Trillanes: Investigate China’s continuing reclamation in West Philippines Sea

Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV files Proposed Senate Resolution No. 1269, seeking investigation on the alleged land reclamations and dredging operations of China on the disputed Spratly and the alleged downgrading of the Philippines’ claim over Sabah.

“This issue of China’s reclamation and dredging activities has grave national and regional security implications. It is high time that we assess our country’s preparedness for any contingency,” said Trillanes, chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.

In February, it was reported that China has been conducting dredging activities at Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef) — a Philippine-claimed area in the Spratlys, which Beijing occupied in the mid-1990s — similar to earlier reported land reclamation work in other areas of the Spratlys it occupies.

The DFA has lodged a protest with China concerning the said land reclamation activities. This was included in the note verbale handed to Chinese Embassy Representatives which expressed the Philippines’ strong objection to the stepped-up Chinese building activities at Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef), including the plan to build an airstrip on top of land dredged from around the area. Furthermore, this March, surveillance photos of five reefs in the Spratlys surfaced, which show an advanced stage of construction of a military facility, based on the configuration and the fixed structural design of the buildings. The Philippine military believes this construction to be part of China’s support naval and air asset operations in the area.

In addition to this brewing issue, Sultan Esmail Kiram II of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo (SSNB) expressed alarm over news reports that the DFA, in a note verbale handed to representative of the Malaysian Embassy, offered to drop the Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support against China in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) territorial dispute.

“If this allegation is true, the government must explain because this is tantamount to a sellout,” added Trillanes, former Navy officer.#


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Trillanes: Patuloy na Reklamasyon ng China sa West Philippines Sea, Imbestigahan

Naghain si Senador Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV ng panukalang Senate Resolution No. 1269 bilang tugon sa di-umano’y patuloy na reklamasyon at pangangamkam ng lupain ng China sa pinag-aagawang Spratlys.

“Ang isyu ng reklamasyon at dredging activities ng China sa Spratlys ay may malubhang implikasyon sa pambansang seguridad ng Pilipinas. Panahon na upang suriin natin at tiyakin ang kahandaan ng bansa sa anumang posibleng hindi magandang dulot nito,” ani Trillanes, Chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.

Noong Pebrero, napabalita na ang China ay di umano'y nagsasagawa ng dredging activities sa Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef)- isa sa mga Philippine-claimed areas sa Spratlys, na inokupahan ng Beijing noong mid-1990s. May mga nauna ng balita ukol sa reklamasyong isinasagawa ng China sa iba pang bahagi ng Spratlys na okupado nito.

Matatandaang, naghain na ng protesta ang DFA laban sa land reclamation activities ng China sa pamamagitan ng isang note verbale na ipinadala sa mga representante ng Chinese Embassy. Ang nasabing dokumento ay naglalaman ng mariing pagtutol ng Pilipinas sa pinaigting na aktibidad ng China sa Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef), kabilang di-umano sa kanilang mga plano na magtayo ng airstrip sa ibabaw ng hinukay na kalupaan. Dagdag pa rito, noong Marso, lumabas ang ilang surveillance photos ng limang reef sa Spratlys na nagpapakita ng patapos na konstruksyon ng isang military facility. Naniniwala rin ang mga militar na ang nasabing konstruksyon ay parte ng naval and air support asset operations ng China sa lugar.

Bukod pa sa isyung ito, nagpahayag din ng pagka-alarma si Sultan Esmail Kiram II, Sultanato ng Sulu at North Borneo (SSNB), sa mga balitang nag-alok ang DFA, sa pamamagitan ng note verbale, na bitawan na ang habol ng Pilipinas sa Sabah kapalit ng suporta ng Malaysia laban sa China, sa isyu ng West Philippine Sea.

“Kung totoo man ang alegasyong ito, dapat magpaliwanag ang gobyerno dahil ito ay katumbas ng isang sell out,” dagdag ni Trillanes, dating Navy officer. #