Philippine martial law backlash, Evictions at Cambodia’s ‘White Building’ and Indonesia wants back in OPEC

By: Will Feuer - Posted on: June 6, 2017 | Southeast Asia

The Region Today: Southeast Asia Globe’s daily rundown of the region’s top stories

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte looks on during his visit to a military camp in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, 04 June 2017.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte looks on during his visit to a military camp in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, 04 June 2017. Photo: EPA/Presidential Photographers Division /handout editorial use only/no sales

The Region Today – 6 June 2017

Philippine lawmakers take action against martial law

In response to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law on the southern island of Mindanao, opposition lawmakers have petitioned the Supreme Court to review the decision.

Six lawmakers led by representative Edcel Lagman, a human rights lawyer, have claimed that the grounds on which the decision was made were not entirely accurate.

“The president’s proclamation of martial law in Mindanao has no sufficient factual basis as it is feebly based on mostly contrived and/or inaccurate facts, self-serving speculations, enumeration of distant occurrences and mere conclusions of fact and law on the purported existence of ‘rebellion or invasion’,” the petition said. [Associated Press]

Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: The two faces of President Duterte

Evictions begin in Cambodia’s iconic White Building begin

The White Building, one of Cambodia’s last remaining remnants to the so-called “golden age” of the country’s architectural renaissance in the 1960s, has been set for demolition and evictions of tenants began this week.

The first to go was Aziza, a school run by the NGO Empowering Youth in Cambodia that has been teaching English, arts and computer skills to kids in the white building for more than a decade, along with a few other tenants on the first floor.

The white building was designed by legendary architect Vann Molyvann, who led the wave of “New Khmer” architecture and was the subject of the recent documentary “The Man Who Built Cambodia.” [Cambodia Daily]

Related reading from Southeast Asia Globe: Cambodia’s affordable housing crisis

Thai troops patrol Malay border amid terror threat

After news broke that several militants with links to the Islamic State (IS) group were found to have smuggled weapons into Malaysia from Thailand, Thai troops have been deployed to monitor the border.

Tensions remain high not only on the Thai-Malay border, but all throughout the region in light of the ongoing battle against IS-affiliated militants and government troops in Marawi City, Philippines. [Straits Times]

Indonesia requests reactivation of OPEC membership

Indonesia’s membership in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was suspended less than a year ago, despite being a founding member, when they refused to agree to proposed production cuts meant to raise global prices.

But Indonesia wants back in the group. The government sent a letter to OPEC requesting reactivation of membership while reiterating that they will not reduce production, according to energy ministry officials.

Individual member nations of OPEC have agreed to Indonesia’s request, according to Hadi Mustofa Djuraid, a special staffer to the energy minister, but Indonesia is awaiting formal approval. [Reuters]

Vietnamese skincare company accidentally uses Resident Evil logo

A skin center in Ho Chi Minh City was unexpectedly thrust into the world sci-fi geeks after taking their logo from zombie movie franchise Resident Evil’s fictional Umbrella Corporation, a corporation responsible for a global zombie epidemic.

“Our team is highly specialized in taking care of skin conditions for our clients and logo design is completely out of our specialty and was consulted and completed for us by a hired third-party,” the company said in a statement of Facebook. [Bloody Disgusting]