ASEAN Perspectives

Pres. Duterte explains why he reversed IATF resolution; says UK variant infecting even kids

  (Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte said that he was just taking precautionary measures when he decided to reverse the earlier resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on regarding the easing of restrictions for children aged 10 to 14 years in Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) areas. The 75-year old Philippine leader, who is also a doting grandfather, said that it is best to be extra careful especially with the […]

Asia welcomes Biden presidency with healthy gains

  HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Asian markets saw Joe Biden’s first day as US president with broad gains Thursday as investors look forward with optimism about his economic and Covid-19 recovery plans. Soon after being sworn in, Biden signed more than a dozen executive orders unwinding some of his predecessor’s policies, including rejoining the World Health Organization that observers say will help in the fight against the devastating disease. He also signed back up […]

Pres. Duterte says next PHL president should also be “forceful” in stopping corruption in gov’t

(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants the next president of the country to be as firm as he is in stopping corruption in government. Duterte said this during Thursday’s (Jan. 14) inauguration of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project which he said would hopefully ease the “horrendous traffic congestion” in the Philippine capital. The 75-year old Philippine leader said that he wanted to leave a legacy of infrastructure projects that would […]

Most Filipinos still optimistic about 2021; optimism highest among youth, says PAHAYAG poll

  (Eagle News) – Majority of Filipinos are still “optimistic” about the coming year, with optimism ranking higher among those aged 18 to 49, according to the PAHAYAG End-Of-the-Year survey done by Publicus Asia, Inc., a relational business and political management firm based in the Philippines. In its poll done from Dec. 3 to 9, 2020 through nationwide purposive sampling comprising of 1,500 respondents, about 75 percent or three-fourths of those surveyed said that they […]

Singapore gets Asia’s first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses

  SINGAPORE (AFP) — Singapore received Asia’s first delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Monday, capping what the city-state’s premier said had been a “long and arduous” year spent fighting the pandemic. The trade and finance hub last week joined a handful of other countries around the world, including Britain and the United States, which have approved the jab. It plans to innoculate its 5.7 million people by the third quarter of 2021, with […]

What is the RCEP trade deal?

  HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — Backed by China, the sprawling Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is seen as a coup for Beijing in extending its influence across the region and marks its dominance in Asian trade. After eight years of wrangling over the details, the trade pact — the world’s largest in terms of GDP, say analysts — was signed on Sunday. – What is RCEP? – Launched in 2012, RCEP is a trade pact […]

Duterte calls on ASEAN to press developed nations on climate change amid destructive typhoons

Tells ASEAN leaders how PHL is affected by successive desvastating typhoons   (Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte called on leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to make a collective action to further press developed countries to mitigate carbon emissions to better address the effects of climate change. In attending briefly thru online means the 37th ASEAN Summit happening in Vietnam, the Philippine leader also asked to be excused from attending further the […]

Myanmar vote ban extinguishes hope for ethnic minorities

  by Su Myat MON Agence France Presse YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) — For many marginalised ethnic minority groups in conflict-plagued regions of Myanmar, next month’s national elections had at least offered a glimmer of hope for empowerment. But a decision to exclude swathes of their homelands from the vote — ostensibly over security concerns — has instead filled them with anger and despair, with nearly two million people now disenfranchised. Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling […]

What is Thailand’s ‘section 112’ royal defamation law?

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — Thailand’s monarchy is protected by one of the world’s toughest defamation laws, making any criticism of the powerful King Maha Vajiralongkorn very risky inside the country. After police arrested a number of prominent political activists Thursday, a government spokesman said charges will be pressed against those who obstructed a royal motorcade a day earlier and anyone who had acted “in a way that defames the monarchy”. – What is the section […]

Singapore PM’s defamation suit against blogger begins

  SINGAPORE (AFP) — Singapore’s leader criticized “malicious and baseless” claims in an article linking him to a corruption scandal, as he testified on Tuesday at the start of his defamation suit against a blogger. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is suing Leong Sze Hian after the blogger shared an article on Facebook linking the premier to the money-laundering scandal at state fund 1MDB in neighbouring Malaysia. Leaders in the tightly controlled city-state have frequently […]

Pres. Duterte tells UN: PHL win in 2016 Arbitral Ruling “now part of int’l law”, affirms claim in South China Sea

  (Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte told the United Nations General Assembly that the Philippine government is standing firm in its “commitment in the South China Sea” including the 2016 Arbitral Award which invalidated the “nine-dash line” claim of China on the South China Sea. Speaking during the High-Level General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), President Duterte said that the Philippines is standing firm on its claim […]

Pompeo urges Southeast Asia to shun South China Sea firms

  HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — Washington’s top diplomat urged Southeast Asia on Thursday to cut ties with Chinese companies helping build islands in the South China Sea, weeks after the US blacklisted two dozen firms working in the disputed waters. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments came at a regional Asian summit overshadowed by the US-China rivalry over a range of issues, from trade to the coronavirus. Tensions are also simmering over the South China […]