Commentary/Analysis

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Olli Suorsa | December 29, 2016 | Source: RSIS

Synopsis

Thailand and the Philippines are seen distancing from the US and leaning toward China. This should not be understood as switching allegiances but as refusing to choose sides and diversifying their economic, diplomatic and military relations with multiple regional powers.

Commentary

BA Hamzah | December 14, 2016 | Source: RSIS

Synopsis

Suggestions that kidnappers/extortionists make money from ransom do not explain the root causes of maritime violence in the Sulu Sea. The main solution lies in development of the impoverished region in Mindanao and granting the Muslims self-rule in their homeland, coupled with regional cooperation to enforce law and order at sea.

Commentary

Joycee A. Teodoro | December 1, 2016 | Source: CIRSS

The ASEAN Charter and key documents, such as the ASEAN Community Vision 2025: Forging Ahead Together, explicitly state that ASEAN maintains its centrality in the regional processes and in the conduct of its external affairs. Maintaining centrality is crucial to ASEAN’s success as a regional bloc and critical to its relevance in the international arena. Moreover, through ASEAN centrality, a rules-based regional order is promoted and developed, consequently diffusing potential tension and conflict between and among states, whether big or small.

Mico Galang | December 1, 2016

7 October 2016 marked President Rodrigo Duterte’s first 100 days in office. In his brief stint, Duterte has undoubtedly stirred controversy over the country’s foreign relations because of his tirades and use of expletives.

Mico Galang | December 1, 2016

In the realm of foreign policy, the Duterte administration has pursued what has been termed by the media as the “pivot to China” policy, i.e. pursuing close relations with Beijing despite overlapping claims in the South China Sea (SCS)—a stark contrast to the frosty bilateral ties under President Aquino.

Ann Febel Bajo | December 1, 2016

The question on whether we actually understand policy pronouncements of President Rodrigo Duterte came about when I had a conversation with a member of the US Special Operations Forces. He is assigned here in Manila and leads a team of Special Forces who train soldiers of the Philippine Army.

Arunajeet Kaur | November 18, 2016 | Source: RSIS

Synopsis

The Philippines has a culture of politics-induced labour migration. It relies heavily on labour export and remittance money but that has resulted in many negative consequences for the country’s economic and social development. Notwithstanding President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement on changing this situation, no imminent change is expected.

Commentary

Bilveer Singh and Kumar Ramakrishna | July 21, 2016 | Source: RSIS

Synopsis

The announcement of Wilayah Philippines in southern Philippines epitomises a new IS strategy to “pivot” to Southeast Asia. It signals a direct threat to countries in the region even as IS Central comes under pressure in the Middle East.

Commentary

David Han Guo Xiong | July 14, 2016 | Source: RSIS

Synopsis

Malaysia-Philippines relations under the new Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte are likely to remain cordial and warm. The inherent pragmatism of the leaders of both countries would translate into stronger cooperation on shared mutual interests.

Commentary

Julio S. Amador III and Edcel John A. Ibarra | July 1, 2016 | Source: CIRSS

There were arguments that the Philippine government should not have solely relied on international courts to manage the country’s most pressing national security concern: the maritime disputes in the West Philippine Sea. Some commentators pointed out that the Philippines depended heavily on other countries (particularly the United States), that the government seemed complacent and lax in handling the disputes, that Filipinos could never retrieve the West Philippine Sea, and that the country was lacking external security and losing in its strategy.

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