ASEAN IN FOCUS

Beijing says it is ‘ready to work’ with ASEAN on South China Sea rules

BEIJING, China (AFP) — Beijing said Sunday it is “ready to work” with Southeast Asian nations on a code of conduct in the flashpoint the South China Sea, where it is accused of building up military installations and bullying fellow claimants. China claims most of the resource-rich waterway, a major global shipping route that has long been a source of tension in the region. For years, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has […]

Duterte urges ASEAN not to sacrifice the environment in pursuit of progress

(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte has urged members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations not to sacrifice the environment in the pursuit of progress. The President made the appeal at the 35th ASEAN Summit, the Palace said in a statement on Saturday, Nov. 2. “ASEAN should not sacrifice the environment and the region’s rich biodiversity, particularly in the maritime domain, in its quest for progress,” Duterte said, based on the statement. He said […]

In photo: President Duterte receives commemorative soccer T-shirt from FIFA

(Eagle News) — In this picture provided by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, President Rodrigo Duterte is seen holding up the commemorative T-shirt he received during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) on November 2. The MOU was aimed at boosting the sport in the ASEAN countries through FIFA’s Football for Schools program. Duterte is flanked by Myanmar leader […]

Duterte to ASEAN: Choosing sides in US-China feud a “strategic mistake”

(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte has urged members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations not to choose or “be forced to choose” between the United States and China. In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said at the 35th ASEAN summit plenary, Duterte called the move a “strategic mistake” which past Philippine administrations had committed and which he was “rectifying through his independent foreign policy.” According to Panelo, the President noted  the changing regional landscape […]

President Duterte now in Thailand for ASEAN summit

(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte is now in Bangkok, Thailand to attend the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and Related Summits. The President arrived at the Royal Thai Air Force Base at 8:30 pm (Bangkok time) to begin his four-day visit. Welcoming the President upon his arrival were Philippine Ambassador to Thailand Mary Jo A. Bernardo-Aragon, Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert E.A. Borje, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and […]

Dread builds in Vietnam over fate of missing UK migrants

  by Tran Thi Minh Ha Agence France Presse NGHE AN, Vietnam (AFP) — Dread mounted across Vietnam on Sunday as relatives of migrants feared to be among 39 people found dead in a truck in Britain revealed new heart-wrenching details of their last contact with their loved ones. The driver of the refrigerated trailer discovered in an industrial park on Wednesday has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and people trafficking in a […]

Up to 20 Vietnamese feared among 39 UK truck dead

  by Tran Thi Minh Ha Agence France Presse NGHE AN, Vietnam (AFP) — As many as 20 Vietnamese citizens are feared among 39 people found dead in a truck in Britain this week, families and community organisers said Saturday, as one of the alleged truck owners denied involvement in the tragedy. British police initially said all of the 31 men and eight women found early Wednesday in a refrigerated lorry in an industrial park […]

Indonesia’s Joko Widodo set to announce new cabinet

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia’s Joko Widodo is set to announce a new cabinet Wednesday in a line-up that could include his election arch-rival, a multi-billion-dollar startup co-founder and the former owner of Inter Milan. Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, beat Prabowo Subianto — a former military general accused of rights violations — in April elections to secure another term as president of the world’s third-biggest democracy. The victory followed a bitter campaign plagued by […]

Indonesia’s Jokowi kicks off new term at heavily guarded ceremony

  by Haeril HALIM Agence France Presse JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo was sworn in for a second term on Sunday, as helicopters flew overhead and troops kept watch in the capital Jakarta — days after Islamist militants tried to assassinate his top security minister. Foreign heads of state, lawmakers and political rivals looked on as Widodo, 58, and Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, 76, read an oath to start a five-year tenure […]

Abominable’ won’t be screened in Malaysia over S. China Sea map

  KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AFP) — Animated film “Abominable” will not be shown in Malaysia after its distributor Sunday said it could not comply with censors’ demands to cut a controversial scene showing Beijing’s disputed claims in the South China Sea. The decision comes after Vietnam pulled the Universal Pictures movie from theatres days ago and the Philippines’ foreign secretary called for the segment to be excised. “Universal has decided not to make the censor […]

PHL, India sign 4 deals in state visit of India’s President Kovind; stronger ties vowed at 70th year of PHL-India relations

  (Eagle News) – Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte and Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, signed four bilateral agreements covering maritime domain, security, tourism, science and technology, and culture on Friday, October 16, during the five-day state visit in the country of the Indian leader. The state visit of the 74-year old Indian President was significant as the Philippines and India celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations. Kovind said that the signed bilateral agreements “would further […]

Singapore hands down first conviction for terror financing

  SINGAPORE (AFP)– A Singaporean man became the first of the country’s citizens to be jailed for financing terrorism after he was convicted of sending money to a radical Islamist preacher. There have been a steady stream of arrests in Singapore related to support for Islamist extremism, and the affluent city-state’s leaders have warned it is a prime target for an attack. Ahmed Hussein Abdul Kadir Sheik Uduman was jailed for two and a half […]