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By Isabel T. Escoda
It’s not just elephants who have long memories; Hongkongers seem to have longer ones. The saying “Time heals all wounds” apparently doesn’t apply in this Chinese enclave. The bitter memory of the 2010 Luneta hijacking in the Philippines has lingered among a large number of the population of this territory of 7 million souls.
The high-profile summits held this week in Bali and then in Bandar Seri Begawan were described in many media reports in stark, dualistic terms—an absent United States, a rising China. In fact, the leaders’ meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Indonesia and of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its regional partners in Brunei showed that a multipolar world was truly emerging. But the world’s two biggest economies and military powers dominated the discussion.
By Roland G. Simbulan
It’s been said that our postwar and postindependence foreign policy continues to be dictated by Pax Americana, and not by our own assessment of our needs. And the behavior and actions of the P-Noy administration in the past three years do not seem to deviate from this pattern.
By Amando Doronila
The Philippines’ second warship acquired from the United States, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, arrived on Sunday at the former US naval base in Subic Bay amid conflict between Manila and Beijing over ownership of territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). The Philippine government hailed the arrival of the Hamilton-class cutter, a [...]
By Artemio V. Panganiban
Significantly, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Philippines last week, right after the electoral sweep by his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of the upper house (House of Councillors) of the Japanese Parliament (National Diet) on July 24.
This letter is in response to the news article titled “Resolve tiff with Taiwan, gov’t urged” (News, Inquirer, 7/9/13). We agree with Rep. Roy Señeres: “[T]he Philippine government must stop its foot-dragging and resolve the Taiwan dispute immediately, lest OFWs suffer more permanent consequences” and that the Philippine presidential office should make public the (Philippine) [...]
The way Philippine government officials again tried to intercede for a convicted Filipino drug mule facing death sentence in China, it would not be surprising if other countries see the Philippines as a nation that tolerates drug couriers. If the situation were reversed, it is most unlikely that Chinese government officials would ask the Philippine government to bend its laws for the sake of a convicted Chinese felon. The two countries have different sets of laws and one should respect the other in the manner by which they are being enforced.
After the outburst of public anger, amplified by official outrage orchestrated by an unpopular government, Taiwan is sounding less bellicose these days. Perhaps President Ma Ying-Jeou and his advisers think they have forced the Philippines into a corner. They would be wrong.
By Neal H. Cruz
We were forwarded a letter from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco), which is Taiwan’s unofficial consulate in the Philippines, reacting to our column of May 27 (“Fish is at root of rows with Taiwan, China”) on the diplomatic row between the two countries. The row stemmed from the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman in a Taiwanese fishing vessel that, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), tried to ram its ship in the waters around the Batanes islands. In the letter, Teco denied that the Taiwanese are harassing overseas Filipino workers in their country.
By Amando Doronila
Prior to the shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman whose vessel was intercepted poaching in Philippine waters off the Batanes islands on May 9, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) recorded at least 19 incursions into this area since 2006. The incursions of Taiwanese vessels suspected of illegal poaching have made the northern waters a virtual [...]
By Randy David
To my last column on the current conflict between the Philippines and Taiwan, a country with whom, until recently, we have had only friendly relations, a reader from Canada has written a most thoughtful rejoinder. He wishes to remain anonymous, but, with his permission, I will quote from the rich account he has shared of his experience as a former official of the Canadian department of fisheries in charge of enforcing maritime fishing boundaries. His job entailed protecting his country’s fishery from poachers coming from other countries.
By Randy David
In an ideal world, how would the recent shooting by the Philippine Coast Guard of a Taiwanese fishing boat, which resulted in the killing of one of the fishermen, have been handled? I think that both Filipino and Taiwanese authorities might have immediately sought one another to express grave concern over the incident, and to offer cooperation to ascertain the facts. Both would have drawn assurance from the fact that, despite national differences, a legal order was in place and could be trusted to work.