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Aquino says Philippines will fight to defend its interests

Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Wednesday that Filipinos will fight for what is right and just for the country's national interests. Speaking at the commemoration rites of the Day of Valor in Bataan Province to honor the World War II fighters, Aquino said, "Even back then, it was clear to all Filipinos: small though we may be, if we know that we are on the side of what is right and just, we will fight."

Philippine policeman suspended after reporter murdered

The police chief of a Philippine town was suspended after a national newspaper reporter who he argued with was murdered, in the latest of a string of media killings, authorities said Monday. Rubylita Garcia, 52, a reporter with a popular tabloid, was shot dead on Sunday in her home about 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the nation's capital, Manila, national police spokesman Chief Superintendent Reuben Sindac said.

Aquino hails U.S. fresh call to use int'l law to solve sea disputes

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Friday hailed a U.S. top diplomat's call on all claimants to territory in the South China Sea to peacefully resolve their disputes in accordance with international law. "We welcome his statement," Aquino told reporters, referring to remarks made Tuesday by Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, in congressional testimony. "That's all we are hoping for, that all of us to adhere to international law," Aquino said.

Aquino hails U.S. fresh call to use int'l law to solve sea disputes

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Friday hailed a U.S. top diplomat's call on all claimants to territory in the South China Sea to peacefully resolve their disputes in accordance with international law. "We welcome his statement," Aquino told reporters, referring to remarks made Tuesday by Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs, in congressional testimony. "That's all we are hoping for, that all of us to adhere to international law," Aquino said.

Philippine leader likens China's rulers to Hitler

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has compared China's efforts to claim disputed territories with those of Nazi Germany's, while urging world leaders not to make the same mistake of appeasement, according to the New York Times. The Philippines has accused China of becoming increasingly aggressive in recent years in staking its claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, and Aquino reportedly said his nation could not stand up to its mightier neighbour alone.

Hong Kong announces "1st phase" of sanctions against Philippines

Hong Kong's leader announced Wednesday the "first phase of sanctions" against the Philippines for failing to formally apologize for the 2010 Manila tour bus hostage-taking incident, in which eight Hong Kong citizens were killed, by suspending a visa-free arrangement for Philippine officials. In announcing the move, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told a press conference that the lack of a formal apology to the victims and their relatives is "unacceptable."

Philippine leader retains minister despite resignation

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Thursday refused to accept the resignation of his energy minister after he failed to restore power fully to areas devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan. Aquino told Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla that he would be retaining him, citing his "excellent performance," despite Petilla's previous offer to resign, said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda. Petilla had previously said he would step down if he did not restore power to towns flattened by Super Typhoon Haiyan by Christmas Eve.

Philippines launches $8.17 bn Haiyan rebuilding plan

The Philippine government launched an $8.17 billion plan on Wednesday to rebuild the lives of millions battered by Super Typhoon Haiyan. President Benigno Aquino appealed for international assistance and private sector pledges to help his government rehabilitate hundreds of devastated communities and increase their resilience to natural disasters as well as the adverse impacts of climate change.

Kerry in Philippines to propel troop deal as China row simmers

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the Philippines Tuesday for a two-day trip that could fast-track a deal on expanding the US military presence as a territorial dispute simmers with China. Kerry flew to Manila as the two allies are in the final stages of hammering out a deal allowing more US troops, aircraft and ships to temporarily pass through the Philippines, where the last US bases closed in 1992.

Asian nations urge peace in sea disputes, unlikely to blame China

By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian nations must ensure that territorial disputes do not erupt into conflict, leaders said on Friday, with Japan and the Philippines reaffirming their commitment to freedom of flight as concerns grow over China's new air defense zone. Beijing's growing military strength has sparked concern in Asia and tension has spiked in the last month after China announced the air defense zone including islands in the East China Sea also claimed by Japan.
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