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Monday, October 10, 2011

Dispute over Spratlys

   The Philippine claim over the Spratly Islands began in May 1956, when Tomas Cloma, owner of a Philippine fishing vessel company and director of the Philippine Maritime Institute, declared the founding of the new state called "Kalayaan" (Eng.: freedom). He found the islands while he, with his brothers and 40 crew, was adventuring in the vast South China Sea. Observing that there was no human settlement nor national flag present on them, he decided to establish the Kalayaan state. He posted a document in English, entitled Notice to the Whole World, on all features he claimed. His claim comprises about fifty features among the Spratly group.[5] His declaration was met with violent reactions from other countries like China and South Vietnam, as well as the European countries of FranceUnited Kingdom, and theNetherlands, who were representing their colonies in Southeast Asia. While the Philippines did not endorse the new state to the world, it acknowledged it as the true sovereign state. In September 1956, after the Republic of China occupied the largest island, Ligao Island (Itu Aba), Tomas Cloma decided to cede and sell all the territories of his state to the Philippines for just one peso (US$0.50 of the time).

A renewed tension on Spratly Island 

   March 2 incident in which the Philippine government accused two Chinese patrol boats of harassing a Filipino oil exploration ship into leaving a vast area called the Reed Bank. A Filipino general scrambled two military aircraft, which arrived at the scene after the Chinese vessels had left, the Philippine military said.
China and the Philippines have swapped diplomatic protests. Filipino officials say the Reed Bank, which lies off the western Philippine province of Palawan, is not a disputed territory. China countered by saying that it has jurisdiction over the Spratlys and adjacent waters.
Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, center, walks during departure honors at the Defense Headquarters where he met his Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines on Monday May 23, 2011. Guanglie's visit comes amid renewed tension over the disputed Spratly Islands, which are claimed by China, the Philippines and four other Asian countries and territories. Washington has expressed concerns that the disputes could hamper access to one of the world's busiest commercial sea lanes. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, left, shakes hands with his Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmin at the Defense Headquarters in suburban Quezon City, north of Manila, Philippines on Monday May 23, 2011. Guanglie's visit comes amid renewed tension over the disputed Spratly's Islands which are claimed by China, Philippines and four other asian countries and terrotorites. Washington has expressed concerns that the disputes could hamper access to one of the world's busiest commercial sea lanes. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) — AP

Philippine authorities detected the presence of a submarine in the Sulu Sea off southern Jolo island last March. By the time the military reached the area to check, the unidentified submarine was gone, Gazmin said.
"It was an intrusion," he told The Associated Press. "But again, what can we do?"
Gazmin said huge funds are needed to modernize the 129,000-strong military so that it would be capable of guarding the archipelago's coastline, one of the world's longest.
Many of the navy's battleships have "succumbed to the punishment of wear and tear," with malfunctioning ones sidelined and never replaced. The few remaining ships are far below modern naval standards and are ready "to lie on their keels in the graveyard," he said.
"This is truly deplorable but plain reality," Gazmin said in a speech during the Philippine navy's founding anniversary.
If the Phil. is really serious on the matter they should stop calling the location  as South China sea instead it should be West Philippine sea. 




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