Author: Jeoffrey Maitem

Jeoffrey Maitem is a contributor for the South China Morning Post. South China Morning Post (SCMP) is a Hong Kong based news media outlet founded in 1903 and owned by the Alibaba Group.

In recent developments in the Philippines, suspicions are growing regarding China’s sponsored programmes aimed at infiltrating local communities. The head of the political science and history department at Ateneo De Davao University, Ramon Beleno III, highlighted concerns over China’s attempts to control various sectors in the country, including the media and local governments. Beleno also raised alarms about lax controls by authorities, pointing out the case of Limosnero, who attempted to apply for a Philippine passport. The investigation into the falsification of documents and identity of individuals like Alice Guo, a suspended mayor linked to illegal online gaming, further underscores…

Read More

The Philippines is gearing up for a military upgrade to strengthen its ability to project power in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea. Analysts suggest that having both maritime vessels and air assets is crucial for effective patrols in the region. President Marcos recently emphasized the importance of bolstering defense capabilities by acquiring more air assets and advanced radar systems. The government is considering purchasing multirole jets to enhance its air force, with preferences for well-equipped and affordable options that can be reverse engineered. The competition in the military air force market is heating up, with countries like South Korea, Sweden,…

Read More

Senator Imee Marcos raised concerns about the potential threat of hypersonic missile attacks from China, citing the lack of defense mechanisms like the Iron Dome. However, there is no evidence to support her claims. Military officials in the Philippines responded seriously to the senator’s remarks but stated they were not aware of any imminent security threats from China. Political analysts suggest that Senator Marcos may be motivated by concerns for national safety and her close ties with the US, contrasting her brother’s more China-friendly approach. Experts question the feasibility of a hypersonic missile attack and emphasize the risk of triggering…

Read More

The Philippines is facing increasing tensions with China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The Global Times raised concerns about the Philippines building a “maritime base” off Xianbin Jiao, prompting a response from Rear Admiral Roy Vincent Trinidad, who emphasized their right to protect their territory within the exclusive economic zone. A video frame grab shows Chinese coastguard personnel aboard rigid hull inflatable boats (in black) during a confrontation with Philippine Navy personnel on their respective vessels (in grey) near the Second Thomas Shoal in disputed waters of the South China Sea on June 17. Photo: Handout /…

Read More

During his term, Duterte emphasized the importance of diplomatic talks in resolving maritime disputes, working to mend ties with Beijing while distancing from the US. Analysts suggest his shift is a strategic move to gain favor amid family members’ Senate election bids. Chinese coastguard personnel hold knives and machetes as they approach Philippine troops on a resupply mission in the South China Sea. Photo: AP A recent survey showed Filipino support for a tough stance on China’s maritime activities, contrasting Duterte’s previous pro-China position. Analysts believe Duterte’s change is driven by family interests and political strategy. Newly-elected Vice President Sara…

Read More

Former Philippines senator Leila De Lima expressed relief and happiness after being granted bail following over six years in detention. She was targeted by the Duterte administration for her vocal criticism and investigations into extrajudicial killings linked to his anti-drug campaign. De Lima’s exoneration has prompted the International Criminal Court (ICC) to look closer into the evidence of state-sponsored crimes in the Philippines. Carlos Conde from Human Rights Watch believes this will lead to a deeper investigation into Duterte’s actions. Ramon Beleno III from Ateneo De Davao University stated that De Lima’s case showed the justice system is working, questioning…

Read More

Manila and Beijing are embroiled in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea that escalated into a skirmish resulting in injuries to Filipino sailors. The conflict centers around the Ayungin Shoal, claimed by both Manila and Beijing. Former justice Carpio suggests a shift from military to civilian presence in the area to avoid further confrontations. Despite a ruling in favor of Manila in 2016, China rejects legal limitations on its claims in the South China Sea. Analysts propose different strategies, with Ona advocating for legal recourse under Unclos and Custodio emphasizing the need for a strong Philippine presence. The…

Read More

Manila and the United States are bound by the 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT) to help each other in times of external aggression. The recent clash in the South China Sea has raised tensions between the Philippines and China, with Chinese coastguards accused of violating maritime laws and Philippine sovereignty. Despite the incident, the Philippines remains committed to upholding the rule of law and regional stability. The US has reaffirmed its commitment to defend its ally, the Philippines, in case of armed attacks. A dilapidated but still active Philippine Navy ship BRP Sierra Madre sits at the Second Thomas Shoal,…

Read More

Recent revelations by Reuters have brought to light a controversial issue involving the US military allegedly spreading fear about China’s vaccines in the Philippines. This has sparked calls for investigations and raised concerns about public health and trust in vaccines. While some officials have expressed doubts and suggested a neutral stance towards both US and Chinese assistance, others have condemned any efforts to discredit vaccines, emphasizing the importance of immunization programs. Experts warn of the potential political risks and implications of such information operations, highlighting the ongoing power contestation between the US and China in the region. The Philippines, being…

Read More

Demonstrators gathered outside the Chinese consulate office in Makati, urging China to rethink its coastguard policy, which allows the detention of foreign nationals for up to 60 days if caught trespassing in Beijing’s territorial waters. This move sparked outrage, with former Bayan representative Teddy Casiño condemning China’s aggressive tactics. Protesters at a rally in front of the Chinese consulate in Manila on June 14. Photo: EPA-EFE Local fishermen from Zambales vowed to continue fishing in their traditional grounds despite China’s restrictions. They warned of retaliating against Chinese nationals if any locals were harmed or detained. The Philippines and other ASEAN…

Read More