Why is Manila neglecting the Philippine-held islands in the Spratlys?

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In its editorial, the paper draws attention to the decaying state of the Philippine-held islands in the disputed Spratly waters and calls for remedial measures.

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – President Duterte has a standard response to critics who point out that despite the government’s deferential stance toward China, it has virtually taken over several reefs and islets within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, blithely putting up massive military bases, and even surface-to-air missile systems (SAMS) on three Philippine reefs – Kagitingan (Fiery Cross), Zamora (Subi) and Panganiban (Mischief).

But those islands and reefs have been there all this time, Mr Duterte would protest.

Why blame him for China’s transgressions in unprotected territory when past administrations had failed to do something to protect them, he would add.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/why-is-manila-neglecting-the-philippine-held-islands-in-the-spratlys-inquirer

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