Ph Years of Struggle to Secure Ayungin Shoal While Cavite Mangrove Island Easily Slips Under China

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

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Ayunin Shoal or Thomas Shoal Territorial Claims

Philippines Marines protecting Ayungin Shoal for years

Photo Credit to:GMA Network

Second Thomas Shoal is claimed by the Philippines and China.[7]

The Philippine navy maintains a presence of less than a dozen navy personnel on the 100 m (330 ft) long Second World War US-built Philippine Navy landing craft BRP Sierre Madre (LT-57), which was deliberately run aground at the shoal in 1999 in response to the Chinese reclamation of Mischief Reef.[8][9] The Philippines claims that the shoal is part of its continental shelf,[10] while parts of the Spratly group of islands, where Second Thomas Shoal lies, are claimed by China, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. In 2014, the Chinese government asked the Philippines to remove the grounded ship.[11][12]

Philippine supply ships subsequently avoided Chinese blockades in order to deliver food, water and other supplies to the garrison.[13] PRC coast guard vessels blocked two attempts by Philippine ships to resupply the garrison on March 9, 2014. Supplies were airdropped to the garrison three days later. A supply ship with replacement troops successfully reached the shoal on March 29, 2014 by sailing through shallow waters where the PRC vessels (with deeper drafts) were unable to follow. During the approach, Philippine crew members and troops on the resupply ship waved the peace sign at the pursuing Chinese coast guard crew.[14] Since then, the Philippine military has been sending monthly relief missions in the form of air dropped provisions to the troops stationed here.[15]


China's blockade of Ayungin Shoal resupply 'objectionable' — Palace

MANILA, Philippines — China's actions near Ayungin or Second Thomas Shoal in the West Philippine Sea should be subject to objection, Malacañang said Monday.

Last week, the Department of National Defense submitted a report to the House of Representatives, showing that a Chinese Coast Guard ship blocked Filipino vessels on a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre grounded on Ayungin Shoal.

"Syempre objectionable 'yun... Nagdadala lang pala ng pagkain bakit naman ibla-block," Panelo said in a press briefing.

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China takes over PH island: 20,000 Chinese POGO workers to live in exclusive Cavite resort

China has taken over an ‘island’ in the birthplace of Philippine independence without firing a single shot.

Pagcor to POGOs: Submit workers list or close shop

The former Island Cove resort in Kawit, Cavite used to be owned by the Remulla family is being converted into an exclusive haven for at least 20,000 Chinese workers of Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo).

Pay up! BIR running after P4.4B in taxes from foreign POGO workers

The Inquirer reported that an unidentified Pogo operator “is transforming a 12-hectare former resort in Cavite into a self-contained enclave with the ‘live, work, play’ concept.”

33 POGOs hired thousands of illegal foreigners — DOF

“The so-called Pogo island could accommodate over 20,000 workers with full operations in five years,” it added. The project is expected to have 50,000 capacity when fully operational.

BUZZ: Here’s how POGO owners skirt tax payments

The report also noted that 1,250 or half of the 2,500 construction workers were hired from the local community.

Chinese POGO workers not registered with BIR

The Chinese invasion

“For now, it’s just 32 hectares, but this could be the start of a possible colonization if they decide to purchase and occupy more lands in different parts of the country. Mas malala pa ito sa ginawa nila sa West Philippine Sea kapag nagkataon,”

And two or three weeks later, behold, we learned about two other islands that had been subject of agreements made between Chinese “investors” and the government as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Fuga Island off Cagayan—one wonders what former senator Juan Ponce Enrile has to say about it; and Grande (and Chiquita) Island off Subic. What prescience De Lima had. Fuga is about 10,000 hectares, which makes Pogo-land look like a grain of sand, and Grande is definitely larger than Pogo-land.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson calls these two projects “suspicious,” and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has also cast doubts on them in the name of national security. Thank the Lord there are people who are thinking of the Philippines as a whole, and whose brains are definitely larger than the pea-brained idiots who thought of the projects. Where have the latter been all this time, sleeping? How could they possibly ignore the implications? As the saying goes, it is hardest to wake a man who is pretending to be asleep.

With President Duterte’s entrance into the picture in 2016, the AEPs issued to Chinese more than doubled—from 9,114 in 2015 to 18,920 in 2016. The number of Koreans issued AEPs remained about the same in 2016 as 2012. And the latest data (2018) show that Chinese AEPs shot up to 33,516, or more than three times what it was in the last year of P-Noy’s administration.

The data above are only from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole). Apparently the Bureau of Immigration (BI) also issues permits—Special Working Permits (SWPs). I have data only for 2017 and 2018, and these show that SWPs issued to Chinese almost quintupled in that period, from 15,500 to 75,400. It seems the BI gave out more permits than the Dole. Hmmm.

So, in 2018 alone, almost 110,000 Chinese were given permits to work. Apparently, almost all in the Pogo business, because I have noted only one Chinese infrastructure project being implemented, while Pagcor admits to granting 55 licenses to Pogos although “only 50” are in operation. Wow. An industry which is outlawed in China is given the royal treatment here. One would think China would be running after these people or asking this administration to extradite them to China for prosecution. As one acquaintance put it, they all look like they are military-age.

Doesn’t that sound like colonizers, actually? That sounds like an invasion. I don’t know what those offshore gaming workers do, but it doesn’t sound like they are an asset for the Philippines. More like liabilities.

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Philippine military looking at security risks of Chinese POGO workers

THE Philippine military is looking at the security risks of Chinese-dominated online gaming operations in the capital, where gambling centers are very near military installations, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana told The Chiefs segment on Cignal’s One News Channel.

“We are still verifying that,” the Defense chief said when asked if Philippine Online Gaming Operations or POGOs present security risks.


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