, testing his popularity and giving him a chance to tighten his grip on power by retaining his Congressional majority, and keeping the opposition on the fringes of the all-important Senate for the remainder of his term.
Sara Duterte opted out of running for the Senate, choosing instead to manage the campaign of some of her father’s loyalists, which experts say will boost her political capital and build alliances that could come in handy ahead of the next presidential election.
“She’s projecting herself as a national personality. What’s happening today is her testing the water,” said Ramon Casiple, who heads the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform.
Elpidio Quirino was born on November 16, 1890, in the small city of Vigan, on Luzon Island in the Philippines. His father, Don Mariano Quirino, was a warden at a provincial jail. His mother was Dona Gregoria Mendoza Rivera Quirino. Young Elpidio graduated from elementary school in nearby Caoayan. Advanced beyond his years, Elpidio became a barrio (rural village) teacher while studying at Vigan High School.
Elpidio Quirino moved to Manila and graduated from Manila High School in 1911 and then passed the civil service exam. He entered law school at the University of the Philippines, graduating in 1915, and served as secretary to Senate President Manuel Quezon, where he began his rise through the Philippine government. In 1919, he was elected to the Philippine House of Representatives. In 1925, he was elected to the Philippine Senate and was quickly given Senate committee appointments.
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte cited “a state of lawlessness” that he declared following a deadly 2016 bombing to justify putting the military in control of the customs bureau. The agency’s officials will be put on a “floating status” and be required to conduct their work in a gymnasium in the presidential palace complex.