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News Briefs: May 22, 2019

04:46 AM May 22, 2019

Malacañang vows justice for lawyers, radio man

Malacañang has condemned the recent murders of two lawyers and a radio commentator, and vowed to exact justice for the victims and their families.

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“We denounce in the strongest possible terms the recent murders of two lawyers in Pangasinan and Rizal, Val Crisostomo and Edilberto Golla Jr.,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

He added: “We likewise condemn the senseless murder of Butuan-based radio commentator Francisco Patindol.”

The Palace is closely monitoring the cases, Panelo said, adding that “all those involved will be brought to the bar of justice.”

Golla was shot inside his vehicle at Barangay San Isidro in Rodriguez, Rizal, while Crisostomo was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding assailant after attending a hearing at the Dagupan City Hall of Justice.

Patindol, a dzJM-Butuan City commentator, was stabbed last April in Butuan City. —Julie M. Aurelio

Pimentel: Support party’s choice, or be kicked out

Members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) who refuse to support its chosen candidate for House Speaker will be booted out of the ruling party, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III warned on Tuesday.

The party will be fielding three candidates to succeed outgoing Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the 18th Congress, but will choose only one, said Pimentel, the PDP-Laban president.

The party will nominate former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, he added. —Marlon Ramos

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Palace: Probe new reports on Chinese harvesting clams 

Malacañang on Tuesday urged the military’s Western Command to validate reports that Chinese vessels were harvesting giant clams anew in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, as shown by new satellite images.

“The Western Command should make a validation of that and then refer it to the secretary of foreign affairs for whatever action the department may take on that issue,” said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

He was referring to satellite images released by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative-Center for Strategic and International Studies, an American think tank, that showed the Chinese fleets reportedly operating in Panatag Shoal and in the contested South China Sea.

The Philippines previously filed a diplomatic protest on the harvesting of giant clams by China, and said the action was an “affront” to Philippine sovereignty.

The Palace also left it to the Department of Foreign Affairs to react to the annual fishing ban in the South China Sea being imposed by China.

The fishing moratorium reportedly began on May 1 and will end on Aug. 16. —Julie M. Aurelio

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