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Disclaimer: The commentaries and/or analyses presented in this section are the views and perspectives of individual authors/contributors and do not in any way represent the official position of the FNPFP Website administrators, the Asian Center or the University of the Philippines in relation to the subjects concerned.
As an archipelago, the unity of the islands and the waters surrounding the same is a fundamental tenet for the Philippines. Having one of the world's longest coastlines and possessing a huge expanse of maritime domain to include its Exclusive Economic Zone and Extended Continental Shelf, safeguarding its seas and managing its marine resources long constitute a major challenge for the Philippine government. Aside from this geographical given, domestic and regional factors also put pressure on efforts to police these waters.
The aim of this article is to discuss how the Philippines enhanced its national security by forging a more pragmatic foreign policy vis-à-vis its ties with Malaysia. The two countries have a long-standing dispute over the territory of Sabah. This article argues that with the advent of secessionist movements in Mindanao, the Philippines maintained a dormant claim to Sabah in order to gain Malaysian support for a peaceful solution to the Mindanao problem.
The 2014 APEC summit is scheduled to be held in Beijing this coming November, and until a few days ago, it was anyone’s guess whether Philippine President Benigno Aquino would attend (he will). Unlike with lower level officials, the absence of heads of state in important conferences like APEC are by themselves noteworthy for what they signify in terms of bilateral relations.
The Islamic State (IS) has aroused much media attention in the Philippines, with concerns raised over pledges of allegiance (bay’at) made by leaders of two groups of Muslim militants. However, links remain normative rather than operational, given the dissonance between IS ideology and Mindanao rebels.