Latest Stories

‘Government told of China buildup 2 months ago’


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—The Aquino administration has been sitting for two months on reports of increased Chinese military construction on islands within the country’s territory in the West Philippine Sea.

Defense sources in Palawan have told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the national government had been notified about the site development by China on at least two strategically important areas in the Spratly Islands, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef.

Both reefs are within the Philippines’ 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone.

Mischief Reef is fully built up and the Chinese are busy building on Subi Reef.

Reached for comment on Monday, Colonel Neil Estrella, spokesperson for the military’s West Command, said the military was aware of Chinese construction activities on Subi Reef.

He said a four-story building with a large dome-shaped radar on top was completed on the reef in May.

The Chinese, Estrella said, have also completed the construction of a helipad and the placement of buoys in a narrow channel to guide marine vessels into the reef’s inner lagoon, which is around 3.7 kilometers in diameter.

Subi Reef is near the Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island and is visible from Kalayaan Island on a clear day, according to Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon of Kalayaan town on that island.

Bito-onon confirmed observations of Chinese construction sites on Subi Reef. He said the Chinese had only recently removed the scaffolding on the tall building that had a radar on the roof.

Citing Filipino fishermen’s accounts, Bito-onon said construction on Subi was still going on.

“Filipino fishermen have been able to approach that island and they see what is going on there,” Bito-onon said.

“They would go there to barter their food supplies, including marine turtles, for Chinese goods,” he said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Asia-Pacific , China , Diplomacy , Foreign affairs , Global Nation , Governmen , International relations , Maritime Dispute , Military , Philippines , South China Sea , sovereignty , Spratly Islands , West Philippine Sea

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem
  • Tanchanco, former NFA head; 83
  • Pope seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of the Earth’
  • Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  • Positive in UAE, returning Filipino nurse tests negative
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • ‘Pacquiao a great ambassador for basketball’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Awarded TV couple brings Jesus’ life to the big screen
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace