Olduvaiblog: Musings on the coming collapse

Home » Posts tagged 'Philipines'

Tag Archives: Philipines

Phillippines storms force thousands of homeless to flee shelters | World news | theguardian.com

Phillippines storms force thousands of homeless to flee shelters | World news | theguardian.com.

Philippines storm Agaton in Butuan city

A view of houses swept away during heavy flooding brought by tropical depression Agaton. Photograph: Erik De Castro/Reuters

Emergency workers have evacuated thousands of people across the southern Philippines, including many already made homeless by a typhoon in November, after three days of rain flooded towns and farmland.

Hundreds of survivors of Typhoon Haiyan – one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall – were forced to flee by tropical depression Agaton after emergency shelters were damaged or destroyed on the eastern central island of Samar.

Tents collapsed under the weight of the rain and emergency plastic sheets have been torn away, Oxfam said.

An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year with Haiyanslamming into central islands on 8 November, killing more than 6,100 and wiping out entire coastal communities in Leyte and Samar.

More than 200,000 people have been taken to shelters over the past three days as flood waters rose, but hundreds were still marooned on the roofs of their houses on Tuesday, said Eduardo del Rosario, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Del Rosario said 42 people had been killed, 65 had been injured and damage to property and farms had reached 367m pesos (£5m).

“Our troops are trying to reach them and bring them to safer ground,” Del Rosario said.

Nenita Matuda, 45, and her children perched on their neighbours’ roof as she watched the rampaging waters outside Butuan City in the north of Mindanao island.

“Thank God we are safe but we just lost our house,” she said.

A state of calamity has been declared in Agusan del Norte and 15 other towns in the Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur areas of Mindanao even as the weather bureau lifted alert levels as the storm weakened.

Philippine Navy Adds to Regional Arms Build-Up | The Diplomat

Philippine Navy Adds to Regional Arms Build-Up | The Diplomat.

The Philippine navy hopes to add two more warships to its fleet as Southeast Asian countries continue to expand their militaries in response to the Chinese government’s increasingly assertive territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, also known as the West Philippine Sea.

Armed forces chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista said the new acquisitions would come under the fresh U.S. military assistance plan announced last month by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when he visited the Philippines.

China began widening its territorial claims about five years ago to include nearly all of the seas dividing Southeast Asian countries and their northern neighbor. The claims defy international standards and maritime law, and Beijing refuses to have the dispute heard before an international court.

Its attitude has angered Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, but the four countries have struggled to forge a united front within the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) when dealing with Beijing over the issue.

Adding to recent tensions was Liu Yazhou, political commissar at the People’s Liberation Army National Defense University, who said in a magazine interview that the Chinese military could match the U.S. by “seizing opportunities.”

“An army that fails to achieve victory is nothing,” Liu was quoted as saying by a defense magazine “Those borders where our army has won victories are more peaceful and stable, but those where we were too timid have more disputes.”

That type of language again irritated its neighbors.

The Vietnamese have for the first time publicly marked a naval battle fought against China over disputed islands 40 years ago. Commemorations came a month after the Chinese government published new rules requiring foreign fishing vessels to seek Beijing’s permission to operate in much of the South China Sea.

Taiwan has rejected those regulations, described by some as potentially state piracy, while others have rejected or ignored them.

Vietnam has also moved to bolster its own defenses, taking delivery of its first Russian-made Kilo class submarine, which is part of substantial military upgrade by Hanoi – primarily through a multi-billion-dollar deal with Moscow. Malaysia has also added two French-made Scorpene submarines, boosting its own maritime capabilities.

Indonesia and Singapore are also expanding their fleets in what The New York Times described as “The Submarine Race in Asia.” The paper noted that much of this arms competition was being propelled by growing wealth in Southeast Asia but added these countries and China should realize that increasing their armaments can only undermine their security as well as the stability that nurtures their economies.

Luke Hunt can be followed on Twitter at @lukeanthonyhunt.

Philippines seeks US ships to counter China – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English

Philippines seeks US ships to counter China – Asia-Pacific – Al Jazeera English.

The Philippine armed forces says it needs at least six more frigates to effectively patrol its waters [AP]
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.

“Within the last year, we realised that there is a real threat out there in terms of securing, defending our territory,” armed forces chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista told the Philippines’ ANC television on Wednesday.

There are Chinese fishing vessels in the West Philippine Sea as we speak.

General Emmanuel Bautista,armed forces chief of staff

The new acquisitions fall under the $40m in military assistance pledged by US Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit to the country in December 2013.

But Bautista said the country needs about six more frigates to effectively guard its coastline.

“In fact, we are bidding now for two frigates, hopefully we will be able to acquire them in (a) couple of years,” he said.

The Philippines is a long-time US military ally and has already received two refurbished ships in the past two years.

These boats now patrol the South China Sea where, in 2012, the flagship BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the first US acquisition, confronted Chinese ships on Scarborough Shoal, a small outcrop just off the coast of the country’s main island of Luzon.

The Chinese eventually gained control of the outcrop after Manila backed down. And the Filipino government sought UN arbitration to settle the dispute, a move which China rejected.

Ongoing dispute

The Philippines has been locked in an increasingly tense standoff with China involving disputed reefs and islands in an area Manila calls the West Philippine Sea.

Bautista said the Gregorio del Pilar, as well as another frigate that arrived last year, have been deployed to protect the country’s waters.

“There are Chinese fishing vessels in the West Philippine Sea as we speak,” he said, but declined to say where they were in the disputed waters.

China has claimed almost all of the South China Sea, including waters near the cost of its neighbours.

And it recently declared an “air defence identification zone” over the East China Sea, where it is engaged in a dispute with Japan.

Kerry has warned China against imposing a similar air defence identification zone over the South China Sea.

Last week China also announced a new fisheries law requiring foreign vessels to obtain permits for activities in most of the South China Sea, triggering outrage in Manila.

%d bloggers like this: