A statement by Philippines Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio warns that government must act in response to an “invasion of Philippine territory by China” in the South China Sea.
The warning was triggered when Rep. Gary Alejano said that the military reported early last week that Chinese vessels appeared to be massing north of Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island), a Philippine territory. The Philippines maintains a small population of about 100 people on Pag-asa Island in order to guarantee that it maintains its sovereignty.
Images released by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) confirm the military’s information, showing nine Chinese fishing vessels and two Chinese Navy ships near Pag-asa island. According to AMTI:
The number and rapid coordination of naval and coast guard ships suggests that this was purposely organized in advance and was not just an ad hoc response by government vessels that happened to be in the area.
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