Saturday, June 1, 2024

U.S. sponsors maritime law enforcement training in Cebu City

From the Palawan News (Jun 1, 2024): U.S. sponsors maritime law enforcement training in Cebu City

The Philippine Coast Guard’s Lieutenant Junior Grade Cyril Pearl Magbanua (sixth from left), the first female lead instructor of a Southeast Asia Training Team (SEATT) event, poses alongside her Vessel Boarding Officer Course co-instructors from the United States, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan. The training event is supported by the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

The United States Coast Guard Southeast Asia Training Team (SEATT), along with instructors from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan, conducted a Vessel Boarding Officer Course in Cebu City from May 13 to 24.

The course aimed to enhance the maritime law enforcement skills of 30 participants from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG).

The SEATT’s Vessel Boarding Officer Course equips participants with basic skills and techniques on boarding vessels for at-sea law enforcement. Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), this is the first USCG-INL event held in the Visayas.

Hosted by Coast Guard District Central Visayas, the training event featured 4 U.S.-trained PCG instructors, 2 instructors from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, 2 instructors from the Royal Thailand Marine Police, and 3 experts from the Japan Coast Guard. The participants were trained in maritime law, evidence collection and preservation, safety and risk mitigation, arresting techniques, defensive tactics, and authorized use of force techniques.

“This was the first time that PCG took the lead on planning and facilitating a multinational training event in Central Visayas, and it proved to be a resounding success. We’d like to highlight the outstanding collaboration among our group of multinational instructors in training Philippine maritime law enforcement professionals to uphold maritime governance more effectively,” USCG team lead Lieutenant Dana Schmitt said.

https://palawan-news.com/u-s-sponsors-maritime-law-enforcement-training-in-cebu-city/

Army in WV urged to be ‘versatile’

Posted to Negros Now Daily News (May 31, 2024): Army in WV urged to be ‘versatile’ (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

Soldiers under the supervision of the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) have been urged to be versatile and adjust to the changing tactics of the enemy and the operational environment.

Lt. Gen. Fernando Reyeg, commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Visayas Command (Viscom), said that the troops “have very well set the essential tasks to be accomplished in their campaign.”

“Nonetheless, let us revisit the manner in which we accomplish these tasks. Let us adapt to the changing tactics of our enemy and adjust to the changes in the situation in our operational environment,” he added.


A member of the Army’s 61st Infantry Battalion gets a medal from Viscom chief, Lt. Gen. Fernando Reyeg, during his visit to the 301st Infantry Brigade headquarters in Dingle, Iloilo. | PA photo

He told the troops they need to remain versatile and responsive by continually reassessing the methods and approaches to ensure they stay ahead and achieve their objectives.

Reyeg met with soldiers in his series of visits at the headquarters of 3ID, 301st and 303rd Infantry Brigade (IB), as well as the 15th Infantry Battalion stationed in Panay and Negros Islands.

From January to date, the 3ID has initiated 31 armed encounters with New People’s Army remnants that resulted in the neutralization of 48 rebels, who were either killed, captured and surrendered, with 91 firearms recovered.

Highlighted during Reyeg’s two-day visit were the awarding of 34 Army personnel for their remarkable combat, peace building, and disaster response initiatives.

Of the awardees, two Gold Cross medals and a Silver Cross medal were conferred on three soldiers assigned at the 303IB while Silver Cross medals were also awarded to six 15IB soldiers.

The Gold Cross is awarded for gallantry in action during combat operation while the Silver Cross is conferred for distinguish achievement in the conduct of intelligence operation.

Reyeg commended the 3ID and the units under its supervision for a job well done.

The Viscom chief also reminded the troops that their collective efforts and cooperation with local communities are vital in maintaining the peace and security of Western Visayas, stressing that maintaining a high level of readiness is crucial for responding effectively to any threat.

“We must not rest on our laurels. Our ability to swiftly adapt and respond can make a significant difference on the ground,” he added. | GB

https://negrosnowdaily.com/army-in-wv-urged-to-be-versatile/

Army denies attack on outpost

From the Visayan Daily Star (Jun 1, 2024): Army denies attack on outpost (By GILBERT P. BAYORAN)

The alleged harassment of a military outpost on May 27 in Brgy. Hinakpan, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, was dismissed yesterday by the Army’s 62nd Infantry Battalion as “fake news.”

There was neither harassment nor injuries to troopers assigned at the detachment, a statement from the 62IB said.

In a statement, Ka JB Regalado, Spokesman of the Leonardo Panaligan Command, alleged that the military suffered casualties in their harassment of the Hinakpan military outpost, where an alleged gun battle lasted around five minutes.

The 62IB said the rebels’ claims are aimed at boosting the morale of their handful of comrades, whose majority of colleagues already died in a series of encounters with government forces.


https://visayandailystar.com/army-denies-attack-on-outpost/

France keen on live fire drills with PH Navy

Posted to Microsoft News (Jun 1, 2024): France keen on live fire drills with PH Navy (By John Eric Mendoza/Philippine Daily Inquirer)  

MANILA, Philippines — The captain of a French frigate, whose fellow ship class recently struck Houthi drones in the Red Sea, said they are ready to have live fire drills with the Philippine Navy.

Captain Gwenegan Le Bourhis, commanding officer of French frigate FS Bretagne (D655), however said the decision still lies with the Philippine Navy.

“To be honest, I am ready for it,” Le Bourhis said in a press conference aboard Bretagne when asked if live-fire drills are on the agenda.

“If I am authorized to, we are pleased to share our [firing capabilities] with the Philippine Navy,” he added.


FS Bretagne, part of the Aquitaine-class frigate of the French Navy, is on a five-day port visit in Manila until Tuesday.

The warship is equipped with Aster 15 missiles, a Franco-Italian family of vertical-launch surface-to-air missiles.

Its fellow class French frigate Languedoc (D653), which was patrolling in the Red Sea, destroyed two lethal drones using these surface to air missiles on Dec. 9 last year, according to a US Naval Institute News report in Dec. 13, 2023.

Le Bourhis said the navies of Manila and Paris are now organizing its bilateral drills, but the details like locations are still undetermined.

“To be honest I don’t know exactly where it would be, because we are still organizing it; we are still in the planning process this morning,” Le Bourhis said.

“[But] I think it will be quite close in your littorals,” he added.

For the first time, Paris participated in the four-day joint patrol in the West Philippine Sea during Manila and Washington’s annual Balikatan exercises.

“The participation to Balikatan exercise is already a really important first step for us,” said H. E. Marie Fontanel, Ambassador of France to the Philippines, in the same press conference.

This significant development in bilateral ties between Manila and Paris occurred even as the visiting forces agreement (VFA) between both countries are still in the works.

The letter of intent for the VFA was signed in Manila last December 2023 by Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and French Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu.

The VFA enables a mechanism for shared military training and operations and larger joint exercises between two countries.

Fontaniel said Manila and Paris “take it one step at a time”, adding that a definite timeline for the activation of the agreement could not yet be determined.

“I don’t see any need to rush on the signature,” Fontanel said.

“But as you see, it doesn’t prevent us from doing already a lot.”

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/other/france-keen-on-live-fire-drills-with-ph-navy/ar-BB1npd4T

NPA killed in Samar gun battle

From the Manila Bulletin (Jun 1, 2024): NPA killed in Samar gun battle (By MARIE TONETTE MARTICIO)

TACLOBAN CITY – A member of the New People's Army (NPA) was killed while a wounded comrade was captured in an encounter in the hinterlands of Basey, Samar on Thursday, May 30.



Troops from the 63rd Infantry "Innovator" Battalion (IB) were responding to reports of communist guerillas conducting extortion activities in Sitio Bagti, Barangay Mabini, Basey, when they engaged approximately 10 NPA rebels from the Bugsok Platoon, Sub-regional Committee-Sesame (SRC-Sesame) of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee (EVRPC).

The NPA retreated to different directions following a 40-minute firefight and left behind a fatality, Domeng Pajares, also known as Bager.

The wounded NPA member was identified as Melchor Fabula.


Recovered from the encounter site were weapons and war materiels – an M-16 Armalite rifle, grenade launchers, and International Humanitarian Law (IHL)-banned anti-personnel mines.

Brig. Gen. Noel Vestuir, commander of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, commended the swift response of the 63rd IB to civilian reports.

He urged remaining NPAs in Samar and Leyte Islands to consider peaceful surrender.

“The path to peace is open and welcoming to those willing to abandon armed conflict,” Vestuir said.

"I reiterate my call to the remaining NPAs in Samar and Leyte Islands to peacefully abandon the armed struggle. The communities no longer support and welcome you. Do not wait to experience the same fate as what happened to your comrades today," he said.

https://mb.com.ph/2024/6/1/npa-killed-in-samar-gun-battle?-06-01

Army, NPA clash in Kalinga injures 2 soldiers

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jun 1, 2024): Army, NPA clash in Kalinga injures 2 soldiers (By: Villamor Visaya Jr.)



The Philippine Army reports that two of its soldiers were wounded following a clash with members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Balbalan town in Kalinga province on Friday, May 31, 2024. INQUIRER FILES

CAMP MELCHOR DELA CRUZ, ISABELA — Two Army soldiers were wounded while assorted guns and war items were seized in two gunbattles in Balbalan town in Kalinga province on Friday, May 31.

The military said, in a report Saturday, June 1, that the armed encounters happened in Barangays (villages) Balbalan Proper and Balantoy.


Army Major Rigor Pamittan, 5th Infantry Division spokesperson and public affairs chief, told Inquirer in an interview on Saturday that the wounded Army soldiers were identified as Corporal Jonard Addatu and Private First Class Rojemar Cuyen, both of the 98th Infantry Battalion based in Kalinga.

Army soldiers under the 103rd Infantry Battalion and 98th Infantry Battalion, both under the 5th Infantry Division’s 503rd Infantry Brigade, engaged in gunfights with 10 New People’s Army (NPA) rebels under the Komiteng Larangang Guerilla (KLG) Baggas in Balbalan Proper at 10:30 a.m. Another encounter followed at 1 p.m. in Balantoy village.

READ: Army remains vigilant as NPA told to mount attacks vs troops

Seized at the Balbalan Proper clash site were an M14 Armalite rifle, a Springfield rifle, assorted guns, two improvised explosive devices (IED), blasting devices, and personal belongings.

The two soldiers were wounded at the clash in Balantoy village.

Seized in the second encounter site were M16 Armalite rifle, a backpack, an IED, blasting caps, medicines, anti-government documents, and personal items.

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1947227/army-npa-clash-in-kalinga-injures-2-soldiers

PBBM: Killing a Filipino in WPS, ‘very close to an act of war’

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 1, 2024): PBBM: Killing a Filipino in WPS, ‘very close to an act of war’ (By Filane Mikee Cervantes)



ON REGIONAL PEACE. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. addresses concerns about potential conflicts in the South China Sea and discusses the country's military modernization to promote regional peace, during the question-and-answer portion of the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday (May 31, 2024). Marcos was the first Philippine leader to deliver a keynote message at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s premier defense forum. (Photo courtesy of Presidential Communications Office)

MANILA – The killing of a Filipino in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) amid escalating tensions would be very close to an "act of war," President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said.

During the question-and-answer portion of the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday, Marcos said the Philippine government would act accordingly if tensions in the disputed waters and China's aggressive actions, such as the use of water cannons, result in the death of a Filipino citizen.

“What would happen if there was an incident that ended up killing a Filipino serviceman, be it a Coast Guard or in the military and part of the Navy. Well, that would be – that would certainly increase the level of response and if by a willful act on a Filipino, not only serviceman but even a Filipino citizen. If a Filipino citizen is killed by a willful act, that is I think a very, very close to what we define as an act of war and, therefore, we will respond accordingly,” he said.

Marcos made the remark when asked what actions would trigger the Philippine government to invoke the decades-old Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States.

He noted that such incidents would increase the level of response not only from the Philippine government but also from its “treaty partners.”

“We already have suffered injury, but thank God, we have not yet gotten to the point where any of our participants, civilian or otherwise, have been killed,” the President said.

“But once we get to that point, that is certainly we would have crossed the Rubicon and certainly crossed the Rubicon. Is that a red line? Almost certainly it’s going to be a red line.”

PH boosting military capability for defense, peace

When asked about his vision for the force posture of the Philippines by the end of his term, Marcos said the Philippines would build its defense capabilities to protect its sovereignty and territory against any aggression from another country.

Marcos said the country is in the process of finding suppliers for its modernization program called Horizon 3.

“We are hoping that these acts are just a deterrence to work for peace. It has been going on for many years now – this long-term plan of increasing the capabilities of our military and civilians, such as the Coast Guard in the Philippines,” he said.

Marcos, however, emphasized in his keynote address that the country would continue to invest in diplomacy.

"The Philippines remains committed to the cause of peace, upon which our constitutional order is premised. We are committed to addressing and managing difficult issues through dialogue and through diplomacy," he said.

Marcos made history as the first Philippine leader to deliver a keynote address before the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, the leading defense and security conference in the Asia-Pacific region.

In his speech, he reiterated that he will not give up a single inch of the nation’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the WPS as it is the lifeblood of every Filipino.

"In this solid footing and through our clear moral ascendancy, we find the strength to do whatever it takes to protect our sovereign home – to the last square inch, to the last square millimeter. The life-giving waters of the West Philippine Sea flow in the blood of every Filipino," Marcos said.

"We cannot allow anyone to detach it from the totality of the maritime domain that renders our nation whole. As President, I have sworn to this solemn commitment from the very first day that I took office. I do not intend to yield. Filipinos do not yield."

The President also emphasized that any action in the South China Sea must conform to international-based order.

“Finally, any effort to resolve maritime differences in the East China Sea and the South China Sea must be anchored on international law, particularly UNCLOS, we must accord due regard to the legitimate interest of all parties, and respect legally-settled rights,” he said.

Marcos was referring to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), or “The Law of the Sea Convention,” which serves as the basis of the Philippines in the implementation of laws of the sea as far as the WPS is concerned.

The dialogue was attended by Singapore’s officials, among them President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, and Senior Minister Lee Hsien Loong; IISS Executive Chairman British Sir John Chipman; and government officials of the Philippines and other countries around the world.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1226014

PH to embrace role as peacemaker in pitch for UN Security Council bid

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 1, 2024): PH to embrace role as peacemaker in pitch for UN Security Council bid (By Filane Mikee Cervantes)



KEYNOTE ADDRESS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. attends the 21st edition of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday night (May 31, 2024). Marcos was the first Philippine leader to deliver a keynote message for the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s premier defense forum. (Photo courtesy of the Presidential Communications Office)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Friday the Philippines will embrace its role as a trusted partner, credible pathfinder, and committed peacemaker, as he made a pitch for the country’s candidacy to the United Nations (UN) Security Council for the 2027-2028 term.

In his speech during the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Marcos underscored the country’s strong potentials, given its "inevitable rise" in global standing.

“Just as we have done in the past, we will embrace our role in this region and around the world with a sense of purpose,” he said. “We will bring our experience as a trusted partner, credible pathfinder, and committed peacemaker when elected to the (United) Nations Security Council for the term of 2027-2028."

The Chief Executive also shared the country’s determination on all major global aspects and resiliencies to withstand all daunting challenges and vulnerabilities towards achieving its common aspirations.

“We are determined to be a force for the good, a force for peace, a champion of regional and global unity, (and) a staunch defender of the rules-based international order,” he said.

“Despite daunting challenges and our increasing vulnerabilities, we remain on track to achieve our goal of a high-income economy and a prosperous country by the year 2040, a place where Filipinos live strongly-rooted, comfortable, and secure lives.”

Recognizing the Indo-Pacific’s promising capacities of becoming the fastest-growing economic hub and largest contributor to global growth, Marcos said he would make such capacities alive and attainable.

“The Indo-Pacific holds much promise as the fastest-growing economic hub and the largest contributor to global growth. That (promise) must be kept alive. Furthermore, that promise must be fulfilled,” he said.

He urged leaders in the region not to be distracted by the geopolitical situation in performing their duty as civil servants, public intellectuals, and statesmen towards stability, security, and peace.

“Geopolitics must not distract us from our fundamental duty as civil servants, as public intellectuals, as statesmen: To deliver for our peoples, and to safeguard the future for the coming generations. This is the reason why we strive for stability, for security, and for peace,” he said.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1226013

PBBM: Brunei, Singapore trips to advance PH economic, security agenda

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 1, 2024): PBBM: Brunei, Singapore trips to advance PH economic, security agenda (By Filane Mikee Cervantes)



PBBM IS BACK. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. arrives at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City at 3:58 a.m. on Saturday (June 1, 2024) after his state visit to Brunei and working visit to Singapore. The President embarked on his first state visit to the Sultanate state while he made history by being the first Philippine president to deliver a keynote message at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. (Photo courtesy of the Presidential Communications Office)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. vowed on Saturday to build on the gains of his successful trips to Brunei Darussalam and Singapore to advance the country’s economic and security agenda.

Marcos made the commitment after arriving at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City at 3:58 a.m. on Saturday.

“My promise to all Filipinos, we will use every opportunity and continue to build bridges that will ensure a long-lasting peace and stability in our region,” he said in his arrival speech.

The President embarked on his first state visit to the Sultanate state while he made history by being the first Philippine president to deliver a keynote message at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

In his two-day state visit to Brunei, Marcos said he met with His Majesty Sultan Haki Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah and discussed strengthening the 40-year-old bilateral ties between their countries.

“This year marks 40 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries and our conversation covered many facets of our relations, from defense and security, maritime cooperation, economic cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges,” he said.

“We aspired for stronger bilateral cooperation and to work together to ensure that peace and security reigns in the ASEAN region.”

The Philippines and Brunei forged three memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on tourism cooperation, International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), and maritime cooperation.

A letter of intent on agricultural cooperation was also signed.

Marcos likewise expressed the Philippines' support for Brunei to establish the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Center for Climate Change.

He said while in Brunei, the country's key government players and business sectors engaged in productive dialogue with their counterparts.

"The Philippine Business Forum highlighted agribusiness, renewable energy, halal development, and opportunities in the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) and BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao),” he added.

Marcos said the established connections between the Philippines’ and Brunei’s business sectors are expected to yield significant commercial benefits, including increased trade and investment, enhanced market access for goods and services, and sharing of technology innovations and best practices.

He said he also met with executives of Bruneian oil and gas companies, such as the Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sendiran Berhad, Brunei LNG Sendiran Berhad, Total Energies in Brunei, Serikandi Oilfield Services Sendiran Berhad, and the Adinin Group of Companies.

He likewise met with the Filipino community in the Sultanate state.

Two-day working visit to Singapore

Meanwhile, during his two-day working visit to Singapore, Marcos met with President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and newly appointed Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.

He said President Shanmugaratnam has accepted his invitation for the latter to visit the Philippines in August.

“This is very important, especially because 2024 marks 55 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. We committed to work hard in pursuing the signing of three near-completion MOUs by the time the Singaporean President visits Manila later this year,” he said.

The President also delivered a historic keynote address at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, where he expounded on the realities and constants in the current situation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

“As a responsible member of the international community, I took the opportunity of the Shangri-La Dialogue to tell the representatives of at least 48 countries in front of me that the lines we draw on our waters are derived not from imagination, but from international law. Unlike others, we submitted our assertions to rigorous legal scrutiny by the world’s leading jurists,” he said.

Marcos also had a bilateral meeting with Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida ҆imonyte and met with some members of the US Congressional Delegation to discuss future ways to improve collaboration and cooperation with other countries.

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1226016

Marcos’ red line vs. harming Filipinos in WPS signals proactive PH

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 1, 2024): Marcos’ red line vs. harming Filipinos in WPS signals proactive PH (By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)



MORE PROACTIVE. De La Salle University Prof. Don McLain Gill speaks at a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday (June 1, 2024). He said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s statement at the 21st edition of the International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday (May 31, 2024) showed a more proactive approach amid Chinese harassment in the West Philippine Sea. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s public declaration that the Philippines will "respond accordingly" in case a Filipino gets willfully killed in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) is a “clear” indication that the country is becoming more proactive in its approach amid Chinese harassment in the area, a geopolitical analyst said Saturday.

“It is clear now that Manila is proactive enough to set the red line as well. We are not reactive anymore. Obviously, this is done with consultation with the US, because it’s an alliance,” Prof. Don McLain Gill of the De La Salle University (DLSU) Department of International Studies said on the sidelines of the Saturday News Forum in Quezon City.

“There is that realization in Manila that whatever is happening against the Filipino people must be taken account for, particularly by Beijing.”

Marcos during the 21st edition of the International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday said that “if by a willful act” a Filipino serviceman or citizen is killed in the WPS, it would be “very close” to an “act of war.”

Marcos made the remark when asked what actions would trigger Manila to invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty with the US.

“We already have suffered injury, but thank God, we have not yet gotten to the point where any of our participants, civilian or otherwise, have been killed,” the President noted in an apparent reference to Manila’s previous run-ins with Beijing, including the latter’s use of water cannons on Filipino vessels delivering supplies to Ayungin Shoal or Scarborough Shoal.

“But once we get to that point, that is certainly we would have crossed the Rubicon and certainly crossed the Rubicon. Is that a red line? Almost certainly it’s going to be a red line.”

For Gill, the Philippines is heading in the right direction in making a strong stand to defend its rights based on international law.

“Imagine what we have achieved in these two years already. If we continue this approach, I believe there will be a lot of tangible results,” he told the Philippine News Agency.

“It depends on our domestic political will and Marcos Jr. has clearly shown that we have that political will. I’m very much confident in where we are heading right now, we are not extending ourselves as a tool of the power competition but we are setting our own destiny based on our vision carved out of the Indo-Pacific.”

Prof. Renato Cruz De Castro, also an international studies professor at the DLSU who specializes in East Asia, said Marcos’ policy speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue fully articulated Manila’s security concern while assuring the Filipino people that the government is ready to face these issues head-on.

“In a way, it’s an articulation of our security concern, our security challenges but it ends with a very optimistic note – that we are prepared to face this challenge based on the fact that we’re building up our capabilities and, of course, the importance of linking of our maritime security to our economic security,” he said.

Gill also praised Marcos for rallying the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) not to turn a blind eye to what he described as “atrocities taking place against international law."

“It’s very refreshing to see a Southeast Asian country creating that rallying cry not just for Southeast Asia but the rest of the middle powers and the less powerful states in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.

“It is very significant and we are also proving it in action as well – hindi lang po ito words (these are not just mere words).”

Rommel Jude Ong, a retired Philippine Navy rear admiral and a professor of praxis at the Ateneo School of Government, said Marcos was also “very careful” not to antagonize the ASEAN and omitted a direct mention of China in his speech.

“Hindi naman lingid sa ating kaalaman, medyo kakaiba tayo sa ASEAN. In fact, most of ASEAN member states do not agree with the way iyong gobyerno natin inilalabas iyong ating China Policy (It's not a secret that we're quite different within the ASEAN. In fact, most of the ASEAN member states do not agree with the way our government is serving our China Policy),” he pointed out.

“He never named China directly (in his speech) because he read the room. Naiintindihan niya na kailangan din niyang ma-win over iyong ASEAN member states na present doon (He saw the need to win over the ASEAN member states present there),” Ong said.

“So, marami siyang tinarget na audience doon sa speech niya at makita natin na substantive iyong pagkakalatag niya noong kaniyang plataporma kumbaga (He was targeting most of those in the audience in his speech and we can see that the way he laid down his platform was substantive).”

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1226024