On July 29, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte decided to cancel his plans to end the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) – an important defense treaty with the United States. He said that the legal conditions for the temporary U.S. military presence in the Philippines has existed since 1998, on which the two sides conducted joint exercises on land, air and sea.
The US wants to form stronger partnerships in the region to counter China
“Secretary Austin’s visit will demonstrate the importance the Biden-Harris Administration places on Southeast Asia and on ASEAN as an essential part of the Indo-Pacific’s architecture,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc.
The U.S. embassy in Hanoi said on Tuesday that Austin’s trip would start on July 23.
The air forces of Japan and the Philippines will hold their first-ever joint exercises next week, Japan’s embassy in Manila said Thursday, in a further sign of deepening defense ties between the two countries.
The US warned China over a dispute with the Philippines in the South China Sea and recent flights in Taiwan’s ADIZ
The Obama administration started challenging China’s claims to islands in the South China Sea by sailing warships near them, maneuvers known as Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs).
„I, hereby extended the declared state of calamity throughout the Philippines for a period of one year, effective September 13, 2020, to September 12, 2021, unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstance may warrant,“ read the proclamation that Duterte signed on Wednesday but was released to the media on Friday.
After some people in the Philippines defied a coronavirus lockdown to protest a lack of food, the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, took to the airwaves declaring that he will order the military to shoot troublemakers dead.
The Green Revolution launched in the 1960s pushed new, potentially high-yielding forms of rice on Asian farmers as a way to increase food production. As a result, white rice has come to dominate the once-diverse Asian diets — with dramatic health consequences.”
Sibutu Passage is a deep channel some 18 miles (29 km) wide that separates Borneo from the Sulu Archipelago
Lorenzana clarified that China would not need permission if it is for commercial shipping as they are allowed to do so by virtue of the principle of innocent passage.
Beijing still needs to inform Manila if their warships will pass through Philippine waters, the secretary said.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Thursday if Dizon’s murder is connected with his work, then he would be the 13th journalist to be murdered since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016.
Dizon, who shot was by two gunmen riding a motorcycle while he was driving home after work, was receiving death threats days before the shooting. He informed police about the threats according to local news reports.
A thorough report by Amnesty International is harshly critical of Israel’s policies on arms exports. According to the report written in Hebrew by the organization’s Israeli branch, Israeli companies continue to export weapons to countries that systematically violate human rights. Israeli-made weapons are also found in the hands of armies and organizations committing war crimes. The report points to eight such countries that have received arms from Israel in recent years.
As we’ve discussed before, reporter Maria Ressa is a powerhouse journalist, who started an important Filipino news site, Rappler.com. Rappler has been (quite reasonably) highly critical of the Filipino government under President Duterte, and over the past few years, the Duterte government has responded with a bunch of highly questionable criminal complaints against Ressa, which all appear to be in direct violation of the country’s 4th Amendment, which is a near carbon copy of the American 1st Amendment. It forbids any law that abridges the freedom of the press (among other things).
The Philippines’ national carrier has requested permission from Saudi Arabia to use the kingdom’s airspace for Israeli-bound flights, months after Riyadh approved a similar request from India.
Jaime Bautista, Philippine Airlines‘ president, told Reuters on Wednesday that the Southeast Asian country’s Civil Aeronautics Board sent a formal letter to Riyadh in October, asking Saudi officials for overflight rights.
The large earthquake struck off the coast of the Philippines‘ southern Mindanao island, the US Geological Survey added. The quake was registered at 03:39 GMT, 101 kilometres (62.7 miles) to the southeast of the Pundaguitan coastal area, according to the agency’s data.
Philippine authorities said Monday they have launched a probe into the mass slaying of nine farmers gunned down after taking over part of a sugar plantation to grow food for themselves
Duterte is set to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlinand and other leaders.
Chief Supt. Edward Carranza, chief of the Calabarzon police, was quoted in a television report as saying that politics was the motive for the slaying of Lubigan, adding that the vice mayor was not on a government narco list.
A day after Tanauan Mayor Antonio Halili was felled by a sniper’s bullet in Batangas, another mayor was slain — Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio town in Nueva Ecija.
A report from the Nueva Ecija Provincial Police Office said Bote was killed in Cabanatuan City at 4:50 p.m. by unidentified men.
A mayor in the province, known as the “Duterte of Batangas,” for his relentless campaign against illegal drugs, was shot dead on Monday morning.
A single crack of gunfire from a suspected sniper was heard as Mayor Antonio Halili attended the regular flag-raising ceremony at the new city hall in Barangay Natatas.
The Australian government adopted the “Indo-Pacific” term in 2012 as a pivotal idea in its diplomacy. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used the same term for the first time in August 2016 during the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), held in Nairobi, when he unveiled a “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy.”