Author: Jay Tristan Tarriela and Jeffrey Ordaniel,for The Diplomat

Over the past two years, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has played a frontline role in Manila’s pursuit of maritime safety and security. From exposing China’s bad behavior at sea and enforcing the 2016 Arbitral Award to introducing administrative reforms that led to the hiring of thousands of additional personnel to guard the country’s vast maritime zones, the PCG has now become a very consequential player in the Philippines’ efforts to advance its maritime rights and interests.

The period of transition from former President Rodrigo Duterte to current President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the visionary and reform-oriented leadership of PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu were key determinants of the PCG’s transformation and, broadly, the Philippines’ new approach to maritime strategy.

The 2022 Presidential Transition

During the final year of the Duterte administration, the defense and foreign policy establishments in Manila had already lost interest in accommodating China’s policy preferences. After all, Duterte, in good faith, pursued a foreign policy that expected Beijing’s goodwill.

Click here to read the full article at The Diplomat.

Jay Tristan Tarriela

Commodore Jay Tristan Tarriela is deputy chief for Human Resource Management (CG-1) and adviser to the Commandant on Maritime Security Affairs at the Philippine Coast Guard.

Jeffrey Ordaniel

Dr. Jeffrey Ordaniel is director for maritime security at the Pacific Forum, a think tank in Honolulu, and an associate professor at Tokyo International University in Japan.

Feature image: Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard visits U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak [Image 1 of 6]/ via U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Graham