Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Philippines thanks China for firearms, ammo vs Mautes

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 28) — They came in four cargo planes: multi-million pesos worth of high-power assault and sniper rifles with millions of ammunition.

These were the first batch of military aid from China which was turned over to the Philippines on Wednesday at the Clark Airbase in Pampanga.

And President Rodrigo Duterte was no less than grateful.

"To Ambassador Zhao, please relate our sincerest thanks to President Xi Jinping and the government of the People's Republic of China for its military aid package I will receive today in behalf of the Philippine government," he said.

Duterte recounted that during his first visit to China in October last year, Beijing expressed willingness to "unconditionally help the Philippines."

And when the Maute group launched a rebellion in Marawi City last month, China reiterated its offer to help, he said.

The chief executive said that as a result, Manila and Beijing entered into two agreements where China committed to turnover ₱590-M worth of military equipment to help in fight the ISIS-inspired terrorists.

"This not only strengthens our country's commitment to support each other during times of need, but also highlights the dawn of a new era in Philippine-Chinese relations," Duterte noted.

Related: Duterte vows to rebuild Marawi

Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said the military assistance came at the right time.

"Your Excellency, Mr. President, I know you are fighting terrorism, ISIS-related terrorism in the south. China is also a victim of terrorism," Zhao said.

The Chinese envoy added that a second batch of military equipment was already being prepared to be delivered to the Philippines in the coming months.

The Chinese government also donated ₱5M to families of soldiers slain and wounded in Marawi.

Talking to reporters after the event, the President said the firearms would have to pass the Defense department inventory before it could be equally divided as needed by the military and the police.

He also said he would be spending more time in Mindanao where fighting was ongoing to check on the morale of the troops.
Ferocity, not brutality

The President, who also later spoke at the attended 140th anniversary Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, Inc. (PCCAI) at the Manila Hotel, repeated why he declared martial law in Mindanao — to stop the Mautes whom he described as not having any ideology or God, but were were just there to kill and destroy.

"They have to be dealt with, with the same ferocity but not the brutality," Duterte said. "I will not be part of any cruelty or brutality, but we will have the ferocity to defend our values of democracy and sovereignty."

He said, "We do not decapitate. We do not hang people. All we need is one shot and if he goes down, that's it. We cannot do the things that they are doing because we are supposed to be a republic, a democracy, and a member of the United Nations, and there are rules to be observed."

Related: Duterte: I was forced to declare martial law to prevent civil war

The President added that he was praying for the conflict to end soon so that he could lift martial law. But until then, military rule would continue "until the last terrorist is taken out."

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Philippines Navy commissions its largest "Made in China" vessel

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy commissioned its first oil tanker BRP Lake Caliraya (AF-81) over the weekend to facilitate vessels' refueling.

The oil tanker was formerly one of the largest vessels in the fleet of the oil transport corporation. Built in Zhejiang Zhongxing Shipyard in Taizhou, China in November 2007, the AF-81 was commissioned by the PNOC in January 2008. - Camille Diola

Saturday, July 09, 2011

China offers to train the Armed Forces of Philippines

After aiding the Armed Forces of Philippines in their fight against the communist rebels, the PLA continues to maintain its military training invitations to the AFP despite the current dispute.  Exchanges as such demonstrate the relationship between China with its neighbors in Asia is complex and not driven by a single issue. 

China invites AFP for schooling
July 7, 2011, 6:51pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been invited by China to send some local officials for schooling in its military school, a move that could bolster relationship between the two countries amid tensions brought by the alleged intrusions at the disputed Spratlys Island.

But Commodore Jose Miguel Rodriguez, AFP spokesman, was quick to clarify that China has been sending invitations in the past only that this year’s invite is being highlighted because of the Spratlys tension.

“China has invited us to send our students to take up the GSC and that is something that will build personal relations, the way we are doing it with other countries,” said Rodriguez.

GSC stands for General Staff Course, a requirement for promotion to colonel.

Such invitation, along with the visit of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario could ease the tension between the two claimant-countries according to Rodriguez.

The official would not comment on the talking points on del Rosario’s visit but said that the presence of the latter in China would stabilize the situation amid the issues raised by the Philippines that there have been at least six intrusions committed in Spratlys believed to be by China.

“We are just very hopeful that there will be a lot of positive results in the visit,” said Rodriguez.

But for Rodriguez, what is needed to ease the Spratlys tension is for claimant-countries to be open and transparent on the things they do inside the disputed island group.

“More exchange of information, more openness, a lot more transparencies like if you are going there you should at least inform the other country,” said Rodriguez

Monday, December 06, 2010

Philippines, China to sign military logistics deal

It is an upside-down world out there -- the PLA is helping the Philippines army to fight against its Maoist rebels.

Philippines, China to sign military logistics deal

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines, a long-time US ally and former colony, said it will sign a logistics supply deal with China to source military equipment to combat domestic security threats, including from Maoist rebels.

General Ricardo David, Chief of Staff of the 130,000-member Armed Forces of the Philippines, will fly on Tuesday to Beijing, where he will meet senior defense and army officials and also tour military facilities, the Philippine military said.

David will sign a defense logistics deal with his counterpart in the People's Liberation Army (PLA), with talks expected to cover regional security concerns, including tensions in the Korean peninsula and the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea, where Beijing and Manila have competing claims.

"I would suppose this will start the influx of logistics coming from mainland China," military spokesman Brigadier-General Jose Mabanta told reporters on the planned deal.

The Philippines has one of the weakest militaries in the Asia-Pacific region, in part relying on second-hand aircraft, boats and assault rifles from the United States, its closest security partner and former colonial ruler.

"I don't think there will be any political implications," Mabanta said when asked about the likely U.S. reaction. "The Philippine Armed Forces really lack funds and equipment and is ready and willing to accept equipment and much-needed resources from any donor country. This includes, of course, China."

Expanding soft power

Last year, a US congressional report warned of China's "soft power", of expanding its influence in the region through billions of dollars in development assistance and investments, particularly in the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

In August, US military officials said Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea was causing concern in the region.

China has previously donated engineering equipment, such as graders and bulldozers, which the army used to build roads in rural areas where the Maoist New People's Army (NPA) is active. It has also offered to sell artillery, helicopters and boats.

Since 2000, Washington has donated more than $500 million of military equipment and supplies to Manila. It has also provided training and advice on countering Islamic militants in the south.

The United States has also funded assistance to poorer rural communities to check the spread of NPA influence and control.

The Philippines has a modernization fund of about $150 million to upgrade transport aircraft and combat helicopters to fight Muslim separatists and Maoist guerrillas.
as of 12/07/2010 12:07 AM

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