China protests against Sec. Lorenzana’s visit to Pag-asa Island
admin • April 24, 2017 • 3417
MANILA — China is gravely concerned over the visit to Pag-asa Island last Friday of several Philippine government officials led by National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana .
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has initially said that even before their plane landed on Pag-asa Island last Friday, they received four warnings from the Chinese forces.
However, the official said this is but normal when there are visitors that come to the island.
“Protocol yan, we also reply that we are flying over Philippine territory, so yung challenged na yan, sagutan lang yan. Wala namang untoward incident na nangyari,” Secretary Lorenzana said. (That’s protocol. We also replied that we are flying over Philippine territory. So those challenge responses are required. There has been no untoward incident.)
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said this move runs counter to the important consensus reached between the two leaderships, President Xi Jinping and President Rodrigo Duterte. It is said that this is in line with resolving the issue in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.
But the Department of National Defense (DND) said it is part of the department secretary’s duty to inspect all facilities under his administration.
Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año sees no issues in these.
The official said Pag-asa Island is part of the Philippine territory where military troops are deployed.
Pag-asa Island is part of a municipality in Palawan.
The Department of Foreign Affairs maintained the department has initially stated it is the government’s duty to protect and ensure the security of Filipinos living on the island.
Meanwhile, upon visit to Pag-asa Island Secretary Lorenzana said he is not concerned over China’s reaction on the Philippine government’s move.
“Sagutan lang ng protest yan, so ganun lang muna yan, although we are managing the issues, through protests and dialogue, so wala naman sigurong mangyayarig hindi maganda,” he said. (There will be a series of protests. Although we are managing the issues, through protests and dialogue. So perhaps nothing bad will happen.) — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is seeking to further strengthen its naval and aerial assets following the series of uncoordinated passages of Chinese warships in the country’s waters.
AFP Western Mindanao Command spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas said they have already filed a proposal to intensify naval operations in their area after several Chinese ships were spotted passing through Philippine waters without notifying local authorities.
“Nagsubmit ng proposal na palakasin pa ang naval units dito sa area ng WESMINCOM upang sa ganun nga upang ma-address ang issues particularly dito sa maritime domain natin as far as security is concerned,” he said.
(A proposal has been submitted seeking to strengthen naval units in the WESMINCOM area in order to address the issues, particularly in our maritime domain as far as security is concerned.)
The AFP earlier reported that at least five Chinese naval ships sailed through Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi without prior coordination.
Based on their monitoring, five Chinese ships with bow numbers 998, 964, 195, 853 and 536 had been seen navigating the area between July and August.
The AFP said that aside from the said period, they have also spotted Chinese ships passing through the channel without permission since February.
The military said the vessels ignored radio communications from Philippine patrols.
The Sibutu Strait separates Sulu archipelago from Borneo.
Although considered an international sea lane where foreign vessels have the right of innocent passage, customary maritime law requires warships to coordinate with the coastal state beforehand.
The military said these ships could not claim innocent passage as they took a curved course and not a straight line.
“These previous months mayroon na tayong namomonitor na warships ng China kung kaya’t tuloy-tuloy po ang ginawang monitoring at patrolling ng ating Navy vessels at the same time, ‘yung ating Coast Guard diyan sa Sibutu Passage diyan natin nakikita lagi itong mga warship ng China,” Encinas said.
(These previous months, we have monitored Chinese warships in the area prompting continued monitoring and patrolling operations by our Navy vessels, at the same time, our Coast Guard in the Sibutu Passage where Chinese warships were spotted.)
Encinas added they have also informed the military national leaders on the monitored incursions to engage with their counterparts on the issue.
“Hindi po namin papayagan na pumasok ang AFP at PNP lalo na si Senador Bato at Duterte sa aming pamantasan dahil nakikita namin na wala silang puwang o agenda upang i-address ang mga bitbit naming panawagan [We will not allow the AFP and the PNP, especially Senator Bato and Duterte to enter our university because we know that they have no agenda to address our petitions],” said UP student Rachiel Villamor.
Several UP professors also joined the walkout.
“Alamin at kumilos na ipaglaban ang tingin nila ay tama. Yan ang itinuturo namin sa classroom. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng pagiging edukador. At magagawa yan hindi lang sa loob ng classroom. Magagawa yan kahit sa labas kahit sa lansangan [Know and act to fight what they think is correct. That is what we teach in the classroom. That is what a teacher is all about. And we can do that not only in the classrooms. We can do that even in the streets],” said Josephine Dionisio, chairperson of UP Department of Sociology.
Aside from the campus in Diliman, the National Day of Walkout was also observed in other UP campuses in the country. (from the report of Mon Jocson) /mbmf
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