Raissa Robles

Raissa Robles

Raissa Robles has written for the SCMP since 1996. A freelance journalist specialising in politics, international relations, business and Muslim rebellion, she has contributed to Reuters, the Economis

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Philippines caught between superpowers in South China Sea
The Philippine navy has been ordered not to join US-led military exercises in the South China Sea, in what analysts said was an attempt to placate China while distancing the Philippines from Washington, its traditional ally. President Rodrigo Duterte decided his country should not take part in naval exercises in the disputed sea “except in our national waters, [within] 12 miles of our shores,” defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Monday. Lorenzana said the decision was aimed at keeping a lid on tensions in the region, where there has been an increase in the frequency and intensity of US military activity, including the recent deployment of two aircraft carriers. With ties between Beiji
Can China turn off its neighbor’s entire power grid?
Philippine senators have called for an investigation into the security implications of China’s part ownership of the national energy grid, after officials said engineers in Beijing could plunge the entire country into darkness with the flick of a switch. The State Grid Corporation of China, China’s largest utility company, holds a 40% stake in the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), a private consortium in charge of running the country’s power grid.  Opposition Liberal Party senator Risa Hontiveros first raised questions over the extent of Beijing’s control over the Philippines' power network, given the continuing territorial dispute between the two countries in the South Ch