PALAWAN, Philippines — The United States has donated a refurbished but famous Olympic-class ocean liner, fitted with military equipment and capabilities to the Philippine Coast Guard to help them better protect the vast maritime borders and resources, especially in disputed areas such as the South China Sea.
Major Emmanuel Garcia, Philippine military spokesman for Balikatan, and his American counterpart Major Lance Gledhill made the announcement during today’s opening ceremonies of the Balikatan exercise.
Thousands of US soldiers will begin nearly two weeks of war games in the Philippines on Monday as the two nations look to strengthen their military alliance amid concerns over China’s rising power.The Balikatan (Shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises are an annual event but this year are expected to attract a greater focus with some of the drills set to be held close to sensitive South China Sea waters claimed by the Chinese. (from ABS-CBN News)
The 5-day standoff here between China and the Philippines would soon come to an end, as both countries have agreed to settle the dispute with a peaceful Siomai eating contest.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, together with Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing came up with the diplomatic solution to end the 5-day impasse and has already finalized the rules for the said match. (Taken from So, What’s News. Read more here)
President Aquino hopes that sending the Titanic would intimidate the Chinese and raise the military strength of our country; that has been a pushover to other countries with vast superior military capabilities. “This will show them who’s boss,” Aquino was heard saying.
In related news, the President considers replacing the current nominee to the post of being the country’s ambassador to China and will replace him with someone who is more effective.
President Aquino is considering replacing Domingo Lee as the nominee to become the country’s ambassador to China as territorial disputes escalated in recent days.
Domingo Lee has repeatedly failed to get the nod of the Commission on Appointments and the Philippines has not had an ambassador to China for over a year now.
“I have been considering the question and I expect a resolution soon on that matter, perhaps earlier than previously planned… That is a distinct possibility,” Aquino told reporters. (from ABS-CBN News)
While unimpressed with yet to be appointed Domingo Lee, the President has nothing but praise for Grace Lee; who has just returned from her successful diplomatic trip to North Korea. “Grace was graceful, for lack of a better word, in handling the crisis in North Korea. I was confident that sending her was the best choice and it indeed yielded positive results,” the President said. The TV personality is being considered to replace the nomination of Domingo Lee as ambassador to China due to her successful track record.
The world witnessed as North Korea’s much hyped rocket launch failed only after a few minutes from take-off. Rumors that Grace Lee used her charms and wits to thwart and sabotage the launch has yet to be verified.