at your service across the land...


1 Weather Forecast


Phil Star p. A28


Nun says rebel tag Army gave her brings her fear A nun, who has been in the forefront of environment activism in Davao Oriental, said she fears for her life after the military tagged her as a communist rebel. (Karlos Manlupig) Groups decry NPA for use of landmines Army forces in the Western Visayas region on Thursday have joined civic and religious groups in condemning the continued use of land mines by the NPA in attacking government troops, (Anthony Vargas) Military condemns NPA rebs for recruiting minors The military yesterday condemned the communist NPA for recruiting minors, following the surrender of a wounded, 17-year-oldd guerilla in Northern Mindanao. (DJ Yap) 2 NPA, nasakote Dalawang miyembro ng NPA ang nadakip ng mga awtoridad kamakalawa sa bayan ng Can-Avid, Eastern Samar. Rebel slapped with arson, robbery raps The CIDG has filed robbery in band and arson charges against sixteen rebel leaders and 120 others in connection with the attack of a mining company in Surigao del Norte on October last year. (Anthony Vargas) Massacre trial reset; witness a no-show JUDGE Jocelyn-Solis Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 reset yesterday's hearing of 2009 Maguindanao massacre for next week as the prosecution failed to present Army Col. Randolph Cabangbang who was to testify on a military report about the carnage. (Angela de Leon) NPA child warrior surrenders A minor surrendered to the military after being injured in a firefight between Army soldiers and his NPA comrades in Trento town, Agusan del Sur last Monday. (Victor Reyes)

PDI p. A-17

Mia, Times p,A6


PDI p, A8


Bulgar p. 4

Mia Times p. A6


Malaya p, 83


Malaya p. 83

Sundaiong napatay sa Camarines Norte, nailibing na 7
Nailibing na rin ang isa sa mga napatay na sundalo sa bayan ng Labo sa Camarines Norte. Hindi na ininda pa ng pamilya ni PFC Scencio Potian Jr. ang pagbuhos ng ulan kaninang tanghali kasabay ng paghatid sa huling hantungan sa naturang sundalo ..


Bombo Radyo

Military now mum on Panatag situation Defense and military officials are now withholding comment on developments in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal off Zambales that is also being claimed by China. "Statements on monitoring of the situation is no longer within our Jevel," a military official based in Northern Luzon told The STAR yesterday, referring to the ongoing standoff in Panatag Shoal, which is Phil Star p. 1


124 nautical miles from Masinloc, Zambales. (Jaime Laude) China travel agencies suspend trips to Phi Chinese travel agencies have suspended tourist packages to 9-10 the Philippines and promised refunds to customers who have booked trips, Chinese state media reported Thursday, as tensions over disputed islands in the South China Sea escalated, (Reuters) China in Tough talk The month-long standoff between China and the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal at the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) is 11- 13 snowballing with hints of economic retaliation and sharpening public opinion that are narrowing the space for a negotiated settlement. (Evangeline de Vera). China exec tells PH media to help ease tensions between Manila and Beijing The Philippine press has a role to play in helping ease 14 tensions between Manila and Beijing over their territorial dispute in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), a top Chinese official said on Thursday, (Christine Avendano) China suspends tours to PH China told its citizens on Thursday they were not safe in the 15-16 Philippines and its state media warned of war, as a month-long row over rival claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) threatened to spill out of control. RP says US to protect it in South China Sea The Philippines said Wednesday the United States had 17 pledged to protect it from attacks in the West Philippine Sea, a day after China issued a warning over a territorial row in the waters. (Ben Rosario) 5 Chinese Warships Sent To Scarborough China sent five warships to the disputed Scarborough Shoal 18 off the west coast of the Philippines with the warning that Beijing is ready for "any escalation" of the conflict. DFA to pursue diplomatic consultations The Philippines is willing to match Beijing announcement of 19-20 preparations for an escalation of tensions in Panatag Shoal with "diplomatic consultations", unless the message is meant to intimidate, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said, (Pia Brago) Nabulabog na ang boung mundo sa agawan ng 'Pinas at China sa Scarborough Naglabas na ng advisory ang Chinese government sa lahat 21 ng kanilang Embahada sa boung daigdig na maging maingat at huwag makialam, manood at manatili sa kanilang tirahan ang mga Chinese Citizens sa iba't-ibang bansa sakaling magkaroon ng malawakang protesta ang mga PlIipino sa iba't ibang Embahada ng China.

Phil Star p. 1

Malaya p. B1

POI p. A-21

Mia Times p, A1


Tempo p. 2

Mia, Bulletin p. 1


Phil Star p, 1

22 23-24 25 26 Right on Wheels US assures Relying PH of assistance belongs to China on MDT POI p. A14 POI p. A15 Malaya p. A4 Phil Star p. 17

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May 2012



Nun says rebel tag Army gave her brings her fear
DAVAO CITY-A nun, who has been in the forefront of environmental activism in Davao Oriental, said she fears far her life after the military tagged her as a communist rebel. Sr. Stella Matunina, wha works with the environmental group .Panalipdan, said she has been receiving threats since a military officer pointed to her. as a member of the New People's sons for his killing .. "I am currently facing threats, redtagging and tormenting psychological torture. And I believe that this is happening because of my advocacy," ..Maturina said. Montelibano could not be reached for comment but his commander, Lt. Col. Leopolda Imbang Jr., instantly dismissed Matutina's claim as pure hearsay and urged her to be factuaL . "In my experience as battalion commander and former junior officer, such deceptions, lies, intrigues and propaganda have always been there. It never changes. It is obvious that these groups are just sowing intrigues," he said. Imbang said the allegation' would not stop the military from its peace and development campaign in the province. But human rights group Barug Katurrgod Mindanao (Stand Up for Human Rights) said it was not buying Imbang's line and urged an investigation into Montelibano's supposed statement. ."If something happens to me, I would definitely identify the military as the culprit," said the nun. Karlos Manlupigwith a report from Ayan Mellej01;

Army (NPA).

Quoting a witness, Matutina said ILt. Hermie Montelibano, of the 28th Infantry Battalion, identified the nun as a member of NPA at a recent community assembly organized by the military in Lupon, Davao Oriental, "Do you remember the recently killed Italian priest Fr. (Fausto) Tentoria? He was an NPA. There is also a woman introducing herself as a nun, but she is not a nun because she is an NPA. Stella is her name," Matutina quoted Montelibano as saying based on the witness' account. Tentoria, an Italian missionary and parish priest of Arakan town in North Cotabato, was killed on Oct .. 17, .2011 as he was leaving his parish compound for a clergy meeting. His colleagues believe his environmental activism and prohuman rights campaign were the rea-

Inquirer Mindanao


.._ __.




Groupsdecry NPA for use of landmines

t11lJt ]ltlantla




RMY forces in the Western Visayas region on Thursday have joined civic rid religiousgroups in condemning the continued use of landmines the New People's Army (NPA) in attacking .government troops.


Major General Jose Mabanta Ir., said the continued use oflandmlnes by NPA rebels is in direct violations

of the Comprehensive Agreement on. the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law

(CARHRIHL). "Wehave enough of the landmines here in the Western Visayas.Civilians have been victims of the use of this banned weapons and damage to property is another, " Mabanta said in a statement. The anny official reiterates that the N~A should stop using landmines. which have also hurt not only government troops, but also civilians and must follow what was agreed when CARHRlHLwas Signed. "Let us not allow more of these senseless losses of life and injury to

continue and we call on them (NPA) to stop using landmines and spare civilians. We joined the number of people condemning the use of land mines: Mabanta said. The army official also added that other army units nationwide will be also issuing similar statement of condemnation on. the use of Iandmines, which Mabanta said violates CARHRlHL. CARHRIHLis the first of the four agreements in the agenda of the for, mal talks between the government and the National Democratic Front

of the Philippines (NDFP), which represents the NPA and Communist Party of the Philippines. CARHRIHL was signed on March 1998 at the Hague, Netherlands and was approved on April 1998 by Maria Orosa, NDFP national council chair. man and by then-President Joseph Estrada in August ofthe same year. CARHRIHLstates that both parties' should affirm and apply the principles of international humanitarian law in order to protect the civilian population and individual civilians.




Ad Page: __ ~_ _

Military condemns NPA rebs for recruiting minors


By OJ Yap
THE MILITARY yesterday condemned the communist New People's Army (NPA) for recruiting minors, following the surrender of a wounded, 17-year-old guerrilla in Northern Mindanao. . Maj. Gen. Victor A. Felix, commander of the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City, issued a statement saying the NPA was capitalizing. on the innocence of minors to

further its cause instead of letting them go The boy had a gunshot wound in his left school and live normal lives. thigh, which prompted his evacuation to "We condemn the strategy of the NPA of us- Camp Evangelista Station Hospital. Doctors ifl& and persuading minors to bear anus and and nurses at the hospital promptly attended fight against the government," Felix said. to the boy, the 4th ID statement said. Felix issued the statement after 17-year. The boy was wounded in combat operaold member of Guerrilla Front20'of the NPRs tions carried out by the 4th and 10th IDs at Southern Mindanao Regional Committee sur- the boundaries of Compostela Valley and rendered to the military at the. 75th Infantry Agusan del Sur. "Marauder" Battalion camp in Barangay MaHis family was among residents evacuatharlika, Bislig City, on Thesday. . ed from a barangay where government troops and NPA guerrillas clashed on Monday, the 4th lD said. "These evacuees were checked and were given relief goods by the Brigade, which had been the deciding point of his mother who convinced him to surrender," the statementsaid. "This minor should have been sent to school to study, graduate and be employed in the future," Felix said. Felix called on the government to pay more attention to. educating children to thwart the NPA strategy of using child soldiers.


New People's Army (NPA) ang nadakip ng ,mga awtoridad kamakalawa sa bayan ng Can-AVid sa lala~g ito. .... j ·K.iIl.iIala ang mga suspek nil sma ROOutfu Bula ] Capacite alias "Caloy", 54-anyos at Belinda Ohin . Capacite alias ''Calay'', 49, kapwa residenteng Bgy. Boca, sa nasabing bayan. ' .. Naaresto ang dalawa dahilsa warrant of arrest na ipinatabas ni Judge Filotea M. Estorninos ng Regional Trial Court Branch 4, Dolores, Eastern Samar. Nahatid na hindi nanlaban ang dalawang NPA nang dakpin sila ng mga awtoridad.

EASTERN SAMAR- Dalawangmiyembrong

-- ..





May 2012

I fEbt llantla ~




Rebels slapped with arson, robbery raps
THE Criminal Investigation and De- 'CIDG unit in SurigaodeJ Norte for their endeavors in the conduct of tection Group (CIDG) has filed robthorough investigation leading to the bery in band and arson charges filing of charges against several NPA against sixteen rebel leaders and 120 leaders and rebels in Mindanao. others in connection with the attack Charged were 16 NPA leaders led , of a mining company in Surigao del by Jorge Madlos alias Oris, spokesman Norte on October last year. of NPA Mindanao Committee; Myrna CmG chief, Director Samuel Sularte alias Maria Malaya, Iyay; SingPagdilao Jr.,said that the charges were bing, Imang, secretary of NPA'sNorth filed bythe CIDG field office in Surigao Eastern Mindanao Committee .' del Norte under Senior Inspector Also charged areNando Robucaalias Gerson Soliven last Monday before the Surigao City Prosecutor's office... Putol: Rommel Salinas alias Mark, Artem, Doming; Pablo Logatiman alias The said charges are in connection with the rebel attack on the mining . Boni, Mike, Bedo; Edilborte Reponte Dabal alias Bong Waco;lsagani Madlos site of the Platinum Croup Metal Corp alias Edron; a certain Bea;Daday; Rudy; [PGMC) in Claver, Sun gao del Norte Nayan; Grace; Liam; Owen/long Jolast October 2011, the CIDG chiefsaid, seph; Crls/Tomas and 120 other susPagdilao lauded the effort of the pected members ofNPA rebels with last known address at Barangay Cadianao, Claver, Surigao del Norte. Soliven said that all 16 who were named in the complaint were positively identified by witnesses as the personalities who led the rebel attack at the PGMC mining site in Cadianao, Claver town last October 3, 201L Soliven said that police records , revealed that Madlos, Sularte and Edron have standing warrant of arrests for other NPA-related atrocities inNorthern Mindanao. Investigation disclosed that the attack on PGMC resulted in the destruction of , 18 trucks and other heavy equipments amounting to more than P2 billion. ANTHONY VARGAS




1 --1 --

May 2012

The Natrona'




Massacre trial reset; .witness a no-show
JUDGE]oceiyn-Solis Reyes of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 reset yesterday's hearing of 2009 Maguindanao massacre for next week as the prosecution failed to present Army Col. Randolph Cabangbang who was to testify on a military report about the carnage. A court staff said the prosecution panel already told Reyes on Wednesday that Cabangbang would not appear in court as he is looking after his sick father. Cabangbang was supposed to testify on "military reports" submitted to former President Gloria Arroyo on Dec. 12, 2009. . She said with pending cases Private prosecutor Nena San- filed by' some of the accused tos said these "confidential docu- before the Court of Appeals, ments" contained details of the the QC RTCBranch 221 has military's investigation on the held in abeyance the arraignment of some. suspects and the massacre. The court staff said Reyes presentation of the prosecution scheduled the next hearing on witnesses as a matter of "judicial courtesy" to the appellate court. May 16. Santos stressed that due to Santos said the prosecution "judicial courtesy," the arraignpanel is considering writing the Supreme Court on the al- ment of several accused and the presentation of prosecution witleged "abuse" of the defense nesses were prevented despite of the term "judicial courtesy" to block the arraignment of having no temporary restraining order or injunction issued on suspects and the presentation them. -Angela Lopez de Leon of witnesses in the case.

NPA child warrior surrenders

MINOR surrendered to the military after being injured in a fireflghr between Army soldiers and his New People's Army comrades in Trento town, Agusan del Sur last Monday. basao, 17, was brought to a hospital in Camp Evangelista,home of the 4th InfantryDivision in Cagayan de Oro City,fortreatment of a gunshot wound in his left
John Mark Malin...

Malimbasao, resa ident of Upper Visayasin Pulang Bato village in Trento town, is a member of the NPA'sGuerrillaFront 20 of the Southern Mindanao Regional Committee, saidMaj.Eugenio Osias,spokesman of the Army's 4th Infantry Division.

He also said a policeman kidnapped last year has identified Malimbasao as one of his abductors. Osias said Malimb a s a o was left behind by his retreating comrades. Village residents found him and later convinced the minor to surrender to the Army's 75th Infantry Battalionin Maharlikavillagein Bislig City. - Victor


Source: Sundalong napatay sa Camarines Norte nailibing na

NAGA CITY - Nailibing

na rin ang isa sa mga napatay na sundalo sa bayan ng Labo sa Camarines ng ulan kaninang

Norte. ng paghatid sa

Hindi na ininda pa ng pamilya ni PFC Scencio Potian Jr. ang pagbuhos huting hantungan sa naturang sundalo. Kaugnay nita, halos hindi pa rin matanggap Kasabay kasi ng pagbuhos Samantala, ng ina ang kinahinatnan

tanghali kasabay

ng kanyang bunsong anak. sa nasimulan ng kanyang pinakamamahal nita. na anak.

ng ulan ang hinagpis nita at panghihinayang

tufad ng inaasahan,

binigyan ng 21-gun salute ang sundalo bilang pagbigay pugay sa kabayanihan


\\ May 2012



Military nowmum 'on Panatag situation

Military now

,From Page 1

Defense and military officials are now withholding comment on developments in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal off Zambales that is also being claimed by China. "Statements on monitoring of the situation is no longer within our level," a military official based in Northern Luzon told The STAR yesterday, referring to the ongoing standoff in Panatag Shoat which is 124 nautical miles from Masinloc, The Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) under Lt. Gen. Anthony Alcantara has operational jurisdiction over Panatag Shoal, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) .is now dealing with all underlying matters resulting from the month-long territorial standoff. "Hutoag natin palakihin pa (Let's not make this issue bigger)," Gazmin said, referring to the series of pronouncefilents coming from Beijing, including a claim made by a Chin~se television commentator saymg that the Philippines belongs to China. China also declared its readiness for "any escalation" in the event the Panatag Shoal standoff worsens. A month ago yesterday, two Chinese Maritime Surveillance Vessels (CMS) prevented
Turn to Page 14 Zambales,

the Philippine Navy flagship BRP Gregorio del Pilar from arresting Chinese fishermen who were poaching inside the lagoon of Panatag Shoal. The standoff continued after Beijing deployed one of its modem ships, the FLEC (fisheries and Law Enforcement Command) 310 in the area in support of their other vessels that are now pre-positioned in the mouth of the lagoon. Local fishermen from Masinloc, Zambales complained that Chinese vessels have . barred them from entering Panatag ShoaL ., Members of the militant fisherfolk group Pamalakaya dared presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Defense Secretary Gazmin to visit Pan- . , j.,/.{" atag Shoal to see how Filipino ... fishermen are being barred from entering the lagoon in Panatag Shoal that is also ~~. . called Bajo de Masinlcc and Karburo by local fishermen. "The people and the local government of Masinloc .are telling the world that small fishermen are barred from entering Panatag Shoal," said Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya president. Masinloc Mayor Desiree .Edora said that Chinese vessels have prevented local fisher-

men from fishing inside the lagoon of Bajo de Masinloc, Edora's municipal secretary Rjay Bautista said that these recent incidents at Bajo de Masinloc have been recorded by the Navy and by the Nolcom troops who interviewed the fishermen following their return from Panatag Shoal last Sunday. . Meanwhile, the defense department is also mum on the decision of Chinese travel agencies to suspend tourist packages to the Philippines. "Let us not blow that up. We'll just let the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) answer that," Gazmin said. Rommel Banlaoi, executive director of think tank Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, dismissed the move of the Chinese travel agencies. "That is not prudent for China to suspend tourist packages to the Philippines amid the Panatag Shoal standoff," Banlaoi said. "If that is true, it is not a friendly gesture, considering that years 2012 and 2013have been declared years of friendly exchanges between the Philippines and China," he added ..
- With Alexis Romero






Page:_~;....' _

The firms, which also iri- .' "Since ancie t t; I n imes cu d e Chi r S b' Clhn~ rlgtgesttl t:avel nationhasdeemedwarthelast Our offidalorders. agency ina n erna rona l •... resartinhandlingst tt The Shanghai Tourism BuTour Service (Crrs), cited safe- ..•. relations Bu't Man·ale: °l~s~ate reau had also ordered a susf th' . 1 a IS 1 vmg ~ctoncerdns orftesBu~F.enslo~d' inafantasyworldifitrnistakes pension, according to staff lUS two d's ~ e~, elJlng S~l . our forbearance for timidity. with the Yiyou and Guojikl~ w:;~ rethay or .athnyMesc.a a"This is a dangerous d'e1u- .uaixian travel agencies in the non m e row WI am a. l sion. We have never b eastern financial hub. The Panatag Shoal standoff een a . None of the agents would is one of the most high-profile trigger-happy nation. But nor give their names because of the '. " incidents for years between have we ever been afraid to . sensitivity of the matter. Calls the two countries over their . fight when necessary." . to China's national tourism ad.Companies including Ctrip. competing terrhorial claims to . Beijing has also ordered ministration rang unanswered com and Beijing International parts of the South China Sea, . stiffened inspections on im- Thursday. Travel Service have halted all ' which is ,believed to sit atop ported philippine fruit such as In Manila, Tourism Assistours to the Philippines and say va~~oil and gas depos~t~. b.ananas, pi which China is the tant Secretary and spokesman they will not accept bookings 'V!estopped orgarn.~m~for smgl~ largest buy~::, ' Benito Bengzon belied reports 'until the situation improves, tounsts to go to the PhIhppmes Tl;lS follows B:iJ~g s sum- that Chinese travel agents Chinese media reported .: Turn to Page 14 n;omr:g of Man~la s char~e have suspended trips to the Meanwhile, a coalition of d ~ffairs three. tlme,s~ while Philippines. . Filipino activist groups is planr~tired and serving milit~r~ ofBengzon said that contrary ning to hold rallies at Chinese ,because of the current situa- fic.e~shave cal1~djor a limited to news reports, they have not embassies around the world tion," an employee at the CITS ml~lta;y ope:a~?n to shore up received any official advice to support the Philippine gov- .Beijing branch told AFP. . China s credlbl.hty on the ~tconcerning the decision of tour ernment amid an increasingly China Youth Tour Service, ter - a potentially ~xplos1Ve agencies to cancel travel to the hostile row with China over another prominent travel move that c?~ld .tngger the country. Panatag Shoal in the West Philagency, confirmed the suspen1951 US-Phlhppllle Mutual "We are appealing to the ippine Sea. sian, saying tourism authoriDefe~~ T~eaty. media to desist from making Organizers are hoping thou- .ties had asked them to stop . Beijing s ~~ves on tour- any speculation because it is t sands of people will attend sending groups of tourists to ISn: a~d fruit lmports are a best to allow diplomatic chan,what they expect to be the bigthe Philippines, variation of unacknowledged nels to sort out this matter" gest of the rallies; in Manila, Another agency - Zhongeconomic pressure employed .: Bengzon said. r and the Chinese embassy has tang International Travel Ser- in past international. disputes. circulated an advisory ahead vice-said it was currently "too . China International Travel 'Stay off the streets' of the protest.' dangerous" to send people to The suspensions come as Service, one of the country's The month-long standoff .the country. largest, said it was suspending China's embassy in Manila between China and the Philip- , On Thursday an editorial in trips from Thursday based on issued a safety warning to its pines over a remote shoal in the .the official. English-language safety considerations, Nation- nationals in the Philippines West Philippine Sea is snow- , China Daily newspaper hinted wide online agency over protests planned on the balling, with hints of economic :at the possibility of war over has also suspended trips,an retaliation and sharpening; \the incident. agent said, citing "anti-China public opinion on both sides, ; . "No matter how willing we sentiments in that country possibly narrowing the space I are to discuss the issue, the right now." She said the comfor a negotiated settlement. !current Philippine leadership pany acted on its own without .is intent on pressing us into ra corner where there is no . .. .'other option left but the use of . OFFICE" '. .......\ . arm~," it sak~: . ... ' .'•..•..... .•. ; ..' . "... . .. '.. " . ." .. .

SHANGHAI -. Chinese travel agencies have suspended tourist packages to the Philippines and promised refunds to customers who have booked trips, Chinese state media reported yesterday, as tensions over disputed islands in the South China Sea escalated.






.OF TijE ARMYCKIEi= PUI1U\# AtfAiRti -email .. Tel no.(021892~1693.LOcak6287,5295 .



weekend. Chinese tourists also make up about 9 percent of total arrivals to the Philippines, according to the Philippines Department of Tourism. The Chinese embassy to the Philippines warried its citizens in Manila to stay off the streets during planned anti-China protests expected to take place on Friday. "Avoid going out at all if possible, and if not to avoid going out alone," said the advisory, which was posted on the embassy's website in Chinese. "If you come across any .demonstrations, leave the area, do not stay to watch." The advisory also asked Chinese citizens to obey 10cal laws while keeping a low profile to avoid coming into conflict with Filipinos. Jackson Gan, a FilipinoChinese businessman who is among the organizers of Friday's rally, said there was no need for such a warning because the protest would not target individuals and' there had been no inciting of violence. . , "This is going to be peaceful. No burning of Chinese flags, just singing of patriotic songs and making our pres-

ence felt;" Can told AFP. Filipino 'organizations in the United States will also stage demonstrations in front of China's embassies and consulates to protest Beijing's aggressive encroachments on Panatag Shoal, Loida Nicolas Lewis, national chair of a FilipinoAmerican good governance organization, called on Filipinos throughout the world to mount demonstrations against Chinese intrusions: Filipino organizations in Hong Kong, Canada and Australia also responded to the call for the May 11 protest in front of China's diplomatic missions. Rodel Rodis, national president of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG), ' called on the Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) representing 12 million Filipinos in 220 countries throughout the world to support the Phil.ippines' sovereign claim to Panatag Shoal, which has been in Philippine maps since 1743. Rodis said a strong showing of support and solidarity by Filipinos in the Diaspora will impress on China that it is not just confronting a small country that it can easily bully, but one that has citizens scattered throughout the world who can mobilize and galvanize public opinion against China. Ted Laguatan, UsP4GG national spokesman, called on all Filipinos and all those who believe in freedom and the right of every country to control its own destiny to join Filipinos in a global demonstration at Chinese embassies and consulates in the US and around the world at noon on Friday, May 11. China claims virtually all of the South China Sea as its territory, even waters close to the coasts of the Philippines and other Asian countries. The two countries are en-'

gaged in a standoff involving four Chinese maritime surveillance ships and eight Chinese fishing boats confronting a Filipino coast guard ship and several fishing boats in the waters near what is known as Scarborough Shoal in English and Huangyan island in Chinese. Manila calls it Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc. China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and . Taiwan across the South China Sea, each searching for gas and oil while building up their navies and military alliances . . The Philippines and the United States recently staged war games, which China said would raise the risk of confrontation. Chinese vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai said China was committed to dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the dispute. . The Philippines foreign ministry said last weekthe United States will triple military aid to the Philippines in 2012. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario proposed that the Philippines and China bring their territorial dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to validate claims and defend their respective position, but Beijing rejected the Philippine invitation. Del Rosario said China's hesitation to accept the Philippine invitation to elevate their dispute to ITLOS showed that China may not be able to validate their stated positions in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOs). . The secretary first raised last July to Foreign Minister Yang [iechi as well as Vice President XiJinping the bringing of their claims to ITLOS. - Reuters, AFP,A~ Pia Lee-Brago, Mayen Jaymalin




May 2012

China in tough talk
TIll! lI/aHonal NeWSpapf!f




Scarborough row. A protester burns a Philippine flag and an American flag outside the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong as the month-long standoff between China
and the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal is snowballing with hints of economic·retaliation.


Huangyan, is some 124 nautical miles from Zambales and some 500 nautical miles from China. A civic group in the Philippines has called for protests Friday, prompting China to warn its citizens in the Philippines.

Month-long impasse starts taking its toll
THE month-long standoff between China and the philippines over the scarborough Shoal at the West philippine Sea (South China Sea) is snowballing with hints of economic retaliation and sharpening public opinion that are narrowing the space for a negotiated settlement. Beijing is suspending some tourism to the Philippines and stiffenlng inspections on Philippine fruit such as bananas, of which China is the single largest buyer. That follows Beijing's summoning of Manila's charge d'affairs three times, while retired and serving military officers have called for a limited military operation to shore up China's credibility on the matter - a potentially explosive move that could trigger the 1951 US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty. "The Chinese Foreign Ministry has made it clear China is prepared for any escalation of the situation by the Philippines. It goes without saying what this means," the Chinese military's official jtefangjun Bao newspaper said in an editorial. The Philippines has registered its own diplomatic protests, cautioning foreign governments over a perceived Chinese threat to freedom of navigation and preparing to bring the dispute to international arbitration. The Philippines is also seeking to back up its territorial claims with new warships, fighter jets and radars from the United States. Actions on both sides are shrinking the room for political maneuverability, but they are exacerbated by perceptions that Washington is backing what Chinese see as deliberate prover cations by the Philippines, said Jonathan Holslag, a research fellow at the Institute for Contemporary China Studies at the University of Brussels, in Beijing. "China can't give in, since that would be the same as backing down to American bullying," Holslag said. The two nations are among six claimants to waters and the Spratlys island groups in the West Philippine Sea, home to heavily traveled maritime lanes, rich fishing grounds and a potential wealth of mineral resources. The latest confrontation at the Scarborough Shoal began April 10 when the Philippine Navy accused Chinese boats of fishing illegally around Scarborough Shoal, which Manila claims as part of its exclusive economic zone, but which Beijing insists has been Chinese for centuries. Philippine Navy authorities caught eight Chinese fishing vessels carrying endangered marine species, corals, and live sharks. A Chinese. ship prevented the Navy authorities from detaining the vessels. The shoal, which China calls



Beijing's moves .on tourism and fruit imports are a variation of unac- • knowledged economic pressure employed in past international disputes. China International Travel Service, one of the country's largest, said it was suspending trips from Thursday based on safety considerations. Nationwide online agency has also suspended trips, an agent said, citing "anti-China sentiments in that country right now." She said the company acted on its own without official orders. The Shanghai Tourism Bureau had also ordered a suspension, according to staff with the Yiyou and Guojikuaixian travel agencies in the eastern financial hub. None of the agents would give their names because of the sensitivity of the matter. Calls to China's national tourism administration rang unanswered Thursday. Chinese tourists make up about 9 percent of total arrivals to the Philippines, according to the Philippine Department of Tourism. TALKS RESUMED

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario in Manila said the Philippines and China have resumed negotiations. "We are working to diffi.Jse the situation," he said Wednesday night in a chance interview at the European Union Day reception in Makati City. The last known negotiations in Manila were held April 16. Since then, China has increased its presence in the lagoon, with three surveillance ships, seven fishing boats and 23 utility boats, as against the Philippine Coast Guard's BRP Edsa, a fisheries bureau vessel, and fishing boats. . Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Commander Algier Ricafrente said that as of yesterday, there are three Chinese ships in the area - two surveillance vessels and a fisheries and law enforcement command vessel. On the other hand, the Philippines has two - the PCG's search and rescue vessel 003 or BRPPampanga, and Bureau of the Fisheries and Aquatic . Resource vessel. He said the BFARvessel is inside the shoal's lagoon. On May 7, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said China is prepared to deal with an escalation of the conflict at the shoal, and accused the Philippines of heightening tensions and of provocation by sending more ships to Scarborough. Del Rosario said while consultations with Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing will continue, the Philippines will still proceed with its plan o bring the dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the ea (lnOS) to legally settle the impasse, despite China's objections. Porelgn Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said going to an internaional arbitration forum such as the InOS is aimed at having a "pernanent and durable solution to the issue in the West Philippine Sea." Del Rosario also belied earlier reports that Filipino fishermen are being denied access to the Scarborough lagoon by Chinese ships in the area. >- Page B6 "No, that's not true," he said. Ricafrente also belied the reports which came from an official of Masinloc town in Zambales, "We want to clarify that no one is preventing (our fishermen from going to lagoon). We have Fllipino .fishing vessels there ... The atmosphere is calm. Actually, there is no report of any harassment or untoward incident ... Clearly, there is no situation where our fishermen are prevented (from fishing at the lagoon)," he said. PROTESTS
to be

Del Rosario, in an interview yesterday, said the anti-China protests staged by Filipinos in me Philippines and abroad are democratic


exercises initiated by the private sector. "They are out to exercise their right to freedom of expression. This is a private undertaking. We have nothing to do with this," he said, noting even Chinese groups have launched similar actions against the Philippines abroad. Del Rosario said that when he was in New York last week for an official trip, Chinese groups staged a demonstration in front of the Philippine consulate there for three days in a row. "So it's awayto express yourself TIle Chinese have used it and our own civil Society here is also using it. We're trying to get word out there ifwe can and we're sure that these demonstrations are peaceful," he added. The Chinese embassy in Makati has posted a notice on its website advising their citizens to take precaution and to stay off the road in view of the protest rally,where some 1,000people are expected to join, including fanner President Ramos and international singer-actress Lea Salonga, Filipinos in the United States and Canada are also expected to gather today at Chinese embassies there to demand that China stop its bullying tactics and back off from the shoal, SANITARY ISSUES

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Chinese restriction on fruits is mainly due to sanitary concerns, and not an offshoot of the standoff, "This is purely a technical matter, best addressed by the technical and regulatory agencies of both countries," he said, Trade Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal]r. said the Philippines will . continue to export bananas to China and government is confident the fruits would pass the stringent tests recently imposed by Beijing, Cristobal allayed fears the recent rejection of a shipment of bananas would escalate to a full ban, saying the Philippines has the highest quality bananas that countries with stringent requirements like Japan accept these, "This is not a quality issue but an SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary) issue, SPS is a technical issue not (about) quality because we are the biggest supplier in Japan and we know that Japan has stringent (rules), "said Cristobal, "So as long as the SPSissues are clarified and addressed there should be no ban of Philippine exports," he added, Trade Undersecretary Cristino PanIilio said the Philippines will not let up on its export promotion activities to China despite the dispute. "The position of the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) is to continue to deal with them and entertain them," he said, He said the DTI is still pursuing China missions as scheduled and would continue to attend Chinese exhibition events. "It's not only business as usual, but we're ramping up in China," PanIilio said. For investments, the Board of Investments opened a China desk to assist would-be investors from China to fast-track their ventures . in the country, There are four investment and trade promotion trips set in China this year. "We are not missing a beat, We are not downsizing our efforts," Panlilio said. China is now the Philippines' top trading partner, he said. - Evangeline de Vera,Jocelyn Montemayor, Irma Isip, Victor Rtryes and AP







China exec tells PH media to help ease tensions between Manila and Beijing
By Christine O. Avendano
BEllING-The Philippine press has a role to play in helping ease tensions between Mani-, la and Beijing over their territorial dispute in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), . a top Chinese official said on Thursday. Wang Zhongwei, vice minister of China's State Information Office, said there were some reports in the Philippine media that in his view "do not contribute to easing tensions in the South China Sea. n . But Wang said noticed there were also some reports that "have presented fair and rational view on the issues. n "In general, we hope the Philippine government and media can work togetherwith China to ease than aggravate the situation there," Wang told Asian journalists, including this reporter, who were invited for a two-week press tour of China. Manila and Beijing have overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea but never have their relations been so strained until the current standoff over Scarborough Shoal. For a month now, the two countries have stationed vessels at the shoal, which both claim to be part of their territory. Wang gave reporters a briefing of the functions of his office which he said "presents China to the rest of the world" and deals with foreignjoumalists in China. In general, he said the Asian media "pay unprecedented attention to China" and that Beijing hopes the foreign media will be "more objective, comprehensive and have deeper coverage of China." In Manila, senators on Thursday cautioned against comments in the media that could worsen the problem at Scarborough Shoal. . Sen. Antonio'ilillanes Wwarned that Chinese officialsare closely monitoring the utterances of Philippine officialsthat are quoted in the press. "So let's not further aggravate the situation. Anyway, there are already efforts' to resolve this diplomatically," he told a news forum in the Senate. The Senate foreign relations chair, Loren Legarda, said: "There's no reason for us to fight each other. Let us focus on the issues that build, instead of the concerns that destroy. There is so much commonality than the issues that we differ in." .


when he landed that the Chinese embassy had complained that his vessel rammed the Chinese vessel, causing it to sink .. 'When we learn of vessels being blocked this time, that's actually commonplace. And. this does not happen just on our shores. Butthe situation could worsen with the way we report and react to these reports;' 'Irillanes said. He said Philippine vessels always stood their ground even when confronted by large Chinese boasts. Trillanes said the Scarborough dispute could serve as the military's best argument for modernization.


Trillanes experience -,

Stop commenting
Sen. Manuel Villar said the public should stop commenting on the dispute over Scarborough Shoal. "Scarborough Shoal is ours," Villar said. ''We're not fighting. with them. We should support the President here. But the better thing to do is for all of us to keep quiet, and soon enough this will die down," Foreign affairs officials, Villar said, should be allowed to work out a peaceful solution with Beijing. "It's only through diplomatic means that we can resolve this," he said. "Besides, only. the spokesperson was speaking for China ": Let's not respond to this." In a separate interview, Sen. Gregorio Honasan boasted that the Coast Guard and the Navy are prepared to "fight to the last man." Honasan added, however, that he would insist on a peaceful resolution of the Scarborough dispute. With reports from TJ Burgonio and C. Yamsuan

Trillanes, a former Navy officer, played down the latest crisis between the Philippines and China saying worse had happened before, but the public never heard about them. Trillanes recalled a time when "100 Chinese boats" suddenly surrounded the vessel he was on and a large one that also belonged to the Philippine Navy. The vessels were on their way Japan. "Those were maritime auxiliary vessels. We were near mainland China but still not within their territorial seas," Trillanes said. "We had to maneuver our way out of the maze of Chinese vessels. Our smaller boat got out more easily. The larger one took some time,parangpatintero" he said. Trillanes recalled another incident. He was assigned to coast patrol and he and his men boarded a Chinese vessel and inspected it "according to the rule book." Trillanes said he was surprised to learn





May 2012

I fEbt ]Ianifu rEintts I
i .The Philippines,



China suspends tours to PH
which admits to ~aving an extremely weak and poorly resourced military, has repeatedly said it wants to solve the hand-off over the shoal through ~iplomatic means. ' .••But it has also said it secured a pledge from the United States, its main military ally, to protect the Philippines from attacks in the South China Sea. A coalition of Filipino activist 'groups is planning to hold rallies at Chinese embassies around the .~orld on Friday to support the PhilIppines in the dispute. . •.•. rganizers. are hoping thousands O ~f people will attend what they exPect to be the biggest of the rallies, in

HINA told its citizens on Thursday they were not safe in the Philippines and its state media warned of war, as a monthlong row over rival daims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) threatened to spill out of control.
Chinese travel agendes announced they had suspended tours. to the Philippines, under government or?ers, and the embassy in Manila advised its nationals already In the country to stay indoors ahead of planned prote~ts.. .. "Avoid going out at all if pOSSlble,and If not, to aVOIdgomg o~t alone. If you come across any de;nons~ations: leave the area, do not stay to watch: the embassy s advisory said. .. The safety alerts came as government-controlled media m China warned the country was prepared to go to war to ~nd the stand-off over the Panatag (Scarboro~gh) Sh~al-sm~llslands . in South China Sea that both nations clalm~as_theJf.



"No matter how willing we are to The- shoai sits about 230 kilodiscuss the issue, the current PhilipImetres (140 miles) from the Philpine leadership is intent on pressing;ippines' main island of Luzon. us into a COmer where there is no The nearest major Chinese landother option left but th,euse ofarms, " 'mass is 1,200 kilometres norththe China Daily said in an editorial. 'west of the shoal, according to "Since ancient times, our nation .'. ilipino navy maps. F has deemed war the last resort in ".' The Philippines insists its claims handling state-to-state relations. ,to the area are backed by InternaBut Manila is living in a fantasy'tionallaw, as the shoal is well within world if it mistakes our forbear:its 200·nautical-mile exclusive ecoance for timidity. " 'nomic zone. The editorial echoed other warn-i· But China claims virtually all of the ings in recent weeks in the state-run:South China Sea as its territory, even media that China was prepared. to 'waters dose to the coasts of the Phil. use its massive military advantage lippines and other Asian countries. to crush the Philippines' challenge Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam and Ma, for the shoal. 21aysia lso claim parts of the sea, which a The two nations have had non·.is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas military vessels stationed at the ,resources. The rival claims have for shoal since April 8 in an effort to [decadesmade the waters OnE: of Asia's assert their sovereignty to the area. potential military flashpoints. The dispute began when Philip.•. More than 70 Vietnamese sailors pine authorities detected Chinese:were killed in 19BB when China and ships fishing there. They attempted Yietnam battled for control of the to arr~st the crew~but were blocked~pratlys, an archipelago south of by Chinese surveillance vessels that (;.Scarbor()ugl} Shoat ... .... .... . .\i in constant communication. with ~~~~~~~~~~~ 'Yere<ll:!i~Jy dt;P.loy~~_tothe area. ~F.iPUaliJO'AtjfAla$''''t~rl'I~!l~dd.PIlCpj other countries on "important l~ ,;:'.::.':',:"':':.':>:::::: :.':;,'::.:_:.-:-, '. :,:-::,:,:,:.':.:;";::.:::'::~-7f::-;-,:: :'-::',:i ".;\.-;.- :::-.-::::.: -:_: '::'-:-'::._"',-'0:::: ,'_:,:.",:-:-.-:";'-'-,:,-.::-','-:-.:.-'_ :-'_:-'.".;':::.' .-,:.,.-::..-_",'-':. ;-.;-::-..'. overarching and long-term issues concerning the world situation and bilateral relations."


"These discussions have helped to enhance mutual under.standing and trust, seek strategic consensus, expand common interests and reduce troubles and setbacks," he added. Zhang, however, maintained that China will not let anyone interfere in its own affairs, the same way that Beijing has not interfered in the affairs of other states. "Do not impose on others what you don't want others to impose on you, " he said of China's policy. Manila, and the Chinese embassy's In dealing with neighbors, insafety alert was circulated chiefly to cluding those whom it has disputes warn its nationals about that protest. with, Zhang said that China will apBut Jackson Gan, a Filipino-Chiply the principle of actively pushnese businessman who is one the ing a harmonious world, rally's organizers, said there was Meanwhile, You Iianhua, director no need for such a warning be- general of the coordination bureau cause the protest would not target of the CPC international departindividuals and there had been no ment, said that media reporting of inciting of violence. the incidents at the Scarborough "This is going to be peaceful. No Shoal should be objective and based burning of Chinese flags, just sing- on historical facts. ing of patriotic songs and making Beijing's claims on the Scarour presence felt,' Gan told APP. borough Shoal, which the Philippines calls Panatag Shoal, are No.aggression . . founded on a centunes-old Chinese A Chinese official however gave as- map, which shows a nine-dash line surances that Beijing will "never covering the entire South China Sea, seek hegemony" or engage in aggresSince last year when tensions with sion or expansion. Zhang Xuyi, during a meeting with Asian reporters invited to Beijing hosted by China's People's .Daily, said that China's foreign policy "will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development" Zhang is the deputy director general for Asian affairs of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China's International Department "We stand for settlement of disputes and conflicts through dialogue and negotiation and by seekcommon ground while shelving differences," he said. Zhang said that China has been




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China arose, the Philippines has referredto the region as the West Phil- . ippine Sea. Manila, on the other hand has claims based on the geographical location ofth~Scarborough Shoal, The shoal, believed to hold vast oil reserves,sits just 124 nautical miles from Zambales province in Luzon. It is well within the Philippines' 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf provided for by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). When asked how the media could possibly diffuse the tensions between the two countries, he said that reporting of the issue should be objective, timely and tolerant. . He noted an opinion article published by the Manila Standard Today wherein a supposed Filipino Investor agreed that China has sovereignty over the disputed shoal owing to the fact that Philippin~ maps showing that it has rights over the shoal. were drawn almost five centuries later than that of China. . The Peopl~'s Daily Of line published the aruc~ o~ its sue, . You, however, said that the issue must be approached from bigger interests from these two countries [Philippines and Chin.N]: He maintained that the friendly relations and future development of the two countries must be given credence.
I • U

Malacanang on Thursday declined to comment on reports that China has issued a travel ban against the Philippines. NNo comment/ Strategic Communications . Secretary Ricky Carandang told reporters who sought a reaction from the Palace. A Palace official also belittled reports that China had imposed stricter procedures in the importation of Philippine fruits. . Deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said that it was merely a sanitary issue which had been promptly , looked into. She said that the Department of Agriculture has tasked the Bureau of Plant Industry to resolve the issue. The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTM) expressed hopes that Beijing and Manila would soon settle the .shoal so that tourism
woulrltMIl be affected . ,.

Palace mum

The agenqradmitted that Chinese tourist 'arriVals have grown by double digits but the country's top three markets are Korea, United States of America and Japan. The PTM said there is increasing interest from Australia, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom. . WITH REPORTS FROM



l' May2012

Page. ___,:...~ __

RP says US to protect it in South China Sea·
The Philippines said Wednesday the United States had pledged to protect it from attacks in the West Philippine Sea (also known as South China Sea), a day after China issued a warning over a territorial row in the waters. Defense Secretary .Voltaire Gazmin said he had received the assurances during talks in Washington last week in which the Philippines' _increasingly tense dispute with China over rival claims to a shoal in the sea were discussed. Gazmin said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressed they were not taking sides in the dispute, but they assured the Philippines the United States would honor a 1951 mutual defense treaty. "It includes armed attack." (on) island territories in the Pacific (region)," Gazmin said, citing conditions for the allies coming to each other's aid. In answer to a question about the dispute wil'h China over Scarborough Shoal, Gazmin said he had interpreted remarks by Clinton to mean the United States would protect the Philippines from any attack in the West Philippine Sea. "Overall, with these statements, they cover our problem in the West Philippine Sea," he said, China and the Philippines have had vessels stationed at Scarborough Shoal for more than a month in an effort to assert their sovereignty over the area. . China claims virtually all of the South China Sea as its own, even waters dose to the coasts of other Asian countries. The Philippines insists it has sovereignty over the shoal because it falls within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. The shoal sits about 230 krns, from LUzon and 1,200 kms. northwest from the nearest major Chinese land mass, according . to Filipino navy maps. Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia also claim parts of the gressman yesterday asked the South China, which is believed to Department of Foreign Affairs sit atop vast oil and gas resourc(DFA) and other key officials of es, making the area one of Asia's the government. to stop "namepotential military flashpoints. dropping" the United States to China warned on Tuesday it assert its claim of contested terwas prepared for "any escalation" ritories in the West Philippines in the dispute with the PhilipSea. pines, which followed an editoBayan Muna Rep. Teddy casino rial in a newspaper run by the ruling Communist Party calling made the call as Eastern Samar for a small-scale war to end the Rep. Ben Evardone urged the stand-off. National Bureau of Investigation Deaprtment of Foreign Affairs (NBI) and other law enforcement (DFA) Secretary _Albert del Rounits to seize sex stimulating pills, sario also issued a statement on slimming, and whitening medicaWednesday saying that dlnton tions that China has been importand Panetta had reaffirmed during the Washington talks US commit- . ing into the country. Evardone said the move is part ment to the mutual defense treaty with the Philippines, (AFP) of the precautionary measures TRAVEL SUSPENSION that government should underI. SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chitake in the wake of reports that nese travel agencies have susChinese-made pills have been pended tourist packages to the spiked with ground fetus. Philippines and promised refunds In a news forum in Quezon to customers who have booked City, Casino said namedropping trips, Chinese state media rethe Americans in the current posported Thursday, as tensions over turing between China and Philipdisputed islands escalated. pines over the Panatag Shoal will Companies induding and Beijing International Travel only worsen the controversy beService have halted all tours to tween the two countries. the Philippines and say they will The progressive lawmaker I not accept bookings until the sitwas apparently reacting to the . uation improves, Chinese media statements issued by DFA ofreported. ficials declaring that the Mutual The Chinese embassy to the Defense Treaty (MDT) signed by Philippines warned its citizens in Philippines and the United States Manila to stay off the streets durmakes it.rnandatorv for the two ing planned anti-China .protests expected to-take place today, countries to come to the aid of STOP 'NAMEDROPPING' the other in case of war. (Ben R. A senior administration conRosario)








5 Chinese Warships Sent To Scarborough
China sent five warships to the disputed Scarborough Shoal off the west coast of the Philippines with the warning that Beijing is ready for "any escalation" of the conflict. That comes as the outgunned PhilippinesJooks to the United States for naval support in the South China Sea (West .. hilippine Sea) territory P that may be rich in energy sources. The five warships are said to be among the most advanced vessels in the Chinese fleet. They include ships with state-ofthe-art systems against attack from the sky,while one is an assault ship that carries 20 amphibious tanks and specialized fighting teams among 800 personnel.
(Turn to page 6)

The Philippines has just two naval -Japanese surveillance aircraft craft near the shoal, which covers saw the flotilla west of Okinawa and about 150 square kilometers of sea sailing south on Sunday. Experts said they appeared to be west of Luzon. The main island on the shoal is rehearsing emergency drills while called Huangyan by China. sailing full speed ahead. The month-long flare-up is one Reports from the Philippines, meanwhile, are that an increasing . of the most high-profile incidents for years between the two countries over .number of Chinese boats - mostly claims in the South China Sea. fishing vessels - are around the The shoal is about 230 km from the Scarborough Shoal. About 33 were reported there a day ago after 14 were. Philippines and 1,200 km from China. counted last week. There are also with Manila saying it is definitely its territory under the Law of the Sea. what are said to be fisheries research (The Standard) and patrol vessels.


" May 2012



Atopursue diplomatic consultations
By PIA LEE-BRAGO / The Philippines is will" • toffi. atch BeiJ'ing'S announcemg . ment ?f preparations for an escalation of tensl'ons' p t ( In ana}S, Scarborough) Sh~a] with . dIplomatic consultations u~es~ t~e message is mea~ t to mtImidate, Foreign Aff arrs . S e.cre t· ary Albert del Ro . said yesterday. . sarto

He Was reacting to a declarati~n. by Chi~ese Vice Forei Minister Fu Ying that BeijingS"? . prepared for any escalatio~;~ ~ the West Philippine Sea, a'r-' hcuiarly in the Panatag I where Chinese and Philipp~~ v,essels have been in a standoff since April 10. . tanata? Shoal, originally,.a led Baja de Masinloc, Turn to Page 18



only 124 nautical miles from Zambales and is well within the-country's 200-mile exclusive economic zone. It has been part of the Philippines in maps dating from 1743" . "If the Vice Minister's message is intended to be constructive, we are clearly Looking for ways to defuse the situation, essentially through diplomatic consultations. We are endeavoring to continue these consultations," Del Rosario told The

Filipino fishermen . As of Wednesday, Del Rosario said nine Chinese and four Filipino fishing vessels were inthe lagoon in the shoal, . The Philippines is appealing for international support - particularly from the United States - for its position in the West Philippine Sea, Ithas also called on fellow members of. the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a common stand against China's bullying in the region. DelRosario said in a statement issued on Wednesday that the US considers the West Philippine Sea a vital sealane and that an armed attack in the area on either the US or the Philippines "would be dangerous to its own peace and safety." , He said the US has declared "that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional precesses." . . Under the Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) signed ori Aug. 30, 1951 in Washington, the declared its commitment to support the Philippines from attacks. ..





"If, however, the intention is to intimidate, then our position is it does not merit a response," Fu summoned on Monday Alex Chua, charge d' affaires of the Philippine embassy in Beijing, to express her country's concern over the Panatag standoff. Fu told Chua that Flit is hard for us to be optimistic about the situation." Del Rosario also said it's not true" that 30 Chinese vessels were now operating in the shoal-and that they were driving away

"TheUS declares their sense of unity and com:" man determination to defend themselves against .extemalarmed attack, so that nopotential aggressor could be' under the illusion that either of them stands alone in the Pacific Area," Del Rosario cited the MDT's preamble, adding that Article IV states: "Each party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the Parties would be dan?erous to its own peace and safety and declares that It would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with itsconstitutional processes."

Rally behind P·Noy

. Sen, Manny Villar [r., meanwhile, urged the public to rally behind President Aquino in his quest for a peaceful resolution of the Panatag standoff. "ThePanatag Shoal is ours. We should not aban. don it. We are not fighting with anyone here, We . should actually support our President in this issue" Villar said. ! ' "For me, it is better if we keep quiet about the issue as of now," he added. "This should not be misconstrued as cowardice but we should allow the ten--. - -.-..-.- -.-.-..•.. -.-.-.:-.•. -.--... --- . -. si?n to die down because this can be done through I892-1693, Local: 5287, 529q diplomacy." .' ........ ...... _ __ ....... ............ ....... _ _ ..o.l



He .also said the Armed Forces of the Philippine; (AFP) should be given more funds to modernize but suchmodemization should not be misconstrued as a reaction to the standoff. IiWeshould strengthen the Armed Forces not because of this issue on Panatag Shoal... This should not be for anything else, since it is but normal that every country should strengthen its armed forces Villar explained. ' Sen. Antonio Trillaries IV, for his part, said he ful~y supports th: government's position to bring the Iss~e before an mte~a tional tribunal, citing the country s lack of capability to confront China militarily. "We don't have capability to confront China" the ser;~tor said. in a weekly. media forum at the S~nate. a~vlse the President to leave it up to the court, Trillanes, a former naval officer, said. Trillanes said it is enough that the Philippine government has called the attention of the International Tribunal or: the Law?f the Seas (TILOS) regarding the matter. Tnllanes said there had been skirmishes between Philippine troops and some Chinese'vessels in the dispu~ed waters in the West Philippine Sea. "We have experienced much more serious confrontations in the past," Trillanes said. '. Senate committee on foreign relations chairperson Loren Legarda also called for a diplomatic way to end the standoff at Panatag Shoal. . "I am certain that both countries will solve this issue in a peaceful manner. There is a Code of-Conduct that has been agreed upon by both nations and we must observe that. There's no reason for us to fight each other. Let us focus on the issues that build y'(,stead of tJ:econcerns that destroy. There is so much ." -mmonality than the issues that we differ in rr -Legarda said. ' "We ~ust concentrate on areas that unite us, instead of Issues that divide us. Commerce, trade, investments, culture, education, combating climate ~a~ge-these are concerns that China and the Phillppmes; and all of us in the Asia Pacific, should foeus on," she added. ~__ . ._u.~. _. '

.~ "


, She cited tI:e recent Senate ratification of the Mutual Legal ASSIstance Treaty and the Consular A reement between the Philippines and Chin g "I will do my best to make sure that this will not affect our robust bilateral relationship with try wh ultu I a coun. ose c re and history means a lot to the Filll?l~OS. We are committed to a peaceful dialogue ti lizing ever lId' . "y ega, lp 1omatic. means to resolve u 1the d ispute, Legarda said,

Speaker lFeliciano Belmonte Jr. said dialogue is still the best approach to easing tensions in the West Philippine Sea. "1 think we should continue our dialoguing with the Chinese. which is what we are doing through the embassy here," Belmonte told reporters. "I don't think it is to anybody's advantage to be rattling the sword at anybody." , He noted that a delegation of female members of Congress that recently met with Chinese leaders in Beijing had been assured of China's commitment to keeping its friendship with the Philippines. Ang Kasangga party-list Rep. Teodorico Haresco, for his part, urged the Aquino administration to start highlevel bilateral talks with China to resolve the dispute. Are we prepared to cut trade and diplomatic ties with China? If China would simply decide to send home all of our overseas Filipino workers including those inMacau and Hong Kong, we would be surely devastated. All these things should be considered before we try anything that can provoke China," Haresco said, ' He said the' Philippines should not let itself ap~ . pear pitiful. and desperate before the international community by running to the US for protection. . "Playing: AmBoy (American boy) does not only look bad for the country but it is also aggravating its diplomatic animosity with China," he said. "We have to rally behind President Aquino and urge foreign affairs towards establishing a joint PhIChina Study Commission with the primary objective of strengthening our bilateral ties," Haresco said. He cited the strategy used by Vietnam, which entered into a bilateral non-aggression and joint exploration pact with China while maintaining a mutual defense treaty with the US. ' ', "The US will always be an ally to us but we should show some' restraint in playing AmBoy, especially because China has become a key trade partner, accounting fo r at least 16 percent of our gross domestic product," he said. : He said the philippines "might be playing with fire with its continuing effort to drag the US into' the con-flict" "The dogma of the People's Liberation Army, (PLA) has been and always (will) be to do everything it can to protect China and her territories, even if it means they have to strike first. The PLA is unique amongst the militaryof other great superpowers as it does not report to the stat~but directly to the Central Militar:V Cormnissionof the Communist Party, which is composed of geMralswho obviously have mili taristic inclinations and have verylittle diplomatic skills," he said. "That makes the Chinese response on the Spratlys conflict very unpredictable." - With Christina Mendez, Marvin Sy, Paolo ~omero



May 2012

Pahina. _-:$ __

Nabu.labogna ang buung mundo sa agawan .ng 'Pinas at China -sa Scarborough
. AGlABAS na ~ advisory an~ Chinese govemmentsa lahat ngkanUang Embahada sa buong daigdig na maging MAI.NGAT atbuwas makialam. manood at manatiIi sa kaniI<anilan~ tirahan aog mga Chinese citizen sa iba't ib~ bansa sakaling magkaroon fig malawal<ang protesta ang mqa Pifipino sa Iba't iban~ Embahada ng China. . Kumpirmasyon ito na ang isyu sa. agawan ng China at Pilipinas sa Scarborough Shoal ay naging pandaigdi{! na 0 isa nang global conAug Chinaat Pilipinas ay parehong may miIyun-milyong mamamayan na nananatili, naninirahan at nagtatrabaho sa iba't ibang bansa sadaigdig. Pero nilinaw ng mga tider ng protesta na hindi na kailangan ang gayung babala mula sa awtoridad ng China dahU walang masamang aRsiyon na isasagawa ang mga Pilipino at wala ring pagsunog fig bandtla ng naturang bansa, . Nauna rtto, nagbabala aog China na nazahanda siIa sa anumanq ,Romprontasyon sa. naturang sigalot dahil nantwalang psg-aari nila ang naturanq teritoryo.. . Nilgaganap ito sa gitna ng pagkumpirma ng United States na nasahanda silang igalang aog Mutual Defense Treaty at nakahanda silang sazlolohan angMayniia sal<aIing magl<aroon ng IIDmprontasyoog military. . Sa kabila ng garantiya ng White House. marami pa ring Rritiko aog hindi naniniwalangaasistesa porrna ngmilitary aug US kontrasa China dahil h~it na malaki ang FINANCIALINTERESTng US sa China kumpara sa Pilipinas. Anu't anuman, imbes nahurnupa, haban~ nagta~gaI. gumagrabe ang away ng PiIipinas at China. -,







Rights on wheels


It was propitious that the campaign was launched in Tondo, which is hardly the poster boy for human rights. Two years ago officers of a Tondo police precinct were caughron video torturing a robbery suspect, sparking pub- . lie ¢uttage. Although Tondo as the Wild, Wild West of the Phi1ippip~s(indeed/Manila is west of Luzon and the Manila POlice District used to be known as the Western Police District}·> hasovershadowed its other qualities as a shoppers'hayen and a bargain-hunters' paradise, an economic . HE COMMISSION on Human Rights. marked its and financial powerhouse, and a cultural mecca, the repu25th anniversary this month by launching its Hutation is not enrirely undeserved, Warring street gangs are man Rights on Wheels program, which seeks to edalmost second nature to' the place, and prostitution and ucate people about their rights and provide victims ways pettypiminaLsyndicates operate side by side with legitiof going after their abusers. Under the program, CH~ permate commerce aI}~ business. Drug trafficking is rampant, sonnel will travel to different areas in Metro Manda to undel"Scotedquitegruesomely by the occasional summary provide human rights education and training, ~ounselin~ ·executibnsof small-time drug pushers whose bodies greet i.i.. . :'. sessions and free legal aid to reSlT0n,4qdenizens wherttheyvyake up in the morning; dents. CHR will also offer workshops Itl~~a~toiseewhyhuman rights abuses should thrive /'.i· '. -..• on a human rights-based approach to in crime~p.roneurban ghettoes like Tondo. The extremes' development and governance as well as activities to proof luXqryand want create a social tinderbox whose initial mote health and wellness. flaresand,~i1lptions are manifested in criminality and anThe campaign should energize the human rights 'cam~-~blishil}ell:thehavior.Until more lasting social solupaign of the Aquino administration, which isperceived as tlo~'are,appli~~,(to remedyIondo's social pathologies, lackadaisical on the matter. Although an mdependent commission the CHR must compel the administration to . thef9J:'<:esoflavv4hdordershould see toit that the situaof control. But the brakes they respect and ~phold human rights and forge good wor1~ing tion~~e~norca£eenout apply.,~espw.etimes.t(K) ham-handed, too abusive: To relations with it so as to prosecute abusers more effectivedeal '!ith'!t1l~qnderworld, the police themselves become ly and improve the general climate for justice and human the uhderwo~lcl.The'systeingoes,under, and in the end, rights. .' c Toward an improved regime of human rights, an effec- the public .. annot··distinguish the face of the .criminal !rom thatof the cop. Both faces meld and blend together tive education campaign is imperative. Raising awareness on human rights will enable the efficient investigation of in one seamless fit. The situation in 'Iondoapplies as much to the rest of the cases. and prosecution of offenders. As it is; the wheels ~f Philippines. If in Metro Manila, the justification for torrights. and justice have been. slow, indeed. eRR Chair Loretta Rosales said only 27 percent, or 132 out of the 356 ture and abuse is the war against crime, in Mindanao the complaints filed against the military, police and other justification is the war on terror. In Western Minda~ao armed groups from July 2010 to.March 2012, have been .for instanc~rthe CHRsaid the number of cases of right~ resolved. ''As an institution, we therefore need to be more violationstnvolvtng soldiers and policemen is higher than proactive in investigating, monitoring and resolving cases in otherar~as on the island where the government's war of human rights violations through regional case confer- on terror is focused. Bothwars on crime and terror have serious social underpinnings. ences and community-based dialogues," she said. Human rights are a cornerstone of democracy, and, more should be done to educate our men and women in uniform ab01:1~uman rights arid improve the quality of h police and military personnel.The subject should be inte- . grated in the curriculum of criminology schools and police and military academies. The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces should broaden their recruitment campaign to encourage graduates of top colleges and universities to consider a career therein. But the . more lasting way of improving the human rights climate . OFFI6E()~THEAFlM'lCIiIEFPI.J$LtCAFFAlR$-El11aH~dd:c)ac veal the inherentviolenceof deep society. is addre~sing serio~sly the social problems that re.' .' . .. . ' ..' . our




May 2012



US assures PH of assistance
THE STANDOFFbetween the Philippines and China over Panatag Shoal, internationally called the Scarborough Shoal, finds the presence of 11 Chinese vessels (not 33 as earlier reported) in the disputed area claimed by both countries, President Aquino's spokesperson Edwin Lacierda , corrected the earlier figures that denoted an escalation of Chinese presence after being told by Commodore Edmund Tan of the Philippine Coast Guard that he had verified the number of vessels to consist of seven fishing vessels, two FEC boats and two maritime vessels. At the same time, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin denied reports that Filipino fishermen were being barred by Chinese vessels from fishing in the lagoon ringed by rocks and reefs off the Zambales coast. But Gazmin also said that although there were times when there were more Chinese fishermen and times when 'we had more fishermen/ Chinese maritime surveillance ships were always there. "We're no match for them," Gazmin said, At the present status of deployment of forces at the shoal, only the Coast Guard's BRP Edsa II and a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources vessel are stationed there. The downgrading of the size of the Chinese deployment was intended to defuse rising tensions and prevent a violent confrontation in the area. But the INQUIRER reported from Washington on Wednesday that the United States had pledged to protect the Philippines from attacks in the West Philippine Sea (also known as the South China Sea). The pledge was made a day after Chinaissued a warning over a territorial row in the waters. Gazmin said he had received the assurance during talks in Washington last week, in which the tensions with China over rival claims to the shoalwere discussed. . Gazmin quoted US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense, Secretary Leon Panetta as saying that the United States was not taking sides

. Dorontia -----------in the dispute but would honor its 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines. He said he understood that the assurance "includes [attacks] against island territories in the Pacific," citing conditions for the allies coming to 'each other's aid. .China claims virtually all of the West Philip. pine Sea as its own, including waters close to the coasts of other Asian countries, The Philippines claims it has sovereignty over the shoal, pointing out that it falls within the country's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. The shoal is about 230 kilometers from the Philippines' main island of LUzon and 1,200 km northwest from the nearest Chinese land mass, accordingto Philippine Navy maps, China warned on Tuesday that it was prepared .for "any escalation" in the dispute with the Philippines, following an editorial in a newspaper run by the ruling Communist Party calling for a smallscale war to end the standoff. , The assurances from US officials came amid increasing doubts in the Philippines over US milltary assistance in the event of an attack on the Philippines. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that China said it v.;as prepared for tensions in the West Philippine Sea to escalate further. According to the WSJ, the remarks, delivered during a meeting on Monday between Chinese Foreign Minister Fu Ying and Manila's charge d'affaires in Beijing, Alex Chua, marked asignif-


kant uptick in the heat of the rhetoric between Beijing. and Manila. Chua was summoned by China's Foreign Ministry on Monday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency, as part of the long-running dispute over Scarborough Shoal. It is obvious that the Philippines has not realized that it is making serious mistakes and is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions instead, Fu said in a statement, "It is hoped that the Philippine side will not misjudge the situation and not escalate tensions without considering the consequences." The WSJ also reported that a spokesman of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, Raul Hernandez, said in a statement that the Philippines was taking a "new diplomatic initiative" that it hoped w0\11ddefuse the situation. . . Amid these developments, the Philippines continued to procure naval weapons to beef up its weak Navy.The Manila Standard Today reported that the Philippines had bought two Hamiltonclass cutters from the United- States. The report. said that Navy Flag Officer in Command Alexander Pama said the US Coast Guard had stripped the first ship of weapons before turning it over to the Philippines. According to the report, officials said the Americans would do the same to the second ship, which is expected to-arrive before the end of the year. . The report said that Pama joined a group of Philippine officials led by Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Gazmin that visited Washington recently and that asked the Americans to restore the cannons, guns, and . radar system, but that "up to now, the request still hangs." Asked if the second ship to arrive this year, would also be weaponless like the first ship, Pama said: "It is the same as the BRP Gregorio del Pilar unless they change their minds."


May 2012

The NatIonal New5usper


have always been leery of some ectors calling for a more aggressive tance toward China over the territorial dispute in the South China Sea. If push comes to shove, there is simply no way we can prevent China from ejecting us from the few places where our forces are present. As for the hawks who believe that the United States will come to the Philippines' succor if a shooting war erupts, they are simply deluding themselves. After the recent meeting in \Xi'ashington of the chiefs of defense and of foreign relations of the Philippines and the United States, officials in Manila against tried to play the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty card despite the categorical statement of \\:-ashington it was not taking side in the territorial row with China. They said thev are confident the United States will meet its treaty obligations. They then cited


'The hawks who believe that the United States will come to the Philippines' succor if a shooting war. erupts are simply deluding themselves.'

Article IV of theMDT which says: "Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the Parties would .be dangerous to its own peace and saferyand declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance withits constitutional processes." There is nothing in that provision that says the US will automaticallvcome to the Philippines' aid in case of hostilities. There is no agreement, for example, on what the phrase in "accordance with its constitutional processes" entails (in both the Philippine and US Constitutions, only Congress can declare war). The administration nonetheless' wants us to believe the provision is as iron-dad as the one binding members of the North iUlantic Treaty Organization intocommondefense incase of an attack on a member; .

Perhaps the officials are right, but it is always a cause for wonder why they seem to be unacquainted or pretend to be unacquainted with another key -provision of the MDT, Article V, It says: "For purposes of Article IV, an armed attack on either of the Parties is. deemed to include an armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the Parties, or on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific Ocean, its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific." "Metropolitan territory" in this case does not mean city or urban center. It means the mother territory of a colony (following Greek usage)./ln uninhabited rock piercing the surface of the water in the middle of nowhere certainly does not constitute "metropolitan territory." It could not also qualify as a colony. So much for relying on the MDT.


May 2012

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