Did no one tell Panelo that the “Reed Bank” has no shoreline since it is completely under water????
By Raïssa Robles
On national TV and radio, presidential spokesman Sal Panelo tried to belittle the story of the 22 Filipino fishermen whose boat was rammed and sunk without warning by a Chinese ship, which then fled the scene.
Panelo told Ted Failon during a live interview over DZMM and Channel 26 that certain “facts” on the ramming incident had to be straightened out. One “fact” that Panelo claimed needed correction was the statement of the fishermen that they were anchored near the Reed Bank. He said this was an argument being used by those who say the ramming was intentional, because the boat was anchored “sa may shoreline” of the Reed Bank.
The lawyer Panelo in effect told Failon that was not true. He said it turned out that the fishing boat F/B Gem-Ver 1 was anchored “in the middle of the sea”, not near “the shoreline” of the Reed Bank.
Here is the transcript of what Panelo said:
All the while ang akala natin noong sila naka-anchor sila o naka-stationary, e nandoon sila sa may shoreline. Malapit doon sa shore. Hindi ba? Pag nag-angchor ka malapit ka sa shore.
Pero yun pala hindi naman. Nandoon sila sa lugar, kung saan meron lang area na puwedeng ilaglag nila yung anchor nila at puwede silang pumirme doon.
In other words nasa gitna pa rin sila ng dagat.
Kaya hindi ba – sabi ng iba – paano naman hindi sinadya, kung naka-anchor sila, e di binangga talaga yon.
E yun pala nasa gitna sila ng dagat pa rin.
Yun ang mga facts.
Kaya sabi ni presidente, kaya kailangang malaman natin talaga
The implication of Panelo’s statement is very serious. He seems to be insinuating that the fishermen were lying about being anchored “near” the Reed Bank. Therefore they must be lying about other things, such as the ramming. So, why believe them? It’s a cheap trial lawyer tactic: faced with serious testimony, try to discredit the witness.
First of all, the Reed Bank has no shore or shoreline to speak of because it is a feature that is COMPLETELY UNDER WATER.
Malacañang Palace has a P1.25 billion budget for “Confidential Expenses” and “Intelligence Expenses” – and no one told Panelo nor the President, Rodrigo Duterte, that the Reed Bank is a completely submerged feature under the South China Sea?
This fact alone raises the question why the Chinese fishing vessel was there in the first place.
Let’s consider other FACTS.
And for this, I asked my brother-in-law, Dr. Alfredo C. Robles, Jr., who recently published “The South China Sea arbitration: Understanding the Awards and Debating with China.”
This is a scholarly and peer-reviewed book that was also published at the same time by De La Salle University Publishing House in the Philippines and by Sussex Academic Press in the United Kingdom.
How far is the undersea area called the Reed Bank from the coast of Palawan? Only 85 nautical miles.
How far is the Reed Bank from the coast of Hainan Island which is the nearest shoreline facing the South China Sea? Very far—595 nautical miles.
He explained that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states that a country’s sovereignty extends up to 12 nautical miles from its shoreline. He told me that a country’s “Exclusive Economic Zone—where it has exclusive rights to fish and extract oil, gas and minerals – extends up to 200 miles from its shoreline; in addition, a country has the right to explore and exploit the natural resources of its continental shelf, which comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas beyond the territorial sea and extends to 200 nautical miles from the shoreline.”
But what is a “nautical mile”? A footnote on page 12 of his book explains that one nautical mile is equivalent to 1,852 meters or 6,076.115 feet.
He also emphasized that the Reed Bank, which is completely under water and only 85 nautical miles from Palawan, “is on the Philippines’ continental shelf”.
So what if the Reed Bank is “is on the Philippines’ continental shelf”?
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea gives the coastal state (the Philippines) “sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring [the continental shelf] and exploiting its natural resources”(see Article 77).
Not only that. These sovereign rights “are exclusive in the sense that
if the coastal State does not explore the continental shelf or exploit its natural resources, no one may undertake these activities without the express consent of the coastal State,” UNCLOS states.
UNCLOS has a very complicated formula for calculating the extent of a coastal state’s continental shelf (see Article 76). But roughly, it states that the continental shelf extends to “a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance.”
Given that the Reed Bank is only 85 nautical miles from Palawan and is clearly part of the Philippine continental shelf, how can China claim the Reed Bank as part of its territory or its territorial sea when:
a) The Reed Bank is not even 200 nautical miles from China’s nearest shoreline, Hainan, but 595 nautical miles away from that island (Hainan) ; and
b) The Reed Bank is totally submerged?
My brother-in-law replied: “The basis of its claim to the Reed Bank is that it is within the Nine-Dash Line.”
But the Nine-Dash Line was ruled in 2016 as completely bogus or without basis by an Arbitral Tribunal International constituted under Annex VII of UNCLOS, he pointed out.
China has not explained why it is claiming an underwater feature called the Reed Bank except in relation to the “illegal Nine-Dash Line,” he said.
For me, it is from the official narrative of events issued by the Chinese Embassy in Manila that we find out that the Chinese fishing vessel was poaching near the Reed Bank and not exercising its right to innocent passage.
There is no question that under the Philippine Fisheries Code the trespasser was at fault.
So why are Panelo and other Duterte officials so very eager to distort the first-hand accounts of the Filipino fishermen who nearly drowned when their boat was sliced in half?
Because, I think, they are eager to sign a deal this year that would enable China to extract oil and gas on the Philippine continental shelf and in the Philippine EEZ.
If that happens, China won’t even need the Nine-Dash Line. Because the Duterte government would have legalized its stay in the West Philippine Sea under Philippine and international law.
Which is why Panelo’s photo, dressed as a mandarin or Chinese official, is so very apt.
This is not a fake photo.
Last February, during the Lunar New Year celebrations, Panelo played dress-up, all in fun of course. But this time, with the Reed Bank incident, his fun photo has taken on another meaning.
You can listen to Panelo’s fake news starting at five minutes:
China’s behavior all over the SEA area is we are here and you better behave, is PRRD really making closed door deals with China, we should know soon. But letting the Chinese do whatever they like on sea and land is not good. People are suffering from the increase in rental rates in Metro Manila.
The clowns such as Panelo only show that PRRD chooses only servants of PRRD but not for the citizens of the Philippines.
From a Vietnamese reader on Duterte
05:01 AM July 09, 2019
I do not understand why Filipinos have elected an incompetent and cowardly president.
Chinese ships sank the fishing boat of Filipino workers; the whole world knew and condemned China’s violent, sinister actions — but only the President of the Philippines did not dare to admit it.
Then he challenged the United States to bring all its weapons against China, and he would let the Philippine Army follow.
I do not understand how a President of a sovereign state could rely on another country. When certain interests do not concern Americans, they will not bring weapons to help an incompetent President.
Filipinos should dismiss this President. I recognize him as unworthy and untalented to head and lead a country of over 100 million people.
XUAN THUY DO
I think it is already a foregone conclusion and very obvious that President Duterte behaves and will act always for the best interest of China. The question we now have to ask is, why? Does China have something on him that endangers his presidency, or the “livelihood” of his family?
Please check out my latest story on the anniversary of the arbitral ruling.
Anti-China protests in the Philippines mark third anniversary of Manila’s South China Sea legal victory
x x x ‘are Panelo and other Duterte officials so very eager to distort the first-hand accounts of the Filipino fishermen who nearly drowned when their boat was sliced in half?’ Distorting the facts has to be in order to sign a deal this year to give away PH EEZ rights at Reed Banks. Once done, the deal will permanently prohibit Filipino fishermen from fishing in said Banks. In that way, losing the Reed Banks to China. In that way, China can ‘explore’ the Banks to its own desire without much ado. This ‘Once done,’ is a consequence of China’s not recognizing the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal in favor of PH. For China, It’s ‘Nine-dash line’ is the rule and not International law. The PH also does not give much honor to the ruling of the Tribunal. China wants and needs all the fish in all parts of this planet’s oceans. From WPS [SCS] to Pacific Ocean to even the oceans bordering the Latin American countries in the Atlantic Oceans. China has created no less than 2000 Chinese fishing vessels plying all over the planet to get all and everything including the fish, etc., from every country whether bordering the shores or in International waters. – Eleven countries border both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans while South Africa is the only state with coastlines in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. The waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific converge at Cape Horn, Chile while the Panama Canal in Central America is a 51-mile long artificial waterway linking the oceans. The countries of Peru and Argentina are complaining of Chinese fishing vessels fishing in their waters – WATCH YOUTUBE videos. No ‘Nine-dash lines’ to follow as the Chinese ambition is to dash-line-fish hook-all-the fish everywhere for China’s need for Its fish-eaters in the mainland. Protein is in the fish. Domination on the oceans by China is the goal. Once the USA is outdone at SCS [and WPS] in warships & military techs, no war. But the tension in those areas now is on the edge. USA & its Allies’ navies are confronting China’s. Can China at the first salvo of battle get a victory? Maybe. But in warfare, a sneak attack is crucial. A trick must be used. How is it done is a thousand ways China is thinking on it. China is just testing everyone in Its ambition for dominating every country. We hope it does not happen. People said and believe that there should be no more wars but still a war on this ambition by China may just be the ultimate outcome. Everybody will be a loser just because, for one, about FISH. In the era of JESUS CHRIST and His TWELVE fishermen-disciples how would the Lord manage to fish in the Sea of Galilee if bully-China fishing vessel was there to ram the Peter’s fishing boat?
Here is one S. Korean news: Swarming of Chinese fishing vessels around S. Korean Coast Guard boat.
Is it suspected that crew of every Chinese fishing vessels are Chinese soldiers of the PLA Navy/Army? No pure Chinese civilian fishermen/man would dare doing such bold dangerous moves against Coast Guard boats of other countries. Try getting photos of such bold fishermen and check if in the Chinese military rooster. 9 out of ten they must be as of same age as Christ’s fishermen; if one appears much older, he must be the commander like Peter.
You can see this video
Chinese fishing vessels in So. American countries now. Fishing
illegally. How the vessels are positioned is, without any doubt,
a military precision. LOOK!
China. YouTube was first blocked in China for several months from October 16, 2007 to March 22, 2008. It was blocked again from March 24, 2009, although a Foreign Ministry spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny whether YouTube had been blocked. Since then, YouTube is not accessible from China.
What is the Chinese version of YouTube?
China’s Youku Tudou now serves 500 million users per month, half of YouTube’s reach. Youku Tudou, often viewed as a Chinese version of YouTube, just announced that it is now reaching over 500 million monthly unique visitors.Aug 20, 2014 Here is a YouTube showing Victor Koo, founder of Youku Tudou speaking for about 50 minutes as speaker but nowwhere is one person as audience show as listening. Gee 500 million users/month? I prefer not to watch Youku Tudou site as I prefer You Tube . . . baka ma kuYou aku.
What do you think if there is no block on You Tube in China? Google? FaceBook? At tudou pa!