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Chinese firms to take over Hanjin Philippines? It’s all rumor – Palace

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 02:59 PM January 14, 2019
Chinese firms to take over Hanjin Philippines? It’s all rumor – Palace

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has downplayed concerns of a former Philippine Navy chief about security implications of two Chinese firms likely taking over Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Corp. Philippines.

Currently struggling in massive debt, Hanjin has asked the government to look for an investor who would take over its business, which included a vast shipyard in Subic Bay, Olongapo.

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READ: 2 Chinese firms eye Hanjin

Ceferino Rodolfo, managing head of the Board of Investments, had earlier said two Chinese firms were interested to take over Hanjin’s operations in the Philippines.

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“It’s just a speculation that they will take over. When a company declares bankruptcy, who will be interested in that?” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Former Navy chief Vice Adm. Alexander Pama on Saturday said the issue on a possible Cinese takeover of Hanjin operations in the country was “not just about business, financial, and other economic issues” but “a very significant national security issue.”

Pama said possession of Hanjin shipyard in Subic Bay would give owners unlimited access to one of the country’s most strategic geographic naval and maritime assets.

But Panelo maintained that “for now” there’s no cause for concern.

“For now, we will just be just speculating because we still don’t know yet who will take over,” he said.

“Why are we concerned on China and not on other countries?” he added.

Panelo also said a Chinese firm possibly taking over Hanjin was just “all rumor.”

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“For now, we are just speculating. It’s all rumor,” he said.

Panelo explained that if it’s a Chinese company that we’re familiar with, there’s no issue.

But, he added, “If we’re not familiar with the company, then we have to vet for the company.” /kga

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