ASEAN IN FOCUS

Indonesia military plane crash kills at least 30

(REUTERS) — An Indonesian military transport plane crashed into a hotel and residential area in the northern Sumatra city of Medan on Tuesday (June 30), killing at least 30 people, a national search and rescue agency official said. Military spokesman Fuad Basya said that 12 personnel, including the pilot, had been aboard the C-130 Hercules. The bodies of five of them had been found. Local television showed a neighbourhood of houses and hotels in flames […]

Myanmar’s parliament votes vs constitutional amendments, preserves military’s political role

(Courtesy CCTV) — Myanmar’s parliament voted against several constitutional amendments on Thursday, preserving the armed forces’ powerful political role in the nation and barring opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s chance from seeking the presidency. After a 3-day debate, five out of six sections of the amendment bill were voted down. One of the proposals aimed to trim the share of ballots required to amend the constitution from over 75 percent to 70 percent, a […]

Thailand incinerates over 7 tons of illicit drugs

(Reuters) — Thailand incinerated over 7 tons of confiscated drugs on Friday (June 25) to mark the International Day Against Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in the outskirts of Bangkok. The drugs seized by the Thai Narcotics Suppression Bureau from over 5000 criminal cases were estimated to be around 22 billion baht (about $622 million) in market value. This is the 45th year that Thailand has organized the burning of illicit drugs, where during the past […]

Thailand reports no new MERS cases

(Reuters) — Thailand’s health minister said on Sunday (June 21) that no new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) had been detected. Thailand, which discovered its first case last week, says 175 people were exposed to its single case, with no new infections reported so far. The virus was first detected in Thailand in a 75-year-old man from Oman who travelled to Bangkok for treatment of a heart condition. Three of his relatives were […]

Palace invites public to watch second part of documentary on the West Philippine Sea

THE Palace on Sunday invited the public to watch the second part of the documentary regarding the maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea. Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., said it will be shown by 4:00 p.m. on June 22 (Monday) on the Facebook page of President Benigno Aquino and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Episode 02 will also be aired on People’s Television Network (PTV-4) at 5:30 p.m. There will […]

300-year old Phl map to be submitted to ITLOS to support maritime claim

JUNE 16, Manila — The Philippine government will submit a 300-year old map of the Philippines, which was published in 1734 by a Jesuit friar, to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to support its petition to nullify China’s claim in the West Philippine Sea. The said map, which shows Panatag Shoal, or Scarborough Shoal, off the coast of Zambales province, was published in Manila by the Jesuit friar Pedro Murillo […]

Phl to argue maritime case vs China before UN court in July

JUNE 16, Manila — The Philippines is set to argue its case against China’s claim over almost the entire South China Sea at the Hague this July. Foreign Affairs Spokesman Charles Jose said the Netherlands-based United Nations court is scheduled to conduct a hearing from July 7 to 13 on a case lodged by the Philippines against China in 2013. Jose said Philippine officials and diplomats, assisted by lawyers from the United States, will represent […]

MILF’s Iqbal vows to decommission more fighters, to turn over more weapons

JUNE 16 — Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohager Iqbal said the MILF’s handing over of its weapons and fighters to an independent panel shows the group is sincerely pushing for peace in Mindanao In an interview before the turnover rites, Iqbal said Tuesday’s event is a symbolism that sends a strong signal that the MILF meant business. He also said that the MILF would decommission more of its former fighters, and turn […]

MILF turns over first batch of arms as decommissioning program begins

MANILA (Eagle News Service) – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) turned over its first batch of arms on Tuesday, June 16, as the first phase of the decommissioning program began, in ceremonies witnessed by President Aquino and foreign observers. This aims to put the arms and forces of the rebel group beyond use as agreed by the Parties under the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). In simple ceremonies […]

Indonesian volcano erupts, over 2,700 people evacuated

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung erupted on Saturday (June 13), sending ashes to to the sky as more than 2,700 people are evacuated. Saturday’s eruption was the latest round, since the volcano was placed at its highest alert level earlier in June. Columns of ash spewing as high as three kilometres was seen from a nearby town. Lava spread around one kilometres to the south and east, local media reported. No casualties were reported as most of […]

ASEAN-China meeting reaffirm commitment to strategic partnership and regional peace

JUNE 9 (Eagle News) — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China recently reaffirmed the commitment to strategic partnership during the 21st ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Consultation meeting held in Beijing, China, where both sides candidly discussed matters on regional peace and stability, among other things. Senior Officials of ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China met from June 3 to 4 in Beijing where the two sides reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN-China Strategic […]

Magnitude 6 quake leaves more than 130 stranded on Malaysian mountain

More than 130 people are trapped on Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu following a 6.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked parts of the Malaysian state of Sabah on Friday (June 5). Foreign and domestic hikers flock to Sabah to climb the 4,095-metre (13,435 feet) mountain, where at least 137 people were trapped, the state’s fire and rescue department told Reuters. So far 52 climbers had made it down safely, the public relations officer for Sabah Fire and Rescue department, […]