Another US sail-by, another China protest » Manila Bulletin News

Published February 16, 2019, 12:30 AM Two United States guided-missile destroyers – the USS Spruance and the USS  Preble — sailed into the South China Sea last Monday, close to the Spratly island group near Palawan.  The  sail-bys were, as expected, immediately protested by China as a “provocative action.” Earlier, last  January 7, another US warship, the USS  McCampbell, sailed  near the  Paracels, another group  of islands  also in the South China Sea but farther north,  between  Vietnam and Luzon. These are only the latest  incidents  involving  US ships and…

A prudent approach – Manila Standard

posted February 12, 2019 at 12:00 am Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says he remains unfazed by reports that China has deployed a large fleet of ships near the Spratly Islands in response to the Philippines’ construction of a new beaching ramp on Pag-asa (Thitu) Island. “The presence of militia… is no surprise to us as they have been there since 2012. We expect other countries to respect Philippine sovereignty, and to conduct themselves in a civilized manner befitting members of the global community,” Lorenzana said in a statement released Friday. On…

Rebuilding new roads to peace, security, and human development » Manila Bulletin News

Published February 10, 2019, 12:15 AM PEACE-MAKER By FORMER SPEAKER JOSE C. DE VENECIA JR. Former Speaker Jose C. De Venecia Jr. (Remarks delivered at UPF World Summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea; February 7-11, 2019.) Two contrary impulses pull at every new state in the developing world. The first is the elite impulse to centralize political power, the better to achieve economic development and social modernization. The other impulse stems from ethnic nationalism—as people forcibly put together by colonialist powers seek to rally round some icon symbol of unique…

Manila Undeterred by Chinese Ships Near South China Sea Isle

The Philippines said Friday it would persevere with construction work on a minuscule isle it claims in the South China Sea’s disputed Spratly chain, despite reports about a heavy presence of Chinese militia ships and forces in the area. Runway repairs and projects to improve safety facilities on Pag-asa Island were part of the Philippine government’s mandate, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said. “Having undergone careful planning and consideration, with full respect to international law and rules-based order governing civilized states, implementing these improvements is a legitimate undertaking, and well within…

We have not, and will never surrender any part of our territory » Manila Bulletin News

Updated February 5, 2019, 9:05 PM By Francis Wakefield  Defense Secretary Delfin N. Loren­zana cited the most critical external security challenge for the Philippines is the competing territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea when he spoke before alumni and students of the National Defense College of the Philippines Monday. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (Office of the Secretary of National Defense / MANILA BULLETIN) (Photo: Joseph Vidal/PRIB/ MANILA BULLETIN) In the forum titled: “The National Security Outlook for the Philippines in 2019”, the Defense Chief shared that the…

PH, US to meet this year to review the Mutual Defense Treaty » Manila Bulletin News

Published February 5, 2019, 5:21 PM By Francis Wakefield  Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said a delegation from the United States is expected to arrive in the country within the year for exploratory talks on the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (photo courtesy of the Office of the Secretary of National Defense) Lorenzana made the revelation as he underscored the imminent Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) review with the United States within the year. “Maybe within the year, within the year because the Americans are also interested, they…

Thankful to China – Manila Standard

Finally, a different tone is emerging from the Department of Foreign Affairs on China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea. On Saturday, Foreign Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin said the Philippines must protest China’s establishment of a maritime rescue center on the contested Kagitingan Reef in the Spratly Islands. Locsin, just recently the country’s ambassador to the United Nations, said he agreed with the position of Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that the country must lodge a protest as not doing so could mean consent to China’s recent…

Palace: Manila Bay reclamation will create jobs, bring more money

Palace: Manila Bay reclamation will create jobs, bring more money Ryan Macasero (philstar.com) – January 31, 2019 – 2:44pm MANILA, Philippines —The government will benefit from planned reclamation projects in Manila Bay, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. “They will be establishing companies there. Of course, there will be workers,” Panelo said in a mix of Filipino and English. “When you clean up Manila Bay, certainly all of us benefit.” The government kicked off its cleanup efforts on January 27. The progressive Makabayan…

Duterte remains committed to continue dialogue with China on WPS » Manila Bulletin News

Published January 20, 2019, 6:27 PM By Genalyn Kabiling President Duterte is committed to continue the country’s dialogue with China as part of his unwavering effort to defend national interests in the West Philippine Sea. According to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, the President would keep the lines of communication with China open as he remained steadfast in protecting the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jinping of People’s Republic of China pose for a photo after declaring their joint press statements during the successful…

‘A Loose Cannon’: Manila Seeks Review of 1951 Defense Treaty With US

Just two months ago, at the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit in Singapore, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte mused that “China is already in possession [of the South China Sea]. It’s now in their hands.” “[W]hy do you have to create frictions… that will prompt a response from China?” Duterte asked reporters on November 15, Sputnik reported. “That’s a reality, and America and everybody should realize that China is there.” However, now it seems Manila is singing a different tune. At a year-end press conference at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Quezon on December 20, Defense Secretary…