I’m attending Deutsche Welle’s Global Media Forum on “Media and Foreign Policy in the Digital Age”

Hi guys, I am deeply honored to attend next week's Global Media Forum by Deutsche Welle in Bonn, courtesy of the Federal Republic of Germany. The invite to me as a journalist-blogger came out of the blue. I'd like to thank those in the German Federal Foreign Office who recommended me to attend this forum because I am not officially employed by any news publication or outfit. I'm basically a creature of the digital age – a freelancer who has added her voice to the multifaceted discussions on global issues, thanks to the Internet.

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Malaysia reacts to my interview with President Aquino

By Raïssa Robles - I’ve always suspected the Chinese read my blog - given what I’ve written about the West Philippine Sea. Yesterday I found out Malaysia was reading it as well. Channel News Asia and Malaysian online newspaper newstraitstimes.com separately reported that on May 19 Malaysia’s foreign ministry summoned the Philippine Charge d'Affaires Medardo Macaraig to give him an earful over what President Benigno Aquino told me when I asked if he was dropping the Philippine claim to Sabah.

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I will not drop Sabah claim, President Aquino told me

Exclusive By Raïssa Robles President Benigno Aquino has categorically stated that he will not drop the Philippine claim to Sabah, contrary to what critics of his centerpiece legislation on Muslim autonomy – the Bangsamoro Basic Law – are saying. During my recent wide-ranging interview with him that lasted over two hours in Malacanang Palace, I asked President Aquino directly whether […]

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Hotmanila takes a closer look at China’s new islands in the South China West Philippine Sea

Thinking of the beaches, my hubby Alan was inspired to write something on the newest islands this side of the Pacific. Here's his take on the issue - What is China up to in the West Philippine Sea? - Hot Manila - By Alan Robles [Posted at 05/11/2015 1:27 PM at ABS-CBNNews.com]

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Mary Jane Veloso case shows urgent need for better ASEAN coordination against drug traffickers

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Just my opinion by Raïssa Robles - In the early morning hours when Mary Jane Veloso was supposed to be executed, I couldn’t sleep. I was kept awake thinking how she could have been saved by simple transnational police work on the day she was arrested. If only there was some kind of a mechanism, procedure or protocol among ASEAN countries that could have verified what Veloso had told airport security the day she was arrested.

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Here’s my surprise – a 2-hour long exclusive interview with President Aquino

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Exclusive by Raïssa Robles - Suddenly last Thursday, I finally obtained an interview with President Aquino. Here is an excerpt from the first story on Vietnam and the Philippines that appeared today on the newly launched website of South China Morning Post.

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Frank off-the-record words from the US envoy in Manila to the foreign media

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By Raïssa Robles - Now that it's officially summer, what better time to revive “Halo-Halo”, my gossip column about everything and anything. First off, the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) had an unexpected invitation from US Ambassador Philip Goldberg to see him and his embassy staff for cocktails last Thursday. I must say, I did not expect Goldberg to place everything off-the-record. I guess I had been spoiled by previous invites from the ambassadors of France and even from China before (notably Ambassador Liu Jianchiao) who has long been transferred to Indonesia.

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Questions on the police commandos’ death in Mindanao from a student of military history

Ever since I can remember, my hubby Alan has always been reading books on military history and battles in various countries if he's not playing a war strategy game on his PC. And our library is stuffed to the ceiling with such books. Part of our dates were spent playing Panzer Leader and the Arab-Israeli war board games. This was how I learned a little about tactics during battles. At times, I even won :), but that was rare. Perhaps because of this, I know that what he says about military operations makes a lot of sense. I am therefore sharing the many questions he has been asking aloud ever since news broke over the death of the police commandos in Mindanao.

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Breaking News – Vietnam joins Philippines in arbitration court over the South China Sea

Vietnam has suddenly joined the Philippines in arbitration court to contest China's claim over nearly all of South China Sea. The Philippines has been long wooing Vietnam to do just this. Perhaps China's aggressive action this year made Hanoi finally make up its mind to join the international suit against its former colonial master China.

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