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Philippines, Australia start Sea, air patrols in West Philippine Sea

The Philippines and Australia kicked off yesterday its “maritime cooperative activity” aimed at demonstrating their commitment to a rules-based international order and a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific region in the face of growing concerns over China’s aggressive actions in disputed waters......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarNov 25th, 2023

Philippines, Australia start Sea, air patrols in West Philippine Sea

The Philippines and Australia kicked off yesterday its “maritime cooperative activity” aimed at demonstrating their commitment to a rules-based international order and a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific region in the face of growing concerns over China’s aggressive actions in disputed waters......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 25th, 2023

Intentional, premeditated

In a prior editorial, this paper raised the possibility that the Chinese vessels hitting a Philippine Coast Guard ship and a resupply boat it was escorting to Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea might have been intentional. While we let readers read between the lines, factual narrations of the event tended to show how improbable it would have been for two separate collision incidents, involving several Chinese and Philippine vessels, to happen by accident in the wide expanse of ocean. The two collisions happened miles away from each other amid fair weather conditions with the sun shining brightly, thus neither poor visibility nor questionable seamanship could have been a factor in the incidents. As in most cases, the simplest explanations often prove to be the correct or accurate ones. In these incidents, the latest in China’s aggressive maneuvers in the WPS, the actions taken by the Chinese coast guard and militia vessels smacked of premeditation. On Monday, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro confirmed in a press briefing that the Chinese vessels “intentionally” hit the Philippine boats trying to resupply troops stationed on the intentionally grounded navy vessel, the BRP Sierra Madre. “While conducting legitimate rotation and resupply operations within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, Chinese coast guard and maritime militia vessels, in blatant violation of international law, harassed and intentionally hit the Unaiza May 2 and Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Cabra,” Teodoro said. It was a conclusion that would not have required the title Defense Secretary to make. Video footage and photos of the first incident showed a China Coast Guard ship chasing the very small resupply boat. As if the David-versus-Goliath affair were not enough, a second CCG vessel then cut off the boat. All the pieces of evidence considered, the word “collision” does not apply to the actions China took because this would presuppose the possibility of their being mere accidents. The operative word should be “bumped” or, if the incident resulted in grave damage to the Philippine vessels, “rammed.” The stern of the smaller resupply vessel and the bow of the Chinese coast guard ship were seen briefly touching in the video released by the Philippine military. According to a statement from the National Security Council, the supply boat sustained damage. It added that a second resupply boat was able to complete its mission to the BRP Sierra Madre. With the United States and Canada condemning China over the incident, the collision may not be the last or it may just be a portent of more serious “interactions” to come between China and the Philippines as both assert their respective sovereign claims in the WPS. If only to ensure peace in the Indo-Pacific region, countries that have pledged to conduct freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea should start doing so. The burden of checking Beijing’s expansionist designs in the region should be shared not only by other claimant nations, but by governments that benefit from the trillions of dollars in trade that pass annually through the South China Sea. We cannot expect the Philippines’ summoning of the Chinese ambassador over the incidents to amount to anything, except to register the country’s strong and continuing opposition to Beijing’s aggressive acts in the WPS. China can never claim Ayungin to be part of its sovereign waters because it lies 1,000 kilometers from its nearest major landmass, Hainan Island, while the shoal is only 200 kilometers from the western Philippine island of Palawan. This proximity of Ayungin Shoal to Palawan, along with other proof presented by the Philippines to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, was primarily considered by the court in ruling in favor of the Philippines in 2016. China had refused to recognize the arbitral ruling precisely because it did not go its way. In fact, the court declared as baseless China’s nine-dash line claim to nearly the entire South China Sea. CCG’s ramming of Philippine vessels is a calculated act of provocation. It is a message to the Philippines and the rest of the world that China is willing to use force to achieve its goals. Beijing’s actions are a threat to peace and stability in the South China Sea and the Asia-Pacific region. Nations must not allow China to succeed in its bullying tactics. The international community must take a stand and not allow China to undermine the rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific. The aggression being shown by Chinese maritime assets is a threat to the world, and must be stopped. The post Intentional, premeditated appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

U.S. asserts safe WPS passage for all

It has nothing to do with that particular country, or so they claimed rather cautiously and diplomatically. Navies of the Philippines and the United States opened their bilateral naval exercises yesterday, along with six other countries, at Naval Station Jose Andrada on Roxas Boulevard, Manila. The drills involve at-shore events at the Philippine Navy’s headquarters before going out to sea for exercises intended to improve the allied naval forces’ interoperability. Dubbed Exercise Sama-Sama, or Together, the exercise, according to Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci, has nothing to do with a particular country that has figured in increasing tensions in the West Philippine Sea. But Adaci was obviously referring to China whose coast guard had used water cannons on Philippine Coast Guard-led resupply missions to Filipino troops stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal in the WPS. Adaci opened the exercise with US Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Karl Thomas. “The exercise is designed to be conducted here in Manila and the southern Luzon area,” Adaci said. Thomas, for his part, stressed the need to recognize the rules-based international order.   Strong word “I think it is important that all nations have a right to sail and operate in the West Philippine Sea — free from worrying about being attacked,” Thomas said. “And attack is probably a strong word.” “I would say, free from being coerced, free from being intimidated. You know we want the commons to be common and open and free. And so long as our nations operate in accordance with the rule of law, in accordance with the rules and regulations, with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said. Like Adaci, Thomas did not mention China, but it is common knowledge that the United States military has been conducting “freedom of navigation” patrols to keep the South China Sea open to international commerce. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last week ordered the PCG to cut the 300-meter floating barrier installed by Chinese militia vessels at Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal.   PN assets in action A 2016 arbitral ruling deemed China’s territorial claim on nearly the entire South China Sea, including areas that overlap the WPS, invalid. The ruling stemmed from a 2013 case filed by the Philippines against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, or PCA, after Beijing seized control of Scarborough Shoal in 2012. As the PCA junked China’s nine-dash line South China Sea claim, it affirmed the Philippines’ entitlement to its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone. Around 700 sailors and marines from different PN units are participating in the exercise, which will see in action, among other assets, the BRP Antonio Luna, and an AW109 naval helicopter. For the second straight year, the exercise will include the navies of Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia. They will be participating mainly in humanitarian assistance and disaster response drills.   Observers Meanwhile, the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Indonesian Navy are also joining as observers the naval exercise that dates back to 1994 when it was known as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training. In 2017, its name was changed to Exercise Sama-Sama. Subsequently, the exercise was conducted annually across various regions: In 2017 at Naval Forces Central; in 2018 at Naval Forces Northern Luzon; in 2019 at Naval Forces West; and in 2021 at the Northern Luzon Command. Last year, it was held alongside Exercise Lumbas — the bilateral navy-to-navy exercise between the Philippines and Australia — with the limited participation of France, Japan and the United Kingdom. According to the PN, the primary objective of the exercise is to enhance the capabilities of both nations in responding to regional crises. Additionally, it aims to strengthen its capacities to address non-traditional challenges, including territorial defense, natural and man-made disasters, counterterrorism, maritime security and transnational crimes. The post U.S. asserts safe WPS passage for all appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2023

AFP works on more improved Phl presence in WPS

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is exerting key efforts to further improve the country’s presence in its territorial waters in the West Philippines Sea. AFP’s Western Command chief Vice Adm. Alberto Carlos said among these efforts include the effective control of all islands now occupied by the Philippines in the WPS, establishing a stronger naval presence, and enhancing maritime domain awareness in these areas. "What is certain is that the solution to the WPS maritime issue is not in the hands of the military alone, but the whole-of-nation approach because it takes a consideration of all matters, not just the military," he said during the Stratbase ADRi forum titled "Implementing a Comprehensive Philippine Maritime Framework to Advance Rule of Law" in Makati City on Wednesday. Carlos underscored that a stronger naval presence involves the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources that continuing to conduct maritime patrols in the country’s maritime territory. The WesCom chief also bared the government is slated to come up with a national strategy in the WPS, anchored to the ruling under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In the same forum, Acting Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Moya Collett has expressed concern over the “destabilizing behaviors” directed against the Philippines, particularly the recent developments in the disputed Spratlys Island and Scarborough Shoal. “There have been a number of reports about destabilizing behavior directed towards the Philippines in the South China Sea and we’re very concerned about that,” Collett lamented. “We want all activities in the South China Sea and throughout the world to be consistent with international law and UNCLOS in particular,” she added. Meanwhile, Collett bared that Australia is eyeing the possibility of expanding its existing coral reef restoration program in the Philippines, covering the Rozul Reef—previously swarmed by the Chinese Coast Guard and Chinese Maritime Militia. This after, the AFP and the PCG reported that corals in Rozul Reef and Escoda Shoal had been “extensively destroyed” after the CCG and CMM vacated the waters. Collett said there are “no specific plans for that at the moment.” “But I think there’s potential for us to do that through our existing marine cooperation program,” she added. The post AFP works on more improved Phl presence in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 27th, 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

Phl-China joint maritime patrol may not proceed — AFP chief

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 push through, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said on Sunday, as China continues its hostility toward the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea. In a radio interview, Brawner said that Beijing's recent behavior in the WPS raised questions about its intentions to conduct coordinated patrols 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. Brawner stated that despite the joint patrol seems to be off the table at the moment, military collaboration between the two nations' militaries will still continue as a result of a 2004 memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defense cooperation. Among other advantages, the MOU enables the AFP to deploy military officers to China for additional training. On the other hand, Brawner said that the military exercises with other nations—such as the United States, Japan, and Canada—that the Philippines considered as its "partners" would go on. "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," Brawner had previously disclosed that the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, had offered to have joint patrols with the Philippines in the SCS. China is claiming a large portion of the SCS, including the Philippines' 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the WPS. However, a historic decision made by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 that supported the Philippines' claims in the SCS found their arguments unlawful. On 5 August, the Chinese Coast Guard attacked the Philippine Coast Guard fleet with water cannons when it was delivering supplies to Filipino troops stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre in the West Philippine Sea's Ayungin Shoal. The latest in a string of alleged episodes of harassment against Philippine warships this year, several nations, led by the United States, Australia, Japan, and Canada, expressed support for Manila and denounced China's conduct. The post Phl-China joint maritime patrol may not proceed — AFP chief appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 27th, 2023

U.S. threatens MDT use

The Philippines and the United States condemned the China Coast Guard or CCG on Sunday for firing water cannons and interfering with the legal operations of Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Armed Forces spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar confirmed that at least one chartered supply boat being escorted by the Philippine Coast Guard was “blocked and water-cannoned” by a CCG vessel on Saturday, 5 August. The Philippine vessels were en route to Ayungin or Second Thomas Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission when they were attacked by the CCG, Aguilar said in a statement to journalists. Aguilar characterized the attack as a “wanton disregard of the safety of the people on board and in violation of international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS, and the 2016 Arbitral Award.” “The Ayungin Shoal is a low tide elevation that is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, pursuant to the 1982 UNCLOS and as affirmed by the 2016 Arbitral Award,” the Department of Foreign Affairs stressed in a statement. The US State Department immediately issued a warning that China’s provocative actions in the WPS, which overlaps with the South China Sea, or SCS, could make it invoke its Mutual Defense Treaty, or MDT, with the Philippines. Signed in 1951, the MDT states that if either country is attacked by an external party, the other country will come to its defense. The United States also called on China to abide by the 2016 arbitral ruling that found China’s claims in the South China Sea to be illegal. “Such actions by the PRC are inconsistent with international law and are the latest in repeated threats to the status quo in the South China Sea, directly threatening regional peace and stability,” a US State Department statement said. “By impeding necessary provisions from reaching the Filipino service members stationed at Second Thomas Shoal, the PRC has also undertaken unwarranted interference in lawful Philippine maritime operations,” the US pointed out.   Heightened tension The incident further heightened tension between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea, notwithstanding the visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Beijing in January. Filipino lawmakers immediately condemned China’s actions (See related story). In a separate statement, the PCG reported that the use of water cannons by the CCG forced the Philippine vessels to change course, preventing them from reaching Ayungin Shoal. In recent months, the CCG has been increasingly aggressive in its patrols of the area, leading to a number of incidents between the two countries. The 2016 arbitral ruling recognized the WPS as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone while invalidating China’s nine-dash line claim of ownership of nearly the whole of the South China Sea. China has rejected the arbitral ruling. “The United States calls upon the PRC to abide by the arbitral ruling as well as to respect the freedom of navigation, a right to which all states are entitled,” the US State Department said. It added that an armed attack on Philippine vessels, aircraft, and armed forces, including those of its coast guard in the WPS, “would invoke US mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty.” In February, the CCG vessels pointed a military-grade laser light at the BRP Malapascua, which caused temporary blindness in some of its Filipino crew. In separate statements, Japan, Australia, Canada and the European Union called on China to stop its harassment of Philippine vessels. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko decried the incident. “Totally unacceptable, any harassment and actions which infringe on lawful activities of the sea and endanger the navigational safety,” Koshikawa said in a tweet. “Australia is concerned by the latest actions directed against the Philippines, which are dangerous and destabilizing,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu said in another tweet. Yu also called on China to “respect the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for peace and stability in the South China Sea, which is a vital international waterway.” The Canadian Embassy in the Philippines echoed the same sentiments and said the country “unreservedly condemns the dangerous and provocative actions taken by the Chinese Coast Guard against Philippine vessels.” Likewise, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron expressed concern about the incident. “Very concerned about dangerous action in South China Sea. The EU stands with the Philippines in upholding the rules-based international order,” Veron said. The post U.S. threatens MDT use appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 6th, 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

Philippines, US expected to start joint patrols in West Philippine Sea by year-end — NSC

The Philippines is set to conduct joint patrol operations with the United States before the end of 2023, according to an official from the National Security Council......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 5th, 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

West Philippine Sea: Guard PH shoal, fishers with frequent patrols

The Philippines will take “decisive action” in securing one of its traditional fishing grounds amid growing Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea by establishing a constant presence at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal through rotational patrols of that area by government ships starting this month. National Security Adviser Eduardo Año on Friday said vessels from the Philippine Coast.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2024

PH intensifies patrols to guard WPS fishing grounds

The Philippines will actively protect its traditional fishing grounds in the West Philippine Sea from increasing Chinese aggression by having government ships regularly patrol Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal starting this month. National Security Adviser Eduardo Año announced that vessels from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will take.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2024

Navy ready to support PCG patrols in West Philippine Sea

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has reassured the Philippine Coast Guard that the military, primarily through the Philippine Navy, is ready to provide more support in patrol operations being carried out in the West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2024

Año to China: Joint maritime patrols not provocative

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año lashed back at China yesterday over its most recent statements accusing the Philippines of engaging in provocative actions through its joint maritime activities with the United States in the West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 5th, 2024

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

AFP ready for multi-nation patrols, exercises in West Philippine Sea

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is preparing for more joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea with the country’s allies, which may also shift from the current bilateral arrangements to multilateral patrols in 2024 and beyond......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 25th, 2023

Philippines wants to start new energy exploration projects in South China Sea

'We are still at a deadlock right now,' President Ferdinad Marcos says as he emphasizes his country's right to exploit energy reserves in the West Philippine Sea.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 17th, 2023