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Recto Bank tactics

After years of being ordered by a pro-China leader to bite their tongues, Filipino security officials are now vocal and blunt about China’s devilish schemes in the West Philippine Sea or WPS. For their refreshing candor, our Coast Guard and military officials deserve our unequivocal cheers. Significant too is the fact that they’ve taken to heart one of China’s tactics of camouflaging armed Chinese maritime militia vessels as “innocent fishing boats” when our officials raised alarms last week that some 50 Chinese militia vessels were presently “swarming” Iroquois Reef, which is part of the crucial Recto Bank. “Swarming” is a threadbare Chinese scheme that’s often a prelude to China occupying South China Sea’s contested maritime features like reefs and banks. “Swarming” eventually proceeds to China constructing outright militarized artificial islands. As it is, the tactic begins with “swarming the area for a very long period. If you fail to notice them, they will increase their number eventually until they occupy the area,” says Coast Guard spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela. Our military and Coast Guard officials vow the necessary measures against the intruders in natural gas-rich Recto Bank (Reed Bank as it is internationally known), which is well within the Philippines’ 370-kilometer (200-nautical miles) exclusive economic zone. The Permanent Court of Arbitration or PCA ruled in 2016 that Recto Bank was within the Philippine EEZ, granting the country economic rights over the area. China refuses to recognize the ruling and claims the area as being within its territory, courtesy of a fictitious nine-dash line that’s attempting to turn a vast sea into a lake. Geographically, Iroquois Reef — locally called Del Pilar Reef — is part of the expansive Recto Bank, shorthand for a cluster of underwater banks and shoals located in an area of the shallow sea between Palawan and the Spratly Islands. Ignoring what is happening at Recto Bank is to our peril, harming not only our political interests but more importantly, our economic interests. Politically, the late President Noynoy Aquino unforgettably quipped, “Setting foot on Recto Bank is no different from setting foot on Recto Avenue.” Economically, since 1968, the Philippines, China, Taiwan and Vietnam have laid claim to Recto Bank in the hope of striking it rich by finding oil. Despite such enrichment prospects, no regional government has struck black gold anywhere in the South China Sea, however. But, says maritime expert Gregory B. Polling, “Unlike in 1968, now all the claimants know that there is no commercially viable oil and gas around the islands themselves. The exploitable basins are along the coasts and in a handful of underwater features like Reed Bank and Vanguard Bank.” Natural gas, therefore, is by far the more plentiful resource at Recto Bank. But in exploiting the natural gas, as Polling points out, “the only commercially viable way to extract it is to transport it by pipeline for use or processing on shore.” Pretty much how our Malampaya gas fields, predicted to run out in a few years, operate. Still, even if it wrests Recto Ban from us crafty China will find its adventure costly. China will need to lay an undersea pipeline across nearly 1,000 miles of difficult geography and contested waters to access the gas. “On-site liquefaction is the only other option,” says Polling. “But even if a company wanted to try, it is hard to see how it could compete with the liquefied natural gas produced more cheaply elsewhere.” So the only viable use for the natural gas at Recto Bank is for electricity generation by the nearest coastal state, which happens to be our country. “The gas from Reed Bank is no good to anyone outside the Philippines,” says Polling. So if the aggressive tactics of both the Chinese paramilitaries and Coast Guard aren’t readily explained by economics, China’s political and strategic concerns explain everything. It is in this political context that our Coast Guard’s proactive maneuver of consistently and publicly illuminating China’s aggressive tactics in the WPS works. China can’t long endure international embarrassment and condemnation. The post Recto Bank tactics appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource: abscbn abscbnJul 15th, 2023

Landbank-DBP merger not pushing through – Recto

The planned legal merger of the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines is no longer pushing through as Finance Secretary Ralph Recto deviates yet again from his predecessor......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2024

Fight back China hostility by drilling our Recto gas

The best defense is offense. China schemes to steal oil and gas in Recto Bank within Philippine exclusive economic zone. To avert that, the Philippines must extract the fuel for itself......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 12th, 2023

PXP continuesposting losses

PXP Energy Corp., the upstream oil and gas company of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, has yet to recover from a slump that started during the pandemic as it continued to reel from lower margins from Galoc operations and a spike in overhead and interest expenses. In a stock exchange report, the company reported logging a net loss of P23.9 million in the first three quarters. The losses grew from the P14.7- million deficit reported in the same period a year ago. Based on the report, the company’s consolidated costs and expenses of P82.1 million from January to September were higher compared to last year’s P65.6 million due to higher petroleum production costs in SC 14C-1 Galoc. However, it was notable that PXP Energy’s petroleum revenues during the reference period climbed to P63 million from P49.3 million in 2022. Halt order remains PXP Energy received a directive from the DoE in April to halt exploration activities for SC 75 and SC 72 pending necessary clearance to proceed. To date, the government has yet to lift the suspension. Nonetheless, the company said it will “continue to coordinate with the Government on the resumption of activities in both SC 72 and SC 75.” “Meanwhile, the group shall continue to pursue exploration work with respect to its other projects in the Philippines, including SC 40 and SC 74,” it added. SC 75 was awarded by the DoE on 27 December 2013 and covers an area of 6,160 square kilometers in the offshore northwest Palawan basin. SC 72 within Recto Bank is a concession acquired by Forum, which became its operator in April 2005. It is located in the WPS, west of Palawan Island and southwest of the Malampaya gas field. PXP has a 50 percent interest in SC 75. Forum Energy Ltd., in which PXP holds a direct and indirect interest of 79.13 percent, has a 70 percent participating interest in SC 72 through its wholly-owned subsidiary Forum. PXP has a total economic interest of 54.36 percent in SC 72. The post PXP continuesposting losses appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 26th, 2023

Fraud ring targets global crypto pools

Online scammers have stolen more than $1 million from so-called cryptocurrency liquidity pools recently,  according to cybersecurity system provider Sophos. Sophos released findings on a pig butchering operation through the use of fake trading pools of cryptocurrency. The report, “Latest Evolution of ‘Pig Butchering’ Scam Lures Victim in Fake Mining Scheme,” details the story of one of the scammed victims in the pools, named Frank, and how he lost $22,000 in one week after “someone” pretending to be “Vivian” on the dating app MeetMe contacted him. After Sophos X-Ops investigated Frank’s story, the team uncovered a total of 14 domains associated with the scam operation, as well as dozens of nearly identical fraud sites that, together, netted one “ring” of pig butcherers more than $1 million in three months. The scam takes advantage of the largely unregulated world of decentralized finance, or DeFI, cryptocurrency trading applications. These applications create “liquidity pools” of various types of cryptocurrencies that users can then access for trades. Those who participate in the pool receive a percentage of any fee paid when a trade is made, creating an enticing return on investment. To join a pool, participants sign an online smart contract that gives another account, typically the operators of the pool, permission to access participants’ wallets to facilitate trades. Fake pools, which pig butcherers are increasingly utilizing to siphon funds from targets, operate in much the same way.   Liquidity pools cleaned up However, unlike legitimate pools, at some point these scammers “pull the rug” and empty the entire liquidity pool for themselves. “When we first discovered these fake liquidity pools, it was rather primitive and still developing. Now, we’re seeing sha zhu pan scammers taking this particular brand of cryptocurrency fraud and seamlessly integrating it into their existing set of tactics, such as luring targets over dating apps,” according to Sean Gallagher, principal threat researcher, Sophos. Very few understand how legitimate cryptocurrency trading works, so it’s easy for these scammers to con their targets. “There are even toolkits now for this sort of scam, making it simple for different pig butchering operations to add this type of crypto fraud to their arsenal. While last year, Sophos tracked dozens of these fraudulent ‘liquidity pool’ sites, now we’re seeing more than 500,” Gallagher said. Sophos X-Ops first learned of this liquidity mining operation from a victim named Frank. Frank had connected on the dating app MeetMe with a scammer hiding behind the persona of Vivian, a German woman supposedly living in Washington, D.C. for work. For weeks, Frank chatted with Vivian, who mixed her romantic promises with persistent attempts to convince Frank to invest in crypto. Eventually, Frank opened a Trust Wallet account (a legitimate app for converting dollars to cryptocurrency) and connected to the link to the liquidity pool site Vivian recommended. In reality, the pool site was fraudulent and utilized the brand of Allnodes, an established decentralized finance platform provider, as a cover. Between 31 May and 5 June, Frank invested $22,000 in the scheme. Just three days later, the scammers emptied Frank’s digital wallet. Frank, looking to recover his money, turned to Vivian, who advised him to invest even more in the pool to recover his funds and reap the “rewards.” While waiting for his bank to authorize a money transfer to Coinbase, Frank started researching what was going on and came across an article on liquidity mining from Sophos. At this point, Frank reached out to Gallagher for help. Even after Gallagher instructed Frank to block Vivian, she eventually found him on Telegram and continued her attempts to entice him into “continuing their investment,” going so far as to send a lengthy, emotional letter that was very likely created by a generative AI app. “What makes these sorts of scams particularly tricky is that they don’t require any malware to be installed on a victim’s device. They don’t even involve a fake app, like some of those we’ve encountered in other CryptoRom scams. This entire fake liquidity pool was run through the legitimate Trust Wallet app.” At one point, Frank even tried to contact Trust Wallet’s support to recover his money, but he connected with a fake support contact from the fraudulent liquidity pool site. There is no regulation of these pools, legitimate or otherwise, on these crypto apps. These scams succeed solely through social engineering, and the scammers are persistent. Vivian continued trying to contact Frank for weeks after he blocked her on WhatsApp. “The only way to stay safe from these scams is to be vigilant and know that they exist and how they operate. That is why Frank wanted to share his story. Users need be wary of anyone they have no connection with reaching out to them suddenly via any dating app or social media platform, particularly if the ‘person’ reaching out wants to move the conversation to a platform like WhatsApp and then discusses investing in cryptocurrency,” Gallagher said. Sophos has shared its data on this case with Chainalysis and Coinbase, as well as other threat intelligence professionals in the cryptocurrency space, all of whom continue to investigate. “People who believe they may be a victim of pig butchering or liquidity mining fraud are free to reach out to Sophos. They should also reach out to their local law enforcement for assistance,” Gallagher advised. The post Fraud ring targets global crypto pools appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023

500 EDCA deals in 2024 pipeline

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

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 16th, 2023

AFP alarmed at ‘concerning resurgence’ of Chinese fishing boats in WPS

The swarming of Chinese fishing vessels in several locations of the country’s exclusive economic zone in the West Philippines Sea has alarmed the government forces. The Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Thursday reported the “concerning resurgence” of a total of 30 Chinese fishing vessels in the WPS, based on its aerial patrols conducted from 6 to 7 September. Some 23 vessels were monitored in Rozul (Iroquois) Reef. There were five ships in Escoda (Sabina) Shoal and two in Baragatan (Nares) Bank. The Philippine Navy, likewise, spotted 33 Chinese fishing vessels in Rozul Reef during a routine air patrol on 24 August, which was followed by reports of massive coral harvesting. The WesCom said the same patrol also monitored swarming activity on Escoda Shoal. This area serves as a “marker for the approach to Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal” and where “unauthorized Chinese shadowing of Philippine watercraft typically occurs.” The military unified command stressed that Rozul Reef is located within the Philippine EEZ and continental shelf, “making this intrusion a violation of Philippine sovereign rights and jurisdiction.” Also, 48 Chinese fishing boats were seen last 30 June in Iroquois Reef, located south of the oil and gas-rich Recto Bank—which lies within the country's EEZ. “The increased presence of CFVs raises concerns regarding the potential implications for Philippines’ maritime security, fisheries conservation, territorial integrity, and preservation of the marine environment,” WesCom lamented. It said such activities have been a “source of tension in the WPS and have contributed to instability in the region.” “As the Chinese swarming activity resurges, the Philippines continues to remain vigilant and take necessary measures to safeguard its vital national interests and maintain stability in the region,” it added. The post AFP alarmed at ‘concerning resurgence’ of Chinese fishing boats in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 15th, 2023

Banning Filipino fishermen in Scarborough is an insult — AFP spox

China's actions appear to be a form of disrespect towards the Philippines as they are preventing Filipino fishermen from fishing in the Scarborough Shoal, an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) official said on Sunday. In a radio interview, AFP spokesperson Colonel Medel Aguilar expressed disappointment over the fact that Filipino fishermen are no longer able to engage in fishing activities at the resource-rich Scarborough Shoal. "It's regrettable (that the Filipinos cannot fish at the Scarborough Shoal), but let's see what happens next because we can't allow it to be like this forever," Aguilar said. "It's like they're insulting us with their actions, knowing well that their territorial claim has no basis," Aguilar added. While Filipino fishermen can fish in some areas, the military official said they cannot go near the Scarborough Shoal where the are more fish. Aguilar said the Filipinos can no longer access the Scarborough Shoal because the maritime militia and China Coast Guard vessels are already "blocking the shoal." The Philippine government sued China at The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2013. In July 2016, the Court delivered a verdict favoring the Philippines by rejecting China's nine-dash claim over the South China Sea. In the same judgment, the court designated Scarborough Shoal as a shared fishing area and prohibited China from taking aggressive actions against Filipino fishermen there, which included preventing their access to the shoal. Furthermore, The Hague Court affirmed that the Spratly Islands, Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, and Recto (Reed) Bank fall within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. Despite this ruling, Beijing has consistently refused to acknowledge or abide by it. However, China recently released an updated official map that reaffirmed its unlawful assertions over a significant portion of the South China Sea while introducing new claims along the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines lodged a protest against China's release of the 2023 edition of its regular map. The Philippine government urged China to exhibit responsible behavior and adhere to its commitments as stipulated in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 arbitration decision. The post Banning Filipino fishermen in Scarborough is an insult — AFP spox appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 10th, 2023

Gilas win over China stokes patriotic fervor

Senators were among the Filipinos who showed support for Gilas Pilipinas en route to its rousing 96-75 win over China in the FIBA World Cup at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Saturday night. Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, and Senators Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go was seen wearing matching black shirts with the print “West Ph Sea,” short for West Philippine Sea. “Congratulations Gilas Pilipinas! That’s the heart of the Filipino that you’ve shown fighting to the very end. I salute all the players, coaches, and fans because ‘our never-say-die attitude’ gave us the hope to score a victory in the FIBA World Cup,” Go, himself a prolific basketball player, said in Filipino. “While we were saddened by our not qualifying for the Olympics, Gilas did not disappoint the home crowd by showing a big potential for future competitions,” he added. He said the victory over a Chinese team boosts the morale of Filipinos amid the challenges the country is facing in the West Philippine Sea being claimed by Beijing as part of its territory.   WPS ours! Asked about the WPS shirts he and the other senators wore during the game, Go said they were given to them to show their being one with the team and the country’s territorial sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea. “The West Philippine Sea is ours!” Go said. “This victory is also for all of us.” For Zubiri, the Philippines, even through basketball, was able to show it would not be bullied by China on the home court, seemingly referencing similarly gallant stands made by the Philippine Coast Guard and Navy in the WPS. “This was the most important game of all! For our pride and for our motherland, the Philippines,” Zubiri said. “We may not have won any of our games for the world championships, but this win was the sweetest of all.” Likewise, Villanueva described the Gilas Pilipinas’ victory over China as the country’s “best win.”   Biggest game “Most important basketball game of the year! It feels like we won the championship! Yahoo!” he said. “Our Gilas Pilipinas fought well like each and every one of them knows the story of Ayungin, Recto Bank, Pag-asa Island, etc.” He added: “So proud of them! Everyone contributed! We saw a different Gilas Team; there’s fire in their eyes.” Zubiri explained that their matching shirts with the print “West Ph Sea” was their response to China’s new standard map which also included the exclusive economic zones of the Philippines.   10-dash line “They released a 10-dash line; we wore the T-shirt as a statement that the West Philippines Sea is ours. Mabuhay Gilas! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!” he said. Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said they have worn the shirts to “awaken the patriotic spirit of our Gilas Pilipinas and motivate them to secure the victory which is symbolic for us Filipinos in light of the recent developments in the West Philippine Sea.”   The post Gilas win over China stokes patriotic fervor appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2023

Senate bill filed to address increasing money mules, financial scams

  Senator Win Gatchalian on Wednesday filed a measure seeking to penalize individuals engaged in money muling, social engineering schemes, and other fraudulent financial scams. Gatchalian said the Senate Bill 2407 or an “Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act” targets to align policies on the administration’s commitment to expand digital transactions, safeguarding the public from scammers and abusive online lenders. “We need to protect the integrity of the country’s financial system and ensure that financial accounts and their owners are protected and are not exploited or lured by cybercriminals or criminal syndicates into the commission of an unlawful or fraudulent activity,” the senator said, highlighting the importance of the significance of cashless transactions and digital payments during the Covid-19 pandemic. Gatchalian lamented the rapid growth and popularity of digital financial services also prompted the rise of financial-related cybercrimes. “Cybercriminals started taking advantage of technologies to transfer illicit or stolen funds across digital financial services, stealing vital information about account holders and taking over their accounts, or enticing account holders with gifts and incentives with the goal of covertly committing financial crimes,” he said. Gatchalian stressed the pressing need to enact a measure that imposes penalties on individuals “who are willingly become conduits for illicit transactions, those who engage in manipulative social engineering tactics and other deceitful schemes” that compromise financial accounts. He added that such encompasses actions such as account takeover, recruiting or enlisting others to commit these acts, and perpetration of these acts on a significant scale comparable to economic sabotage that jeopardizes the security of Filipinos’ financial accounts and the integrity of the country’s financial system. “For the past 3 years, the unsuspecting public lost millions of their hard-earned money to these cybercriminals,” Gatchalian said. As an example, Gatchalian cited the “Mark Nagoyo” scam event wherein more than 700 BDO Unibank customers’ accounts were hacked in late 2021. These unauthorized bank transfers targeted government teachers with Landbank accounts in January last year in which the victims lost between P26,000 to P121,000 from the incident and the massive phishing incident involving GCash users in May this year. “Operations of cybercriminals grew on a large scale, taking advantage of the unemployed, those who are looking for easy money, those who are unaware, and those who are willing to help others, and thriving in jurisdictions with very weak enforcements and penalties like the Philippines,” he noted. In fact, Kaspersky Security Network’s 2022 Report showed that the Philippines ranked 2nd among countries most attacked by web threats in 2022 and the most preferred attack method which includes social engineering schemes.     The post Senate bill filed to address increasing money mules, financial scams appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 30th, 2023

China wants new rules

“Sovereignty is ours, shelve the disputes and pursue joint development.” We all, especially our political and economic leaders, better memorize and internalize the above old Chinese doctrine if we’re to confront China’s aggressive geopolitical designs, not only in the West Philippine Sea or WPS, but in the South China and East China Seas as well. Knowing what the other side truly wants helps in forging our correct responses. Anyway, as instructed by China’s then paramount leader Deng Xiaoping to his comrades in 1978, the doctrine — the original is in a 12-Chinese character form — remains the fundamental policy of China’s present leaders and guides their long game in the hotly contested seas. Deng’s doctrine generally tells us that China’s leaders inflexibly believe that China’s “sovereignty” over the contested seas is incontestable — a belief that explains why China is strenuously bent on making everyone accept its expansive “nine-dash” line. Once China’s “sovereignty” is accepted, everything else becomes a matter of negotiations. At this point, however, it must be emphasized that what China means by “sovereignty” is “distinct from China’s disputes over territorial sovereignty” issues — the question of who owns what and where. Of course, “territorial disputes” — as we have now over Ayungin Shoal, Scarborough Shoal, Reed Bank, as well as our fishing rights — attract our attention and get our nationalist fervor going. But Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who hasn’t shelved the Deng-era doctrine, will presumably brush aside all “territorial sovereignty” issues, in the same vein that Deng Xiaoping once told a Japanese Prime Minister, “We believe it is wiser to avoid the issue of (sovereignty) if we cannot agree…” How then does China enable her “sovereignty” and make her neighbors acquiesce to her “sovereignty” over the disputed areas? The short quick answer: international maritime rules. As Isaac B. Kardon, in his insightful book “China’s Law of the Sea,” persuasively argues that “potential specific rules of international maritime law are the basic substance of China’s maritime disputes.” Underlying China’s maritime disputes, therefore, is China’s subtle challenge to the rules of international order, specifically the international law of the sea. Attacking what rules should govern the ocean space within disputed areas means that China, priding herself on being a rising power, is “willing to fully leverage its interpretation of maritime rights under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).” And, with China seemingly ignoring or reinterpreting UNCLOS rules that it does not like or finds inconvenient to its national interests, it means she wants her version of the rules to prevail. This is to ensure that her aggressive tactics won’t be seen as violations of the rules but more in keeping with the rules, albeit China’s version. Knowing this immediately tells us why China vehemently rejects our 2016 arbitration win against her. The arbitration victory essentially clarified our “sovereign” rights in the WPS. It is in this light, this significant challenge to the present “rules-based” international order, that we can contextualize China’s “assertiveness” — it’s meant to alter the rules. “Xi and other Chinese leaders have also dramatically augmented the attention and resources into consolidating PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) authority over the vast ‘blue territory’ — that is the maritime space — surrounding the islands,” observes Kardon. As such, the “rapidly growing presence and activities of Chinese Coast Guard cutters, fishing and militia boats, oil rigs, survey ships, and marine scientific vessels all patrolling, administering, surveilling, exploiting, or studying disputed waters” are but to “embody China’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction with a physical, practical presence.” Now, even if all of China’s recent aggressive actions apparently remain below the threshold of war, her actions observes Kardon, “have also not led to any meaningful change to the status of island sovereignty disputes.” Which only means that we’re in for the long haul in our dispute with China. And we must also be prepared to fight the new sea laws China is imposing. Preserving UNCLOS is in our national interest. The post China wants new rules appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 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

Pangilinan’s PXP posts P11-M loss

PXP Energy Corp., the upstream oil and gas company of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, widened its net loss in the first half of the year to a whopping P11.2 million. In a report to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the company said that the net loss recorded in the first six months of the year was almost double that of the P6.3 million booked in the same period a year ago. According to PXP, the higher net loss was partly prompted by higher consolidated cost and expenses, which rose by 3 percent to P48.7 million from P47.3 million.   Petroleum costs slightly higher Notably, petroleum costs in the company’s Service Contract or SC 14C-1 Galoc also slightly went up to P25.4 million from P23.6 million even if overhead expenses marginally decreased to P23.3 million from P23.7 million. Thus, PXP Energy’s consolidated petroleum revenues also declined to P39.4 million from P45.1 million at the same level a year ago. Despite the spiking net loss, the company said it will maintain its close coordination with the government to resume activities in SC 72 and 75, which are currently suspended.   DoE directive  It can be recalled that PXP Energy received a directive from the DoE in April to “put all on hold all exploration activities for SC 75 and SC 72 until such time that the SJPCC has issued the necessary clearance to proceed.” To date, the government has yet to issue a clearance to lift the suspension. SC 75 was awarded by the DoE on 27 December 2013 and covers an area of 6,160 square kilometers in the offshore northwest Palawan basin. SC 72 within Recto Bank is a concession acquired by Forum, which became its operator in April 2005. It is located in the WPS, west of Palawan Island and southwest of the Malampaya gas field. PXP holds a 50 percent interest in SC 75. Forum Energy Ltd., in which PXP holds a direct and indirect interest of 79.13 percent, has a 70 percent participating interest in SC 72 through its wholly-owned subsidiary Forum. PXP has a total economic interest of 54.36 percent in SC 72. The post Pangilinan’s PXP posts P11-M loss appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2023

Bong Go calls for diplomatic solutions amid WPS tension

In the midst of escalating tensions caused by dangerous maneuvers and swarming of Chinese ships in the West Philippine Sea, Sen. Bong Go hopes for peaceful and diplomatic solutions to ensure that the Philippines is able to protect its territorial integrity. Go emphasized in an interview on Monday, 10 July the importance of engaging in constructive dialogue rather than resorting to confrontation. “Alam nyo tulad po ng stand ni dating pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte, kung ano po ang atin ay atin po ‘yon. What is ours is ours. Ibig sabihin atin po ‘yon. Ipaglaban po natin. Kung ano po ang napanalunan natin, atin po ‘yun. Even an inch, wala po tayong dapat ibigay,” Go said. “Sa ngayon naman po ayaw natin ng giyera ‘di ba? Dahil paano tayo makipag-giyera sa ngayon sa kanila? Ngunit ang Pilipino po ay kilala na lumaban. Kaya kung maaari ay magkaroon ito ng peaceful resolution. Ako naman po ay naniniwala na kung pwede natin itong pag-usapan ay pag-usapan po natin sa maayos na paraan. Dahil ang kawawa naman po ay ating mga mananagat kapag sila po ang hina-harass,” he cited. According to an official statement on Sunday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are planning to increase their maritime patrols in the Iroquois Reef in response to the recent presence of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea. The Western Command of the AFP reported the discovery on June 30, of 48 boats suspected to be part of the Chinese maritime militia near Iroquois Reef, also known as Del Pilar Reef. Iroquois Reef is situated south of the resource-abundant Recto Bank and falls within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.   The post Bong Go calls for diplomatic solutions amid WPS tension appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 13th, 2023

Boat crew rammed by Chinese trawler gets full compensation

MANILA - The owner and fishermen of F/B Gem-Ver, the Filipino fishing vessel rammed by a Chinese trawler near the Recto Bank three years ago, have received full compensation amounting to PHP6 million."Full compensation has already been made in favor of the vessel owner and t.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJun 9th, 2022

After 2 years, talks on compensation for Gem-Ver incident get underway

Officials of the Philippines and of China have met to discuss compensation over the ramming of a Filipino fishing boat by a Chinese fishing vessel near the Recto Bank in 2019......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 8th, 2021

Philippines to meet China on compensation for rammed boat in 2019

Guevarra said the meetings on June 2 and 7 aim to "put a close to this festering issue" that came nearly two years ago near the Recto Bank. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 24th, 2021

First Pacific Group lines up integrated natural gas hub

The First Pacific Group Pangilinan plans to establish an integrated natural gas business by utilizing gas from Service Contract 72, or the Recto Bank, and transporting it through a pipeline of Philippine Coastal Storage & Pipeline Corp. to fire the power plants of Manila Electric Co......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMar 3rd, 2021

& lsquo;Boat ramming& rsquo;: Chinese told to pay P12m to Pinoy fishermen

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has said the Chinese government will have to pay P12 million the 22 fishermen and owner of M/V Gem-Ver rammed by a Chinese fishing vessel off Recto Bank on June 9 last year......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 18th, 2020

Navy protests Chinese survey

The Philippine Navy will request that a diplomatic protest be filed over a Chinese vessel’s alleged surveying activities at Recto Bank or Reed Bank, its chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said Monday......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 11th, 2020

Locsin orders check on Chinese survey ship near Recto Bank

According to MarineTraffic, the Chinese research ship departed Guangzhou, China on July 22 and arrived in the area of Recto Bank on August 6......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 7th, 2020