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Philippines asks China to stop harassment in West Philippine Sea

Manila [Philippines], February 20 (ANI): The Philippines asked China to stop its harassment in the West Philippine Sea as it is undermining the peace and stability in the region, Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. Philippines Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Teresita Daza made the plea after the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) harassed the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) using a "military-grade" laser, which temporarily blin.....»»

Category: newsSource: philippinetimes philippinetimesFeb 20th, 2023

More senators condemn China’s ‘bullying’ in WPS

More senators on Monday condemned China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea which resulted in a collision with Philippine vessels en route to a resupply mission to the Ayungin Shoal. For Senate Deputy Majority Leader Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, China “has gone too far in disrespecting the Philippines” when it performed “dangerous blocking maneuvers” that resulted in a collision with the Unaiza May 2, an indigenous boat contracted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines for a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre. “I strongly condemn the recent aggression of the Chinese Coast Guard against our Philippine Coast Guard,” Ejercito said in a statement. “The reckless maneuvers executed by the CCG, which resulted in a collision with the Armed Forces of the Philippines-contracted resupply vessel, were not only provocative but also a blatant act of bullying that must be denounced, not only by us but by the international community,” he added. Ejercito said the act of harassment of China within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone “obviously violates our sovereignty and territorial integrity.” “We must strongly assert the 2016 arbitral ruling, which clearly affirms that the Philippines has the exclusive rights over the West Philippine Sea,” he said. “This ruling is not only legally binding but a reflection of the principles of international law,” he added. China claims the vast South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. However, on 12 July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration favored the Philippines’ arbitral case against China. Seven years after the Tribunal favored the Philippines’ arbitral case against China, the ruling remains on paper as China continues to disregard it by keeping its illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea. Ejercito said it is “essential to note that this is not the first time the CCG has engaged in such provocative actions against our coastal guards and fisherfolks.” “Moreover, it is the government's duty to ensure the safety of our waters for all Filipinos. We cannot and will not allow such incidents to jeopardize the safety of our people, particularly those who serve in our armed forces and the PCG,” he said. “At the same time, I personally believe that it is high time to expedite the modernization of our Armed Forces in the coming years to protect our sovereignty, safeguard our maritime interests, and ensure the safety and security of our people,” he added. ‘Potential flashpoint’ Senator Grace Poe, likewise, expressed concern over the “dangerous blocking maneuver” carried out by CCG against Philippine vessels. “China's latest act of aggression poses a credible concern that could heighten the tension not only between Philippines and China, but could also be a potential flashpoint in the region,” Poe said in a separate statement. “While an immediate diplomatic protest is anticipated, the recent incident calls for a serious rethinking of our strategies in dealing with these acts,” she added. She continued: “As we firmly assert our rights in our waters, fortifying our relations with like-minded states must continue to thwart similar belligerent actions.” On Sunday, Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Senators Risa Hontiveros, and Francis Tolentino expressed their anger over the collision that put the safety of the Filipino crew at risk. “I am one with peace-loving Filipinos in strongly condemning this latest abhorrent actions of the China Coast Guard and Chinese maritime militia that put in danger the lives of our brave countrymen who were on a routine resupply mission to our troops in Ayungin Shoal,” Zubiri said. “Let me salute our personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for displaying courage and restraint in continuing their resupply missions despite the hostile and treacherous acts of China Coast Guard and their maritime militia,” he added. Hontiveros echoed Zubiri’s call on China to “stop” its activities in the West Philippine Sea which she said clearly violates international law. “This latest collision is squarely the China Coast Guard’s fault,” she said in a separate statement. “The 2016 Arbitral Award has resolutely invalidated China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea, making this incident a clear violation of international law,” she added. For his part, Tolentino said the recent confrontation between the Philippines and China clearly shows China’s continuous disregard for international law. He noted that the incident should be investigated by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the Code for Investigation ng Marine Casualties and Incidents of the International Maritime Organization. The post More senators condemn China’s ‘bullying’ in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

Phl firming up stance vs China’s new map

The Philippines will continue to defend its sovereignty and territorial rights after China released a “new” map that claims the entire South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Friday. In an interview with reporters in Palawan, Marcos said the Philippines is still developing a formal response to China’s expanded 10-dash line map. The government, he added, has long upheld the country’s territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea. The President’s late father and namesake, during his own presidency, established the municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan to uphold the Philippines’ territorial rights in the region. Despite other countries continuing to assert their claims in the region aggressively, Marcos said the Philippines “has not changed its approach” to its territory in the resource-rich South China Sea. “It is other countries around us that have changed their approach. We have received the news that the 9-dash line has been extended to the 10-dash line,” the President told reporters. “And we will have to respond to all of this, and we will. But again, these are operational details I prefer not to talk about,” he added. When asked whether the Philippines will step up its response in the West Philippine Sea, Marcos said he was also counting on the backing of the international community since the Philippines “has stayed true” to the rules-based international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS. “I think it puts us on very solid ground in terms of our claims for territorial sovereignty, for maritime territory,” Marcos said. “This has been validated and supported by many, many countries around the world, and we should take strength in that.” The nine-dash line claim of China was declared legally infirm in a final ruling in 2016 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Beijing has refused to recognize the arbitral ruling. Trillions of dollars in trade pass through the South China Sea each year, the reason the United States has been holding freedom of navigation patrols in the area to stop what it described as China’s harassment of vessels and planes passing through or over international waters. Aside from China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan have territorial claims in the South China Sea, which overlaps with the WPS. The same arbitral court recognized the Philippines as having valid and legal exclusive economic zone rights in the WPS. @tribunephl_tiz @tribunephl_Lade The post Phl firming up stance vs China’s new map appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2023

AFP urged: Stop sending trainees to China

Senator Raffy Tulfo on Tuesday stressed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines should stop sending its high-ranking personnel to China “to study and train” within the Chinese’s military academy as it would be a “slap in the face” of Filipinos. This comes as information he received disclosed that the Chinese government is paying all the expenses of the AFP officials undergoing massive training and studies in Beijing amid the harassment incidents against the Filipino soldiers in the West Philippine Sea. During Monday’s public hearing by Committee on National Defense, Senator Francis Tolentino said that a number of ranking AFP officials who faced the congressional Commission on Appointments had completed their schooling at the Beijing Military Academy and other training institutions of the Communist People’s Liberation Army. This information was then confirmed by Department of National Defense Undersecretary Ireneo Espino before the senators. Tolentino also said that even the Philippine National Police Academy had also been sending its cadets for training in China, which he described as “indeed very alarming.” “We have not been accepting cadets from our [military] treaty ally while we have been sending [our soldiers] to the country harassing us in the West Philippine Sea. What’s the rationale behind this? How did this happen?” Tolentino asked AFP and DND officials. The post AFP urged: Stop sending trainees to China appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 9th, 2023

Bong Go calls on Chinese gov’t to ‘stop bullying’ Philippines

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go condemned at the Senate plenary on Monday, 7 August the recent harassment of Philippine vessels by the Chinese Coast Guard. The harassment in question took place during a peaceful resupply mission to the Ayungin Shoal on 5 August. The Chinese Coast Guard used a water cannon against the Philippine vessels, an act Go has vehemently condemned. "Grabeng respeto ang ibinigay sa inyo, simula pa noong panahon ni dating pangulong Duterte. Sa anim na taon, binigay ni Pangulong Duterte ang lahat ng respeto,” he said in his manifestation in support of the privilege speech of Senate President Migz Zubiri. The senator’s condemnation references the cordial diplomatic relationship cultivated under the previous administration of then president Rodrigo Duterte, where much respect was extended to China. Go emphasized the need for resilience and strength in the face of such incidents, urging the nation to uphold its worth and to protect its sovereignty. He asserted, "What is ours is ours. We must remain consistent on our foreign policy of being friends to all enemy to none. But we must also stand firm on protecting our sovereignty." The senator has also appealed to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., being the chief architect of the country's foreign policy, to continue to safeguard the safety of Filipinos and the country’s national interests. He expressed his confidence that Marcos will uphold the country's sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea with the assistance of international partners. He emphasized that this issue does not solely concern the Philippines but also the entire world. Go called upon members of the international community to demonstrate sincerity not just in words, but in actions, in respecting other nations. The PCG has already condemned the Chinese Coast Guard's actions and called it "illegal" and "dangerous". These actions, the PCG said, not only disregarded the safety of the crew and the supply boats, but also violated international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, and the 2016 Arbitral Award.   The post Bong Go calls on Chinese gov’t to ‘stop bullying’ Philippines appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 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

U.S. threatens MDT use

The Philippines and the United States condemned the China Coast Guard or CCG on Sunday for firing water cannons and interfering with the legal operations of Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Armed Forces spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar confirmed that at least one chartered supply boat being escorted by the Philippine Coast Guard was “blocked and water-cannoned” by a CCG vessel on Saturday, 5 August. The Philippine vessels were en route to Ayungin or Second Thomas Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission when they were attacked by the CCG, Aguilar said in a statement to journalists. Aguilar characterized the attack as a “wanton disregard of the safety of the people on board and in violation of international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS, and the 2016 Arbitral Award.” “The Ayungin Shoal is a low tide elevation that is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, pursuant to the 1982 UNCLOS and as affirmed by the 2016 Arbitral Award,” the Department of Foreign Affairs stressed in a statement. The US State Department immediately issued a warning that China’s provocative actions in the WPS, which overlaps with the South China Sea, or SCS, could make it invoke its Mutual Defense Treaty, or MDT, with the Philippines. Signed in 1951, the MDT states that if either country is attacked by an external party, the other country will come to its defense. The United States also called on China to abide by the 2016 arbitral ruling that found China’s claims in the South China Sea to be illegal. “Such actions by the PRC are inconsistent with international law and are the latest in repeated threats to the status quo in the South China Sea, directly threatening regional peace and stability,” a US State Department statement said. “By impeding necessary provisions from reaching the Filipino service members stationed at Second Thomas Shoal, the PRC has also undertaken unwarranted interference in lawful Philippine maritime operations,” the US pointed out.   Heightened tension The incident further heightened tension between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea, notwithstanding the visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Beijing in January. Filipino lawmakers immediately condemned China’s actions (See related story). In a separate statement, the PCG reported that the use of water cannons by the CCG forced the Philippine vessels to change course, preventing them from reaching Ayungin Shoal. In recent months, the CCG has been increasingly aggressive in its patrols of the area, leading to a number of incidents between the two countries. The 2016 arbitral ruling recognized the WPS as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone while invalidating China’s nine-dash line claim of ownership of nearly the whole of the South China Sea. China has rejected the arbitral ruling. “The United States calls upon the PRC to abide by the arbitral ruling as well as to respect the freedom of navigation, a right to which all states are entitled,” the US State Department said. It added that an armed attack on Philippine vessels, aircraft, and armed forces, including those of its coast guard in the WPS, “would invoke US mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty.” In February, the CCG vessels pointed a military-grade laser light at the BRP Malapascua, which caused temporary blindness in some of its Filipino crew. In separate statements, Japan, Australia, Canada and the European Union called on China to stop its harassment of Philippine vessels. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko decried the incident. “Totally unacceptable, any harassment and actions which infringe on lawful activities of the sea and endanger the navigational safety,” Koshikawa said in a tweet. “Australia is concerned by the latest actions directed against the Philippines, which are dangerous and destabilizing,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu said in another tweet. Yu also called on China to “respect the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for peace and stability in the South China Sea, which is a vital international waterway.” The Canadian Embassy in the Philippines echoed the same sentiments and said the country “unreservedly condemns the dangerous and provocative actions taken by the Chinese Coast Guard against Philippine vessels.” Likewise, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron expressed concern about the incident. “Very concerned about dangerous action in South China Sea. The EU stands with the Philippines in upholding the rules-based international order,” Veron said. The post U.S. threatens MDT use appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

Japan, Australia, Canada, EU condemn China’s ‘unacceptable’ actions vs. Phl vessels in WPS

Several countries on Sunday condemned China's actions against Philippine vessels in the Ayungin Shoal, which involved the firing of water cannon and imposing dangerous maneuvers. In separate statements, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the European Union called on China to stop its harassment of Philippine Coast Guards vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko described the incident which occurred on 5 August as “totally unacceptable.” “Totally unacceptable any harassment and actions which infringe on lawful activities of the sea and endanger the navigational safety,” Koshikawa said in a tweet. “We strongly support [the] Philippines position; upholding maritime order based on UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award,” he added. The envoy is referring to the 2016 arbitral ruling that favored the Philippines’ claims in the West Philippine Sea, which is part of the larger South China Sea. China, however, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, continued to ignore the arbitral ruling, and insisted on its nine-dash line claim. Likewise, Australia expressed its concern about the latest aggressive actions of China against Philippine vessels on its own territory. “Australia is concerned by the latest actions directed against the Philippines, which are dangerous and destabilizing,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu said in a separate tweet. Yu also called on China to “respect the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for peace and stability in the South China Sea, which is a vital international waterway.” The Canadian Embassy in the Philippines echoed the same sentiments against the People’s Republic of China’s “dangerous” actions against PCG vessels. “Canada unreservedly condemns the dangerous and provocative actions taken by the Chinese Coast Guard against Philippine vessels on August 5th, in the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal inside the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines. Unsafe maneuvers and use of water cannons to disrupt the lawful operations of Philippine vessels is unacceptable, and inconsistent with the obligations of the People's Republic of China under international law,” the embassy said in a statement. “Continuing acts of intimidation and coercion by the PRC against its neighbors undermine safety, security, and stability across the region, and raise the risks of grave miscalculation,” it added. Ottawa also called on Beijing to recognize the 2016 arbitral decision on the South China Sea, which is final and binding, and comply with its obligations under international law. “Only by ensuring full respect for international law can we collectively set conditions for effective and collaborative management of maritime resources, maintenance of maritime safety and security, preservation of marine biodiversity, and respect for maritime boundaries, while ensuring the rights of all states under international law are protected,” it said. Likewise, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron expressed the EU’s concern about the incident. “Very concerned about dangerous action in South China Sea. The European Union stands with the Philippines in upholding the rules-based international order,” Veron said. He also noted the EU supports the recognition of the 2016 arbitral decision on the South China Sea. The post Japan, Australia, Canada, EU condemn China’s ‘unacceptable’ actions vs. Phl vessels in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

Senate adopts reso condemning China’s incursion, harassment in WPS

A resolution denouncing China's intrusion into the West Philippine Sea and its harassment of Filipino fishermen was approved by the Senate on Tuesday. The approval of Senate Resolution 718, authored by Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri and Senator Risa Hontiveros, came after the Senate held an executive session on Monday with Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr., and National Security Adviser Eduardo Año, and their senior officials. Members of the Senate, as well as mentioned officials, discussed Hontiveros’s earlier resolution which urges the national government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, to elevate China’s incursions in the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations General Assembly. Under the resolution, the lawmakers urged the Philippine government, through the DFA, to “continue asserting” the country’s sovereign rights over its exclusive economic rights. Likewise, the agency was also encouraged to “intensify” efforts to engage the international community in upholding its hard-earned victory at the Hague. The Philippines celebrated the seventh anniversary of its historic victory over China in 2016 last month, which solidified Manila's claims to the West Philippine Sea. China has continued to reject the arbitral ruling and stood by its historic rights over the area. As of July 5, the Philippine government, through DFA, has filed a total of 30 diplomatic protests against China in the last seven months. Over the span of three years, Manila has sent a total of 427 notes verbale against Beijing. The resolution also states that 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. ‘Never watered down’ In his manifestation, Zubiri stressed that the resolution filed by Hontiveros was “never watered down,” but instead “strengthened.” “We came out with strong consensus yesterday after the discussions with the West Philippine Sea Task Force, together with the AFP chief of staff General Brawner and DFA Secretary Manalo and actually we never watered down the resolution that we filed, we actually strengthened the first resolution that we initially filed with Senator Risa,” he said. “I think what happened here is we strengthened the position of the government. Now we gave them several options to choose on how to deal with our neighbors in the North,” he added. He continued: “And the beauty of this is with proper consensus and of course consultations among our colleagues we have come out unanimous.” For her part, Hontiveros expressed her gratitude to her colleagues for the adoption of the resolution, which she described as an “important success” for the country. “I would first like to thank all our colleagues for this concerted effort to not only make the West Philippine Sea issue a part of our national conversation but for ensuring that the Philippine government takes the necessary steps to consolidate global support over our historic 2016 Arbitral Award,” she said. “This bipartisan effort tells the Filipino people that when it comes to matters of national sovereignty, we will never be bullied into submission. In the face of relentless China propaganda since last week, we held our ground. Despite fake news and lies to stop the adoption of the measure, we stood firm,” she added. She continued: “This is an important success not only of the Senate but of the whole Philippines. The Senate crossed party lines to stand unified for our country.” The lawmaker also said that the fight against China’s reckless behavior in the West Philippine Sea “does not end here.” “The fight continues,” she stressed. The post Senate adopts reso condemning China’s incursion, harassment in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

Tulfo urges DFA to bring WPS issue in UNGA

Senator Raffy Tulfo on Wednesday, 26 July urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to sponsor a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly, tackling issues of harassment in the West Philippine Sea. During a plenary session, Tulfo stressed the need for the government to ask China to stop its harassment of Filipinos in the WPS. The senator further emphasized the need for the government to uphold the country's integrity over its territorial waters. "The Filipino military personnel and fishermen in the WPS still experience continued intimidation and aggression from Chinese militia," Tulfo lamented. Earlier this month, the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines reported about 48 Chinese fishing vessels have been monitored swarming near Iroquois Reef and Sabina Shoal, located south of the oil and gas-rich Recto Bank in the WPS. "The Chinese harassment towards Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea should stop now. It is high time that the Philippine Government exerts all efforts to ensure that China will recognize the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration Ruling and other international laws such as the UNCLOS," Tulfo said. Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier slammed China for being “reckless and irresponsible” after the militia of Chinese Coast Guard vessels engaged and "pursued” two Philippine Coast Guard vessels while on a resupply mission last 30 June. Hontiveros filed Senate Resolution 659 pressing the need for the government to raise the issue of the WPS to the UNGA. "We need the support of the wider international community to stop China's unbridled aggression,” Hontiveros previously said. The senate resolution urges the Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, “to sponsor a resolution before the UNGA calling on China to stop its harassment of Philippine vessels within the WPS.” The post Tulfo urges DFA to bring WPS issue in UNGA appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 27th, 2023

Beijing hits U.S. as arbitral ‘mastermind’

After several countries backed the 2016 arbitral ruling that favored the Philippines’ claim in the West Philippine Sea, China yesterday maintained the same to be “void.” “China’s position on the so-called South China Sea arbitration and the award is consistent, clear, and firm. The arbitral tribunal gravely violated UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) and general international law,” the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines said in a statement on Wednesday night. “The award is illegal, null, and void. China does not accept or recognize it and will never accept any claim or action based on the award,” it added. Likewise, the Chinese Embassy took a swipe at the United States for “playing up” the 2016 arbitral award to exert pressure on China. China averred that as “the mastermind behind the South China Sea arbitration,” the US “ropes in allies to play up the issue each year on the anniversary of the illegal award to gang up against China, exert pressure, and force China into accepting the award.” On Wednesday, the Philippines commemorated the seventh anniversary of the 12 July 2016 arbitral ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and received an outpouring of support from different countries. Foreign ministers and ambassadors from at least eight countries, such as the United States, Japan, the European Union, Australia, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, and India, reiterated their support for the landmark ruling. They also urged Beijing to recognize the arbitral ruling and stop its “harassment” in the South China Sea. Beijing, however, stood by its historic rights over the West Philippine Sea, which is part of the larger South China Sea.   “China’s sovereignty and relevant rights and interests in the South China Sea were established in the long course of history and are solidly grounded in history and the law. This shall under no circumstances be affected by any illegal award,” the embassy said. The post Beijing hits U.S. as arbitral ‘mastermind’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 13th, 2023

Unenforced arbitral ruling

It’s amusing to read the narratives of the European Union, Japan, Australia, and the United States on the binding force of the arbitral ruling favoring the Philippines on the conflicting claims in the South China Sea. The European Union consisting of Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, and Sweden, issued a statement describing the arbitral decision as “a significant milestone”, which is legally binding upon the parties to those proceedings, and a useful basis for peaceful resolving dispute between the parties. They lauded the arbitral award as a landmark decision. One problem with the EU statement is that it ignores the reality that China is consistently rejecting such arbitral ruling. Its irreversible position is that it never was a party to the proceeding as it refused to participate in the arbitration. It questioned the International Arbitration Court’s jurisdiction over it. Its stand at the very inception was — and still is: No participation. No recognition. No Implementation. Japan and Australia separately expressed their support to the Philippines in the matter of the arbitral ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Japan has been calling on China to comply with the permanent court’s ruling saying that “The claim by China that it will not accept the award is against the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with International law. In particular UNCLOS, and undermines the rule of law as a fundamental value of the international community.” Australia, for its part, reiterated its commitment to the Philippines in supporting the arbitral award even as deals with other thorny regional issues. Calling the arbitral ruling “final and legally binding”, the United States, speaking through a senior American official warned China to stop its “unacceptable” harassment and bullying of Philippine vessels in the South China Sea. It urged China, among others, “to comport its maritime claims with international law as reflected in the1982 of the Law of the Sea Convention, halt its disruption to state’s sovereign rights to explore, exploit, conserve, and manage natural resources; end its interference with the freedom of navigation and overflight of states lawfully operating in the region.” The US also reiterated its commitment to defend the Philippines under the Mutual Defense Treaty. As we come to the 7th year of the favorable award from the International Arbitration Court, there is still no visible hope that it will see its enforcement, notwithstanding the strong expression of support and reiteration of commitment by the countries aforementioned. As it was seven years ago when the arbitral ruling was handed down, there is presently no country nor an international organization that can flex its muscle to enforce the decision. For its part, the Philippines does not have the military might to implement it. Neither the European Union, Australia, nor Japan have thrown their resources toward assisting the country in enforcing the decision. The United States, despite its bold assurances and braggadocio, has not used its powerful forces to persuade China to accept the ruling. Our government has been regularly making diplomatic protests on every unlawful incursion by the Chinese Cost Guards on our territory, every harassment, every bullying incident in the West Philippine Sea but they have been completely ignored by the Chinese government. Perhaps it’s about time to pursue a different tact in dealing with China. Will expanding our trade relations with them helps? Will deepening our cultural relationship with them soften its stand on the contested territory? Will more intermarriages between our citizens deepen our friendship with China and alter its hostile stand on the South China Sea? Maybe we can try all of the above and let’s see how it goes. The post Unenforced arbitral ruling appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 13th, 2023

Allied nations tell China: Acknowledge arbitral ruling

The Philippines marked the seventh anniversary of its landmark victory against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration with an outpouring of support from different countries. At least eight nations on Wednesday renewed their support for the 2016 Hague ruling that cemented Manila’s claim to the West Philippine Sea. Diplomats from the United States, Japan, Australia, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and the European Union called on China to acknowledge the ruling and stop its “harassment” of claimant states in the South China Sea. On this day, seven years ago, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Netherlands favored the Philippines’ claim to the West Philippine Sea, rejecting China’s nine-dash line claim. “We continue to urge Beijing to comport its maritime claims with international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention; to cease its routine harassment of claimant state vessels lawfully operating in their respective exclusive economic zones; [and to] halt its disruption of states’ sovereign right to explore, exploit, conserve, and manage their natural resources,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. Miller called on Beijing to end its “interference” with the freedom of navigation and the overflight of states lawfully operating in the region. “We will continue working with allies and partners to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific, one that is at peace and grounded in respect for international law,” he said. Last week, Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked and carried out “dangerous maneuvers” against Philippine Coast Guard ships in the Ayungin Shoal. Beijing, however, countered Manila’s claim, saying the Chinese maneuvers were “professional and restrained.” It also insisted on its territorial claim over Ayungin Shoal, which it calls  Ren’ai Reef, saying the Philippines “intruded” into its waters. Ayungin Shoal is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. ‘Final, legally binding’ Japan also joined the growing pressure on China to recognize the 2016 arbitral ruling which it described as “final and legally binding.” “As the tribunal’s award is final and legally binding on the parties to the dispute under the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the parties to this case, the Philippines and China, are required to comply with the award,” Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshima said in a statement. “The claim by China that it will not accept the award is against the principle of the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, in particular UNCLOS, and undermines the rule of law as a fundamental value of the international community,” he added. According to Hayashi, Tokyo “strongly hopes” that the parties’ compliance with the award will “lead to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea.” “Upholding and reinforcing the free and open international order based on the rule of law will be to the benefit of all countries, large and small,” he said. He noted that Japan renewed its objection to China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea, saying that these were “inconsistent” with UNCLOS. He also said that it remained “seriously concerned” about the current situation in the area. “Japan will continue working in coordination with ASEAN and other countries concerned to maintain and strengthen the free and open international order based on the rule of law.”   ‘Strongly opposes’ Likewise, the European Union “strongly opposes” any “unilateral attempts” to change the peacefully established status of territories by “force or coercion” anywhere in the world, be it in Eastern Europe or the South China Sea. In a forum organized by the international think tank Stratbase ADRI Institute, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron reiterated that the Permanent Court of Arbitration laid down very clearly that there is “no legal basis” for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea. “We are one with the Philippines and other international partners in stressing the importance of upholding international law, including UNCLOS and the peaceful settlement of disputes as the basis for peace and stability in this part of the world, as elsewhere,” Veron said in his speech. “Respect for the rules-based international order is at the core of the EU’s approach towards cooperation in the Indo-Pacific,” he added. According to the envoy, the EU is “determined to work with the Philippines and other partners in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific and, more broadly, a free and open international order” based on the rule of law.” “The EU also stands ready to facilitate activities which help build confidence, and prevent and defuse tensions,” he said. Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu echoed the same sentiments, stressing that Canberra wants to see a “peaceful South China Sea where international law is respected and adhered to, and waterways are open for trade.” Yu also stressed that maritime claims inconsistent with UNCLOS are causing tensions in the Indo-Pacific region. “Australia is deeply concerned when countries pursue claims or engage in activities that are inconsistent with international law where they undertake activities that are provocative and destabilizing or where they don’t respect the rights and freedoms of others or when they advance their claims by intimidation and coercion,” she said. “UNCLOS provides the comprehensive legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas and it provides the foundation for peace and security and stability in the maritime domain,” she said. She continued: “Adherence to UNCLOS is vitally important for the region and maritime claims within the South China Sea or elsewhere must be consistent with it.” Outgoing French Ambassador Michèle Boccoz also supports Manila’s position in the West Philippine Sea, saying that Paris is “concerned” by the recent development in the area. “There is indeed no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea. This position was clearly stated in April during the G7 Foreign Ministers’ communiqué,” Boccoz said. “Also last week, together with the Philippines and other like-minded countries, France expressed its concern with regard to the recent developments involving Chinese vessels in the South China Sea,” she added. She also noted that France welcomes the growing support for the 2016 arbitral award while reaffirming its commitment to the Philippines. “In the current context of rising tensions, the relevance of the 2016 Award is gaining stronger momentum, as reflected by the wider support of like-minded nations,” she said. “We welcome this trend and we will continue to show our support. We will continue to walk the talk,” she added. Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran likewise expressed New Delhi’s support for the arbitral award. “Let me take a few minutes to also say that today’s discussion on the arbitral award is a reflection of the broader approach that both India and Asean have taken and our bilateral relations with the Philippines as well,” Kumaran said. “And accordingly, I think in the joint statement, we did recognize the need for adherence to international law and called for the arbitral award to be respected in that context,” he added. The post Allied nations tell China: Acknowledge arbitral ruling appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2023

US to China: Cease ‘routine harassment’ in SCS

China should stop with its “routine harassment” of vessels from claimant states that are lawfully operating in their respective exclusive economic zones, the United States said Tuesday (US time). The US State Department also called on China to recognize the 2016 The Hague ruling that favored the Philippines’ claims in the West Philippine Sea and rejected China’s nine-dash line claim. “We continue to urge Beijing to comport its maritime claims with international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention; cease its routine harassment of claimant state vessels lawfully operating in their respective exclusive economic zones; [and] halt its disruption to states’ sovereign rights to explore, exploit, conserve, and manage natural resources,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. Miller also called on Beijing to end its “interference” with freedom of navigation and overflight of states lawfully operating in the region. “We will continue working with allies and partners to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific, one that is at peace and grounded in respect for international law,” he said. The Philippines is commemorating the seventh anniversary of its landmark victory at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands that cemented Manila’s claims in the West Philippine Sea. On 12 July 2016, the Philippines won the arbitration case it filed against China in the PCA. China, however, rejected the arbitral ruling and stood by its historic rights nine-dash line claim. Just last week, Chinese Coast Guards vessels allegedly blocked and carried out “dangerous maneuvers” against Philippine Coast Guards vessels in the Ayungin Shoal, which is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. Beijing, however, countered Manila’s claim, stressing that the Chinese side’s maneuvers were “professional and restrained.” Likewise, it also insisted on its territorial claim over the Ayungin Shoal, which they called the Ren’ai Reef, stressing that the Philippines “intruded” into its waters. The post US to China: Cease ‘routine harassment’ in SCS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2023

China asks Philippines to stop activities, exercises in West Philippine Sea

China reasserted its claim of sovereignty over islets and land features in the West Philippine Sea and asked Manila to stop its activities in the resource-rich waters......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 27th, 2021

TURNING POINT: Putting an End to Repetitive Protest

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 12 December) – Once again, the Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest against China over its aggressions on the West Philippine Sea over the weekend, said a spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday. A Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel water-cannoned a Philippine resupply boat to stop from […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsDec 15th, 2023

WATCH: Philippines holds presser on ‘Chinese aggression, harassment’ in West Philippine Sea 

Spokespersons from the PCG, BFAR, AFP, DFA, and NSC hold a presser after weekend cases of harassment at the hands of the China Coast Guard.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 11th, 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

Generals, flag officers: China harassment disregards sea rules

China has clearly disregarded the international conventions on the Safety of Life at Sea and International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea following its Coast Guard’s latest aggressive actions against Philippine resupply boats in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippines, according to the Association of General and Flag Officers. AGFO strongly denounced the “dangerous maneuvers” of the Chinese Coast Guard and the Chinese maritime militia boats that collided with the Armed Forces of the Philippines-contracted resupply boat and Philippine Coast Guard escort vessel during the country’s re-provisioning mission to the BRP Sierra Madre, grounded in the Ayungin Shoal. “The latest harassments clearly reflect China's disregard of international conventions on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS 1974) and International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS 1972),” the AGFO statement read. AGFO believes China's intrusion in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone “aims to subvert the sovereign rights of the Filipino people, by unrestricted fishing, willful destruction of corals, and continued illegal presence.” As a signatory of the 1982 UNCLOS and a "party" to the 2016 Arbitral Ruling, China is “fully aware of maritime rights of coastal states” — that includes exploration and exploitation of marine and seabed resources and the preservation of the marine environment. But it continues to propagate contrary narratives, said the group. “From its actions and narratives, China has maintained its strategy in South China -- ignoring the 2016 Arbitral Ruling, employing its seagoing forces, reinforcing its artificially-built island bases, and wearing off other claimants -- to exercise undisputed control over the waterway,” AGFO underscored. “This strategy clearly reflects China's hegemonic behavior that intimidates weak nations, threatens the freedom of navigation therein and deprives the other claimants of their patrimony,” it added. AGFO expressed support to the Philippine government in considering crafting and implementing all necessary initiatives to preserve the country’s maritime entitlements in the West Philippine Sea. The post Generals, flag officers: China harassment disregards sea rules appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 27th, 2023

Protect WPS frontliners

Dear Editor, Recent events in the West Philippine Sea, in which Chinese vessels have used lasers and water cannons, and then intentionally bumped Philippine ships resupplying the BRP Sierra Madre, are showing ever-worsening acts of harassment by Indo-Pacific bully China.  Kudos to the brave men and women of the Armed Forces and the Coast Guard who have not blinked in the face of the blatant transgressions by Chinese forces that have made Philippine territorial waters their playground of mischief.  And the world has taken notice with many countries like the United States and Australia voicing their concern that China is getting more and more brazen in claiming the whole of the South China Sea as part of its sovereign domain.  Of course, China’s nine-dash-line claim had been thrown into the wastebasket by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016, while affirming the Philippines’ right to its 200-nautical exclusive economic zone within the WPS. Even as he was hosting no less than the Australian Prime Minister, US President Joe Biden just could not resist warning China that any attack by it against any Philippine vessel in the WPS would put in play America’s Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines. Whether China would dial down its antics in the WPS remains to be seen, however.  Over the years, China has asserted its ownership of Ayungin Shoal and other areas in the WPS, disregarding the arbitral ruling. Even if China argues that Philippine vessels are transporting construction materials to repair the BRP Sierra Madre, it does not justify its actions.  It is well within the rights of the Philippines to repair its commissioned Navy ship serving as a permanent troop outpost in what is, after all, our territory.  Ayungin is just over 100 nautical miles from Palawan, while it is over a thousand miles away from China. So how can China ever claim it to be part of its territory?  In addition to lodging protests and sending diplomatic notes to Beijing, the government should prioritize the well-being of those stationed in the West Philippine Sea, as they consistently face dangers while fulfilling their duty to safeguard the country’s territories. I sincerely hope that the government will take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of these individuals from China’s evident acts of intimidation. Brent Cruz sensui_mavi@yahoo.com The post Protect WPS frontliners appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 27th, 2023