Pag-asa Island - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Pag-asa Island

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WATCH: Upgrades on Pag-asa Island continue as Chinese militias prowl its waters

Jun 11, 2020 - 11:24 PM

The government inaugurates a new beaching ramp at the Philippines' main outpost in the West Philippine Sea, which is still hounded by the presence of Chinese paramilitary ships

PAG-ASA ISLAND. An aerial view of Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of Eugenio Bito-onon Jr

Locsin hits PLDT after China, Vietnam roaming texts on Pag-asa Island

Jun 10, 2020 - 11:15 PM

'Just drop that roaming partnership shit with China and Vietnam,' Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr tells PLDT

THREATS MADE. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr at a Senate hearing on February 4, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

‘Let’s not hurt China’s feelings’: Why Duterte hasn’t visited Pag-asa Island

Jun 10, 2020 - 5:56 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana explains the President’s reason for calling off planned visits to the country’s main outpost in the West Philippine Sea

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. President Rodrigo Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (L) during a send-off ceremony for two Navy ships at the Port of Manila in January 2020. Malacañang Photo

Welcome to China, Vietnam: Roaming texts greet officials arriving on Pag-asa Island

Jun 09, 2020 - 8:12 PM

Pag-asa Island lies in an area of the West Philippine Sea where signals from other claimant countries overlap, and the strongest ones win out

WELCOME. These screen caps from defense officials and reporters show roaming text alerts welcoming them to China or Vietnam while visiting Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea on June 9, 2020. Sourced photos

More plans to upgrade Pag-asa Island as Lorenzana unveils beaching ramp

Jun 09, 2020 - 4:16 PM

The ramp allows for the delivery of large equipment and supplies in the West Philippine Sea. A new sheltered harbor will also be inaugurated on Friday, June 12.

MILESTONE. The new beaching ramp at Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of the Department of National Defense

LOOK: New harbor on Pag-asa Island

May 30, 2020 - 9:25 PM

The harbor, along with other new structures on the island, will make both civilian and military visits easier – a small but significant step forward in establishing Filipino presence in the West Philippine Sea

SAFE HARBOR. An aerial view of the construction of a sheltered port at Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of the Municipal Engineering Office of the Kalayaan Island Group

First time: PH Navy ship docks at Pag-asa Island

May 20, 2020 - 1:00 PM

A new port and beaching ramp near completion on the country's largest outpost in the West Philippine Sea

FIRST TIME. The Philippine Navy ship BRP Ivatan (far right) docks at Pag-asa Island for the first time on May 13, 2020. Photo from Naval Forces West

China opens new research outposts in the West Philippine Sea

Mar 23, 2020 - 5:45 PM

The new research centers are on Zamora and Kagitingan reefs, which China has turned into military bases

KAGITINGAN REEF. This satellite image dated January 1, 2018, shows Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Lorenzana denies Chinese vessels hampered Pag-asa Island construction

Mar 10, 2020 - 9:24 PM

'Although there are always Chinese ships in the vicinity of Pag-asa, they have never in any way interfered with the rehabilitation of the island,' says the defense chief

PAG-ASA ISLAND. This satellite image from June 2019 shows construction work on Pag-asa Island, the Philippines' main outpost in the West Philippine Sea. Photo from AMTI-CSIS

LOOK: Despite swarm of Chinese boats, PH building up Pag-asa Island

Mar 07, 2020 - 3:31 PM

Satellite photos from a US-based think tank show progress in runway repairs and beaching ramp construction even as Chinese militia vessels surround the Philippines’ main outpost in the West Philippine Sea

PROGRESS. THIS photo from the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (AMTI-CSIS) shows the progress of repairs and construction on Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo from AMTI-CSIS

Chinese vessels likely to stay near Pag-asa Island, says Esperon

Mar 03, 2020 - 5:15 PM

Since China has already turned Zamora Reef into a military base, it will likely keep deploying boats – believed to be militias – just 'to deny us some space,' says the Philippines' national security adviser

ZAMORA REEF. This satellite image shows Zamora (Subi) Reef, which China has reclaimed and built into a military base. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI and DigitalGlobe

Over 100 Chinese vessels seen near Pag-asa Island in West PH Sea – AFP

Mar 02, 2020 - 1:23 PM

Although appearing to be fishing boats, these vessels could be part of a paramilitary force of the Chinese government

PAG-ASA ISLAND. Internationally known as Thitu Island, Pag-asa is the Philippines' largest and only civilian-inhabited island in the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea. File photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

DND insists China 'squatting' in West PH Sea

Aug 01, 2019 - 2:44 PM

'Possession' or 'position?' The Defense department clears up post-SONA mess by reiterating the Philippines’ claim of sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea

MABINI REEF. Internationally known as Johnson Reef, Mabini Reef has been reclaimed and turned into a military outpost by China. Image from CSIS/AMTI

Dissecting Duterte’s amped-up West Philippine Sea rhetoric

Apr 26, 2019 - 4:00 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte's stronger words on the sea dispute so far revolve around one specific part of the West Philippine Sea – Pag-asa Island. Here's why it's special to him.

Duterte, Xi agree to resolve Pag-asa Island row through talks

Apr 25, 2019 - 10:40 PM

(UPDATED) Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasizes 'good neighborliness,' while Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says allies should strengthen, 'not destroy,' each other

PH–CHINA REAFFIRM FRIENDSHIP. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping reaffirm their friendship and commitment to a stronger development partnership as they hold a bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 25, 2019 ahead of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Malacañang photo

Philippines considering making Pag-asa Island protected area

Apr 24, 2019 - 5:44 PM

Will the declaration of the island as a marine protected area keep Chinese ships away?

Del Rosario to Duterte gov't: 'Unshelve' Hague ruling

Apr 14, 2019 - 9:03 AM

'Now is the best time' to address the Hague ruling won by Manila against Beijing over the West Philippine Sea, says foreign secretary Albert del Rosario

EX-TOP DIPLOMAT. Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario urges the Duterte government to 'unshelve' the Hague ruling won by Manila against Beijing. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Duterte: 'Compromise' needed to deal with Chinese ships near Pag-asa

Apr 04, 2019 - 10:33 PM

(UPDATED) The Philippine President declares he won't allow China to 'occupy' Pag-asa Island

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jinping of People's Republic of China declare their joint press statements following the successful expanded bilateral meeting at the Malacañan Palace on November 20, 2018. Malacanang Photo

Philippines says Chinese ships near Pag-asa Island 'illegal'

Apr 04, 2019 - 2:45 PM

'Such actions when not repudiated by the Chinese government are deemed to have been adopted by it,' says the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs

CHINESE SHIPS. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) monitors dozens of Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island) after the Philippines begins constructing there. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Locsin: I 'fired off salvo of diplomatic notes' vs China

Apr 02, 2019 - 3:40 PM

But asked if the supposed diplomatic protest against China will be made public, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says, 'No way, José'

DIPLOMATIC NOTES. Foreign Secretary Teodoro 'Teddyboy' Locsin Jr says he has filed diplomatic notes against China over Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Panelo to 'politely ask' China envoy to stop deploying ships near Pag-asa

Apr 01, 2019 - 2:10 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman also says the Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest about the Chinese vessels, but no details are provided

President Rodrigo Duterte chats with Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo after the 5th Cabinet meeting in Malacañan’s State Dining Room on August 22. KING RODRIGUEZ/PPD

Duterte gov't hit over China vessels near Pag-asa

Mar 30, 2019 - 3:50 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte never took China's abuses in the West Philippine Sea seriously, says senatorial bet Gary Alejano

CHINESE SHIPS. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) monitors dozens of Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island) after the Philippines begins constructing there. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

China deploys militia as Philippines builds on Pag-asa Island

Feb 07, 2019 - 1:04 PM

Satellite images from the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative show 'a high of 95' Chinese vessels surrounding Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea

CHINESE SHIPS. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) monitors dozens of Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island) after the Philippines begins constructing there. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

PH did not lose sandbars near Pag-asa island, says Lorenzana

Jun 07, 2018 - 3:22 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says Filipino residents in Pag-asa Island continue to enjoy access to the 3 sandbars but they cannot 'occupy' them based on an agreement between the Philippines and China

SOUTH CHINA SEA. File photo of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana addressing the ASEAN leadership forum on November 8, 2017, where he discussed the South China Sea dispute, among others topics. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Pag-asa Island in West PH Sea opened for barangay, SK elections

May 14, 2018 - 8:05 PM

The military says all 174,000 precincts opened by 11:30 am on Monday, May 14, including isolated islands in the West Philippine Sea and Palawan

PAG-ASA ISLAND. About a hundred Filipinos live in one of the biggest islands in the Spratlys. File photo from the Philippine military

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, May 8, 2018

May 08, 2018 - 11:47 AM

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Photos compare developed China, Vietnam reefs to bare Philippine islands

May 08, 2018 - 10:14 AM

Close-up aerial photos of the Philppine island occupied by about a hundred Filipinos – Pag-asa (Thitu) Island – show a settlement studded with trees but sparse in facilities

PAG-ASA ISLAND. About a hundred Filipinos live in one of the biggest islands in the Spratlys. File photo from the Philippine military

PH gears again to fix runway in West PH Sea island after delays

Jan 09, 2018 - 2:12 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says he is confident China will not protest the repairs, citing improved relations with the military superpower.

PAG-ASA ISLAND. About a hundred Filipinos live in one of the biggest islands in the Spratlys.

Del Rosario on ASEAN, Grab driver’s killer, Facebook vs revenge porn | Evening wRap

Nov 08, 2017 - 7:52 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Chay Hofileña

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, October 6, 2017

Oct 06, 2017 - 11:00 AM

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Chinese ships spotted near Pag-asa Island sandbars, says Alejano

Oct 03, 2017 - 4:12 PM

(UPDATED) The ships were monitored on September 18, says opposition lawmaker Gary Alejano

CHINESE ACTIVITY. Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, a former soldier, says Chinese vessels were spotted near Pag-asa island and its sand bars. File photo

PH removes pole marker planted on West PH Sea island

Aug 29, 2017 - 3:44 PM

It was not a Chinese flag says Armed Forces chief General Eduardo Año

KOTA ISLAND. The Philippine military removes a pole marker planted on one of the country's islands in the disputed West Philippine Sea. Screenshot of Google Maps

Customs, Dela Rosa, Cayetano | Evening wRap

Aug 22, 2017 - 8:21 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Marguerite de Leon

Duterte, Faeldon, West Philippine Sea | Midday wRap

Aug 22, 2017 - 1:53 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Chay Hofileña

Cayetano conceals facts about China ships near Sandy Cay

Aug 22, 2017 - 12:55 PM

While keeping the facts secret Secretary Cayetano hits Justice Carpio for using the wrong facts about Sandy Cay near Pag asa Island in the disputed West Philippine Sea

CONCEALING FACTS. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano refuses to disclose the facts about the Chinese ships reportedly guarding Sandy Cay near Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Screen grab from Rappler video

Duterte: Why should I defend West PH Sea sandbar?

Aug 22, 2017 - 1:45 AM

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says the presence of Chinese ships in Sandy Cay near Pag asa Island does not count as invasion

Delay hits gov't plan to fix runway in West Philippine Sea

Aug 20, 2017 - 8:47 AM

Construction has yet to start 4 months since Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced the need to immediately repair the Philippine airstrip on Pag asa Island

PAG-ASA ISLAND. About a hundred Filipinos live in one of the biggest islands in the Spratlys.

Carpio to Duterte, Cayetano: Protest China 'invasion'

Aug 19, 2017 - 4:00 PM

By any yardstick this is a seizure of Philippine territory Justice Carpio says as Chinese ships guard a sandbar near Pag asa Island

Dela Rosa, Bird Flu, Pag-asa Island | Evening wRap

Aug 18, 2017 - 7:29 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Chay Hofileña

Photos show China ships fishing near Pag-asa Island

Aug 18, 2017 - 12:55 PM

CSIS images also show more Chinese ships in the West Philippine Sea even as Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano justifies the presence of Chinese vessels there

'ACTIVELY FISHING.' This photo shows one of two Chinese ships that 'appear to be actively fishing, with their nets visibly in the water,' says the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI and DigitalGlobe

Uber and LTFRB, Human Rights Watch, Alejano | Evening wRap

Aug 17, 2017 - 7:36 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Marguerite de Leon

Alejano: Does PH have 'strategy of silence' in West Philippine Sea?

Aug 17, 2017 - 12:30 PM

Have we already adopted the strategy of silence inaction and subservience in West Philippine Sea so as not to offend China? asks opposition lawmaker Gary Alejano

WHAT'S THE POLICY? Opposition lawmaker Gary Alejano criticized DFA secretary Alan Peter Cayetano over recent statements made concerning the West Philippine Sea. File photo

Cayetano downplays reported China ships near Pag-asa Island

Aug 16, 2017 - 5:22 PM

There are reasons for the presence of certain vessels but the situation in the area is very stable Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says

BETTER TIES. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says the Duterte administration has improved the Philippines' ties with China. File photo by Angie De Silva/Rappler

Uber and LTFRB, Shabu smuggling, Faeldon | Evening wRap

Aug 15, 2017 - 8:40 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Marguerite de Leon

5 Chinese ships spotted near Pag-asa sandbars

Aug 15, 2017 - 10:21 AM

The Chinese may have a sinister plan to occupy sandbars just west of Pag asa that belong to us says Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano

PAG-ASA ISLAND. About a hundred Filipinos live in one of the biggest islands in the Spratlys

PH Navy commits to deliver materials for Pag-asa repairs soon

May 11, 2017 - 9:22 AM

But there is no timeline yet for the construction activities

COMMITMENT. Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado says they will implement the orders of Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to repair facilities on Pag-asa island. Rappler photo

Fariñas, CA on Lopez, Pag-asa Island | Evening wRap

May 02, 2017 - 9:22 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Zak Yuson

Pag-asa is ours, PH says amid China remarks

May 02, 2017 - 11:25 AM

Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua says it is illegal for the Philippines to occupy disputed West Philippine Sea South China Sea islands

Duterte to China: It's PH duty to 'repair' Pag-asa Island facilities

May 01, 2017 - 6:35 PM

The Philippine President says repairs of facilities in Pag asa Island will push through despite China s displeasure

The President was given a tour inside the Chinese Vessel Chang Chun where he was able to see the armaments, the deck, the bridge navigation system as well as the operations room command and control system. The Chinese PLAN officers also presented tokens to the President during his tour. PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOS

Chinese warships to visit Davao Sunday

Apr 29, 2017 - 4:45 PM

The fleet is headed by Rear Admiral Shen Hao Deputy Commander of the East China Sea of the People s Liberation Army Navy