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Kalayaan Island (Spratly) / West Philippine Sea - AFP

  • http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2016/06/24/AFP-task-force-Scarborough-Shoal.html
  • Islamic State-affiliated (IS) terror groups converging in Butig town in Lanao del Sur province became the first state enemies to experience the capability of the military’s newly acquired FA-50 jets. https://goo.gl/CN7udw
  • Palace on asserting West PHL Sea rights: Matter of timing, diplomatic relations

    Malacañang on Saturday said the government is just waiting for the right timing and reiterated that it has not given up the Philippines's rights over contested territories in the South China Sea.

    "of course we agree totally 100 percent that we should stand by our rights regarding the West Philippine Sea na ibinigay sa atin. Even the President himself has said the same thing 'no --- by our rights. However, it's a matter of timing na hindi po ibig sabihin na we are giving up. We are not giving up anything. Definitely not," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a radio interview.

    Abella also said that its a "matter of diplomatic relations."

    The statement was based on a Pulse Asia survey conducted last month, which shows 44 percent of Filipinos "very much agree" and 40 percent said they "agree" that the Philippines should assert its rights based on the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

    Meanwhile, 12 percent may agree or may disagree, 3 percent disagreed, and 1 percent don't know.

    Abella mentioned the government's aim to improve ties with China amid the ruling.

    "We're running on parallel na meron tayong pinoproteksyunan, meron tayong pinaglalaban, meron din tayong pinapausad na 'yung ating relationships. Dahilan sa unang-una, it's a reality, magkakapit-bahay tayo so we have to learn to work with this reality," he said.

    In July last year, the Philippines won the arbitration case against China, three years after it was filed in The Hague-based PCA.

    The decision invalidates China's massive claims, the so-called nine-dash line, on the West Philippine Sea.

    Despite the ruling, President Rodrigo Duterte had said he wanted to improve and strengthen military and economic ties with Beijing as the Philippines shifts away from United States.

    Based on the survey, 47 percent agree with the statement, "The Philippines should explore security and defense cooperation with China and Russia than the US", 34 percent may agree or may disagree, 18 percent disagreed, and two percent don't know.

    "Masaya po tayo that lumalawak ang paningin ng ating mga kapwa Pinoy," Abella said.

    "Unang-una, 'yung may malaking ka-partner natin dati, mukhang nagsasara at mukhang pinoproteksyunan ng sariling mga ano, mga interes," Abella explained, saying that Duterte took the initiative to open friendly relations with bigger powers in the world. —ALG, GMA News
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    hahaha, again change of statement, now we cannot exclude philippines into war, can duterte announce that statement, mr. abella? on one of his speech.

    mr. abella with all of your statement this time, contradicts on all your statements before, let us wait and see if duterte will do the same.

    -- edited by kawawawanaman on Jan 29 2017, 12:17 AM
  • The Real Risk For China This Year Is Its Economy, Not Trump

    During the campaign, Donald Trump promised to name China a 'currency manipulator' on 'Day One!', but has subsequently deferred such a declaration. At his confirmation hearing, Rex Tillerson–now certain to be sworn in as Secretary of State–implied he would support a blockade of China's artificial islands in the South China Sea. China responded with similarly forceful rhetoric and the stage looks set for confrontation.

    After Trump won the election, Tsai Ing-wen, President of the Republic of China on Taiwan called Trump and spoke to him directly, breeching decades of diplomatic practice in the process. China reacted by seizing a US Navy drone in the South China Sea, before handing it back without ceremony a few days later. Then China sailed its sole aircraft carrier down the Taiwan Strait to the South China Sea. Needless to say, the stage looks set for confrontation.

    This week Xi Jinping appeared at Davos–scheduled since early December–and claimed the mantle of globalization in front of an audience of adoring investors and diplomats, while at home capital controls were tightened and the 'Great Firewall' grew 10 feet taller, metaphorically speaking anyway. Around the same time, the U.S. withdrew formally from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, leaving the way open for China's Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Once again, the stage looks set for confrontation.
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  • PH military deploys new fighter jets vs local terrorists

    MANILA, Philippines – Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Eduardo Año confirmed Sunday, January 29, that they used fighter jets in airstrikes against terrorists in Butig, Lanao Del Sur on Thursday, January 25.

    Año said the FA-50s were among the military aircraft deployed to drop bombs that are believed to have killed over a dozen terrorists in Butig, and seriously wounded Abu Sayyaf senior leader Isnilon Hapilon. (READ: Top Abu Sayyaf leader hurt in airstrike – defense chief)

    It was an unconventional first combat mission for the newly acquired FA-50s from South Korea that were bought to defend the country's maritime territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

    He wouldn't elaborate on the mission of the FA-50s but he said they were found to be very "efficient." He said the military will continue using the fighter jets against the terrorists.

    "Hindi lang pala pang-external ang FA-50 or pang-ceremonial. Magagamit din to sa ating internal security operations at magandang justification sa pagkaka-procure natin kasi very precise 'yan pagka-ginagamit natin," Año said.

    (It turns out that the FA-50s are not only for external defense or for ceremonies. We can also use it for internal security operations and it's a good justification for its procurement. It is very precise.)

    'Isnilon Hapilon could die'

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    -- edited by knightlord on Jan 29 2017, 06:08 PM
  • "Hindi lang pala pang-external ang FA-50 or pang-ceremonial. Magagamit din to sa ating internal security operations at magandang justification sa pagkaka-procure natin kasi very precise 'yan pagka-ginagamit natin," Año said.

    what do you think of FA-50, private jet or passenger jet?unless you believe in him or you are a fanatic, and you believe that every word he say is true, or maybe a 50 cent army, do we need to add a little creative imagination or don't take it literally.

    -- edited by kawawawanaman on Jan 29 2017, 11:15 PM
  • DND eyes having 2 percent of GDP for defense spending

    Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is hoping that Congress would allocate more than two percent of the country's gross domestic product to defense spending.

    Lorenzana made the remark even as the Department of National Defense continues to have one of the biggest allocations with P134.5 billion under the P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017.

    "You know I've been talking to some of the congressmen. Sabi ko sa kanila we should increase our budget. We have been underfunded for the past 50 years kaya hindi tayo makabili ng equipment e," Lorenzana said.

    Lorenzana said Singapore was spending three percent of its GDP for defense while other countries in Southeast Asia were spending at least two percent.

    "That's why they have more aircraft, they have more ships, they have more everything," Lorenzana said.

    "Well. we are now having maybe 1.2. Siguro kung doblehin lang nila, doblehin lang nila yung 1.2, mga 2.4, 2.5... We'll be happy with that," he added.

    Lorenzana said the Philippines was lagging behind in the region because the country didn't want to spend.

    "Hindi puwedeng magtipid tayo diyan dahil mahuhuli ka and then before you know it, kawawang kawawa ka sa paningin ng iba," Lorenzana said.

    "So i hope that the Congress could also give us sufficient funds," he added.
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  • Duterte won't allow US to build military depot in the Philippines

    MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday evening said he will not allow the United States military to build a depot in the country.

    "Here is my worry: Ito bang Amerika, maggawa sila ng parang depot, they're unloading arms in the Philippines now. Dito sa Palawan, Cagayan de Oro, pati Pampanga," Duterte said.

    (Here's my worry. The United States is building a depot. They are unloading arms in the Philippines, in Palawan, Cagayan de Oro, even on Pampanga.)

    "I'm serving notice to the Armed Forces of the United States: 'Do not do it. I will not allow it,'" he added.

    According to the president, provisions of the Visiting Forces Agreement prohibit the US to build permanent facilities in the country.

    "First of all, merong provision sa VFA, that there shall be no permanent facilities. A depot, by any other name, is a depot. (It) is a permanent structure to house arms," Duterte said.

    Earlier, the Pentagon said it has given the greenlight to upgrade and build facilities on Philippine military bases this year.
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  • Duterte warns US: Stop unloading arms in PHL

    President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday warned the United States not to unload arms in the Philippines amid disputes in the South China Sea.

    “Itong Amerika, they are unloading arms in the Philippines now. I'm serving notice to US Armed Forces, do not do it,” Duterte said in a late night presser in Malacañang, following a command conference with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

    Duterte said that the arms depots are in Palawan, Cagayan de Oro City, and Pampanga.

    The Pentagon had given the green light to build the warehouses, barracks and runways this year under a 2014 Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

    EDCA allows the expansion of rotational deployment of US ships, aircraft and troops at five bases in the Philippines as well as the storage of equipment for humanitarian and maritime security operations.

    Meanwhile, Duterte said he would stand by his word with Chinese President Xi Jinping that they would talk about the West Philippine Sea dispute in the light of The Hague ruling awarded to the Philippines last July 2016.

    “I made a commitment to Xi Jinping that we will talk about arbitral award during my term. We will talk hard,” he said.
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  • Contrary to Duterte’s claims, AFP says US not unloading arms in PHL

    The United States is not unloading weapons in certain areas in Palawan, Cagayan de Oro, and Pampanga as President Rodrigo Duterte alleged in a late night press conference, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Monday.

    AFP spokesman Brig Gen. Restituto Padilla said the President's pronouncement at a late night press conference could have been based on old information as regards past military exercises.

    “The President's announcement last night I think was checked by the Armed Forces and it was found out that there was no confirmed incident of this nature,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said.

    “Base po sa sinabi at naibigay sa aming report, wala naman pong ganyang report na nakuha sa mga lugar na ito at maaring ito ay report pa nung mga exercises noong mga nakaraang taon na,” he added.

    “Noong nagkaroon tayo ng mga exercises na pangmalakihan noong mga nakaraang taon, authorized silang magbaba ng kanilang tangke diyan sa Subic Bay para gamitin sa exercises so it might have been borne out of those reports and we're still checking how it came to be,” Padilla said.

    In a late press conference Sunday, Duterte warned the United States not to unload arms in the Philippines amid disputes in the South China Sea.

    “Itong Amerika, they are unloading arms in the Philippines now. I'm serving notice to US Armed Forces, do not do it,” Duterte said, adding that the arms depot were in Palawan, Cagayan de Oro City, and Pampanga.

    Padilla said the 2014 Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) allowed the construction of certain facilities.

    He said the construction of facilities in certain military installations was actually geared to make the country prepared and respond faster during humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) situations.

    “Kaya kung may ilalagay man na warehouse o mga pagtataguan ng mga bagay na kagamitan o anumang bagay, lahat ng ilalagay po diyan ay pwedeng gamitin sa mga HADR situation o pagtugon sa mga sakuna,” Padilla said.

    He said among the equipment were generators, vehicles, rubber boats, and shelter materials such as tents, and water purifiers.

    Padilla said fuel storage facilities were allowed because in the event of an HADR scenario, the troops would need to refuel their aircraft for continued relief and rescue sorties.
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    2014 Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)
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  • Duterte seeks China help in patrolling sea vs terrorists

    MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he asked China for help in patrolling waters near the Philippines to prevent the spread of terrorism.

    "I also asked China if they can patrol the international waters without necessarily intruding into the territorial waters of our country. We would be glad if we have their presence there," he said during the oath-taking ceremony of officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Malacanang.

    He said he only asked for patrol ships, just like how China helped in patrolling Somalia.

    Duterte also said that aside from the country's drug problem, another issue that should be solved is terrorism, especially in Mindanao.

    "We have to contain the fighting in Mindanao. We cannot allow it to spread, dahil ang pinakadelikado diyan, 'yung mga scholars," he said, adding that what is happening in Mindanao has nothing to do with religion.

    The AFP on Sunday claimed that 15 terrorists accompanying Isnilon Hapilon, an extremist leader with alleged links to the Islamic State (IS), were killed in airstrikes in the town of Butig.

    Hapilon was "seriously wounded" and was being carried on a makeshift stretcher last Friday by 4 men, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said.<click here for link>

    is this in paper or more on mouth? ha ha ha, U.S. can only help on surveillance according to our law, but china can act as part of a counter terrorism group.
  • <click here for link>
    uh-oh. from the chief strategist at the White House himself.
  • US delivers Raven drone system, assault weapons to PHL

    The US has delivered new military equipment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Marine Corps at Clark Air Base on January 27.

    The Philippine received new counter-terrorism equipment from the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group Philippines (JUSMAG) which were procured through a US government's foreign military sales program.

    The US had transferred over 400 M203 grenade launchers, 85 M40A5 sniper rifles, and a RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial vehicle system consisting of three drones.

    The procured weapons would enhance the AFP's defense modernization efforts, and would help in assisting Philippine security forces in conducting counter-terrorism operations.

    The Raven which is a hand-launched unmanned aircraft system was also provided through the said grant will help in increasing the capabilities of AFP in "conducting intelligence collection, mission planning, and reconnaissance operations."

    Philippine service members were also trained on how to handle operations and maintenance.

    "The equipment transfer and continued bilateral training efforts demonstrate the commitment between the Philippines and U.S. to work towards safer communities and the eradication of global terror networks," the U.S. embassy said.
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  • beauteau Send Message View User Items on 03 Feb 17 @ 12:34 AM #
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    uh-oh. from the chief strategist at the White House himself.

    Mukhang may pahaging iyong movie na War Dogs 2016, as far as i remember sabi around 2030.
  • SECDEF Mattis First Overseas Trip to Japan, Korea

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    what about the philippines, your long time ally before, now shifting alliances towards china?

    -- edited by kawawawanaman on Feb 07 2017, 03:37 PM
  • Philippine Defense Secretary expects China will start building an island less than 200 miles from Manila

    The Philippine defense secretary predicted China would start building an artificial island on the bones of Scarborough Shoal. Scarborough Shoal is less than 200 miles from Manila while the current islands that China built are 500 miles away.

    If unopposed, China would likely attempt to build an installation like the several bases Beijing has constructed in the Spratly Island chain to the south of Scarborough, Delfin Lorenzana said in a Tuesday interview with AFP.

    “If we allow them, they will build,” he told the wire.

    “That’s very, very disturbing. Very much (more) disturbing than Fiery Cross because this is so close to us.”

    According to the report, Lorenzana didn’t give a time frame to when the Chinese might make an attempt to rebuild the island. A U.S. defense official told USNI News on Thursday there was no evidence China was moving land reclamation assets into the region near Scarborough Shoal.

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  • China likely to build more islands—Lorenzana

    Manila expects China to try to build on a reef off the Philippines’ coast, the country’s defense secretary said Tuesday, a move he said would be “unacceptable” in the flashpoint waterway.

    In an interview with AFP, Delfin Lorenzana said he believed China would eventually reclaim the Scarborough Shoal, which sits just 230 kilometers from the main Philippine island of Luzon.

    Beijing has already built up a number of islets and reefs in the South China Sea, installing military facilities on several of them.

    Analysts say that similar installations on Scarborough Shoal could give China effective military control over the disputed waterway — something the US has said it is not prepared to accept.

    “They encroached,” Lorenzana said of a 2012 confrontation that saw Philippine vessels displaced. “They occupied three islands there plus they are trying to get Scarborough. So to us that is unacceptable”.

    “If we allow them, they will build. That’s very, very disturbing. Very much (more) disturbing than Fiery Cross because this is so close to us,” Lorenzana added, referring to one of the Philippine-claimed reefs China has built on.

    Because of its position, another military outpost at Scarborough Shoal is seen as the last major physical step required to secure control of the sea.

    An outpost at the shoal would also put Chinese fighter jets and missiles within easy striking distance of US forces stationed in the Philippines.

    The shoal also commands the northeast exit of the sea, so a Chinese military outpost there could stop other countries’ navies from using the vital stretch of waters.

    A UN-backed tribunal — in a case brought by Manila under then-president Benigno Aquino — ruled last year that the so-called “nine-dash-line” which underpins Beijing’s claim to most of the South China Sea had no legal basis.

    But his successor, Rodrigo Duterte, has courted Beijing and backed away from his country’s close relationship with the United States.

    Lorenzana said Chinese island-reclamation efforts were meant to control the South China Sea.

    “That could be their strategy to counter any superpower that would encroach on South China Sea because they believe South China Sea is — that’s like their lake to them — theirs,” he added.

    The administration of new US President Donald Trump has indicated it will push back against any Chinese attempt to solidify control of the sea.

    During confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would block Chinese access to the islands, although analysts have pointed out that this would require a military blockade — an act of war.
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  • Philippines Duterte says no concern about China militarization, manmade isles

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said the failure of the United States to thwart China's island-building in the South China Sea showed there was no serious concern about its militarization or reclamation work.

    The firebrand leader reiterated he wanted to avoid confrontation with China and saw no need for urgency in pressing it to abide by a July ruling by an international tribunal on its South China Sea claims that went in favor of the Philippines.

    Asked during a television interview when he would address the issue, Duterte said it would happen "during my time" but he was not yet ready to discuss the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and neither was China.

    He said he had no intention of aggressively pursuing the Philippine maritime claim and taking on China and the only power capable of doing so was the United States.

    "I cannot let is pass and be neglected," he told CNN Philippines, referring to the ruling that rejected China's extensive claims in the South China Sea.

    "But are you ready to talk with me now? Because if you are not, I am not ready," he said, referring to China.
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    -- edited by kawawawanaman on Feb 12 2017, 11:53 PM
    Zhao backs emergency powers for Duterte

    Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua on Friday expressed support for the granting of emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte by Congress.

    In a speech at a business forum in Davao City, Zhao said that giving emergency powers to the President is necessary to jumpstart transportation and related infrastructure projects in the Philippines that China wants to finance, given that a Filipino President only gets six years in a term.

    "There is as very strong sense of urgency. As you know, infrastructure projects cannot be done overnight. They usually take years to finish, and given the fact that the presidential term is only six years, so we must hurry. We have to get it done within the presidential term. We are quite afraid of taking up projects that go beyond the presidential term because that would mean a lot of challenges and uncertainties," he said.

    "I hope President Duterte can get his emergency power as soon as possible. Without the emergency power, I think the big infrastructure projects — the process is going to be very slow, particularly with regard to the rehabilitation or the land issue, so we might be stuck there," he added.

    During Duterte's visit to Beijing last October, China promised to provide US$6 billion in soft loans and a US$3 billion credit line through the Bank of China, along with other deals signed by the private sectors.

    Zhao also assured that the Chinese-funded projects in the Philippines will not be marred by corruption.

    "Both China and the Philippines are quite serious about the transparency, rule-based procedure for all the infrastructure projects we are discussing. We are finalizing the guidelines which will guide us to make sure the projects will be carried out in a transparent and rule-based manner, and will stand the test of time. So in another way, we are trying our best to make sure that these projects are going to be corruption-free," he said.
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    there you go, our independent foreign policy

    -- edited by kawawawanaman on Feb 12 2017, 11:58 PM
  • Trump hugs ally Japan after easing US-China tensions

    President Donald Trump welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. AP

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, fresh off patching up ties with China, reassured Japan’s leader Friday that the US will defend its close ally. Together, the pronouncements illustrated a shift toward a more mainstream Trump stance on US policy toward Asia.

    Welcoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the White House with a hug, Trump said he wants to bring the post-World War II alliance with Japan “even closer.” While such calls are ritual after these types of meetings, from Trump they’re sure to calm anxieties that he has stoked by demanding that America’s partners pay more for their own defense.
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  • well at least we got something from trump, kesa wala. Elected na yan e until ma impeach

    -- edited by AmalgamvsAloof on Feb 13 2017, 08:18 PM
  • An old man I once knew, who grew up in one of Russia’s Muslim republics and ended up pretty high the chain of command, once said that to reign over patriarchal people, you need to do this. When they rebel against you, you need to serve them a total, crushing, humiliating defeat. Once they are biting dust and there is no more doubt who’s boss, you give them a hand, lift them up, kiss them in both cheeks three times as is their custom, and give them a medal.

    From then on, they will serve you faithfully. That’s because you are obviously so much stronger than them that serving you does not emasculate them; on the opposite, they appear stronger when basking in the rays of your strength than they did when fighting you. Also, you are treating them with so much respect now, showering them with favors and generosity, they figure that’s a good life for them, especially considering the alternative.

    Brutal and slightly racist? Perhaps. But I am yet to see an instance when this approach failed to work.

    Not racist, it works pretty much across board. Look at the Germans and the Japanese.

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    A little hard to pull off for us except for maybe our own insurgencies
  • Eto na, eto na, eto naaaaa.... aaaaaaahhhh!!!!

    U.S. carrier group patrols in tense South China Sea

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