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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        23  April 2011

Aquino wants security in Spratly Islands

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Philippines President Benigno Aquino 3rd has ordered the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to provide security for offshore oil drilling and oil exploration in the western part of the Philippines, including the disputed Spratly Islands.

During his speech at the change of command ceremony at the PCG headquarters in Manila, President Aquino said that the Coast Guard has been put in charge of securing the area.

“Apart from ensuring that illegal drugs, pirated stuff and any other things that pose a threat to national security, the PCG will also ensure that our territorial waters are free and safe from pollution),” the President added.

“That was why I entrusted to PCG the securing of the offshore drilling and oil exploration in the western part of the Philippines. You in the PCG are our partners in discovering potential sources of energy for Filipinos),” Mr. Aquino said.

Last month, two Chinese patrol boats threatened to ram a Philippine survey ship that was conducting seismic tests in Reed Bank, 250 kilometers west of Palawan.

The government filed a diplomatic protest with Chinese government over the incident that allegedly gained scant attention from Beijing.

Newly installed PCG commander and Vice Admiral Ramon Liwag said that they will provide the security asked of them by the President.He described the Spratly Islands as a “sensitive area.” “We have a claim to the islands, but of course, in order not to be provocative (in connection with our claim), we use a civilian agency, for that matter, the Philippine Coast Guard,” he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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