Author Topic: Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea  (Read 1743 times)

adroth

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Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
« on: March 21, 2021, 02:03:22 PM »
Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
By Gigie Arcilla  March 20, 2021, 11:33 pm

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1134335

MANILA – The Philippine government on Saturday vowed to remain steadfast in its duty to protect Philippine sovereignty and its sovereign rights in the country’s maritime domain amid reports on the presence of Chinese maritime militia vessels at Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea. 

The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS), in a statement, said the Philippines shall adhere to its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“The government shall continue to peacefully and proactively pursue its initiatives on environmental protection, food security, and freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea as part of its overall national security policy,” the NTF-WPS statement read.

The NTF-WPS expressed concern about the confirmed report from the Philippine Coast Guard that around 220 Chinese Fishing Vessels (CFVs), believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel, were sighted moored in line formation at the Julian Felipe Reef (Whitsun Reef) on March 7.

“The NTF-WPS notes this circumstance as a concern due to the possible overfishing and destruction of the marine environment, as well as risks to the safety of navigation,” it said.

The Reef is a large boomerang-shaped shallow coral reef at the northeast of Pagkakaisa Banks and Reefs (Union Reefs), located approximately 175 Nautical Miles west of Bataraza, Palawan.

It is within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf (CS), over which the country enjoys the exclusive right to exploit or conserve any resources which encompass both living resources, such as fish, and non-living resources such as oil and natural gas.

The statement added that despite clear weather at the time, the Chinese vessels massed at the reef showed no actual fishing activities and had their full white lights turned on during night time. (PNA)

adroth

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Re: Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2021, 01:48:33 AM »
US leads nations backing PH in new West Philippine Sea tensions
By CNN Philippines Staff

Published Mar 25, 2021 6:30:25 AM

https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/3/25/US-leads-nations-backing-PH-in-new-West-Philippine-Sea-tensions.html

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 25) — The United States was joined by Japan, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom in expressing strong support to the Philippines' filing of diplomatic protest over the deployment of suspected Chinese maritime militia vessels in the West Philippine Sea.

The U.S. State Department affirmed its commitment to stand with Manila after over 200 militia boats were spotted on March 7 at the Julian Felipe Reef, located within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone as provided in the historic 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling.

As of Monday, 183 vessels suspected to be Chinese maritime militia remained station in Philippine waters despite formal protests.

"We call on Beijing to stop using its maritime militia to intimidate and provoke others, which undermines peace and security," U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a tweet.

The U.S. Embassy in Manila earlier backed the Philippines in its diplomatic protest, with its filing confirmed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. last Sunday.

< Edited >

adroth

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Re: Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2021, 01:52:31 AM »
China denies incursion as 200 ships dock at Philippine reef
Mon, March 22, 2021, 3:15 AM

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/china-denies-incursion-200-ships-101540719.html

BEIJING (AP) — Bad weather prompted more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels to anchor at a reef claimed by the Philippines, Beijing said on Monday, sidestepping accusations from Manila of a move by China's vast South China Sea maritime militia to assert control in the area.

However, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying pointedly told reporters at a briefing Monday that Whitsun Reef was part of the Spratly Islands, one of the main archipelagoes in the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety.

“Recently, due to the sea conditions, some Chinese fishing boats have taken shelter from the wind near the Whitsun Reef. I think it is very normal and hope all parties can look at it rationally," Hua said at the daily briefing.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called on Sunday for China to “stop this incursion and immediately recall these boats violating our maritime rights and encroaching into our sovereign territory.”

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adroth

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Re: Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2021, 02:34:33 AM »
Where Julian Felipe (Whitson) Reef is located, relative to other PH outposts in the KIG


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Re: Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2021, 02:56:07 AM »
Philippines sends fighter aircraft over Chinese vessels in South China Sea
By Reuters Staff
MARCH 27, 20218:49 PMUPDATED 15 HOURS AGO

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-china-southchinasea/philippines-sends-fighter-aircraft-over-chinese-vessels-in-south-china-sea-id

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine military is sending light fighter aircraft to fly over hundreds of Chinese vessels in disputed waters in the South China Sea, its defence minister said, as he repeated his demand the flotilla be withdrawn immediately.

< Edited >

The Philippine military aircraft were sent daily to monitor the situation, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement late on Saturday.

Lorenzana said the military will also beef up its naval presence in the South China Sea to conduct “sovereignty patrols” and protect Filipino fishermen.

“Our air and sea assets are ready to protect our sovereignty and sovereign rights,” Lorenzana said.

< Edited >

adroth

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Re: Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2021, 10:18:35 AM »
Chinese vessels warned, told PH Navy, PCG ships to leave Julian Felipe Reef- Lorenzana

Published March 29, 2021, 3:32 PM
by Martin Sadongdong

https://mb.com.ph/2021/03/29/chinese-vessels-warned-told-ph-navy-pcg-ships-to-leave-julian-felipe-reef-lorenzana/

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed on Monday, March 29, that the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ships that were sent to the Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea were asked to leave by the the crew of the Chinese vessels who insisted that the area is part of China’s territory.

“There was no physical confrontation but there were warnings. They warned us ‘do not come here.’ But we responded that we are patrolling our area. It’s just a standard exchange,” Lorenzana said in a television interview over CNN Philippines.

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adroth

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Re: Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2021, 02:21:16 PM »
Delfin Lorenzana
@del_lorenzana

https://twitter.com/del_lorenzana/status/1378211290066251778

The Chinese Ambassador to the PH has a lot of explaining to do. There are still 44 Chinese vessels that are in Julian Felipe Reef. I am no fool. The weather has been good so far, so they have no reason to stay there. These vessels should be on their way out. Umalis na kayo diyan.




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Re: Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 01:17:19 PM »
Duterte stands by Lorenzana’s remark on Julian Felipe Reef
By Azer Parrocha  April 5, 2021, 5:02 pm

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1135783

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is standing by the strong statement made by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana demanding the immediate departure of the remaining 44 Chinese vessels from the Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said Monday.

Lorenzana on Saturday told the remaining 44 Chinese vessels to leave, saying they had no more reason to take shelter there since the weather has cleared.

In response, the Chinese Embassy in Manila called Lorenzana’s remark “unprofessional”, maintaining its historical claim over the feature which is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“Of course, the President stands by the statements of our Secretary of Defense,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview over CNN Philippines.

Roque, however, pointed out that the presence of Chinese ships in the area would not lead to war.

“I hasten to add that the President has been clear that this is not an issue that will lead to war between friendly nations. We are hoping that our friendly relations will soon resolve this latest impasse,” he added.

In a Palace press briefing aired over PTV-4, Roque cited Duterte’s speech during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2020 where the latter affirmed the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) ruling in favor of the Philippines’ arbitration case against China’s expansive maritime claims in the disputed sea.

“Hindi po nagbabago ang posisyon ng ating Presidente. Eto po yung kanyang nabanggit na salita sa UN General Assembly. Hindi po natin isasakripisyo, hindi natin ipamimigay ang ating national territory at ang ating mga exclusive economic zone (The President’s position has not changed. He mentioned this during his speech at the UN General Assembly. We will not sacrifice or give away our national territory and EEZ),” he said.

Roque said Duterte also believes that friendly relations between the Philippines and China will result in the peaceful resolution of this impasse.

“Ang posisyon po ng Presidente, paninindigan natin ang ating karapatan pero hindi po to isang bagay para tayo po ay gumamit ng dahas. Kampante po ang ating Presidente na dahil nga po mero tayong malapit na pagkakaibigan mareresolba ang hidwaan na ‘to (The President’s position is that we will fight for our rights, but this is no reason for us to use force. Our President is confident that our strong ties would resolve this impasse),” he added.

He also reiterated support for Lorenza’s demand for Chinese vessels to leave the Julian Felipe Reef.

“I think Secretary Lorenzana was correct in pointing out that we consider that area as part also of Philippine territory and exclusive economic zone,” he said.

‘Sovereignty non-negotiable’

In a separate statement, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo expressed opposition over the “unjustified stay” of Chinese vessels at the Julian Felipe Reef, saying it could result in “unwanted hostilities” between the two countries.

“While we recognize the historical and cultural ties with China that have evolved into a productive relationship, its present territorial incursions is producing an unwelcome stain in their bond and may trigger unwanted hostilities that both countries would rather not pursue, as destructiveness consequences are not only undesirable, they are abhorrent as well and anathema to the peace of the region,” Panelo said.

Panelo insisted that the country’s sovereignty is “non-negotiable” despite the Philippines’ improved ties with China.

“Let it be clear to all countries of the world that are protective of their own sovereignties. Like them, we are fiercely protective of ours. We can negotiate on matters of mutual concern and benefit, but make no mistake about it -- our sovereignty is non-negotiable,” he added.

He said the matter of territorial dispute has to be resolved in the “diplomatic negotiating table or by the dictates of international law.”

The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea earlier expressed concern over a Philippine Coast Guard report that about 220 Chinese fishing vessels, believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia personnel, were sighted in line formation at the Julian Felipe Reef on March 7.

The reef is located approximately 175 nautical miles west of Bataraza, Palawan.

The Department of Foreign Affairs expressed support over the DND's demand for the remaining Chinese ships' withdrawal from the Julian Felipe Reef.

"[T]he Philippines’ position on this continued Chinese presence in the WPS has been unequivocal, as articulated by the recent statement of the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea and the statement today by the Department of National Defense," the DFA said.

On March 21, the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest over the presence of around 200 Chinese ships at the Julian Felipe Reef.

The DFA on Monday “strongly” denounced the Chinese embassy’s “unprofessional” comment against Lorenzana.

“The DFA strongly denounces the Embassy’s attempt to impugn the Secretary of National Defense -- a Cabinet official of the Republic of the Philippines -- by calling his statement ‘unprofessional,’” the DFA said in a statement. (PNA)

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Re: Gov’t vows to protect sovereign rights over West PH Sea
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2021, 11:04:11 AM »
DFA summons Chinese envoy; demands anew ships' withdrawal in WPS
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora  April 13, 2021, 2:53 pmShare

https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1136613

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has summoned Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian on Monday to express "utmost displeasure" over the presence of Chinese vessels off the Julian Felipe Reef.

"[T]he DFA reiterated the firm demand of the Philippines that China ensures the immediate departure of all its vessels from the area of Julian Felipe Reef and other maritime zones of the Philippines," it said in a statement on Tuesday.

DFA Acting Undersecretary Elizabeth Buensuceso told Huang that Julian Felipe Reef lies within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone and that the Chinese vessels around the feature are a "source of regional tension."

The official also said the July 2016 Award in the South China Sea Arbitration ruled that claims to historic rights, or other sovereign rights or jurisdiction that exceed the geographic and substantive limits of maritime entitlements under UNCLOS, are without lawful effect.

On the previous untoward statements of the Chinese embassy spokesperson on Defense Secretary Lorenzana, Buensuceso reminded the Chinese side of proper decorum and manners in the conduct of their duties as guests of the Philippines.

"Both sides affirmed the use of peaceful settlement of disputes in addressing their differences on the South China Sea/West Philippines issue," the DFA said.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said there are still nine Chinese ships left in the area.

'Tradition yields to law'

The Chinese side has insisted that the Julian Felipe Reef or what it calls Niu'e Reef is part of its territory, adding the reef and its adjacent waters are traditional fishing grounds for Chinese fishermen.

In previous Chinese Foreign Ministry statements, it also said China has "historical rights in the South China Sea."

In a separate tweet, Locsin said tradition yields to law and that the law on the matter is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award.

"There are a little over a dozen left. Come, come, time to go. As I said, while it may well be traditional fishing grounds, tradition yields to law and the law on the matter are UNCLOS and The Arbitral Award and the common rules of statutory construction," he said.

Locsin also said these incursions achieve nothing in law as fishing is not an act of possession nor a claim of ownership.

"Also that it is a goddamned distraction from the beneficial potential of the good relations China and the Philippines have built under PRRD (President Rodrigo Duterte) and that these incursions achieve nothing in law because, e.g., fishing is not an act of possession nor a claim of ownership; fishing is just fishing and even if you take your damned time fishing in the same spot it is still only what you claim it is—fishing," he said.

"Our partnership has so much potential not just for our mutual but even more for the benefit of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). What a waste of great opportunities for good. Let’s give it a rest," he added. (PNA)