Advertisements


Countries queue for joint Phl patrols

The Philippines is considering multilateral patrols with other nations by next year, aside from the country’s maritime cooperative activities with the United States and Australia, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Romeo Brawner Jr. said Monday. But even without its allies, Brawner said the Philippines will continue its unilateral maritime and air patrol in its exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea amid China’s encroachment “as it is our responsibility.” “But the joint maritime and air patrols with our allies and our partners will continue, we just don’t know for now how frequent they  will be and also maybe the extent of our patrols, but we are working on that. We are constantly talking to our allies and partners,” he said. Brawner said many countries have signified an interest in conducting joint patrols with the Philippines. “They are also very much willing to conduct and to continue conducting this joint maritime and air patrols with the US in the West Philippine Sea,” he noted. “Aside from the bilateral joint exercises and joint operations that we are doing, there are also some countries who are expressing their desire to conduct this joint maritime and air patrols not just bilaterally but multilaterally,” he added. Brawner said they have yet to start the planning and preparation for the multilateral patrols. The safety of all patrol participants is a top concern, he added. The Philippines last week held joint MAC patrols with the United States and Australia, with Chinese military assets constantly shadowing the allies, whether on air or sea. The AFP chief said China’s activities during the MCAs were as expected. “I don’t think it was unusual, in fact, it happened this year, in May of this year, when US aircraft were  flying over the South China Sea and they also encountered Chinese PLA (People’s Liberation Army) aircraft circling them so this is not the first time this happened,” said Brawner. He cited the US-PLA encounter in relation to Sunday’s incident in which two Chinese fighter jets not only shadowed but encircled two Philippine Air Force turboprop Super Tucano planes. Despite the harassment of the Tucanos, Brawner described the joint Philippines and Australia patrol as a “very successful event” as the AFP was able “to achieve the set objectives” for the joint activity. For his part, Defense Chief Gilberto Teodoro Jr. confirmed the country’s possible iterations of the MCA with other nations. “All iterations are possible with friendly and allied nations, that’s within the multilateral relations that we discussed earlier,” he said. By doing so, Teodoro said, these multilateral activities are part “of the acceptance of the righteousness of our country’s position.”.....»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneNov 27th, 2023

More countries eye joint patrols with Philippines

The Philippine Coast Guard is firm on its stand in asserting Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea over China, as the former engages with more countries for further capacity-building......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 30th, 2023

US, Philippines Conduct Patrols in South China Sea

The United States and the Philippines were conducting joint air and maritime patrols in the South China Sea, which come as the two countries step up cooperation in the face of growingly aggressive Chinese activity in the area.The Philippine Air Force said on Wednesday its aircraft had taken part in joint patrols on Tuesday in the vicinity of Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines, which is only ab.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2023

US, Philippines Conduct Patrols in South China Sea

The United States and the Philippines were conducting joint air and maritime patrols in the South China Sea, which come as the two countries step up cooperation in the face of growingly aggressive Chinese activity in the area.The Philippine Air Force said on Wednesday its aircraft had taken part in joint patrols on Tuesday in the vicinity of Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines, which is only ab.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2023

Teodoro: Phl eyeing joint patrols with ASEAN nations

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on Friday said the Philippines is looking forward to conducting joint patrols with other Association of Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea.  “We welcome joint patrols with other ASEAN countries,” he said in an interview on CNN's The Source. Teodoro said he and his ASEAN counterparts will discuss these possible joint patrols at the sidelines of the upcoming ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting in Jakarta. “We exhort our counterparts in ASEAN counties to support our claims against further intrusion by China,” he said. The post Teodoro: Phl eyeing joint patrols with ASEAN nations appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 27th, 2023

Biden prodded on joint WPS patrols

Members of the United States House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee condemned China’s “unlawful” actions in the West Philippine Sea that led to collisions of a Philippine resupply boat and its Philippine Coast Guard escort ship. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), along with Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific Chairwoman Young Kim (R-CA) and Ranking Member Ami Bera (D-CA), issued a joint statement to express their support for the Philippines. “We unequivocally support the Philippines and condemn the unlawful actions by the Chinese Coast Guard in the South China Sea,” the US lawmakers said. “The Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels intentionally hit PCG ships over the weekend and continue to violate international law, endanger Filipino crew members, and obstruct Philippine vessels’ access to their own exclusive economic zone,” they added. The 22 October incident was “part of a larger pattern of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, its maritime militia, and the Chinese Coast Guard’s aggressive and provocative behavior in the South China Sea, where it actively intrudes in other states’ exclusive economic zones,” they said. Over the weekend, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea accused the CCG of performing “dangerous blocking maneuvers” that resulted in a collision with the Unaiza May 2, an indigenous boat contracted by the AFP for its routine resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre. During the mission, a Chinese maritime militia vessel “bumped” the PCG ship, BRP Cabra, on its port side. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered the PCG to investigate the incident. The American legislators also backed US President Joe Biden’s announcement of increased joint patrols with the Philippines and other partners in the South China Sea and his administration’s reaffirmation to uphold its commitment under the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty. Earlier this week, the White House said US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan assured Philippine National Security Advisor Eduardo Año of US support in safeguarding its sovereign rights in the WPS under the two nations’ MDT. Signed in 1951, the Philippines and the US agreed under the MDT that an armed attack on either of the parties would be considered an attack on the other, thus, joint actions may be taken by the US and the Philippines to protect each other. Meanwhile, Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said the collisions would convince more countries to undertake freedom of navigation sorties with the Philippines in the WPS. “I believe it will invite more countries that have an interest in freedom of navigation to participate not only in joint patrols but in other security engagements with the Philippines,” Teodoro said. Teodoro said the Philippine government is considering many options to address China’s increasing aggression in the WPS. The post Biden prodded on joint WPS patrols appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2023

Chinese FM Wang Yi to visit Russia on 18-21 September — foreign ministry

China's top diplomat Wang Yi will begin a four-day visit to Russia for security talks on Monday, his foreign ministry said, the latest in a series of high-level visits and phone calls between the two sides. China and Russia are strategic allies, with both countries frequently touting their "no limits" partnership and economic and military cooperation. Their ties became even closer after Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, which China has refused to criticize. China's foreign ministry said in a statement Monday that Wang "will go to Russia to hold the 18th round of the China-Russian Strategic Security Consultations (SSCC) from 18 to 21 September" at the invitation of Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Moscow's security council. In an earlier briefing, the Russian foreign ministry said Wang would meet with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov, and the two planned to "focus on efforts to strengthen collaboration on the international scene". "There will be a detailed exchange of views on issues related to a settlement in Ukraine, as well as ways of ensuring stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region," a spokesperson said. China has sought to position itself as a neutral party in the Ukraine war while offering Moscow a vital diplomatic and financial lifeline as its international isolation deepens. But it has stopped short of overt military involvement or sending lethal arms to Moscow. Last month, Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu visited Russia and Belarus and called for closer military cooperation. In recent months the two countries have carried out joint sea and air patrols, the latter of which caused South Korea to deploy fighter jets as a precaution. The high-level contact looks set to ramp up, with an aide to Vladimir Putin saying in July that the Russian president was planning to visit China in October. In March, President Xi Jinping made a state visit to Moscow and declared relations between the two countries were entering a new era. The post Chinese FM Wang Yi to visit Russia on 18-21 September — foreign ministry appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 18th, 2023

500 EDCA deals in 2024 pipeline

The United States has committed to more than 500 bilateral military engagements with the Philippines next year, which would primarily feature the stepping up of war games and joint sea patrols. An Armed Forces of the Philippines official described the engagements as encompassing exercises and high-level exchanges between the allied nations on security cooperation and strategic vision, including maritime security, information sharing, and capacity and capability development, among others. The commitments were made during last week’s annual Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board meeting, said the AFP official, who requested anonymity. Meanwhile, AFP Public Affairs chief, Lt. Col. Enrico Gil Ileto, said highlights of the activities will include an increased “tempo” in the joint exercises. At the same time, projects under the Enhanced Development Cooperation Agreement will be scaled up. He said engagements with other key international partners will also be part of the new set-up. During the meeting, AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., and US Indo-Pacific Command Chief Admiral John Aquilino reaffirmed the “steadfast commitment of the Philippines and the United States to safeguard their respective nations and the Indo-Pacific region.” “The meeting was the culminating activity of the planning cycle that assessed previous activities and set out over 500 bilateral engagements for 2024,” Ileto said. Increasing the American role in the maritime conflict with China is expected to be matched by the latter through increased aggressiveness in staking its claim in the West Philippine Sea.   Swarming by vessels resumes The AFP Western Command on Saturday expressed alarm over the heightened presence of Chinese maritime militia vessels and the massive coral harvesting at Rozul, or Iroquois, Reef, located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. In a weekly news forum in Quezon City, Wescom commander, Vice Admiral Albert Carlos, reported the “resurgence” of swarming incidents in the West Philippine Sea, with about 40 Chinese fishing vessels spotted as of 15 September at Rozul Reef, which is located south of Recto Bank. Carlos said the latest figure is higher than the 33 vessels spotted on 24 August and the 24 tracked on 7 September. Swarming was also observed at Escoda (Sabina) Shoal, where five Chinese fishing vessels were spotted, and Baragatan (Nares) Bank, with two boats, according to a Wescom news release on 14 September. “But the good news is we also have our presence there,” Carlos said, referring to vessels of the Philippine Navy and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. “So, we are addressing the issue of this swarming,” he added.   Harmful harvesting Carlos noted that in July, the Philippine Navy deployed divers to conduct an “underwater survey” of the swarmed area and found “there were no more corals” at Rozul Reef. The military is coordinating with scientists and experts to assess the area, he said, adding that it specifically wants to verify the divers’ assessment that massive harvesting of corals happened just recently. “We saw that there were no more corals. The corals were damaged, and there was debris,” he said. “We are not making any conclusions at this time. It’s a work in progress, but we just want to report coral harvesting in the area where (the Chinese were) seen loitering and swarming.”   Keeping  the peace Carlos said government troops want to “keep the peace and avoid miscalculations” in the WPS despite the recent incidents. He, however, guaranteed a heightened military presence in the Philippines’ waters. “The presence (of Chinese vessels) is already alarming because we have the sovereign rights in our exclusive economic zone. Now, coral harvesting is still unverified. We are not saying that they are harvesting our corals. We suspect somebody is harvesting our corals, which means they are violating our sovereign rights. We have the exclusive right to exploit resources in the West Philippine Sea,” Carlos said. “For the Western Command, that is alarming, because it might appear that we are remiss in our duty to protect our territory, as well as the riches of our exclusive economic zone. So we are doubling our efforts on that. We are going to address that issue by increasing our presence there,” he said.   Joint patrols assessed Carlos said the government is “carefully” studying offers by other countries to conduct joint patrols with Philippine forces. For now, the military is carrying out unilateral maritime patrols in the WPS, he said, adding that these are being “jointly conducted with the Philippine Coast Guard and the BFAR, not with any foreign country.” “We are in engagement with whoever offers to help us, whoever shares our desire, our objective to establish a rules-based international order. We are studying it carefully. All the offers are on the table,” he said.   More EDCA projects Ileto said Brawner and Aquilino also agreed to hasten the completion of the EDCA projects. There were 32 projects approved. The two officials are eyeing 63 more EDCA projects. “More importantly, it reaffirmed the two nations’ commitment to the PH-US alliance as espoused in the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty,” he said. The Philippines and the US military officials also agreed to jointly push for a free and open Indo-Pacific region “against a backdrop of a rules-based international order,” Ileto said. The post 500 EDCA deals in 2024 pipeline appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

AFP carefully studying joint patrols with other countries

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is “carefully” studying offers from other countries to conduct joint maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea. In a news forum on Saturday, Western Command chief Vice Admiral Albert Carlos said the military is currently carrying out unilateral maritime patrols in the WPS. He said maritime patrols are being jointly conducted by AFP’s Philippine Navy with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, “not with any foreign country.” “We are in engagement with whoever offers to help us, whoever shares our desire, our objective to establish a rules-based international order. We are studying carefully. All the offers are on the table,” Carlos said. Carlos said the Philippines is “very happy” with other nations’ willingness to help the country. However, the military has not received any directive to do joint patrols with other nations. The post AFP carefully studying joint patrols with other countries appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

AFP: PBBM, Australia back joint patrols in WPS

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is backing Philippine-Australia joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea as part of promoting an “open and free” Indo-Pacific Region. This was bared by Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. in a radio interview on Monday, noting that the plans for this endeavor are now ongoing after Marcos and the Australian government gave their approval. "Pinaplano pa rin ho natin 'yung mga detalye pero in essence ay na-aprove na po ng ating Pangulo at ng liderato ng Australia. This is to ensure na we maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, kasama po tayo dyan dahil isinisulong po natin 'yung rules-based international order (We are now planning the details, but in essence the President and the Australian leadership have already approved it, and this will be done so that we can maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific. This is part of our efforts to promote a rules-based international order)," Brawner said. Both countries are currently conducting bilateral Cooperative Amphibious Serial drills also known as  “Exercise ALON”, with 700 AFP personnel and 1, 200 members of the Australian Defense Force, assisted by 150 officers of United States Marine Corps, participating. In a joint statement on the sidelines of Exercise ALON released on 25 August, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and Australia Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles said the Philippines and Australia mutually "discussed the importance of all countries in the region exercising their agency in support of an Indo-Pacific region that is based on sovereignty, international law, and ASEAN Centrality.” Teodoro and Marles mutually agreed on the importance of all states operating safely and professionally, while respecting and adhering to international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS. “We reaffirmed our strong support of the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal Award. In line with this, the Philippines and Australia have "recommitted to planning bilateral joint patrols in the South China Sea/ West Philippine Sea and other areas of mutual interest,” the joint statement further read. Brawner had previously said the Philippines is only exercising its military diplomacy when it comes to entering military-to-military activities with its allies and partners across the globe. In his previous interview, Brawner said the AFP will be exploring chances to heighten the country’s military presence in the WPS by conducting increased maritime patrols. “As of present, we are conducting such ourselves, unilateral patrols of the area. But we are exploring all possibilities because we very well know that when it comes to our own national defense, we really cannot do it by ourselves. We really have to depend on our allies, our partners,” he said.   The post AFP: PBBM, Australia back joint patrols in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 28th, 2023

AFP-PLA patrol dead on water

The proposed joint maritime patrol between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the People’s Liberation Army in the South China Sea may no longer proceed. AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., on Sunday, said the government may have gotten cold on the idea amid China’s continuing hostility toward the country in the West Philippine Sea. Brawner, in a radio interview, said Beijing’s actions in the WPS have raised questions over its claimed intention to uphold peace in the Indo-Pacific region. “With the way they are currently doing things, [the possibility of a joint patrol] seems quite unclear,” Brawner said, clearly referring to incidents of harassment by the China Coast Guard in the WPS. However, military collaboration between the two nations’ militaries will continue under a 2004 defense cooperation memorandum of understanding, the AFP chief stressed. The MoU had provisions allowing the AFP to send its officers to China for additional training, something that does not seem to interest the Philippine government at the moment. On the other hand, Brawner said the Philippines will continue to hold military drills with “partner” countries like the US, Japan and Canada. “We need to inform the whole world about what is happening here in the South China Sea. Because of these recent events, we have been successful in revealing China’s coercive and dangerous tactics,” he said. Previously, Brawner disclosed that China’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, had offered to have joint patrols with the Philippines in the SCS, which overlaps with the WPS. China is claiming nearly all of the South China Sea under its nine-dash line theory, including the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone in the WPS. A decision made by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 junked China’s claim in the WPS, saying it has no historical basis while affirming the Philippines’ WPS claims. On 5 August, the Chinese Coast Guard bombarded a Philippine Coast Guard fleet with water as the latter was delivering supplies to Filipino troops stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal. The latest in a string of harassment incidents against Philippine ships this year, China’s action drew denunciation from several nations, including the US, Australia, Japan and Canada. The post AFP-PLA patrol dead on water appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 27th, 2023

PBBM to discuss defense, maritime affairs with Aussie PM Albanese

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will discuss defense and maritime affairs during Albanese's visit to the Philippines next month, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said on Friday. In a Facebook post, PCO said Marcos and Albanese are expected to discuss the potential improvement of their cooperation in defense and security, trade, economic development, and maritime affairs. "The Philippines and Australia share a rich history of friendship and collaboration, which has flourished through the decades," it said. "The President's meeting with Prime Minister Albanese on 8 September is anticipated to reinforce this partnership, ushering in a new era of closer cooperation across key sectors, such as defense and security, trade, economic development, and maritime affairs," the PCO added. As per PCO, Albanese's upcoming trip comes in the wake of a sequence of top-level interactions earlier this year between the Philippines and Australia. A report from Reuters dated 8 August showed that Albanese had expressed his intention to journey to the Philippines in September for talks on defense and security collaboration. Albanese's meeting with Marcos is slated on 7 and 8 September. In May, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong expressed their country's willingness to offer drones, expertise training, and additional technological aid to enhance the Philippines' efforts in enhancing awareness of its maritime territories. In addition to providing technical support, Australia also indicated its interest in fostering potential trilateral collaborations involving the Philippines and other similarly aligned countries, with the aim of conducting joint patrols in response to the evolving security situation in the South China Sea. The post PBBM to discuss defense, maritime affairs with Aussie PM Albanese appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 18th, 2023

Senators blast China’s use of water cannon vs. Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal

Senators on Sunday condemned the "excessive and offensive" actions of Chinese Coast Guard vessels against Philippine vessels near the Ayungin Shoal last Friday. Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri called the People’s Republic of China’s actions “reaffirms the merit of the resolution the Senate has unanimously passed.” The incident, which took place on 5 August near the Ayungin Shoal, happened barely a week after the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution denouncing China's intrusion into the West Philippine Sea and its harassment of Filipino fishermen. “Because China contemptuously ignores protests, all the more that we have to rally the world to condemn acts which have no place in a civilized order,” Zubiri said in a statement. In a statement issued on Sunday, the Philippine Coast Guards accused the CCG of using water cannon against its vessels while en route to the Ayungin Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission. Ayungin Shoal is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. In a separate statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines also condemned China’s latest actions in the WPS, which it described as “excessive and offensive.” Zubiri said China’s actions are “yet again a manifestation of its ‘might vs. right’ treatment of its peaceful neighbors.” “By its actions, it shows diplomatic duplicity, of preaching about amity, but practicing hostile behavior,” he said. “We want to have friendship with you but why is it difficult to love you, China?” Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros echoed the same sentiments against China, saying China has no right to block the Philippine vessels in its own territory. “The Chinese Coast Guard has absolutely no right to block, let alone water cannon, our supply vessels. They do not have any right to starve Filipinos in the Ayungin Shoal,” Hontiveros said in a separate statement. “China’s repeated provocations are in complete violation of UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award. I call on our regional neighbors and the broader international community to join the Philippines in condemning this dangerous behavior,” she added. In a bid to strengthen the country’s position in the Ayungin Shoal, the Philippine government permanently supplies its forces there through the BRP Sierra Madre. The BRP Sierra Madre was a World War 2 landing ship tank that was stationed at the Ayungin Shoal since 1999. Hontiveros said she is hoping that the Philippines could soon start joint patrols with other claimant countries in the South China Sea such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. “We need to cooperate with them to halt these aggressive actions of China,” she said. “I am also hoping that the DFA is now formulating steps to raise China’s endless incursions to different international fora.” “The recently adopted Senate resolution 718, with its precision and specific recommendations, is at their disposal,” she added. Senate Resolution 718 urges the Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, to “continue asserting” the country’s sovereign rights over its exclusive economic rights. 'Heed Senate’s call' For his part, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito called on the national government to heed the Senate’s resolution which contains several recommendations for the executive department. “We cannot let this slip. This is too much already! China is very frustrating! China’s hostile actions towards our Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, and fishermen are extreme. Our territory, security, and peace are at stake here,” he said in a separate statement. “I urge the national government to heed the Senate's recent resolution on China's aggression and take decisive measures to safeguard our territorial integrity,” he added. Ejercito continued: “These measures will require us to expedite the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and strengthen our defense cooperation program and pacts with our allies.” For Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, China’s actions against PCG in the WPS require a strong stance from the Philippine government. “This is the reason why the Senate adopted Resolution No. 79 strongly condemning incursions like this,” Villanueva said. “Your Senate is always ready to fight for and protect the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights.” Like Ejercito, Villanueva reminded the executive department of the newly adopted resolution which contains a guide for the DFA. “We urge the Department of Foreign Affairs to implement the courses of action stipulated in the resolution passed by the Senate to finally put an end into this harassment and bullying by China,” he said. Under the resolution, the DFA is “expected” to continue holding dialogues with the Chinese government to push for recognition and respect of the Philippines' sovereign rights over its EEZ and pursue the formulation of the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea based on international law and the UNCLOS. Should China continue to ignore the country’s efforts, the resolution contains actions the agency must do such as bringing international attention to China's harassment of Filipino fishermen in the Philippine EEZ and its continued violation of the Hague Ruling and the UNCLOS; utilizing international fora to rally multilateral support for the enforcement of the Hague Ruling and raise awareness on the real situation in the West Philippine Sea; and engaging with “like-minded” countries to call on China to respect the Hague Ruling and the UNCLOS. The DFA is also encouraged to file a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly, to call for the cessation of all activities that harass Philippine vessels and violate the Philippines' established rights in the West Philippine Sea; and pursue other diplomatic modes as the agency may deem appropriate and necessary. ‘Sensible plans' For his part, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III urged the PCG to come up with sensible plans to overcome China’s increasingly aggressive actions towards Philippine vessels that are on a re-supply mission to the Ayungin Shoal. “The PCG should overcome the CCG on our re-supply missions. They should come up with sensible plans behind closed doors,” Pimentel said in a separate statement. Asked if the recent actions of China against Philippine vessels could trigger the activation of the mutual defense treaty between the Philippines and the United States, Pimentel said: “Use diplomacy and intelligent tactics.” “The MDT should not be invoked lightly. Use our ‘kokote’ not the MDT,” he added. In a separate statement, the US State Department warned that an armed attack on Philippine public vessels, aircraft, and armed forces—including those of its Coast Guard in South China The post Senators blast China’s use of water cannon vs. Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

Brawner: Joint military exercises with China, Vietnam still possible

The Philippines is considering the possible conduct of joint military exercises with China and Vietnam, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. “Again, we are not closing our possibilities, our prospect according to our President is that we are friends to all, enemies to none,” Brawner said in a radio interview Sunday. Brawner said the country is only exercising its military diplomacy when it comes to entering military-to-military activities with its allies and partners across the globe. “Because really our objective is to prevent war while we are preparing for possible war,” he added. Brawner maintained the AFP will be exploring chances to heighten the country’s military presence in the WPS by massively conducting maritime patrols. “As of present, we are conducting such ourselves, unilateral patrols of the area. But we are exploring all possibilities because we very well know that when it comes to our own national defense, we really cannot do it by ourselves. We really have to depend on our allies, our partners,” Brawner said. He added that the patrolling efforts in the WPS remain “unilateral” to the Philippines. “We are exploring all the possibilities because when it comes to defending our country—we can’t do it alone. We really have to depend on our allies and on our partners,” Brawner said when asked if the Philippines has an existing patrolling arrangement with other countries. Meanwhile, Senator Francis Tolentino said conducting joint disaster relief efforts with China is “more feasible” than a joint maritime patrol amid the country’s territorial claims in the WPS. “To me, what I see as more possible is a joint disaster team, HADR, or Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response,” he said. This amid the Philippines, China, and Vietnam, along with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan, shared overlapping territorial claims and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea—which has an estimated billion barrels of untapped oil and trillion cubic feet of natural gas with a very abundant fishing area. Brawner earlier said that Beijing offered Manila to conduct maritime patrol together. But, he did not provide further details as to how and where the joint military exercise will possibly be conducted between China and the Philippines. He stressed that AFP’s relations with its counterpart in China remain limited to training. Further, Tolentino said there must be a proper document presented should the AFP would consider a joint maritime patrol with China. “Kung magkakaroon ng joint patrol, kasama ang China, dapat po ito maging bahagi ng isang tratado na may concurrence ang Senado (If there will be a joint patrol with China, it should be part of a treaty with the concurrence of the Senate),” he stressed. Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier filed a resolution seeking support from the United Nations General Assembly or UNGA in protecting Philippine sovereignty in WPS. The post Brawner: Joint military exercises with China, Vietnam still possible appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

AFP pivots to external security, increases maritime presence

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is shifting its efforts to external security operations after "substantial gains" in internal security initiatives against the communist New People’s Army and other local terrorist groups. In a press conference on Tuesday, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said the shift from internal to external security operations will include more aerial and maritime patrols over the West Philippine Sea with an increased presence to 90 percent. "With our substantial gains on ISO, a shift to external security operations is on the horizon as we strengthen our security posture with the increased conduct of aerial and surface maritime patrols through our naval and air force air assets and ground forces,” he said. Aguilar did not give further details on the frequency of these patrols, but added that “The deployment of additional surface patrol ships increased the AFP’s presence in the KIG to about 90 percent of the time. This is a dramatic increase from the baseline of 30 percent in 2022.” The AFP has improved its capabilities and presence in the country’s strategic locations and maritime detachments in the Batanes group of islands, Kalayaan Island Group, and Tawi-Tawi and facilitated the completion of personnel barracks in Likas, Parola and Kota Stations in the Kalayaan Island Group, said Aguilar. “These are complemented by partnering with our ally and strategic partner armed forces from our global and regional allied countries that enables leveraging of capabilities through information sharing, subject matter expert exchange, and joint and combined maritime exercises,” he added, noting that the efforts “are with the help of an interagency-wholistic effort” through the National Task Force-West Philippine Sea. Aguilar said the AFP’s efforts to address internal security threats have resulted in a significant reduction in rebel and terrorist numbers and firearms and the clearing of areas where rebels used to maintain a presence. “It is noteworthy that from five active Communist terrorist group guerilla fronts from year-end 2022, two were dismantled; two were weakened, leaving only one active,” Aguilar said. In total, he added, 20 are on a weakened status and one is active. “With these, we have safeguarded the safety and welfare of our fellow citizens. Thanks to the tireless efforts, support and cooperation of government agencies and different sectors of society,” said Aguilar. The AFP declared the NPA “tremendously reduced” to around 1,800 members—from a peak of 24,000 rebels, of which around 400 have already been identified and are now facing criminal charges. The post AFP pivots to external security, increases maritime presence appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2023

Australia’s Phl stakes up

It’s due season for the Philippines, an increasingly lucrative investment destination that embodies a shift in the center of gravity in the regional economy. The country’s bullish business prospects post-pandemic are propped up by the recent increase in direct investments, which continue to inspire business confidence in the Philippines. Among the flurry of such inflows is Australian, what with the country’s AUD89.9 million (P3.32 billion) worth of official development assistance (2023 to 2024) to the Philippines. This came at the heels of a productive meeting between Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and DFA Sec. Enrique Manalo last week, a fund that will be channeled mostly to programs on inclusive economic growth, education, training and scholarships, disaster and climate resilience, and peace and stability in the Bangsamoro. Ongoing cooperation in the areas of science and innovation, people-to-people exchanges, law and justice is also uppermost, as well as defense, maritime, and counter-terrorism. Wong said Australia considers providing drones and other technology as a part of maritime cooperation package to buttress the Philippines’ position in waters adjacent to many sovereign interests. Manila and Canberra are a long-standing “important security partner” in the region according to Wong, who added that Australia also thinks trilateral partnerships with the Philippines on joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea is also possible. The fund is on top of Canberra’s AUD10.95-million (P405 million) pledge for the establishment of a new immunization information and strengthened laboratory network and surveillance systems in the Philippines for health emergencies like the recent pandemic. The Philippines had received approximately P3.1-billion ODA last year. The bulk of it was pivotal in the realization of the peace process in the Bangsamoro. The two countries are exploring investment cooperation on critical minerals and the improvement of two-way tourism. “Work and holiday visa arrangement” are also high on the negotiation table. Wong’s high-level visit to Manila earlier this month may serve as a precedent to a possible in-person meeting between President Marcos Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese come the Asean-Australia Summit in March 2024, or a bilateral visit soon. The post Australia’s Phl stakes up appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 26th, 2023

Phl, Japan should engage both China, US ‘constructively,’ says DFA’s Manalo

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo on Tuesday called on Japan to engage both China and the United States “constructively,” following the recent tension in Taiwan Strait involving the two superpower countries. Speaking in a forum at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Japan, Manalo underscored the need to ensure that the security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region maintains trust and confidence among parties, amid the US-China rivalry and other geopolitical pressures. “This regional architecture must empower diplomacy and the rule of law to prevail over any influence engaging in coercion, intimidation, the use and threat of use of force in violation of the UN Charter,” he said. “The Philippines and Japan share a commonality which no other nation in Asia possesses, with the exception of South Korea – our treaty alliance with the United States, our historic and important relationship with America stands alongside our huge economic relationship with China. Hence, our two nations must continue to engage both China and the United States constructively, and support calls for Beijing and Washington to responsibly manage their strategic rivalry,” he added. ‘US-Philippines-Japan trilateral partnership’ Meanwhile, Manalo said that the trilateral security and defense partnership between Manila, Tokyo and Washington is still in its “early stages.” “[T]here was an understanding that we should explore the possibility of trilateral arrangements, but at this stage, we still have to discuss the Terms of Reference, what kind of activities, so it's really very much in the early stages,” he said. “The important thing is there is an understanding of the principle that it would be useful to have such types of trilateral cooperation activities,” he added. To recall, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin previously said that Manila and Washington have agreed to further integrate their “strong bilateral ties” into “multilateral networks” with Japan and Australia. In February, Defense Officer-in-Charge Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that the Philippines and Australia are looking into conducting joint maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea. In the same month, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez said that the country is negotiating with Australia and Japan to join with the US in conducting joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. The post Phl, Japan should engage both China, US ‘constructively,’ says DFA’s Manalo appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 16th, 2023

Australian FM to visit Phl– DFA

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will have her first official visit to the Philippines, upon the invitation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Friday. Wong is scheduled to visit Manila from 16 to 19 May, where she is expected to meet with Manalo to discuss a “broad range of issues of mutual interest, including defense and security partnership, development cooperation, trade and investment, and people-to-people ties.” “This bilateral meeting will allow both countries to assess the current state of their bilateral relations and chart the course for further collaboration,” the DFA said in a statement. During her four-day official visit to the country, Wong is also expected to pay a courtesy call on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte. “Minister Wong's visit comes after a series of high-level exchanges between the Philippines and Australia, reflecting both countries' strong commitment to advancing their Comprehensive Partnership to a higher level,” the DFA noted. “This visit is also an excellent opportunity to renew and deepen the friendship between the two nations and explore new areas of cooperation,” it added. Wong’s visit to the Philippines comes after the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in April. During the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the Philippines and the United States last month, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Manila and Washington have agreed to further integrate their “strong bilateral ties” into “multilateral networks” with Japan and Australia. “We discussed plans to conduct combined maritime activities with like-minded partners in the South China Sea later this year as we work to enhance our collective deterrence,” Austin said. In February, Defense Officer-in-Charge Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that the Philippines and Australia are looking into conducting joint maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea. Australia is one of the countries along with the US, Japan, and Canada, that called out China for its continuous aggression in the West Philippine Sea. In the same month, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez said that the country is negotiating with Australia and Japan to join with the US in conducting coast guard patrols in the South China Sea, including disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea. The post Australian FM to visit Phl– DFA appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 12th, 2023

Poll: 84% of Filipinos want to leverage US partnership for WPS defense

The same survey also showed that 80% of Filipinos believe that the current administration should focus on improving the country’s military capabilities to do so, on top of conducting joint maritime patrols and military exercises with allied countries. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 5th, 2023

Microsoft, OpenAI: Hackers Using ChatGPT for Cyberattack Improvements

Hackers are leveraging ChatGPT’s AI technologies to enhance cyberattacks, according to recent findings by Microsoft and OpenAI. In a joint research effort, the two tech giants have identified instances of malicious actors from various countries utilizing large language models (LLMs) for refining their tactics and improving their cyber offensive capabilities. In a blog post today, […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2024

Indo-Russia defense venture in talks with Saudi Arabia

BrahMos Aerospace, advanced cruise missile manufacturers, have $7bn in orders from India and other countries BrahMos Aerospace, a joint India-Russia venture which produces supersonic cruise missiles for maritime, aerial, and land-based platforms, is in talks with Saudi Arabia, TASS news agency reported citing an offic.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2024