11 FEBRUARY 2014
Jobless Filipinos hit 12.1 million
The number of unemployed Filipinos in the last quarter of 2013 swelled to more than 12 million, making the 7.2-per-cent growth in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) last year, considered the second-fastest after China, far from inclusive.
5 FEBRUARY 2014
Philippine president compares China’s expansion to Nazi Germany
The West’s failure to confront China over its increasingly vocal territorial ambitions is similar to the disastrous appeasement of Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s, the Philippine president has claimed.
30 JANUARY 2014
Philippine economy grows 7%
The Philippine economy expanded 7.% in 2013 despite a devastating typhoon and a powerful earthquake that slowed performance in the last quarter
Hong Kong imposes sanctions on Philippines
The current visa-free arrangement for visiting Philippine diplomats and officials will be suspended from February 5, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told a press conference
29 JANUARY 2014
Philippines says 37 rebels killed in offensive
At least 37 Islamic fighters have been killed in a two-day offensive against insurgents opposed to a new peace deal between the government and the main Muslim rebel group, military officials said Wednesday.
27 JANUARY 2014
Philippines launches offensive against rebels
The Philippine military has launched a major offensive against a splinter rebel group, two days after negotiations with the country’s main Muslim rebel group to end a decades-long insurgency that has killed tens of thousands successfully ended
25 JANUARY 2014
Philippines and Muslim rebels reach agreement
The Philippines has agreed the final section of a peace deal with Muslim rebels fighting a long-running insurgency in the south of the country.
17 JANUARY 2014
Foreign investment key to Philippine growth in 2014
The Philippine economy is likely to register a GDP growth rate of 7 per cent in 2013. This comes even after many challenging events throughout the year, including the US tapering announcement, territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea with China, and the calamities that hit several areas in the central and southern Philippines.
15 JANUARY 2014
Philippines seeks US ships to counter China
The Philippines has said it wants to acquire two more navy ships from the US to boost its maritime protection amid military threats from China, according to the country’s military chief.
11 JANUARY 2014
Philippines, Vietnam condemn China’s fishing law
The Philippines and Vietnam condemned a new Chinese law that requires foreign fishermen to seek Beijing’s approval to operate in much of the South China Sea, but China’s Foreign Ministry insisted it has the right do so. http://asiancorrespondent.com/118205/philippines-vietnam-condemn-chinas-fishing-law/
31 DECEMBER 2013
PHL-China relations in 2014: How to navigate the West Philippine Sea disputes
The year 2013 was, by all means, a challenging period for Philippine-China relations. Despite earlier hopes that a new Chinese administration, under President Xi Jinping, would positively change the complexion of bilateral relations, we have instead seen an escalation in maritime tensions in the West Philippine Sea.
20 DECEMBER 2013
Philippine mayor killed at Manila airport
Ukol Talumpa, the mayor of the town of Labangan in Zamboanga del Sur province, was killed together with his wife, an 18-month-old baby and one other person, Al Jazeera’s Jamela Alindogan reported from Manila on Friday.
13 DECEMBER 2013
‘Killing of journalists a nat’l catastrophe’
An international human rights watchdog has urged President Aquino to declare the deadly attacks on Filipino journalists a “national catastrophe,” saying that the situation “threatens civil liberties” in the country.
8 DECEMBER 2013
Philippines, Muslim rebels sign ‘power sharing’ accord
The Philippine government and Muslim rebels on Sunday signed a crucial power sharing accord, paving the way for a final peace agreement aimed at ending a decades-long insurgency that has killed tens of thousands.
6 DECEMBER 2013
China pulls out of UN process over territorial dispute with Philippines
China is taking the highly unusual step of refusing to participate in a United Nations arbitration process over a territorial conflict with the Philippines, one of five countries challenging Beijing’s claims of ownership over the oil-rich South China Sea.
13 NOVEMBER 2013
Typhoon Haiyan: children at risk of abuse and trafficking
With aid running short and near anarchy in the hardest-hit areas, the estimated two million children affected by the monster storm are its most vulnerable victims, Save the Children warns
11 NOVEMBER 2013
Typhoon Haiyan: Philippines declares state of calamity
The Philippine President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national calamity to speed relief efforts for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
10 NOVEMBER 2013
Philippines reels from Typhoon Haiyan havoc
Philippine President Benigno Aquino has promised that help is on the way for the hundreds of thousands hit by Typhoon Haiyan, as the death toll was expected to reach 10,000 in one province alone.
7 NOVEMBER 2013
A strategic pearl for US-Philippine ties
Manila’s development of Oyster Bay has been driven in part by rising traffic at Subic Bay, particularly as more American battleships drop anchors at its piers. According to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), 72 US warships and submarines visited Subic between January and June this year. That figure compares with 88 US naval vessel visits in 2012, 54 in 2011 and 51 in 2010. The figures exclude port calls made in Manila and other ports outside Subic.
5 NOVEMBER 2013
Hong Kong warns Manila of sanctions over hostage tragedy
Hong Kong threatened the Philippines with sanctions on Tuesday if there’s no progress in talks over an apology for families of tourists killed while vacationing in Manila three years ago. http://asiancorrespondent.com/115344/hk-warns-manila-of-sanctions-over-hostage-tragedy/ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/11/hong-kong-gives-philippines-sanctions-warning-20131156552579778.html
24 OCTOBER 2013
South China Sea: Manila backtracks on accusing Beijing of « imperialism”
Philippine President Aquino withdraws allegations that China wants to build on the Scarborough Shoal, a group of disputed islands . A sudden change of direction, which threatens to undermine the credibility of the executive long at loggerheads with Beijing. In recent days, short face-to- face meeting between Aquino and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
23 OCTOBER 2013
Taipei and Manila set up fishery hotline in bilateral talks: MOFA
Taiwan and the Philippines have officially established a hotline to facilitate two-way communication in the event of future fishing incidents as both sides concluded a fresh round of bilateral fishery talks in Taipei yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said. http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/foreign-community/2013/10/23/391937/Taipei-and.htm
20 OCTOBER 2013
Philippine ‘sultan’ who launched Sabah incursion dies
Jamalul Kiram III, 75 — who described himself as the « Sultan of Sulu » after a group of islands in the southern Philippines — died at a government hospital but remained defiant to the end, his wife, Fatima Kiram said.
12 OCTOBER 2013
US Warns Of Mindanao Terrorist Threats
The United States embassy in Manila yesterday warned US citizens of a “series of credible security threats” in the southern Philippines region of Mindanao.
3 OCTOBER 2013
Former President Arroyo, 3 Cabinet men charged with plunder
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, three of her Cabinet secretaries and 20 others were charged with plunder in the Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday for allegedly stealing P900 million from the Malampaya Fund meant for impoverished victims of back-to-back storms in 2009.
Philippines fails to reach deal with US over increased military presence
Discussions over proposals to expand the American military’s presence in the Philippines failed to reach a deal, Filipino officials said Thursday, a day after US President Barack Obama called off a Manila visit.
30 SEPTEMBER 2013
Coordinated MNLF attack shows Misuari’s hand
The separate but coordinated moves of five rebel commanders from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction led by Nur Misuari betrayed Misuari’s hand in the deadly attack on Zamboanga City, the military said
28 SEPTEMBER 2013
Miss Philippines crowned Miss World amid Muslim anger
Miss Philippines is crowned Miss World 2013 in a glittering finale on the Indonesian resort island of Bali amid tight security following weeks of hardline Muslim protests.
27 SEPTEMBER 2013
Philippines military frees final hostages, still pursuing rebels
Efforts to negotiate the hostages’ release failed, resulting in intense bursts of fighting that had left 158 people dead as of Thursday, including 125 members of the MNLF, the government-run Philippines News Agency said.
22 SEPTEMBER 2013
Aquino to charge Philippine rebel leader over city attack
Philippines – President Benigno Aquino vowed Sunday to bring criminal charges against Muslim rebel leader Nur Misuari for a deadly attack on a major southern Philippine city that left hundreds dead or injured.
16 SEPTEMBER 2013
Philippine airstrike hits rebels in Zamboanga
The Philippine armed forces have launched a helicopter airstrike as part of their ongoing assault at Muslim rebels occupying parts of a major southern city, stepping up efforts to end an eight-day standoff that has left dozens dead.
14 SEPTEMBER 2013
Philippine clashes rage despite truce effort
Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay has headed to the southern city of Zamboanga in a bid to broker a truce with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters holding scores of civilian hostages while locked in a deadly stand-off with government forces.
10 SEPTEMBER 2013
Fighting rages amid Philippine hostage crisis
Troops in the Philippines have surrounded six villages in the south of the country where hundreds of fighters linked to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) are holding at least 170 hostages.
9 SEPTEMBER 2013
Philippine rebels take hundreds hostage
At least 200 people have been taken hostage in southern Philippines after rebels rampaged through coastal communities, leaving at least six people dead, local news reports say.
9 SEPTEMBER 2013
More US boots on Philippine soil
The Philippines has provisionally agreed to allow for stronger US military presence on its soil
6 SEPTEMBER 2013
Women in Philippine politics
If women comprise half of the population, an equitable situation in politics would be one where half of elective positions are occupied by women. But the actual figures in the Philippines show we’re a long way off from that equity. In 1998, only 16.2 per cent of elected officials (including the president and vice president and Congress and local government officials, down to city and municipal levels) were women.
3 SEPTEMBER 2013
Manila, Beijing, and UNCLOS : a test case ?
3 SEPTEMBER 2013
Manila Accuses China of Building on Disputed Reef
The Philippines says it has spotted dozens of concrete blocks it believes may be the beginning of a Chinese construction project on a disputed group of reefs in the South China Sea.
1 SEPTEMBER 2013
France drops Philippines from tax blacklist
The Philippines has been removed from the French government’s blacklist of noncooperative countries for their tax policies.
30 AUGUST 2013
Philippine radio commentator gunned down
A popular radio commentator known for being critical of alleged corruption and rising crime in a southern Philippine city has been killed by a gunman, police said Friday.
29 AUGUST 2013
Philippines says China withdraws Aquino invite
The Philippine government said that China has withdrawn an invitation to President Benigno Aquino III to visit a trade fair in an apparent snub as the two countries are locked in a territorial dispute.
26 AUGUST 2013
Filipinos Protest Government Corruption
Across the Philippines on Monday, « National Heroes Day, » tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against discretionary funds given to lawmakers that critics say are not being used as intended and instead are funneled to corrupt organizations..
21 AUGUST 2013
‘Million people march’ vs pork spreads like Arab Spring
A social media initiative calling for a “million people march to Luneta” to demand the scrapping of the lawmakers’ pork barrel is shaping up as a sort of an Arab Spring spreading across the Philippine archipelago—from Baguio in the north to Davao in the south.
20 AUGUST 2013
Floods in the Philippines – in pictures
Flooding caused by some of the heaviest rains on record in the Philippines submerged more than half its capital, Manila, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters
12 AUGUST 2013
US to increase Philippines presence
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the longtime allies had already agreed in principle to allow a bigger US military presence in the Philippines.
8 AUGUST 2013
Philippines to start talks with US on greater military presence
The Philippines said it would soon start talks on expanding US access to its bases, a move that would result in a greater presence of American troops in the country amid rising tensions with China.
6 AUGUST 2013
Philippines adds 2nd major warship to fleet
The Philippines on Tuesday celebrated the arrival of a decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard cutter as its second major warship to challenge China’s massive territorial claims that Filipino officials say have intruded into their country’s potentially oil-rich offshore seas.
3 AUGUST 2013
Philippines acquiring French vessel for West Philippines Sea
The Philippines said Saturday it is purchasing a surplus French Navy vessel to boost its forces in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) where it has an ongoing territorial dispute with China.
27 JULY 2013
Japan’s Abe vows maritime help to Philippines amid China row
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged increased maritime cooperation with the Philippines on Saturday amid growing territorial disputes with regional rival China. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/japan-s-abe-vows-maritime/758032.html
22 JULY 2013
Thousands of farmers to get plots of Aquino family farm
Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Monday that work would start in weeks to divide his family’s giant sugar plantation between thousands of peasant farmers, ending a decades-long struggle for control.
Thousands protest in Philippines
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in the Philippines Monday to demand better jobs, more inclusive growth and the protection of human rights ahead of President Benigno Aquino III’s state of the union address.
18 JULY 2013
New reef rift hits China-Philippines ties
A fraught naval stand-off between a modern Chinese flotilla and a rusty Philippine hospital ship over a South China Sea shoal is undermining supposed regional progress towards a binding code of conduct over the waters. With Beijing’s military focused on fortifying its positions and Manila loathe to lose its gateway to untapped energy reserves, neither side is likely to back down. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/SEA-01-180713.html
14 JULY 2013
Philippines and MILF rebels in wealth-sharing deal
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will receive 75% of the gold, copper and other resources mined from the southern island. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23305339 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/07/201371473745138809.html
9 JULY 2013
Church begins final Philippine birth control battle
A relentless Catholic Church campaign to derail a birth control law in the Philippines entered its final phase at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, with the verdict to have a monumental impact on millions of poor Filipinos. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130709-435987.html
8 JULY 2013
The Joseph Estrada’s political comeback
After his unceremonial ouster as Philippine president in 2001, Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada has once again been elected to public office, this time as mayor of Manila, the country’s capital. http://thediplomat.com/asean-beat/2013/07/08/joseph-estradas-political-comeback/
6 JULY 2013
Philippine communists vow revenge for slain spokesman
Communist insurgents Saturday promised revenge after Philippine soldiers killed their regional spokesmen along with seven other rebels in the latest operation against the militants since talks to end one of Asia’s longest running insurgencies collapsed. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130706-435213.html
5 JULY 2013
Philippines aims to nearly halve poverty by 2016
Nearly 28 percent of the country’s 97 million people live below the poverty line and the government’s aim is to reduce that to 16.6 percent within the next three years. http://asiancorrespondent.com/110282/philippines-aims-to-nearly-halve-poverty-by-2016/
4 JULY 2013
Antidivorce law looms in 16th Congress
Divorce could be one of the major battles in the 16th Congress, with the early refiling of a bill that opposes it and the declaration by its advocates that they will press its adoption in the Philippines. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/437951/antidivorce-law-looms-in-16th-congress
1 JULY 2013
Philippine president vows to rebuild air force by 2016
Philippine President Benigno Aquino vowed on Monday to acquire fighter jets, air defence radar and other equipment within three years to bolster the country’s weak air force, amid a territorial dispute with China. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/357802/philippine-president-vows-to-rebuild-air-force-by-2016 http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/436579/aquino-vows-to-beef-up-philippines-air-power
24 JUNE 2013
China rejects Philippines’ illegal seizure of Ren’ai Reef: Chinese FM spokeswoman
China will not tolerate the seizure of the Ren’ai Reef, also known as the Second Thomas Shoal, which the country claims as its indisputable territory, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said Monday. http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20130625000097&cid=1101
18 JUNE 2013
Philippines, Taiwan on way to mending relations
The Philippines and Taiwan are on the way to restoring their good relations after Friday’s breakthrough fishery meeting aimed at preventing the recurrence of violent confrontations in overlapping waters, Manila’s representative to Taipei said Monday. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/77821/ph-taiwan-on-way-to-mending-relations
6 JUNE 2013
Philippines’ Enrile Quits as Senate President, Blasts Colleagues
The Philippine Senate’s Marathon Man, Juan Ponce Enrile, had been expected to be ousted from his post as Senate president after the May 13 election when forces aligned with President Benigno S. Aquino III became a majority. But probably nobody expected the 89-year-old lawmaker to go out with such an astonishing burst of acrimony, comparing himself to Jesus Christ being « crucified » by his enemies. http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5478&Itemid=187
29 MAY 2013
Philippine airline cancels Taiwan flights amid row
One of the Philippines’ biggest airlines said Wednesday it had cancelled the planned launch of a new Taiwan route because of tensions over a Taiwanese fishermen being killed by the Filipino coastguard. http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Relax/Story/A1Story20130529-426003.html
25 MAY 2013
Taiwan has new terms vs The Philippines
The government of Taiwan on Saturday imposed new conditions that would further delay the Philippines’ investigation of the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Filipino coast guards three weeks ago. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/75667/taiwan-has-new-terms
23 MAY 2013
China sent warship to break Philippine control of reef: Global Times
China sent a warship to a shoal in the disputed Spratly islands in the South China Sea earlier this month because it was trying to stop the Philippines from trying to assert de facto control of the reef, according to the Global Times, a tabloid under the auspices of the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily. http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20130523000150&cid=1101
23 MAY 2013
Taiwan stops hiring Filipino workers
Taiwan is refusing to hire new workers from the Philippines after the country’s coast guard shot dead a Taiwanese fisherman. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/05/201352324951266483.html
21 MAY 2013
Aquino: We can fight back vs any threat
Faced with territorial disputes and worries of external and internal threats, President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday claimed that the Philippines can fight back and defend itself within its bounds. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/75177/philippines-protests-chinese-warships-presence
19 MAY 2013
Watchdog says 2013 Philippine elections worse than 2010
The recently concluded 2013 automated elections were worse than the 2010 exercise because of the bigger number of errors and the “arbitrary and highly irregular decisions” which compromised the elections’ credibility and transparency, according to a poll watchdog group. http://www.asianewsnet.net/Watchdog-says-2013-Philippine-elections-worse-than-46863.html
15 MAY 2013
Taiwan recalls Philippine envoy over shooting
Taiwan has recalled its ambassador to the Philippines and announced it has frozen the hiring of Philippine workers to protest against the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman, rejecting an apology over the incident as inadequate. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/05/201351544057410475.html
14 MAY 2013
Aquino strengthened after midterm elections
President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday secured big wins in midterm elections seen as vital to his ambitious reform agenda, but the success of famous, graft-tainted rivals raised alarm. http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/409297/aquino-strengthened-after-midterm-elections
Joseph Estrada elected mayor of Manila
Joseph Estrada, the former Philippine president who was overthrown 12 years ago in a popular uprising, has been elected mayor of the capital, Manila. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-22525032 http://asiancorrespondent.com/107633/philippines-former-president-estrada-wins-manila-mayor-race/ http://www.euronews.com/2013/05/14/philippines-estrada-elected-mayor-of-manila/
7 MAY 2013
Philippine Midterms: Referendum on Church Power
The election, a midterm test halfway through the six-year presidential term of Benigno S. Aquino, is expected to be pivotal for several reasons. The most important is that it is a major test of the power of the Catholic Church against the popularity of Aquino over the historic Reproductive Health Act signed into law in January after being stalled for 14 years by church opposition http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5397&Itemid=187
4 MAY 2013
Palace rues PH tag as 3rd worst place for journalists
Malacañang is not elated by reports that the country remains the third worst place for journalists. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/73535/palace-rues-ph-tag-as-3rd-worst-place-for-journalists
26 APRIL 2013
China slams Philippines over disputed islands
China on Friday hit out at the Philippines’ attempt to seek an international verdict on a territorial dispute over islands in the South China Sea, repeating that it would never give up its claims. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/china-slams-philippines-over-disputed-is/654032.html
10 APRIL 2013
Philippines Files Charges Against Chinese Ship Stuck on Reef
Philippine officials say 12 fishermen who were onboard a suspected Chinese ship are facing the first of several charges after their vessel got stuck on a major protected reef in the southwestern Philippines far from reefs and islands in the South China Sea that are contested by China. http://www.voanews.com/content/philippines-files-charges-against-chinese-ship-that-got-stuck-in-protected-reef/1638419.html
19 MARCH 2013
Philippine top court halts contraceptives law
The Philippine Supreme Court has temporarily halted the implementation of a law opposed by the dominant Roman Catholic Church that provides state funding for contraceptives. http://asiancorrespondent.com/102614/philippine-top-court-halts-contraceptives-law/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21842167
9 MARCH 2013
21 Filipino UN peacekeepers seized in Syria arrive safe in Amman
The United Nations welcomed the release on Saturday of 21 Filipino peacekeepers, who had been seized by Syrian rebels on the Golan Heights, as they crossed to freedom in Jordan after a three-day ordeal. http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/298564/pinoyabroad/news/21-filipino-un-peacekeepers-seized-in-syria-arrive-safe-in-amman?ref=bannerh1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21725991
8 MARCH 2013
Philippines: HRW condemns extrajudicial killing of activist mother
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for swift justice following the gunning down of an activist and mother of three in Davao City in the Philippines earlier this week. http://asiancorrespondent.com/100807/hrw-philippines-activist-cristina/
7 MARCH 2013
Philippines demands Syrian rebels release UN troops
The Philippines on Thursday strongly condemned the hostage-taking of 21 Filipino UN peacekeepers by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights ceasefire zone and demanded their immediate release. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130307-407070.html
6 MARCH 2013
Power of the Catholic Church slipping in Philippines
About 80 percent of Filipinos are Catholic, and they traditionally looked to the church for political and moral guidance. Recent reforms, however, are overriding church positions. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2013/0306/Power-of-the-Catholic-Church-slipping-in-Philippines?nav=104-csm_subcategory-topStories
5 MARCH 2013
Malaysia bombs armed Filipino group in Sabah
Malaysian troops backed by fighter jets have attacked an armed Filipino group, trying to end a standoff on Borneo island after violence that killed at least 27 people and sparked fears of broader insecurity in the resource-rich region. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/03/2013355257319682.html http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/05/malaysian-forces-attack-armed-filipino-group
3 MARCH 2013
Five Malaysian cops killed in firefight with Filipinos in Sabah standoff
Five members of the Malaysian security forces have been killed in a firefight in Sabah with an armed group believed to be among the Filipino followers of the Sulu Sultanate Saturday night http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/297457/news/nation/five-malaysian-cops-killed-in-firefight-with-pinoys-in-sabah-standoff-reports?ref=bannerh1 http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/03/2013336814161699.html http://globalnation.inquirer.net/66539/fighting-in-sabah-rages
1 MARCH 2013
Malaysia raids Sabah village to end deadlock
Twelve followers of a self-described Philippine Sultan died in a shootout with Malaysian security forces Friday, police said, as tensions ratcheted up in their 17-day standoff http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/03/20133141728737880.html http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130301-405701.html
27 FEBRUARY 2013
Sulu sultan defies Aquino
President Aquino yesterday warned Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III he would face the “full force of the law”—possibly including arrest—unless he withdrew his armed followers from Sabah, Malaysia, but the sultan was defiant, saying his men were staying put in the disputed territory. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/65749/sulu-sultan-defies-aquino
25 FEBRUARY 2013
Philippines Martial Law Victims to Receive Reparations
Philippine President Benigno Aquino signed into law Monday legislation that would recognize and compensate victims of human rights abuses during martial law under former President Ferdinand Marcos http://www.voanews.com/content/philippines-martial-law-victims-to-receive-reparations/1610111.html
22 FEBRUARY 2013
China strategy for the Pilippines
The standoff in the Scarborough Shoal between China and the Philippines not only demonstrated Manila’s commitment to defend its maritime territory, but also Beijing’s determination to maintain its territorial aspirations at all costs. Knowing what strings to pull to pressure the Philippines, Beijing engaged in a series of de facto economic reprisals http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/china-strategy-for-the-philippines/
19 FEBRUARY 2013
Filipinos’ standoff in Borneo linked to peace deal with Muslim rebels
The peculiar standoff on Borneo between Malaysian security forces and a group of men from the southern Philippines has its roots in a recent landmark peace deal between Manila and Muslim rebels, according to an expert on the region. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/18/world/asia/malaysia-philippines-standoff/index.html?hpt=ias_c2
Sultan: Hold your ground
Saying there was no turning back, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III has declared that his followers who crossed into the town of Lahad Datu in the Malaysian state of Sabah this month were staying put to reclaim their ancestral homeland. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/64851/sultan-hold-your-ground
18 FEBRUARY 2013
Filipinos refuse to end Borneo standoff
Followers of a Philippine sultan who crossed to the Malaysian state of Sabah this month will not leave and are reclaiming the area as their ancestral territory, the sultan has said amid a tense standoff. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/02/201321824845491993.html http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/295486/news/regions/sabah-standoff-a-result-of-peace-pact-with-milf-sulu-sultan-claims?ref=bannerh1
17 FEBRUARY 2013
Sulu sultan won’t budge
Undaunted amidst mounting pressure from both the Philippine and Malaysian governments, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, the acknowledged leader of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo insisted that his royal decree that authorised the presence of his younger brother, crown prince Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram and the combined civilian and armed followers in Lahad Datu, Sabah. http://www.asianewsnet.net/Sulu-sultan-won’t-budge-42844.html
15 FEBRUARY 2013
Filipino gunmen to leave Malaysia territory if demands are met
A group of close to 100 Filipinos, who are in a standoff with Malaysian authorities after forcing out villagers from Kampung Tanduao, is claiming to be the royal armed forces of the Sulu Sultanate. They also want to stay put in Sabah, an area they are laying claim to, and not be deported to the Philippines. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/15/world/asia/malaysia-philippines-standoff/index.html?hpt=ias_c1 http://www.asianewsnet.net/Filipino-gunmen-to-leave-Msia-territory-if-demands-42775.html http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20130215-402284.html http://globalnation.inquirer.net/64577/heirs-of-sultan-of-sulu-pursue-sabah-claim-on-their-own
11 FEBRUARY 2013
Philippines’ Aquino visits rebel stronghold
Philippines: Philippine President Benigno Aquino paid a historic visit Monday to Muslim rebel territory in a bid to speed up efforts to end one of Asia’s longest and deadliest insurgencies. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1253538/1/.html http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/294388/news/nation/pnoy-visits-milf-in-former-battleground-in-maguindanao?ref=topstories
1 FEBRUARY 2013
China opposes taking sea disputes to UN: FM
China has reiterated its opposition to the Philippines’ request to take South China Sea disputes to a UN tribunal, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday. http://www.chinamedia.com/news/2013/02/01/china-opposes-taking-sea-disputes-to-un-fm/
26 JANUARY 2013
The Philippine story: ‘Sick man of Asia’ now transforming, revitalized, dynamic
President Benigno Aquino III has pitched to the international investor community the Philippine story of transformation from being a “sick man of Asia” into one dynamic country bucking a global economic downturn. http://business.inquirer.net/104483/the-philippine-story-sick-man-of-asia-now-transforming-revitalized-dynamic
23 JANUARY 2013
Manila wants to take Beijing before a UN tribunal over the South China Sea
The Filipino government Manila has exhausted « almost all political and diplomatic avenues » to resolve the dispute over the Scarborough Shoal. Ready to provide technical support, UN wants a peaceful solution between the parties. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Manila-wants-to-take-Beijing-before-a-UN-tribunal-over-the-South-China-Sea-26946.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21163507 http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/01/23/world/north-korea-angered-over-u-n-rocket-vote/
22 JANUARY 2013
Philippines takes China to UN tribunal
The Philippines has taken the step of bringing its West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) territorial disputes to China before an Arbitral Tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to achieve a peaceful and durable solution to the disputes, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario announced. http://www.asianewsnet.net/Philippines-takes-China-to-UN-tribunal-41801.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21137144
8 JANUARY 2013
Clouds gather over Mindanao peace deal
This month will mark the first 100 days after the historic signing of the Bangsamoro Peace Framework Agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The agreement has been widely touted as a great leap forward toward ending armed conflict in the region through the creation of a new political entity, known as the Bangsamoro regional government, that will replace the existing five-province Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). That optimism waned somewhat after the 12,000 strong MILF announced that it would not lay down its arms until the new http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/OA09Ae01.html
3 JANUARY 2013
The Philippines the big surprise
The Philippine GDP growth rate for 2012 is now estimated to be 6 per cent, which exceeds many earlier consensus forecasts of around 5 per cent. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/01/03/the-philippines-2013-outlook/
2 JANUARY 2013
Philippine communist rebels call off truce
Communist rebels in the Philippines have called off a truce with the government, almost two weeks ahead of schedule, raising concerns about the future of peace talks. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/01/20131284554693970.html
29 DECEMBER 2012
Philippines contraception law signed by Benigno Aquino
Philippines President Benigno Aquino has signed into law a bill providing for free access to contraception and family planning.
27 DECEMBER 1012
A delayed take-off
The Philippines is finally picking up economic momentum, but this rapid growth has passed over the vast majority of the poor http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/6f0d5036-4443-11e2-932a-00144feabdc0.html?goback=%2Egde_1972950_member_202857748#axzz2HekwaLbK
25 DECEMBER 2012
Top Philippine communist rebel arrested
The arrest of Filemon Mendrez, the country’s sixth most-wanted man, comes amid a Christmas ceasefire and as the government and rebels are engaged in high-level peace talks aimed at ending one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1244470/1/.html
20 DECEMBER 2012
Philippine government, rebels agree on truce
The Philippine government and communist rebels have agreed on a nationwide truce to help restart peace talks to end one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies.
18 DECEMBER 2012
Philippine Catholics oppose birth-control law
Philippine Catholic leaders have vowed to overturn a birth-control bill after legislators passed landmark legislation to make sex education and contraceptives more widely available.
17 DECEMBER 2012
Aquino issues Executive Order on Moro transition
President Aquino on Monday 17 issued an executive order creating a commission that will hammer out a proposed law creating a new autonomous government in Mindanao, the next step to fulfilling an agreement with Moro guerrillas who had given up separatism for broader self-rule.
7 DECEMBER 2012
Death toll over 500 in the Philippines following typhoon
Rescuers were digging through mud and debris Friday to retrieve more bodies strewn across a farming valley in the southern Philippines by a powerful typhoon. The death toll from the storm has surpassed 500, with more than 400 people missing. http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/07/15752731-death-toll-over-500-in-the-philippines-following-typhoon?lite
30 NOVEMBER 2012
Philippines criticises ‘dictatorial’ China
The Philippines has accused China of being « dictatorial » over plans to keep ships stationed in the disputed Scarborough Shoal area of the South China Sea
29 NOVEMBER 2012
Philippines will not stamp new Chinese passport
The Philippines has become the latest country to say it will not stamp visas in a new Chinese passport because it includes a map of the South China Sea that Manila says shows its territor
28 NOVEMBER 2012
Manila, booming economy: growth exceeds (also) the estimates
The figure for the third quarter (July/September) showed a 7.1% increase compared to the same period in 2011. From « the sick man of Asia », the Philippines have become « the region’s diamond. » The country is among the top 10 in the world in 2012 for economic growth. Mindanao opens investment after the agreement between the government and the MILF
22 NOVEMBER 2012
Philippines Protests Depiction of Disputed Islands on New Chinese Passports
The Philippines is protesting China’s depiction of its claims over the entire South China Sea in an image of a map printed on new Chinese passports.
4 NOVEMBER 2012
Sea dispute to be raised at ASEM: Aquino
Philippine President Benigno Aquino said on Sunday his country would raise overlapping claims to the South China Sea during a summit of Asian and European leaders in Laos this wee
22 OCTOBER 2012
Misuari to followers: Armed option remains
Moro leader Nur Misuari on Sunday told his followers here that armed struggle remained an option for the Moro National Liberation Front to advance the cause of the Bangsamoro people even if the MNLF signed a peace agreement with the government in 1996.
21 OCTOBER 2012
Philippines stop to celebrate new saint, Pedro Calungsod
Millions followed the canonisation Mass celebrated by the pope in St Peter’s Square. All of the country’s parishes join in the celebration with Masses, processions and prayer vigil. Martyred in 1672 at only 17, Saint Pedro is loved by young Filipinos who have chosen him as their patron saint.
19 OCTOBER 2012
Chinese officials to hold talks in Manila
Deputy foreign ministers from China and the Philippines will meet in Manila on Friday 19 in their first official high-level talks since the row over Huangyan Island began in April
15 OCTOBER 2012
Philippines and Muslim rebels sign key peace plan
The Philippines has signed a framework peace plan with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The deal follows lengthy negotiations aimed at ending a 40-year conflict that has cost an estimated 120,000 lives
13 OCTOBER 2012
Philippine peace deal seen as blow to terrorists
Hunted by U.S.-backed Filipino troops in 2005, Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani and other al-Qaida-linked militants sought refuge in the mountainous stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines. But the rebels turned them away, afraid that harboring extremists would scuttle their peace talks with the government.
7 OCTOBER 2012
Philippines announces peace deal with Muslim insurgents
President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines said Sunday that a deal had been agreed with the insurgent Moro Islamic Liberation Front on establishing an autonomous region for the nation’s Muslim minority, the result of 15 years of negotiations
6 OCTOBER 2012
Audit finds Philippines lost US$2.46b to anomalies
The Philippines lost $2.46 billion through misuse of state funds and assets during the latter years of graft-tainted ex-president Gloria Arroyo’s rule, government auditors said
Communist rebel leader captured in Philippines
New People’s Army regional chief Benjamin Mendoza and three other suspected insurgents were arrested in the early hours of Saturday outside their hideout in suburban Quezon City http://asiancorrespondent.com/90420/communist-rebel-leader-captured-in-philippines/
4 OCTOBER 2012
Philippines arrests Gloria Arroyo on plunder charges
A court had issued an arrest warrant for Mrs Arroyo, who is accused of diverting $8.8m (£5.5m) from the state lottery charity fund for personal gain
3 OCTOBER 2012
Media groups, Filipinos protest tough cyber law
Media groups and Filipinos stepped up calls Wednesday for repealing a tough new law that targets cybercrime but activists fear will be used to suppress online freedoms in the Southeast Asian nation. http://asiancorrespondent.com/90299/media-groups-filipinos-protest-tough-cyber-law/ http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/281742/sc-no-tro-on-cyberlaw
2 OCTOBER 2012
Philippines, Muslim rebels close to peace accord
The Philippine government and Muslim rebels have resumed talks on resolving final differences in a preliminary peace accord they hope to conclude soon, in what is expected to be a major breakthrough toward ending a decades-long rebellion
23 SEPTEMBER 2012
Philippines-China tension eases
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas met with China’s leader-in-waiting on Friday 21 and told him that Manila hoped to have friendly relations with Beijing and overcome difficulties caused by a territorial row in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)
22 SEPTEMBER 2012
Poverty traps Philippine child labourers
14 SEPTEMBER 2012
Philippines on frontline of US-China rivalry
The Philippines has emerged as a frontline state in the rivalry between the United States and China for Southeast Asian power and influence. Locked in a bitter territorial dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea, and with no prospects of a diplomatic resolution in sight, Manila has moved to bolster to its long-standing strategic alliance with Washington.
13 SEPTEMBER 2012
Some 5,000 Filipino migrant workers caught up in the Syrian inferno
Most of the migrants are women, employed as domestic and care workers by rich Syrian and foreign families. About 300 have been repatriated after fighting between rebels and the army put their lives in harm’s way
24 AUGUST 2012
First female chief justice named
President Benigno Aquino on Friday named a veteran judge as the first female chief justice of the Philippine Supreme Court, following his controversial ousting of her predecessor. http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20120824-367401.html http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/271066/news/nation/pnoy-names-sereno-new-chief-justice?ref=bannerh1
18 AUGUST 2012
Philippines interior secretary missing in plane crash
Interior secretary Jesse Robredo is among three people missing after small plane crashed at sea off a central island. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/18/world/asia/philippines-plane-crash/index.html?hpt=ias_c2 http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/252450/robredo-2-others-missing-after-plane-crash
6 AUGUST 2012
Philippines: Battle rages between govt troops, Islamic rebels in Maguindanao
Government troops and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) are still locked in pitched battles in several towns of Maguindanao leaving the national highway that connects Cotabato City and General Santos City impassable.
5 AUGUST 2012
UN weighs in on Philippine birth control debate
The United Nations warned Sunday that failure to pass a controversial birth control law in the Philippines could reverse gains in development goals amid stiff opposition from the powerful Catholic Church.
4 AUGUST 2012
Philippine Catholics rally against reproductive health law
Thousands of Catholics have rallied in the Philippines against a measure to control the country’s population growth.
26 JULY 2012
Chinese fishing fleet closes in on Pag-asa Island
A fleet of 20 Chinese fishing vessels believed to be escorted by at least two naval frigates of the People’s Liberation Army has been deployed around Pag-asa Island in a move likely to escalate tensions over disputed territories in the Spratly archipelago between the Philippines and China. http://globalnation.inquirer.net/45499/china-fishing-boats-warships-drop-anchor-off-pag-asa
25 JULY 2012
Philippines’ ex-leader Gloria Arroyo free on bail
A Philippine court has granted bail to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on election sabotage charges, but she is unlikely to leave detention immediately because of a pending corruption case.
23 JULY 2012
Aquino urges Philippines to unite on China
Philippine President Benigno Aquino urged all Filipinos on Monday to unite in sending a message to China over a territorial row, insisting his country would not give in to its more powerful neighbour. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20120723-360873.html
20 JULY 2012
Philippines struggles to curb child labour
In the Philippines there is a renewed push to stamp out child labour where over millions of children eke out a living as workers, miners and farm hands instead of going to school. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/07/2012720103130712708.html
17 JULY 2012
Filipinos charged over $12,000 to flee Syria: Manila
Filipino workers trying to flee the unrest in Syria are being charged up to US$10,000 (S$12,624) by their employers before they can leave, the foreign department in Manila said on Tuesday.
9 JULY 2012
Philippines suspends governor for hitting reporter
President Benigno Aquino suspends a province governor for a month without pay for storming a state-run radio station and hitting a broadcaster on the head with a microphone.
6 JULY 2012
Military spending spree in the Philippines
China’s rising assertiveness to claims over the contested Spratly Islands has spurred the Philippines to ramp up a long-overdue upgrade of its external defense capability. Manila’s move signals an impending arms race in the increasingly volatile region. Next month, Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s government will begin bidding for some 70 billion pesos (US$1.8 billion) worth of military contracts, the initial outlay of a 500 billion peso budget for a five-year modernization of the 125,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
30 JUNE 2012
‘Gov’t not doing enough to punish rights abusers’
A New York-based human rights watchdog on Saturday said Philippine government efforts at prosecuting human rights violators were not enough, with most cases failing to reach the trial stage.
28 JUNE 2012
Another prospective witness in Maguindanao massacre case confirmed killed
A prosecutor in the Maguindanao massacre case on Thursday confirmed that another prospective prosecution witness has been killed.
22 JUNE 2012
Ethnic Chinese dominate PH economy
Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words. The pictures of the top 15 Filipino billionaires (in US dollars, mind you) in Friday’s issue of the Inquirer brought home with crystal clarity the domination of the Philippine economy by ethnic Chinese. This is, of course, not a unique situation, as it seems to be the case in all of Southeast Asia (with the possible exception of Malaysia), but that is cold comfort indeed.
20 JUNE 2012
Korea to export TA-50 jets to Philippines
The Philippines air force has decided to purchase 12 TA-50 trainer jets from South Korea in a project worth nearly $360 million, a Philippines broadcaster reported Wednesday. The aircraft produced by Korea Aerospace Industries will be delivered within next year, ABS-CBN reported citing air force officials. http://view.koreaherald.com/kh/view.php?ud=20120620001048&cpv=0
18 JUNE 2012
China ships stay in Panatag Shoal
China has no immediate plans of pulling out its vessels at Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), the Chinese Embassy said Monday 18.
17 JUNE 2012
Communists ready to resume talks with Philippines
Philippine communist rebels waging one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies said Sunday they were prepared to resume formal peace talks with the government.
14 JUNE 2012
Scarborough Shoal: It’s PH map vs China map
Old maps, which some government officials believe may hold the key to the Philippines’ claim to Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), were the created by foreign missionaries and colonial explorers, making them “personal and unofficial,” according to a report posted on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Makati City.
9 JUNE 2012
US to boost Philippine defence
The United States pledged to help the Philippines step up its defenses in the face of a rising China, as President Benigno Aquino III and President Barack Obama prepared to meet at the White House amid Philippine warnings that “weakness invites aggression.”
29 MAY 2012
Philippine Senate convicts chief justice
Philippine senators have voted overwhelmingly to convict Renato Corona, the country’s top judge, for failing to declare $2.4m in bank accounts after a trial that lasted five months http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/05/201252992220148225.html http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/203217/guilty-corona-accepts-fate-after-senate%e2%80%99s-20-3-vote
24 MAY 2012
Philippines accuses China of flaring tensions further
The Philippines yesterday accused China of flaring tensions anew by sending more government and fishing vessels to Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal despite ongoing talks to resolve the two-month-old standoff. Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Raul Hernandez said the number of Chinese vessels at Scarborough Shoal increased to 92 from 77 on Tuesday 22
11 MAY 2012
Filipinos protest at China embassy over ‘bullying’
Hundreds of Filipinos demonstrated outside the Chinese embassy in the Philippines on Friday over an escalating territorial row, with the protesters denouncing China’s rulers as arrogant bullies http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/11/world/asia/philippines-china-dispute/index.html?hpt=ias_c2 http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20120511-345343.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18030805
28 APRIL 2012
UN approves PH territorial claim to Benham Rise
The United Nations has approved the Philippines’ territorial claim to Benham Rise, an undersea landmass in the Pacific Ocean potentially rich in mineral and natural gas deposits, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said
23 APRIL 2012
Manila Court Backs Breakup of Aquino Estate
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court in the Philippines ruled unanimously on Tuesday 23 to break up the rambling estate owned by the family of President Benigno S. Aquino III, parceling out plots to more than 6,000 farmers and their families after decades of sometimes bloody conflict over the land
22 APRIL 2012
US commander reaffirms Philippines defense treaty
In the strongest comments yet from an American official on the South China Sea dispute, Commander of the US Marines in the Pacific Lieutenant General Duane Thiessen said the Philippines and US were bound by a military agreement
19 APRIL 2012
China rejects Philippines’ attempt to internationalise shoal dispute
China rejected a request by the Philippines yesterday 18 to take a maritime dispute to an international court, as Beijing sent a major ship to beef up patrols in the South China Sea.
17 APRIL 2012
China to Philippines: Quit Scarborough Shoal
China has asked all Philippine vessels to leave immediately Panatag Shoal and sent a second aircraft buzzing over the area to scare away Filipino fishermen, officials said Tuesday 17
11 APRIL 2012
Arroyo pleads not guilty to corruption charge
Former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband have pleaded not guilty to corruption charges related to an overpriced deal with a Chinese telecommunications company in a second criminal case against her
Philippine navy in standoff with China ships
The Philippines has summoned China’s ambassador in Manila after two Chinese ships blocked a Philippine Navy vessel from arresting Chinese fishermen in the South China Sea.
18 MARCH 2012
Japan to pour more investments in PH
The Japanese are back and a euphoric President Benigno Aquino III says he expects the wave of Japanese investments currently pouring into the country to continue for some time.
3 MARCH 2012
Government defends abstention in UN vote on Syria
Fearing reprisals against Filipino workers, the Philippine government abstained from voting on a United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council resolution deploring the “brutal actions of the Syrian regime” and reiterating the need to urgently address humanitarian needs, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA
29 FEBRUARY 2012
Philippines to defy China and expand oil search
The Philippines said Wednesday it would push ahead with plans to expand oil and gas exploration in waters also claimed by China, as it brushed off a fresh Chinese warning
23 FEBRUARY 2012
Arroyo pleads not guilty to poll fraud
Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has pleaded not guilty to an electoral fraud charge at the opening of a landmark trial.
16 FEBRUARY 2012
OFW remittances hit record $20B
Overseas Filipinos sent home a record $20.12 billion last year, rising 7.2 percent from 2010 and exceeding the government forecast of 7 percent despite a slowing US economy and debt problems in Europe
2 FEBRUARY 2012
Philippine military ‘kills three wanted militants’
The Philippine military says it has killed three senior militants from al-Qaeda-linked groups in a raid in the south of the country. Officials said two Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) leaders and one Abu Sayyaf leader were among a total of 15 people killed
23 JANUARY 2012
NY-based group raps Aquino over human rights abuses
The New York-based Human Rights Group on Monday lamented that President Aquino’s valiant promises to stem the rampant violation of human rights have remained just that, and said it could show its resolve by arresting a high ranking retired military officer accused of kidnapping militant students
8 JANUARY 2012
China accused by Philippines of Spratlys intrusion
The Philippines has accused China of intruding into its waters around the disputed Spratly islands after three ships were spotted in December
7 JANUARY 2012
While one general rises …
Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa, a senior military aide to former Philippine president Corazon Aquino, will now serve « Cory’s » son, current President Benigno Aquino III, as the 43rd chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Dellosa’s appointment comes at a time of rising security threats, including growing maritime tensions with China and changing dynamics in insurgencies in the country’s southern region.
… while another one falls
The recent filing of kidnapping and illegal detention charges against prominent retired Philippine general Jovito Palparan has restored faith in President Benigno Aquino’s promised reform agenda and given cheer to the country’s many human-rights campaigners. Palparan, a figure intimately tied to the rash of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances recorded during Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s presidency, has disappeared since the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued charges against him and three other soldiers for kidnapping two University of the Philippines students and a peasant farmer in June 2006
27 DECEMBER 2011
Philippines flash floods death toll nears 1,500
Almost 1,500 people are now known to have died in flash floods that struck the southern Philippines more than a week ago
19 DECEMBER 2011
Philippines floods: Aid agencies say 120,000 in need
Aid agencies in the Philippines are trying to reach more than 120,000 people affected by flash flooding on the island of Mindanao. At least 972 people died in the disaster, according to goverment sources.
18 DECEMBER 2011
Philippines flood toll passes 650 as search continues
The number of people killed in the Philippines by floods triggered by Tropical Storm Washi has risen to 650. Soldiers and volunteers are still searching for the 800 people reported missing on southern Mindanao island. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2011/12/201112184120695345.htmlhttp://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/18/world/asia/philippines-storm/index.html?hpt=ias_c1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-16236757 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/18/world/asia/flooding-kills-scores-in-southern-philippines.html?_r=1&ref=asia
16 DECEMBER 2011
US urges China to release human rights lawyer
The United States has urged China to « immediately release » human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and to clarify his whereabouts. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2011/12/2011121618851238855.html
13 DECEMBER 2011
Philippine vote official held on fraud charge
Benjamin Abalos, the former head of the country’s election authority, surrendered to a Manila regional court in suburban Pasay city on Tuesday 13 and was placed under arrest
12 DECEMBER 2011
Philippine chief justice impeached
The Philippine House of Representatives has impeached the country’s supreme court chief justice over alleged corruption and favoritism toward arrested ex-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. A majority of the 284 members of the lower chamber of congress signed a resolution on Monday to impeach Renato Corona, who will now be tried by the senate in an impeachment tribunal
6 DECEMBER 2011
Palace-Supreme Court fight escalates
Philippines: Palace officials on Tuesday joined President Benigno Aquino III in stepping up attacks against the Supreme Court, warning magistrates against obstructing a popular reformist agenda and raising the specter of a people power uprising
23 NOVEMBER 2011
Mike Arroyo liable in helicopter scam
A fact-finding panel of the Office of the Ombudsman found the husband of the former President and now Pampanga representative liable for graft charges for the allegedly anomalous sale of helicopters to the Philippine National Police in 2009
Slow trial frustrates Philippine massacre kin
Two years after a political massacre in the southern Philippines became the single worst slaying of journalists in the world, more than half of the nearly 200 suspects remain at large
21 NOVEMBER 2011
Philippines considers South Korean military equipment
The Philippines on Monday expressed its interest in acquiring military helicopters, boats and aircraft from South Korea as part of efforts to
boost its military capabilities amid growing tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea.
18 NOVEMBER 2011
Philippines arrests ex-president in hospital room
Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was arrested in her hospital room on electoral fraud charges Friday in a high-profile tug of war set off by her attempts to leave the country ostensibly for medical treatment
15 NOVEMBER 2011
Philippines: Gloria Arroyo stopped from boarding plane
The Philippine government has defied a Supreme Court ruling that allowed former President Gloria Arroyo to travel abroad for medical treatment.
More Filipino families rate themselves poor in survey
The number of Filipino families who consider themselves poor has grown, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, particularly in Luzon (excluding Metro Manila) where gloom about worsening conditions had expanded, eclipsing improvements seen in other areas.
10 NOVEMBER 2011
Philippines roils South China Sea
Tensions are rising again as China and the Philippines bump boats and trade diplomatic barbs over the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Adding fuel to the fire were recent « war games » staged by 3,000 American and Filipino marines near the hotly disputed maritime territory. The latest row was sparked by alleged intrusions into each other’s claimed area in the potentially oil-and-gas rich chain of islands, where more than 50% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage passes each year. It also comes ahead of a crucial East Asian Summit meeting later this month in Bali, Indonesia where world leaders will be in attendance and the issue on the agenda
8 NOVEMBER 2011
Philippines bans ex-president Arroyo from travel
The Philippine government on Tuesday rejected an appeal from former president Gloria Arroyo to travel abroad for medical treatment, saying she may be trying to avoid a graft probe.
3 NOVEMBER 2011
Philippines ranks 8th among 135 on world gender equality
The Philippines, where women and men enjoy the same access to education, remains in the top 10 countries with the least gender gap, according to the 2011 Global Gender Gap rankings by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum. From ninth place last year, the Philippines ranks eighth among 135 countries this year, with a score of 0.768.
26 OCTOBER 2011
Clashes in Philippines Could Threaten Government Peace Talks
Philippine defense officials say fighting between government forces and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group has displaced some 20,000 residents of two southern provinces. The fighting is happening even though the two sides are in the midst of peace talks.
17 OCTOBER 2011
Italian missionary’s slay shocks Church
In a broad daylight murder that stunned members of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as government officials, Italian missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio—fondly known as “Father Pops”—was gunned down in a church compound in Arakan town while a flag-raising ceremony was going on nearby
15 OCTOBER 2011
Wasted youth in the Philippines
It’s a cliche for politicians to talk about youth as the hope of a nation. In the Philippines, national leaders are instead planning a war on youth. A series of startling crimes committed by children barely out of grade school has national legislators mulling legal changes that would make kids as young as nine years old criminally liable for their actions. Calls to lower the age limit gained momentum following news footage featuring a series of armed robberies committed by minors who forcibly open the doors of taxis caught in traffic
13 OCTOBER 2011
Aquino: No state honors for Marcos
President Benigno Aquino (left) says there will be no state funeral or any kind of state honors for the late Ferdinand Marcos whose remains lie in an airconditioned glass case in Batac, Ilocos Norte. Photos by PDI
8 SEPTEMBER 2011
NDF drops ‘coalition gov’t’ from agenda
The government and the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDF) have agreed to resume peace talks sometime between late October and early November even as both sides issued conflicting statements on the release of jailed rebels
24 AUGUST 2011
President Aquino: Ship symbol of our defense
The Philippines’ newest warship, which sailed on Tuesday into Manila Bay after a 14,679-kilometer voyage from the United States, was hailed by President Benigno Aquino III as a symbol of the country’s determination to defend its claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South
3 AUGUST 2011
Choppy waters ahead in South China Sea
The Philippines Wednesday (August 3) dismissed a tough Chinese warning, insisting it would go ahead with plans to explore for oil in the disputed waters
29 JULY 2011
House raiders: So sorry
“You can’t hide anything that stinks.”
With those words, Senior Superintendent Rafael Santiago on Friday apologized to the Filipino nation, “and especially to Madame Susan Roces,” for what he and his men did six years ago—steal election returns (ERs) to ensure the victory of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the
fraud-marred 2004 presidential election.
28 JULY 2011
The Aquino-Arroyo Contest Heats Up
The bloodhounds appear to be sniffing closer to former Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whom the current president, Benigno S. Aquino III, has vowed to put in jail on corruption charges. Whether they will track her down remains problematical, given the Filipino culture of
impunity. Arroyo announced earlier this week that she was to enter St. Luke’s Medical Center in Metro Manila on July 28 for what was described as a “risky” operation to correct a pinched nerve in her spine. And, despite the fact that Aquino appears intent in getting her behind bars, the Malacañang presidential palace asked the public to offer prayers for Mrs. Arroyo’s recovery
20 JULY 2011
South China Sea dispute: Philippine MPs visit Spratlys
The politicians landed on Pagasa island, the only island in the Spratlys chain populated by Filipinos, and sang the national anthem with residents
19 JULY 2011
Report cites Philippines rights abuses
The government of the Philippines is failing to investigate and prosecute killings and abuses by the military, fuelling further injustices, according to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW). The report, released on Monday, detailed evidence of the military’s involvement in seven killings and three enforced disappearances of leftist activists since Benigno Aquino III, Philippines’ president, took office in June last year.
15 JULY 2011
Philippine navy colonel detained for calling for Aquino ouster
A colonel in the Philippine Navy who allegedly called for the ouster of the government has been confined to his quarters, the chief of the navy said Frida
17 JUNE 2011
Philippines Stands All but Alone in Banning Divorce
When citizens of the small Mediterranean nation of Malta voted in a referendum last month to legalize divorce, they reignited debate in the Philippines, one of the last countries, along with Vatican City, where divorce is still banned
26 MAY 2011
A million Filipinos joined ranks of unemployed since November
More than one million adult Filipinos joined the ranks of the unemployed between November and March, according to the latest survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS). The SWS survey, conducted on March 4 to 7 and released on Wednesday, said adult unemployment rose to 27.2 percent, or an estimated 11.3 million, from 23.5 percent (9.9 million) just four months before.
23 MAY 2011
Call for Chinese restraint over Spratlys
Meeting amid renewed tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the defence chiefs of China and the Philippines jointly called for « responsible behaviour » while all parties work for a peaceful resolution
20 MAY 2011
Saudis reject Philippine maids pay rise bid
The Philippines said Friday Saudi Arabia had rejected a demand to guarantee higher pay for Filipina maids, temporarily closing one of the largest labour markets for the struggling Asian nation. The dispute began early this year after the Philippines demanded a minimum US$400 (S$494) monthly wage for its domestic workers as well as proof that Saudi households employing them would pay and provide humane working conditions
29 APRIL 2011
VFA allows US presence But DFA adds revival of US bases ‘not possible
Temporary US presence in the country may be permitted, but the return of American military bases in the Philippines is “not possible” under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, the Department of Foreign Affairs said
7 APRIL 2011
Ex-dictator Marcos in Philippine ‘Hall of Heroes
Marcos, who has been accused of human rights abuses and massive corruption, is in the museum as part of a showcase for those who received the military’s highest honour, the « Medal of Valour, » Brigadier General Jose Mabanta told AFP
28 MARCH 2011
Hero’s Burial for Marcos?
Twenty-five years after he died in exile in Hawaii, sentiment is growing in the Philippines to bury the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who looted his country of a suspected US$100 billion, in the country’s Cemetery of Heroes. That feeling culminated earlier this week in a resolution by 190 members of the Philippine House of Representatives asking President Benigno Aquino III to allow the burial in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani, as the cemetery is known, in the historic Fort Bonifacio in Manila. More lawmakers in the 284-member chamber are expected to sign on as well
07 FEBRUARY 2011
MILF divided, Mindanao peace process at risk
Leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front create a new army and leave the line of dialogue supported by the rest of the group. AsiaNews sources emphasize the risk of a new civil war in the Muslim majority region
27 October 2010
Policeman says he was paid for Philippine massacre
A Philippine police officer on Wednesday 27 testified in court that he was paid about 350 US dollars (S$455) by a powerful Muslim clan scion to help carry out the country’s worst political massacre.
Inspector Rex Ariel Diongon said he received the money from Andal Ampatuan Jnr to set up the police checkpoint that stopped the convoy of a rival politician in the southern province of Maguindanao last year
19 OCTOBER 2010
Filipinos aim to give US army the boot
Some 3,000 United States Marines are currently in the Philippines for joint training exercises with their Filipino counterparts amid mounting opposition calls to scrap a controversial bilateral military pact
12 OCTOBER 2010
Armed Forces of the Philippines welcome P-Noy amnesty grant
The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday said it was respecting the proclamation of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino, the military’s commander-in-chief, granting amnesty to military officers and men who figured in at least three attempts to overthrow the previous administration
21 JUNE 2010
Sex education campaign in Philippine schools sparks debate
A new sex education campaign in Philippine schools has sparked widespread debate in Asia’s bedrock of Catholicism, where the high
birth rate is blamed for desperate poverty
17 MAY 2010
Elections in the Philippines: Little to be Proud of
Gabriela Perdomo – Final results are yet to be announced but it is not too early to give a poor mark to the most recent presidential and legislative elections in the Philippines. The May 10 ballot was marked by allegations of fraud, vote-buying and violence, leading up to and on election day, leaving dozens of fatal victims behind
1 MAY 2010
Political dynasties in the Philippines
The four-part special report prepared the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Across the Nation section and filed by dozens of provincial correspondents identifies many of the political dynasties who have staked a claim to the 2010 elections. The lead paragraph of the second story in the series gives us the necessary perspective: “In 50 provinces, at least 108 families use elections in the Philippines as a virtual playground to keep themselves in political power.”
13 SEPTEMBER 2009
Over 3,000 killed in communist movement in 8 years
Violence spawned by the communist insurgent movement in the Philippines has claimed more than 3,000 lives over the last eight years, figures released by the military showed. The figures revealed that 1,072 soldiers and police, 1,476 rebels and 559 civilians had died in communist
insurgent-related violence since 2001