WATCH: Speeches at the Navy-sponsored forum on maritime security

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Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado, professors Aileen Baviera and Charmaine Willoughby of PH, Shafiah Fifi Muhibat of Singapore, Carlyle Thayer of Australia

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Navy on Wednesday, May 10, hosted the Maritime Security Symposium 2017 to discuss maritime security cooperation in Southeast Asia. 

The forum that invited local and international subject matter experts was attended by former President Fidel Ramos, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and former Philippine Permanent Representative to the ASEAN Wilfredo Villacorta, among others. 

“The event was an affirmation of the Philippine Navy’s commitment to protect the seas in order to secure the nation’s future,” said Navy spokesman Captain Lued Lincuna.

“Since the Philippines is chairing the ASEAN this year, the navy opted to cover the topic of an ASEAN-centric maritime security community in support of the Philippines’ thematic priority of promoting maritime security cooperation,” he added.

Watch the presentations of speakers below.

Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado says maritime security is a paramount concern.

Shafiah Fifi Muhibat of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore underscores the importance of the seas to ASEAN countries. In enhancing maritime security, the ocean should be seen as a connector, instead of a barrier.

Aileen Baviera of University of the Philippines Asian Center says ASEAN is looking at a post-arbitration South China Sea situation, where China’s 9-dash-line claim is no longer valid.

Carlyle Thayer of The University of New South Wales in Australia says ASEAN should not turn into a cockpit for major superpowers. 

Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby of the De La Salle University talks about the formation of a maritime security community in the ASEAN region, and the steps that should be taken to maintain it.

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