The Philippines is not concerned about Chinese military bases in the South China Sea, which are aimed to counter US influence, Rodrigo Duterte said, emphasizing that Manila can solve any disputes with Beijing diplomatically.
The disputed waters of the South China Sea have long been a bone of contention between the regional players – China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Beijing has laid claim to nearly all of the resource-rich area, through which an estimated $5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. China reportedly boosted the construction of military bases on artificial islands around the Spratly and Paracel Islands to protect its national interests in the area. The control of the archipelago, which includes about 130 small coral islands and reefs, is key to Beijing’s dominance in the South China Sea.
TAIPEI, TAIWAN — The Philippines, still recovering from battles last year against a group of Islamic State-inspired, anti-government Muslim rebels, is confronting a rise in violence by another band from the same region and with a similar ideology.
A new conflict would prolong decades of struggles between Muslim separatists and the Philippine government.
Muslim militants on the southern island Mindanao believe the majority Catholic country has taken an unfair share of resources despite five centuries of Muslim settlement. Rebel-linked violence has killed about 120,000 people in Mindanao since the 1960s.
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines — While Kim Jong-un threatens nuclear armageddon, a real war involving Islamic State loyalists that could have regional and potentially global consequences grinds on, far from the world’s view on the Philippine island of Mindanao.
For six months, the island has been under martial law as Philippine President Roderigo Duterte wages war with the powerful and deadly Maute clan and their allies, Abu Sayyaf, and countless foreign fighters. Nearly 1,800 were killed – militants and government soldiers – in the armed five-month conflict known as the Battle of Marawi, the longest urban battle in the country’s history. In its aftermath, the Maute clan was diminished — seven of the brothers killed, and the senior Maute leader Abu Dor still at large — but Duterte continues to ratchet up the pressure on the region.
President Duterte said he was angered and insulted yesterday after Prime Minister Trudeau spoke about his government’s war on drugs, which has been widely condemned for leaving thousands of suspects dead.
This is a few days old but it’s so enjoyable I thought it was worthy of an encore.
“Whenever I’m around the music, around the food, I feel like I’m in my own skin,” Adam told WTSP. “I’d watch the history channel sometimes for hours you know whenever it came to that and you know nothing else intrigued me more but things about Filipino culture.”
And so instead of just enjoying the culture, Adam concluded he was truly a Filipino trapped in a white man’s body. And according to a licensed psychologist, Dr. Stacey Scheckner, there’s nothing wrong with this thinking.
“I only answer to the Filipino. I will not answer to any other bullshit, especially foreigners. Lay off.”
Strong man, he is not:
After pleas from Filipino activists, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the issue of human rights violations with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit Tuesday, a conversation Trudeau described as “cordial.”
Human rights talks with Duterte aren’t “cordial”, Justin.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a sales pitch to core members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Tuesday in hope they will open the door to Canada joining their exclusive and influential circle.
But I thought that Canada was back.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he was angered and insulted on Tuesday by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments about the Philippine government’s war on drugs, which has earned widespread condemnation for leaving thousands of suspects dead.
Trudeau said he raised concerns about human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings in Duterte’s anti-drug campaign when he met Tuesday with the president ahead of Canada’s summit in the Philippines with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Trudeau was the first leader of the 20 attending this week’s ASEAN summit and related meetings who has publicly said he brought up the touchy issue with the volatile Filipino leader.
“I also mentioned human rights, the rule of law and specifically extrajudicial killings as being an issue that Canada is concerned with,” Trudeau said at a news conference. “I impressed on him the need for respect for the rule of law, and as always offered Canada’s support and help as a friend to move forward on what is a real challenge.”
He said Duterte was receptive to his comments and their exchange was cordial and positive.
But Duterte later told reporters that he had refused to provide an explanation for the killings.
What? Duterte refused to be swayed by the Fils?
Well, I am shocked, ect.
Crying Barbie (courtesy of an acerbic commenter) declares that “Canada is back“:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invitation to the East Asia Summit, a key forum for regional and global security discussions, is a sign Canada’s aggressive overtures in the region have paid off, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Sunday.
Canada has been invited to the summit for the first time as an observer, officials said, and Trudeau will be privy to high-level talks, alongside the likes of Chinese President Xi Jinping, on the tenuous security situation in North Korea.
“This is the first time Canada will be present … that is a really big deal,” Freeland told reporters about the two-day summit in Manila that starts Monday. “The East Asia Summit is the top table in Asia on security issues. Canada has never been there before, so when the prime minister says ‘Canada is back,’ the fact that he has been invited … is a very, very important sign of that.
“Our government is acting on our pledge that ‘Canada is back,’ and the world is recognizing that,” she said.
A coalition of Filipino and Canadian activists is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do what U.S. President Donald Trump seems loath to do: raise the “appalling” state of human rights in the southeast Asian country with its populist president, Rodrigo Duterte.
A sister of Robert Hall, one of two Canadian hostages beheaded in the Philippines earlier this year, is demanding an inquiry into how the Trudeau Liberals handled the high-profile kidnapping case—saying government officials “literally did the least they possibly could” to help rescue her 66-year-old brother.
Haunting images showing the devastation inside the Philippines city of Marawi have emerged after it was liberated from ISIS
A five-month battle against ISIS in the southern Philippines that claimed more than 1,100 lives has ended after a final battle inside a mosque.
Soldiers killed 42 militants including two women and five foreign jihadists in the terror group’s last stand in the southern city of Marawi.
The conclusion of the conflict ended immediate fears that the extremist terror group would establish a Southeast Asian base in the city. But concerns remain about its longer-term intentions and capabilities in the region.
The last two surviving leaders of a deadly siege in the southern Philippines were killed Monday in a push by thousands of troops to retake the last pocket of Marawi city still held by pro-Islamic State militants, security officials said.
Four military and police officials said that Isnilon Hapilon, who is listed among the FBI’s most-wanted terror suspects, and Omarkhayam Maute were killed in a gun battle and their bodies were found in Marawi.
Marawi is a mosque-studded centre of Islamic faith in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.
MARAWI, Philippines—After pulling out of the battle zone, the convoy of armored vehicles lumbered past smashed-up shop fronts and shot-up facades on its way through town.
While the powerful engines roared, the soldiers inside the sturdy machines sat silently, their faces sullen. Wooden planks had been attached to the flanks of the vehicles to add protection against high-caliber rounds, and bullets had cracked the windows of the driver’s compartments, a testament to the tooth-and-nail combat they had left behind.
ILIGAN, Philippines — A Roman Catholic priest who was held hostage for months by Islamic State-inspired militants in the war-torn southern city of Marawi has been freed, the Philippine military said on Sunday, as it moved closer to rooting out the remaining gunmen from their strongholds.
The Rev. Teresito Suganob was rescued late Saturday by troops who cleared a mosque that militants had been using as a defensive post, the authorities said.
“He was rescued by our men on the ground,” said Jesus Dureza, a senior presidential adviser.
Amer Hamzah Lucman last saw Omar Maute at their high school reunion around five years ago. While Lucman’s memory is fuzzy now, he remembers plenty of good-natured ribbing and reminiscing, and Maute talking about how being in the company of old friends made the world’s problems seem to fade away. The next time Lucman heard from Maute was on May 30, under decidedly horrific circumstances that may have long-term implications for regional security and transnational terrorism.
One week earlier, a group of pro-ISIS fighters led by Maute and his brother, Abdullah, overran Marawi City, on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
Terrorist snipers were captured on camera firing at state troops from atop a mosque in Marawi City Thursday, boosting reports that the extremists have been using the place of worship as camp.