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Philippines to China: Be accountable, remove illegal structures

The Department of Foreign Affairs urged Beijing to dismantle its infrastructures, halt all reclamations, and take full accountability for the damages caused in the West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarNov 16th, 2023

Senators seek removal of floating barrier in Bajo de Masinloc

Senators on Sunday sought the removal of the floating barrier installed by China in Bajo de Masinloc, a traditional fishing ground for Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea. In separate statements, Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Tolentino, called on the Philippine government to remove the floating barrier around Bajo de Masinloc, which prevents Filipino fishermen from entering the shoal for their livelihood activities. According to Zubiri, China has “no right to put any structures within our exclusive economic zone,” referring to the floating barriers allegedly installed by the Chinese Coast Guard around Bajo de Masinloc. “These structures pose a danger on passing fishing boats that can get entangled on the lines and cause considerable damage to the propellers and engines of our fisherfolk,” he said in a message to reporters on Viber. “Therefore I would like to request our Philippine Coast Guard to immediately cut and remove all these illegal structures located at our West Philippine Sea not just to assert our sovereign rights to the area but to protect our fishermen from any possible accidents that may arise from these illegal structures,” he added. The Philippine Coast Guard on early Sunday reported the presence of a floating barrier in the southern portion of Bajo de Masincloc – allegedly installed by China. The Senate chief expressed gratitude to the PCG for its “untiring ang unwavering commitment to watch and protect the areas within our Exclusive Economic Zones and Bajo de Masinloc is well within our 12NM territory.” “We in the Senate stand by our brave men and women who risk their lives for the freedoms that we enjoy today,” he said. Senator Francis Tolentino, who chairs the Senate Special Committee on Maritime and Admiralty Zones, echoed the Senate chief’s request on the PCG. “I agree with the removal of the floating barrier because it is not allowed to do it. It signifies a restricted zone,” Tolentino said in a separate statement on Filipino. According to him, only the Philippines is allowed to install floating barriers in emergencies such as oil spills or if its part of aquaculture management as a temporary measure. “Bajo de Masinloc is 120 nautical miles only from Zambales. Our fishermen should not be stopped by China from fishing in our fence,” he said. “China violated international law when it installed the floating barrier. It should be removed immediately. The PCG is correct in assisting our fishermen,” he added. Cruelty For her part, Hontiveros described the recent China’s act as “cruelty.” “China’s cruelty knows no bounds. They have no shame in blocking our fishermen from their own waters,” she said. “Filipino fisherfolk are among the poorest in our country. They only rely on our seas for their food and their livelihood,” she added. The opposition senator reiterated China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, particularly the recent coral destruction along Rozul Reef and Escoda Shoal. “The next generation would no longer benefit from these natural resources,” she said. “We will not allow China to starve our fellow Filipinos to death. I trust that the Philippine Coast Guard can escort our fisherfolk and ensure that they pass through the floating barriers,” she added. Hontiveros renewed her call to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to review the current national policy towards China. “We should no longer accept acts like this going unpunished. If we allow China’s bullying to continue, it will cost the lives of our own people,” she stressed. The Daily Tribune sought comments from the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Chinese Embassy in Manila about the developments in the West Philippine Sea, but they have yet to respond as of press time. The post Senators seek removal of floating barrier in Bajo de Masinloc appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 24th, 2023

Barrier removal BBM’s call — PCG

Dismantling the floating barrier that China installed at Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc is a matter for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to decide, a Philippine Coast Guard official said yesterday. Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, said they had reported the discovery of the 300-meter barrier to the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea, or NTF-WPS. “Should the NTF-WPS recommend to the President the actions to be taken, the PCG, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and even the Armed Forces of the Philippines would comply,” Tarriela said. Tarriela was apparently reacting to the call made by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri for the PCG to remove the barrier as it poses a danger to Filipino fishermen and keeps them from the shoal’s rich fishing grounds. Tarriela, however, said the PCG had yet to consult with Mr. Marcos and other officials of the national government on what to do about the barrier. The PCG said three China Coast Guard inflatable boats backed by a Chinese maritime militia vessel installed the floating barrier. Also on Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs vowed to press the Philippines’ sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal. “We will take all appropriate measures to protect our country’s sovereignty and the livelihood of our fisherfolk,” the DFA said. “Bajo de Masinloc is an integral part of the Philippines over which we have sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction according to UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea),” the DFA said. In 2012, Chinese and Philippine vessels faced each other in a standoff at the shoal, which was defused when the Philippines withdrew its ships, which China did not do with its ships despite an agreement to do so. China has since maintained control of the shoal even after a 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration deemed the shoal to be part of the Philippines’ 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea. The landmark ruling, which also dismissed as illegal China’s claim to nearly the entire South China Sea, arose from a case filed by the Philippines before the arbitral court in 2013. China, however, has refused to abide by the ruling. “The 2016 Arbitral Award affirms it (Bajo de Masinloc) as a traditional fishing ground for Filipino fisherfolk,” the DFA pointed out. “China’s reported installation of barriers and its negative impact on the livelihood of Filipino fisherfolk or any other activity that infringes on the Philippines’ sovereignty and jurisdiction in Bajo de Masinloc are violations of international law, particularly UNCLOS and the Arbitral Award,” it added. The installation of the barrier was roundly criticized by European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron, who described it as “deeply concerning.” In a tweet, Veron said the “floating barrier is dangerous, detrimental to the livelihood of Philippines fishermen, and disregards the peace-driven objectives of UNCLOS.” The post Barrier removal BBM’s call — PCG appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023

Phl to UN: Uphold int’l law to keep Indo-Pacific free, open

Adherence to international law by all nations would maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region, the Philippines said Sunday. Speaking on behalf of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York City, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo reiterated that all countries are accountable for maintaining a rules-based global order. “Its present and future rest on the predictability and stability of international law, which safeguards the rights of all states. If multilateralism is to endure, all states must adhere to the rule of law,” Manalo said. “Guided by an independent foreign policy, the Philippines actively works with nations to promote a rules-based international order,” he added. Quoting President Marcos, Manalo stressed that the Philippines is “a friend to all and enemy to none.” The DFA chief also said that the Philippines advocates the “peaceful settlement of disputes, in accordance with international law.” “This has always been our position with respect to the disputes in the West Philippine Sea, inasmuch as we are prepared to defend our sovereignty, sovereign rights and territorial integrity,” he said. “Our Constitution renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to a policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations,” he added. In his speech, the country’s top diplomat also pointed out that the 2016 Arbitral Award on the South China Sea is “now part of international law.” China claims the vast South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, with its historic nine-dash line claim, which the Permanent Court of Arbitration invalidated after siding with the Philippines. 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. For Manalo, all nations must adhere to international law to sustain stability in the Indo-Pacific region. "Adherence to international law contributes to keeping the Indo-Pacific, with ASEAN at the center, free and open and our region stable and peaceful. In line with this, we are guided by the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific,” he said. The post Phl to UN: Uphold int’l law to keep Indo-Pacific free, open appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 24th, 2023

‘NBN-ZTE, China’s first salvo’

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Monday refuted a claim that it was his father, former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, who promised China the BRP Sierra Madre would be removed from Ayungin Shoal. Ejercito pointed out that it was his father who ordered in 1999 that the World War II-era ship be run aground to bolster the Philippines’ sovereignty claim to what was also called the Second Thomas Shoal. The senator was reacting to a former government official’s claim in an opinion piece in a national daily that it was Estrada who promised the Chinese the Sierra Madre would be removed. “That claim seems inconsistent. The mere fact that President Estrada was the one who ordered the BRP Sierra Madre be grounded on Ayungin Shoal, it’s impossible that he would commit to removing the same,” he told reporters in a Viber message. Ejercito also took a swipe at the ex-official in connection with a controversial project the administration he worked for entered into with China. “At least President Erap had the courage to fight for our sovereignty,” the senator said. “Unlike them who paved the way for the NBN-ZTE, the first salvo of Chinese intrusions in our country.” Estrada’s son to former actress Guia Gomez was referring to the canceled National Broadband Network project with ZTE Corp., a Chinese telecommunications firm. China continues to insist it has territorial rights over Ayungin Shoal, which is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, as affirmed by a 2016 arbitral ruling.   No such pledge After a China Coast Guard vessel used a water cannon in an attempt to drive away Philippine Coast Guard-led resupply boats headed to the BRP Sierra Madre last 5 August, Beijing claimed the Philippines had pledged to tow away the scuttled tank landing ship that serves as the Philippines’ outpost on Ayungin. In reaction, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he knew of no such promise by the Philippine government to remove the Sierra Madre, adding that if there was such a pledge made by a past administration, he was rescinding it. “Who was closer to China? Was it Erap? The VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) was in fact approved during his time,” Ejercito averred, referring to the military cooperation deal between the Philippines and the United States. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines decided in 1999 to deploy the BRP Sierra Madre as a permanent station on Ayungin Shoal in response to China’s illegal occupation of Panganiban Reef in 1995. The deployment was years ahead, according to the DFA, of the conclusion in 2002 of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. “[It] is therefore not a violation of the DOC,” the DFA pointed out. The post ‘NBN-ZTE, China’s first salvo’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 14th, 2023

JV: Not my father who made ‘deal’ to remove BRP Sierra Madre

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Monday refuted claims that it was his father, former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, who made an alleged agreement with China to remove the BRP Sierra Madre from the Ayungin Shoal. Ejercito said the claim that it was his father who committed to removing the BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal is “impossible,” since it was Estrada who ordered the grounding of the World War II ship in the low-tide elevation. “That claim seems inconsistent. The mere fact President Estrada was the one who ordered the BRP Sierra Madre be grounded in Ayungin Shoal, it’s impossible he will commit to remove the same,” he told reporters in a Viber message. He also took a swipe against columnist Rigoberto Tiglao, who claimed it was his father who made such a commitment to China. “At least President Erap had the courage to fight for our sovereignty,” he said. “Unlike them who paved the way for NBN-ZTE, the first salvo of Chinese intrusions in our country,” he added, referring to the canceled National Broadband Network project with ZTE Corp., a Chinese telecommunications firm, during the time of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, now Pampanga 2nd District Representative. Tiglao served as the former presidential spokesperson and Chief of Staff of Arroyo, who served as the 14th president of the Philippines following the ouster of Estrada during the second People Power Revolution or EDSA II in 2001. China is insisting on its territorial rights over the Ayungin Shoal, which is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. It also claimed the Philippine government had repeatedly made promises to tow away the grounded BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal. “Who was closer to China? Was it Erap? The VFA was in fact approved also during his time,” said Ejercito, referring to the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines decided in 1999 to deploy the BRP Sierra Madre as a permanent station on Ayungin Shoal in response to China’s illegal occupation of Panganiban Reef in 1995. It also explained that the Philippine station on Ayungin Shoal was deployed in 1999, years ahead of the conclusion in 2002 of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. “[It] is therefore not a violation of the DOC,” the DFA pointed out. The post JV: Not my father who made ‘deal’ to remove BRP Sierra Madre appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2023

 Phl ‘promise’ to tow away BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin, not under my Pa’s term – Ejercito

Senator Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito on Thursday asserted that it was not his father, former President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, who allegedly promised China that the Philippines would remove the BRP Sierra Madre in the Ayungin Shoal. “It was former President Joseph Estrada who ordered that BRP Sierra Madre be placed in Ayungin Shoal in 1999 as a symbol of our sovereignty and to mark our territory,” Ejercito said in a statement. “I cannot recall such a commitment from the Philippine government to remove the Sierra Madre,” he added. Over the weekend, China claimed that the Philippines had promised to tow away the grounded BRP Sierra Madre at the Ayungin Shoal. "The Philippine side has repeatedly made clear promises to tow away the warship illegally 'stranded' on the reef," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. In a separate statement, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines further supports Beijing's claim that the Philippines promised to tow away the vessel several times. “For instance, in November 1999, the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines met with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Domingo Siazon and Chief of the Presidential Management Staff Leonora de Jesus to make another round of representations. Many times the Philippines promised to tow away the vessel, but it has taken no action,” the embassy said. “In September 2003, upon the news that the Philippines was preparing to build facilities around that military vessel illegally run aground at Ren'ai Jiao, China lodged immediate representations. The Philippine Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs Franklin Ebdalin responded that the Philippines had no intention to construct facilities on Ren'ai Jiao and that, as a signatory to the DOC, the Philippines had no desire to and would not be the first to violate the Declaration,” it added. On Wednesday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. denied that the Philippine government made such a promise to China. “I’m not aware of any such arrangement or agreement that the Philippines will remove from its own territory its ship, in this case, the BRP Sierra Madre from the Ayungin Shoal,” Marcos said in a video message. He also asserted that he is rescinding any commitment should there be an agreement between the two countries to remove the vessel. "And let me go further, if there does exist such an agreement, I rescind that agreement now,” Marcos said. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines decided in 1999 to deploy the BRP Sierra Madre as a permanent station on Ayungin Shoal in response to China’s illegal occupation of Panganiban Reef in 1995. “The deployment of a Philippine military station in its own areas of jurisdiction is an inherent right of the Philippines and does not violate any laws,” it added. The agency also explained that the Philippine station on Ayungin Shoal was deployed in 1999, years ahead of the conclusion in 2002 of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. “[It] is therefore not a violation of the DOC,” it pointed out. The DFA also reiterated that China Coast Guard’s actions on 5 August which includes the use of water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels were in violation of the relevant provisions of the 1982 UNCLOS, the Award on the 2016 South China Sea Arbitration, the 1972 COLREGS, and the 2002 ASEAN-China DOC. “The 2016 Arbitral Award is based on UNCLOS and affirms UNCLOS. It is final, legal and binding,” the agency said. The post  Phl ‘promise’ to tow away BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin, not under my Pa’s term – Ejercito appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 10th, 2023

Malacañang denies govt promised China to remove BRP Sierra Madre

  Malacañang denied rumors on Wednesday that the Philippine government promised China to remove the BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal. Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil made the clarification to Palace reporters after China claimed that the Philippine government had earlier promised to remove the vessel in the Ayungin Shoal, which Beijing calls Ren’ai Jiao. "No such thing," Garafil said in a message to reporters, echoing the statement of the Department of Foreign Affairs that BRP Sierra Madre will remain stay at Ayungin Shoal. The ship has been stationed at Ayungin Shoal since 1999 to assert the Philippines' sovereignty over the area. China, however, claims Ayungin Shoal as part of its territory. "In 1999, the Philippines sent a military vessel and deliberately ran it aground at Ren’ai Jiao, attempting to change the status quo of Ren’ai Jiao illegally. The Philippines promised several times to tow it away but has yet to act,” read a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ayungin can be found at a distance of 105.77 nautical miles from the nearest Philippine province, Palawan. It forms an integral part of the Philippines' 200-nautical mile continental shelf, a provision outlined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Ayungin Shoal is also more than 1,000 kilometers from China's nearest major landmass, Hainan island. Over the weekend, the Philippine Coast Guard reported that the China Coast Guard engaged in hazardous maneuvers and used water cannons against Philippine vessels involved in supplying military troops stationed aboard the BRP Sierra Madre with essentials like food, water, fuel, and other necessities. Subsequent to the incident, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the Philippine government sent a note verbale to China. Additionally, the President underscored that the Philippines will continue to assert its territorial claims within the West Philippine Sea. China, however, has defended its recent actions as "professional" and accused the Philippines of "illegal delivery of construction materials" to the grounded ship. "Twenty-four years have passed, the Philippine side has not only failed to tow away the warship but also attempted to repair and reinforce it on a large scale to achieve permanent occupation of the Ren'ai Reef," a foreign ministry spokesperson said, using the Chinese term for the Ayungin Shoal. China also said last month that it does not acknowledge or accept the 2016 ruling of the South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal by the Philippines. This ruling determined that Beijing's assertion of near-total control over the South China Sea lacked a valid basis. The post Malacañang denies govt promised China to remove BRP Sierra Madre appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 9th, 2023

China demands Philippines remove grounded ship from disputed waters

  China Tuesday renewed calls for the Philippines to remove an ageing ship from a reef which Manila uses to press its stake in the Spratly Islands in defiance of Beijing's claim to nearly the entire South China Sea. The move comes after the Philippines at the weekend accused the China Coast Guard of firing water cannon against boats on a resupply mission to its garrison stationed on the grounded vessel. The BRP Sierra Madre -- deliberately grounded in the late 1990s in an effort to check the advance of China in the hotly contested waters -- has long been a flashpoint between Manila and Beijing. The handful of Philippine marines deployed on the crumbling vessel depend upon resupply missions to survive their remote posting. The Philippine military and coast guard accused the China Coast Guard of breaking international law by blocking and firing water cannon at the resupply mission, preventing one of the charter boats from reaching the shoal. Beijing has defended its actions as "professional" and accused Manila of "illegal delivery of construction materials" to the grounded ship. "The Philippine side has repeatedly made clear promises to tow away the warship illegally 'stranded' on the reef," a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry said Tuesday. "Twenty-four years have passed, the Philippine side has not only failed to tow away the warship, but also attempted to repair and reinforce it on a large scale to achieve permanent occupation of the Ren'ai Reef," they added, using the Chinese term for the Second Thomas Shoal. "The Chinese side once again urges the Philippines to immediately tow away the 'stranded' warship from the Ren'ai Reef and restore the status of no one and no facilities on the reef," they said. - 'Illegal activities' - Second Thomas Shoal is about 200 kilometres (120 miles) from the Philippine island of Palawan and more than 1,000 kilometres from China's nearest major landmass, Hainan island. China's coast guard and navy vessels routinely block or shadow Philippine ships patrolling the contested waters, Manila says. The Philippines has issued more than 400 diplomatic protests to Beijing since 2020 over its "illegal activities" in the South China Sea, the foreign ministry said. China appeared to be "trying to gauge our commitment to supply our troops" at the shoal, National Security Council spokesman Jonathan Malaya told reporters on Monday. "For the record, we will never abandon Ayungin Shoal," Malaya added, using the Philippine name for Second Thomas Shoal. Saturday's "David and Goliath" incident showed the Chinese had established what appeared to be a "blockade" of the shoal, Malaya said. Manila and Beijing have a long history of maritime disputes over the South China Sea but former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte was seen as cosying up to China in the hope of attracting investment. Since succeeding Duterte, President Ferdinand Marcos has insisted he will not let China trample on his country's maritime rights, seeking to strengthen defence ties with former colonial ruler and longtime ally the United States. ehl-oho/je/mtp © Agence France-Presse The post China demands Philippines remove grounded ship from disputed waters appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2023

Legarda condemns China’s ‘illegal’ water-cannon action in WPS

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda joined her Senate colleagues in condemning  the recent actions of China in the West Philippine Sea. "We condemn in the highest form China Coast Guard’s (CCG’s) recent blockage, dangerous maneuvers, and use of water cannons against the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessels escorting boats chartered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on 5 August 2023. These actions are not only reckless, but they are also illegal and have endangered the lives of Filipinos," said the statement released by Legarda's office. China's actions violate "international conventions, endangering our crew at sea. We demand that the China Coast Guard respect our sovereign rights, refrain from hindering freedom of navigation, and hold those involved accountable. Safe access to Ayungin Shoal is crucial for supplying our military troops," it stressed. Legarda also said that China must follow international law, pointing out that "Ayungin Shoal is a low tide elevation part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, pursuant to the 1982 UNCLOS and as affirmed by the 2016 Arbitral Award. This is final and binding." "We commend the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for its prompt action by filing a diplomatic protest against China and summoning Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian over the incident. We also call on the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure the well-being of those involved," she said. The post Legarda condemns China’s ‘illegal’ water-cannon action in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 7th, 2023

Wise up, China and Russia

Dear Editor   “The map is not the territory.” — Alfred Korzybski China and Russia can have and keep their respective maps with all their might. In the case of China, it is its map of the entire South China Sea, but not the sea itself because no Philippine territory (West Philippine Sea to be specific) is owned by any foreign country. In China’s nine-dash line map, Chinese officials are free to commit all the aggressions and bullying they want to do and no nation will protest, not even the Philippines. They can build as many illegal structures there as they want and our government will not file for sure a single note verbale because Filipinos respect China’s dignity. Furthermore, there is no need for the Philippine government (in such an instance) to assert the ruling of the Arbitral Court that found there is no more need for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prepare for the defense of our maritime territory against China. And what about the Philippines continually expecting the promised support/backing of big, developed nations like the  United States, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, the entire European Union and many other thinking nations for any eventuality — in defense of what belongs to Filipinos in the disputed sea? By the way, China’s nine-dash line is stranger than fiction, according to world experts. Are you willing/ready and capable to going to war with the world, dear China? German Chancellor/dictator Adolf Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, which triggered World War 2, yet Hitler was the one who ended up invaded by hell as he ultimately committed suicide in 1945, out of frustration and desperation, or guilt. Aside from many other lesser crimes against humanity that evil Hitler committed, he massacred over six million Jews at the altar of his selfish and narcissistic ambition. Unforgivable. Pray that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin would take a cue from Hitler’s colossal blunder — vis-a-vis the West Philippine Sea, Ukraine and Taiwan. I read somewhere two years ago that a Western superpower has advanced scientifically and technologically in ways unprecedented and unparalleled in the matter of military might. I was led to ask: What nation could be more powerful than this nation which has the knack/capability, an unseen weaponry or “mechanism” in space to detect and redirect at the same time any kind of nuclear bomb launched against it — back to its point of origin? Watch out and wise up, China, Russia (and North Korea)! Learn from world history before it’s too late. Wouldn’t you behave and allow sanity, civility, reason and peace to prevail? What seems to be so difficult about the act when it won’t even cost you a dime or a single, precious human life to do it? Remember, good always triumphs over bad.   Reni M. Valenzuela renivalenzuelaletters@yahoo.com The post Wise up, China and Russia appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2023

China urges Philippines not to play with fire on Taiwan question

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday urged the Philippines not to "play with fire" on the Taiwan question. According to reports, the Philippines' defense chief has ordered the military to boost the number of troops and structures on the Batanes islands which are less than 200 km from China's Taiwan region. In response at a daily press briefing, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Minis.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2024

China urges Philippines not to play with fire on Taiwan question

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday urged the Philippines not to "play with fire" on the Taiwan question. According to reports, the Philippines' defense chief has ordered the military to boost the number of troops and structures on the Batanes islands which are less than 200 km from China's Taiwan region. In response at a daily press briefing, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Minis.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2024

China blasts proposed permanent Filipino structures in Ayungin, calls it illegal

Beijing's Foreign Ministry vehemently opposed plans by Manila's government to construct a permanent structure within the West Philippine Sea to shelter Filipino fisherfolk, calling the move as "inconsistent with international law.".....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 30th, 2023

FACT CHECK | Columnist echoes China’s claim regarding non-existent pact on grounded PH vessel in West Philippine Sea

Manila Times columnist Rigoberto D. Tiglao has echoed China’s claim that the Philippines had an agreement with Beijing to remove the BRP Sierra Madre from the Ayungin Shoal in the disputed West Philippine Sea, even if the Chinese government could not produce proof of such an agreement and Manila had denied there is no official […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2023

Philippines, US vow closer coordination amid worsening China acts

With China becoming bolder in harassing Filipinos and committing illegal activities in Philippine territorial waters, top military officials of the Philippines and the United States held a teleconference last Monday to discuss the need for them to work more closely in addressing pressing security issues in the region......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 12th, 2023

Marcos says Philippines undeterred by China s actions in WPS

Marcos stressed that China’s “illegal presence in our waters and dangerous actions against our citizens is an outright and blatant violation of international law and the rules-based international order.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 11th, 2023

PH calls out China on illegal structures and reclamation in West PH Sea | The wRap

The wRap highlights: West PH Sea, Leni Robredo, Leila de Lima, Michelle Dee | The wRap.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 16th, 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

Japan, U.S.: ‘We got your back’

Key allies of the country expressed their unwavering support after a Chinese Coast Guard ship intentionally collided with a Philippine Navy boat to stop a resupply mission to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre on Ayungin Shoal. Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. described the maneuver as an escalation of China’s aggression within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. Japan issued a statement expressing support after the incident. “Japan expresses serious concern for actions which increase regional tensions, including a dangerous action that caused a collision between Chinese and Filipino ships on 22 October,” the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. It added that Japan believes the issue of the South China Sea is directly related to the peace and stability in the region and is a legitimate concern of the international community, including Japan. “Thus, Japan opposes any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force as well as any actions that increase tensions in the South China Sea,” it said. Citing the Japan-Philippines Joint Statement last February, the Foreign Ministry said the “government of Japan concurs with the Philippines’ long-standing objections to unlawful maritime claims, militarization, coercive activities, and threat or use of force in the South China Sea.” “Furthermore, Japan highly appreciates the government of the Philippines for having consistently complied with the arbitral tribunal’s award as to the disputes between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China regarding the South China Sea, and has shown its commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the (West Philippine Sea), as stated in the statement by the Foreign Minister of Japan issued on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the issuance of the award,” it said. Japan said it would continue to cooperate with the international community, such as the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the United States, to “protect free, open and peaceful seas.” ‘Ironclad’ vow The United States, meanwhile, reiterated its “ironclad” commitment to the Philippines. According to a White House statement, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan assured National Security Adviser Eduardo Año of US support in safeguarding its sovereign rights in the WPS under the Mutual Defense Treaty between both nations. “Sullivan reiterated US support for our Philippine allies following the PRC Coast Guard and maritime militia’s dangerous and unlawful actions on 22 October, obstructing a routine Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal,” the statement read. “Sullivan emphasized the ironclad US commitments to the Philippines under theUS-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, which extends to armed attacks on Philippine public vessels, aircraft and armed forces — to include those of its Coast Guard — in the Pacific, including in the West Philippine Sea,” it added. Signed in 1951, the Philippines and the United States agreed that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declared that it would act to meet the common dangers by its constitutional processes. The White House said Sullivan and Año “reaffirmed the enduring alliance and friendship between our nations and discussed upcoming US-Philippine engagements and ways to further strengthen our close partnership.” Manila vs Beijing Both Manila and Beijing condemned the incident, which they said violated their sovereign rights over Ayungin Shoal, a low-tide elevation in the WPS. The two countries traded blame for the incident, which also sparked concern from Australia, Canada and South Korea. In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration rejected Beijing’s historical nine-dash line claim to the WPS. Militia boats utilized Teodoro labeled the Chinese actions near the shoal as deliberate. “Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels, in blatant violation of international law, harassed and intentionally hit the Unaiza May 2 and Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Cabra,” Teodoro said. “We are here to decry in the strongest terms this egregious violation and illegal act within the Philippines’ 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and the obfuscation of the truth by China’s distorting of the story to fit its own ends.” His comments came hours after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met with security officials and ordered the Coast Guard to investigate the incident, which was “being taken seriously at the highest levels of government,” Malacañang said. The military monitored “a large number of Chinese maritime militia vessels” swarming in the West Philippine Sea, National Security Council spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, said. In a television interview, Malaya said these vessels were spotted “not only in the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc but also in other features, including (Scarborough Shoal) and Sabina (Escoda) Shoal.” “We are alarmed by the environmental degradation our Coast Guard ships were able to monitor in these areas,” he told the ANC. Malaya noted that environmental degradation or coral destruction would directly impact the livelihood of the fishermen in the WPS. “Sometimes we forget the reasons why we are pushing our rights in the WPS. Some critics say this is just posturing on the part of the Philippines or a tug-of-war between China and the Philippines. No, this is not,” he stressed. “This is a battle for the resources of our country, particularly for our fishermen, so that when we monitor coral destruction in parts of the WPS, it alarms the government because it directly impacts the livelihood of our fishermen,” he said. Malaya also slammed China’s “maligned information operation” and sharing of “false narratives” in its sweeping claims on the WPS. “Definitely, there’s a maligned information operation going on nowadays that is shared to the public and we are just happy it is not just the Philippine government that is sharing our side here — we have allies, if we may call them witnesses, from the media,” he said. The post Japan, U.S.: ‘We got your back’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 24th, 2023

Manila says Chinese vessels ‘intentionally’ hit Philippine boats

Manila said Monday that Chinese vessels "intentionally hit" Philippine boats at the weekend, escalating a diplomatic row over two collisions in the South China Sea. The countries have traded blame over Sunday's incidents near Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands, with both sides filing diplomatic protests and releasing videos to support their accusations. The two collisions happened during a Philippine resupply mission to troops stationed on a navy vessel that was grounded on the shoal in 1999 to assert Manila's territorial claims. Philippine officials accused a Chinese coastguard ship and a "militia" vessel of "dangerous maneuvering" that resulted in collisions with a Philippine resupply boat and a Philippine Coast Guard vessel. Philippine Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro took it one step further Monday, labelling the Chinese actions near Second Thomas Shoal deliberate. "Chinese coast guard and maritime militia vessels, in blatant violation of international law, harassed and intentionally hit Unaiza May 2 and Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Cabra," Teodoro said. "We are here to really decry in the strongest possible terms this egregious violation and illegal act within the (Philippines') 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone and the obfuscation of the truth by China's distorting the story to fit its own ends." His comments came hours after Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos met with security officials and ordered the coastguard to investigate the incident, which was "being taken seriously at the highest level of government", his communications team said. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning on Monday accused the Philippines of "continuing to spread false information and hype things up". Earlier Monday, the Philippine foreign ministry summoned China's ambassador to Manila and lodged a diplomatic protest over the incident. Spokeswoman Teresita Daza said the ambassador was unavailable and was represented by his deputy chief of mission. "Ayungin Shoal is part of our exclusive economic zone and continental shelf and we have sovereign rights and jurisdiction over it," Daza said, using the Philippine name for the shoal. The Chinese foreign ministry and embassy in Manila also issued "stern representations to the Philippines" over its "infringements" at Ren'ai Reef, Mao said, using China's name for Second Thomas Shoal. China has said a "slight collision" happened after the Philippine resupply boat ignored "multiple warnings and deliberately passed through law enforcement in an unprofessional and dangerous manner". In the other incident, China accused the Philippine Coast Guard of reversing in a "premeditated manner" into a Chinese fishing vessel. No Filipino crew member was injured, but the supply boat was damaged and forced to turn back, Philippine officials said. A second supply boat reached the tiny garrison on the grounded BRP Sierra Madre and unloaded its cargo. Manila's longtime ally Washington has led a chorus of international criticism of China's alleged interference in the resupply mission. The US State Department on Sunday reiterated its mutual defence pact with the Philippines "extends to armed attacks on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft –- including those of its Coast Guard –- anywhere in the South China Sea". 'Arbitral ruling is binding' China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, and has ignored a 2016 international ruling that its assertion has no legal basis. Second Thomas Shoal is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan, and more than 1,000 kilometers from China's nearest major landmass, Hainan island. Previously warm ties between Manila and Beijing have cooled since Marcos took power in June 2022, as he seeks stronger relations with the United States. The Marcos administration has publicly criticized Chinese actions in the South China Sea, publishing photos and videos to support its claims of Chinese harassment and the blocking of its vessels. Beijing has released its own images of the incidents. Despite the challenges, the Philippines would "continue to do what is necessary" to supply its troops on the BRP Sierra Madre with provisions, said Jonathan Malaya, assistant director general of the National Security Council. Manila and Beijing have a long history of maritime disputes in the South China Sea. Tensions flared in August when China Coast Guard vessels used water cannon against a Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal, preventing one of the boats from delivering its cargo. The post Manila says Chinese vessels ‘intentionally’ hit Philippine boats appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023