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10月13日のまにら新聞から

Palace looking forward to continuing friendship with China after embassy clarifies remarks

[ 421 words|2022.10.13|英字 (English) ]

Malacanang said it is looking forward to continuing its friendship with China after its embassy in the Philippines clarified its remark about the Philippines being placed in a tourism blacklist due to concerns over the Philippine Overseas Gaming Operators (POGO).

Office of the Press Secretary Officer-in-Charge and Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil said the Palace took note of the clarification of the Chinese Embassy over their remark on Monday.

''We share the sentiment of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines that tourism is an important facet to our relationship. And we look forward to continuing with that relationship as we continuously welcome our friends from China, and we anticipate more of them to come in the months and areas ahead,'' said Garafil.

Garafil said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr is concerned over the problems reportedly caused by POGOs.

"As far as the President is concerned, the PNP (Philippine National Police) is in-charge on that issue," Garafil said

On Tuesday, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said that Ambassador Huang Xilian told him the Philippines is in a tourism blacklisted destinations because China is worried tourists will end up working in POGOs.

POGOs are banned in China.

On Wedesday, the Chinese Embassy issued the clarification on its website.

''To further elucidate on the 'tourist blacklist' remarks, tourism is an important component of practical cooperation between China and the Philippines which has helped further deepen long-time friendship between the two peoples. Before the COVID-19 pandemic close to two million Chinese nationals traveled to the Philippines in 2019, making China the second largest source of tourists. We expect more Chinese tourists to come to this country after the pandemic,'' the Chinese Embassy said in a statement.

Zubiri stood by his remarks, saying in a round of interviews with media that it was Huang who mentioned ''blacklist.''

''I will try to put this on record. The word blacklist did not come from the senators. This was mentioned by the ambassador of China,'' said Zubiri in a Senate transcript of phone patch interviews with reporters.

''Maybe he made a mistake, maybe his statement was about future tense, we could be possibly blacklisted,'' added Zubiri.

The Senate is holding hearings about POGOs to determine if there is a need to ban it or have it regulated. Police have been saying some crimes being reported appear to have links with POGOs.

The Department of Justice said the Bureau of Immigration has canceled the visas of more than 1,400 Chinese nationals working in POGOs without the necessary permits and documents from the government. DMS