Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says there is no need yet to place Visayas and Mindanao under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) unlike Luzon. Still, people there are always required to observe physical and social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19. Duterte has called on all South China Sea claimants to exercise self-restraint and refrain from undertaking activities that heighten uncertainty and instability on the disputed waters. The latest maritime incident involving aChinese “naval ship” harassing an all-Filipino crew of a foreign-flagged,foreign-owned oil tanker is “not a concern” for the Philippines, according to PresidentialSpokesperson Salvador Panelo. “It’s not our concern, because it’s nota Philippine vessel,” Panelo said. “For as long as they do not touch thePhilippine ship or vessel, it would be the concern of that country that carriesthe flag of that particular vessel.” During the recent ASEAN summit, President Rodrigo Duterte said that freedom of navigation and overflight should be observed in the South China Sea. Panelo, however, agreed with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s stand on the incident that China must follow international maritime laws “if it wants to earn the respect of the international community.” “I agree. And I think, China should agree because China itself says that we should respect international law,” Panelo said. The President also pushed for a peaceful resolution of maritime disputes, as he called for the immediate conclusion of a binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that is consistent with international laws./PN MANILA – The Malacañang has downplayedthe alleged harassment of a Liberian-flagged commercial vessel nearScarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc.
The George Stevens Academy boys’ basketball team traveled to the State House in Augusta with its Gold Ball yesterday in honor of winning the Class C state title for the second year in a row. During the team’s visit, Sen. Brian Langley (R-Hancock County) presented a Legislative Sentiment recognizing the Eagles for their hard work.“It was great to have the reigning Class C boys’ basketball champions visit to receive recognition before the entire Senate for their hard work and accomplishments,” Sen. Langley said. “You don’t just win a state championship; it takes months of hard work, dedication and teamwork. I’m proud of the players and coaches alike. Well done.”Unlike last year, this Gold Ball returned to Blue Hill in one piece. The Eagles’ original 2016 trophy was destroyed on a conveyor belt at the security check point when the top of it struck the belt and popped.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text
Dear Editor,When I received a phone call from a female Guyana Chronicle reporter last evening, my defenses immediately went up. This is a newspaper that is hostile to the PPP/C and its leadership, and has repeatedly omitted to publish the many letters I have being sending to that editor.And to further compromise their lack of credibility and objectivity, they are willing to publish slanderous statements about me, made by the likes of Rickford Burke in the Wednesday’s letter column of the government’s mouthpiece.The moment the Chronicle reporter introduced herself, I knew I had to be careful of what I say to her for I did not want to be misquoted. I was also aware of the subject she wanted to discuss as many believe that I possess duel-citizenship. I do not, and I made this very clear to her. When I was asked about the status of other PPP/C MPs, I referred her to our Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira. She told me she had tried but was unable to reach her. I then suggested that she attend the press conference being held by the Leader of the Opposition the following day, Thursday, January 17, to get the answers she’s looking for.Editor, in this sensational piece, “Several PPP MPs have dual citizenship”, the reporter wrote, “The MP said he fully agrees with retired judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Duke Pollard that the National Assembly of Members of Parliament should be cleared of all MPs with dual citizenship. Gill said there should be no cherry picking of the laws, and as such, MPs with dual citizenship should do the honourable thing and step down.”I categorically deny agreeing with retired CCJ judge Duke Pollard as reported, as it relates to his belief that “Parliament should be cleared of all MPs with dual citizenship.” And any reference I may have made about “doing the honourable thing” and stepping down, was totally sensationalized to give the wrong impression. I had just brought to her attention a duplicitous remark made by the AFC Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan during an AFC press conference, in which he was asked, “What are the implications of the other MPs with dual-citizenship?” To which he replied that the case brought against Charrandas in the High Court would only apply to him, and said, “You would probably have to bring another case against the rest.” I reminded her that Ministers Joseph Harmon and Carl Greenidge had both admitted to having dual-citizenship and suggested they should do the honourable thing and step down. This is very different to what is being reported.All journalists should be guided by the professional ethics of that noble profession. But it is evident that the Guyana Chronicle has been been contaminated by government who uses that medium to peddle their propaganda.I hereby demand an apology from Guyana Chronicle, whose reporter maliciously misquoted me.I am a proud citizen of Guyana who remigrated after spending over 23 years in the good ‘ole USA as a permanent resident. After my children’s dependency period had ended, I returned home in 2012 in hopes of making a meaningful contribution to the land of my birth. I have never returned since and have deliberately caused my “Green Card” to expire. I am the holder of one valid passport, issued to me by the Government of Guyana. I will forever be grateful to the People’s Progressive Party for giving me the opportunity to serve my country and her people as a Member of Parliament.My personal views on dual-citizenship are as follows:We live in a democracy where the Constitution is our supreme law. Guyana is but a budding developing country when compared to the industrialized nations of the world. It is estimated that there are more Guyanese living in the diaspora than in Guyana itself. It is also an undisputed fact that Guyanese living abroad are generally more exposed, educated and experienced. As a third-world country, we must find attractive ways to tap-in to those human resources by attracting more and more Guyanese to return home to serve.The re-migrant scheme is one such incentive offered. But the political maturity that Guyanese acquire living abroad cannot be ignored if Guyana is to progress. Perhaps in recognition of this, the laws governing dual-citizenship have not been strictly enforced by all administrations.Since the Charrandass vote, Members of Parliament with known dual-citizenship are being branded as unpatriotic and having allegiance to foreign countries. Hogwash! Once a Guyanese, always a Guyanese! Ministers Greenidge and Harmon may be guilty of contributing to the visionless policies of this government, and Gail Teixeira may be guilty of fearlessly exposing government corruption but that has nothing to do with their patriotism and loyalty to Guyana and her people.Minister Harmon once risked his life serving this nation in the Guyana Defense Force, you can’t be more patriotic than that.Perhaps when we finally get down to constitutional reform, we can find common ground to allow resourceful patriotic Guyanese an opportunity to serve even though they may also have a foreign passport.My concern is the duplicitous action being taken by government to brand Charrandass as a traitor in pursuing charges to nullify his vote because he has dual citizenship.What Charrandass Persaud did was to alleviate the sufferings of the Guyanese people. He did not do it for Canada. In my books Charrandass Persaud is a brave man and a patriot. I hope the Guyana Chronicle will have the decency to publish this letter, unedited, in its next edition. These are my personal views!Sincerely,Harry Gill