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Carpio suggests joint patrols with Malaysia, Vietnam in South China Sea

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Carpio suggests joint patrols with Malaysia, Vietnam in South China Sea
This file photo from November 2019, representatives of the navies of Malaysia and Indonesia are in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi as part of "trilateral patrols" in waters off the southern Philippines.
Capt. Joann Petinglay, Western Mindanao Command, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines should join forces with Malaysia and Vietnam to counter China's "grave escalation" of tensions in the South China Sea, retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs had filed a diplomatic protest against China for pointing its gun control director at a Philippine Navy ship near Malampaya gas field in the West Philippine Sea.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command had confirmed that a People's Liberation Army Navy corvette pointed its gun control director—a computer that calculates firing solutions—at the BRP Conrado Yap in February.

Carpio, in an online forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, noted that the Malampaya area cuts through Beijing's so-called nine-dash line in the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea.

The retired Supreme Court magistrate also recalled that a Chinese ship and coast guard vessels also went near Malaysia's Petronas drilling area in the South China Sea mid-April.

Last year, Vietnam and China were involved in a standoff after Beijing deployed coast guard vessels and survey ships at Hanoi-controlled Vanguard Bank.

'Unity' patrols

"I think we should have joint patrols with Vietnam and Malaysia. We patrol their [exclusive economic zone]," Carpio said Monday.

Carpio said the navies of the three countries could jointly patrol each other's territorial waters, sending a message to Beijing.

"We'll be sending a message... China cannot just pick us out one by one. We are united," he said.

The navies of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia already hold joint patrols in waters off the southern Philippines to deter kidnapping, piracy and maritime terrorism. 

Stressing that the Philippines should take the matter seriously, Carpio also suggested joining the Americans in their naval patrols in the South China Sea if China insists on "doing the same thing."

While pointing its fire control system radar at a Philippine Navy ship could not considered an act of war, Carpio said it was a hostile act.

Citing the rules of naval engagement, Carpio said locking one's fire control radar on another ship is just one step to firing, which happens in less than a second.

"We don't do that that because you can mistake and you can trigger an accidental war so navies do not do that unless you want to bully another country," Carpio added.

'Taking advantage of pandemic'

Carpio also lamented how China is taking advantage of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which originated from Wuhan City in Hubei province.

"China doesn't want to let this pandemic crisis go to waste... China is taking advantage of our difficulty right now so I think it's time really to talk to our neighbors Vietnam and Malaysia, perhaps even Indonesia, that we should now conduct joint patrols," the retired magistrate said.

Earlier this month, China Global Television Network reported that Beijing established two districts to administer the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea under Sansha City in Hainan province.

The Philippines is also claiming some features in the Spratly Islands.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. confirmed that the DFA also lodged a diplomatic protest before the Chinese Embassy in Manila for "declaring parts of Philippine territory as part of Hainan province."

The Philippines' top diplomat said China's actions constitute "violations of internatonal law and Philippine sovereignty."

ANTONIO CARPIO

CHINA

PHILIPPINES-CHINA TIES

SOUTH CHINA SEA

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 28, 2022 - 10:29am

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis continues underway in the South China Sea.

The US Pacific Command just reported that it has received "cargo" from support ship USNS Rainier in the disputed waters.

February 28, 2022 - 10:29am

Around 68 foreign vessels were near Julian Felipe Reef and 39 near Union Banks on February 17, satellite image show.

Liz Derr, CEO of the geospatial data provider Simularity, says this at a Stratebase ADR-hosted conference.

In March 2021, over 200 Chinese vessels were sighted near the reef.  — report from News5/Marianne Enriquez

November 22, 2021 - 3:54pm

President Rodrigo Duterte condemns the latest flare-up in the disputed South China Sea after Chinese coastguard ships fired water cannon at Filipino boats. 

"We abhor the recent event in the Ayungin Shoal and view with grave concern other similar developments," Duterte tells the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China, using the Filipino name for the shoal. 

"This does not speak well of the relations between our nations and our partnership." — AFP

November 22, 2021 - 8:41am

The European Union expresses "strong opposition" against China's unilateral actions in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

This statement comes after Chinese coast guard ships blocked and water cannoned Philippine boats transporting supplies to military personnel stationed at Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

"In this context, the European Union recalls the Arbitration Award rendered under UNCLOS on 12 July 2016, which found that Second Thomas Shoal lies within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf," the EU says in a statement.

July 14, 2021 - 8:49am

Geospatial imagery and analysis firm Simularity stands behind its report on ships dumping raw sewage in the West Philippine Sea, adding a stock photo used in its presentation was not used in its analysis.

"We welcome the news that Philippine agencies are validating our research and results. It is all reproducible, based on publicly available sources, well understood algorithms, and the approach and interpretation are validated by readily available scientific papers, links to which you can find in our report," it says.

July 13, 2021 - 2:44pm

The Department of Environemnt and Natural Resources says it will coordinate with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Department of National Defense "on the authenticity of the allegation" that Chinese ships have been dumping raw waste in areas of the West Philippine Sea, which satellite imaging firm Simularity said has been causing damage to coral reefs in the Spratlys.

"After that, we will be seeking for the attention of the Chinese government through our Department of Foreign Affairs," Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, DENR spokesperson, says.

"We will also validate if indeed these are Chinese vessels," he also says.

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