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[Philippines] Navy stops Panatag patrol

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发表于 2017-11-14 17:15 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
National security adviser says decision meant to ease tension in disputed waters0 e! s* W& k; N* k( h$ K1 ^
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https://globalnation.inquirer.ne ... tops-panatag-patrol: p' X7 M. s) {, g/ l! ^8 s
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Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:15 AM November 14, 2017& b5 c0 L* h( J. ]5 |# `4 [7 N

* |1 l: C$ E0 j4 ^5 ?* q1 [1 _BOLINAO, Pangasinan — The Navy has stopped sending patrols to the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal to ease tension with China, the national security adviser, Hermogenes Esperon Jr., said here last week.
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' i. J; f: D+ R+ l9 c9 x8 ?8 [“We do not send Navy ships to the area anymore. We send only the Philippine Coast Guard and fishing boats there so the Chinese no longer harass you there,” Esperon told fishermen when he led the distribution of fishing boats, gear and equipment for the fishing communities of this western Pangasinan town on Friday.8 n- X3 U+ r, j0 k/ V
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But Esperon also encouraged the fishermen to report to authorities any experience of bullying from the Chinese, “so we would know what to do.”& S$ w5 X# p, t. ^: {
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“It’s just Coast Guard to Coast Guard and fishermen to fishermen, so we are avoiding conflict [at Panatag],” he said.
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The Philippines, China and Taiwan claim Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (also known as South China Sea).
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On April 8, 2012, the Navy deployed BRP Gregorio del Pilar to Panatag after a surveillance plane spotted eight Chinese fishing vessels anchored in the shoal’s waters.
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# }0 {$ D2 P# Z/ M0 zTwo days later, Navy personnel boarded one of the foreign vessels and found illegally collected corals, giant clams and live sharks. Tension arose when the Navy tried to arrest the foreign fishermen and were blocked by Chinese maritime surveillance ships.
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1 L  x$ z9 j4 \3 |' j: WChinese ships seized the shoal that same year and had stopped entry of local fishermen until President Duterte brokered a deal with China when he assumed office in 2016.
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An international tribunal also ruled that China had no claim over the West Philippine Sea, although China refused to honor the decision." U: o+ J7 s: z0 O6 `

9 n4 @7 b9 J1 M. t! v0 [Esperon asked the fishermen to “give back” by guarding the sea from illegal fishing activities.- L3 q9 Y) f) ?! c5 ~

! Y2 n' g) K" V( r& C“Report to us any illegal activities that you see in the sea. If you allow the illegal activities, it is you who will suffer in the long run,” he said.; P4 _$ a; k: ]1 c6 E! g2 s

1 e- W6 X5 U+ @0 cHe promised to give them radio sets to make reporting efficient.7 K/ ]( l# o3 Q. M" I3 P* v7 R
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Esperon led the distribution of 29 boats of different sizes, “payaw” (fish aggregating devices) and other equipment worth P4.5 million to fishermen in Bolinao town and Alaminos City./ u, e5 `) _8 S, ]0 G  U
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Earlier, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the provincial government distributed P8.8 million worth of fishing gear and postharvest equipment to fishermen from central Pangasinan towns of San Fabian, Mangaldan, Calasiao, Binmaley, Lingayen, Labrador, Sual and Infanta. —YOLANDA SOTELO
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 楼主| 发表于 2017-11-22 08:16 | 显示全部楼层
Philippines Ends Naval Patrols Near Scarborough Shoal
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. x7 h  @) C- qhttp://www.benarnews.org/english ... 11212017115555.html: ^' C; v7 x+ T1 X, `; s, Y

- B' @1 W+ X: i# P* h7 }4 GFelipe Villamor+ z7 i% ~/ E  E
Manila
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+ c& [  L' v5 ?/ S* g4 e: B2017-11-21  Email story Comment on this story Share story
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The Philippines has virtually capitulated to Beijing by stopping naval patrols around a disputed shoal in the South China Sea since early 2016, a Filipino lawmaker alleged Tuesday.
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/ h0 ?/ L( H5 y/ ?5 BHouse of Representatives member Gary Alejano disputed a statement by the country’s national security adviser that the halt in naval operations was recent and meant to ease tensions caused by overlapping territorial claims in the sea. Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte hosted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang following an Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) summit in the Philippines.8 \) U. B7 ?# y( C# e  j3 ~
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“I have learned that since January of 2016 up to the present, the Philippine Navy has not conducted a single mission to Panatag Shoal,” Alejano said, using the Filipino name of Scarborough Shoal, a triangular shaped chain of reefs that lies only 227 miles (137 miles) west of Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the Philippines.' U" b) o+ R' F5 a. C1 G3 F# ?
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Alejano noted that the Philippines actively guarded the shoal beginning in 2012 when Chinese ships were spotted near the area.
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“In the years that followed, very few patrols were conducted,” Alejano, an ex-Marine captain, said. “In 2016, the government eventually ordered the complete halt of patrols in the area.”9 ^) [. q& g1 c
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Alejano’s statement was meant to counter National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, who recently said the navy had been pulled from the area to ease tensions with Beijing.
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“His statement holds little to no merit at all since the Philippines has already stopped conducting navy patrols for almost two years now,” Alejano said. “This is a clear attempt to hide the fact that we have long ceased our efforts to strengthen our claims on the disputed areas.”' V) b8 S" |3 ^1 T1 J

7 v( J( }  J1 B, hThe previous Philippine government took the Chinese government to court following a diplomatic standoff between the two nations over the shoal, which is well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.) d7 Q4 H) X1 H) t

0 l4 B* H& {& r. fIn July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in favor of Manila by rejecting China’s vast claims over the resource-rich and strategic sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year. But Beijing ignored the ruling, which the international community had hailed as landmark.' ]3 R+ f  c; D
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Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea on historical grounds, including areas near the shores of smaller neighbors. Apart from China and the Philippines, other Southeast Asian countries – Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam – along with Taiwan claim parts of the sea region.
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4 ]& J! ~/ L# h3 n5 I& Y6 q7 D‘Practically surrendered our rights’
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4 [0 e: |+ ]+ }" d- k! |Alejano said he had received intelligence that Chinese ships were still harassing Filipino fishermen despite last year’s ruling. Chinese forces have in fact “become more bold and fearless” in asserting their presence, with Filipino fishermen often opting to just stay away.
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The government had also ordered the air force to stop aerial patrols over the island, but the command had refused to comply, Alejano said. As a compromise patrols are carried out just once a month.! }7 r  Z/ a: N' s! k

! }( J7 P4 J, C* Z) H- S  E5 k: {7 G“It is extremely disheartening to see our own government limiting the AFP from performing its mandate,” he said, referring to the nation’s armed forces.
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9 e( k, o; o" S  h* i+ M( F, p“We have practically surrendered our rights in the West Philippine Sea by acceding to the requests, or shall we say pressures from China. The Duterte administration has bargained our claims in the West Philippine Sea in exchange for promised economic concessions,” Alejano said, using the Philippine name for South China Sea.
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. b1 c* e4 A9 w7 u7 a' dWhile the government has been providing boats and equipment to fishing communities in coastal provinces facing the disputed sea region, these ships lack the range to reach the shoal or sail farther out to the Spratly chain of islands, he said.
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Construction halted
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5 Q8 X2 p, S8 L' X2 D# D6 pAlejano’s assertions came shortly after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana publicly announced that Duterte had ordered a stop to the construction of huts on a sandbar near Pag-asa Island (also known as Thitu), a Philippine-claimed territory in the South China Sea.
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/ z9 [5 \+ l9 |The sandbar is about 2.5 nautical miles from Pag-asa, the Filipino word for “hope.”# Z) G5 \; j9 J: v# w4 L6 ^+ z

5 {' @: a' s6 F5 o! mDuterte has taken a friendly approach to the territorial dispute in hopes of repairing bilateral ties. His government moved to appease Beijing after last year’s ruling by the international arbitration tribunal.
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: T2 T4 q5 }1 w, A) y3 qFollowing this month’s ASEAN summit, Premier Li stayed behind in Manila where he was feted by Duterte. The two leaders noted a warming of relations, and witnessed the signing of multi-million dollar trade deals.
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3 x$ h4 R; q7 i* j9 y  R( hDuterte had noted a positive turnaround in relations, an observation shared by Li.
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Before the one-to-one meeting, the 10 members of ASEAN released a “chairman’s statement” that reaffirmed the importance of “peaceful resolution of disputes and the maintenance of peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation in and over flight in the South China Sea.”) ^$ q- Z9 ?( m) o5 ^: ?- p* N6 V
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“We also emphasized the importance of non-militarization in the South China Sea,” the document said, with all parties pledging to work for the conclusion of an effective code of conduct that would govern actions in the sea region.
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发表于 2017-11-22 08:48 | 显示全部楼层
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