Press Release
April 14, 2015

Trillanes: Investigate China's continuing reclamation in West Philippines Sea

Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV files Proposed Senate Resolution No. 1269, seeking investigation on the alleged land reclamations and dredging operations of China on the disputed Spratly and the alleged downgrading of the Philippines' claim over Sabah.

"This issue of China's reclamation and dredging activities has grave national and regional security implications. It is high time that we assess our country's preparedness for any contingency," said Trillanes, chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security.

In February, it was reported that China has been conducting dredging activities at Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef) -- a Philippine-claimed area in the Spratlys, which Beijing occupied in the mid-1990s -- similar to earlier reported land reclamation work in other areas of the Spratlys it occupies.

The DFA has lodged a protest with China concerning the said land reclamation activities. This was included in the note verbale handed to Chinese Embassy Representatives which expressed the Philippines' strong objection to the stepped-up Chinese building activities at Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef), including the plan to build an airstrip on top of land dredged from around the area. Furthermore, this March, surveillance photos of five reefs in the Spratlys surfaced, which show an advanced stage of construction of a military facility, based on the configuration and the fixed structural design of the buildings. The Philippine military believes this construction to be part of China's support naval and air asset operations in the area.

In addition to this brewing issue, Sultan Esmail Kiram II of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo (SSNB) expressed alarm over news reports that the DFA, in a note verbale handed to representative of the Malaysian Embassy, offered to drop the Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia's support against China in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) territorial dispute.

"If this allegation is true, the government must explain because this is tantamount to a sellout," added Trillanes, former Navy officer.#

News Latest News Feed