Foreign relations of the Philippines

Foreign relations of the Philippines

Foreign relations of the Philippines is administered by the Philippines President and the nation's Department of Foreign Affairs. Much of the republic's international relations are dominated by the Philippines' ties to the United States, of which the Philippines was historically a territory and commonwealth. The Philippines also maintains close diplomatic relations with its Asian neighbors, especially with Southeast Asian nations. The Philippines is actively seeking increased relations with Spain, its former colonizer.

The Philippines is a founding member of the United Nations [Citation
title=About Us
publisher=Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
] ; it has been an elected member of the Security Council [Citation
title=The Philippines and the UN Security Council
publisher=Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
] and has participated in FAO, International Labor Organization (ILO), UNESCO and World Health Organization (WHO). Like most nations, the republic is a signatory of Interpol. The Philippines is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, East Asia Summit and the Latin Union. It was formerly a member of the now-defunct SEATO. Declaring itself as independent of any major power block of nations, the Philippines is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Economically, the Philippines is participant in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Asian Development Bank, the Colombo Plan, Group of 24, G-20, G-77, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Foreign policy

Philippine foreign policy is based on the advancement of Filipino ideals and values, among which include the advancement of democracy and advocacy for human rights worldwide. Its foreign policy reflects its historic ties to American ideals fostered during the Philippines' U.S. territorial and commonwealth years.

Those American ties have affected Filipino international relations. The Republic of the Philippines considers itself a staunch ally of the United States and has supported many points of American foreign policy. This is evident in the Philippines' participation in the Iraq War and the War on Terror. Speaking to this support, U.S. President George W. Bush praised the Philippines as a bastion of democracy in the East and called the Philippines America's oldest ally in Asia. President Bush's speech on October 18, 2003 was only the second U.S. Presidential address to the Philippine Congress; U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered the first.

While the Philippines' relationship with the United States remains strong, the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has sought to establish closer ties to its earlier colonizer, Spain. This was inspired by the attendance of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía at the June 12, 1998 celebration honoring the centennial of the Philippines' independence from Spain. President Macapagal-Arroyo made two official visits to Spain during her presidency.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has been a participant in various regional conflicts, including the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Recently, the Philippines sent peacekeeping forces to Iraq in addition to civilian doctors, nurses and police. However, the Filipino mission was later recalled as collateral for the release of a Filipino hostage. As part of a UN Peacekeeping Operation, Philippines Army General Jaime de los Santos became the first commander of troops responsible for maintaining order in East Timor.

The Philippines is in tension with rival international claimants to various land and water territories in the South China Sea, which has an abundance of natural resources that the Philippines wants to exploit. The Philippines is in dispute with the People's Republic of China over the Malampaya and Camago gas fields. The two countries are also in dispute over the Scarborough Shoal. Additionally, the Philippines has a disputed claim over the Spratly Islands.

Relations with specific countries and regions

Australia flagicon|Australiaflagicon|Philippines

As concerns over terrorism in South East Asia have grown in recent years, Australia has become the second largest provider of defense training to the Philippines after the United States. In 2003, the governments of Australia and the Philippines signed a MOU pertaining to the combating of international terrorism and transnational crime.

Subsequently, in May 2007 on a visit to Australia by President Arroyo, Australia and the Philippines signed a Status of Forces Agreement.

Australia assisted the Philippines and the United States in battles in the Philippines during World War II.

Canada flagicon|Canadaflagicon|Philippines

Philippine-Canadian relations officially began in 1972 when the first Canadian mission in 1949 was upgraded to a full embassy. But years before that—in the 1890s—the well-known insurance group, Sun Life of Canada, had established its first office in Manila, at a time when the Revolution was gathering strength and the United States was casting imperial designs on the Philippine islands. Investments had preceded Canadian diplomacy in Manila.

Trade between Manila and Ottawa has grown steadily. The Philippines is Canada’s largest agricultural-food export market in Southeast Asia. The Canadian International Development Agency works actively in the far-flung communities with local governments and nongovernmental organizations, in the areas of agricultural cooperatives, local governance and small-business development. More than 60 percent of the Canadian International Development Agency’s resources targets strife-torn Mindanao to help restore peace and rebuild lives and properties.

East Timor flagicon|East Timorflagicon|Philippines

The Philippines was actively involved in the United Nations peacekeeping forces in East Timor during its move towards independence. When several nations recognized East Timor's sovereignty, the Philippines began official diplomatic relations between the two governments with the establishment of an embassy in Dili.

The Philippines has pledged increased commerce and trade with East Timor and has also sought to cultivate cultural and educational exchanges. The two nations share a legacy in Asia as being the region's only states with Roman Catholic and Christian majority populations.

Ever since East Timor's independence the Philippine Military has also supported the Military of East Timor by deploying a number of soldiers to assist in peacekeeping missions and training for the soldiers of the East Timorese army. The Philippines has also supplied M16 rifles, shotguns, pistols and other light infantry weapons to East Timor. The Philippines is also expected to sell trucks and military Jeeps to the East Timor Army.Fact|date=July 2008

European Union flagicon|European Unionflagicon|Philippines

The European Union and the Philippines shares diplomatic, economic, cultural and political relations. The European Union has provided € 3 million to the Philippines to fight poverty and € 6 million for counter-terrorism against terrorist groups in the Southern Philippines. The European Union is also the third largest trading partner of the Philippines with the Philippines and The European Union importing and exporting products to each other. There are at least (estimated) 31,961 Europeans (not including Spanish) living in the Philippines.

France flagicon|Franceflagicon|Philippines

During the centennial of the French Revolution in 1889, Rizal sought to organize a conference that called Association Internationale des Philippinistes was to be launched with Ferdinand Blumentritt was President and Edmond Plauchut as Vice President.

The French also permitted Philippine hero Jose Rizal to live in exile in France where he wrote the books Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. These books were also inspired by the French Literary giant Alexandre Dumas, père

On June 26, 1947 the Philippines and France signed a Treaty of Amity which established diplomatic relations with the 2 countries. [!.pdf] Dead link|date=June 2008|url=!.pdf

French in the Philippines

There are about 700 French living in the Philippines for either education, business, work or other reasons.

The French Ministry of Culture is active in promoting French Culture through its school -Alliance Francaise de Manille's activities. The French Embassy in the Philippines has sponsored fashion shows, film festivals, art exhibits, wine launches and numerous concerts. It is the prime mover and initiator of the annual Fete de la Musique in Manila (at one time, one of the top ten fetes in the world).

Greece flagicon|Greeceflagicon|Philippines

See Greek-Filipino relations.

There is a Philippine embassy in Athens. Greece has an embassy in Manila and an honorary consulate general. There are around 40,000 Filipinos living and working in Greece, making them one of the largest foreign communities in Greece. In addition, it is estimated that there are over 22,000 Greeks living in the Philippines. Greece and the Republic of the Philippines also share economic and trading relations.

Iran flagicon|Iranflagicon|Philippines

Ambassador Aladin G. Villacorte presented his Letters of Credence to H.R. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic or Iran at ceremonies held at the Presidential Palace in Tehran on 10 September 2007.

In a brief statement, Ambassador Villacorte expressed his warm felicitations on behalf of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the Filipino people, underscoring the Philippine commitment to see full range of our relations to grow and mature” particularly in the fields of trade and investment, tourism and culture.

Ambassador Villacorte also emphasized that both Philippines and Iran have collaborate on issue of global concern. “Indeed we have made significant contributions to the promotion of the better understanding among nations through interfaith dialogue and cooperation.

There is also a large population (exact population is unknown) of Iranians living in the Philippines mostly in Metro Manila.

Republic of Ireland flagicon|Irelandflagicon|Philippines

see Ireland-Philippines relations

The Irish and the Filipinos have long had a close relationship, and are especially close in modern times. The Republic of Ireland has a sizeable Filipino community because it is a major employer of Filipino nurses in Europe, and there is also a sizeable Irish population in the Philippines.

Israel flagicon|Israelflagicon|Philippines

Considered a key vote in the creation of a Jewish state, the Philippines was the only Asian nation to vote in favor of a United Nations partition resolution on November 29, 1947. The partition resolution created the country of Israel in Palestine. Full diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Israel did not occur until 1957. The Filipino embassy opened in Tel Aviv in 1962; the Israeli embassy opened in Manila in the same year. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the two countries in 1997, further cementing bilateral political dialogue between the foreign ministries. There are approximately 60,000 Filipino workers, in Israel. [Citation
title=The Virtual Jewish History Tour: Philippines
publisher=Jewish Virtual Library

Japan flagicon|Japanflagicon|Philippines

See also Philippine-Japanese relations

Relations between the Philippines and Japan have rapidly improved since the end of World War II. Modern relations between the Philippines and Japan are very close and Japan is a key trading, economic and possibly military ally of the Philippines. Japan has also assisted the Philippines in building tunnels, bridges and highways (motorway) in Metro Manila. In 2005/2006 Japan dropped an US$8 billion debt with the Philippines and after the Leyte Mud slide Japan deployed soldiers to Leyte to assist Filipino and foreign workers. There are thousands of Japanese nationals/citizens (civilians) living in the Philippines (see Ethnic groups in the Philippines for details). Japanese business people have opened a large number of businesses in the Philippines offering jobs to Filipino workers.

Pakistan flagicon|Pakistanflagicon|Philippines

The official visit by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to the Philippines on April 18, 2005 signaled increased relations between the two nations. Four agreements were signed in the presence of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and visiting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in the presidential palace:
*a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on combating terrorism and certain other crimes;
*an agreement on the abolition of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports and the facilitation of issuance of entry visas to holders of official passports;
* an agreement on program of cultural exchanges from 2005 to 2009, calling for the implementation of various exchanges in the cultural information materials, performing arts and the promotion, conservation, restoration of historical and cultural patrimony; and
*a MOU formalizing the business agreements between the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC) and United Marketing of Pakistan for the supply of pharmaceuticals from Pakistan to support the low-cost medicines program of the Philippine government.Citation
title=Xinhua Online
] Apart from the four agreements, President Musharraf also assured Pakistan's full support for the Philippine government's efforts to end the decades old rebellion in the southern islands of Mindanao.

People's Republic of China flagicon|PRCflagicon|Philippines

The Philippines and China established diplomatic relations on June 9, 1975 with the signing of the Joint Communiqué by leaders of the two countries. Since then bilateral relations between the two countries have developed steadily despite some difficulties. Both countries have maintained high level contacts and exchanges.

Several major bilateral agreements were signed between the two countries over the years, such as: Joint Trade Agreement (1975); Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement (1978); Postal Agreement (1978); Air Services Agreement (1979); Visiting Forces Agreement (1999); Cultural Agreement (1979); Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (1992); Agreement on Agricultural Cooperation (1999); Tax Agreement (1999); and Treaty on Mutual Judicial Assistance on Criminal Matters (2000). In May 2000, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, the two countries signed a Joint Statement defining the framework of bilateral relations in the 21st century.

Bilateral relations between the Philippines and China have significantly progressed in recent years. The growing bilateral relations were highlighted by the state visit to China of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on 29-31 October 2001. During the visit, President Arroyo held bilateral talks with top Chinese leaders, namely President Jiang Zemin, NPC Chairman Li Peng, and Premier Zhu Rongji. President Arroyo also attended the 9th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting held in Shanghai on October 20-21, 2001, where she also had bilateral talks with President Jiang.

According to President Arroyo, her state visit to China has raised the level of Philippines-China relationship to a more mature and enduring level. She said that the visit has brought the Philippines closer to the emerging economic center of gravity of Asia and the world. During President Arroyo's visit, eight important bilateral agreements were signed, namely:

Treaty on Extradition

*Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Combating Transnational Crime;
*Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Against Illicit Traffic and Abuse of Narcotic Drugs, *Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals;
*Exchange of Notes on the Establishment of the Philippine Consulate General in Shanghai;
*Financial Protocol Between the Department of Finance and the China National Construction and Agricultural Machinery Import and Export Corporation;
*Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine Sports Commission and the State General Administration of Sports of China on Sports Cooperation Agreement between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade;
*Memorandum of Understanding between the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. and the All-China Federation of Industry.

trained relations

Relations between the Philippines and the Peoples Republic of China have been strained due to tensions and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Philippine Navy ships have also been arresting Chinese fishermen illegally fishing in Philippine waters and there have been small scale confrontations between the Philippine Navy and the Peoples Liberation Navy in the South China Sea.

Netherlands flagicon|Netherlandsflagicon|Philippines

The Philippines is also a beneficiary of several Dutch development cooperation programmes. Under the ORET, PSOM and PESP subsidy schemes, Dutch businessmen are provided assistance in their investment projects in the Philippines. Under the NUFFIC program, fellowships in selected graduate courses are granted to qualified Filipinos. The Senior Experts Program (PUM) sends retired executives to render expert technical advice on business projects in the country. The Center for Promotion of Importers from Developing Countries (CBI) provides technical training to Filipino business and staff of business support organizations and sends also technical consultants to the country.

The incumbent Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands is Mr. Romeo A. Arguelles while the Dutch Ambassador to the Philippines is Mr. Robert A. Vornis.

The Philippine Honorary Consul-General in Amsterdam is Mr. Eppo Horlings and the Philippine Honorary Consul-General in Rotterdam is Hendrik Meijboom. The Dutch Honorary Consul in Cebu City is Mr. Robert Aboitiz.

In the 1980s, Philippine exports to the Netherlands shifted from the traditional agricultural products to electronic items. As of 2003, more than three-fourths of Philippine exports were semi-conductors and other electronic products.

At present, among the major Dutch investors in the Philippines are Shell, Philips, Unilever, ABN-AMRO and ING Banks, Makro and Liquigaz. On the other hand, Philippine National Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, and Equitable-PCI Bank have remittance offices in the Netherlands. [Citation
publisher=Philippine Embassy, the Hague

Russia flagicon|Russiaflagicon|Philippines

Philippine ambassador to Moscow, Russia Ernesto V. Llamas, reported to the Department of foreign affairs that the Philippines and Russia observed 30 years of formal, diplomatic relations on June 2, 2006, through an exchange of top-level officials in the mass media and a recognitionof initiatives in the field of politics, economics, culture and tourism. [Citation
title=Philippines, Russia mark 30 years of diplomatic ties
publisher=Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs
date=June 5, 2006
] Llamas said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged official messages in the two countries' leading newspapers, The Philippine Star and Lzvestia. As of 2007, the Russian ambassador to the Philippines is Vitaly Y. Vorobiev. [Citation
title=Secretary Romulo welcomes Russian ambassador-designate
publisher=Government of the Philippines; Department of Foreign Affairs
date=23 February, 2007

Education and tourism

The Philippines has welcomed both Russian students and tourists to come to the Philippines. Russian students (mainly from the University of Moscow) have been going to the Philippines to study courses, including the Tagalog language. [Citation
title=Russians speaking deep Filipino/Tagalog
] Many of the Russian students who came to study in the Philippines said that they wish to live and work in the Philippines. The Russian government has also welcomed Filipino students and tourists, but only a few choose to come to Russia because some Filipinos say education in the Philippines is better, and others seem to be afraid of racist groups.Fact|date=July 2008

outh Korea flagicon|South Koreaflagicon|Philippines

South Korea is one of the Philippines' largest trading partners. The two nations were especially close as the Armed Forces of the Philippines, under the United Nations command of Douglas MacArthur, were pledged to fight for South Korea and its allies in the Korean War.

pain flagicon|Spainflagicon|Philippines

The Philippines was the lone Spanish colony in Asia for almost three and a half centuries, and the relationship between the two countries continues to be strong, primarily due to a shared culture and religion.Fact|date=July 2008 Philippine President Gloria Arroyo concluded her second state visit in Spain in July 2006, bringing along millions of dollars of Spanish investments, particularly in Tourism and Information Technology. The Spanish king, Juan Carlos, also reiterated in Mrs. Arroyo's visit, his desire for the Philippines to re-establish Spanish as an official language in the country. He and his wife, Queen Sofia attended the 1998 centennial celebrations in Manila, commemorating 100 years of independence from Spain.

Taiwan flagicon|Taiwanflagicon|Philippines

Total Investment Amount: US$1.1 billion (Taiwan is the 5th largest foreign investor in the Philippines)

Philippine Exports to Taiwan: US$3.1 billion

Philippine Imports from Taiwan: US$2.3 billion

OFWs in Taiwan: 87,000 (the 2nd largest foreign worker nationality group in Taiwan)

Trips to the Philippines by Taiwanese: 73,000 people (the 5th in foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines)

United Kingdom flagicon|United Kingdomflagicon|Philippines

see United Kingdom-Philippines ralations

The UK enjoys an excellent bilateral relationship with the Philippines and is an important political and economic partner. President Arroyo met with Her Majesty the Queen when she visited the UK in December 2007. The then Prime Minister Tony Blair met President Arroyo when she visited the UK in January 2002, and again at a session of the UNGA in 2005. The earlier meeting has led to increased UK-Philippine co-operation on counter-terrorism.

In 2006 there were visits by the Lord Mayor of the City of London and HRH The Duke of York, the UK’s Special Representative for Trade and Investment to the Philippines, as well as a number of CEOs from major UK companies. President Arroyo visited London briefly for an unofficial visit in 2006, where she met many of the UK’s major investors in the Philippines.

The Philippines has been one of the UK's major recruitment countries for nurses and over 80,000 Filipino nurses and care-givers work in the UK. The total Philippine community in the UK is estimated to be about 150,000. There are estimated to be some 15,000 British nationals living in the Philippines. About 65,000 British nationals visit the Philippines annually. [Citation
title=Country Profile: Philippines
publisher=Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom
date=January 7, 2008

The UK has also supplied the Philippine military with the Simba APC, Alvis Scorpion Tank, and the Peacock Class Patrol Vessel.

United States flagicon|United Statesflagicon|Philippines

see Philippines-United States relationsThe Philippines considers the United States as its closest ally: economically, militarily and politically. The United States was the architect of the current form of government in the Philippines through a series of acts of the United States Congress towards the creation of a commonwealth [Citation
publisher=United States Department of State
] . The relationship between the two nations is founded on Philippines history as an American territory and commonwealth before achieving independence.

The two societies also share some cultural identities: the plans of Manila and Baguio City were designed by Daniel Burnham [Citation
title=Plan of Manila in Plan of Chicago
publisher=Encyclopedia of Chicago
] of Chicago, Illinois, Americans and Filipinos speak the English language, are largely Christian, and both have a fondness for baseball and basketball [Citation
title=Philippines Basketball and Baseball
publisher=Embassy of the United States in Manila
] . The two share political heroes: William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. both served as Governor-General of the Philippines and Douglas MacArthur liberated the islands from the Japanese during World War II.

A largely Roman Catholic country, the Pope appointed several Americans as bishops of the various Philippines dioceses during the territorial and commonwealth years, including leadership over the Archdiocese of Manila [Citation
title=History of the Archdiocese of Manila
publisher=Archdiocese of Manila
] . In 2007, Benedict XVI appointed an American to be his ambassador to the Philippines, Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [Citation
title=Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams
] .

Embassy and consulates

The Philippines Embassy is located in Washington, D.C. With the geographic enormity of the United States and its large number of Filipino resident aliens, the Philippines established several official consulates: Agana, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York City, Saipan and San Francisco. Honorary consulates were opened in other locations [Citation
title=Philippines Consulates in the United States
publisher=Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, DC
] . Each official consulate has jurisdiction over a number of U.S. states. For example, the Consul in Chicago oversees a territory of fourteen states in the Midwestern United States [Citation
title=About Mission
publisher=Consulate General of the Philippines, Chicago, IL
] .

Military alliance

Since the Spanish-American War, the United States has had a military presence in various forms in the Philippines. Filipinos fought alongside Americans in World War I, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War. Today, the two are allies in the War on Terrorism [Citation
title=Picking a Fight
publisher=TIME Magazine
] . While its military bases were closed during the presidency of Fidel V. Ramos, the United States continues to adhere to the Mutual Defense Treaty ratified by the United States and Philippines senates in 1951Citation
title=Mutual Defense Treaty
publisher=Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs
] .

In 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush declared the Philippines as a major non-NATO ally, an important defense designation of the United States. Now defunct, the Philippines joined the American-developed South East Asia Treaty Organization during the Cold War. SEATO was a NATO-type military alliance created to combat Communist threats in Southeast Asia.

Today, the two countries are primarily partners in counterterrorism. Both the Philippines and the United States share intelligence and engage in military exercises in Mindanao and RIMPAC in Hawaii.

The Philippines and the United States supported each other in wars such as:
*The Spanish-American War
*World War I
*World War II
*Hukbalahap Rebellion
*The Korean War
*Communist Insurgency in the Philippines
*The Vietnam War
*Gulf War
*War in Kosovo
*War on Terror
**Insurgency in the Philippines
**Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines
*2003 Invasion of Iraq

Mutual Defense Treaty

The Mutual Defense Treaty Between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America was signed and ratified on August 30, 1951 in Washington, D.C. between representatives of the Philippines and the United States. The overall accord contained eight articles and dictated that both nations would support each other if either the Philippines or the United States were to be attacked by an external party.

Visiting Forces Agreements

The Philippines has bilateral agreements with the United States and with Australia relating to the status of visiting forces.Citation
publisher=Government of Australia
date=May 31, 2007
] cite web
title=Agreement Regarding the Treatment of US Armed Forces Visiting the Philippines
accessdate = 2006-09-16
publisher = RP Department of Foreign Affairs
] cite web
title=Agreement Regarding the Treatment of RP Personnel Visiting the USA
accessdate = 2006-09-16
publisher = RP Department of Foreign Affairs

Vietnam flagicon|Vietnamflagicon|Philippines

Ever since the end of the Cold War relations between the Philippines and Vietnam has warmed rapidly. Today the Philippines and Vietnam are economic allies and have a free trade deal with each other. Both nations are a part of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The Philippines and Vietnam have conducted joint military exercises together in the South China Sea and are trying to find ways to turn the Spratly Islands from an area of conflict to an area of cooperation. Vietnam is also sometimes called the only communist military ally of the Philippines. The Philippines and Vietnam are also monitoring China's expansion into the South China Sea making sure that China is no threat to either Philippine or Vietnamese islands in the South China Sea. The Philippines has also accepted Immigrants and workers from Vietnam to come into the Philippines to live and work. The Philippines also imports a large amount of Writing Material, clothes and other products from Vietnam.


International disputes

The Spanish Administration governed various Pacific island colonies from Manila. These include the present-day Caroline Islands, Guam, Northern Marianas Islands, Palau and parts of Micronesia, all of which were given separate administrations under American oversight after Spain transferred power to the United States in accordance with the Treaty of Paris. Spanish Manila also governed possessions in Borneo, Halmahera, Taiwan, Pulau Ternate and Pulau Tidore, all of which transferred to non-American entities after the Spanish-American War.

While the transfer of power after Spanish colonial rule was made clear through treaties, other territories' sovereignty were not as clear. Many of those disputes continue today.


"See also: Sabah dispute"

Sabah, the largest region which the Philippines claim, is now an integral part of Malaysia. On January 23, 1878, Sulu Sultan Jamalul Alam leased his territory in Borneo, in which is now Sabah, to Austrian Gustavus von Overbeck. The Sultan was paid 5,000 Ringgit every year for the lease. In 1920, despite calls made by Washington to London regarding Sabah, the latter was still made a crown colony of the United Kingdom. On September 16, 1963, the United Kingdom formally ceded Sabah to Malaysia. Philippine Presidents Diosdado Macapagal and Ferdinand Marcos openly claimed Sabah. The latter even ordered Sabah to be put into the Philippine map. Despite challenges of the Philippine government to bring the matter of the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), or International Court of Justice, Malaysia still rejects those calls. During 2003, violent mass deportations of illegal Filipinos residing in Sabah resulted in more clamor for the Sabah claim. Up to this day, Malaysia still pays the annual rent of 5,000 Malaysian Ringgit to the Sultan's heirs.

carborough Shoal

The Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal), located west of Palauig, Zambales, are claimed by the Philippines, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China. Currently, a Philippines naval fleet guards the area. The Philippines bases its claim on its close proximity of the Scarborough Shoal to the Philippines. It also says that the Scarborough Shoal is within the Filipino Exclusive Economic Zone and argues "terra nullius". A Yuan Dynasty map dated as early as 1279 is the basis for the claim of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China. They argue that the area was historically used by their fishermen.

pratly Islands

The Spratly Islands are a group of islands, reefs, and rocks located about 300 kilometers left of Aborlan, Palawan. The Philippines, along with the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Brunei expressed claims. The Philippines officially staked a claim to some of the islands during the United Nations convention, although it was first expressed in 1956, when Tomas Cloma, a Philippine mariner, officially declared some of the eastern Spratlys as a protectorate of the Philippines. Based on proximity and on the United Nations Archipelagic Doctrine, the Philippines can claim some of the Spratlys as an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Whether these arguments (or any other used by the Philippines) would hold up in court is debatable but possibly moot, as the PRC and Vietnam seem unwilling to legally substantiate their claims and have rejected Philippine challenges to take the dispute to the World Maritime Tribunal in Hamburg.

ulawesi Sea Islands

The case of Sipadan and Ligitan, which were in dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia, was taken into the ICJ, in which the former won. Sipadan and Ligitan are technically part of Sabah state, and thus would be part of the claim of the Sulu Sultanate's heir, the Philippines.

Illicit drugs

The country, an archipelago, serves as breeding ground for locally produced marijuana and hashish and is possible that it is illegally shipped to East Asia, the United States, and other Western markets; serves as a transit point for heroin and crystal methamphetamine.

See also

* Territories claimed by the Philippines
* Philippine diplomatic missions
* List of diplomatic missions in the Philippines


External links

* [ Information on Foreigners Visiting and Living in the Philippines]
* [ Embassy of the United States in Manila]
* [ Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines]
* [ Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations]

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