Perspectives on Naval Cooperation in Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asian region is situated in a unique strategic environment that is shaped by the Pacific maritime domain. It is home to maritime nations sitting astride vital sea lines of communication and trade in the Asia-Pacific, with vast water resources and minerals, and oil and gas reserves. Shipping traffic through Southeast Asia is several times greater than the traffic…

On the Philippines’ Chairing ASEAN in 2017

The Philippine Ambassadors Foundation Inc. (PAFI) urges the Philippines to seize the opportunity presented by its chairing of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2017 when ASEAN celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding to assert and project a leadership role in the construction of regional ocean governance and maritime security as a Philippine contribution to the ASEAN Community…

Experts’ Dialogue on Maritime Security Governance 2016

The Philippine Navy (PN), through the Office of Naval Strategic Studies, in partnership with the Foreign Service Institute and the National Coast Watch Council Secretariat, organized the first Experts’ Dialogue on Maritime Security Governance to discuss the different approaches and mechanisms on how to effectively manage the nation’s maritime domain. Drawing from the experiences and best practices of Indonesia and…

Is there a WIN-WIN for China, Philippines, US, etc.?

PART 1 of 2 In the aftermath of the recent award (or ruling) by the U.N. Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea, new opportunities in our foreign relations have opened up which might lead to win-win solutions for the Philippines, China, U.S. and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Before getting into the national events…

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…

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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…

US President Obama speech to US and Filipino soldiers at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

Philippine Vulnerabilities in its Rift with China

“[Beijing is] building a Great Wall of sand over islands claimed by several countries. China’s pattern of provocations toward smaller claimant countries on the basis of the sweeping 9-dash Line which is inconsistent with international law, and the wide asymmetry between China’s capabilities and of her weak neighbors, raises serious questions about Chinese intentions.”

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%…

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.

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.

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Ph loses bid for IMO Sec Gen

It was a heartbreaking moment, losing out in a hotly-contested election for Secretary General of the London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) last June 30, 2015 in London. The drama started in Philippine media when it was reported that Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) administrator Maximo Q Mejia Jr was among six people hoping to become the International Maritime Organization’s next secretary-general….

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Philippine Ports Authority Marks 41st Founding Anniversary

Taking off from its milestone last year, the Philippine Ports Authority is looking at sustaining the pace it has adopted as it slowly transforms Philippine ports to world standards. As it celebrates its 41st Founding Anniversary with the theme “Magkabalikat sa Pagsulong ng Ating Adhikain on 11 July 2015, PPA General Manager Juan C. Sta. Ana is encouraging the PPA…

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PPA upgrades crane operation in gateway ports

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) is improving the cargo handling capacity of three gateway ports in preparation for the expected influx of cargoes from its Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) neighbors brought about by the implementation of the Asean Economic Community at the end of the year. PPA said the existing crane capacity of the three ports are not…