Maritime Security

Ice-Breaking During Global Warming

Recently, in his good luck year (meaning age 88), FVR was unexpectedly designated by President Rodrigo Du30 as “Special Envoy” with the mission to “break the ice” between China and the Philippines – whose traditionally friendly relations had turned chilly, if not cold, with the 12 July 2016 ruling (award) by the U.N. Permanent Court of Arbitration about issues in…


Enhancing Operational Interoperability 10th ASEAN Navy Chiefs’ Meeting Viewpoint Exchange

Southeast Asia straddles several of the most important maritime passageways in the world today. These arteries of global trade, transportation, and commerce are vital not only for regional but also global peace, security, and stability. Also, the region’s booming economies make it a bright spot for international investment. The waters in and around Southeast Asia are believed to hold substantial…


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…



Taiwan’s New President

In 16-January 2016, J.R. Wu and Ben Blanchard reported on Asia Times that Taiwan’s President-elect Tsai Ing-wen called for freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea, and for a peaceful resolution to the growing dispute in the area.



Capt. Sibala and Pres. Obama

On 17 November, US President Barack H. Obama visited the Philippine Navy’s flagship, US-made BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the first US Coast Guard Hamilton Class 3,250-ton frigate combatant ship that was transferred to the Philippines in 2011. The second frigate was transferred in 2012, and named BRP Ramon Alcaraz. President Obama spoke with Captain Vincent Sibala PN (USNA’93) on the…