RP-Aussie: Counter terrorism deal expected to snag in Phil. Senate

May 12, 2006 at 2:17 am 1 comment

Aussie-RP: defense ties may snag in Philippine Senate

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a planned treaty between the Philippines and Australia is expected to hit a wall of opposition political concerns over sovereignty issues.

” Australia’s hopes of forging a US-style security and anti-terror pact with the Philippines is raising concerns among Filipino opposition leaders. Warning that national interest was at stake, lawmakers demanded President Gloria Arroyo consult with the Philippine Senate before sealing any deal with Canberra. “Questions on why there is a need for such an agreement with Australia have to be answered first,” Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel said. ”

Australia has long sought to have more participation in the counter terrorism effort in the Southern part of the Philippines. While loose ‘Defense ties’ with the Philippines exist already and a long history of cooperation and trade is in place;

But Australia’s proposal has an “image problem” with-in the Philippine Senate in particular the demand that Australian troops be given the same status of forces agreement as the USA- something expected to be the major problem with any prolonged “training deployments’ for Aussie troops in the South.

Also continued resistance to trade imports and Philippine Agricultural products imports to Australia bans for export to Australia have also to be addressed as well.

The report quotes: Senate president Franklin Drilon, Who the report says –

“ predicted some legislators would challenge the SOFA proposal, partly on the grounds of sovereignty concerns. “The yardstick is always our national interest when we are confronted in the Senate with treaties of this nature,” he said.” the Herald reports

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Entry filed under: abu sayyaf, al qaeda, asia, china, Jemaah Islamiah, news, News and politics, philippines, pirates, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., Uncategorized, war, war on teror.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. mikeinmanila  |  May 13, 2006 at 12:32 am

    A statement released by the Australian Embassy in Manila says that the Canberra government is trying it’s best to seek a reversal to a more favorable reaction to the deployment of Australian troops to the Philippines in support of counter terrorism missions versus Jemaah Islamiah in South East Asia.

    Negative responses from Philippine opposition leaders seeking to block the granting to Australian forces a similar SOFA or Status of Forces Agreement to that of the United States under a treaty.
    The agreement would grant in cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines the right to carry out ‘military training missions’ or ‘support missions’ in the southern Philippines.
    REPORT: INQ 7 (sumerized)
    “a “key recipient” of Australia’s recently approved counterterrorism package for Asia in the next four years, the Australian Embassy announced Thursday. Worth 92.6 million Australian dollars (71.6 million US dollars), the package is designed to boost the capacity of recipient countries, including the Philippines, to combat the continuing and evolving threat of terrorism, the mission said in a statement.
    The embassy did not indicate amounts specific to the Philippines, but said the package would build on existing cooperation agreements and translate into the following:
    • Increased training in basic investigation, specialist law enforcement, forensics, and technical training by the Australian Federal Police.
    • Greater information-sharing and exchange of border-control expertise. This includes support for the Regional Movement Alert List system initiative endorsed by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders in 2005 to promote “mutual access” to passport database systems.
    • Collaborative efforts to strengthen regional controls on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials.
    • Activities that promote tolerance and counteract terrorist propaganda.
    The embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, Pablo Kang, said these measures would be explored further with the Philippine government during bilateral counterterrorism consultations next month.
    “These measures are a further manifestation of Australia’s long-term commitment to peace and development in the Philippines,” the mission said.

    Reply

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