Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Written for The Diplomat

Philippine officials are denying the claim of the Chinese Foreign Ministry that there was a previous pledge to tow away its ship in the Second Thomas Shoal, known to Manila as Ayungin Shoal and to Beijing as Ren’ai Jiao.

China did not identify the Filipino official who promised to remove the grounded ship. And even if a name is mentioned, it will only prompt flat-out denials.

The supposed broken promise should also not distract public attention from what’s going to happen this week and the succeeding months as the Philippines prepares another mission to deliver supplies to its stranded ship, the reported joint naval drills of several countries in the disputed waters of South China Sea, and the filing of diplomatic protests against Chinese activities and presence in Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

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Manila Bay Reclamation Under Review Over Environmental and China Concerns

Written for The Diplomat

The Philippine government said it is already reviewing the ongoing reclamation projects in Manila Bay after the United States embassy expressed concern over their long-term environmental impact and the alleged involvement of a blacklisted Chinese firm.

As for the Philippine government, the information provided by the U.S. embassy should alert it to review the projects approved in recent years and find out if there are other companies contracted to build foreign installations within the country’s territory. Otherwise, it would appear ludicrous for condemning China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea on one hand, while welcoming investors and developers who make money by enabling the violation of the country’s sovereignty.

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