Quantcast
Latest Stories

Sick Aquino defies flu, heads for Cambodia

By , DJ Yap

AFTER battling flu and cold for a day, President Aquino left Saturday night for Cambodia to attend the 21st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit, where he will push for regional unity to counter China’s increasing aggressiveness in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The trip to Cambodia had hung all day, with Malacañang officials unable to tell reporters whether Mr. Aquino could get up and go.

His flight to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh was scheduled to depart Manila at 7 p.m., but all that Palace sources could tell reporters after noon was that he was resting.

Mr. Aquino had not been feeling well since Friday, when he failed to receive visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde.

Lagarde, whose courtesy call on the President was scheduled for 10 a.m., had to be diverted to the Coconut Palace on Roxas Boulevard to be received by Vice President Jejomar Binay.

But she showed up at the Palace’s National Executive Building after the call on Binay to brief reporters on the IMF’s rosy outlook on the Philippine economy.

When the President did not emerge from his house on Saturday, the trip to Cambodia seemed unlikely to go through.

But the presidential physician arrived around 3 p.m. and examined Mr. Aquino.

After some time, the decision came: the President was good to go.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Mr. Aquino had flu and allergic rhinitis—inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose—which he might have caught during his trip to Occidental Mindoro and Tagaytay City on Thursday.

On Saturday, despite having fever and muscle pains, Mr. Aquino interviewed candidates for the vacancy on the Supreme Court until 5 p.m., Valte said.

“While the President’s doctors advised rest for at least two days to ensure full recovery and prevent a relapse, the President decided to push through with the trip,” Valte said.

“This is in light of the preparations already made and the importance of the gathering for the formation of a regional consensus to ensure stability and peace in Asean,” she said.

“The President also believes recent developments in other parts of the world requires dialogue among Asean and other leaders on the potential economic and security impact of these events on the region,” she added.

Asean unity

Mr. Aquino is leading a 53-member delegation, including seven Cabinet officials, to the Asean summit, which has related summits, including between Asean leaders and US President Barack Obama on Monday.

Mr. Aquino is not meeting with Obama during the 7th East Asia summit. Malacañang has not released the President’s Asean schedule.

The President said on Thursday that during the summit he will call on Asean countries to speak with one voice in dealing with members’ territorial disputes with China in the West Philippine Sea.

He also said  he would try to get mention of the Philippines’ specific disputes with China in the sea in the postsummit joint communiqué, which the Philippines and Vietnam failed to do during the Asean foreign ministers’ meeting in Phnom Penh in July because host and chair Cambodia, a China ally, blocked the effort.

The July meeting closed without issuing a customary joint communiqué, the first time it happened in the bloc’s 45-year history.

Code of conduct

Mr. Aquino was arriving in Phnom Penh at the heels of an agreement among Southeast Asian foreign ministers to proceed with discussions on the preparation of a code of conduct on the West Philippine Sea.

But the foreign ministers’ meeting set no time frame for the work on the code of conduct.

“We cannot specify the time frame because it depends on the process,” Cambodia’s Secretary of State Kao Kim Hourn told reporters in Phnom Penh.

The foreign ministers also agreed on the “full and effective implementation” of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, or DOC, that Asean signed with China in 2002.

The declaration is a nonbinding agreement that guides discussions among four Asean members—Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam—and China on their rival claims to territories in the West Philippine Sea.

Earlier, the foreign ministers agreed to task Thailand with coordinating dialogues between Asean and China.

Human rights

Saturday’s meeting also agreed on the signing of the first Asean joint human rights declaration, though rights groups condemned the document as failing to meet international standards and as leaving the door open for countries to crack down on freedoms.

The Philippines succeeded in adding a clause to the document stating that the declaration would be implemented according to international standards.

But rights activists dismissed that change as meaningless because, they said, the document as a whole fell short of global standards.

The Asean Human Rights Declaration, which is not legally binding, begins with the principle that “All persons are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

It affirms that all citizens are entitled to equal protection by the law and that vulnerable groups such as women, minorities, disabled people and migrants have “inalienable” rights and freedoms.

But the declaration qualifies citizens’ rights by saying they must be balanced with the “performance of corresponding duties.”

It adds that human rights must be “considered in the regional and national context.”

The International Federation for Human Rights, a grouping of 64 activist organizations, said the declaration “tears at the heart of long accepted human rights precepts.”

“It flies in the face of the international consensus on human rights principles that have been in place for more than six decades,” the group said in a statement this week.

Asean Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan acknowledged that the declaration had weaknesses, but said it still represented progress.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Aquino iii , Asean Summit , Cambodia , News




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Massive infra spending set
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  8. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • 4.9 quake jolts Batanes on Maundy Thursday
  • Presidents, celebrities mourn writer Garcia Marquez
  • MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 million — analysts
  • Iraqi guilty of beating wife to death in US
  • Avalanche sweeps Everest; 6 killed, 9 missing
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement