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China expands in West Philippine Sea, Philippines relies on good faith

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine continues to rely on Beijing's "good faith" after a Chinese government report said that it "reasonably" expanded its isl.....»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarDec 25th, 2017

Roque once slammed China as aggressor in international law

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – While he now justifies joint exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea, and stresses "good faith" on the part of Beijing, it was not always this way for international law expert Harry Roque.  In fact, before becoming a mouthpiece of President Rodrigo ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 11th, 2018

Palace Still Trusts China Won’t Embark on New Reclamation

Malacanang on Tuesday said the Philippines was still relying on China’s good faith that the Chinese government would not embark on new reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this reaction when asked to comment on the reported airbase with military facilities and hospital that China built in the Kagitingan […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 10th, 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

Philippines relies on China’s good faith amid expansion in South China Sea

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will still rely on China’s good faith even as the Asian power has expanded and fortified the islands it is occupying in.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 26th, 2017

PHL Coast Guard off to Beijing to tackle issues on patrol, fishing

REPRESENTATIVES of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) as well as the Department of Agriculture (DA) are set to travel to China in July to discuss with their Chinese counterparts the issues on patrolling and fishing in the disputed West Philippine Sea, the Philippines’ top diplomat said. The post PHL Coast Guard off to Beijing to tackle issues on patrol, fishing appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJun 17th, 2018

Team manager Dan Palami hopes new coach re-energizes Azkals

With new head coach Terry Butcher set to join the Azkals as they begin preparations for the upcoming 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, there are already expectations from the Philippine National Men’s Football Team moving forward. And from team manager Dan Palami’s side, he expects the former England skipper to re-energize the Pinoy squad as they get ready for what’s set to be a crucial pair of tournaments in the coming months. “I expect him to bring new energy, his leadership when he was a player and as a coach in his clubs will be infectious and will give the players the high that’s needed, rejuvenate them and get them to prove themselves in the competitions that are about to come.” Palami told ABS-CBN Sports. (READ ALSO: Azkals captain Phil Younghusband excited to learn from new coach) The arrival of Butcher signals the end of the Thomas Dooley era for the Azkals.  Dooley, who handled the Philippine National Team from 2014 to 2018, steered the Azkals to their biggest win yet, one over Tajikistan to secure their spot in the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in Philippine football history, in his final match with the team.  And while there was nothing but gratitude for what Dooley did with the team during his four year stint, Palami explains that changes needed to be made, even coming off the heels of the team's biggest victory in history.  "Believe you me, when everything seems to be looking up, then you have to prepare for that, because you usually see a lot of downs, but the good thing is, we’re up and down, up and down, but the general trend is going up." "We wanna make sure that that continues and even bring it up some more, and that’s why sometimes we have to make changes, it’s a catalyst that will make us perform better, I hope, because historically, that’s how it’s been. Everytime we make changes, people criticize it, people get anxious, but at the end of the day, we have shown that our perfomance has gotten better." Palami added.  Later this year, the Azkals will be participating in the Suzuki Cup, and it could be a shot at redemption after having crashed out of the semifinals in the tournament’s previous staging back in 2016. Barely two months after the Suzuki Cup, the Azkals embark on their most important journey yet, as they kick off their AFC Asian Cup campaign, the highest level they’ve ever been on. Being grouped with South Korea, China, and Kyrgyzstan in Group C, it’s definitely an uphill battle for the Azkals, given that the country is on the lower tier of the pool in terms of rankings. Palami says that defying the odds is nothing new to Butcher, who back in 2009 to 2013, took a relegated Inverness club back to the Scottish Premier League. “Let’s face it, the Philippines is not the most palatable country to coach, but I think with Coach Terry, he has been in similarly-situated conditions, although in club levels. When he was in Inverness, he achieved a great deal with such a small club with such a small budget.” “It’s kind of inspiring, it parallels the journey of the Azkals, na parang maybe he could do the same, and he’s shown that kind of spirit throughout these years, since that time. I’m looking forward to him sharing that experience and bringing that experience dito sa atin.” Palami added. With a new coach, a new coaching staff, and new beginnings, this could be the start of something grand for the Azkals. For Palami and the rest of the squad, it’s nothing but excitement for the coming months. “I think everybody’s excited. We look forward to the tandem of Terry and [Senior Football Adviser] Scott [Cooper] doing a lot for Philippine football and the Azkals.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

Football: Azkals fighting for redemption, recognition in upcoming tournaments

As important as the first quarter of 2018 was for the Philippine Azkals, the coming months are definitely even more crucial. With the introduction of former England skipper Terry Butcher as the national team’s new head coach, the road to redemption and recognition begins. "The next 12 months is huge for Philippine football. If we can have success in the Suzuki Cup and the Asian Cup, that will be huge strides in the development of football here in the Philippines." said Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband. Redemption is the goal for the upcoming 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup, which kicks off in November. The last time that the Azkals participated in the biennial Southeast Asian tournament, it was definitely one to forget. For the first time since 2008, the Philippines failed to qualify for the Suzuki Cup semifinals, snapping a streak of three straight Final Four appearances. This year, the Azkals once again find themselves grouped with Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore, just like in 2016. “We have the same group as in the 2016 Suzuki Cup, so it’s a chance for us to redeem ourselves and do better.” said Azkals team manager Dan Palami.      “[It's] the same draw we had two years ago when we didn’t qualify,” said Younghusband. “We know it will be tough and it’s a challenge for us.” The Fil-British striker added that in order to establish themselves as a force to reckon with in Southeast Asian football, teams like Thailand and Indonesia, and Singapore are ones that they need to take care of. “If we want to continue to help the growth of Philippine football, these are teams we will have to play and win against.” A successful AFF Suzuki Cup campaign will also definitely give the Azkals the much-needed momentum as they begin their AFC Asian Cup campaign, their first in team history. On the biggest stage that they’ve been on, their goal is to be recognized as a legitimate contender in Asian football. “The Asian Cup draw is a difficult group, but there are other groups that are more tough. It will be great to get the experience of playing a World Cup side to see what level we are at.” Younghusband said. In the Asian Cup, which kicks off in January of 2019, the Azkals find themselves grouped with South Korea, China, and Kyrgyzstan. All three teams are ranked higher than the Philippines. And while it’s bound to be an uphill battle for the Azkals, Younghusband is hopeful that they can come up with some surprises. “China will be very difficult, but we played them last year so we know what to expect. I would rather play a team we have played before. Kyrgyzstan, we played twice recently and had good victories so it should be interesting. Hopefully, we can claim a best third spot or even surprise a few people and claim second spot.”  Much like the captain, Palami acknowledges that the Asian Cup will indeed be a tough go, but going through tough opponents is the only way for the Azkals to prove themselves among Asia’s elite, and that’s what Palami wants to see from the Pinoy side. “For the Asian Cup, it will be a tough group, but I think if we do it right, we can pull off one of the biggest surprises in the tournament, and that’s what we aim to do.” “We don’t want to be mere participants, but we want to be true competitors in the Asian Cup.” Palami added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

Shoal incident ‘fish thievery’ — Roque

THE Philippines is not conceding to China the country’s legal rights to fish in Scarborough Shoal, Malacañang said yesterday, even calling “fish thievery” the taking by Chinese Coast Guard officers of the catch of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea. “We do not concede,” Roque said in a Palace….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

PH not vulnerable to China military attack, says former SolGen

  The Philippines does not have to go to war and it will not be vulnerable to an attack by China even if Filipinos assert their rights in the West Philippine Sea, according to former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay.   The Philippines, however, faces the risk of losing its claims in the sea altogether by doing nothing, Hilbay said on Tuesday.   "The President keeps on saying he does not want to go to war. But neither is China. The President is sounding the alarm, but it seems he is the only one alarmed by it," he said.   Not vulnerable to attack   Despite having a weak military, the Philippines cannot be considered vulnerable to foreign ...Keep on reading: PH not vulnerable to China military attack, says former SolGen.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

Robredo says Duterte admin too soft vs Chinese presence in West PH Sea

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo described as "too soft" the approach of President Rodrigo Duterte's government in dealing with China's militarization of the West Philippine Sea. The Vice President was asked on Wednesday, June 13, to assess the actions of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

House leader, opposition clash over independence

SPEAKER Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez credited President “Rody” Rodrigo Duterte for making the Philippines a truly independent nation under his term, while opposition lawmakers lamented the failure of the government to oppose the creeping “invasion” of China in the West Philippine Sea . Alvarez cited the major shift in the foreign….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 12th, 2018

China allows Filipinos to fish in Panatag out of goodwill

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – China said on Tuesday, June 12, that it has allowed Filipino fishermen to fish in Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) "out of goodwill." This negates the claim of Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 12th, 2018

Robredo: China presence in West PH Sea most serious external threat since WWII

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday, June 11, made her strongest stand yet on China's increased military presence in the West Philippine Sea, a part of the South China Sea that belongs to the Philippines. The Vice President likened the possible consequences of China's militarization of ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

Noy ‘mismanaged’ China sea tack

WPS conflict inherited The Aquino administration “mismanaged” the government’s approach to the West Philippine Sea (WPS) dispute that President Duterte has mended to restore good relationship with China, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday. The Duterte administration merely inherited the WPS conflict from the previous administration, he added. Lorenzana said when Mr. Duterte assumed office […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

AFP would rather oust me than be sent to war with China, says Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday night that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would oust him if he were to send soldiers to fight China in the disputed areas of the West Philippine Sea. He made the remark as China continued its military buildup in the disputed sea while critics slammed his government for its soft approach on the issue. He said sending government troops to fight China in the West Philippine Sea would "lead into some kind of trouble." Besides, he said, there was no assurance the AFP would follow his orders if asked to risk the lives of troops over Manila's maritime row with Beijing. "They [AFP] would rather dispense [with] me than lose thei...Keep on reading: AFP would rather oust me than be sent to war with China, says Duterte.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

Duterte admin lost territory in West Philippine Sea – Del Rosario

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario said the Duterte administration lost territory in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) after China seized control of Sandy Cay , a sandbar near Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island). In an emailed message Monday evening, June 4, Del Rosario said ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

Lorenzana: We re helpless against China blockade in West PH Sea

MANILA, Philippines – The country's top defense official repeated  President Rodrigo Duterte's defeatist stance against  China's aggressiveness in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) in the wake of new reports of harassment. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines has no capability to defend the country's maritime territories and troops can only ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Lorenzana admits AFP not capable of defending territories in WPS

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana today admitted that at present AFP is not capable of defending its territories in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea. Lorenzana admits AFP not capable of defending territories in WPS Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana today admitted that at present the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not capable… link: Lorenzana admits AFP not capable of defending territories in WPS.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Defense chief: Manila cannot defend claims in sea dispute yet

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday that the Philippines does not have the capability yet to defend its territory in the disputed South China Sea amid China’s continuing aggressiveness in the disputed area, part of which Manila claims and calls the West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Vietnam asks Philippines, China to stop escalating tension in South China Sea

Vietnam called out the Philippines and China for further complicating the situation in the disputed features in the South China Sea, part of which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018