CHINA AROUND PAG-ASA ISLAND IN THE WEST PHILIPPINES SEA

CHINA RELEASING CHEMICALS TO KILL FISH AROUND PAGASA ISLAND
Posted on May 1, 2016



Image via Kalayaan ATIN ITO Facebook page

Residents of Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea reportedly confirmed that Chisese vessels are regularly releasing chemicals to destroy the corals and marine species around the island.


According to Kalayaan ATIN ITO Facebook page, “China is aggressively removing economic activities of the civilian community at the Kalayaan Island Group to drive away civilians and isolate the Islands.”

Natural ecosystem and the “bahura” or coral reefs around Pag-asa Island are destroyed and the source of livelihood of Filipino fisherfolk are adversely affected.

“Once all civilians are gone, Chinese military activities to occupy the islands will be easier.” it said.

Pag-asa is surrounded by around 20 to 30 hectares of reefs that are home to aquarium and commercial fish.

It provides livelihood and food for the island’s 200 dwellers. It is often visited by rare types of turtles like the endangered leatherback.


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CHINA SHOCKED AT SINGAPORE’S REMARKS IN WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
Posted on April 28, 2016




The comments of two senior Singaporean diplomats shocked a senior Chinese official in Jakarta on Monday that China was splitting Asean in reaching a consensus with three Asean states on the South China Sea.


The Singapore diplomats made the remarks at a conference in Jakarta after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last Saturday announced a four-point consensus with Brunei, Laos and Cambodia on the South China Sea, including that territorial disputes in the sea were “not an issue between China and Asean as a whole”.

According to Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, each Asean state has its own sovereign rights and China will “never want to split up” the regional grouping.

“China has always supported the development of Asean and recognised that Asean’s growth is also important to East Asia,” Liu added.

He also explained the misconceptions of Ong and Kausikan “are not beneficial to the Sino-Asean relationship and cooperation”.

Liu stressed the talks have so far been “good”.

“We want to establish peace and stability of the region as well as freedom of navigation… and hope that Asean will be united and can partner China to promote dialogue,” he said.




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PH REJECTS CHINA’S NEW OFFER IN WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
Posted on May 1, 2016




Philippines has rejected the call of Chinese President Xi Jinping for “friendly consultation and negotiation” to resolve the maritime row in West Philippine Sea.


MalacaƱang said Philippines will remain firm in its stance on the sea dispute with China, as it awaits the ruling of the The Hague-based international arbitral tribunal handling Manila’s case.

“We would take that whatever statements are being issued from Beijing are reflecting the Chinese position which, of course, they have every right to ventilate,” Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said on state-run dzRB radio.

“But … we are firm in our stand that we have a strong case and, more importantly, that having trusted the system, we will abide by whatever is decided,” he added.

China has refused to participate in the arbitration process and pressed for bilateral negotiations, which the Philippines turned down.



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US WARPLANES IN WEST PHILIPPINE SEA ANGERS CHINA
Posted on April 26, 2016




On Wednesday, China expressed alarm to reports that six U.S. Air Force planes from Philippines performed a flight mission in the vicinity of Huangyan Island in the West Philippine Sea on April 19.


“We have noticed such reports, and it should be pointed out that the U.S. is pushing militarization of the South China Sea in the name of ‘Freedom of Navigation,'” the ministry’s Information Bureau said in a statement.

“The United States has repeatedly questioned China’s intentions, but will the U.S. explain its real motive in stoking tensions and increasing military presence in the area?” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

“Does the United States mean freedom of navigation enjoyed by ordinary ships in line with international law or freedom of intrusion by U.S. military planes and vessels?” she added.

“The United States should play a constructive role in regional peace and stability, rather than the opposite,” she said.




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US WARNS CHINA OF MILITARY CONFLICT IN SCARBOROUGH SHOAL
Posted on May 1, 2016




US has warn China that building up military facilities in Scarborough Shoal could lead to a military conflict.


Scarborough is “a piece of disputed territory that, like other disputes in that region, has the potential to lead to military conflict,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress on Thursday.

Scarborough Shoal is located about 120 miles—within missile range—of Subic Bay, Philippines, where U.S. warships will be based.

“That’s particularly concerning to us, given its proximity to the Philippines,” Carter told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on efforts to counter the Islamic State terrorist group.




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RUSSIA BACKS CHINA IN WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
Posted on April 27, 2016





 While China and other countries that await the decision of a U.N. tribunal on a case filed by Philippines which challenges Beijing’s vast territorial claims, world and regional players lines up for one side or the other.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Moscow, said Russia is against any interference from third parties — a reference to the U.S. — ” or any attempts to internationalize these disputes.”

China rejected to participate in the proceedings at the U.N. Court of Arbitration, and it’s not certain how the ruling can be enacted.

Russia reiterated China’s stand that “only parties can resolve their dispute through direct talks.”




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MAYOR DUTERTE THREATS TO BURN SINGAPOREAN FLAGS, RAISED MID FINGER, CURSED WORDS
Posted on May 2, 2016




 The Straits Times posted a controversial news report about Philippine presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who allegedly threatens to burn Singapore’s flag.
screen_shot_2016-05-02_at_11.50.44_am
The report, entitled “I’ll burn Singapore flag, says Philippine presidential hopeful” had gone viral since it was uploaded on early morning of May 2. However, it is immediately no longer accessible on the newspaper’s website.
The story becomes inacessible as of 12pm, “You are not authorized to access this page.”
Screenshot (3)
Netizens are uncertain if it was removed or broke Straight Time’s website.
After the Mayor heard that the Singaporean Embassy is filing charges on some supporters of him who uploaded a photo of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long allegedly endorsing Duterte. He expressed his anger by promising to burn any Singaporean flag that he may find.
“Humanap kayo ng flag ng Singapore, susunogin ko p*tangina.” Duterte exclaimed in his political rally at Daet, Camarines Norte.
(Find me some Singaporean flag and I’ll burn it!)
Mayor Duterte even raised his middle finger exclaiming some cursing words.
The Singapore Embassy has denied claims spreading online that its Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has endorsed a Philippine presidential candidate.
Singapore Embassy in Manila said in a Facebook post last monday that any report of endorsement is “untrue.”
“Embassy has learned of a FB post mischievously alleging that the Prime Minister of Singapore endorses a presidential candidate (Duterte) for the upcoming presidential election in the Philippines. This is untrue,” the embassy said.

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US CONGRESS URGED PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA TO ORDER MORE NAVAL OPERATIONS IN WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
Posted on May 2, 2016




Obama administration has been urged by the Members of Congress last Wednesday to deploy more naval operations near disputed islands in West Philippine Sea.


The committee chairman, Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said “I don’t know why we are not doing it weekly, or monthly,” noting the US has about 60 percent naval ships in Pacific region.

“Merely managing differences with China is not a successful formula particularly when such management cedes US influence and places American interest at risk in the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” Corker emphasized.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado said operations in sending US ships into the West Philippine Sea every three months “is simply insufficient to send a strong message to China.”

“As long as the United States remains fully present in the region, any tactical advantage that China derives from some of these outposts will be vastly outweighed by the net effect of surrounding itself with increasingly angry, increasingly suspicious neighbours who are increasingly close to the United States,” said Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey said that China was “dominating” the region. He advocated a tougher US stance, saying American instruments of national power “are only useful when they are fully deployed.”


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PH FLAG HOISTED IN TERRITORY NEAR TAIWAN
Posted on May 2, 2016


Nolcom PAO photo

 A three-star general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) led soldiers at exactly 12 noon on Saturday.


After the singing of national anthem and prayer that followed the hoisting of the flag, Lt. Gen. Romeo T. Tanalgo, commander, AFP Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) said “we raised the Philippine flag at exactly 12 noon when the sun (is) at its brightest, April 30 2016. We assert our sovereignty on this northern frontier of our nation. This is Mavulis island.”

“The purpose of putting up our flag is to assert our sovereignty, to let all the people know that this is (part of) our country,” Tanalgo added.

“We intend to protect this island. This is the shelter of our fishermen,” he said, as he assured the people of Batanes of continued Philippine Navy (PN) and Coast Guard (PCG) presence in the area.

“This is not aggressive, this is just asserting our sovereignty. Our mission of the armed forces is to protect the people and secure the sovereignty of the state,” he emphasized.

“We will always be there. Our fighting spirit will complement our perhaps lack of material capability. Together with the people, together with the government, your armed forces will now be more assertive,” Tanalgo stressed.

“Instead na tayo makinabang sa resources natin nakikihati pa sila (foreign poachers),” he added.

“So I am very hopeful that the hoisting of Philippine flag on Mavulis island can do a lot to address the problem of foreign intrusion here in the north,” he said.

Cyrus Baluca, 52, one of the afflicted fishermen said, “Dati-rati ang mga illegal fishermen dito, mga Taiwanese, madali silang itaboy. Tutukan mo lang sila ng patpat ng kawayan o kahoy tatakbo na.”

“Pero itong mga nakaraan na taon hindi na sila natataboy. Kami na ang hinahabol nila,” he added.

Baluca said he is hoping that the hoisting of the Philippine flag in the island will signal the end of foreign intrusion into our territory in the north, especially in its rich fishing grounds.

He stressed that not only have they started to lose their livelihood, but even the coral reefs in the area are now being destroyed because of these illegal activities. Manila Bulletin reports.