Victory in Round 1 on the South China Sea arbitration, but not really a knockout


By Dr. Alfredo C. Robles, Jr. - The award (decision) issued by the Arbitral Tribunal in the Philippines v. China arbitration creates the impression that this was a knockout (as a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer put it) for the Philippines because of the following reasons: the award was adopted unanimously; the Solicitor General declared that China’s preliminary objections have been eliminated ; and China rejected the award.

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How will President Aquino measure up against all previous presidents?

My hubby Alan made this initial assessment for South China Morning Post (HK) on the eve of President Benigno Aquino's last State of the Nation Address (SONA). It's only initial because so much can still happen in his last year in office. Our thanks to Dr. Mahar Mangahas of Social Weather Stations who agreed to be interviewed even while he was busy abroad. And to Aurelio German, who was first interviewed when Aquino was running for office in 2010. Reli German lends a historical perspective.

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You gotta watch this: Our lawyer Paul Reichler explains the Philippine’s arbitration case on the South China Sea

  Reichler said: 29 minutes, 22 seconds into the forum: “The Philippines had spent many years – actually negotiations go back to 1995 – mainly bilateral, some multilateral, and at no point was any progress made in reaching any kind of a solution bilaterally. China simply held to the position that China has sovereignty and sovereign rights within the nine-dash […]

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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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An Obama tale too delicious not to tell


The state dinner for POTUS was delicious. The guest list was something else. It was so weird that my hubby Alan just had to write it for South China Morning Post. Here is his story: Guess who came to dinner: Obama's Philippines reception featured a colourful cast - By Alan Robles

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US President Obama promised to defend Senkaku but not Spratlys

Just my opinion - By Raïssa Robles - I eagerly awaited what US President Barack Obama would say about the Philippine dispute with China over the Spratlys. I was glad to hear ABS-CBN reporter RG Cruz asked Obama the question: "Will the US defend the Philippines in case the territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea become an armed conflict?"

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US rejects China’s 9-dash line

“The United States for the first time has explicitly rejected the U-shaped, nine-dash line that China uses to assert sovereignty over nearly the whole South China Sea, experts say, strengthening the position of rival claimants and setting the stage for what could be an international legal showdown with Beijing,” according to journalist Parameswaran Ponnudurai.

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Is China after the Philippines’ oil & gas fields?


Exclusive By Raïssa Robles Filipinos groaning from high power bills might have good reason to be concerned about China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Philippine government officials have expressed apprehension that China  may be after the oil and gas-rich areas there, including  the Sampaguita gas field recently discovered by an oil exploration firm under contract with […]

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