Showing posts with label Philippine Navy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philippine Navy. Show all posts

Monday, June 5, 2017

Philippine Marines Seized ₱79 Million ISIS Terrorism Funding in Cash and Checks in Marawi City

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After the inventory, the money and checks were turned over to the Joint Task Force Marawi for safekeeping.Photo: CNN Philippines

 ₱27 million-worth of checks bears the issuing bank and the bank account owner could answer who funded the terrorism.

Terrorism Funding in the Philippines

The Philippine Marines recovered ₱52 million in cash in a house in Marawi City.

During a clearing operation near Mapandi Bridge on Monday afternoon, the Marines discovered the money and ₱27 million-worth of checks.

The Marines reported the house was an abandoned machine gun position of the armed terror group Maute.

After the inventory, the money and checks were turned over to the Joint Task Force Marawi for safekeeping.

The Maute group has been battling government troops since May 23 in Marawi City, reportedly to protect the "emir" or leader of ISIS in the Philippines, Isnilon Hapilon, who is believed to be in the area.

Hapilon is allegedly working with the Maute group to establish a "wilayat," or caliphate of ISIS in Lanao del Sur.

The ongoing violence in Marawi forced President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus over the entire Mindanao region on May 23.

Checks a Key - Who funded Terrorism in in the Philippines?

The recovered ₱52 million in cash in a house in Marawi City where the abandoned machine gun position of the armed terror group Maute found could not tell who give the cash and who funded the terrorism in the Philippines but the ₱27 million-worth of checks bears the issuing bank and the bank account owner could answer who funded the terrorism.

Philippine Banking system is strictly following the high standard requirements through the mandate of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Law that protect every account holder  for their privacy and safety.

With the existing Martial law in the entire island of Mindanao, in which the Military has full jurisdiction in the place where the checks was discovered, the issuing bank and the account holder at this point would be disclosed easily with lesser interference from any government agency to protect the privacy of the account holder.

Who is the account holder and who funded the terrorism in the Philippines?

With report from CNN Philippines.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

88 Meters Korean Anti-Submarine Warship Offered to the Philippines for ₱5,000 Pesos Each a real deal?

Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine Warship “Chungju PCC-762” Offered to Philippine Navy
Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine Warship “Chungju PCC-762” Offered to Philippine Navy for $100 USD

88 Meters Korean Anti-Submarine Warship Cheaper than a Smart Phone: Philippines to buy three for ₱5,000 Pesos Each a real deal?

Korean Pohang-Class Anti-Submarine “Chungju PCC-762” which launched on 30th June 1984, commissioned on 1987 and was decommissioned on 27th December 2016 after 29 years of service in protecting Korean waters has been offered to the Philippine Navy by the Korean Government.

South Korea will transfer an ageing Pohang-class anti-submarine warship to the Philippines this year in return for just $US100 (₱ 5,000.00), boosting its capability to patrol vast maritime borders.
The 88.3 meters corvette type warship has a 1,200 tones displacement, speed of 32 knots (59 km/h), and capacity of 95 crews.

It could be fitted with armaments such as 2 x MM-38 Exocet, 1 OTO melara 76 mm/62 compact cannon, 2 x Emerlec 30 mm cannons, 4 x harpoon missiles, 2 x Nobong 40mm/70 twin cannons, 3 x Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes with 6 chung sang Eoes and 12 x mark 9 depth charges.

South Korea, next to USA for being the largest source of Philippine military hardware, from fighter jets, and patrol ships to armored vehicles and army trucks.

USA has provided almost the same armament to the Philippines in 2013 but unlike the Pohang Anti-submarine warship which cost the Philippines only $100 USD, the Hamilton Class cutters from the USA cost the Philippine government a hefty $10 Million US Dollars.

Philippines received ten FA-50 light fighters from Seoul and two more will be delivered next month to complete the 12 aircraft, 18 billion peso deal.

The Philippines has expressed interest to acquire six more similar planes.

"We are hoping to receive the vessel within the year," defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong said of the warship.

"The transfer will be in the form of a donation. We will pay a token $US100, but the corvette will still undergo refurbishment."

He said he has no idea how much the Philippines would need to spend to repair and restore the warship.

Andolong said the Philippines may acquire up to three such warships, which Seoul is replacing with newer and faster vessels.

"This may be an old ship but it will definitely enhance our capability to patrol our waters and perform counter-terrorism measures," he added.

South Korea has donated a lot of military hardware to the Philippines and has expressed gratitude for Manila's role in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2 TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines March 27 To Patrol Maritime Territory

TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines
2 of 5 leased Super King Air Beechcraft trainer jet left Japan's Tokushima Air Base Arriving the Philippines March 27

Two of the Five Leased T-C90 Japanese aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy next week in a boost for Manila’s limited capabilities and an indicator of the significance of the bilateral defense relationship.

T-C90 Trainer jet is developed by Beechcraft Super King Air and is comprises of number of twin-turboprop models that have been divided into two families; the Model 90 and 100 series developed in the 1960s are known as King Airs, while the later T-tail Model 200 and 300 series were originally marketed as Super King Airs, with "Super" being dropped by Beechcraft in 1996.

The King Air was the first aircraft in its class and has been in continuous production since 1964. It has outsold all of its turboprop competitors combined. It now faces competition from jet aircraft such as the Embraer Phenom 100, Honda HA-420 HondaJet and Cessna Citation Mustang; as well as from newer turboprop aircraft including the Piaggio P180 Avanti, and single-engine Piper Malibu Meridian, Pilatus PC-12, and Socata TBM.

According to the Japan Ministry of Defense’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA), two Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) TC-90 training aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy on March 27. In a confirmation on Monday, the agency said that the aircraft would leave on Tokushima Air Base on March 23, with an arrival ceremony to be held at Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangley Point, Cavite City.

It had also come shortly after both sides had inked a landmark defense equipment and technology agreement, which was just the fourth Tokyo had signed with any country. As I have pointed out before, though attention tends to be overly focused on the Philippines’ relationship with its treaty ally, the United States, Japan is another of the key security partners that Manila has been cultivating. Thus far, signs are that this is set to continue under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, despite discontinuities in other dimensions of foreign policy

Philippine officials have publicly admitted that the TC-90s would be a much-needed capability boost for the military, which remains one of Asia’s weakest. The planes have around twice the range of the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the navy uses for patrol, surveillance, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and rapid assessment missions. They are also much faster. The aircraft can also be fitted with additional equipment such as basic surface and air surveillance radar that would make it useful on the South China Sea front.

The TC-90s will be used to augment the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the Navy uses in patrol, surveillance and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and rapid assessment missions.

Last November, two Philippine Navy pilots and six air crews left for Japan to start their TC-90 flight training.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that the Philippines will re-equip the TC-90s as Japan has stripped them of some equipment, including their surveillance systems.

The country will pay Japan $7,000 USD each for the first four aircraft yearly and only $200 USD for the fifth, for total of $28,200 USD as stipulated in its lease agreement.

The 5 TC-90 Beechcraft Super King Air which would be transferred to the Philippines for lease agreement are part of the active 40 TC-90 Trainer Jet in Japan leaving 35 active in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) asset inventory.

The DND added it is also looking at the possibility of using the TC-90 for 20 years while the military is upgrading its equipment.

The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized Feb. 29 last year.

The TC-90’s patrol range is double that of a small Philippine aircraft, which only has a maximum range of 300 km.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Armed Forces united & published a manifesto AGAINST BBL Bangsamoro - Shocks President Aquino!

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Aquino ‘surprised’ by Bangsamoro manifesto

SEVERAL GROUPS of retired military and police servicemen, a number of retired chiefs-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and one retired chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) called for the junking of the peace agreements between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in a published “manifesto” that President Benigno S. C. Aquino III said took him by surprise.

In a “Manifesto of Retired Officers” published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday, the groups urged the Supreme Court to declare as null and void the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), saying these agreements violate the Philippine Constitution.

The 13 groups which signed the call include the following:

* Association of General and Flag Officers

* National ROTC Alumni Association

* Kampilan Peacekeepers Association

* Fraternal Organization of ROTC Reservists and Veterans

* Filipino War Veterans Foundation

* Philippine National Police Retirees Association

* Veteran Generals and Flag Officers Federation

* Cavliers 57

* Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association

* Kapisanan ng Kawal Mindanao

* Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attache Association

* Last Watering Hole

* Reform the Armed Forces Movement Foundation

Retired PNP chief Umberto A. Rodriguez also signed the manifesto, together with retired AFP chiefs Efren I. Abu, Dionisio R. Santiago, Generoso S. Sengu and Alexander B. Yano.

Political analyst Ramon C. Casiple said that in the military and police service, retired officials tend to have an influence on their junior officers given the culture and nature of these organizations.

“Within the military and police circles, they are influential in a sense that the active leaders now used to be their junior officers,” Mr. Casiple said in a phone interview Monday afternoon.

“I’m not saying that they can actually command their junior officers but we can say that their influence to them is considerable,” he added.

Mr. Aquino said he was “surprised” by the statement, as he noted several among the signatories used to be part of the security cluster.

“So, I was surprised that their reaction was to that degree and that they have objections,” Mr. Aquino told reporters Monday.

“Maybe what’s good is to have a public dialogue with them... so everyone can see if their position on the matter has sound basis,” he added.

In the manifesto, the groups called for safeguards on the proposed BBL, including provisions stating that the proposed Bangsamoro region is “a constituent part of the Republic of the Philippines.”

Other provisions being pushed in the manifesto include a renouncement of separatism, disarmament of all combatants six months after the agreement’s ratification, and conformity of the proposed Bangsamoro region with the Philippine Constitution. –read more at Business World Online

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Philippines confirmed buying SKR/ Japan made diesel powered Submarine- For the first time

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Philippines is interested in acquiring Diesel submarines based on technology from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's Soryu-class vessel. image:asia.nikkei.com

Philippines to buy submarines and advanced missile systems for the first time

This will ensure strength in the South China Sea

Manila: For the first time, the Philippines will buy electric and diesel-run submarines, including advanced missile systems, as listed in its $22.11 billion (998 billion pesos or Dh83.166 billion) modernization plan that was approved in July, to ensure its strength against China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia which have overlapping claims in the South China Sea, sources said.

“The Philippine Navy will buy several submarines and missile systems in the next five years from private manufacturing firms either from South Korea or Japan,” a military source who requested anonymity told Gulf News.

“The ambitious purchase was scheduled after the Philippine economy grew, received good ratings from rating agencies, and allowed borrowing for expensive war materials, but the Philippines could not yet match China’s 26 submarines,” said the same source.

In 2013, the Philippine Navy bought two 1.400 tons Incheon-class frigates (also called Future Frigate experimental or FFX), manufactured by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and STX Offshore and Shipbuilding for $400 million (18 billion pesos or Dh1.5 billion); two strategic sealift vessels or floating command centers which can transport three helicopters per vessel, soldiers, and supplies at sea, from Indonesia’s PT PAL (Persero) for $85.7 million (3.86 billion pesos or Dh321.6 million). The new frigates and sealift vessels will arrive in the Philippines at the end of 2015 or early 2016, President Benigno Aquino announced recently.

It is widely reported that the Philippine Navy is manned by three US-made refurbished frigates: BRP Tagbanua; BRP Gregorio del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz, but Japan’s defense ministry said the Philippine Navy has 80 warships; China, 892; Malaysia, 208; and Vietnam, 94.

The Philippine Coast Guard also bought 10 40-metre-long multi-purpose response vessels (MRRV) from Japan in late 2013 for $184 million (8.09 billion pesos or Dh674.6 million), in a loan forged with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2014. They will augment the Coast Guard’s 19 rescue vessels, when they arrive in the Philippines at the end of 2015, sources said.

The Coast Guard secured a $20 million (900 million pesos or Dh75 million) loan from the United States’ Defense Threat Reduction Agency (it has a maritime security project with the US’ Weapons for Mass Destruction Proliferation Prevention Program) for three aerial surveillance radars, two surface sensors and three surveillance planes for the Philippine Coast Guard National Coast Watch Centre in northern Luzon and southwest Philippines.

Recently, the Philippine Air Force bought 12 new FA-50 fighter-trainers made by Korea Aerospace Industries. six Close Air Support Aircraft; seven of 13 AW-109 helicopters; and six of eight Bell-412 combat utility helicopters made by Korea Aerospace Industries. The two fighters will arrive in December 2015 or early 2016, and the rest in 2017.

Japan’s defense ministry said the Philippines has a total of 26 combat aircraft, compared with China’s 2,582 combat aircraft.

The Philippine government also allotted $22 million (1 billion pesos or Dh83.33 million) for the development of three new naval bases that will protect its 36,000 kilometer coastline facing the South China Sea.

In 1995, Congress approved an $8.08 billion (364 billion pesos or Dh30.3 billion) military modernization plan for 15 years. But only 10 per cent of the approved budget was secured by a loan 15 years later, in 2010, the budget department said.

China, Taiwan, and Vietnam claim the whole of the South China Sea and several parts of the oil-rich Spratly Archipelago. Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines claim their respective exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea and parts of the Spratly Archipelago. - Gulf News

Monday, July 20, 2015

$1Billion USD - Upgrading 23 important Military Assets DELAYED again for Corruption?

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The Philippines relies on aging helicopters such as this UH-1 Huey seen on a recent mission in Mindanao. PHOTO: TREFOR MOSS/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Philippine Military Upgrade Stalls

Delay for $1 billion in defense deals leaves planned overhaul years from completion

MANILA—A push by the Philippines to overhaul its obsolete military has ground to a halt just as the U.S. ally is striving to deter China in the disputed waters between them.

A string of programs collectively valued at $1 billion stalled early last year, said military officials and executives involved in Philippine defense deals. The delay underscores how the government’s efforts to transform the country’s derelict navy and air force have become mired in red tape, funding problems and corruption allegations.

The delays leave long-held plans to build a “minimum credible deterrent”—comprising small but capable air and naval fleets—at least a decade from completion, said Jose Antonio Custodio, a Manila-based defense consultant. Even with a basic deterrent in place today, Manila would likely still lack the means to check Beijing’s assertiveness.

“We’re still at square one,” said Mr. Custodio. “With China building all these new bases [in the South China Sea], I’d say it’s already too late.”

Securing secondhand equipment from allies such as Japan and the U.S. may now be the Philippines’ only chance of quickly upgrading its forces, people familiar with the country’s procurement process said. The approach of presidential elections in May make it unlikely that any big contracts will be signed before then.

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President Benigno Aquino III has promised to rejuvenate the military, which has been degraded by decades of underinvestment.

A pledge to spend $1.7 billion on new equipment initially bore fruit, as the administration signed a flurry of defense contracts valued at $834 million in late 2013 and early 2014, including deals for 12 Korean fighter jets, three Airbus transport planes and a new fleet of combat helicopters from Canada and the U.K.

“The record will show that the Aquino administration has stepped up the pace of [military modernization] considerably, surpassing the procurement program undertaken by three previous administrations combined,” said presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma.

However, Mr. Coloma said Mr. Aquino still hasn’t signed a law passed by the Philippines Congress in February 2013 earmarking $2 billion for defense procurement. Mr. Coloma didn’t explain the delay.

Government finances have been stretched thin after the government spent billions on reconstruction following Supertyphoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013. Spending has also slowed after a recent scandal in which prosecutors charged three senators with corruption for their alleged involvement in the use of dummy NGOs to steal around $220 million in public money. All three senators denied the charges. Strict government procurement rules have been further tightened since then, putting the brakes on a range of spending programs.

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The Philippine vessel Ramon Alcaraz participated in bilateral maritime exercise with the U.S. in June last year.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Contracts for two naval frigates valued at $398 million and for two long-range patrol planes valued at $132 million—capabilities that would help the Philippines monitor its maritime territory, where it has overlapping claims with China—are among those that were scheduled to have been bid out last year but haven’t moved ahead. “It’s a bureaucratic logjam,” said Mr. Custodio.

Foreign defense companies seeking to supply these and other systems can only wait for the logjam to clear.

“It seems that all programs are paralyzed,” said a Western defense executive whose company is involved in one stalled project.

Another Western executive said the Philippines was hardly unique in experiencing lengthy holdups for military equipment, but recalled how the country’s defense leadership had built momentum in 2013, only to hit the buffers in early 2014.

“Defense officials just don’t have the authority to make things happen now,” he said.

The Philippine Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines didn’t respond to requests to comment.

With China accelerating its island-building program in the South China Sea, Philippine military chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang recently urged Manila to spend more on defense as the country’s economy enjoys healthy growth. Last year’s defense budget was just $3.3 billion—far less than neighboring Singapore’s $9.5 billion.

A Philippines senate inquiry into the country’s military modernization efforts has meanwhile questioned the effectiveness of the funds spent so far, with one senator arguing there was practically nothing to show for the $1.4 billion spent on new weaponry in the decade to 2013.

Senators also looked into a deal for 21 secondhand helicopters, which the defense department canceled in April after only seven deliveries amid concerns about the quality of the technology, and with a Philippine tax official claiming that the aircraft had been ordered in exchange for kickbacks.

The defense department has denied the allegations.

The breakdown of the helicopter program has made defense officials even more reluctant to place new orders and expose themselves to further scrutiny, said Mr. Custodio.

Mr. Aquino has turned to allies for help. On a recent state visit to Japan, he requested secondhand P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, having already received a $183 million loan from Tokyo to fund the construction of 10 new patrol boats. Tokyo has said it is considering the requests, though it hasn’t committed to anything specific. Australia, South Korea and the U.S. have all donated used military kit to Manila in recent years and have signaled a willingness to do more.

But hand-me-downs won’t deliver a deterrent capable of influencing decision makers in Beijing, Mr. Custodio says. “The Chinese are building islands on our doorstep.”  - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Write to Trefor Moss at trefor.moss@wsj.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

AFP is reinforcing rusting Navy ship on Spratly Ayungin reef outpost with Welding and Cement

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Filipino soldiers wave from the dilapidated Sierra Madre ship of the Philippines Navy as it is anchored near Ayungin shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) in the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, in this photo taken in May. Photo: Reuters

Philippines reinforcing rusting Navy ship on Spratly reef outpost

Manila:  The Philippines navy is quietly reinforcing the hull and deck of a rusting ship it ran aground on a disputed South China Sea reef in 1999 to stop it breaking apart, determined to hold the shoal as Beijing creates a string of man-made islands nearby.

Using wooden fishing boats and other small craft, the navy has run the gauntlet of the Chinese coastguard to move cement, steel, cabling and welding equipment to the BRP Sierra Madre since late last year, according to two navy officers who have been inside the vessel.

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The BRP Sierra Madre, a marooned transport ship which Philippine Marines live on as a military outpost, photographed last year. Photo: Reuters

The 100 meter-long tank landing ship was built for the US Navy during World War Two. It was eventually transferred to the Philippines navy, which deliberately grounded it on Second Thomas Shoal to mark Manila's claim to the reef in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea. A small contingent of Philippine soldiers are stationed onboard.

Manila regards Second Thomas Shoal, which lies 195 km south-west of the Philippines region of Palawan, as being within its exclusive economic zone. China, which claims virtually all the South China Sea, says the reef is part of its territory.

"We know China has been waiting for the ship to disintegrate but we are doing everything to hold it together," said one of the officers, adding that while the work was progressing slowly, it should be finished by the year-end.

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A newly deployed Philippine Marine, part of a military detachment stationed aboard the BRP Sierra Madre, fishes near the ship in the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this photo taken last year. Photo: Reuters

The other naval officer said welding was being done at night because of the heat. Concrete foundations were being laid inside the ship's hull to try to stabilize it, he added.

Without giving exact dates, both sources said they witnessed the repairs taking place earlier this year. They declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The soldiers currently stationed on the ship, who are demolition experts, were doing the work, said the second source.

Just to the west of Second Thomas Shoal is Mischief Reef, one of seven coral formations in the Spratlys that China is rapidly turning into islands that Beijing says will have undefined military purposes.

Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims to the Spratly waterway, which is some 1,100 km from the Chinese mainland.

Asked about the repairs, Philippine Foreign Ministry spokesman Charles Jose declined to comment. But such work would not violate an informal code of conduct signed in 2002 by China and south-east Asian states that prohibited any change to the status quo in disputed areas, he said.

"In our view, repairs and maintenance of existing facilities are allowed ... especially if such repairs and maintenance work are for the safety of our personnel and safety of navigation," Mr Jose added.

A Philippines general familiar with the repairs  said the ship's hull and deck were being strengthened, and air-conditioning units added.

"We are improving the living quarters inside, to make life for our soldiers more comfortable," he said, declining to give further details about the repairs or to be identified.

Photos show a pockmarked vessel covered in rust, sitting on the permanently submerged reef but listing slightly to one side. Much of the boat's hull is visible.

Besides being a military outpost, the BRP Sierra Madre is also a commissioned Philippine navy ship.

That means Manila could request U.S. military assistance under a decades-old security treaty with Washington if the ship was attacked, said senior Philippine military officials.

"Even if it's covered with rust, it will remain an active duty commissioned navy ship. It's a symbol of our sovereignty," said the Philippine general.

Second Thomas Shoal illustrates the mismatch in power between the Philippines and China.

Since the start of 2014, the Philippine navy's regular attempts to resupply soldiers on the BRP Sierra Madre with food and water have become a cat-and-mouse routine, with large Chinese coastguard vessels on patrol in the area trying to block the path of the smaller Philippine boats, naval officials said.

The Philippine vessels have always got through by making a run for the shoal's shallow waters, which aren't deep enough for the Chinese coastguard, naval officials said. The tear-shaped shoal itself is large, some 10-11 nautical miles from top to bottom.

Zhang Baohui, a mainland security expert at Hong Kong's Lingnan University, said Beijing would be angry about the repairs, adding that Chinese ships would probably continue their "menacing" tactics. But they would not do anything that could be considered an act of war, Dr Zhang said.

"The larger geo-strategic context is more important than Second Thomas Shoal," he said. - Reuters/The Sydney Morning Herald

Google Maps removes Chinese name for disputed South China Sea reef Scarborough Shoals

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Google Maps shows the name Scarborough Shoal for the disputed island Photo: Google Maps

Google drops Chinese name from Maps after South China Sea controversy

Following pressure from the Philippines, Google redacts the Chinese name for the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea

Google has removed the Chinese name for a disputed shoal in the South China Sea from its Maps service, following protests from Philippine citizens.

Google Maps English service on Tuesday corrected the labeling of the atoll to read Scarborough Shoal, the internationally neutral term for the territory claimed by both the Philippines and China.

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Chinese protesters in Los Angeles, part of an escalating territorial dispute over the Huangyan Island, the Chinese name for Scarborough Shoal (Alamy)- image: The Telegraph

The move came after more than 2,000 people signed an online petition on Change.org asking for Google to stop identifying the shoal as part of China’s Zhongsha Island chain.

“We’ve updated Google Maps to fix the issue. We understand that geographic names can raise deep emotions which is why we worked quickly once this was brought to our attention,” Google’s office in Manila said in a statement.

In 2012, China and the Philippines engaged in a standoff at Scarborough Shoal, a rich fishing ground, after a Philippine warship attempted to expel Chinese fishing boats in the area. China has controlled the shoal since, though it is some 650 km away from Hainan island, the nearest major Chinese landmass.

China bases its claim to the area on its “nine-dash line”, a demarcation based on historical records that decrees almost the entire to South China Sea as Chinese territory.

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A Filipino holds a sign during a demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy in Los Angeles (Alamy) - image: The Telegraph

The Philippines claims the shoal as part of its exclusive economic zone under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“China’s sweeping claim of South China Sea under their nine-dash line purportedly historical boundary is illegal and is creating tension among nations,” the petition read.

“Google maps showing this is part of Zhongsha island chain gives credence to what is plainly a territory grab that peace loving nations should stand against.”

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Construction at Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the south China Sea by China (EPA) -image: The Telegraph

The kerfuffle comes at a moment when tension between China and the Philippines over South China Sea territory is high, following months of rapid and dramatic land reclamation work by China on the Spratly Islands, another disputed archipelago.

Last week the Philippines launched a case in the Permanent Court of Attribution in The Hague in an attempt to prove that China’s “nine-dash line” claim is incompatible with UNCLOS. - Source: The Telegraph

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Philippines preparing Billion Dollars fund for Acquisition of NEW Submarine, Missiles, Ships, radars for AFP Upgrade

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Kilo Class Diesel Submarine. Del Rosario said that between 2018 and 2023 the Philippines would buy electric-diesel submarines ($200 - $500 Million USD per unit)and advanced missile systems.

PH ramps up military spending in face of China threat

MANILA - The Philippines plans to ramp up military spending over the next 13 years, earmarking more than $20 billion to modernize its forces in the face of Beijing's maritime ambitions in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a top Air Force official told Reuters.

Major-General Raul del Rosario, military chief of plans, said the blueprint includes installing radars and sensors, and buying equipment such as submarines, frigates, fighters, surveillance planes and missile systems.

"By the time, we complete this plan, we will have complete coverage of the South China Sea," said del Rosario, a former fighter pilot, showing the military's detailed plan that was approved on Friday.

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"We will have 24/7 awareness of what is happening in the disputed area and we'll be able to respond quicker to any contingency in our own exclusive economic zone."

He said the ambitious plan was initiated in 2013, but top brass had only approved overall spending of 998 billion pesos ($22.11 billion) last week.

Del Rosario said 83 billion pesos had been earmarked for the first five years, 444 billion pesos for the second five years and 471 billion pesos for the last five years.

In 1995, Congress had earmarked 364 billion pesos for a similar 15-year plan. Less than one-tenth of that sum was actually spent by 2010.

The modernization program is designed to strengthen Manila's claims in the South China Sea, believed to be rich in energy deposits.

China has become increasingly assertive in the South China Sea, building artificial islands in areas over which the Philippines and other countries have rival claims. The moves have sparked alarm regionally and in Washington.

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SUBMARINES, MISSILES AND SURVEILLANCE PLANES

President Benigno Aquino has promised the military about 34 billion pesos this year, which will fund the purchase of two frigates and a twin-engine long range maritime aircraft.

So far, the government has given the military 9.4 billion pesos in 2014. This has been used to purchase eight combat utility helicopters and as a downpayment for 12 FA-50 fighter-trainers from South Korea. Two of the aircraft are expected in 2016.

Del Rosario said that between 2018 and 2023 the Philippines would buy electric-diesel submarines and advanced missile systems.

Three aerial surveillance radars with a range of 350 nautical miles will also be installed in Ilocos Norte, Lubang island and Mount Salacot in Palawan, all facing the South China Sea to detect movements in the disputed area.

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These will complement the navy's two surface sensors capable of detecting ship activities 200 miles away. Three surveillance planes will also be on constant patrol in the area.

"We do not aim to defeat China," del Rosario said. "But our goal is make any state think twice before attacking. We will make sure anybody attacking us would end up with a bloodied nose." -  ABS-CBN News

Lt. Gen. Iriberri is new Armed Forces of the Philippines chief; Facing Graft charges for ₱97.7 million Php Contract

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In his speech during the change of command ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo, Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri said he will pursue a "straight and true" path. - image:CNN Philippines

Lt. Gen. Iriberri is new AFP chief

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri is the new chief of the Armed Forces. He is the 46th to assume the position.

On Friday morning (July 10), Iriberri gave a speech at the change of command ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo where he vowed to follow "the path that is straight and true" — a reference to the Aquino administration's "Tuwid na Daan" campaign against corruption.

In his speech, he also expressed his acceptance of the responsibilities as chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

"Mga mahal kong kababayan, buong pagpapakumbaba ko pong tinatanggap ang hamon at buong puso ko pong gagampanan ang aking katungkulan."

[Translation: My beloved countrymen, I humbly accept the challenges and will wholeheartedly perform my tasks as the AFP chief.]

He also vowed to win and secure peace in the country with his own brand of leadership.

"I only have one principle of leadership. To be a good leader, one must know how to understand people and the situation. To our countrymen, I am all yours to serve."

During the ceremony, President Benigno Aquino III ordered the newly appointed AFP chief to continue the reforms implemented by former AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr.

He also ordered Iriberri to ensure a peaceful and clean elections in 2016.

Gazmin aide

A Surigao del Sur​ native, Iriberri was the former Army chief, and before that, was the chief of the 7th Infantry Division, based in Nueva Ecija.

He was commissioned in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) after graduating from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). He was part of the PMA Matikas Class of 1983.

Iriberri served as the Army spokesman in 2000 when Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was its commanding general. When Gazmin was appointed as the Defense secretary, he served as the cabinet secretary's most senior aide.

Gazmin is believed to be highly influential in military appointments in the Aquino administration.

Graft charges

The new AFP chief, however, is facing graft charges before the Ombudsman for the alleged failure to issue documents involving three contracts worth 97.7 million Php. This resulted in the shelving of contracts won by Joavi Philippines.

The contracts were for ammunition delivery in 2010 and 2012. But Iriberri said he is ready to answer the charges. - CNN Philippines' David Santos  and Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Now it's the Philippines vs taiwan's INVASION in Kalayaan for Oils

Kalayaan, Province of Palawan, Philippines. Taiwan want's to start exploring oil inside Kalayaan Municipality of the Palawan Province.

Chinese in Taiwan are originally from mainland China who were defeated by the China's Communist group so they retreated down south and take over the Formosan Government in Taiwan as a base island for their dream to controll back the communist Mainland China under the Republic of China government.

As the Mainland China is controlled by the Communist group, Taiwan the Republic of China claimed back the Mainland China as their territory which now both Mainland China and Taiwan are claiming each other.

Chinese in Taiwan are of the same ideology as all other Chinese in the world with the chinese in the mainland China.

With the continuous mounting of conflicts in the West Philippines Sea as a result of china's continuous expansionism affecting the Kalayaan Municipality of the Palawan Province in the Southwestern Philippines, taiwan jumps in of the same purpose as china to invade the Philippine territory.

The Kalayaan Municipality in the Kalayaaan Group of Islands is adjacent to the mainland Palawan Island and is part of the Province of Palawan which is within the 370 kilometers or 200 Nautical Miles Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines as granted by the United Nations' UNCLOS.

The now such called Kalayaan Group of Islands was once part of the old Sultanate of Sulu, a kingdom that exist and controlled the territory we back 12th to 15th Century. The old Sultanate of Sulu governed the Palawan Province, the now called Kalayaan Group of Islands or Spratly Islands in the West Philippines Sea together with several provinces in Mindanao Island such as the Province of Maguindanao, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, and North Borneo (now called Sabah); before the invasion of Spain to the Philippines.

The Only country which has the rights and authority over the Spratly Islands or Kalayaan Group of Islands is the Philippines as the original territorial owner which was the old Sultanate of Sulu through Sultan Kiram has turned over his rights to the Philippine Government.

While the Philippines bracing from the China's invasion in the territory, there's another conflict is brewing in the West Philippine Sea, this time between the Philippines and Taiwan over oil and gas exploration around Ligao Island, the largest islet in the Spratlys group as reported by the INQUIRER Global Nation 30th December 2012.

The Philippine government on Saturday asserted its sovereign right to "explore and exploit" resources in the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as Taiwan announced plans to begin looking for oil and gas in  disputed areas of the Spratlys islands chain.

Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson, said Saturday that only the Philippines could explore in those parts of the Spratlys that lies within the country's 200-nautical mile continental shelf.

Reports from Taiwan said island nation's Bureau of Mines and state-run oil supplier CPC Corp. were keen on starting exploration for oil and gas in waters around Ligao Island, the largest Spratlys island that the Taiwanese call Taiping.

China, Vietnam and the Philippines have claims to Ligao Island.

The Philippines earlier this year offered oil exploration contracts in its claimed part of the Spratlys, a move that drew criticism from counter-claimants, especially China.

Without directly criticizing Taiwan for the move, Hernandez said foreign exploration within the Philippines' EEZ must be signed off by Manila in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

"The Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights to explore and exploit all types of resources in its continental shelf within the 200 nautical miles measured from the baselines in the western side of the Philippine archipelago," Hernandez said.

"No country can conduct oil exploration in the PH continental shelf in the West Philippine Sea without the permission of the government, as provided for under Unclos," he said.

Known to be dependent on oil imports, Taiwan is initiating the oil exploration to build up its oil resources, the reports said.

Taiwan's announcement came amid renewed tensions between China and the Philippines over reports of Chinese ships patrolling in the West Philippine Sea and plans to fortify Sansha City, an administrative domain established to govern all of the Spratlys.

The Philippines called both developments violations of international law and disrespectful of the Philippines' sovereign right to its EEZ.

China this week deployed an oceangoing ship in the disputed waters, the first time for a Chinese vessel to patrol beyond its coastal waters.  The patrol started ahead of the implementation of a new policing law allowing Hainan province's authorities to board and inspect foreign ships that will pass by the South China Sea, a critical international trading route.

Sources: INQUIRER Global Nation & the Spokesman of Sultan Kiram of the old Sultanate of Sulu

Friday, December 28, 2012

Philippine Navy sends first patrol ship to West Philippine Sea anew -beg China to respect its sovereign territory

China asked United States of America to respect its national interest in Asia; the Philippines asked China to respect its sovereign territory and it's 370 Kilometers from its coast or 200 Nautical Miles (NM) Exclusive Economic Zone as grants from UNCLOS: US will respect china's interest.

As published in the Business World Online Thursday, The Philippine Government once again calls for China to respect the "territorial sovereignty" and the exclusive economic zone after the former sent its first patrol ship to the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement on Friday.

"The Philippines strongly objects to the Chinese patrol of Philippine maritime domain in the WPS [West Philippine Sea]," DFA Assistant Secretary and Spokesman Raul S. Hernandez said in a text message to reporters.

"Such patrol will not validate the 9-dash lines [China's claim] and is contrary to China's obligation under international law including UNCLOS [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea]," Mr. Hernandez added.

The government reacted to the reports that a patrol ship was sent from China in the disputed areas in the West Philippines Sea.

The dispute between the Philippines and China escalated after the Scarborough Shoal issue. Other countries such as Malaysia and Taiwan claim ownership of parts of the disputed seas. (read further in the Business World Online)

Philippines objections to new Chinese gunboat in the Spratly

MSN News also published that the  Philippines on Friday said it "strongly objects" to China's deployment of a new patrol vessel in the South China Sea, where the two countries have a seething maritime territorial dispute.

Such patrols will not boost China's claim to the disputed territory where the two countries have had a standoff since April, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a statement.

"The Philippines strongly objects to the Chinese patrol of Philippine maritime domain in the West Philippine Sea," the statement said, using the local name for the South China Sea.

It called on China to respect the country's "territorial sovereignty and EEZ", referring to the Philippines' 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

China's official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday an ocean-going patrol vessel equipped with a helipad would be deployed to the South China Sea, the first of its kind in the area.

In late November, China said it had granted its border patrol police the right to board and turn away foreign ships entering the disputed waters, raising fears of a confrontation.

Both the Philippines and China have overlapping claims over parts of the South China Sea, a major shipping route that is also believed to hold vast mineral resources.

Tensions between China and the Philippines have risen in the area since April after ships from both countries had a standoff over a rock outcropping known as the Scarborough Shoal.

While the Philippines has withdrawn its ships, it says China reneged on an agreement to pull out its own vessels.

China claims the shoal as well as nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters close to the coasts of neighbouring countries. The Philippines says the shoal is well within its EEZ. (read further in MSN News)

Philippines claims South China Sea islands, How Filipinos Discovered the Paradise in the Kalayaan Group of Islands?

Filipinos have settled on Thitu Island as a means to strengthen the country's claim on the Spratlys.

hitu Island is at the centre of one of the biggest territorial disputes in the world.

It is part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which are believed to be sitting on billions of dollars' worth of oil and gas reserves.

Six countries claim ownership of the tiny archipelago, including the Philippines, which has people living on Thitu Island as a means to strengthen its claim on the Spratlys.

Article published in Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan reports from the Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Watch the Video of the Pagasa Island (Thitu Island) of the Paradise Kalayaan Group of Islands, Spratlys, Province of Palawan, (Old Sultanate of Sulu) Philippines.

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