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‘Philippines-US joint West Philippine Sea patrols should not offend China’

The Philippines is just exercising its rights within its territorial waters, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said yesterday as it expressed belief that the ongoing joint naval and aerial patrols with the United States Indo-Pacific Command should not offend any party, including China......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarNov 22nd, 2023

Año to China: Joint maritime patrols not provocative

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año lashed back at China yesterday over its most recent statements accusing the Philippines of engaging in provocative actions through its joint maritime activities with the United States in the West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 5th, 2024

More countries eye joint patrols with Philippines

The Philippine Coast Guard is firm on its stand in asserting Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea over China, as the former engages with more countries for further capacity-building......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 30th, 2023

Countries queue for joint Phl patrols

The Philippines is considering multilateral patrols with other nations by next year, aside from the country’s maritime cooperative activities with the United States and Australia, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Romeo Brawner Jr. said Monday. But even without its allies, Brawner said the Philippines will continue its unilateral maritime and air patrol in its exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea amid China’s encroachment “as it is our responsibility.” “But the joint maritime and air patrols with our allies and our partners will continue, we just don’t know for now how frequent they  will be and also maybe the extent of our patrols, but we are working on that. We are constantly talking to our allies and partners,” he said. Brawner said many countries have signified an interest in conducting joint patrols with the Philippines. “They are also very much willing to conduct and to continue conducting this joint maritime and air patrols with the US in the West Philippine Sea,” he noted. “Aside from the bilateral joint exercises and joint operations that we are doing, there are also some countries who are expressing their desire to conduct this joint maritime and air patrols not just bilaterally but multilaterally,” he added. Brawner said they have yet to start the planning and preparation for the multilateral patrols. The safety of all patrol participants is a top concern, he added. The Philippines last week held joint MAC patrols with the United States and Australia, with Chinese military assets constantly shadowing the allies, whether on air or sea. The AFP chief said China’s activities during the MCAs were as expected. “I don’t think it was unusual, in fact, it happened this year, in May of this year, when US aircraft were  flying over the South China Sea and they also encountered Chinese PLA (People’s Liberation Army) aircraft circling them so this is not the first time this happened,” said Brawner. He cited the US-PLA encounter in relation to Sunday’s incident in which two Chinese fighter jets not only shadowed but encircled two Philippine Air Force turboprop Super Tucano planes. Despite the harassment of the Tucanos, Brawner described the joint Philippines and Australia patrol as a “very successful event” as the AFP was able “to achieve the set objectives” for the joint activity. For his part, Defense Chief Gilberto Teodoro Jr. confirmed the country’s possible iterations of the MCA with other nations. “All iterations are possible with friendly and allied nations, that’s within the multilateral relations that we discussed earlier,” he said. By doing so, Teodoro said, these multilateral activities are part “of the acceptance of the righteousness of our country’s position.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsNov 27th, 2023

Philippines not stirring trouble in West Philippine Sea – Teodoro

China is “reversing the truth” in accusing the Philippines of stirring trouble by conducting joint maritime patrols with the United States military in the West Philippine Sea, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 25th, 2023

Biden prodded on joint WPS patrols

Members of the United States House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee condemned China’s “unlawful” actions in the West Philippine Sea that led to collisions of a Philippine resupply boat and its Philippine Coast Guard escort ship. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), along with Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific Chairwoman Young Kim (R-CA) and Ranking Member Ami Bera (D-CA), issued a joint statement to express their support for the Philippines. “We unequivocally support the Philippines and condemn the unlawful actions by the Chinese Coast Guard in the South China Sea,” the US lawmakers said. “The Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels intentionally hit PCG ships over the weekend and continue to violate international law, endanger Filipino crew members, and obstruct Philippine vessels’ access to their own exclusive economic zone,” they added. The 22 October incident was “part of a larger pattern of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, its maritime militia, and the Chinese Coast Guard’s aggressive and provocative behavior in the South China Sea, where it actively intrudes in other states’ exclusive economic zones,” they said. Over the weekend, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea accused the CCG of performing “dangerous blocking maneuvers” that resulted in a collision with the Unaiza May 2, an indigenous boat contracted by the AFP for its routine resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre. During the mission, a Chinese maritime militia vessel “bumped” the PCG ship, BRP Cabra, on its port side. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has ordered the PCG to investigate the incident. The American legislators also backed US President Joe Biden’s announcement of increased joint patrols with the Philippines and other partners in the South China Sea and his administration’s reaffirmation to uphold its commitment under the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty. Earlier this week, the White House said US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan assured Philippine National Security Advisor Eduardo Año of US support in safeguarding its sovereign rights in the WPS under the two nations’ MDT. Signed in 1951, the Philippines and the US agreed under the MDT that an armed attack on either of the parties would be considered an attack on the other, thus, joint actions may be taken by the US and the Philippines to protect each other. Meanwhile, Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said the collisions would convince more countries to undertake freedom of navigation sorties with the Philippines in the WPS. “I believe it will invite more countries that have an interest in freedom of navigation to participate not only in joint patrols but in other security engagements with the Philippines,” Teodoro said. Teodoro said the Philippine government is considering many options to address China’s increasing aggression in the WPS. The post Biden prodded on joint WPS patrols appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2023

500 EDCA deals in 2024 pipeline

The United States has committed to more than 500 bilateral military engagements with the Philippines next year, which would primarily feature the stepping up of war games and joint sea patrols. An Armed Forces of the Philippines official described the engagements as encompassing exercises and high-level exchanges between the allied nations on security cooperation and strategic vision, including maritime security, information sharing, and capacity and capability development, among others. The commitments were made during last week’s annual Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board meeting, said the AFP official, who requested anonymity. Meanwhile, AFP Public Affairs chief, Lt. Col. Enrico Gil Ileto, said highlights of the activities will include an increased “tempo” in the joint exercises. At the same time, projects under the Enhanced Development Cooperation Agreement will be scaled up. He said engagements with other key international partners will also be part of the new set-up. During the meeting, AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., and US Indo-Pacific Command Chief Admiral John Aquilino reaffirmed the “steadfast commitment of the Philippines and the United States to safeguard their respective nations and the Indo-Pacific region.” “The meeting was the culminating activity of the planning cycle that assessed previous activities and set out over 500 bilateral engagements for 2024,” Ileto said. Increasing the American role in the maritime conflict with China is expected to be matched by the latter through increased aggressiveness in staking its claim in the West Philippine Sea.   Swarming by vessels resumes The AFP Western Command on Saturday expressed alarm over the heightened presence of Chinese maritime militia vessels and the massive coral harvesting at Rozul, or Iroquois, Reef, located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. In a weekly news forum in Quezon City, Wescom commander, Vice Admiral Albert Carlos, reported the “resurgence” of swarming incidents in the West Philippine Sea, with about 40 Chinese fishing vessels spotted as of 15 September at Rozul Reef, which is located south of Recto Bank. Carlos said the latest figure is higher than the 33 vessels spotted on 24 August and the 24 tracked on 7 September. Swarming was also observed at Escoda (Sabina) Shoal, where five Chinese fishing vessels were spotted, and Baragatan (Nares) Bank, with two boats, according to a Wescom news release on 14 September. “But the good news is we also have our presence there,” Carlos said, referring to vessels of the Philippine Navy and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. “So, we are addressing the issue of this swarming,” he added.   Harmful harvesting Carlos noted that in July, the Philippine Navy deployed divers to conduct an “underwater survey” of the swarmed area and found “there were no more corals” at Rozul Reef. The military is coordinating with scientists and experts to assess the area, he said, adding that it specifically wants to verify the divers’ assessment that massive harvesting of corals happened just recently. “We saw that there were no more corals. The corals were damaged, and there was debris,” he said. “We are not making any conclusions at this time. It’s a work in progress, but we just want to report coral harvesting in the area where (the Chinese were) seen loitering and swarming.”   Keeping  the peace Carlos said government troops want to “keep the peace and avoid miscalculations” in the WPS despite the recent incidents. He, however, guaranteed a heightened military presence in the Philippines’ waters. “The presence (of Chinese vessels) is already alarming because we have the sovereign rights in our exclusive economic zone. Now, coral harvesting is still unverified. We are not saying that they are harvesting our corals. We suspect somebody is harvesting our corals, which means they are violating our sovereign rights. We have the exclusive right to exploit resources in the West Philippine Sea,” Carlos said. “For the Western Command, that is alarming, because it might appear that we are remiss in our duty to protect our territory, as well as the riches of our exclusive economic zone. So we are doubling our efforts on that. We are going to address that issue by increasing our presence there,” he said.   Joint patrols assessed Carlos said the government is “carefully” studying offers by other countries to conduct joint patrols with Philippine forces. For now, the military is carrying out unilateral maritime patrols in the WPS, he said, adding that these are being “jointly conducted with the Philippine Coast Guard and the BFAR, not with any foreign country.” “We are in engagement with whoever offers to help us, whoever shares our desire, our objective to establish a rules-based international order. We are studying it carefully. All the offers are on the table,” he said.   More EDCA projects Ileto said Brawner and Aquilino also agreed to hasten the completion of the EDCA projects. There were 32 projects approved. The two officials are eyeing 63 more EDCA projects. “More importantly, it reaffirmed the two nations’ commitment to the PH-US alliance as espoused in the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty,” he said. The Philippines and the US military officials also agreed to jointly push for a free and open Indo-Pacific region “against a backdrop of a rules-based international order,” Ileto said. The post 500 EDCA deals in 2024 pipeline appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

Philippines, Aussie joint maritime patrols in South China Sea approved

President Marcos and the Australian government have approved plans to conduct joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 29th, 2023

AFP: PBBM, Australia back joint patrols in WPS

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is backing Philippine-Australia joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea as part of promoting an “open and free” Indo-Pacific Region. This was bared by Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. in a radio interview on Monday, noting that the plans for this endeavor are now ongoing after Marcos and the Australian government gave their approval. "Pinaplano pa rin ho natin 'yung mga detalye pero in essence ay na-aprove na po ng ating Pangulo at ng liderato ng Australia. This is to ensure na we maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, kasama po tayo dyan dahil isinisulong po natin 'yung rules-based international order (We are now planning the details, but in essence the President and the Australian leadership have already approved it, and this will be done so that we can maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific. This is part of our efforts to promote a rules-based international order)," Brawner said. Both countries are currently conducting bilateral Cooperative Amphibious Serial drills also known as  “Exercise ALON”, with 700 AFP personnel and 1, 200 members of the Australian Defense Force, assisted by 150 officers of United States Marine Corps, participating. In a joint statement on the sidelines of Exercise ALON released on 25 August, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and Australia Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles said the Philippines and Australia mutually "discussed the importance of all countries in the region exercising their agency in support of an Indo-Pacific region that is based on sovereignty, international law, and ASEAN Centrality.” Teodoro and Marles mutually agreed on the importance of all states operating safely and professionally, while respecting and adhering to international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS. “We reaffirmed our strong support of the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal Award. In line with this, the Philippines and Australia have "recommitted to planning bilateral joint patrols in the South China Sea/ West Philippine Sea and other areas of mutual interest,” the joint statement further read. Brawner had previously said the Philippines is only exercising its military diplomacy when it comes to entering military-to-military activities with its allies and partners across the globe. In his previous interview, Brawner said the AFP will be exploring chances to heighten the country’s military presence in the WPS by conducting increased maritime patrols. “As of present, we are conducting such ourselves, unilateral patrols of the area. But we are exploring all possibilities because we very well know that when it comes to our own national defense, we really cannot do it by ourselves. We really have to depend on our allies, our partners,” he said.   The post AFP: PBBM, Australia back joint patrols in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 28th, 2023

AFP-PLA patrol dead on water

The proposed joint maritime patrol between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the People’s Liberation Army in the South China Sea may no longer proceed. AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., on Sunday, said the government may have gotten cold on the idea amid China’s continuing hostility toward the country in the West Philippine Sea. Brawner, in a radio interview, said Beijing’s actions in the WPS have raised questions over its claimed intention to uphold peace in the Indo-Pacific region. “With the way they are currently doing things, [the possibility of a joint patrol] seems quite unclear,” Brawner said, clearly referring to incidents of harassment by the China Coast Guard in the WPS. However, military collaboration between the two nations’ militaries will continue under a 2004 defense cooperation memorandum of understanding, the AFP chief stressed. The MoU had provisions allowing the AFP to send its officers to China for additional training, something that does not seem to interest the Philippine government at the moment. On the other hand, Brawner said the Philippines will continue to hold military drills with “partner” countries like the US, Japan and Canada. “We need to inform the whole world about what is happening here in the South China Sea. Because of these recent events, we have been successful in revealing China’s coercive and dangerous tactics,” he said. Previously, Brawner disclosed that China’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, had offered to have joint patrols with the Philippines in the SCS, which overlaps with the WPS. China is claiming nearly all of the South China Sea under its nine-dash line theory, including the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone in the WPS. A decision made by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 junked China’s claim in the WPS, saying it has no historical basis while affirming the Philippines’ WPS claims. On 5 August, the Chinese Coast Guard bombarded a Philippine Coast Guard fleet with water as the latter was delivering supplies to Filipino troops stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal. The latest in a string of harassment incidents against Philippine ships this year, China’s action drew denunciation from several nations, including the US, Australia, Japan and Canada. The post AFP-PLA patrol dead on water appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 27th, 2023

Phl-China joint maritime patrol may not proceed — AFP chief

The proposed joint maritime patrol between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the People's Liberation Army in the South China Sea may no longer push through, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said on Sunday, as China continues its hostility toward the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea. In a radio interview, Brawner said that Beijing's recent behavior in the WPS raised questions about its intentions to conduct coordinated patrols to uphold peace in the Indo-Pacific region. "With the way they are currently doing things, [the possibility of a joint patrol] seems quite unclear," Brawner said. Brawner stated that despite the joint patrol seems to be off the table at the moment, military collaboration between the two nations' militaries will still continue as a result of a 2004 memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defense cooperation. Among other advantages, the MOU enables the AFP to deploy military officers to China for additional training. On the other hand, Brawner said that the military exercises with other nations—such as the United States, Japan, and Canada—that the Philippines considered as its "partners" would go on. "We need to inform the whole world about what is happening here in the South China Sea. Because of these recent events, we have been successful in revealing China's coercive and dangerous tactics," Brawner had previously disclosed that the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, had offered to have joint patrols with the Philippines in the SCS. China is claiming a large portion of the SCS, including the Philippines' 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the WPS. However, a historic decision made by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 that supported the Philippines' claims in the SCS found their arguments unlawful. On 5 August, the Chinese Coast Guard attacked the Philippine Coast Guard fleet with water cannons when it was delivering supplies to Filipino troops stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre in the West Philippine Sea's Ayungin Shoal. The latest in a string of alleged episodes of harassment against Philippine warships this year, several nations, led by the United States, Australia, Japan, and Canada, expressed support for Manila and denounced China's conduct. The post Phl-China joint maritime patrol may not proceed — AFP chief appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 27th, 2023

‘We will never abandon Ayungin Shoal’

The Philippines on Monday maintained its territorial rights over the Ayungin Shoal, stressing that it would never leave the area amid the continued escalation of geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea. At a joint press conference, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea composed of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Security Council and Philippine Coast Guard condemned China’s recent use of a water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels that were en route to Ayungin Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre that is grounded on the shoal and serves as the Philippines’ outpost. “The Philippines condemns in the strongest terms the latest incident of harassment perpetrated by the China Coast Guard, People’s Liberation Army Navy, and Chinese maritime militia vessels on 5 August against Philippine vessels on a routine resupply mission in waters surrounding Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea,” the NTF-WPS said. “The Philippines demands that China immediately stop its coercive, unlawful, and unjustifiable activities in our maritime zones,” it added. Ayungin Shoal is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. NSC Assistant Director Jonathan Malaya asserted the Philippine government would keep its position in Ayungin Shoal through the BRP Sierra Madre. “For the record, we will never abandon Ayungin Shoal. We are committed to Ayungin Shoal,” Malaya said when asked what the Philippines’ next actions will be following the incident. “They’re probably looking for weaknesses in the Philippine position or are trying to gauge our commitment to supply our troops in the shoal, and we are here precisely to reassure the Filipino people that as directed by our President, we are consistent with the President’s directive during the SoNA that we will not lose an inch of our territory,” he added. The BRP Sierra Madre was a World War II landing ship tank that was stationed at  Ayungin Shoal since 1999. Asked how the government would maintain its presence at Ayungin Shoal, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said the government has increased its assets in the area. “We have  increased the number of our assets in that area for the conduct of maritime patrols and, of course, to do ro-re (rotation and reprovision) missions,” Aguilar said. “As to what we will do exactly that we cannot tell you for security reasons,” he added. The post ‘We will never abandon Ayungin Shoal’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 7th, 2023

Phl slams China’s ‘coercive, unlawful, unjustifiable’ acts in WPS

The Philippines on Monday maintained its territorial rights over the Ayungin Shoal, stressing that it would never leave the area amid the continued escalation of geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea. At a joint press conference, members of the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Security Council and the Philippine Coast Guard condemned China’s recent use of water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels that were en route to Ayungin Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission for the BRP Sierra Madre, the decommissioned ship grounded on the shoal to serve as an outpost for Philippine troops stationed on the shoal. “The Philippines condemns in the strongest terms the latest incident of harassment perpetrated by China Coast Guard, People’s Liberation Army Navy and Chinese maritime militia vessels, on August 5, against Philippine vessels, on a routine resupply mission in waters surrounding Ayungin Shoal, in the West Philippine Sea,” the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said. “The Philippines demands that China immediately stop its coercive, unlawful and unjustifiable activities in our maritime zones,” it added. Ayungin Shoal is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya asserted the Philippine government would keep its position in Ayungin Shoal through the BRP Sierra Madre. “For the record, we will never abandon Ayungin Shoal. We are committed to Ayungin Shoal,” Malaya said when asked about the Philippines’ next actions following the incident. “They’re probably looking for weaknesses in the Philippine position or are trying to gauge our commitment to supply our troops in the shoal, and we are here precisely to reassure the Filipino people that as directed by our President, we are consistent with the President’s directive during the SONA that we will not lose an inch of our territory,” he added. The BRP Sierra Madre is a World War 2 landing ship tank that has been stationed at the Ayungin Shoal since 1999. Asked how the government would maintain its presence in the Ayungin Shoal, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said the government has heightened its assets in the area. “We have already increased the number of our assets in that area for the conduct of maritime patrols and of course, to do rotation and reprovision missions,” Aguilar said. “As to what we will do exactly, that we cannot tell you for security reasons,” he added. Diplomatic processes For its part, the DFA condemned China’s “aggressive” actions in Ayungin Shoal and called on China to stop its “illegal activities” in the country’s maritime zone. “The Department of Foreign Affairs is one with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard in their pursuit of our shared mandate to protect and uphold our legal maritime entitlements,” DFA spokesperson Tess Daza said. “The DFA is making full use of our diplomatic processes and is exercising all possible actions available to us, including the summoning of the Chinese ambassador over this incident,” she added. Daza noted that Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian was summoned by the DFA on Monday morning to convey the Philippine government’s strong protest against on the water cannon operation of the CCG and Chinese maritime militia vessels against Philippine indigenous boats conducting regular rotation and resupply and humanitarian missions to Ayungin Shoal. The DFA personally handed over Huang the note verbale of the Philippines for the 5 August incident. As of 7 August, the agency said the country has filed a total of 445 diplomatic protests in the past three years. For this year alone, the country has filed a total of 35 diplomatic protests. The Philippine government, through Philippine Ambassador to China Jaime FlorCruz, also handed the country’s diplomatic protest in Beijing over the incident. The DFA firmly asked China to direct its vessels to “stop” their “illegal actions” against Philippine vessels and to “stop interfering” in legitimate Philippine government activities. It also urged China to comply with its obligations under international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, the 2016 Award in the South China Sea Arbitration, and the 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, and adhere to its commitments under the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. According to the DFA, the incident “undermines efforts to strengthen mutual trust and confidence” between Manila and Beijing. “We value our relations with China and we hope that they too value the relations with the Philippines, but clearly, this incident undermines efforts to strengthen mutual trust and confidence – a crucial element in friendly relations among states,” Daza said. “It does provide tension in our bilateral relations,” she added. The post Phl slams China’s ‘coercive, unlawful, unjustifiable’ acts in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 7th, 2023

Senators blast China’s use of water cannon vs. Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal

Senators on Sunday condemned the "excessive and offensive" actions of Chinese Coast Guard vessels against Philippine vessels near the Ayungin Shoal last Friday. Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri called the People’s Republic of China’s actions “reaffirms the merit of the resolution the Senate has unanimously passed.” The incident, which took place on 5 August near the Ayungin Shoal, happened barely a week after the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution denouncing China's intrusion into the West Philippine Sea and its harassment of Filipino fishermen. “Because China contemptuously ignores protests, all the more that we have to rally the world to condemn acts which have no place in a civilized order,” Zubiri said in a statement. In a statement issued on Sunday, the Philippine Coast Guards accused the CCG of using water cannon against its vessels while en route to the Ayungin Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission. Ayungin Shoal is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. In a separate statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines also condemned China’s latest actions in the WPS, which it described as “excessive and offensive.” Zubiri said China’s actions are “yet again a manifestation of its ‘might vs. right’ treatment of its peaceful neighbors.” “By its actions, it shows diplomatic duplicity, of preaching about amity, but practicing hostile behavior,” he said. “We want to have friendship with you but why is it difficult to love you, China?” Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros echoed the same sentiments against China, saying China has no right to block the Philippine vessels in its own territory. “The Chinese Coast Guard has absolutely no right to block, let alone water cannon, our supply vessels. They do not have any right to starve Filipinos in the Ayungin Shoal,” Hontiveros said in a separate statement. “China’s repeated provocations are in complete violation of UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award. I call on our regional neighbors and the broader international community to join the Philippines in condemning this dangerous behavior,” she added. In a bid to strengthen the country’s position in the Ayungin Shoal, the Philippine government permanently supplies its forces there through the BRP Sierra Madre. The BRP Sierra Madre was a World War 2 landing ship tank that was stationed at the Ayungin Shoal since 1999. Hontiveros said she is hoping that the Philippines could soon start joint patrols with other claimant countries in the South China Sea such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. “We need to cooperate with them to halt these aggressive actions of China,” she said. “I am also hoping that the DFA is now formulating steps to raise China’s endless incursions to different international fora.” “The recently adopted Senate resolution 718, with its precision and specific recommendations, is at their disposal,” she added. Senate Resolution 718 urges the Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, to “continue asserting” the country’s sovereign rights over its exclusive economic rights. 'Heed Senate’s call' For his part, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito called on the national government to heed the Senate’s resolution which contains several recommendations for the executive department. “We cannot let this slip. This is too much already! China is very frustrating! China’s hostile actions towards our Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, and fishermen are extreme. Our territory, security, and peace are at stake here,” he said in a separate statement. “I urge the national government to heed the Senate's recent resolution on China's aggression and take decisive measures to safeguard our territorial integrity,” he added. Ejercito continued: “These measures will require us to expedite the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and strengthen our defense cooperation program and pacts with our allies.” For Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, China’s actions against PCG in the WPS require a strong stance from the Philippine government. “This is the reason why the Senate adopted Resolution No. 79 strongly condemning incursions like this,” Villanueva said. “Your Senate is always ready to fight for and protect the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights.” Like Ejercito, Villanueva reminded the executive department of the newly adopted resolution which contains a guide for the DFA. “We urge the Department of Foreign Affairs to implement the courses of action stipulated in the resolution passed by the Senate to finally put an end into this harassment and bullying by China,” he said. Under the resolution, the DFA is “expected” to continue holding dialogues with the Chinese government to push for recognition and respect of the Philippines' sovereign rights over its EEZ and pursue the formulation of the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea based on international law and the UNCLOS. Should China continue to ignore the country’s efforts, the resolution contains actions the agency must do such as bringing international attention to China's harassment of Filipino fishermen in the Philippine EEZ and its continued violation of the Hague Ruling and the UNCLOS; utilizing international fora to rally multilateral support for the enforcement of the Hague Ruling and raise awareness on the real situation in the West Philippine Sea; and engaging with “like-minded” countries to call on China to respect the Hague Ruling and the UNCLOS. The DFA is also encouraged to file a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly, to call for the cessation of all activities that harass Philippine vessels and violate the Philippines' established rights in the West Philippine Sea; and pursue other diplomatic modes as the agency may deem appropriate and necessary. ‘Sensible plans' For his part, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III urged the PCG to come up with sensible plans to overcome China’s increasingly aggressive actions towards Philippine vessels that are on a re-supply mission to the Ayungin Shoal. “The PCG should overcome the CCG on our re-supply missions. They should come up with sensible plans behind closed doors,” Pimentel said in a separate statement. Asked if the recent actions of China against Philippine vessels could trigger the activation of the mutual defense treaty between the Philippines and the United States, Pimentel said: “Use diplomacy and intelligent tactics.” “The MDT should not be invoked lightly. Use our ‘kokote’ not the MDT,” he added. In a separate statement, the US State Department warned that an armed attack on Philippine public vessels, aircraft, and armed forces—including those of its Coast Guard in South China The post Senators blast China’s use of water cannon vs. Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

Brawner: Joint military exercises with China, Vietnam still possible

The Philippines is considering the possible conduct of joint military exercises with China and Vietnam, according to Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. “Again, we are not closing our possibilities, our prospect according to our President is that we are friends to all, enemies to none,” Brawner said in a radio interview Sunday. Brawner said the country is only exercising its military diplomacy when it comes to entering military-to-military activities with its allies and partners across the globe. “Because really our objective is to prevent war while we are preparing for possible war,” he added. Brawner maintained the AFP will be exploring chances to heighten the country’s military presence in the WPS by massively conducting maritime patrols. “As of present, we are conducting such ourselves, unilateral patrols of the area. But we are exploring all possibilities because we very well know that when it comes to our own national defense, we really cannot do it by ourselves. We really have to depend on our allies, our partners,” Brawner said. He added that the patrolling efforts in the WPS remain “unilateral” to the Philippines. “We are exploring all the possibilities because when it comes to defending our country—we can’t do it alone. We really have to depend on our allies and on our partners,” Brawner said when asked if the Philippines has an existing patrolling arrangement with other countries. Meanwhile, Senator Francis Tolentino said conducting joint disaster relief efforts with China is “more feasible” than a joint maritime patrol amid the country’s territorial claims in the WPS. “To me, what I see as more possible is a joint disaster team, HADR, or Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response,” he said. This amid the Philippines, China, and Vietnam, along with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan, shared overlapping territorial claims and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea—which has an estimated billion barrels of untapped oil and trillion cubic feet of natural gas with a very abundant fishing area. Brawner earlier said that Beijing offered Manila to conduct maritime patrol together. But, he did not provide further details as to how and where the joint military exercise will possibly be conducted between China and the Philippines. He stressed that AFP’s relations with its counterpart in China remain limited to training. Further, Tolentino said there must be a proper document presented should the AFP would consider a joint maritime patrol with China. “Kung magkakaroon ng joint patrol, kasama ang China, dapat po ito maging bahagi ng isang tratado na may concurrence ang Senado (If there will be a joint patrol with China, it should be part of a treaty with the concurrence of the Senate),” he stressed. Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier filed a resolution seeking support from the United Nations General Assembly or UNGA in protecting Philippine sovereignty in WPS. The post Brawner: Joint military exercises with China, Vietnam still possible appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

Phl, Japan should engage both China, US ‘constructively,’ says DFA’s Manalo

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo on Tuesday called on Japan to engage both China and the United States “constructively,” following the recent tension in Taiwan Strait involving the two superpower countries. Speaking in a forum at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Japan, Manalo underscored the need to ensure that the security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region maintains trust and confidence among parties, amid the US-China rivalry and other geopolitical pressures. “This regional architecture must empower diplomacy and the rule of law to prevail over any influence engaging in coercion, intimidation, the use and threat of use of force in violation of the UN Charter,” he said. “The Philippines and Japan share a commonality which no other nation in Asia possesses, with the exception of South Korea – our treaty alliance with the United States, our historic and important relationship with America stands alongside our huge economic relationship with China. Hence, our two nations must continue to engage both China and the United States constructively, and support calls for Beijing and Washington to responsibly manage their strategic rivalry,” he added. ‘US-Philippines-Japan trilateral partnership’ Meanwhile, Manalo said that the trilateral security and defense partnership between Manila, Tokyo and Washington is still in its “early stages.” “[T]here was an understanding that we should explore the possibility of trilateral arrangements, but at this stage, we still have to discuss the Terms of Reference, what kind of activities, so it's really very much in the early stages,” he said. “The important thing is there is an understanding of the principle that it would be useful to have such types of trilateral cooperation activities,” he added. To recall, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin previously said that Manila and Washington have agreed to further integrate their “strong bilateral ties” into “multilateral networks” with Japan and Australia. In February, Defense Officer-in-Charge Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that the Philippines and Australia are looking into conducting joint maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea. In the same month, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez said that the country is negotiating with Australia and Japan to join with the US in conducting joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. The post Phl, Japan should engage both China, US ‘constructively,’ says DFA’s Manalo appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 16th, 2023

Australian FM to visit Phl– DFA

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will have her first official visit to the Philippines, upon the invitation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Friday. Wong is scheduled to visit Manila from 16 to 19 May, where she is expected to meet with Manalo to discuss a “broad range of issues of mutual interest, including defense and security partnership, development cooperation, trade and investment, and people-to-people ties.” “This bilateral meeting will allow both countries to assess the current state of their bilateral relations and chart the course for further collaboration,” the DFA said in a statement. During her four-day official visit to the country, Wong is also expected to pay a courtesy call on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte. “Minister Wong's visit comes after a series of high-level exchanges between the Philippines and Australia, reflecting both countries' strong commitment to advancing their Comprehensive Partnership to a higher level,” the DFA noted. “This visit is also an excellent opportunity to renew and deepen the friendship between the two nations and explore new areas of cooperation,” it added. Wong’s visit to the Philippines comes after the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in April. During the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the Philippines and the United States last month, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that Manila and Washington have agreed to further integrate their “strong bilateral ties” into “multilateral networks” with Japan and Australia. “We discussed plans to conduct combined maritime activities with like-minded partners in the South China Sea later this year as we work to enhance our collective deterrence,” Austin said. In February, Defense Officer-in-Charge Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that the Philippines and Australia are looking into conducting joint maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea. Australia is one of the countries along with the US, Japan, and Canada, that called out China for its continuous aggression in the West Philippine Sea. In the same month, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez said that the country is negotiating with Australia and Japan to join with the US in conducting coast guard patrols in the South China Sea, including disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea. The post Australian FM to visit Phl– DFA appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 12th, 2023

China opposes joint patrols in West Philippine Sea, more EDCA sites

China strongly opposed yesterday joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea and expanded United States access to Philippine military bases, calling the moves part of Washington’s efforts to encircle and contain Beijing through its military alliance with the Philippines......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 12th, 2023

FACT CHECK | Constitutionality, not ‘noble intentions’, basis for allowing joint ventures in West Philippine Sea – Supreme Court

In her column published on manilatimes.net on Dec. 23, 2023, Anna Malindog-Uy proposed, among others, possible joint ventures in the utilization of the resources in the South China Sea to pave the way for a non-confrontational resolution of maritime and territorial claims involving the Philippines and China. The article consistently used the term South China […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsJan 14th, 2024

Manila Says Two Chinese Vessels Shadowed Philippine, US Ships

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Two Chinese navy vessels shadowed Philippine and U.S. ships conducting joint patrols in the South China Sea, the Philippine military said on Thursday, as tensions flare in the region over disputed territorial claims.'We confirm the presence of two PLA-N [People's Liberation Army Navy] vessels from a distance shadowing the participants of the Maritime Cooperative Activity,' said Xerxes Trini.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJan 5th, 2024

Manila Says Two Chinese Vessels Shadowed Philippine, US Ships

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Two Chinese navy vessels shadowed Philippine and U.S. ships conducting joint patrols in the South China Sea, the Philippine military said on Thursday, as tensions flare in the region over disputed territorial claims.'We confirm the presence of two PLA-N [People's Liberation Army Navy] vessels from a distance shadowing the participants of the Maritime Cooperative Activity,' said Xerxes Trini.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJan 4th, 2024