HONESTLY, I am astonished at the brouhaha over a Chinese “naval warship” shooing away the Greek-owned crude oil tanker “Green Aura” from the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal, with the warship’s spokesman telling the tanker that the area was “under Chinese jurisdiction.”
Perhaps we are in denial mode, or the Yellows’ control of media persists to this day.
Have we forgotten that President Benigno Aquino 3rd and his Foreign secretary Albert del Rosario lost Scarborough Shoal to the Chinese in 2012 and then in 2016?
China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have for many decades all claimed sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal. However, they were on a let-sleeping-dogs-sleep kind of policy, or chose to follow Deng Xiaoping’s wise admonition to let “smarter future generations” decide on these territorial dispute: No country tried to physically enforce its claim and allowed fishermen to fish in its rich waters undisturbed.
In April 2012, however, Aquino foolishly sent the refurbished cutter from the US Coast Guard, renamed the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and officially a Philippine Navy warship, to help arrest Chinese fishermen in Scarborough Shoal.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer published on its front pages pictures of heavily armed Philippine Marines watching over shabbily dressed, forlorn-looking Chinese fishermen — but who, on returning to China, raised such a nationalistic outrage that their social media was flooded with demands for the People’s Liberation Army to invade that “puny country.”
The Chinese of course went to the rescue of their countrymen, but sent their civilian maritime surveillance ships to block the Coast Guard and vessels sent by Aquino.
This was the now infamous Scarborough Shoal standoff that lasted more than a month. Aquino panicked, especially when China started using its economic leverage, as when it let Philippine mangoes rot in its ports, on the ground that there were reports that the shipment was infested, and had to be subjected to stricter quarantine.
Angry at del Rosario’s belligerence toward China — the country’s top diplomat even boasted the Philippines would get the US, Australian and Japanese military to help resolve the standoff — Aquino appointed then Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th as his special envoy to China.
Perhaps worried that Trillanes would resolve the crisis, del Rosario begged the Americans to intervene militarily, like escorting our ships into Scarborough Shoal. No way, the US said. (more…)