Defense

Naval Bases for New Sea Frontier

Five years ago, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf adopted in its entirety the Philippine submission to extend the country’s seabed boundary in the Philippine Sea with the discovery of the Benham Rise Region. The UN concurrence added 135,506 square kilometers, about 45% of the nation’s land area, to Philippine seabed area and the waters…

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P. Du30’s Top Priority – Poverty, Terrorism Or Drugs?

PART I As clearly proven during the closing days of 2016 and early 2017, terrorism and violence around the world dominated the headlines. Not just the beleaguered Middle East, but also Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, France, Belgium, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines and even the U.S. were not spared wanton killings because of man’s inhumanity to fellowman. According…


In Pursuit of an Independent Foreign Policy?

In October 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte announced his plans to establish closer ties with Russia and China. Weeks later, he sent Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to Moscow for exploratory talks on defense matters.  Accordingly, the Russians offered defense equipment including a submarine and drones.  In early January 2017, two Russian Federation Navy (RFN) ships of Russia Federation’s Pacific Fleet made…


Damen Guided-Missile Frigates for the Indonesian Navy

The first of two SIGMA Class 10514 Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) guided-missile frigates to be built for the Indonesian Navy successfully completed its sea trials last September.  The assessment phase began with seven days of basin trials to ensure that the propulsion and safety systems were fully operational before the vessel made the challenging passage from the PT PAL (Persero)…


US Navy and Brunei Armed Forces conduct CARAT 2016

Task Force 73 commander rear admiral Don Gabrielson said: “The United States deeply values our relationship with Brunei, centered on a defense partnership that underpins our shared commitment to the peace and security of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”


PCG Gears Up with its First Brand New MRRV from Japan

The popular slogan of President Duterte –“Change is Coming” — enthralled the Filipino people, as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) rode that wave of change. Indeed, change had come and the PCG welcomed this wave that would break the long standing shortage in PCG maritime assets. The PCG started to change within as modernization of its fleet had began with…


No Picture

Strategy: National Security Scenarios for Post-Election Period

In the 112th Maritime Forum, I responded positively to the proposal of a former Undersecretary of National Defense, Atty. Fernando Campos to discuss Strategy. He suggested discussing “National Security Scenarios for the post-election period.” Campos was also a former Governor of Cavite and a former Congressman of Cavite. He sent me his discussion paper, THE BIRTH OF A NEW PHILIPPINES:…


Joint Development on the West Philippine Sea

During the China-ASEAN Dialogue between Senior Defense Scholars held at Beijing, China on 11 – 15 March 2008, I presented a paper on Confidence-Building Measures Towards Greater Regional Stability. Military modernization in China was being perceived in a way that caused concern to some countries which fear a repeat of the arms race during the Cold War on one hand…


Philippine Defense Procurement: Issues and Prospects

The defense of the Philippines from both internal and external threats is the principal business of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). To enable the AFP to fully perform its mandate, it should possess affordable war fighting capabilities that can also be used for operations other than war (OOTW) like counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, search and rescue,…


Naval Multi-Role Auxiliary Vessels by Damen

A new series of Damen vessels offers flexibility and reduced total cost of ownership by means of modular mission modules with proven technologies. On 8 June 2016, during the Oceanographic Survey Vessel Conference in London, Damen Shipyards Group announced the introduction of a new range of Multi-Role Auxiliary Vessels (MRAV). The common theme running through the series was the provision…





G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Continuing Uncertainties

Part I: MILITARY DANGERS AND ECONOMIC RISKS “War is the worst option. Peace is the common goal of all mankind…” — Sun Tzu, “The Art of War” Taiwan’s major newspaper, China Post’s headline on 06 April augured bad news for all of mankind because it announced a huge rise in military spending by countries around the world, thus: “Global military spending…


low tech submarine cartoon

The Philippine Navy should start acquiring submarines, no matter how low tech. Is this a good start, or what?

This reminds me that the United States Navy and the US Department of State in the mid-‘60s had great hopes for the Philippine’s future. After Japan, the trios Taiwan, ROK and [ROK] Singapore had started to take off and they thought we would be the next. That was the message I got from them when they gave us a briefing…


South China Sea/West Philippine Sea Dispute

About half of the world’s seaborne trade passes through the South China Sea (SCS) valued at US$5.3 trillion annually. The SCS dispute has the potential to overturn the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the constitution for the earth’s oceans and seas. For the Philippines, at stake in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) are: (1) 80%…


APECCS: APEC/APEX of the Future?

In the shadows of today’s global problems – principal among them were terrorist attacks in Paris last 13 November that claimed 130 lives with others still in critical condition (and threats of more of the same in other countries in Europe and the U.S. by ISIS terrorists) – the Philippines hosted this week the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting.


The West Philippine Sea Situation

My involvement in the Spratlys, South China Sea and West Philippine Sea issue goes back a long way. As a junior  officer, fresh from the Naval Academy, I was part of a secret mission sometime in 1971. I transported troops,weapons, equipment and supplies to the islands we occupied in Freedomland, now called the Kalayaan Island Group.