Philippines, US to hold war games off disputed shoal

  • Hijacked plane forced to land at Bali airport, says report

    A hijacked Virgin Blue flight has landed at Indonesia's Bali airport, according to Reuters quoting Indonesia's Metro TV. MORE TO COME]]> …

  • Obama to meet Bersih, Islamic Front leaders
    Obama to meet Bersih, Islamic Front leaders

    United States President Barack Obama will meet with leaders of Malaysian civil society movements, including those from the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih), Islamic Renaissance Front and the Bar Council during his visit to Kuala Lumpur this weekend. …

  • Two criminal systems already exist, Gerakan told

    PAS legal bureau chairperson Mohamed Hanipa Maidin was responding to Gerakan's legal notice yesterday to challenge the former's intention to submit a Bill in Parliament to implement hudud law in Kelantan. "Gerakan's allegation outlined in the notice to PAS, that implementing hudud would result in the existence of two systems of criminal justice in the country is, with due respect, an allegation that is rash and baseless. Hanipa ( right ) said "for Gerakan's information", two criminal justice …

  • Selangor set to end water rationing next week

    The Selangor menteri besar expects to lift water rationing for the state and Kuala Lumpur by next week if current efforts to pump fresh water from mining ponds continue to prove successful. "We can declare the rationing discontinued next week if these conditions prevail," MB Abdul Khalid Ibrahim told a press conference in Klang today. He said as of today, eight pumps were drawing 400 million litres per day (MLD) of fresh water from alternative sources to help fill the drying Sungai Selangor …

  • 'Court decision on PAA a victory for all Malaysians'

    Human rights defenders welcomed the Court of Appeal's landmark decision which ruled Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA), punishing citizens who do not give 10 days' notice before they hold an assembly, to be unconstitutional, but cautioned that there were still some more kinks to be ironed out. Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen said that given the Court of Appeal's decision, those previously charged in lower courts over the Black505 rally and other …

  • Water price to go up 20% in Penang
    Water price to go up 20% in Penang

    Penangites can expect to pay 20% more for water under new tariff rates proposed by the state’s water operator. However, PBA Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Jaseni Maidinsa said despite the 20% increase for domestic consumers and 18.8% for trade consumers, the rates remain the lowest in the country. He said the proposed average domestic... …

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The Philippines and the United States will hold joint naval exercises off Panatag Shoal (Scarbourough Shoal), a reef in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) claimed by both the Philippines and China and site of a maritime standoff between the two countries that lasted more than two months last year.

But the Philippines and the US do not expect China to raise its hackles, as the joint manoeuvres will be held in waters between Panatag Shoal (also known as Bajo de Masinloc) and the Luzon mainland, about 108 kilometres east of the disputed reef.

That is "very far" from Panatag Shoal, about the distance between Manila and Tarlac, so China cannot view it as an act of "intimidation", said Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic, spokesperson for the Philippine Navy.

Moreover, holding the naval exercises off northern Luzon had been planned long before the Philippines' standoff with China at the reef last year, Fabic said.

The joint naval manoeuvres will be held from June 27 to July 2.

Standoff continues

Technically, the Philippines and China are still in a standoff in the area. Philippine vessels withdrew at the height of a typhoon in mid-June last year to ease tensions at the shoal.

But the Chinese ships never left the area, cordoning off the mouth of the shoal's lagoon to prevent entry of fishing boats from other countries.

As it has no capability to drive off the Chinese vessels by force, the Philippines took the dispute to the United Nations in January for arbitration.

The Philippines and China also have rival claims in the Spratly archipelago, a scattering of islets, reefs and atolls in the middle of the West Philippine Sea believed to be sitting atop vast energy resources.

Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also claim parts of the Spratlys in rivalry with China, which claims nearly all of the sea as its territory.

Called Cooperation Afloat Readiness Training (Carat), the naval manoeuvres are a "five-year planned exercise" with the US Navy that began in 2011 and goes around the different naval forces commands in the country, Fabic said.

It was just a coincidence that Carat will be held this year in northern Luzon near Panatag Shoal, he added.

Carat was held in the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao in Davao last year. It will be in the Naval Forces West in Palawan next year and in the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao in Davao in 2015, he said.

Exercises with allies

The US Pacific Fleet conducts Carat with the armed forces of its allies in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor and the Philippines.

"This aims to enhance the Philippine Navy and US Navy capabilities in naval operations through exchanges and tactical exercises," Fabic said.

The exchanges, he said, include communications, naval surface operations, counterterrorism and maritime security operations, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

Taking part in the naval exercise are an unspecified number of Philippine and US naval vessels, Marine companies, the Philippine Naval Special Operations Group, Naval Construction Brigade or the Sea Bees Engineers and Philippine Coast Guard vessels, aircraft and diving and special operations teams.


Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • 'Smaller' size keeps women loyal to men: Study IANS

    A team of researchers from the US and Kenya found that there was a strange link between the size of the penis and infidelity in a marriage. Contrary to what many men may assume, they found that men with bigger penises are more likely to have wives who cheat on them. …

  • In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle Associated Press
    In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192. …

  • My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh The Malaysian Insider
    My last moments with Pa: Ramkarpal Singh

    A week after the tragic crash that took the lives of veteran lawyer and politician Karpal Singh and his personal aide, Michael Cornelius, his son Ramkarpal recounts the final hours with his father that fateful day. This is his story, as told to V. Anbalagan, assistant news editor. “My parents (Karpal and Gurmit) had gone to Pantai Hospital... …