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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: rappler rapplerDec 11th, 2023

NDCP alumni officials call for unity amid growing tensions in WPS

Filipinos should unite behind the nation and its government as Philippine sailors continue to experience harassment from the Chinese Coast Guard while on peaceful missions in the West Philippine Sea. This was the call of alumni officials of the National Defense College of the Philippines or NDCP, stressing that the public should remain vigilant and well-informed amid growing tensions inside the country’s territorial waters. Capt. Aldrin Cuña, the Secretary General of the NDCP Alumni Association Inc. (NDCPAAI), released the group’s statement stressing that “not only is it our right but our duty to protect it when parties launch aggressive acts to challenge our sovereignty and curb our activities over what is legally ours.” “The West Philippine Sea is of great importance to our nation, future and children - their inheritance we should not lose during our watch,” the NDCPAAI statement read. The statement was released after two Chinese Coast Guard ships rammed a Philippine Coast Guard ship and a military-run supply boat within Philippine territorial waters on Sunday, 22 October. The Chinese Coast Guard claimed that it was the Philippine ships who were the “aggressors,” but Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro fired back, saying “the Chinese government is deliberately obfuscating the truth.” The NDCPAAI seconded Secretary Teodoro, saying that “not only are our ships being rammed, the truth that is on our side is being pummeled too.” “The best defense against falsehood are facts which we can learn by educating ourselves about what our country’s rights are over West Philippine Sea and the legitimacy of our actions there,” the association said. However, the NDCPAAI emphasized that “diplomacy in search for principled peaceful solution is of equal importance,” but this can only be achieved if “a united citizenry is behind the government.” “We thus call on our fellow Filipinos, regardless of political affiliations, to put aside our differences and rally around our country's cause. As we maintain a credible defense posture, we must engage in constructive dialogue and nurture cordial and conflict-free peaceful solutions, guided by international law and our commitment to upholding justice and fairness,” the association said. “By pursuing these multiple tracks, we project a stance that is strong at home and supported by the people and respected abroad and recognized by the community of nations as just and right,” it stressed......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 24th, 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

Collision or ramming?

When nations compete for dominance, the concepts of fairness and sovereignty often go by the wayside. This weekend’s collision of Philippine vessels with Chinese ships in the West Philippine Sea should serve as a vivid reminder of China’s aggressive expansionism in this crucial maritime region. While troubling, this incident is just part of a larger pattern of Chinese harassment of Philippine vessels within our territorial waters. China once again relied on its victim-blaming strategy, accusing the Philippines of “deliberately stirring up trouble” in an incident that the Philippine Coast Guard allegedly planned. These claims are ridiculous and unfounded, part of China’s long-running endeavor to legitimize its illegal acts in the West Philippine Sea. But regardless of Beijing’s bluster, the Philippines has the right to stand up to a neighborhood bully. Its claim to sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea is firmly rooted in the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling, which categorically rejected China’s extensive claims over nearly the entire South China Sea, including areas that overlap with the West Philippine Sea. This landmark decision made it evident that China’s historical claims do not hold up under international law, in an area where competing claims by other countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan have sparked geopolitical concerns. Historically, the territorial irritants that have the potential to become full-blown conflicts have centered on fishing rights, oil and gas reserves, and the strategic importance of controlling these waterways. Still, unlike China’s bold territorial expansion and contempt for international jurisprudence, the Philippines’ approach is founded on the rule of law. China’s predilections extend beyond the assertion of spurious territorial claims, as it includes the unauthorized construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea. These man-made islands function as military outposts, providing China with a strategic regional advantage. Such acts are not only illegal, but they also pose a direct threat to regional peace and stability. As the Philippines struggles for its rights, exposing China’s duplicity on a global scale is critical. While China portrays itself as a rational and responsible nation in international crises such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the Israel-Hamas conflict, its actions in the South China Sea reflect a different face — that of a regional bully. China cannot preach peace and diplomacy while actively pursuing territorial expansion and disregarding international law when it does not support its aspirations. The collision (or was it an intentional incident of ramming by China of Philippine vessels?) near the Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands is just the latest chapter in China’s unrelenting pursuit of regional supremacy. Philippine efforts to safeguard its sovereignty and defend international law merit support not only from its neighbors, but also from the world community at large. The West Philippine Sea is more than just a body of water; it represents sovereignty, justice, and the triumph of law over aggression. The Philippines’ resistance to China’s bullying is a fight for the rights of all nations that value international norms, territorial integrity, and conflict resolution through peaceful means. China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea and its disrespect for the verdict of the Permanent Court of Arbitration must be countered by the international community with the position that in the South China Sea, might does not equal right. As we consider the perilous situation in the West Philippine Sea, it’s critical to understand that this is not a one-off occurrence but part of a larger pattern. The Philippines has been subjected to constant harassment by Chinese vessels within its own waters. Filipino fishermen are being harassed, maritime resources (like coral reefs) are being pillaged, and Filipino military troops are being put in danger by Chinese warships that have no business being in Philippine waters. There can never be a repeat of the 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff, which allowed China to build bases on man-made islands. As it stands resolute against China’s gunboat diplomacy, the Philippines serves as a beacon of hope for all nations confronting unjustified hostility. The Philippines’ dedication to upholding international law, maintaining its sovereignty, and defending its people’s rights is admirable. The post Collision or ramming? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

Masinloc fishers left to their own devices amid Chinese harassment in Scarborough Shoal

  Despite the increasing presence of Chinese vessels in the  Scarborough Shoal (Bajo de Masinloc), the New Masinloc Fisherman's Association on Wednesday said the Philippine Coast Guard does not escort Filipino folks fishing in the area. Leonardo Cuaresma, president of the New Masinloc Fisherman’s Association, said the PCG is nowhere to be found when they are fishing in the shoal. “Ang ginagawa lang po namin kapag pumupunta po kami ng Scarborough Shoal naglo-log out lang po kami doon sa tanggapan po ng PCG dito sa Masinloc station pero ang totoo po niyan wala naman pong ume-escort sa amin para mangisda po kami doon sa lugar (What we are doing is that we are just logging out at the PCG office here in Masinloc station when we are going to the Scarborough Shoal but the truth is nobody is escorting us to fish in that area),” Cuaresma said in an interview over the  Super Radyo dzBB. Cuaresma stressed the PCG had previously committed to escort fishermen in the area. “Actually, noong panahon na kasagsagan nitong 2016 ay sinasabi nga po noon na talagang i-escort-an po 'yung ating mangingisda para malayang makapangisda doon sa shoal pero wala naman pong nag-eescort sa amin (at the height of the tension in the area in 2016, we were told that they will escort fishermen so we can fish in the shoal freely but no one escorted us),” he said. However, the PCG earlier explained that the presence of Filipino Coast Guard personnel in the area could further trigger tension with Chinese ships, according to Cuaresma. The last time that the group fished in the area was in May, he added. Cuaresma said Chinese vessels were supposedly “bullying and blocking” the way of some 40 fishermen going the Bajo de Masinloc. During his visit to Palawan last August, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said they are planning to increase the number of defenders by tapping fisherfolk to become military reservists amid China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea. “We want to use our fisherfolk as reservists. We are going to teach them how to help us defend our country,” Brawner said. Cuaresma, meanwhile, expressed support for the AFP’s plan, noting that their group will actively cooperate with the government forces. “Kung 'yan po ang panukala ng ating pamahalaan ngayon ay handa po kaming sumunod kung sakali sapagkat alam namin na itong yamang-dagat po natin ay malaking kawalan din po natin para sa ating ekonomiya (If that’s the proposal of our government now, we are ready to follow because we are aware of the need to protect our water resources for our economy),” he said. “Bakit hindi po namin gagawin? Sapagkat mula po noong una ay diyan po kami nabuhay at diyan din po kami nagkamalay kaya naman po ay napakahalaga sa amin ang karagatan (Why not? That's our source of livelihood from the very start, the sea is very important to us),” Cuaresma pointed out. Sought for comments, the PCG is yet to respond on the matter. The Scarborough Shoal is only 120 nautical miles from Masinloc and within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. The post Masinloc fishers left to their own devices amid Chinese harassment in Scarborough Shoal appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 13th, 2023

Phl not meddling in China-US conflict — NSC

The National Security Council on Saturday slammed China for framing a narrative that the Philippines is interfering in its conflict with the United States. In a news forum in Quezon City, NSC Assistant Director-General, Jonathan Malaya, said China wants to make it appear that the Philippines would also like to engage in a war with them by taking the side of the US. “That is the position of China which the President clearly denounced — the President said there’s no tension between conflicting powers na nakikisawsaw lang ang ating bansa (that the country is meddling),” he said, reiterating the previous remarks of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during the recent ASEAN summit. Malaya said that Marcos clearly pointed out that “this is legitimate Philippine interest — there is a territorial dispute not between China and the United States but the Philippines and China.” “So, when we say that nakikisawsaw lang ang Pilipinas sa isang tunggalian (the Philippines is interfering in conflict ) between China and the United States, it denigrates the position of the Philippines and it’s unfair to the Philippines and is a wrong narrative framing,” he added. Malaya said the Philippines remains firm on its stand to protect sovereign rights and interests within the West Philippine Sea. This after the Chinese Coast Guard’s continued aggression on the country’s territorial waters in Ayungin Shoal, with its most recent dangerous maneuvers trying to block anew the country’s rotation and resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre by the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard last 7 September. China is "misplaced bully" In the same forum, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar described CCG as a “misplaced bully” after it again harrassed the Philippine vessels in its EEZ. “What we see there is the presence of the CCG is misplaced and a bully. The CCG is a misplaced bully at the WPS,” he said. Aguilar slammed China for claiming that the Philippines is intruding into their territory, prompting them to conduct law enforcement activity against the AFP and the PCG. “After an incident happened in the West Philippine Sea, they will come up with a narrative—internal for Chinese people, that the Philippines is intruding into their territory and that’s why they are conducting law enforcement activity, they want to regulate our actions—that’s not true!” Aguilar pressed. He lamented that such a narrative increases tensions over the WPS. “So, I think these are simple reasons why we are having this trouble. There is no indisputable claim. The China Coast Guard is a misplaced bully at the West Philippine Sea,” he said. The AFP, meanwhile, announced the successful conduct of the RoRe mission in the BRP Sierra Madre amid the latest blocking attempts and harassment of the CCG and Chinese Maritime Militia against the Philippine vessels. The post Phl not meddling in China-US conflict — NSC appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 9th, 2023

Lawmakers want bigger budget for PCG, defense sector

Senators urged the country’s economic team to allocate more funding to the defense sector and the Philippine Coast Guard amid the increasing aggression of China in parts of the West Philippine Sea. Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday backed the proposal to increase the intelligence fund of the Philippine Coast Guard to strengthen its operations in the WPS. Hontiveros lamented that the PCG is threatened by China almost daily.  But, despite facing “a clear and present danger” brought about by China’s increasing hostilities, the PCG is still operating with limited funding. “We have to hold more consultations with the Philippine Coast Guard to determine a respectable amount that could help them significantly deter China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea,” she said. Hontiveros said that the PCG has only been receiving "a measly" P10 million in intelligence funds annually since 2009, forcing it to rely solely on human intelligence to get up-to-date information when conducting maritime patrols. It is “unacceptable that PCG is receiving intelligence funds far less than those being received by civilian agencies with no direct relation to national security and protection of Philippine territory,” said Hontiveros. "I also must stress that the P10 million for intelligence funds is not only for the PCG's duties over the West Philippine Sea, but for the entire coastal areas and waters of the Philippines. Sa napakaraming banta na nararanasan ng Coast Guard, hindi ba dapat na mas malaki naman sa sampung milyon ang maibigay sa kanila?" she said. Earlier this month, the Senate collectively denounced China’s continued harassment activities against Filipino troops aboard Philippine vessels en route to the WPS, in particular, the recent water cannon incident involving Chinese Coast Guard and Philippine vessels carrying food and other supplies for soldiers stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal. China’s repeated aggressions toward the Philippines within its exclusive economic zone prompted senators to urge the country’s economic managers to also consider increasing the budget of the defense sector. The issue was raised during the Committee on Finance briefing with the Development Budget Coordination Committee on the Proposed 2024 National Expenditure Program last week. Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said he pitied the defense sector after the economic team presented their budget allocation per sector. Under the proposed 2024 national budget, Dela Rosa noted the 37.9 percent allocation for social services, 29.6 percent for economic services, 12.1 percent for debt burden and 15.5 percent for general public services. The defense sector had the lowest funding allocation at only 4.9 percent, he said. “Awang-awa na tayo sa ating mga puwersa doon. Forgive me, my heart goes to the MUP (military and uniformed personnel) because I’ve been there, done that and saw my people dying before my eyes during encounters with the enemy. Kaya kung itong pambabastos ng China na simpleng tubig lang wala tayong panglaban, kawawa naman talaga iyong ating Coast Guard, kawawa iyong ating Navy,” Dela Rosa lamented. The post Lawmakers want bigger budget for PCG, defense sector appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2023

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

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

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

Escudero to gov’t: File petition before SC of Hague ruling over WPS

The Marcos administration can file a "Special Action for Recognition of Foreign Judgment" before the Supreme Court to formally recognize the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) as part of the law of the land, Senator Francis Escudero suggested Thursday. In a media briefing, Escudero noted that the Arbitral Ruling in 2016 reinforced the country’s claims over the West Philippines Sea while it invalidated China's nine-dash line—claiming almost the entirety of the South China Sea. He added filing a petition before the SC—to recognize the 2016 Hague ruling—will prevent future administrations from trying to amend the country’s triumph over China. Escudero said the government, through the Solicitor-General, should initiate the filing of the petition on recognition of foreign judgment before the SC. “The recognition of foreign judgment should be led by the Solicitor General as an official lawyer of the government,” he said. Escudero stressed a High Court’s recognition could be a “better alternative instead of bringing the WPS concerns” before the United Nations General Assembly—which he sees as having disadvantages. The senator said his suggestion could be one of the options in giving flesh to the intentions of Senate Resolution 718, which condemned China’s continued aggression in the WPS and urged the Philippine Government to “take appropriate action in asserting and securing the Philippines' sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone.” While pushing for the “Special Action for Recognition of Foreign Judgment”, Escudero admitted that the Philippines has no case similar to the arbitral ruling. However, he cited a parallel analogy in Article 26 of the Family Code that “allows recognition of a foreign divorce obtained by the foreigner spouse abroad.” Once the SC decides that it recognizes the arbitral ruling, Escudero said it will become part of the country’s law, and even if Congress did not pass any measure related to this, the said portion, could not be altered or revisited. “The Constitution is part of the law of the land. The Constitution says all decisions, final and executory of the Court, whether it be the higher or lower court, shall form part of the law of the land,” he said. While the Senate has adopted Resolution 718 and presented it to Malacañang, Escudero lamented it will ultimately be up to President Marcos which direction to take insofar as the country's foreign policy is concerned. He admitted not supporting the resolution on the WPS should his colleagues in the chamber would insist on bringing the issue to the UNGA. While the government seeks a peaceful route to resolving the conflicting claims in the WPS, Escudero pressed that the Philippines should strongly assert its right over the WPS. “The Philippines should continue what it has been doing," Escudero said, referring to the government's consistent move of filing diplomatic protests every time a Chinese harassment incident occurs in the WPS. "Tatayuan natin at hindi natin bibitiwan ang ating karapatan at pagmamay-ari sa lugar na iyan habang hinahayaan natin magpatuloy ang iba't-ibang uri ng ugnayan at relasyon sa bansang Tsina na pinagkakasunduan naman ng dalawang bansa," Escudero said. "We can agree to disagree on certain points but we can also move forward and cooperate on points that we have agreed upon, such as trade. For me this is the best way to approach the issue," he added. Escudero noted that he already discussed this proposal with Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III and Senator Risa Hontiveros prior to the approval and adoption of SR 718 last 1 August. The post Escudero to gov’t: File petition before SC of Hague ruling over WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 3rd, 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

Lady solon raises China’s WPS ‘aggression’

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at her residence in Taipei City, making her the highest incumbent Philippine official to meet with the leader of the self-ruled island. In their meeting, Hontiveros shared with Tsai the Philippines’ frustration over “China’s aggression” not only in the West Philippine Sea but in the entire South China Sea. “While I am here in Taiwan to particularly check on the overseas Filipino workers who were threatened by the Chinese Ambassador’s dangerous statements, I cannot help but raise an urgent issue that looms large over the Philippines — the external threat posed by China in our territories, a similar dilemma Taiwan also faces,” said the lady lawmaker. Hontiveros is referring to the remarks issued by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian where he allegedly threatened overseas Filipino workers in Taiwan. To recall, Huang earned the ire of Philippine government officials after “advising” the Philippines to “unequivocally oppose” Taiwan’s independence if it “genuinely cares” about 150,000 OFWs on the self-ruled island. The lady senator’s visit to Taiwan also came after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reaffirmed the Philippines’ adherence to the One China policy during the visit of Chinese FM Qin Gang to Manila last month. China considers Taiwan, an ally of the United States, as part of its territory, to be retaken one day — by force, if necessary. Hontiveros also shared that China’s “intimidation, threats, and harassment” are a “daily occurrence that Filipino fisherfolk and Philippine Coast Guard personnel experience, adding that the tensions in our own seas have deprived our fisherfolk of their livelihood, especially since Chinese vessels have constantly shooed them away, at times even confiscating their bountiful catch.” Underscoring that the Taiwanese people should have the basic human right to self-determination, Hontiveros, however, emphasized that the Philippines will not meddle with the issue of Taiwanese independence. “While we in the Philippines will never interfere with the issue of your independence, I will always support nations who err on the side of democracy,” Hontiveros told Tsai. “We know that democracy is a powerful vaccine against armed conflict, as it requires fostering peaceful relations among citizens. When carried into the realm of foreign policy, this will result in peaceful international relations not only among our nations but also across the world,” she added. “Peace is necessary for the safety and security of all our citizens. Peace is essential for our economies to survive and thrive. Peace is our only option. With the continued and strengthened ties between the Philippines and Taiwan, I trust that true and lasting peace will reign,” said Hontiveros. The post Lady solon raises China’s WPS ‘aggression’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 12th, 2023

West Philippine Sea: Guard PH shoal, fishers with frequent patrols

The Philippines will take “decisive action” in securing one of its traditional fishing grounds amid growing Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea by establishing a constant presence at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal through rotational patrols of that area by government ships starting this month. National Security Adviser Eduardo Año on Friday said vessels from the Philippine Coast.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2024

PH intensifies patrols to guard WPS fishing grounds

The Philippines will actively protect its traditional fishing grounds in the West Philippine Sea from increasing Chinese aggression by having government ships regularly patrol Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal starting this month. National Security Adviser Eduardo Año announced that vessels from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will take.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2024

CSO Network Slams Chinese Water Cannon Incident in the West Philippine Sea

Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc (PMPI) firmly supports the Philippines' claim to the West Philippine Sea, as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This maritime territory holds immense importance for our nation, contributing significantly to food security, protecting nature, and preserving natural resources. This area is rich in fish, oil, and gas and is economically, environmenta.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2023

CSO Network Slams Chinese Water Cannon Incident in the West Philippine Sea

Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc (PMPI) firmly supports the Philippines' claim to the West Philippine Sea, as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This maritime territory holds immense importance for our nation, contributing significantly to food security, protecting nature, and preserving natural resources. This area is rich in fish, oil, and gas and is economically, environmenta.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2023

Philippines, Japan military chiefs reaffirm alliance

The military chiefs of the Philippines and Japan have reaffirmed their commitments toward strengthening alliances amid growing Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2023

PH addressing China aggression in WPS: Let’s not overreact

TOKYO, Japan — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said the Philippines is exerting all efforts to address China aggression in the West Philippine Sea but it is important not to overreact. Marcos was asked by the media for his reaction to Chinese vessels swarming Ayungin Shoal on the sidelines of the Asean-Japan Summit in.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 18th, 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

Propaganda war

There is a second battlefield that those involved in unavoidable conflicts should consider if they are to win the war. Experts love to call it the propaganda war, one that is fought not on the field, but in the hearts and minds of the international community, which is just as intense and vital as the physical war. In the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and the tension between China and the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea, propaganda plays a pivotal role in shaping international perception, gaining domestic support, and influencing the narrative of these disputes. The Israel-Hamas conflict is one of human history’s most enduring and deeply entrenched disputes. Both parties employ propaganda to advance their respective narratives and garner support from both domestic and international audiences. Israel and Hamas turn to propaganda to shape the narrative of the conflict. Israel emphasizes its right to self-defense, portraying Hamas as a terrorist organization that fires rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. On the other hand, Hamas portrays itself as a resistance movement fighting against Israeli oppression, garnering support from various sympathizers. Media manipulation is a crucial aspect of the propaganda war in this conflict. Both sides use social media, videos, and press releases to share their version of events. The viral nature of social media allows these messages to spread quickly and influence public opinion worldwide. Both Israel and Hamas leverage propaganda to portray themselves as victims. Israel highlights the trauma and suffering of its civilians subjected to rocket attacks, while Hamas emphasizes the civilian casualties in Gaza caused by Israeli military operations. The propaganda war in the Israel-Hamas conflict deepens divisions between both sides and makes a peaceful resolution even more challenging. It also has broader implications for regional and international relations, as support for one party over the other can be influenced by the effectiveness of their propaganda efforts. The tension between China and the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea, on the other hand, is characterized by competing territorial claims and power disparities, making propaganda an important tool in the conflict. China has utilized propaganda to assert its territorial claims in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. The “nine-dash line” map and historical claims are frequently promoted, often without international legal basis.     Propaganda is also employed to discredit the Philippines and other claimants. China has accused the Philippines of aggression and portrayed itself as a guardian of regional peace, which may appeal to domestic audiences and some international allies. China’s naval and aerial displays in the South China Sea are often publicized to intimidate and demonstrate its military prowess. These actions are combined with nationalist rhetoric in domestic propaganda to showcase China’s strength and resolve. The use of propaganda in the China-Philippines tension exacerbates regional instability and hinders peaceful negotiations. It raises questions about how diplomacy can succeed in the face of intense nationalist propaganda within China and the resulting pressure on the Philippine government to protect its sovereignty. If you notice, China often resorts to the blame game in countering any protest from the Philippines whenever there are incidents of aggression in the disputed waters. In the case of the latest harassment of Philippine vessels on a resupply mission to Ayungin shoal, China blamed the Philippines for the collision. It immediately sent to the media its video of the incident. The intensity of the propaganda in these conflicts can hinder diplomatic efforts. It reinforces entrenched positions, making it difficult for parties to find common ground. As these conflicts persist, the role of propaganda in perpetuating hostilities and deepening divisions cannot be underestimated. Efforts to promote peace and resolution must be mindful of propaganda’s role in perpetuating these conflicts. The post Propaganda war appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 25th, 2023