75 blocks found in shoal

China incursion like taking over neighbor’s garage, says Gazmin


‘PRELUDE TO CONSTRUCTION’ Seventy-five concrete blocks, believed to have been put up by China, were spotted in the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal off Zambales based on a military reconnaissance report made last Monday. The blocks could be “a prelude to construction,” Defense spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said. Photo courtesy of Department of National Defense

MANILA, Philippines—Defense officials on Wednesday said a military aerial survey had spotted more concrete blocks installed by China in the Scarborough Shoal, calling the latest Chinese incursion as “a neighbor taking over one’s garage without permission.”

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin the other day said a Navy aerial photograph taken last Saturday had shown 30 concrete blocks at Scarborough indicating Chinese intentions to build fortifications in the disputed reef.

But a second reconnaissance flight on Monday showed that there were actually more blocks, around 75, occupying a two-hectare area in the northern section of Scarborough, defense spokesperson Peter Galvez said on Wednesday.

Prelude to construction

Galvez said the extra blocks, and the extent of the area occupied, may have been missed by the earlier flight. He did not release the photograph, however.

Galvez said the concrete blocks, measuring about 2 ft by 2 ft, could be used as platform foundations, “a prelude to any other form of construction.”

Gazmin, who last June described China’s incursion into Philippine territory as already being “in one’s garage,” likened the latest Chinese action to “a neighbor who took over your garage without asking permission.”

He said any Chinese construction at the disputed shoal would be in violation of the Declaration of Conduct (DOC), a nonbinding confidence-building agreement signed by Beijing and its neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to refrain from actions or hostile acts that could inflame tensions in the flashpoint region.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei on Wednesday rejected the Philippine allegations.

“What has been said by the Philippines isn’t true. Huangyan Island is China’s inherent territory,” Hong told state television CCTV in an interview, using the Chinese name for the shoal.

‘Beyond dispute’

“In accordance with the constitution, Chinese government ships maintain routine patrols in waters of Huangyan island to safeguard our sovereignty over Huangyan island and to maintain order of relevant waters. That is China’s legitimate right and interest and it is beyond dispute,” Hong said.

China claims most of the South China Sea, including waters close to the coasts of its neighbors.

Scarborough Shoal is about 220 km off the main Philippine island of Luzon, within the country’s internationally recognized exclusive economic zone.

The outcrop is about 650 km from Hainan island, the nearest major Chinese land mass.

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez on Wednesday said diplomats were trying to independently confirm the surveillance photos before lodging an official diplomatic protest.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the government was planning to file the protest against China’s seeming buildup in the Scarborough Shoal and is looking at other possible courses of action.


Diplomatic protests

“We intend to file a diplomatic protest and, as well, we are evaluating our other options,” Del Rosario said in a text message.

Last year alone, the Philippines filed as many as 15 official protests against Chinese incursions into Philippine territory. Last January it angered Beijing when it asked a United Nations tribunal to rule on the validity China’s claim to the entire South China Sea.

The Inquirer learned that the government’s security cluster would be meeting today to discuss the issue as China’s latest move has been described by top security officials as an “effective occupation” of Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal), a small group of reefs and rocky outcrops within Philippine territory in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

President Aquino yesterday called the Cabinet to an “executive session” to tackle a number of sensitive issues, possibly including the latest development in Scarborough.

Mr. Aquino met with the full Cabinet, including Vice President Jejomar Binay, for at least four hours. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas did not attend because of a prior appointment.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the President decided to hold an executive session because there were “sensitive matters” to be discussed. But he declined to disclose the agenda of the meeting or if it included the Scarborough incident. With reports from Nikko Dizon, TJ Burgonio, Tarra Quismundo, Tina Santos and AFP


Related Story:


Navy aerial survey shows 75 concrete blocks dotting Panatag Shoal


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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • MahalinAngInangBayan

    Presidente Aquino : Huwag mo sanang hayaang makapagtayo ng istraktura ang China sa Panatag Shoal. Sa Pilipinas ang Panatag. Walang magagawa ang anumang diplomatic protest na ihahain mo. Bago maging huli ang lahat ay ipabalik mo sa Panatag ang BRP Gregorio del Pilar at ipatanggal sa mga Philippine Marines ang mga concrete blocks doon. Dapat manatili at nagbabantay sa Panatag ang Gregorio del Pilar. Katungkulan mo bilang Presidente ng Pilipinas na ipagtanggol ang ating bansa sa sinumang mananakop at huwag pahintulutang agawin ng ibang bansa ang anumang parte ng ating teritoryo.

  • 1VeritasAequitas

    Walang anumang nangyayari sa mga ginagawang diplomatic protests ng Pilipinas sa China, dahil hindi sibilisadong tao ang mga namumuno sa bansang ito at wala itong anumang pagpapahalaga sa world opinion. Hindi dapat pabayaan ng Pilipinas na tuluyang maagaw ng China ang Panatag Shoal na integral part ng Pilipinas. Kapag hinayaan nating makapagtayo sila ng istraktura doon ay mahihirapan na tayong mabawi ang shoal. Dapat ay ipabalik ni Presidente Aquino ang BRP Gregorio del Pilar sa Panatag at dapat itong manatili at magbantay doon. Dapat tanggalin ng ating mga sundalo ang mga concrete blocks.

  • 1VeritasAequitas

    Sana, ang mga FilAms ay tumulong muli upang maipaabot sa US Senate ang ginagawa ngayon ng China sa Panatag Shoal. Kailangang-kailangan ngayon ng Pilipinas ang tulong ninyo.

  • joboni96

    pangkiliti na naman ng imperyalista ito
    para sa u.s. bases recolonization nila

    matagal ng maraming katarantadohan
    ang intsik switik dyan

    pero ang solusyon ni collaborator gasmin
    magtago sa saya ng imperyalistang u.s.

    tignan mo at papetek petek lang
    sa pagpalakas ng depensa

    3 years after naka upo
    wala pa tayong fighters, missile corvettes, at missile batteries

    inuuna pa bumili ng mga cargo ships
    sa daming binebentang missile corvettes sa europe

    pinapahamak na naman tayo ng mga collaborators na ito
    sa gerrang imperyalistang u.s. kontra sa hegemonistang intsik switik


    • crazy_horse_101010

      wow three idiots in a row ranting what a threesome a retarded american basher a commie fake american who hates filipinos and the philippines but speaks tagalog and loves chinese then stupid speaks for himself with his gibberish

      • joboni96

        4praning apple criollo supot again

  • PurpleDaisy13

    Re: “shown 30 concrete blocks at Scarborough indicating Chinese intentions to build fortifications in the disputed reef.”

    If China denies these allegations and Philippines has no “actual evidence” of video footage showing Chinese government vessels throwing these silly blocks overboard, then Philippines DFA has no case and is wasting their time.

    Time to focus on the real issues: Pork Barrel, Priority Development Assistant Fund Scam where Enrile, Revilla, and Estrada are suspected of stealing multi-millions of Filipino Taxpayer Money.

    • .Hugo.

      now we know, these so called “concrete blocks” are actually natural rocks!

      check the south china morning post of 14 sep 2013.

      the philippines is really “smart” and very “accurate” with its intelligence. why not blame the americans of sending you such great pictures? haha….

  • hello stupids

    Philippines should sent the aeroplane there when it is low tides It might have 200 blocks there

  • Ricardo Serrano

    Send BRP Gorio and Monching in the Scarborough Shoal and blast those 75 cement blocks as target practice. This way Philippine Navy will show the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run China that we mean what we say and prove to China evidence of the presence of these cement structures which they deny exist.

  • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

    China is making sure the thieves of the past are not going to come back. Your time of encrouching in Chinese territorial waters are now long gone. That is the message….

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