Kalayaan Islands

Artificial island under construction by China on Mabini (Johnson South) Reef in the Kalayaan islands.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz The recent brouhaha over the killing of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, a Filipino transgender, allegedly by an American marine in a motel in Olangapo has once again brought to the fore the issue of “sovereignty.” Indeed, it’s so convenient to use “sovereignty” for whatever nebulous issues people are complaining about. It did not then come as a surprise that when the news Read More …

Pag-asa-island-airstrip.2

By Mario J. Mallari   The Daily Tribune The planned upgrade of an airstrip on Pagasa Island in the contested Spratlys will go ahead despite opposition from China, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) yesterday said. Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado, however, stressed the government is “careful” in proceeding with the repair and upgrade of the airstrip, which has been there since the 1970s, so Read More …

Philippine and US marines during an amphibious raid as part of a joint military exercise in Ulugan Bay in April. Photo: Reuters

Manila seeks to shore up its South China Sea defences – with the help of its US allies Agence France-Presse in Ulugan Bay As fears grow that China is on an aggressive South China Sea territorial grab, a sleepy Philippine village is being transformed into a major naval base that may host US warships. Ulugan Bay, a small, picturesque cove encircled by thick mangroves, has Read More …

Kalayaan-Group-of-Islands

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Ever since the United States and the Philippines signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) last April 28, 2014, a lot of Filipinos have been asking: Will the U.S. defend the Ayungin Reef against Chinese invasion? I wish this could be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” preferably a “yes.” But given the complex and complicated situation that exists between Read More …

Pag-Asa Island in the Kalayaan Group

GLIMPSES By Jose Ma. Montelibano In several articles I have written, and group discussions I have joined, I keep repeating a message that should be part of our national psyche already but sadly is not. And I mean our land and our seas, the motherland, our home and the first source of our identity. I do not see myself stopping from giving the same message Read More …

Pag-asa-island.13

GLIMPSES By Jose Ma. Montelibano What is the difference between big islands and small islands? Basically, nothing except for size. And where they are located. Their location defines them, just as they define their inhabitants. The islands and the seas of the Republic of the Philippines define their inhabitants, the Filipino race. Without these land and seas, there would be no natives, no Filipino people. Read More …

By Dario Agnote Kyodo News   Security plan to ensure access to hydrocarbon reserves in disputed sea MANILA – The Philippine military has drawn up a 4-year plan to beef up its security fence in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) to deter China from occupying more features, including those in the energy resource-rich areas in the disputed sea, a senior military official told Read More …

BRP Sierra Madre

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Since 1999, a World War II-era navy ship lay aground off Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal), an uninhabited atoll near the Kalayaan group of islands in the Spratly archipelago. The ship, BRP Sierra Madre, was purposely grounded by the Philippine Navy to serve as an outpost in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) after China had grabbed and occupied the Read More …

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin shake hands at their first meeting in Moscow in March 2013.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz It’s probably fate that brought Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping to the pinnacles of power in the world’s two largest authoritarian regimes. And it’s probably delusional ambition that had pushed them to the throes of nuclear conflagration. And it is for these reasons that many countries – particularly those close by Russia and China — are distancing themselves from them lest Read More …

Pag-asa Island

By Mario J. Mallari The Daily Tribune  A visiting admiral of the United States military yesterday vowed US help to the Philippines should China invade Pagasa Island, the seat of government of Kalayaan town in Palawan and one of the Philippine-occupied islands and reefs in the disputed South China Sea. While stressing he does not want to deal with hypothetical questions, Adml. Jonathan Greenert, chief Read More …