Nerilyn A. Tenorio
Editor in Chief of the Manila Times
Address: 2/F Sitio Grande Building 409 A. Soriano Avenue, Intramuros Manila 1002 Philippines
Dear Ms. Tenorio,
Good day, I am Daniel De Jesus, a student from the UP College of Law. I have noticed a few discrepancies with Rigoberto Tiglao’s column of 28 May 2018 which stated that Justice Antonio Carpio “can’t distinguish between the Paracels and the Spratlys” because Justice Carpio supposedly claimed that the Chinese H-6K bomber landed in the Spratlys when in fact, as Tiglao wrote, “the bombers landed on Woody Island” which is in the Paracels. Tiglao concluded that Justice Carpio, as well as VP Leni Robredo and former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez, “should learn to do a bit of fact-checking before they open their mouths.”
Justice Carpio’s press statement of 21 May 2018, which was sent to various news organizations, actually stated in the first two paragraphs:
The Philippine Government must formally protest the increasing militarization of the South China Sea by China, the most recent act being the introduction by China on Woody Island of the H-6K long range bomber that can carry nuclear-armed cruise missiles. This Chinese strategic bomber can also land and take-off on any of China’s three-kilometer military grade runways on Mischief Reef, Subi Reef and Fiery Cross Reef. All three reefs are within the Kalayaan Island Group of the Philippines.
Failure to formally protest means the Philippines is acquiescing or consenting to the militarization, and worse, to the claim of China that all the islands, waters and resources within the nine-dashed line form part of Chinese territory. A formal protest is necessary to preserve our sovereignty over Fiery Cross Reef, which is a high-tide elevation. A formal protest is also necessary to preserve our sovereignty over Subi Reef which the arbitral tribunal at the Hague ruled forms part of the territorial sea of Pag-Asa Island. Moreover, a formal protest is also necessary to preserve our exclusive sovereign rights over Mischief Reef which the arbitral tribunal ruled forms part of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines.
(This press statement can be downloaded at: http://www.imoa.ph/justice-antonio-t-carpios-statement-on-chinas-deployment-of-h-6k-nuclear-armed-bombers-in-the-south-china-sea/)
Contrary to Tiglao’s claim, Justice Carpio expressly stated that the Chinese H-6K bomber landed “on Woody Island.” Justice Carpio never stated that this Chinese H-6K bomber landed in the Spratlys. Justice Carpio, however, added that “this Chinese strategic bomber can alsoland and take-off on any of China’s three-kilometer military grade runways on Mischief Reef, Subi Reef and Fiery Cross Reef.” Military and security analysts agree that China’s H-6K bomber can land on the three-kilometer runways on Mischief Reef, Subi Reef and Fiery Cross Reef.
Apparently, Tiglao failed to read Justice Carpio’s press statement of 21 May 2018. A little fact-checking would have saved Tiglao from grossly misleading the public. I hope to hear back from you soon.
Daniel Luis J. De Jesus