MTVN top stories in briefs

MTVN top stories in briefs

President Rodrigo Duterte welcomes at the Palace Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi

It is now safe to assume PH will indeed get that much-needed coronavirus vaccine possibly next month, February.

This,  after President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday, welcomed at the Palace Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi who flew to the Philippines for an official visit in reciprocation to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin’s visit to China in October last year.

An official announcement by Malacanang to the media wasn’t made it is safe to assume procurement of Covid-19 vaccines as Wang’s visit came amid the Philippines’ negotiations with China for the purchase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines with Beijing’s pharmaceutical giant Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

This, and other juicy headlines were collated here by Fitzgerald Cecilio in case you missed ‘em dear readers…

Duterte meets with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday welcomed Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi who flew to the Philippines for an official visit.

Wang, who arrived in Manila on Friday, paid a courtesy call on Duterte at Malacañan Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Wang reciprocated Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin’s visit to China in October last year.

The Chinese official would only stay in the country until Saturday.

Wang’s visit came amid the Philippines’ negotiations with China for the purchase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines with Beijing’s pharmaceutical giant Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

The Philippines is expected to receive the Sinovac vaccines by February 20.

Sinovac has already submitted its application for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Drilon backs more Senate hearings on gov’t Covid-19 vaccine rollout

MANILA — As details of the government’s Covid-19 vaccination plan remain murky, Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon supports calls for another round of Senate inquiry on the government’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

Drilon proposed that only a preliminary, not final, report be submitted to the Senate by the Committee of the Whole, which held two hearings on the government’s vaccination plan.

He said the two-day inquiry left more questions than it answered.

“There are still a number of issues hanging. These too many unanswered questions raise grave concerns, for the survival of the country largely depends on our ability to implement a successful vaccination program against Covid-19 virus,” Drilon said in a statement on Sunday.

Church warns against ethically suspect Covid vaccines

MANILA — Amidst the rush for the roll out of Covid-19 vaccines in mid-February, Catholic bishops in the Philippines are urging government authorities not to procure Covid vaccines manufactured using morally unacceptable means.

The call comes after the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said they had received reports that some Covid vaccines were manufactured using cells from aborted embryos.

“As pastors, we have to call attention to one ethical concern. We have learned that some of the Covid-19 vaccines were manufactured using cells obtained from the remains of an aborted female fetus who was killed in 1973,” the prelates disclosed in a pastoral statement.

The ethical concern was first raised by senior Catholic leaders in the United States and Canada about the use of fetal cells to test the efficacy of the vaccine.

2021 budget ensures implementation of the Judges-at-Large Act, judiciary marshal service – Angara

MANILA — The judiciary will be able to hasten the adjudication of several pending court cases with the support provided by Congress under the 2021 national budget for the appointment of judges-at-large, Senator Sonny Angara said on Sunday.

Angara, who steered the early approval of the 2021 General Appropriations Act as chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Finance, said a total of P244.988 million was included in the budget of the judiciary for the implementation of Republic Act 11459 or the Judges-at-Large Act.

Enacted on August 13, 2019, RA 11459 mandates the creation of judges-at-large posts for the regional and municipal trial courts in order to decongest the courts of its dockets.

BOC-Davao tops 2020 collection in PH

DAVAO CITY–The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Davao reported Saturday that it has exceeded its 2020 annual target of PHP24.6 billion by 23.6 percent, the highest among all collection districts in the country.

“This brings the Port on top in terms of the highest surplus recorded for the said year at PHP5.82 billion, followed by the Port of Cagayan de Oro having P3.41 billion and Port of Subic with PHP3.39 billion,” BOC-Davao said in a statement.

The BOC-Davao attributed its “remarkable collection performance to the hard work of its employees and cooperation from its stakeholders who continue to transact with the port despite the threat and challenges of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.” 

‘High-value’ drug suspect yields P1.1-M shabu in Zambo City

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Anti-narcotics agents arrested a high-value individual (HVI) and seized some PHP1.1 million worth of shabu in an anti-drug operation here, an official said Saturday.

Brig. Gen. Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) director, said Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) operatives of the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) arrested Nurhan Ismula in a buy-bust around 8:40 p.m. Friday in Barangay Arena Blanco.

Ismula, 32, yielded some 97 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of PHP1.1 million, Ylagan said, adding that the suspect was subjected to surveillance before his arrest.

Charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 are being readied against the suspect. (AI/MTVN)

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