defense - updates

Rappler's latest stories on defense

ARTICLE FINDER

U.S. counter-terror analyst pleads guilty leaking secret info

Feb 21, 2020 - 10:49 AM

The leaks include details about foreign countries' weapons systems

MISSILES. Leaks may have included info on China installing anti-ship cruise missiles. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Amazon wins suspension of $10 billion 'JEDI' contract to Microsoft

Feb 14, 2020 - 10:37 AM

A preliminary injunction requested by Amazon is issued by Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith, barring the Department of Defense from starting work on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program

With threats to scrap VFA, Duterte gambles Philippines' security

Feb 06, 2020 - 10:00 AM

Duterte's latest outburst against the US isolates the country from its oldest ally and sows uncertainty against the threat of any Chinese aggression

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes one of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) personnel, who was conferred with the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Kamagi at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on January 13, 2020. The President honored the PMC personnel who took part in the liberation of Marawi City from the terrorists. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Lorenzana favors postponing PMA alumni homecoming to avert novel coronavirus

Feb 04, 2020 - 11:41 PM

'We deem it prudent to avoid situations where the health and safety of our cadets, PMA alumni, and their families are put at risk,' says the defense chief

PREMIER MILITARY ACADEMY. The facade of the Philippine Military Academy building in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City. Photo by Pediapediahan/Wikimedia Commons

EXPLAINER: Visiting Forces Agreement

Jan 31, 2020 - 9:00 AM

President Duterte has threatened to scrap the military pact between the Philippines and the United States. Here's what you should know about it.

Senate panel to review VFA, other Philippine defense pacts

Jan 29, 2020 - 4:44 PM

'Number 1, ano ang benefits na nakuha ng Pilipinas dito? What is the national interest at stake in these agreements?' says Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on some questions to be taken up at the planned hearing

PH-US WAR GAMES. This file photo shows US soldiers and their Filipino counterparts joining forces in an Amphibious Landing operation as part of the 2015 Balikatan Exercises. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Malacañang downplays possibility of U.S. terminating other military pacts

Jan 27, 2020 - 6:39 PM

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo says the Duterte government is not concerned the United States may terminate other military treaties following the Philippines' move to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement

PH-US WAR GAMES. This file photo shows US soldiers and their Filipino counterparts joining forces in an Amphibious Landing operation as part of the 2015 Balikatan Exercises made possible by the VFA. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

DOJ: Effects of VFA termination on EDCA, Mutual Defense Treaty have to be studied

Jan 25, 2020 - 2:24 PM

The justice department is ready with its memorandum on the legal procedures to terminate the 20-year-old VFA

Philippine and American soldier unite as they conducts the amphibious exercise during the 2019 Balikatan exercise held at Naval Education Training Command (NETC) in Zambales on 11 April 2019. Photo by: Lito Boras/Rappler

Lorenzana says it’s within PH right to scrap defense pact with U.S.

Jan 25, 2020 - 7:16 AM

The defense chief he will discuss with President Duterte ‘various scenarios’ and 'future actions' that the military may undertake if and when the visiting forces agreement is terminated

JOINT DRILLS. In this photo from October 9, 2019, the Philippine Marines and US forces open the 3rd KAMANDAG joint exercises at Subic Bay International Airport. Photo by Nappy Manegdeg/Rappler.com

1st batch of Filipinos from Iraq to be flown to Qatar Monday night

Jan 13, 2020 - 6:47 PM

The Department of National Defense says at least 12 Filipinos may return to the Philippines on January 14, though this will depend on the availability of flights

PH will no longer send military 'battalions' to accompany Iraq evacuees

Jan 13, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Officials in charge of the repatriation effort realize 'it may not be wise to send uniformed servicemen to the Middle East due to the sensitivities of the countries there'

NO TROOPS. The government stands down on a plan to send two military battalions to accompany Filipinos evacuating Iraq. Alfred Frias/Presidential photo

1st batch of Filipinos from Iraq to be flown to Manila on Sunday

Jan 11, 2020 - 3:19 PM

Filipinos in and near Tripoli, Libya, must be mandatorily evacuated, too, says the defense department, as tensions escalate in the North African country

FLYING HOME. A first batch of Filipinos will be flying home on Sunday, January 12, 2020, after evacuating from conflict-threatened Iraq. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

No more bodyguards from military: DND issues implementing rules of Duterte order

Jan 10, 2020 - 6:05 PM

Members of the Armed Forces can no longer be assigned to the security detail of civilian officials, except the President, the Vice President, and their immediate families

WITH THE MILITARY. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with military officers and other government officials. File photo from Albert Alacain/Presidential Photo

Duterte to AFP: Be ready to evacuate Filipinos if Middle East tensions rise

Jan 05, 2020 - 8:50 PM

There are 1,600 and 6,000 Filipinos in Iran and Iraq, respectively

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte convenes with officials from the security sector at the Malacañan Palace on January 5, 2020. During the meeting, the President discussed security matters regarding the country's contingency measures to ensure the safety of Filipinos based in the Middle East amid the potential tension between the United States and Iran. He also ordered concerned agencies to prepare for any eventualities and possible impact on the country. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

On Human Rights Day, fight vs abuses continues amid crackdown under Duterte

Dec 10, 2019 - 4:52 PM

Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay says human rights 'must continuously be asserted, defended and fought for’

Human rights advocates wearing masks bearing signs “Pinoy Resist” stage a creative action at the UP Diliman in Quezon City on Tuesday, Dec, 10, 2019, urging the government to stop the killings related to the campaign against illegal drugs. The protesters urge the Duterte administration to veer away from killing suspects and innocent civilians as the “solution to the perceived drug problem” and also demand from the government to implement a rights-based approach against illegal drugs. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Lorenzana recommends lifting martial law in Mindanao

Dec 04, 2019 - 6:03 PM

‘It’s time to go back to normal,’ the defense chief says, adding that security forces can handle lingering threats without martial law

BACK TO NORMAL. A soldier watches over the former battle ground between government troops and the pro-ISIS Maute terror group in Marawi City. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

Defense, energy departments to probe Chinese control of power lines

Dec 04, 2019 - 4:21 PM

Can China really remotely control – and shut down – the Philippines’ electricity? Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana wants to find out.

PUTTING UP A TEAM. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the defense and energy departments will probe reports of Chinese control of the Philippines' power transmission lines. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Washington airspace alert sparks White House lockdown

Nov 27, 2019 - 10:47 AM

The North American Aerospace Defense Command deploys a US Coast Guard helicopter to investigate what appeared to be an unidentified aircraft nearing tightly controlled Washington airspace but found nothing

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PH Navy’s upcoming frigate begins sea trials in South Korea

Nov 23, 2019 - 8:07 AM

The BRP Jose Rizal is expected to be delivered to the Philippines by May 2020, and will be the most powerful warship in the Philippine Fleet

NEW WARSHIP. The Philippine Navy's upcoming frigate, the BRP Jose Rizal, is sent on sea trials in the waters off South Korea, where it was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries. Photo from the Philippine Navy

U.S. funds P1 billion in programs to help BARMM transition, fight terrorism

Nov 22, 2019 - 8:36 PM

Suicide bombings in Mindanao are a ‘major concern,’ says a top US counterterrorism official visiting Manila to boost cooperation in tactical response, border security, and cutting terrorist funding

FIGHTING TERRORISM. The siege of Marawi City in 2017 is a grim reminder of the insidious threat of terrorism in the Philippines. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

U.S. defense chief favors review of 1951 treaty with Philippines

Nov 19, 2019 - 7:25 PM

The nearly 70-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the US needs to reflect current security threats, including an increasingly powerful China, say both countries' defense secretaries

TREATY ALLIES. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (L) and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper (R) agree that the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty needs to be updated. Esper visited Manila on November 19, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

DND to reconsider AFP deal with China-backed telco after Senate review

Nov 13, 2019 - 7:10 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says they will 'think thrice, even 4 times,' after senators raised serious security concerns over Dito Telecommunity's plan to build cell sites within military properties

SECURITY RISKS. Senator Francis Pangilinan (right) and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) tackled the security risks from the military's cell sites deal with a China-backed telco during a plenary hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of National Defense on November 13, 2019. Photo from the Office of Senator Francis Pangilinan

OCD commemorates Yolanda with disaster risk reduction conference in Samar

Nov 09, 2019 - 8:12 PM

'The goal shall always be zero casualty,' Interagency Task Force Yolanda Chair and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles told participants of the DRRM conference

DISASTER RISK REDUCTION. Six years since Yolanda's onslaught, the Office of Civil Defense holds a Disaster Risk Reduction Conference in Eastern Samar on Saturday, November 9. Photo from Office of Civil Defense

Red-tagged Oxfam, NCCP slam military for 'malicious, careless' attack

Nov 06, 2019 - 10:57 AM

The Farmers Development Center also says their inclusion in the red list was meant to 'silence our advocacy' for farmers rights

MILITARY LIST. The military tells lawmakers on November 5, 2019 that 18 groups are allegedly front organizations for the Communist Party of the Philippines. Photo sourced by Rappler

In House briefing, AFP, DND accuse Gabriela of being 'communist front'

Nov 05, 2019 - 7:35 PM

'Hindi krimen ang maging aktibista. Gabriela Women's Party strongly condemns this clear attempt to criminalize dissent and weaponize the law,' says Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas

Lorenzana to China: Respect international maritime law

Nov 03, 2019 - 2:26 PM

The defense chief also says the encounter between a Chinese vessel that claimed to be a warship and the Filipino crew of a commercial ship ‘should not be blown out of proportion or sensationalized’

PHILIPPINE WATERS. This photo from the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) of the oil tanker Green Aura indicates the ship's path between Panatag Shoal (left) and Luzon island (right), and the presence of Chinese vessels in the area on September 30, 2019. Photo courtesy of Captain Manolo Ebora

Military chief Clement gets 4th star

Oct 30, 2019 - 2:40 PM

General Noel Clement leads the AFP as it tackles security threats from terrorists, communist rebels, Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea, as well as hazing in the Philippine Military Academy – until he retires in January 2020

4TH STAR. Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Noel Clement is promoted to the rank of general and receives his 4th star from his wife Geraldine (left) and Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna (right) on October 30, 2019. Photo from the AFP

Philippines, U.S., Japan hold military drills near West PH Sea

Oct 15, 2019 - 8:54 AM

Japan joins the yearly exercise for the first time as regional allies build 'interoperability' in responding to security threats and natural disasters

TOPSHOTS  A Philippine naval personnel stands on guard during the arrival of missile destroyer USS Chung Hoon (DDG-93) before the US-Philippine joint naval military exercise entitled 'Cooperation Afloat Readiness Training' (CARAT) near the disputed Spratly islands, in Puerto Princesa on the western Philippine island of Palawan on June 28, 2011. The Philippines and the US will launch naval exercises as the long-time allies seek to deepen defence ties amid tensions with China over a maritime dispute. The 11-day event will see two US missile destroyers patrol Philippine waters close to the resource-rich and strategically vital South China Sea that is at the heart of the regional territorial row. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS

Air Force buys P2-billion Gulfstream business jet

Oct 07, 2019 - 6:21 PM

The ‘well-appointed’ Gulfstream G280 will serve as an ‘airborne command post’ for senior leaders and commanders during emergencies

Chinese vessels in Philippine waters: Who’s keeping score?

Oct 02, 2019 - 11:48 PM

As Chinese vessels of all sorts come and go through Philippine waters, exactly who among security officials is keeping count, and who's telling whom what to do?

BRP SIERRA MADRE. This aerial photo taken from a military aircraft shows the Sierra Madre ship of the Philippine Navy anchored near Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) with Philippine soldiers onboard to secure the perimeter in the Spratly Islands, on May 11, 2015. File photo by Ritchie Tongo/AFP

Singapore, HackerOne hold bug bounty program to test gov't targets

Oct 01, 2019 - 6:39 PM

Singapore's Ministry of Defense invites 400 ethical hackers to identify security vulnerabilities in government systems over 3 weeks. Successful finds will bring bounty payouts.

Lorenzana wants Australia exempted from Duterte's foreign loan ban

Sep 30, 2019 - 4:02 PM

The defense department plans to enter a loan agreement with the Australian government to procure 6 offshore patrol vessels to be built in Cebu

LOAN FOR SHIPS. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana wants Australia exempted from a loan ban to make way for a financing agreement for new Navy ships. Photo of Lorenzana at the Senate on September 30, 2019 by Angie de Silva/Rappler

China using fishing vessels for surveillance, control of West PH Sea – DND

Sep 19, 2019 - 5:53 PM

Chinese fishing vessels complement Chinese naval and coast guard ships, and could be used for 'asymmetric warfare of sea control and sea denial' against Filipinos, the defense department says in a report to a lawmaker

LONELY OUTPOST. An aerial view shows the BRP Sierra Madre that has been grounded since 1999 to assert the Philippines' sovereignty over Ayungin Shoal. The China Coast Guard constantly patrols the area, the DND says. File photo by Jay Directo/AFP

AFP chief downplays Dito Telecommunity's Chinese connection

Sep 17, 2019 - 11:58 PM

'You are dealing with a Chinese company, not the Chinese government,' General Benjamin Madrigal Jr says of the Chinese government-owned China Telecom

NO WORRIES? Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr downplays Chinese espionage worries over the military's co-location deal with Dito Telecommunity. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Dito, DICT dismiss Chinese spying concerns about deal with AFP

Sep 17, 2019 - 7:52 PM

Under the agreement, the China-backed telco will pay for its use of the military's facilities – but in kind

NO WORRIES? Dito Telecommunity and the Department of Information and Communications Technology say a deal to put up the telco's facilities in military camps is safe from Chinese spying. Photo of the ceremonial signing of the deal on Sept. 11, 2019, by Darren Langit/Rappler

DND has a 'concern' about AFP deal with China-backed telco

Sep 16, 2019 - 9:00 PM

The deal allowing Dito Telecommunity to put up facilities in military camps may have followed the regular procedure, but it must pass the defense chief's scrutiny, says DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong

CONCERNS RAISED. Department of National Defense Spokesperson Arsenio Andolong says  "they have a concern" about a deal allowing a China-backed telco to set up equipment in military camps. Photo of the ceremonial signing of the deal between the AFP and Dito Telecommunity at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Lorenzana unaware of AFP-Mislatel deal, vows probe – Panelo

Sep 16, 2019 - 12:48 PM

The Philippine government can still pull out of the deal if officials identify security risks in the arrangement, says Malacañang

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on the sidelines of the Joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Command Conference at the Malacañan Palace on June 18, 2019. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

More PH-U.S. security cooperation activities lined up in 2020

Sep 13, 2019 - 6:08 PM

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Benjamin Madrigal is presented with the Legion of Merit, the US' highest military decoration awarded to foreign military personnel

HIGHEST HONOR. AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr is presented with the Legion of Merit by US Indo-Pacific Commander Adm. Philip Davidson during the 2019 Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, on September 13. Photo from the US Embassy in Manila

Nicanor Faeldon's gov't posts and the controversies that trailed him

Sep 06, 2019 - 1:33 PM

Occupying 3 key government positions since July 2016, Nicanor Faeldon has had more than his usual share of troubles

Second day of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Good Conduct Time Allowance on September 3, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Defense department proposes 5th largest share of 2020 national budget

Aug 28, 2019 - 8:25 AM

Pressure’s on to increase the defense establishment’s capability to confront internal and external threats, but retirees’ pensions still get the largest increase in allocation

CAPABILITY BOOST. The Department of National Defense lobbies for a higher budget to help it address the country's security threats. File photo of Philippine Army tank by Lito Borras/Rappler

At budget hearing, Lorenzana dares Makabayan bloc to condemn CPP-NPA

Aug 27, 2019 - 7:30 PM

In a face-off with the defense chief, leftist lawmakers denounce 'red-tagging' by the government and challenge him to show evidence of their alleged involvement with the New People’s Army

Iran unveils homegrown missile defense system

Aug 22, 2019 - 8:51 PM

President Hassan Rouhani attends the unveiling ceremony for the mobile surface-to-air system and orders it to be added to Iran's missile defense network

HOMEGROWN. A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidential office shows Iranian-made air defense missile system Bavar 373 (believe in farsi) during a ceremony in Tehran on August 22, 2019. Photo by Handout/Iranian Presidency/AFP

U.S. Air Force vows ‘no let up’ in South China Sea patrols

Aug 18, 2019 - 2:11 PM

General David Goldfein, US Air Force Chief of Staff, restates the US commitment to the Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines as China pushes to dominate the Indo-Pacific region

AIR DEFENSE. Filipino-US Sailors onboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier as it anchored in Manila Bay on 7 August 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

DND insists China 'squatting' in West PH Sea

Aug 01, 2019 - 2:44 PM

'Possession' or 'position?' The Defense department clears up post-SONA mess by reiterating the Philippines’ claim of sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea

MABINI REEF. Internationally known as Johnson Reef, Mabini Reef has been reclaimed and turned into a military outpost by China. Image from CSIS/AMTI

[OPINION] Projecting military power: Japan’s carrier fleet reborn

Jul 20, 2019 - 4:13 PM

Japan, together with the US, has an overwhelming superiority that is sure to keep Beijing in check...and which belies Rodrigo Duterte’s claims that China is more powerful than those arrayed against it

Carpio, Del Rosario refute Duterte on invoking defense pact with U.S.

Jul 17, 2019 - 8:00 PM

(UPDATED) 'The [Mutual Defense] Treaty operates only for self-defense, not for aggression against another state,' says Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says the Mutual Defense Treaty with the US is only for self-defense. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Groups hit PH govt's 'overreaction' to U.N. resolution vs drug war killings

Jul 12, 2019 - 5:53 PM

Human rights groups say the response of the Philippine government is a 'poor display of diplomacy'

Members of the Human rights defenders who lobbied states at the 41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council expressd dismay at the poor display of diplomacy by the Philippine government, as the UNHRC voted to adopt Iceland’s resolution to probe the war on drugs in the Philippines at a press conference in Quezon City on July 12, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

[ANALYSIS] Philippine defense spending in 2018: What data tells us

Jul 12, 2019 - 1:00 PM

The Philippines has to be smart about improving its security beyond defense budgets and military acquisitions and allocations

Turkey warns U.S. to avoid steps that harm ties over S-400

Jul 10, 2019 - 8:29 PM

'We are inviting the US to avoid taking the wrong steps which would exclude diplomacy and dialogue and harm relations,' Turkey's foreign ministry says in a statement

WARNING. Russian S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile launchers roll down the Red Square. File photo by Miaden Antonov/AFP

DND to investigate China missile test in West Philippine Sea

Jul 03, 2019 - 5:48 PM

The Philippine government will look into a US report that China tested ballistic missiles near the Spratlys, a move the Pentagon called 'disturbing'

KAGITINGAN REEF. This satellite image dated January 1, 2018, shows Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe