In this file photo taken on Nov. 3, 2008 Republican presidential candidate Arizona Sen. John McCain speaks at a campaign rally at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. US senator John McCain, a celebrated war hero known for reaching across the aisle in an increasingly divided America, died August 25, 2018 after losing a battle to brain cancer, his office said. He was 81. "Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family," his office said in a statement. "At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 60 years."
AFP/Robyn Beck
Things John McCain said on the Philippines, South China Sea
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - August 27, 2018 - 3:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former presidential candidate and US Sen. John McCain passed away Saturday after battling brain cancer for more than a year.

Considered as a "true friend and champion" of the Philippines, the government lamented his passing.

"We will remember Senator McCain for translating America's commitment into action and for playing a vital role in keeping our alliance strong and capable to address current strategic challenges," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, meanwhile, recognized how McCain valued the shared history and strategic partnership between the Philippines and the US.

"A former naval aviator who saw action in Vietnam, Senator McCain never forgot the sacrifice of Filipinos who fought under the American flag during the Second World War," Lorenzana said in a statement.

In 2012, McCain proclaimed the bipartisan US congressional support for the Philippines.

 When it comes to fulfilling our obligations and expanding our military cooperation under the Mutual Defense Treaty, America’s commitment is unshakable and Republicans and Democrats stand together with the Philippines

McCain was also concerned about human rights violations linked to President Rodrigo Duterte's so-called war on drugs. On Twitter, he criticized US President Donald Trump for sidelining human rights during his meeting with the Philippine leader last year.

Human rights obviously not a priority in @POTUS’s meeting with Duterte – again, sad.

During the 2012 Shangri-la Security Dialogue in Singapore, McCain and US Sen. Joe Lieberman warned that China was not acting like a "mature" great power on the disputed South China Sea.

[Former Singaporean Prime Minister] Lee Kwan Yew once told us that he believed China would be very nice to us until they had sufficient naval power to tell us to leave the western Pacific.

When conflict escalated between China and Vietnam over a Chinese oil rig near the Paracel Islands in 2014, McCain accused Beijing of changing the status quo in the region.

These Chinese actions rest on territorial claims that have no basis in international law. In fact, China’s drilling is occurring squarely within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone, as defined clearly under international law. It is incumbent upon on all responsible nations to insist that China’s leaders take immediate steps to deescalate tensions and revert to the status quo ante

Along with his other colleagues in the US Senate, McCain has expressed support to the Philippines' arbitration against China.

Although the United States does not take a position on the competing claims, we applaud Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and his government for his commitment to pursuing this legal course of action. While China is constructing and militarizing new land features in the South China Sea and increasingly turning to coercion to achieve its goals, we are encouraged to see that Manila continues to make every effort to resolve these claims peacefully, consistent with international law, and through international arbitration mechanisms.
The United States must continue to support our partners and allies, including the Philippines, as they contend with China’s assertiveness. This requires not only routinely exercising freedom of navigation and overflight activities in the East and South China Seas, but also bolstering the maritime capabilities of South East Asian nations and conducting joint exercises and patrols

Months before the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued its ruling on the South China Sea arbitration in July 2016, McCain urged the US to sail its carrier strike group by Scarborough Shoal.

If China declares a South China Sea ADIZ, the US must be prepared to challenge this claim immediately by flying military aircraft inside the area affected under normal procedures, including not filing a flight plan, radioing ahead or registering frequencies.

It is also time for the US to move beyond symbolic gestures and launch a robust “freedom of the seas campaign”.

It should increase the pace and scope of the Freedom of Navigation programme to challenge China’s maritime claims, as well as the number of sailing days that US warships spend in the South China Sea. Joint patrols and exercises should be expanded and ocean surveillance patrols to gather intelligence throughout the western Pacific continued.

Finally, given the shifting military balance, the US needs to focus on enhancing its military posture across the region. Consistent with a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies report to Congress, it should deploy additional air, naval and ground forces forward to the region to reassure our allies.

The American senator has called China a "bully" for militarizing artificial islands in the South China Sea.

I think it is very clear that the Chinese by filling in these islands are militarizing them and that is in violation of international law.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 1, 2018 - 1:20pm

Presidents, lawmakers from both parties and nations have mourned the death of Sen. John McCain of Arizona, honoring his decades of service to the United States.

President Donald Trump, who criticized McCain for being taken prisoner during the Vietnam War, says his "deepest sympathies and respect" went out to McCain's family.

McCain died at his ranch in Arizona after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. On Saturday night, a black hearse accompanied by a police motorcade could be seen driving away from the ranch near Sedona where he spent his final weeks.  — AP; Photo from the US Embassy in Estonia

September 1, 2018 - 1:20pm

John McCain is getting a presidential farewell, but not from the actual sitting president.

At McCain's request, former Presidents Barack Obama, a Democrat, and George W. Bush, a Republican, are speaking about the six-term senator at Washington National Cathedral. It is the last event in Washington, where McCain lived and worked over four decades, and part of McCain's five-day, cross-country funeral procession. He died Aug. 25 at age 81.

President Donald Trump was told to stay away, but he won't be far. The president is expected to remain in Washington this weekend. — AP

August 30, 2018 - 11:24am

Authorities say more than 7,500 people have paid their respects to U.S. Sen. John McCain at a public viewing at the Arizona Capitol.

Bart Graves of the Arizona Department of Public Safety gave the figure for the number of mourners who had been filing by the casket since the area opened to the public.

People stood in line for hours in the Phoenix heat, carrying umbrellas and sipping cold water. The National Weather Service says the high in Phoenix was 104 degrees.

Authorities say several people waiting outside the Arizona Capitol were overcome by extreme heat. DPS officials say two people were transported Wednesday to a hospital, and several others were treated at the scene in the span of an hour. — AP

August 30, 2018 - 8:54am

Authorities say at least 1,500 people have paid their respects to U.S. Sen. John McCain at a public viewing at the Arizona Capitol.

Bart Graves of the Arizona Department of Public Safety gave the figure for the number of mourners who had been filing by the casket since the area opened to the public Wednesday afternoon.

People stood in line for hours in the Phoenix heat, carrying umbrellas and sipping cold water. The National Weather Service says the high in Phoenix was 104 degrees.

The viewing came after a private ceremony for McCain's family members and fellow politicians that marked the first of two days of official mourning in Arizona.

A memorial service will be held Thursday at a Phoenix church. McCain's body will be taken to Washington for a viewing and service Friday and then burial at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. — AP

August 28, 2018 - 12:29pm

President Donald Trump breaks his near-silence to recognize the late Sen. John McCain's "service to our country" and orders flags at the White House lowered in honor of his fellow Republican. — AP

August 27, 2018 - 10:20am

Sen. Francis Pangilinan says Sen. McCain was a model in leadership, having "responded to and faced the call of history both in sodiery and in politics."

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with