Thursday, July 14, 2016

Philippines in the Headlines ( below the fold of course)

Austin Bay summarizes what the West Philippine Sea decision means...

So here we are. The Chinese government refused to participate in the arbitration. It now refuses to accept the decision. Beijing insists that it will only recognize bilateral agreements with its neighbors — which means it will bully them one on one. No nation in Southeast Asia can match Chinese power and it is very doubtful a coalition of nations could, either ... 
unless that coalition had the backing of the U.S. Which leads to the next unanswered question: What will Washington do?
President Obama will do nothing of course.

for China, nothing, since they now insist they own not only the sea lanes but threatening to take over the air routes that travel over the region.

Key quote:

China claims most of the energy-rich waters, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.

and Philippine fisherman ask: Does that mean we can fish in our traditional areas again, without the worry that we will be shot at?

and what will VietNam do now? China grabbed the Paracel Islands from them in 1974, and last week sank one of their fishing boats...

The MBulletin reports even Indonesia is worried about Chinese fishermen depleting their maritime resources.

But Beijing’s claims overlap Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone — waters where a state has the right to exploit resources — around the Natunas, and there has been an upsurge in clashes between Indonesian patrol and navy boats and Chinese fishing vessels and coastguards.

 there is danger of a collapse of the ecosystem frrom overfishing.

The areas was fished by locals from all countries in the past.

Historically, the Ming dynasty withdrew from letting their people trade, so the vacuum essentially allowed the pirates rule the area, 
The pirates even tried to take over Luzon, but were defeated by the Spaniards and the local Filipinos.

But of course, in China they only hear the government propaganda, which is being used to distract people from the corruption, pollution and some very major economic problems.

and don't forget terrorism:

RT News reports that ISIS is planning an Asian pivot against Malaysia and the Philippines...

The jihadist says in Malay that those fighters who cannot make it to Syria should travel to the Philippines and fight there. Udin calls on jihadists to unite under the leadership of Abu Abdullah, a Philippine extremist leader of Abu Sayyaf militant group, who swore allegiance to IS in January.
more HERE.

Authorities in the region have been on heightened alert since Islamic State claimed an attack in the Indonesian capital Jakarta in January in which eight people were killed, including four of the attackers. 

As for Indonesia: they were bombed last January: or as RT snidely remarks:

 Indonesia snubs Saudi ‘anti-terror’ coalition... then its capital gets hit

From the terrorists’ point of view, the Jakarta operation was a failure. That failure was partly due to the vigilance of Indonesian police, who had increased security across the capital in recent weeks due to what they said was the interception of terror communications.

a lot of the anti terror training in Indonesia in the past was done by Australia, in retaliation for the Bali Bombing (i.e. pre 911).

StrategyPage reports many attacks in southern Thailand this year.

There were 49 attacks during Ramadan in the three Moslem provinces, leaving 22 dead and 47 wounded. There were sixteen bombings, 22 shootings and three arson attacks.

Here in the Philippines, the main war is against drugs and corruption (the two are linked: Much of the drug pushers bribe the cops etc). A lot of low level pushers are turning themselves in for fear of vigilante type assassination.

And the MB reports that Chinese running a meth lab in a ship off of Subic Bay were arrested.

These vessels are also involved with smuggling of illegal and counterfeit goods. The arrest means that bribing local officials to look the other way might not work as well in the future.

but the drug trade is not just from Chinese entrepeneurs: The cops also nabbed a Korean at the airport trying to smuggle drugs to Korea and arrested some West Africans involved in the drug trade.

The Philippines is the center of drug distribution.

and also money laundering, as that Bengladesh money to casino to China heist showed.

finally, with 11 million OFW's around the world, the anti immigrant sentiment and terrorism is a worry for them..

The hope is that if President Rody cleans up some of the corruption, that they can return home and use their skills here in the Philippines.

Since Duterte is naming names and going against the big shots, everyone here is hoping he continues his cleaning up operation.

No comments: