ibusinesslines.com September 20, 2018

Watchdog says ASEAN must stand vs. killings in Philippines

27 April 2017, 03:56 | Kelvin Horton

Watchdog says ASEAN must stand vs. killings in Philippines

Watchdog says ASEAN must stand vs. killings in Philippines

"On the issue of ASEAN, the Armed Forces is part of the task force".

"The draft of the chairman's statement is deeply disappointing and, if not revisited, would manifest an absence of the desired leadership", Del Rosario said.

Baja said that, even if leaders did disapprove of Duterte's tactics, they would observe a long-standing ASEAN policy of non-interference in each others' affairs.

"We can not wait for a "better time" to come-we must create that time ourselves, lest that opportunity be lost forever", he added in a swipe at the President's position.

"Drafts can evolve very quickly especially since we are only a few days away from the summit itself".

At the summit, the ASEAN leaders are expected to sign the ASEAN Declaration on the role of the civil service as the catalyst to achieve the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and note five documents, including reports by the ASEAN Secretary General, the ASEAN Community Councils for three pillars and the ASEAN Foundation CEO.

"It must be taken up", Duterte said referring to the ASEAN summit.

Reports suggested that the draft chairman's statement, which was already drafted ahead of April's summit, would touch on issues of common concern among Asean members, including a "heading" expressing concern over tensions in the Korean Peninsula and the plight of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar's Rakhine state, which has prompted criticism from worldwide groups.

China has built runways, hangars and placed radars and surface-to-air missiles on seven islands in defiance of the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which past year issued a statement emphasising the importance of "non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities, including land reclamation".

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday welcomed Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzadin Waddaulah in MalacaƱang for a bilateral meeting ahead of the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings.

South-east Asian nations and China are edging closer to an agreement that aims to lessen tensions over the flashpoint waters of the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, the People's SEA Campaign will hold a press conference on Wednesday at the Mabuhay Restop, South Drive, Rizal Park (across the old Army Navy Club) to present their campaign related to ASEAN.

"Some of us in ASEAN believe this is just another ploy by China to buy time", said one senior diplomat familiar with the talks.

In response to reports that a nearby Chinese military detachment at Subi Reef tried to drive away the plane that carried Filipino defense officials, including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the president's office said "The Philippines has always been undertaking customary and routine maritime patrol and overflight in the West Philippine Sea", and that they "are lawful activities under global law". "It's already there. What would be the objective also of discussing it if you can not do anything", Duterte told reporters.

Richard Heydarian, an expert on politics and worldwide affairs at Manila's De La Salle University, said China's strategy was to project an image of being a responsible stakeholder rather than an aggressor, and avoid being bound to rules that could weaken its geopolitical position should the United States assert itself in the South China Sea. "Based on projection, the world s economic experts are confident that Asean would be able to leap high as the fourth largest economy by 2050", he said in his official blog http://www.najibrazak.com posting tonight.

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