Leaders must take a stand against Philippines bloodshed

Southeast Asian leaders will express serious concern over territorial disputes in the South China Sea when they gather in an annual summit in Manila this week, but a draft of a communique to be issued at the end of the meeting indicates they will adopt subdued language on a conflict that has increasingly alarmed Asian and Western governments.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said that with other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-states, the Philippines remains committed to combating the drug menace.

The 30th Asean Summit meetings starting today will see the grouping's foreign ministers meet on Friday and culminate in the leaders' summit on the last day, Saturday.

"Who can stop that? Us?"

China has bowed to global rules in the past, notably on fair trade and economic agreements, as it saw respect for the rules to be beneficial for its people. He said that police conducting legitimate operations are required to follow protocols and those who breach them are made to answer before the law.

He has also railed against the USA for its supposed inaction on China's aggressive island building-activities on the disputed sea, saying Washington could have sent warships there to confront Beijing.

The ASEAN diplomat said the two rounds of talks so far this year gave the impression of progress, but details worked out so far were "essentially the same" as the DOC.

India doesnt walk the talk on human rights: Amnesty
She said this support encourages Indonesia to innovate more on the implementation of human rights protections in the archipelago. The country's first and second reviews took place in April 2008 and May 2012, respectively.

The tribunal favored the Philippines' claim over the disputed islands within its exclusive economic zone, a decision China has refused to recognize.

The draft statement merely states that the completion of crafting of the code (COC) of conduct framework on the contested waters by mid-2017.

The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is due to attend a summit in Beijing next month on its massive "Belt and Road" initiative to increase trade and infrastructure ties between China, Asia and beyond.

Amnesty International said Asean leaders should look beyond their comfortable surroundings and spare a thought for the thousands of people killed in the Philippines' bloody crackdown on drugs.

Duterte has been accused by members of the previous administration of taking a defeatist position on China and on defending Philippines sovereignty.

"The Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police [are] happy to inform you that the threats we faced in the island of Bohol and the other are confirmed reports that have been coming our way as well as to the public regarding dangers posed by terrorists in our tourists areas is already addressed", Padilla said. Asked how ASEAN should deal with China, Duterte said dialogue was the only option. Even before the Philippines sought global arbitration on its maritime entitlements, Chinese officials had told me that they in fact felt they were being bullied by the Philippines, with Uncle Sam pulling the strings.

These challenges, which include a demand to flight passengers to identify themselves, is one way China asserts its claim in the disputed sea. "You might want to extrapolate something out of it", the President said.

  • Megan Austin