West Philippine Sea - updates

Rappler's latest stories on West Philippine Sea

ARTICLE FINDER

Carpio slams China’s 'double standard' in warship passage near Tawi-Tawi

Jul 20, 2019 - 8:17 AM

Although the Philippines observes China's right of innocent passage in its waters, China has consistently tried to stop Filipinos from patrolling parts of the West Philippine Sea

INNOCENT PASSAGE. China's sole operational aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, arrives in Hong Kong waters on July 7, 2017, less than a week after a high-profile visit by president Xi Jinping. China's national defence ministry had said the Liaoning, named after a northeastern Chinese province, was part of a flotilla on a "routine training mission" and would make a port of call in the former British colony. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE

Carpio: Duterte ‘fishing deal’ with China must go through Senate scrutiny

Jul 19, 2019 - 7:54 PM

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says the Senate must find out exactly what the supposed verbal agreement between Manila and Beijing entails, and whether it falls within Philippine law

SENATE SCRUTINY. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, a staunch defender of the West Philippine Sea, says the Senate must scrutinize a supposed fishing deal between Manila and Beijing. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

IBP withdraws West PH Sea petition

Jul 19, 2019 - 6:33 PM

Solicitor General Jose Calida wins again

Expect little talk on security issues in Duterte’s SONA – analysts

Jul 18, 2019 - 8:59 AM

Security threats like terrorism and Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea won't figure much in Duterte's yearly address but most Filipinos won't mind it, analysts say

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes an officer as he prepares to board a plane bound for the People's Republic of China at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on April 24, 2019. Malacañang photo

Coast Guard gets modern patrol ship from France

Jul 18, 2019 - 8:07 AM

The new vessel is the largest and most modern in the PCG fleet and will be used to patrol the West Philippine Sea and Benham Rise as well as to guard against piracy and terrorism

MODERN VESSEL. This Offshore Patrol Vessel, shown here as it is launched from the OCEA shipyard in France on July 17, 2019, will be the Philippine Coast Guard's largest and most modern patrol ship yet. Photo from the Philippine Coast Guard

Carpio, Del Rosario refute Duterte on invoking defense pact with U.S.

Jul 17, 2019 - 8:00 PM

(UPDATED) 'The [Mutual Defense] Treaty operates only for self-defense, not for aggression against another state,' says Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says the Mutual Defense Treaty with the US is only for self-defense. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

U.S. urges PH: Ensure sea code 'consistent' with international law

Jul 16, 2019 - 10:33 PM

Doing so will also protect the right of countries with claims in the South China Sea 'to pursue security and development arrangements with partners of their choosing,' says the United States

SEA CODE. A China Coast Guard ship (top) and a Philippine supply boat engage in a stand off as the Philippine boat attempts to reach the Second Thomas Shoal, a remote South China Sea a reef claimed by both countries, on March 29, 2014. File photo by Jay Directo/AFP

U.S. reaffirms pact to defend PH in case of West Philippine Sea attack

Jul 16, 2019 - 5:24 PM

US officials affirm Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's assurance of aid in case of aggression in the West Philippine Sea amid growing security threat from China

MUTUAL DEFENSE. US and Philippine Marines carry their respective colors. File Photo by AFP/Jay Directo

[POLICY] Follow rule of law, but aspire for rule of justice

Jul 16, 2019 - 8:43 AM

We cannot adopt a defeatist attitude and just sit idly by and let China seize what international law has declared to be our own exclusive economic zone

Panelo to Carpio: Duterte's way still the best

Jul 15, 2019 - 4:20 PM

The spokesman claims President Rodrigo Duterte has 'studied' Justice Antonio Carpio's suggestions to enforce the Hague ruling, but has adopted the 'most intelligent, least dangerous' course of action

Rappler Talk: Ex-Coast Guard chief Carlos Agustin on West PH Sea

Jul 15, 2019 - 3:05 PM

Former Philippine Coast Guard commandant Carlos Agustin talks about the Recto Bank incident and the situation in the West Philippine Sea

Carpio rebuts Duterte, offers at least 6 ways to enforce Hague ruling

Jul 14, 2019 - 10:37 PM

Stop the defeatist attitude toward China, says Justice Antonio Carpio

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Ambassador Albert del Rosario attend the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute's forum on the third anniversary of the Hague ruling on the South China Sea on July 12, 2019. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

High tide or low tide? The question that won us the West Philippine Sea case

Jul 14, 2019 - 11:30 AM

A simple explainer on how the Philippines won its maritime case through a keen understanding of international maritime law

BURIED REEFS. This photo shows the status of reclamation activities in Keenan (Chigua) Reef in the West Philippine Sea as of December 12, 2014. File photo obtained by Rappler

Philippines loses to China 3 years after Hague ruling

Jul 13, 2019 - 11:30 AM

'The present administration has done absolutely nothing to enforce the award,' says Justice Antonio Carpio. Did the Philippine efforts go to waste?

Groups call on gov't to assert Hague ruling 3 years after victory

Jul 12, 2019 - 8:49 PM

Protests with calls to defend the Philippines' sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea mark the 3rd anniversary of the Hague ruling

Protesters on Friday, July 12, burn a Chinese flag to condemn China's harassment against the Philippines in forcibly reclaiming parts of the West Philippine Sea. Today was the third anniversary of the Philippines' historic victory against China in The Hague. Photo by John Philip Bravo/Rappler

3 years later, 87% of Filipinos want gov't to assert Hague ruling

Jul 12, 2019 - 7:00 PM

An equal percentage, also 87%, say that Chinese fishermen who destroy marine resources should be arrested

ASSERT RIGHTS. Protesters condemn China's harassment against Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea on July 12, 2019. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Joint naval patrols can assert arbitral win in West Philippine Sea – Carpio

Jul 12, 2019 - 6:42 PM

Joining naval powers in peaceful patrols in the West Philippine Sea effectively enforces the Philippines' legal victory over China, says Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

JOINT PATROLS. A Philippine Navy contingent joined the Exercise Rim of the Pacific in Hawaii in June 2018. Photo from the Philippine Naval Public Affairs Office

Despite Duterte, Gem-Ver fishermen buckle down to work

Jul 12, 2019 - 5:38 PM

The fishermen come home but government disowns their narrative about what happened at Recto Bank and gives away bare boats. They prepare to sail again in dangerous waters.

[OPINION] An ode to a fisherman whom I have forsaken

Jul 12, 2019 - 5:00 PM

Chinese-Filipino Jeffrey P. Yap assures his fellow Filipinos that he is on the same boat, and is equally proud to wear a shirt with 'West Philippine Sea' printed on it

[OPINION] Finding the middle ground with the Middle Kingdom

Jul 12, 2019 - 2:35 PM

'We were born in the Philippines, grew up in the Philippines, live, work, and love in the Philippines. The Philippines is our home,' says Chinese-Filipino Freddie Tan

Not dropping case yet: IBP's new leaders stand by West PH Sea petition

Jul 12, 2019 - 12:22 PM

The handling lawyers ask the Supreme Court for more time to talk to fishermen from Palawan and Zambales after 19 of them give affidavits to the Duterte government to disown the petition

PETITION. IBP's former national president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo (3rd from right) and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno (utmost left) take a photo with some of the fishermen who were named in the petition against the Duterte government over 'neglect' of the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of the IBP

PH urged to find 'middle ground' between U.S., China

Jul 12, 2019 - 11:37 AM

‘We’re like a pendulum. We cannot keep swinging from one extreme to the other,’ says Aileen Baviera, professor and former dean of UP’s Asian Center

PH urged to find 'middle ground' between US, China. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

93% of Filipinos want PH to regain China-occupied islands

Jul 11, 2019 - 9:20 PM

A Social Weather Stations survey shows 93% of Filipino adults think 'it is important that the Philippines regain control of the islands occupied by China in the West Philippine Sea'

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA. Protesters on June 22, 2019, show support for Filipino fishermen whose boat was sunk by a Chinese ship in the West Philippine Sea. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

[ANALYSIS] Duterte’s weak grasp of the maritime case on South China Sea

Jul 11, 2019 - 4:00 PM

Philippines v China 101

WATCH: Gem-Ver fishermen eager to sail again

Jul 10, 2019 - 7:49 PM

On the shores of Occidental Mindoro, the fishermen of Gem-Ver try to rebuild their damaged boat so they could set out to sail once again

BACK HOME. Fishermen pull the F/B Gem-Ver, towards the shore of Barangay San Roque I, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on June 15, 2019. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The fishermen of Gem-Ver

Jul 10, 2019 - 7:38 PM

On the shores of home in Barangay San Roque, Occidental Mindoro, the men of Gem-Ver tell their stories

Children play around the dry-docked F/B Gem-Ver on June 21, 2019. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

THE SINKING OF GEM-VER: Barko! May babanggang barko!

Jul 10, 2019 - 6:56 PM

From out of the blue, a metal vessel smashes a Filipino fishing boat anchored at Reed Bank, the impact sounding like a hundred bones breaking. This must be death, say the fishermen.

'Na-Recto 22,' Diokno says of fishermen withdrawing from West PH Sea petition

Jul 10, 2019 - 10:02 AM

'Hindi lang kahina-hinala na patagong nakipag-usap ang gobyerno sa mga kliyente namin, labag din sa legal ethics yan. Mukhang na-Recto 22 na naman ang mga Pilipino,' says human rights lawyer Chel Diokno

PETITION. Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno represents fishermen in a petition that accuses the Duterte government of neglecting the West Philippine Sea. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

FALSE: Maritime law expert 'lied' about satellite image of Recto Bank

Jul 09, 2019 - 9:57 PM

In his screenshot, maritime law expert Jay Batongbacal also uses a layer from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suit which captures satellite images on Earth in real time

Calida: Fishermen disown West PH Sea petition

Jul 09, 2019 - 4:12 PM

(UPDATED) Solicitor General Jose Calida claims that the lawyers for petitioners have agreed in a closed-door meeting to junk the case altogether

DISOWNED? Solicitor General Jose Calida secures the affidavit of 19 fishermen who disown the West Philippine Sea petition filed by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on their behalf. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

Duterte may use SONA to 'educate' Filipinos about West PH Sea fishing rights

Jul 09, 2019 - 9:49 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte insists allowing Chinese to fish in Philippine waters is constitutional, and tells Filipinos not to believe in 'constitutionalists' who say otherwise

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the 72nd Philippine Air Force Anniversary at the Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on July 2, 2019. VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

PH to sue Chinese ship crew in local courts if China fails to penalize them

Jul 08, 2019 - 3:03 PM

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo says the Philippines can file a case on 'reckless imprudence resulting to serious damage of property' against the captain and crew of the Chinese ship that hit F/B Gem-Ver

Children play around the dry-docked F/B Gem-Ver on June 21, 2019. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Panelo sees no contradiction between PCG-Marina report, Duterte

Jul 08, 2019 - 2:24 PM

Philippine Coast Guard and Marina investigators conclude the Recto Bank incident was a 'serious marine casualty' while President Rodrigo Duterte previously calls it a 'little maritime accident'

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte answers queries from members of the media following the oath taking ceremony of Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go at the Malacañan Palace on June 27, 2019. Also in the photo is Presidential Chief Legal Counsel and Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

No need for China permit to fish, says PH lawyer in Hague case

Jul 06, 2019 - 9:07 AM

'It is up to the Philippines' whether to allow Chinese fishermen to fish in the West Philippine Sea, says world-renowned lawyer Paul Reichler

LEAD COUNSEL. Paul Reichler, known as 'the giant slayer of public international law,' was the Philippines' lead counsel in its case against China over the South China Sea. File photo courtesy of PCA

Final PCG-Marina report: Chinese ship failed to prevent sea collision

Jul 06, 2019 - 8:25 AM

The Chinese ship abandoned the Filipino crew of F/B Gem-Ver despite 'direct knowledge of their distress situation,' in violation of two maritime conventions, according to the official findings of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority

SUNKEN. Fishing Boat Gem-Vir in the West Philippine Sea. Sourced photo

Satellite maps show foreign vessels swarming Philippine waters

Jul 05, 2019 - 6:51 PM

Compiled satellite images from 2012 to 2019 show the increasing presence of foreign vessels in the West Philippine Sea

GETTING CLOSER. This map indicates the presence of foreign vessels, represented by the red dots, around and within Philippine waters. This image was generated using Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), data gathered and analyzed by Karagatan Patrol. Photo from Karagatan Patrol.

Initial Coast Guard report: Chinese ship captain liable for maritime law violations

Jul 05, 2019 - 6:17 PM

The initial report also attests to how the Chinese ship abandoned the Gem-Ver crew

Damage of the F/B GemVir. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

U.P. marine scientists: 'West Philippine Sea is for Filipinos'

Jul 03, 2019 - 7:10 PM

'We call on the public to be part of a movement for responsible stewardship not only for WPS but all the seas surrounding the country. We hope that such involvement would not stop in share, likes and comments in social media,' UP Marine Science Institute says

DND to investigate China missile test in West Philippine Sea

Jul 03, 2019 - 5:48 PM

The Philippine government will look into a US report that China tested ballistic missiles near the Spratlys, a move the Pentagon called 'disturbing'

KAGITINGAN REEF. This satellite image dated January 1, 2018, shows Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

[EXPLAINER] The gospel according to Tito Sotto: Teach a man to fish, and his haul could be Chinese

Jul 03, 2019 - 4:11 PM

Senate President Tito Sotto – the man in the #Sinotto memes – comments on the 'exclusivity' of fish in the Recto Bank. Are his statements valid?

Recto Bank incident 'clear violation' of int'l law – PH lead counsel

Jul 03, 2019 - 10:26 AM

Paul Reichler, the Philippines' lead counsel against China, tells Rappler there is 'a very strong case' to hold China liable for the Recto Bank incident

'GIANT SLAYER.' Paul Reichler, the Philippines' lead counsel in its case against China, says the Recto Bank incident is a 'clear violation' of international law. File photo courtesy of ITLOS

Rappler Talk: Paul Reichler, Philippines' lawyer vs China

Jul 03, 2019 - 10:00 AM

[EXCLUSIVE] Paul Reichler, the Philippines' lead counsel against China, speaks to Rappler about Recto Bank and the 3rd anniversary of the Hague ruling on the South China Sea

Duterte-Xi fishing deal 'cannot be enforced' – Locsin

Jul 03, 2019 - 8:59 AM

'It's not policy,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr after Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the verbal agreement is legally binding

CLOSE TIES. President Rodrigo Duterte is accompanied by Chinese President Xi Jinping inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing prior to their bilateral meeting on April 25, 2019. Malacañang photo

Aquino’s SC appointees lean toward Duterte in West PH Sea case

Jul 02, 2019 - 7:55 PM

Justices Estela Perlas Bernabe, Francis Jardeleza, and Benjamin Caguioa seem inclined to dismiss the petition that accuses the Duterte government of neglect in the West Philippine Sea

SUPREME COURT associate justices Estela Perlas Bernabe, Francis Jardeleza, and Benjamin Caguioa

Justice Reyes: Instead of West PH Sea, spend on Pasig river

Jul 02, 2019 - 6:56 PM

Other Duterte appointees in the Supreme Court defend President Duterte in a petition that accuses the government of neglect in the West Philippine Sea

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA. Supreme Court Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr defends President Rodrigo Duterte in an ongoing petition accusing the government of neglect in the West Philippine Sea. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Lacson says Duterte deal with China nothing but words

Jul 02, 2019 - 6:17 PM

(UPDATED) And because they're mere words, what would be the basis for impeaching the President?

SPOTTED. A Chinese militia vessel identified by the Philippine Coast Guard during a patrol in Scarborough Shoal in June 2019. PCG photo

DSWD assures fishermen of sunken boat 'continuous assistance'

Jul 02, 2019 - 1:58 PM

The Department of Social Welfare and Development says it will continue to assist the 22 fishermen of F/B Gem-Ver until 'they have fully recovered from the incident and are able to live normal lives'

ASSISTANCE GIVEN. The DSWD assures the 22 fishermen of F/B Gem-Ver it will provide assistance to them and their families until they can fish again. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Carpio inhibits from West PH Sea case vs Duterte gov't

Jul 02, 2019 - 1:30 PM

(UPDATED) 'I voluntarily inhibited for the peace of mind of the Solicitor General,' says Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

INHIBIT. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio voluntarily inhibits from a Writ of Kalikasan petition that accuses the Duterte government of neglect in the West Philippine Sea. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Duterte wants China to guarantee rights, safety of PH fishermen

Jul 02, 2019 - 10:40 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte told Cabinet officials that the Recto Bank incident will be discussed in the next round of bilateral meetings with China, says Malacañang

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 39th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on July 1, 2019. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Can Supreme Court force Duterte gov't to protect West PH Sea?

Jul 01, 2019 - 7:22 PM

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments on a petition by fishermen, accusing the Duterte government of failure to enforce the fisheries code and other environmental issuances in Panatag Shoal, Ayungin Shoal, and Panganiban Reef

Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler