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Adm. Harry Harris has a conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at PACOM Headquarters. – Manila Picture

CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii (August 4, 2017)— Adm. Harry Harris, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), has a conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at PACOM Headquarters. Secretary Tillerson is traveling to Manila, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur to meet with his counterparts and discuss a range of issues including the denuclearization of the… link: Adm. Harry Harris has a conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at PACOM Headquarters. – Manila Picture.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilainformer manilainformerApr 28th, 2018

Top PH officials meet U.S. Pacific Command chief in Hawaii

MANILA, Philippines – Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea was in Hawaii with top Philippine government officials for "high level discussions" with retiring US Pacific Command (PACOM) chief Admiral Harry Harris Jr.  "The Philippines and the United States have reaffirmed their firm resolve to bolster their enduring alliance anchored on common values ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

Defense chiefs of Philippines, U.S. tackle ISIS in Pentagon meet

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana met with his American counterpart, US Defense Secretary James Mattis, to discuss the fight against the terrorist Islamic State (ISIS), maritime security, and the defense relationship between their countries. Lorenzana and Mattis met at the Pentagon, the headquarters of ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

Palace downplays mass resignation of state-run coconut investment firm

MALACANANG on Friday downplayed the reported mass resignation of the officials of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund-Oil Mills Group (CIIF-OMG) to protest the appointment of Rehan Lao as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company. Citing a statement from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said that the officials of the CIIF [...] The post Palace downplays mass resignation of state-run coconut investment firm appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJul 13th, 2018

Palace: Phl not taking soft stance on China

The Palace denied it is going soft on China amid reports of a resumption of build-up over disputed portions of the South China Sea (SCS) that foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have criticized. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Philippines shares Asean leaders’ concern regarding China’s aggressive actions on what is said to be the world’s busiest waterways.The recently concluded Asean foreign and defense ministers in Singapore issued a statement that did not name China but said that “land reclamations and activities in the area . . . have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region.” The Asean ministers resolved to expedite the code of conduct (CoC) on how to negotiate with China regarding overlapping maritime claims.“Asean’s concern on the Chinese build-up is right because Asean, as a regional bloc, wants to adhere to discussions pertaining to the code of conduct,” Roque said.“We cannot be not joining the call because the Philippines is one of those concerned in this campaign,” he added.Roque also disputed views that Manila is not among those insistent in pressing Beijing to speed up the CoC drafting. “We are not being too soft (on China) but we have an established policy on that. Number one, of course, is we are one with Asean in recognizing that this is a concern for all Asean countries. Particularly that of the freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea,” Roque said.“Our common concern is peace security and stability in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes,” he added.During Manila’s hosting of the Asean last year, President Duterte did not cite the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling that nullified Beijing’s sweeping claim over nearly the entire South China Sea.It was the Philippine government that contested China’s nine-dash-line claim before the Hague court. China, however, refuses to recognize it.Apart from the Philippines, other Asean countries also have overlapping claims at the South China Sea including Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.Reclamation to continueChina in its known mouthpiece Global Times said Beijing is concentrating on civil and not military construction on islands in the South China Sea but insisted that the Chinese “will expand land reclamation.”“Most of the construction on islands in the South China Sea were completed in 2015 and the pace then slowed. Civilian facility construction is the major focus of the South China Sea islands building and the portion of defense deployment is relatively small,” Global Times quoted Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea.The size of some South China Sea islands will be further expanded in future through more dredging in the South China Sea region, Chen said.The relationship between China and other Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, has becalmed in recent years, providing a golden opportunity for China to upgrade these areas, he said.China and the Philippines are enjoying good terms as President Rodrigo Duterte maintains a friendly policy toward China, Chen said. “But there is still some domestic pressure that urges Duterte to take a tough stance on China and the South China Sea issue,” Chen said.Foreign media like to hype China’s construction in the South China Sea as they try to make excuses to prevent China’s activities in this region, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times.“China has the right to build whatever it needs within its territory,” Zhuang said.China’s military deployment in the South China Sea region was “not for military expansion,” but to defend its security and interests, he said.Zhuang and Chen warned the US is the biggest threat to stability in the South China Sea.“The US, Australia, Japan and other allies will constantly provoke China over this issue and that will incite other neighboring South China Sea countries to do the same,” Zhuang said.China’s construction projects in the region covered about 290,000 square meters in 2017, including new facilities for underground storage, administrative buildings and large radar, according to a report released in December on the nanhai.haiwainet.cn website run by the National Marine Data and Information Service and People’s Daily Overseas edition. No foreign vessels at BenhamThe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has not monitored any foreign vessels at the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, during its latest patrol in the area. Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, AFP-Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) spokesman, said that based on the latest patrol conducted by Nolcom troops, there was no presence of foreign ships at Philippine Rise.“As of now, we don’t have a report that there is presence (of foreign vessels) in Benham Rise,” said Nato.Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced that President Duterte has banned foreign ships at the Philippine Rise and ordered the military to patrol the area.The announcement came following an uproar from government critics after the Duterte administration allowed the Chinese to conduct scientific research at the Philippine Rise.Nato, however, said that Nolcom is yet to receive official order regarding the matter.But Nato maintained that with or without the latest directive, Nolcom has regularly conducted air and maritime patrols along Philippine Rise.Apart from Nolcom, the Air Force and the Philippine Navy, Nato said that the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) also conduct their own patrol in the area.He said the Nolcom uses air and naval assets of the Navy and the Air Force units under its jurisdiction.“We conduct our patrols regularly. It is a mandate of Nolcom forces so that is continuous with or without the directive from higher ups,” said Nato.According to Nato, Nolcom conducts three to four maritime and air patrol at Philippine Rise per month as part of the government efforts to secure the country’s maritime domain.ML ruling lauded, hitThe Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to uphold Mr. Duterte’s year-long martial law extension in Mindanao also drew mixed reactions.The High Court on Tuesday voted 10-5 junking militant groups’ petition and finding “sufficient factual basis” to extend martial law and suspend the privilege of wirt of habeas corpus in Mindanao until December 31, 2018.Roque welcomed the ruling saying that it affirms the need to continue protecting citizens from the threat of terrorist groups, primarily Islamic State (IS)-inspired fanatics.But for Left-leaning groups who petitioned the SC to lift martial law, the court decision opens up more crackdowns and human rights violations.The Palace official has insisted that human rights will be respected amid security operations.“The SC ruling underscores the unity of the whole government in its bid to defeat terrorism and prevent the spread in other parts of the country of DIWW and other like-minded local and foreign terrorist groups,” Roque said.“The majority of votes is a manifestation of confidence on law enforcement agencies that they shall, like they had been doing before, continue to protect our people, secure Mindanao, and pursue the bigger task of rehabilitation while upholding the rule of law, Human Rights, and International Humanitarian Law,” he added.Human rights watchdog Karapatan sees the contrary in the government’s motives, saying that the year-long military rule will boost attacks on the people.The continuous implementation of martial law in Mindanao will allow the unhampered massive rehabilitation in war-torn Marawi City and boost the security forces campaign to finish off the rebellion, the Department of National Defense (DND) said. In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Supreme Court’s decision affirming the constitutionality of the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao will definitely boost government efforts to rebuild Marawi City and address continuing rebellion.The defense chief welcomed the SC decision as a vote of confidence to the government security forces.“The DND – AFP is grateful for the trust and confidence of our public institutions and the support of the Filipino people,” said Lorenzana. Mario J. Mallari.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

US won’t rule out Olympics talks with NKorea

LIMA: US Vice-President Mike Pence or other top officials might meet North Koreans at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in coming days, Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). Washington has previously said it would not initiate contact with the North Korean delegation attending the games in South Korea. [...] The post US won’t rule out Olympics talks with NKorea appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2018

US, Mexico play up increased security cooperation

MEXICO CITY: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted Friday the US and Mexico are bolstering cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking, brushing aside concerns about the impact of his boss Donald Trump’s anti-Mexican barbs. The US-Mexican relationship has been strained by Trump’s attacks on Mexican immigrants and the North American Free Trade Agreement — [...] The post US, Mexico play up increased security cooperation appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2018

Tillerson lands in Latin America with swipes at China and Venezuela

MEXICO CITY: The United States’ top diplomat kicked off his first major tour of Latin America on Thursday in Mexico, after setting out a vision for a free and prosperous Americas. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sought to better define US strategy in its own hemisphere as he headed to the United States’s southern neighbor, [...] The post Tillerson lands in Latin America with swipes at China and Venezuela appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 2nd, 2018

US and allies commit to ending NKorea sanctions busting

VANCOUVER: The United States and its allies on Tuesday vowed tougher measures to halt North Korean sanctions busting, including naval security operations to prevent maritime smuggling. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, hosts of talks in Vancouver, urged world powers to support “maritime interdiction” measures. And, along with Japan, South [...] The post US and allies commit to ending NKorea sanctions busting appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Roque, Lorenzana contradict each other on China s promise on man-made islands

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana gave conflicting versions of what China promised the Philippines regarding its activities in the South China Sea. This comes after Chinese state-run television aired a feature showing disputed Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) has been transformed into an ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

US grateful for PH’s North Korea stance

THE United States has expressed its gratitude to the Philippines for its opposition to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, citing Manila’s “strong leadership” in helping put pressure on the hermit nation. In a statement on December 28, the US State Department said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke by phone with Foreign Affairs [...] The post US grateful for PH’s North Korea stance appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsDec 30th, 2017

Tillerson defends foreign policy record at year’s end

WASHINGTON, D.C.:The United States’ top diplomat defended his country’s foreign policy record on Wednesday, saying progress had been made in the last year to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and to counter the “immense challenges” posed by Russia, China and Iran. In an opinion piece in the New York Times, Secretary of State Rex [...] The post Tillerson defends foreign policy record at year’s end appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

Lavrov, Tillerson discuss need for urgent NKorea negotiations – Moscow

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) discussed North Korea’s nuclear program with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, stressing the need to start a negotiations process. “The sides were united in the opinion that nuclear missile projects in North Korea violate the demands of the UN Security Council,” the Russian [...] The post Lavrov, Tillerson discuss need for urgent NKorea negotiations – Moscow appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsDec 27th, 2017

NKorea must ‘earn its way back to table,’ Tillerson tells UN

UNITED NATIONS, United States: North Korea must “earn its way back” to the negotiating table, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday, backing away from an earlier unconditional offer of talks to end the nuclear stand-off with Pyongyang. Tillerson told the UN Security Council that a “sustained cessation of North Korea’s threatening behavior must [...] The post NKorea must ‘earn its way back to table,’ Tillerson tells UN appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsDec 16th, 2017

Tillerson in new bid to ease Gulf crisis

RIYADH: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is to launch a fresh bid Sunday to ease a crisis between Riyadh and Doha, both allies of Washington, but without high hopes of a breakthrough. Apart from the months-long crisis, Iran’s rising influence in the Middle East is also expected to figure high on the agenda of [...] The post Tillerson in new bid to ease Gulf crisis appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2017

Rody, US Pacom chief discuss Marawi conflict

MANILA, Philippines - Admiral Harry Harris Jr., commander of the US Pacific Command, met with President Duterte the other day to discuss the support of the U.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 24th, 2017

Duterte to meet Tillerson at Malacañang today

MANILA, Philippines -  President Duterte is scheduled to meet today with US State Secretary Rex Tillerson.  .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 6th, 2017

Tillerson to tackle rights issue, Marawi siege in Manila

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is looking forward to having “robust” talks with Philippine officials on human rights issues and the fightin.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 4th, 2017

US: South China Sea to remain major issue in ASEAN meet

MANILA, Philippines — Washington stressed that the South China Sea dispute will remain a focus of discussion in Manila as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2017

Nation: US, ASEAN to discuss IS threat as Duterte rallies Senate support

SECURITY THREATS, particularly the creeping Islamic State (IS) presence in the region, will be among the main issues that will be discussed by top-level officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with US State Secretary Rex. T. Tillerson when he visits Manila this week for a series of meetings......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2017

US Secretary of State Tillerson to attend Asean forum in August

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Regional forum and other meetings that will be held in Manila from August 5 to 9, the State Department said on Wednesday. In a statement Heather Nauert, a spokesman for the office, said Manila was one of three stops [...].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2017