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NSC MEET: DU30, PNoy, GMA, ERAP, FVR MEET OVER HAGUE RULING
[President Rodrigo Duterte convened the National Security Council at Malacañan with former presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III.Upon his arrival, Aquino skipped shaking hands with Arroyo]
[RELATED: IN PHOTOS: All living Philippine presidents reunite for security council meet]


JULY 27 -President Rodrigo Duterte leads the first meeting of the National Security Council at Malacañang on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Joining the meeting are the four former presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Benigno Aquino III. PPD
 The five most recent presidents of the Philippines met on Wednesday for a national security meeting to discuss the recent decision on the Philippines's case against China. President Rodrigo Duterte convened the National Security Council at Malacañan with former presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III.
Upon his arrival, Aquino skipped shaking hands with Arroyo, who was released last week from hospital detention after being acquitted from plunder charges by the Supreme Court. Arroyo had cried foul over what she deemed as political persecution under Aquino's watch in the cases filed against her before the Sandiganbayan. Joining the meeting were Duterte's Cabinet officials as well as newly elected Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. READ MORE...RELATED, IN PHOTOS: All living Philippine presidents reunite for security council meet...

ALSO: Duterte, Kerry discuss climate change, sea row during meeting
[RELATED: ‘No tirade, only exchange of wisdom’ at NSC meeting of Presidents]


JULY 27 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. AP /Aaron Favila,pool
President Rodrigo Duterte and United States Secretary of State John Kerry talked about maritime security and climate change in a meeting over lunch on Wednesday. Kerry arrived at the Malacañan Palace for his courtesy call before noon. The two officials were scheduled to meet to discuss ways on how to strengthen the relationship between Manila and Washington. Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Kerry’s meeting with Duterte over lunch was “interesting” as the two officials shared light moments. “First it was a courtesy call, it was a very interesting meeting because they share common interests. They talked about motorcycles and hunting and Mr. Kerry talked about how he had a motorcycle and he had a funny incident regarding that,” Abella shared. Abella also said the long-standing relationship between the two countries were affirmed as there are four million Filipinos in the US while there are about 500,000 Americans in the Philippines. In particular, the two officials tackled common concerns such as terrorism, crimes, drugs, religious fanaticism and maritime security where they also came up with a menu of solutions. Also discussed were the Paris climate change deal and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA.
RELATED: SC rules with finality: EDCA constitutional | Duterte says he will not honor Paris climate deal US commits $32M to Philippines Abella said Kerry and Duterte agreed that “whatever works for the Philippines will be what will work.” He also disclosed that the US official committed $32 million in training and services to the Philippines. READ MORE...RELATED, ‘No tirade, only exchange of wisdom’ at NSC meeting of Presidents...

ALSO Analyst: SONA shows Duterte’s ‘moderate’ stance on West Philippine Sea dispute
[RELATED: Duterte, Ramos yet to decide on how to negotiate with China]


JULY 27 -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) before the joint session of the 17th Congress Monday, July 25, 2016 , at suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. At left is Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel and at right is House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. AP/Bullit Marquez
President Rodrigo Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) kept a “moderate” position on the West Philippine Sea, an analyst said.
The president only gave a short pronouncement on the arbitral tribunal’s historic ruling on the disputed seas in his 98-minute speech delivered on Monday. “With regard to the West Philippine Sea otherwise known as [South] China Sea, we strongly affirm and respect the outcome of the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration as an important contribution to the ongoing efforts to pursue the peaceful resolution and management of our disputes,” Duterte pointed out to a cheering audience that included Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua. READ: Things Duterte said in his first SONA (From A-Z) Duterte’s short statement on the issue was expected as Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. earlier called for restraint and sobriety despite the favorable arbitral tribunal ruling. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte, Ramos yet to decide on how to negotiate with China...

ALSO: Edca to help AFP modernize, respond to 21st century threats—Kerry[RELATED: US lauds Philippines's 'measured' response after Hague ruling]


JULY 27 -President Rodrigo R. Duterte meets with US Secretary of State John F. Kerry during a courtesy call at the Malacañan Palace on July 27, 2016. KING RODRIGUEZ/PPD United States Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized on Monday the importance of the controversial Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca). “The Edca agreement will also expand opportunities for our militaries to train together and that will help to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines in order to help them to be able to increase their effectiveness in responding to 21st century threats,” he told journalists during a joint conference with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. READ: It’s final: Edca constitutional; petitions vs SC ruling junked On Tuesday, the same day Kerry arrived in the country, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal on its earlier decision upholding the constitutionality of the Edca. It ruled that Edca, an executive agreement that seeks to expand the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), does not require Senate concurrence. One of the petitioners, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr., questioned the timing of the decision, pointing out that the actual signing of the Edca in 2014 also coincided with the visit of US President Barack Obama. Bayan and other groups claim that the Edca, which allows US forces to use Philippine military bases and facilities, is a “lopsided agreement.” Humanitarian relief During his speech, Kerry said that the two countries have been working together to counter extremism. READ MORE...RELATED, US lauds Philippines's 'measured' response after Hague ruling...

ALSO: US offers training, services to help combat terrorism, illegal drugs
[RELATED: US pledges $32M to Philippine law enforcement]


JULY 27 -US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) gestures as he talks with -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during his visit to the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila on July 27, 2016. Kerry arrived in Manila for a two-day visit after attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Laos. (Aaron Favila / POOL / AFP) | (mb.com.ph)
The United States has offered $32 million worth of “training and services” to help the Philippines combat transnational crimes such as terrorism and illegal drugs. The latest financial aid was extended by US Secretary of State John Kerry in a meeting with President Duterte in Malacañang in a bid to boost security cooperation between the two strategic allies. “They also discussed common concerns: terrorism, crime, drugs, religious fanaticism, and maritime security. In relation to this, they also mentioned a menu of solutions,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press conference at the Palace. “The US committed $32 million in training and services…Basically it will come in form of training and stuff for law enforcement,” Abella added. Kerry flew to the country this week to meet the new Philippine leader and boost diplomatic relations between the two strategic allies. HIs visit comes amid the raging maritime dispute between the Philippines and China over the South China Sea. He is the first US Cabinet member to visit Manila under the new Duterte administration. Abella said the President, who has waged an all-out war against illegal drugs and crimes in the country, appreciates the support given by the United States. FULL REPORT. RELATED,
US pledges $32M to Philippine law enforcement...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte, Aquino, Arroyo, Estrada, Ramos meet over Hague ruling
[National Security Meeting convened the new administration and four former presidents.]


President Rodrigo Duterte leads the first meeting of the National Security Council at Malacañang on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Joining the meeting are the four former presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Benigno Aquino III. PPD

MANILA, AUGUST 1, 2016 (PHILSTAR) Updated July 27, 2016 - 4:26pm - The five most recent presidents of the Philippines met on Wednesday for a national security meeting to discuss the recent decision on the Philippines's case against China.

President Rodrigo Duterte convened the National Security Council at Malacañan with former presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III.

Upon his arrival, Aquino skipped shaking hands with Arroyo, who was released last week from hospital detention after being acquitted from plunder charges by the Supreme Court. Arroyo had cried foul over what she deemed as political persecution under Aquino's watch in the cases filed against her before the Sandiganbayan.

Joining the meeting were Duterte's Cabinet officials as well as newly elected Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

READ MORE...

The Presidential Communications Office had said the meeting was to agree on "vital policies and strategies on important matters, including the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the West Philippine Sea."

The Philippines scored a sweeping legal victory from the landmark ruling against China issued on July 12. The arbitration case was filed and heard by an arbitral tribunal under the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea during the administration of Aquino.

Duterte's meeting was the first with the national security council, a collegial body from executive and legislative branches of government. — Camille Diola based on reports by Alexis Romero

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

IN PHOTOS: All living Philippine presidents reunite for security council meet By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated July 27, 2016 - 6:26pm 12 201 googleplus0 0


The National Security Council meeting on Wednesday made possible the gathering of President Rodrigo Duterte, his new administration as well as four former presidents. Presidential Photographers Division/Rey Baniquet

MANILA, Philippines — The National Security Council meeting on Wednesday made possible the gathering of President Rodrigo Duterte, officials of his administration and the four former presidents.

The former presidents — Fidel Ramos, who serves as the special envoy to China, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III — returned to Malacañan Palace to join the new administration in discussing the recent ruling on the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Also, present during the meeting were Duterte’s Cabinet officials, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez as well as other members of the House of Representatives and Senate.

View the photos of the meeting held at the Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace.

 Photos by Presidential Photographers Division/Rey Baniquet, Kiwi Bulaclac and Toto Lozano


PHILSTAR

Duterte, Kerry discuss climate change, sea row during meeting By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated July 27, 2016 - 2:29pm 4 90 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. AP /Aaron Favila,pool

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 1 2:55 p.m.)— President Rodrigo Duterte and United States Secretary of State John Kerry talked about maritime security and climate change in a meeting over lunch on Wednesday.

Kerry arrived at the Malacañan Palace for his courtesy call before noon. The two officials were scheduled to meet to discuss ways on how to strengthen the relationship between Manila and Washington.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Kerry’s meeting with Duterte over lunch was “interesting” as the two officials shared light moments.

“First it was a courtesy call, it was a very interesting meeting because they share common interests. They talked about motorcycles and hunting and Mr. Kerry talked about how he had a motorcycle and he had a funny incident regarding that,” Abella shared.

Abella also said the long-standing relationship between the two countries were affirmed as there are four million Filipinos in the US while there are about 500,000 Americans in the Philippines.

In particular, the two officials tackled common concerns such as terrorism, crimes, drugs, religious fanaticism and maritime security where they also came up with a menu of solutions. Also discussed were the Paris climate change deal and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA.

RELATED: SC rules with finality: EDCA constitutional | Duterte says he will not honor Paris climate deal

US commits $32M to Philippines Abella said Kerry and Duterte agreed that “whatever works for the Philippines will be what will work.” He also disclosed that the US official committed $32 million in training and services to the Philippines.

READ MORE...

Prior to his visit to the Palace, Kerry also held a joint press conference with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Perfecto Yasay Jr. He then renewed the commitment of the US to work with the Philippines under the longest standing mutual defense treaty since his visit came a day after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

Kerry’s visit also came a week after a US congressional delegation paid a courtesy call on Duterte. He was so far the highest-ranking official to visit the country under the new administration.

Coincidentally, Malacañan is scheduled to convene the first National Security Council meeting under the Duterte administration where the members are expected to discuss the implications of the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea row.

RELATED: Duterte to convene security council after Kerry meet to tackle Hague ruling

 
Kerry renews ties with Duterte admin by philstarnews

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

‘No tirade, only exchange of wisdom’ at meeting of Presidents SHARES: 265 VIEW COMMENTS By: Maila Ager @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net 02:11 PM July 28th, 2016

 

There were no debates or tirades, just an exchange of wisdom among the former presidents during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Wednesday in Malacañang, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Thursday.
Pimentel said the meeting, which lasted more than five hours, focused on the West Philippine Sea issue, the roadmap to peace with the Moro and communist rebels and the war against illegal drugs.

“It was very successful, very productive and very long,” he said in an interview at the Senate.

Pimentel said the atmosphere was “serious” but President Rodrigo Duterte had a way of “lightening” the mood.

READ: Duterte meets with ex-presidents at national security meeting

Asked in a separate interview with Radyo Inquirer how the four former presidents—Benigno Aquino III, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Joseph Estrada and Fidel Ramos—interacted with each other during the meeting, the Senate leader said: “Wala naman pong debate among the former presidents. Tinanong lang naman po sila sa inputs nila at diretso naman po sila sa issue. Ganun lang po (There was no debate among the former presidents. They were just asked about their inputs and they were direct about the issues. That’s it).”

READ: NSC meet attended by five Presidents

“Syempre may wisdom po ‘yung former presidents po dati. Wala naman po silang parinig o patira sa kabila. Basta on the issue lang po sila diretso. At saka matipid sila sa pananalita po nila (The former presidents have wisdom. There was no tirade or criticism against other leaders. They were direct on the issues. They were laconic),” he said.

Pimentel said the meeting lasted long because of the President’s habit to tell stories.

“Actually si President Duterte, mahilig kasi magkwento yan. So many times na medyo pahinga muna kami dito sa kwento ng Presidente (President Duterte likes to tell stories. So many times we just hear the President’s stories),” he said.



Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order, said the meeting had “substance … direction” and “unity of purpose.”

“The NSC meeting went very well. It had direction, it had substance, it had consensus and unity of purpose,” Lacson said in a statement.

“As usual, as what is always expected of vintage Rody, we enjoyed the ad libs, not to mention the asides and not-so-subtle sniping at his favorite critic (you-know-who),” he said but did not elaborate.

Lacson said the “unprecedented” presence of the four former heads of state added to the luster of the occasion, “but not without their own valuable input on what the country needs to do to advance our national interest in regard to the arbitral tribunal ruling on the West Philippine Sea issue, the peace talks and the fight against illegal drugs.” RAM/rga


PHILSTAR

Analyst: SONA shows Duterte’s ‘moderate’ stance on West Philippine Sea dispute By Kristine Daguno-Bersamina (philstar.com) | Updated July 27, 2016 - 5:35pm 1 13 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) before the joint session of the 17th Congress Monday, July 25, 2016 , at suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. At left is Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel and at right is House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) kept a “moderate” position on the West Philippine Sea, an analyst said.

The president only gave a short pronouncement on the arbitral tribunal’s historic ruling on the disputed seas in his 98-minute speech delivered on Monday.

“With regard to the West Philippine Sea otherwise known as [South] China Sea, we strongly affirm and respect the outcome of the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration as an important contribution to the ongoing efforts to pursue the peaceful resolution and management of our disputes,” Duterte pointed out to a cheering audience that included Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua.

READ: Things Duterte said in his first SONA (From A-Z)

Duterte’s short statement on the issue was expected as Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. earlier called for restraint and sobriety despite the favorable arbitral tribunal ruling.

READ MORE...

Dindo Manhit, president of the private think tank Stratbase ADR Institute, said in an online interview with Philstar.com that Duterte did not depart from his previous statements on the direction of the Philippines’s foreign policy.

“He (Duterte) has been outspoken about seeking cooperation with China instead of pursuing a more antagonistic line on the West Philippine Sea,” Manhit said.

The analyst, however, noted that it is still too early to say how the Philippines would benefit from a more cooperative stance.

“A great deal will depend on what exactly the president is willing to put on the table with China through his special envoy and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA),” said Manhit.

Former President Fidel Ramos has already accepted the offer of Duterte to be the government’s special envoy to China.

Ramos was tasked to initiate diplomatic talks in the wake of the landmark ruling against Beijing’s claim in the South China Sea.

“It remains to be seen, whether or not Duterte will use the ruling as the basis for future negotiations with China,” said Manhit.

“There are hints that Duterte is likely to put the ruling in the backburner in exchange of greater ‘benefits,’” he added, citing additional Chinese financial and infrastructural aid as one of those.

The Duterte administration might also seek for partnerships with other countries on defending territorial integrity and maritime rights, according to Manhit.

“He (Duterte) did say that he would continue the Philippines's partnerships in security and maritime affairs with the country's bilateral partners, specifically mentioning Indonesia and Malaysia,” said Manhit. “Perhaps he felt the need to reaffirm the importance of these partnerships to the country given the change in his tone on the relationship with China.”

The analyst believes the greater challenge for the president is to sustain the growing momentum of his radical agenda, which include “managing bilateral and multilateral relations with neighboring countries.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meanwhile reiterated at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting that his government would only accept bilateral negotiations.

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Duterte, Ramos yet to decide on how to negotiate with China Published July 31, 2016 2:29pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has not yet decided how the Philippines should negotiate on its dispute with China over the South China Sea.

"Iyong sa West Philippine Sea, hinihintay natin ang desisyon ng ating Pangulo at hintayin din natin ang pagpapasya ni dating Pangulong Fidel V. Ramos," Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said over state-run radio dzRB on Sunday.

Andanar added that the Duterte and Ramos have also not yet decide on the timeline for the negotiations.

He said they are still also contemplating on including former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan in Ramos's team.

Ramos accepted Duterte's offer to be the Philippines' special envoy to China last week.

The country's territorial dispute with China was discussed during the National Security Council meeting presided over by Duterte and joined by former presidents Ramos, Benigno Aquino III, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Joseph Estrada.

The government has declined to divulge details of the meeting.

Duterte had said in his first State of the Nation Address that the Philippines will utilize the ruling of The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in efforts to resolve the dispute with China.

The international court had invalidated China's claims over the South China Sea. —ALG, GMA News


INQUIRER

Edca to help AFP modernize, respond to 21st century threats—Kerry By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 04:22 PM July 27th, 2016


JULY 27 -President Rodrigo R. Duterte meets with US Secretary of State John F. Kerry during a courtesy call at the Malacañan Palace on July 27, 2016. KING RODRIGUEZ/PPD

President Rodrigo R. Duterte meets with US Secretary of State John F. Kerry during a courtesy call at the Malacañan Palace on July 27, 2016. KING RODRIGUEZ/PPD

United States Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized on Monday the importance of the controversial Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca).

“The Edca agreement will also expand opportunities for our militaries to train together and that will help to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines in order to help them to be able to increase their effectiveness in responding to 21st century threats,” he told journalists during a joint conference with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.

READ: It’s final: Edca constitutional; petitions vs SC ruling junked

On Tuesday, the same day Kerry arrived in the country, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal on its earlier decision upholding the constitutionality of the Edca. It ruled that Edca, an executive agreement that seeks to expand the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), does not require Senate concurrence.

One of the petitioners, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr., questioned the timing of the decision, pointing out that the actual signing of the Edca in 2014 also coincided with the visit of US President Barack Obama.

Bayan and other groups claim that the Edca, which allows US forces to use Philippine military bases and facilities, is a “lopsided agreement.”

Humanitarian relief

During his speech, Kerry said that the two countries have been working together to counter extremism.

READ MORE...

“Unfortunately the Philippines is no stranger to the threat of terrorism. This nation has been managing these threats by groups like Abu Sayyaf for some period in time. Our nations work very closely together in order to counter those threats,” he said.

“In addition, the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) has been a cornerstone of security in the region for decades,” Kerry said. “And the Edca not only helps us coordinate our efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region but it also allows the United States to provide rapid assistance to the Philippines in the event of an emergency.”

He said the Edca, which expands the MDT, enables the US to proposition humanitarian relief supplies in the Philippines.

“I personally saw the firsthand importance of this disaster response when I visited Tacloban very soon after the devastation of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). And I saw unbelievable destruction that that typhoon wreaked on that community,” he said.

Kerry is in the Philippines as part of his Southeast Asian trip. Before coming to the country, he was in Laos to attend the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, the ASEAN-US Ministerial Meeting and the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial Meeting.

He met with President Rodrigo Duterte later in the day to discuss Philippines-US cooperation. In his speech, he said the relation of the two countries was a “deep friendship” rooted in history and support for democratic systems.

READ: Duterte to meet State Secretary Kerry to boost PH-US ties

The secretary said the two countries’ future prosperity and security go hand in hand, especially with a quarter-million Americans living in the Philippines and around 4 million Filipinos living in the United States. RAM

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

US lauds Philippines's 'measured' response after Hague ruling By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated July 28, 2016 - 11:27am 3 139 googleplus0 0


Visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, bids farewell to the media following his joint news conference with Philippine counterpart Perfecto Yasay Jr. at the Department of Foreign Affairs Wednesday, July 27, 2016, in suburban Pasay City south of Manila, Philippines. Kerry is the highest US official to visit the country since the inauguration of new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — Secretary of State John Kerry expressed the United States' agreement with the Philippines on how it responded after the arbitral tribunal based in the Hague delivered a victory for its case against China.

"In our meeting today, I told Foreign Secretary (Perfecto Yasay Jr.) that we appreciate the very responsible and measured way that the Philippine government has responded to the decision, that's been important," Kerry said at a press conference in Manila on Wednesday.

Some observers have leveled criticism at Yasay for his sober and cautious tone after the favorable landmark decision, and for taking a soft stance against China despite its legal defeat over maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Echoing Kerry's statement, US Ambassador to the Philippines Phillip Goldberg said Washington admired how the Philippines acted maturely in dealing with the decision issued July 12.

"President Duterte said famously: we won't taunt, we won't flaunt. And I think that kind of measured approach, that responsible approach is one that we agree with, one with admire and that it's being done in a very mature way that the Philippines will now take this decision and use it as a basis for moving forward," Goldberg said in an inteview on ANC's "Headstart" on Thursday.

"We've always urged all the parties, all the claimants to come to agreements in a legal, peaceful, diplomatic way and the Philippines is moving in that direction," he added.

Yasay on Wednesday said that while many expected the Philippine officials to say more about the ruling, "diplomatic processes" based on the law take precedence in efforts to resolve the disputes moving forward.

"We did not want to flaunt. We did not want to gloat with our victory with respect to the arbitral award. We are happy about it. The award went beyond our expectations in terms of recognizing our rights under UNCLOS," Yasay said at a televised press conference.

"We made a holding statement that was sober and restrained because we did not want to come up with any provocative statements or aggressive statements that would only further heighten tensions," Yasay also said.

Professor Renato de Castro, trustee of think tank Stratbase ADR Institute, said the "muted" reaction of Manila to the tribunal award was not to push China to react adversely against Filipino fishermen and troops stationed on features in the West Philippine Sea.

"This may also because of the government’s realization that it cannot sly implement the PCA's rewards because of the weakness of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard compared with the large and well-equipped Chinese naval and civilian presence in the South China Sea," De Castro wrote in an analysis for Philstar.com.


MANILA BULLETIN

US offers training, services to help combat terrorism, illegal drugs by Genalyn Kabiling July 27, 2016 (updated) Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share45


US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) gestures as he talks with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during his visit to the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila on July 27, 2016. Kerry arrived in Manila for a two-day visit after attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Laos. (Aaron Favila / POOL / AFP) | (mb.com.ph)

The United States has offered $32 million worth of “training and services” to help the Philippines combat transnational crimes such as terrorism and illegal drugs.

The latest financial aid was extended by US Secretary of State John Kerry in a meeting with President Duterte in Malacañang in a bid to boost security cooperation between the two strategic allies.

“They also discussed common concerns: terrorism, crime, drugs, religious fanaticism, and maritime security. In relation to this, they also mentioned a menu of solutions,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press conference at the Palace.

“The US committed $32 million in training and services…Basically it will come in form of training and stuff for law enforcement,” Abella added.

Kerry flew to the country this week to meet the new Philippine leader and boost diplomatic relations between the two strategic allies. HIs visit comes amid the raging maritime dispute between the Philippines and China over the South China Sea. He is the first US Cabinet member to visit Manila under the new Duterte administration.

Abella said the President, who has waged an all-out war against illegal drugs and crimes in the country, appreciates the support given by the United States.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

US pledges $32M to Philippine law enforcement By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated July 27, 2016 - 8:44pm 6 17 googleplus0 0


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, looks as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during his visit at the Malacañan presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. AP Photo/Aaron Favila, Pool

MANILA, Philippines — The United States has vowed to provide the Philippines $32 million to support the Duterte administration’s intensified law enforcement efforts.

Washington’s support for law enforcement activities was one of the topics discussed by President Rodrigo Duterte and visiting US State Secretary John Kerry during their meeting Wednesday in Malacañan.

RELATED: Duterte, Kerry discuss climate change, sea row during meeting

“The US committed $32 million in training and services,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.

It remains unclear as to what specific programs will be funded by the US. There is no information also on whether the training would cover maritime law enforcement in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and other territorial waters.

Abella confirmed that Duterte had also briefed Kerry about his crackdown on drugs and crimes.

Asked if Kerry, who emphasized the need to uphold human rights in his previous engagements, was alarmed by the spate of killings in the country, Abella said: “There was no alarm that was mentioned there.”

“Although, President Duterte did mention about the way he has been handling the war against crime and especially the narcotic plague,” he added.

RELATED: Kerry in Manila: Protect human rights while keeping society safe

Pressed on what the US state secretary said about Duterte’s anti-crime and drug campaign, Abella replied: “He was listening very intently.”

A total of 239 drug suspects were killed in law enforcement operations as of July 22, data from the Philippine National Police showed. More than 120,000 drug pushers and users, meanwhile, have turned themselves over to authorities.

Human rights advocates are worried that the government’s crackdown on illegal drugs would result in extrajudicial killings and abusive practices.

In his first State of the Nation Address, Duterte said he would not stop the war against narcotics until the last drug personality is punished.

"There will be no let-up in this campaign. Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars or below the ground if they so wish," the president said.

“To our police officers and other officials, do your job and you will have the unwavering support of the Office of the President. I will be with you all the way. Abuse your authority and there will be hell to pay,” he added.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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