Philippines asserts its right to defend every inch of its territory; U.S. Defense Department budget increases spending on cyber security
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • (MARCH 3-16)

    According to reports, the Philippines has the right to defend every inch of its territory, President Benigno Aquino’s spokesman said on March 9, after China made a similar warning. Spokesman Herminio Coloma’s remarks came after China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said on Saturday said his country would vigorously defend its sovereignty against “unreasonable demands from smaller countries.” Although he was referring to Japan, which has its own territorial dispute with China, his remarks could also cover China’s other territorial dispute with the Philippines and other countries over parts of the South China Sea. “It is the right of every country to defend its national territory. That is also the principle we are following,” Coloma told reporters, commenting on the Chinese minister’s remarks. Coloma added that the Philippines was basing its position on the principles of international law like the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS.1
    The new Defense Department budget, released as part of the comprehensive federal budget on March 4, includes reductions in numerous programs and activities as part of ongoing efficiencies measures and funding cuts. But as DoD officials recently hinted would happen, certain line items received boosts in spending, particularly those related to cybersecurity. The $496 billion fiscal 2015 budget includes more than $5 billion in spending related to cyber, money that is spread across the various defense components and activities as part of comprehensive DoD plans to ramp up cyber operations. With the cyber funding distributed across the military – almost certainly including classified budgets – exact figures and programs are less than clear. “There’s no set of program elements that lead to this number. Maybe there needs to be, but right now there isn’t,” DoD Comptroller Bob Hale said in a March 4 Pentagon press briefing. Hale said that officials worked with the DoD CIO to come up the figure, and that a large portion includes spending on cyber operations, offense and defense, information assurance, public key infrastructure, research and development, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and other areas. “We tried to capture it all, but I’d say there’s a gray area here in what counts as cyber,” Hale said.2