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Rich reserves behind China’s bullying in area

China has thought of many ways to gain control of the West Philippine Sea. Now comes Chinese media reporting that it will deploy regular sea patrols, not only in the disputed waters claimed by the Philippines but also in those waters claimed by Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.   These waters embrace islands and islets [...]

Posted: January 31st, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Saudi-watching, China-watching


The numbers are almost incredible: An estimated 1.5 million Filipinos work in Saudi Arabia, 20,000 of them undocumented or irregular (the preferred terms to “illegal”). That’s equivalent to the total population of the city of Manila.

Posted: November 7th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Misguided nationalism

The recommended filing of homicide charges against the Coast Guard personnel involved in the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman in May may be unpopular with some Filipinos who insist that we must defend our defenders at all cost—an example of misguided nationalism that ignores our national interest in using international law to oppose Beijing’s territorial aggrandizement over our seas.

Posted: August 9th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Territorial disputes in East Asia


The rapidly unfolding reconfiguration of societies in the world today has generated new and more nuanced ideas about international relations, state-citizen interactions, national identity and state sovereignty.

Posted: August 3rd, 2013 in Infographics,Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Teco hopes for satisfactory results for PH, ROC

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) [...]

Posted: July 18th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Fishery agreement will benefit PH, Taiwan

This is in response to the news reports titled “PH, Taiwan on way to mending relations” (Page 1, 6/18/13) and “Beijing warns PH on talks with Taipei” (Page 1, 6/19/13).

Posted: June 27th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Taiwan ‘a country of sovereignty’

In response to the labeling of the Republic of China (ROC or Taiwan) as a “noncountry” in the Inquirer’s June 20 editorial, we would like to ask the Inquirer this question: If the ROC is a “noncountry,” why would Filipinos need to apply for visas to travel to Taiwan?

Posted: June 23rd, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Mending nets

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.

Posted: June 19th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Nations and people


The Philippines and Taiwan have agreed to avoid armed confrontations in dealing with fishing disputes. Henceforth, we will share maritime law enforcement, notifying each other posthaste whenever actions are taken against vessels and crews of one or the other.

Posted: June 19th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Taiwan reacts to this column of May 27


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.

Posted: June 6th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

ROC’s reaction to Doro’s column

I would like to make some important clarifications on the statements made by Amando Doronila in his May 29 column titled “Taiwanese fishermen provoked Coast Guard into firing.”

Posted: May 31st, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »


In the last several days, the exchange of angry recriminations over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman in Philippine waters has given way to a flurry of bureaucratic activity—and the sound of government officials on both sides of the dispute working at something necessary is welcome.

Posted: May 30th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »



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