Philippine Navy & Coastguard Joint Patrol in Spratly – China ordered NO..

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine Navy (PN) will jointly conduct offshore patrol on West Philippine Sea (WPS), a task mandated under the newly-created National Coast Watch System (NCWS) by virtue of Executive Order No. 57, signed and issued by President Benigno C. Aquino III last September.

Addressing the PCG graduating class of Advance Boarding Officers' Course (ABOC) conducted by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Mobile Training Team held at the PCG headquarters last week, newly-named PCG chief of staff Commodore Aaron T. Reconquista said, of late, the PCG has been mandated with a leading role in the West Philippine Sea in terms of enforcement of national laws particularly relative to customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ).

Reconquista underscored the US team of instructors for sharing their expertise, knowledge and skills with the PCG, particularly the members of PCG special operations group (SOG) headed by Cdr. Marco Antonio Gines, who, undoubtedly acquired knowledge and skills from the four-week training course – two weeks spent in training instructors-counterparts, and two weeks in training new 26 students on advance boarding course. "We are indebted to the US government for extending to us this assistance and to the United States Coast Guard (ASCG) mobile training team facilitated by the US embassy staff," he said.

He extended the warm felicitations and words of thanks of the whole PCG headed by its commandant Vice Admiral Edmund C. Tan to US embassy deputy economic counselor Mr. Brent Christensen, US charge' d Affaires Ms. Leslie Basset, Export control and Boarding Security (EXBS)regional advisor Mike Mcnamara, US naval attache to the Philippines Capt. Jack Sotherland, and the entire USCG Mobile training team for the time they shared with the PCG, who benefited from the training course.

The conduct of the ABOC is really quite timely, said Reconquista. "Today's terrorists are not particularly concern about converts, and rather than wanting a seat at the table, they want to destroy the table and everyone sitting on it,!" stressed the PCG chief of staff.

Reconquista, an alumnus of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), disclosed that the 2nd USCG cutter will be handed over to the Philippine Navy soon. Expressing excitement, he told US brass present at the rites, "perhaps through your representation, the 3rd USCG cutter would be for the PCG, as the trend in maritime law enforcement is shifting to law enforcer operators like the Coast Guard, in contrast to the aggressive nature of the 'gray ships."

President Benigno Aquino III created the National Coast Watch System (NCWS) to expand the country's naval and maritime security operations to preserve the Philippine territory, protect its people and resources from maritime threats, through Executive Order No. 57 that has made the NCWS the 'central inter-agency mechanism' for a more coordinated approach on maritime issues, and security operations, to enhance governance of the country's maritime domain.'

China Order the Philippines over Spratly

Former Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Wang Yingfan warned that dragging the United States in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) would be unacceptable to China and Beijing "certainly would react" if that happened.

"We could forge good neighborly relations and work out something that's beneficial and acceptable to both sides… You are happy and we are happy. Maybe, you're half-happy and we're half-happy, but it's acceptable to both sides," Wang said in a media forum on Wednesday organized by the Chinese Embassy.

Wang ignored the previous incidents of poaching and firing of Chinese Naval Force to the Filipino fishermen fishing in the Sea of Palawan.

Wang, who served in Manila from 1988 to 1990, said there was nothing wrong with the Philippines acquiring used US warships for defense purposes and that "any nation must do something (to improve) their own national defense."

"It's understandable. No problem," he said. "I know your Navy is very much backward in equipment. If you buy warships from the United States, I would understand."

But Wang, who said he still advised his government on regional issues despite his retirement, asserted that allowing the United States to meddle in the six-nation Spratly Island dispute was another story.

More complicated

"If it really happens that the United States and your country would talk about the South China Sea and how you should work together, I think that would be something which cannot be accepted by the Chinese," he said.

"If (the Americans) involve themselves in the territorial dispute, there will be problems with China. If that happened, the Chinese government certainly would react," he added.

That is why it would be "wise for the nations concerned in this region, including the Philippines, not to introduce Americans into the disputed waters," Wang said.

Six claimants

"That would make the issue more complicated and more difficult to settle among ourselves," he said.

The Spratlys are a chain of up to 190 isles, reefs, coral outcrops and banks believed to be sitting atop large deposits of oil and natural gas.  A Chinese report quoted by US authorities estimates there are 225 billion barrels of oil in the area.

The isles and their waters are claimed wholly or in part by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

President Benigno Aquino III has said the gas deposits in the disputed territory are so enormous that they would dwarf the Malampaya oil and gas fields.

Wang Yingfan and another retired Chinese diplomat, Wang Chungui, who was ambassador to Manila from 2000 to 2004, are in the Philippines on a weeklong goodwill visit as part of the two countries' friendly exchanges, the embassy said.

'Deng Xiaoping solution'

Wang Yingfan pushed for the so-called "Deng Xiaoping solution" to the dispute—setting aside the territorial quarrel in favor of joint exploration and development.

Xiaoping solution is unfavorable and unacceptable to the Philippines as the whole Spratly's Archipelago is under the territory of the old Sultanate State of Sulu during the 1400 years. The Chinese invasion to the Philippines territory in Spratly wouldn't mean that they would have the rights over the wealth in the Spratly but just a forever dream as the Philippines will never surrender to China's power.

The late Deng, who led China from 1978 to 1992, steered the world's most populous state toward a market economy in the 1980s.

Wang Yingfan stressed "it is the time for cooperation, not confrontation, not fighting."

"I talked with some important people in your government that we should work hard to find ways that are acceptable to both sides, that we must work hard to prepare the ground so that we could share the resources together," he added.

"The response was very encouraging. They said they would consider this kind of thinking. So with patience, with goodwill and with hard work, we could find a way out that's agreeable and acceptable to both sides."

'China's Solution will come but not the UNCLOS'

Instead of wasting time talking about the Spratlys dispute, Wang said it would be better if Filipinos "spend your energy on economic development."

He said "it would take some time before we could find a solution (to the dispute)" but he was "optimistic that that will come."

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has said a "rules-based" approach based on international law is the key to settling the dispute and that the Philippines expects nothing less from the other Spratlys claimants.

Following a recent meeting between the Philippines and China in Beijing, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the two sides had agreed to promote bilateral relations, such as on energy, science and technology, disaster mitigation, law enforcement and maritime cooperation.

The Chinese foreign ministry has said both countries have agreed not to let their quarrel over the Spratlys "affect the broader picture of friendship and cooperation" between them.

China had warn the Philippines several times that the Philippines would pay the price after Philippine Navy catch the Chinese poacher who is illegally killing green turtles in the West Philippines sea, recently Chinese government mouthpiece even call for  the China government to sanction the Philippines by economic disruption and even fired several Filipino fishermen in the Philippine waters during the last year.

China's belligerent behavior towards the Philippines have recently slow down after the USA pronounced its full support to the Philippines if there is any invasion from external force to the Philippine territory.

Though invasion happened as the china controlled few islands and shoal near the Palawan Island under Palawan jurisdiction; still the Philippines failed to drive away the current illegal occupation of china in around Sabina shoal.

China loosen its tight grip over the Spratlys archipelago after US intervene of its aggression in the 1400 year old territory of the Sultanate State of Sulu which is the Spratly Archipelago.

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