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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, terrorist threats worldwide continue unabated.  In fact, international terrorist groups are taking advantage of the pandemic to propagandize, recruit and mount violent attacks.  The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), for example, is currently experiencing a rapid resuscitation as the pandemic is providing the group the needed oxygen to recover.  The Philippines is one of the countries most affected by the twin threats of terrorism and COVID-19 pandemic.

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Strategy of a Small State with Great Powers: The Philippines Amidst US-China Rivalry in the South China Sea

Small states and great powers have different survival instincts amidst international anarchy.  Realist theory of international relations contends that great powers seek their survival by balancing each other.  But small states, by virtue of their inherent vulnerability in the anarchic international system, find their survival by forging relationships with great powers balancing each other. Because of their inherent vulnerable situation, small states pursue relationships with great powers depending on the situation.  Small states respond to situations according to their own national interests and not the interests of major powers in competition.

The New Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law: Fighting Terror to Protect Human Rights

Despite continuing public criticisms, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the new Philippine anti-terrorism law or the Republic Act 11479 on 3 July 2020 to serve as a lawful instrument to fight terror and not to cause terror.  Officially entitled “The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020”, the new law is strongly grounded on the universally accepted principle of human rights that the law intends to protect amidst clear and present danger posed by threats of terrorism in the Philippines, which are real and not only imagined.


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Cold War Brewing Over South China Sea Tensions*

Anna Malindog-Uy 12 August 2020 In his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 27 July, President Rodrigo Duterte stated that, “Within ASEAN and beyond, the Philippines will continue to work with partners to address global perils and ramp up cooperation to secure for our peoples, greater peace, progress, and prosperity. The Filipino nationContinue reading “Cold War Brewing Over South China Sea Tensions*”

Threats of Violent Extremism and Terrorism in the Philippines Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Rommel C. Banlaoi 10 August 2020 Introduction Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, terrorist threats worldwide continue unabated.  In fact, international terrorist groups are taking advantage of the pandemic to propagandize, recruit and mount violent attacks.  The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), for example, is currently experiencing a rapid resuscitation as the pandemic isContinue reading “Threats of Violent Extremism and Terrorism in the Philippines Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Opposition to Anti-Terror Law Unjustified, All About Politics

The Manila Times 30 July 2020 Petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 have been piling up at the Supreme Court. Earlier, many of the petitioners and other like-minded people have been engaged in vigorous discussions in various fora, on social media and even in a few protests to air their fears and concerns. TheseContinue reading “Opposition to Anti-Terror Law Unjustified, All About Politics”

Building Philippines-China Relations for the Future During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Ambassador Jose Santiago L. Sta. Romana* 28 July 2020 Introduction The theme of this event is quite apt as we are meeting under very different circumstances. However, it is important that we adapt and adjust so that we may overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19 to the whole of humanity. The current pandemic hasContinue reading “Building Philippines-China Relations for the Future During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Join Hands to Overcome Disruptions and Challenges in the Fast Changing World

by Ambassador Huang Xilian* 27 July 2020 It is my delight to join you on-line to talk about building China-Philippines Relations against the backdrop of COVID-19. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you on the convening of this very timely and meaningful webinar under the current situation. I would also take this opportunityContinue reading “Join Hands to Overcome Disruptions and Challenges in the Fast Changing World”

Hurdling the Adverse State-Civil Society Relation Against Terrorism in Southeast Asia

by Rizal G. Buendia* 22 July 2020 Introduction In the United Nations (UN) Security Council’s meeting in April 2020, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres acknowledged that in spite of the current COVID-19 pandemic, “the threat of terrorism remains alive.” Terrorist groups see a “window of opportunity” to violently attack governments while their attention is turned towardsContinue reading “Hurdling the Adverse State-Civil Society Relation Against Terrorism in Southeast Asia”

China-Philippines Ties See Transformation and Upgrading Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

By Huang Xilian* 21 July 2020 Highlights When #COVID-19 vaccine is developed and put into use, #China will give priority to providing it to the #Philippines as a global public good. As the resumption of work and production proceeds in an orderly manner, there will be more #Chinese cooperative projects in the #Philippines in theContinue reading “China-Philippines Ties See Transformation and Upgrading Amid COVID-19 Pandemic”

Strategy of a Small State with Great Powers: The Philippines Amidst US-China Rivalry in the South China Sea

by Rommel C. Banlaoi, PhD* 9 July 2020 Security tensions in the South China Sea are rising again due to escalating major power rivalry between the United States and China.  The US and China have increased their military presence in the South China by sending their warships to conduct air-sea battle exercises while the wholeContinue reading “Strategy of a Small State with Great Powers: The Philippines Amidst US-China Rivalry in the South China Sea”

Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020: The Urgent Need for Gender-Sensitive Counterterrorism Measures in the Philippines

by Mary Ysabelle Samantha A. Chikiamco* 8 July 2020 Law enforcement authorities stereotypically portray terrorist fighters as weapons-carrying men who are always on the frontlines. They regard women, on the other hand, as passive members, blind supporters, or unfortunate victims of terrorist organizations who are always on the sidelines. This mindset is sadly reinforcing gender-biasedContinue reading “Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020: The Urgent Need for Gender-Sensitive Counterterrorism Measures in the Philippines”

On the New Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law and “the Quest for the Holy Grail”: Towards A Legal Definition of Terrorism

by Soliman M. Santos, Jr* 6 July 2020 President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Republic Act 11479 entitled, “The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020” on 3 July 2020. One controversial aspect of this law is the perennial debate on the definition of terrorism. This paper examines the definitional ramification of terrorism from a legal standpoint. Editor TheContinue reading “On the New Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law and “the Quest for the Holy Grail”: Towards A Legal Definition of Terrorism”

New Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law: Fighting Terror to Protect Human Rights

by Rommel C. Banlaoi, PhD* 4 July 2020 Despite continuing public criticisms, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the new Philippine anti-terrorism law or the Republic Act 11479 on 3 July 2020 to serve as a lawful instrument to fight terror and not to cause terror.  Officially entitled “The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020”, the new lawContinue reading “New Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law: Fighting Terror to Protect Human Rights”

The ASEAN Summit and the South China Sea: Little Has Changed

by Mark Valencia* 2 July 2020 On 26 June, the leaders of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held their 36th annual summit by video conference, after the in-person summit scheduled for April was postponed because of Covid-19. The pandemic was the main topic of discussions. But also high on the agenda was theContinue reading “The ASEAN Summit and the South China Sea: Little Has Changed”

Parañaque Raid Against the Abu Sayyaf: Countering Terrorism in the City Amidst the Pandemic

Mary Ysabelle Samantha A. Chikiamco* 1 July 2020 On 26 June 2020,  four alleged Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members were killed in a police raid at Don Bosco district in Parañaque City. Slained suspects were identified as:  1) Merhama Abdul Sawari, female; 2) Bensaudi Sali, male; 3) Rasmin Hussin, male; and, 4) Jamal Kalimming, male.Continue reading “Parañaque Raid Against the Abu Sayyaf: Countering Terrorism in the City Amidst the Pandemic”

Addressing the Root Cause of Terrorism: Beyond Duterte’s Proposed New Anti-Terrorism Law

by Lucio Blanco Pitlo II* 24 June 2020 While mayor of Davao, Rodrigo Duterte tolerated the presence of rebel groups so long as they will not bear arms and carry out attacks in his city. It was an uneasy arrangement that was generally observed. Since becoming President of the Philippines, the self-confessed socialist even appointedContinue reading “Addressing the Root Cause of Terrorism: Beyond Duterte’s Proposed New Anti-Terrorism Law”

Terrorism During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Collection of Analyses and Commentaries

To provide ready materials and references on terrorism and COVID-19 pandemic, we collect and share the following analyses and commentaries for appreciation of our readers. We will update this post from time to time to provide our readers timely and useful sources of analyses and commentaries on the topic. Photo Credit: Google Images by PIPVTRContinue reading “Terrorism During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Collection of Analyses and Commentaries”

The VFA and Philippine-American Alliance Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rommel C. Banlaoi, PhD* 21 June 2020 When the Philippine government suspended the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), US Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed his utmost gratefulness to President Rodrigo R. Duterte.  Esper gave his statement during his telephone conversation with his counterpart, Philippine National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, on 12 June 2020. Continue reading “The VFA and Philippine-American Alliance Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Understanding Terrorism in the Context of the Proposed New Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law

by Rod Kapunan* 20 June 2020 The latitude of freedom accorded to our people has gone a bit too far. To express one’s indignation to the proposed law is beyond the concept of freedom of expression. Such unmitigated rile against the Anti-Terrorist Law already crosses the boundary of freedom. The action of the so-called militantContinue reading “Understanding Terrorism in the Context of the Proposed New Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law”

On the Proposed New Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law: Beyond Constitutionality

By Soliman M. Santos, Jr.* Naga City, 18 June 2020 The current public debate in media and occasionally in the streets, as well as the reported executive department review of the new Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATB) presented by the leaders of both houses of Congress to the President for him to sign it into law, canContinue reading “On the Proposed New Philippine Anti-Terrorism Law: Beyond Constitutionality”

Terrorism: An Emerging Definition and Framework

by Atty. Soliman M. Santos, Jr.* 15 June 2020 Introduction Contrary to general impression, there is an emerging internationally acceptable definition of terrorism.  This much can be gleaned from the Report of the UN High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change on 2 December 2004, subsequently endorsed by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in,Continue reading “Terrorism: An Emerging Definition and Framework”

45 Years of Philippines-China Relations: Deepening Friendship Towards Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation

by Rommel C. Banlaoi, PhD 10 June 2020 Original version of this piece was commissioned by China Report ASEAN. Introduction China and the Philippines have reached 45 years of relationship.  Like many other relationships, the Philippines and China have their own stories of ups and downs.  Yet, they remain friends as permanent neighbors as theyContinue reading “45 Years of Philippines-China Relations: Deepening Friendship Towards Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation”

45 Years of Bilateral Relations: Jointly Embracing a Better Future of China-Philippines Friendship and Partnership

China and the Philippines have drawn closer together under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Image: Facebook/Chinese Embassy in Manila by  Huang Xilian* 9 June 2020 Midsummer is a good season to indulge in the beauty and fragrance of the pristine white Sampaguita flowers. It is also high time to tell the story of a blooming friendshipContinue reading “45 Years of Bilateral Relations: Jointly Embracing a Better Future of China-Philippines Friendship and Partnership”

RP-China Relations at 45 Under the Covid-19 Pandemic

by Rommel C. Banlaoi, PhD 9 June 2020 Today is the 45th anniversary of the official establishment of Philippines-China relations. It also marks the Philippines-China friendship Day. The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly demonstrated that friendship is solidified amidst crises and difficulties. When the Philippine government declared quarantine measures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, China,Continue reading “RP-China Relations at 45 Under the Covid-19 Pandemic”

The Philippines’ New Anti-Terrorism Law: Fighting Terrorism with Justice

by Rommel C. Banlaoi, PhD 4 June 2020 While still struggling in waging a war against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine government intensifies its already protracted war against terrorism by decisively pushing for the adoption of a new anti-terrorism law.  On 3 June 2020, the Philippine House of Representatives approved the House Bill 6875 orContinue reading “The Philippines’ New Anti-Terrorism Law: Fighting Terrorism with Justice”

COVID-19 as a Threat to International Peace and Security

by Maria Stephanie C. Garcia* 3 June 2020 The concepts of peace and security are inextricably linked. The broadening scope of security as well as the conceptualization of human security made peace and security to be an inseparable dimension, where one is not possible without the other. The new concept of security encompasses the freedomContinue reading “COVID-19 as a Threat to International Peace and Security”

Role of Traditional Medicine and Acupuncture in the Prevention and Control of COVID 19 in China and the Philippines: NGO Perspectives

2 June 2020 Cooperation among non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide plays an important role in the prevention and control of COVID-19. Thus, NGOs from the Philippines and China took the much needed initiative of upholding this very important role as the world continues to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. The Philippine Association for Chinese Studies (PACS) inContinue reading “Role of Traditional Medicine and Acupuncture in the Prevention and Control of COVID 19 in China and the Philippines: NGO Perspectives”

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