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By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

Calling for embattled Senator Leila de Lima’s immediate release from her five-month incarceration, the Liberal International (LI) yesterday stressed that “pre-trial detention should in no case be longer than six months”.
This comes after LI President Juli Minoves yesterday was barred frommeeting with Sen. de Lima, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, now jailed at the Camp Crame over drug-related charges.

In a statement issued after having been refused entry to Camp Crame, Minoves lamented that “the regime in the Philippines has abandoned even the appearance of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.”
“In preventing my meeting with Sen. de Lima the authorities obviously did not like that we questioned human rights in the country at the United Nations last month,” the LI head said.
Minoves explained that “parliamentary immunity is meant to protect sitting members of parliament from undue political and other pressures.”
“Pre-trial detention is completely disproportionate especially for a sitting senator,” he added. “Under international standards pre-trial detention should in no case be longer than six months. President Duterte, a lawyer himself, should be well aware of this.”
Sen. de Lima has been staying at her detention cell in Camp Crame after her arrest on February 24, days after the Department of Justice filed three separate drug-trafficking cases at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court in connection with her alleged role as protector of drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison.
LI Human Rights Committee Chair Markus Loening, who was able to meet with Senator De Lima, stressed that more than 13.7 million people voted for Sen. Leila de Lima, and right now she should be fighting the extension of martial law in the Senate, not wasting her time sitting in prison.
“The charges against Senator de Lima are based solely on conflicting testimonies of criminals who were subsequently absolved of drug charges after they agreed to be prosecution witnesses,” he said.
“LI calls for the immediate release of Senator de Lima from detention,” he reiterated.
The Liberal Party of the Philippines, of which Sen. de Lima is a representative, joined Liberal International in 1989. Established in 1947, LI is known as the world federation of 100 Liberal political parties and affiliates.
A delegation from the European Parliamentary (EP) Subcommittee on Human Rights also visited the senator in her detention cell following their trip to Manila from July 18 to July 20.
The European lawmakers called on the authorities of the Philippines to guarantee a fair trial for de Lima and urged to let her fulfill a senator’s duties including voting in the Senate.
Earlier, the EP delegation had also raised concern over what they called “the recent deterioration of human rights situation” in the Philippines.
The delegation stressed the importance of fair trials, raised concerns about restoration of death penalty and visited de Lima.
The delegation was composed of Soraya Post, ?d?m K?sa, Josef Weidenholzer and Rikke Karlsson.
The chair of the delegation, Soraya Post, said their mission aimed to gather information,  exchange views on issues of mutual interest and get a real picture of the situation in the Philippines.
“As we are all members of a global community, living on the same planet, we note that in many countries, there is a clear backlash with regard to respect for human rights, something which requires global responsibility,” she pointed out.
The delegation  expressed concern over the high number of extrajudicial killings in the context of the war against drugs and the possible extension of Martial Law.


ReCAAP cautions seafarers against piracy, abductions

Sunday, 23 July 2017 00:00 Published in Nation

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

A regional watchdog on piracy has urged all shipping industries to exercise extreme caution and even consider re-routing vessels from dangerous waters following the recent execution of three Vietnamese sailors by the hands of local terrorists Abu Sayyaf Group.
As per the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combatting Piracy and Armed Robery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), 59 abductions have been recorded since March 2016 in Sulu-Celebes Sea region.
“Although there have been no new abductions since May, the situation is not yet stable,” ReCAAP Executive Director Masafumi Kuroki said Tuesday during the release of its half-yearly update on the status of piracy in Asia.
“We keep our advise to the shipping industry to reroute the ships where possible against the potential threat or otherwise remain very vigilant,” Kuroki said.
From the ReCAAP Half-Yearly (January-June 2017) Report, incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia were reportedly continuing to decline, with 36 reported incidents reported by government enforcement agencies in the region.
This represents the lowest total number of incidents since 2007.
But earlier this month, the Abu Sayyaf Group killed a Vietnamese sailor in the Sulu village of Buhanginan. The murder came close on the heels of the beheading of two other Vietnamese sailors in Basilan, where a total of six were abducted in November last year from the ship MV Royal.
The two executions carried out as several nations from the Southeast Asian region along the Sulu and Celebes Sea collaborate together to strengthen patrols to address the menace of piracy and terrorism.
To recall, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines on June 19 launched a trilateral maritime patrol agreement to address the increasing incidence of piracy, armed robbery against ships, kidnapping of crew at sea and other transnational crimes along the shared borders of the three countries.
In dealing with the increasing threats to ships transiting the Sulu-Celebes Sea, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has also implemented several regulations and guidelines with strict enforcement in security and safety measures to prevent potential abductors from boarding ships.
Of the 36 reported incidents, ReCAAP cited that 27 were armed robbery against ships, two were piracy, seven were kidnaps for ransom. The number of incidents was a 22 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2016, and 41 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2013.
Despite the decline, Kuroki stressed that “there is no room for complacency.”
“ReCAAP ISC will continue our engagement with the enforcement authorities and shipping community in the region as we collectively work toward making seas in Asia safe and secure for all,” he ended.


The Philippines and China continue to strengthen bilateral relations as both countries experience unprecedented growth in political and regional cooperation, trade, investment, tourism and agriculture with the total global export of the Philippines to China growing by 14 percent in the first five months of the new administration.
For the past 13 years, one trade show has been making sure that Philippine companies get the chance to explore business opportunities with the Asia tiger. Entitled the China Machinery and Electronics Brand Show, this trade event is aimed at connecting Chinese manufacturers with potential distributors and importers here in the Philippines. It will be back with an even bigger showcase on August 17 to 19 at the SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia Complex.
The organizers behind the said event is the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), an organization that is composed of more than 10,000 leading manufacturers and trading companies engaged in import and export business of machinery and electronic products. With the show generating more than hundreds of visitors and exhibitors, the show is set to feature products and equipment from industry sectors such as agricultural machinery, building materials, commercial vehicle, consumer electronics, hardware products, household appliances, industrial machinery, labor protection products, power & electrical tools, power tools, new energy & lighting products, water technology and more.
“Over the years, the show has generated numerous amounts of business deals, all happening in under one roof. The show successfully provided a platform for Chinese enterprises and their Philippine counterparts. We, China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME), as the organizer of this event, want our visitors and exhibitors to take advantage of this wide opportunity for companies to exceed their business potentials in this growing industry,” said Zhang Yujing, president of CCCME.
This year’s expo will focus on five product segments: power, solar energy, hardware, industrial machinery, and automobile parts and accessories. To see which world-class manufacturers will be participating at the 13th year of China Machinery and Electronics Brand Show or request for business meetings with the exhibitors, register online via or call (02) 893-7973 local 316. You can also email the local event manager Global-Link MP Events International, Inc. through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
China Machinery and Electronics Brand Show is co-located with the biggest machinery and technology showcase, Manufacturing Technology World and the leading logistics and supply chain expo, Transport and Logistics.
Manufacturing Technology World serves as a go-to venue for buyers interested in seeing the future of manufacturing in the country while Transport and Logistics Philippines is an expo specifically designed for the supply chain industry, showcasing the latest commercial vehicles, trucks, buses and logistics solutions.



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