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PH, US verifying if Chinese left Panatag

The Philippines and the US are trying to verify a report that Chinese Coast Guard ships have left a disputed shoal, allowing Filipino fishermen back to the rich fishing area that China seized in 2012, triggering tensions in the South China Sea.

WE welcome the statement from the United States State Department that America’s ties with the Philippines remain strong and vital despite occasional unfavorable remarks from President Duterte. “Our people-to-people ties remain strong. Our security and military ties remain strong. Our economic ties remain strong,” said State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner.

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PRESIDENT Duterte called on the nation’s military personnel to remain faithful to the Republic in an address before Philippine Marines at Fort Bonifacio last Tuesday. He was evidently concerned that his recent moves with regard to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), his caustic remarks on United States (US) President Obama, and his coming visits to China and Russia may be misinterpreted in some quarters and lead to unexpected military action.

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