Justice Carpio, VP Robredo urge gov’t to protest China bomber planes in South China Sea


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 22) — The Philippine government should file a formal protest after Chinese bomber planes landed for the first time on an island in the contested South China Sea, Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Vice President Leni Robredo said Tuesday.

The statements comes after reports of long-range H-6K bombers landing for the first time and conducting exercises on Woody Island. The island is part of the Paracel Island chain contested among China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, but the Philippines is well within the combat radius of the nuclear-capable bombers.

“Any self-respecting sovereign state will immediately formally protest such encroachment on its sovereignty and sovereign rights. The Philippines must do no less,” Carpio said in a statement.

He added that a formal protest was recognized by the United Nations Charter as “a peaceful and legitimate response.”

The Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia also have claims in the South China Sea, which China claims almost entirely.

House National Defense and Security Committee Vice Chair Rep. Ruffy Biazon told CNN Philippines’ The Source that although China dropping a bomb within the Philippines was unlikely, it now demonstrated a capability to do so.

“(The bombers’ range) reaches up to Benham Rise… Basically abot ang buong Pilipinas [All of the Philippines can be reached], from Luzon to Mindanao,” Biazon said.

Carpio also pointed out that the aircrafts could now land and take off on Chinese runways built on Mischief Reef, Subi Reef, and Fiery Cross Reef. All the reefs are within the Kalayaan Island Group of the Philippines, and are alternatively named Panganiban Reef, Zamora Reef, and Kagitingan Reef.