President: Philippines Not in Business of Instigating Wars

FILE PHOTO: Philippines' President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. looks on as he meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, March 19, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Philippines' President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. looks on as he meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, March 19, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/File Photo
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President: Philippines Not in Business of Instigating Wars

FILE PHOTO: Philippines' President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. looks on as he meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, March 19, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Philippines' President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. looks on as he meets with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, March 19, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/File Photo

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said on Sunday his country is not in the business of instigating wars and will always aim to settle disputes peacefully, amid escalating maritime confrontations with China.
"In defending the nation, we stay true to our Filipino nature that we would like to settle all these issues peacefully," Marcos said in a speech to troops of the Western Command unit in charge of overseeing the South China Sea.
Philippine navy personnel and the Chinese coast guard had their latest clash during a routine resupply mission by Manila in the South China Sea last week, in which it said a sailor was severely injured and vessels damaged.
China's Coast Guard personnel carrying knives and spears looted firearms and "deliberately punctured" Philippine boats involved in the mission, the Philippine military said.
China disputed the Philippine account, with a foreign ministry spokesperson saying on Thursday the necessary measures taken were lawful, professional and beyond reproach.
Marcos, who did not name China in his speech, commended the troops for exercising restraint "amidst intense provocation", and said his country would always exercise its freedoms and rights in line with international law.
"In the performance of our duties, we will not resort to the use of force or intimidation, or deliberately inflict injury or harm to anyone," Reuters quoted Marcos as saying. "We stand firm. Our calm and peaceful disposition should not be mistaken for acquiescence."
Recent maritime run-ins between China and the Philippines, a US treaty ally in Southeast Asia, have made the highly strategic South China Sea a potential flashpoint between Washington and Beijing.
The United States has condemned China's actions and reaffirmed its ironclad defense commitments against any attack on Philippine aircraft or vessels in the South China Sea under their mutual defense treaty.
But the Philippines said on Friday there was no reason to invoke the treaty because China's actions, which security officials have described as escalatory, could not be classified as an "armed attack".
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, a conduit for more than $3 trillion of annual shipborne commerce, including parts claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China's claims had no legal basis, a decision Beijing has rejected.
"We are not in the business to instigate wars - our great ambition is to provide a peaceful and prosperous life for every Filipino," Marcos said. "We refuse to play by the rules that force us to choose sides in a great power competition."



Australia Warns of Malicious Websites after Cyber Outage

20 July 2024, Australia, Melbourne: People are seen waiting in the International departures terminal at Melbourne Airport. Photo: James Ross/AAP/dpa
20 July 2024, Australia, Melbourne: People are seen waiting in the International departures terminal at Melbourne Airport. Photo: James Ross/AAP/dpa
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Australia Warns of Malicious Websites after Cyber Outage

20 July 2024, Australia, Melbourne: People are seen waiting in the International departures terminal at Melbourne Airport. Photo: James Ross/AAP/dpa
20 July 2024, Australia, Melbourne: People are seen waiting in the International departures terminal at Melbourne Airport. Photo: James Ross/AAP/dpa

Australia's cyber intelligence agency said on Saturday that "malicious websites and unofficial code" were being released online claiming to aid recovery from Friday's global digital outage, which hit media, retailers, banks and airlines.
Australia was one of many countries affected by the outage that caused havoc worldwide after a botched software update from CrowdStrike.
On Saturday, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) - the country's cyber intelligence agency - said "a number of malicious websites and unofficial code are being released claiming to help entities recover from the widespread outages caused by the CrowdStrike technical incident".
On its website, the agency said its cyber security center "strongly encourages all consumers to source their technical information and updates from official CrowdStrike sources only".
According to Reuters, Cyber Security Minister Clare O'Neil said on social media platform X on Saturday that Australians should "be on the lookout for possible scams and phishing attempts".
Friday's outage hit Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country's largest bank, which said some customers were unable to transfer money. National airline Qantas and Sydney airport said planes were delayed but still flying.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said late on Friday that there had been no impact to critical infrastructure, government services or emergency phone systems.
CrowdStrike - which previously reached a market cap of about $83 billion - is a major cybersecurity provider, with close to 30,000 subscribers globally.