Singapura! This powerhouse Southeast Asian city-state vibrates with zest as the knowledge-intense capital of the region while it invests much on education, innovation, and research and development. Still, the most expensive city to live in on earth but worth the visit for its ultra-modern and futuristic skyline. Been here several times for business, work and leisure, but Singapore never stops to amaze me! I heart Singapore. Mwah!
Monday, November 21, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
By Tin Moi Nhat
(NLĐO) - Tiến sĩ Chester Cabalza tại Trường CĐ Quốc phòng Quốc gia Philippines cho rằng Tổng thống Philippines Rodrigo Duterte nên thăm Mỹ trong tương lai gần bất chấp những lời chỉ trích của ông đối với Washington.
“Năm tới sẽ là thời điểm tốt nhất để thăm Mỹ. Còn bây giờ, tôi nghĩ ông ấy không nên đi vì những lời chỉ trích Washington nặng nề (vẫn chưa lắng xuống)” – ông Cabalza nói với mạng lưới truyền hình ABS-CBN hôm 28-10.
Vị tiến sĩ này còn gợi ý thời điểm lý tưởng để nhà lãnh đạo Philippines thực hiện chuyến thăm là sau tháng 1-2017. Lúc đó, Mỹ đã có tổng thống mới.
Trước đó, hôm 26-10, nghị sĩ Harry Roque cũng khuyên ông Duterte nên cân nhắc thăm Mỹ. Ông này lo ngại Washington sẽ lật đổ tổng thống Philippines nếu ông Duterte tiếp tục tỏ ra chống đối.
Theo ông Roque, cựu Tổng thống Philippines Joseph Estrada đã bị đảo chính vào năm 2001,sau khi ông không nghe lời cố vấn của Tổng thống Mỹ khi đó là ông Bill Clinton về việc ngừng cuộc chiến tổng lực với nhóm vũ trang Mặt trận giải phóng Hồi giáo Moro ở Mindanao.
Về chuyến thăm Nhật Bản kéo dài 3 ngày gần đây, ông Cabalza cho rằng đó là động thái tốt nhằm trấn an Nhật Bản trong bối cảnh Manila và Tokyo đều đang tranh chấp lãnh hải với Bắc Kinh (Philippines là bãi cạn Scarborough ở biển Đông, còn Nhật Bản là quần đảo Senkaku ở biển Hoa Đông).
Nhận xét chuyến thăm tới Nhật Bản là một trong những khoảnh khắc quyết định kể từ khi Tổng thống Duterte nhậm chức ngày 30-6, ông Cabalza tin rằng Nhật Bản thích hợp để trở thành quốc gia cân bằng những vấn đề hàng hải giữa Philippines và Trung Quốc trong quá khứ, đồng thời giúp nâng cao quan hệ đối tác chiến lược giữa Manila và Tokyo.
Các quan chức Philippines cho biết các công ty tư nhân Nhật Bản đã cam kết đầu tư 1,85 tỉ USD vào Philippines bên cạnh khoản vay và viện trợ 162 triệu USD của chính quyền Tokyo.
Song song đó, ông Cabalza cũng ca ngợi Tổng thống Duterte đã làm rõ quan điểm của mình về các tranh chấp lãnh thổ ở biển Đông, kêu gọi giải quyết tranh chấp hàng hải một cách hòa bình, không sử dụng vũ lực.
“Hai nhà lãnh đạo Philippines – Nhật Bản đã khẳng định tầm quan trọng của việc tự kiềm chế và phi quân sự hóa biển Đông. Điều đó rất tốt vì chúng tôi đang nhìn thấy ánh sáng trong chính sách đối ngoại độc lập do Tổng thống Duterte khởi xướng” - ông Cabalza nói.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Photographs by CBCabalza. Copyright © 2016 by Chester B. Cabalza. All Rights Reserved.
The visit to Vietnam renews my perception of a nation in progress blurred by what I have read in textbooks from yesteryears. The bullish economy in Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon, is rejuvenating! The Cu Chi Tunnel exposure is a reminder how the petite and lean disciplined Vietcongs can kick the ass of a superpower! The river cruise along the Mekong River is kinda iconic! In Hanoi, we thank the Communist Party and its Armed Forces for hosting us their warmth hospitality! The bustling city of Hanoi is quite conservative yet upbeat because of their cool millennials! Motorcycles are everywhere like ants with common direction! Vietnamese food is heavenly good and the country is one of the best places to visit in ASEAN!
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Arriane Merez, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Oct 03 2016 05:12 PM
MANILA--Combating the Abu Sayyaf group using military tactics may not be an effective long-term solution, an analyst said Monday.
National Defense College associate professor Chester Cabalza explained that the recent releases of Abu Sayyaf hostages with the help of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), is a good message since it shows cooperation from different stakeholders given that the government is keen on its peace efforts.
Cabalza however added that using military tactics to counter kidnapping and terrorism attacks of the Abu Sayyaf does not solve the problem.
"It's a matter of respect and sincerity as of the moment. We are trying to build this trust with the secessionist group--the MNLF group, but it all boils down to what's next given that you still have captives there by the ASG and we still see presence of ASG in Mindanao," he said.
Last Sunday, three Indonesian nationals held captive by Abu Sayyaf were freed through the help of the MNLF.
The MNLF also helped negotiate the release of four Abu Sayyaf captives, including Norwegian national Kjartan Sekkingstad and three more Indonesians last September.
Cabalza said medium and long term solutions would require addressing the socio-economic problems of Mindanao.
"It all boils down to socio-economic conditions in Mindanao. We have to deliver basic services and of course we have to look at some of the issues on human rights abuses [and] marginalization of the Muslims so it's very complex," he said.
Cabalza noted that there are many ways to look at the problem in Mindanao. He is however positive that the government is looking at it from a new light given that President Rodrigo Duterte is from Mindanao.
"The president is from Mindanao. He's looking at the problem from inside. He knows what he's going for and that could help perhaps to heal some of the wounds that has been done to some of our Muslim brothers," Cabalza said.
Monday, November 7, 2016
Posted at Oct 28 2016 12:27 PM | Updated as of Oct 28 2016 12:47 PM
MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has gained momentum with his consecutive trips to Beijing and Tokyo, an analyst said Friday.
Dr. Chester Cabalza of National Defense College said Duterte's recent visit to Japan was a good move since the President was able to reassure Japan of the Philippines' commitment especially since the two countries are both locked in maritime disputes with China.
"It was done in the right time because you have these Asian Argonauts. You have China there, and, of course, Japan. These are two Asian powerhouses, and there would always be room for comparison," he told Mornings@ANC.
"You know what happened in China. We had some problems in the past with China because of maritime claims but, all of a sudden, Japan is there to balance the equation."
"I think it was (a) good move from the President, especially coming from China. He was able to gain some momentum there. His visit to Japan is one of the defining moments in his administration for the past four months."
Cabalza said Duterte's trip elevated the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan.
"Of course, we also gained some economic and trade deals with Japan. Japan has been very supportive of our economic programs and of course with some of our security programs in the Philippines," he said, noting the support given to the expansion of the Philippine Coast Guard.
Philippine officials said Thursday Duterte's three-day visit to Japan yielded investment commitments worth $1.85 billion from private companies and 17.1 billion yen ($162 million) worth of loans and grants.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez told Kyodo News the investments, forged through memoranda of understanding and letters of intent, are in the automotive, egg-laying technology, optical imagery, and biofuel fields, among others.
"The fresh commitments may generate between 200,000 to 250,000 direct and indirect jobs over the years," Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado told Kyodo News in a separate interview.
Cabalza also praised Duterte for clarifying his position on territorial disputes in the South China Sea "and to peacefully settle these maritime disputes without resulting to the use of force."
"They also asserted the significance of self-restraint and non-militarization in the South China Sea. That’s good because we’re seeing some light in the independent foreign policy of the President that is slowly finding its own niche because of the President’s engagement with these Asian capitals."
Arriving at a peaceful resolution, he said, would also stimulate economic growth in the region, because at the moment, "we are gaining more momentum in terms of the economic trade activities in the Asia-Pacific."
"For sure, that would be the intention of these countries on how to elevate that kind of Asian century mentality because we see that economics will become the engine for all these activities in the region," he said.
VISIT U.S. AFTER POLLS
Cabalza also believes President Duterte should visit the United States in the near future despite his criticisms of the US. He said Duterte can schedule a visit after the next American president is inaugurated on January 2017.
"Next year would be the best time to visit the US, but as for now, I don’t think he should visit the US because of those radical rhetorics," he said.
Cabalza said the Duterte administration's push for an independent foreign policy is "seeing some light."
"Things are changing, evolving and we are seeing a very ambiguous policy at the moment because of the vulnerable regional security that we are seeing right now."
"For sure, since these rhetorics and pronouncements are evolving as well, we could connect and give all the dots there that would help us define and clarify our independent foreign policy."