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Sandy Cay is a cay on the north edge of the Tizard Bank of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. With an area of 7 hectares (17 acres). It is of low-tide elevation just like Subi Reef which has been reclaimed and beefed up with hangars, cruise missiles and complete military garrison by the Chinese navy. Though under International Law, a low-tide elevation feature like that of Sandy Cay that submerges under-water on high-tide and re-appears on low tide is not subject to any territorial claim. But in a sudden twist turn events, the status of Sandy Cay has since changed after China made its huge reclamation project in Subi Reef which allowed sandy elements to be washed away on top of the cay allowing it to rise above water even on high-tide.
“China saw it rising — and we saw it… also — but China beat us to the draw,” “China sent its Coast Guard vessels, its maritime fishing boats and surrounded it…” – Justice Carpio
It’s also important to remember that Sandy Cay emerged out of the territorial sea of Pag-asa island which we have territorial control thus China has no legal basis of claiming this piece of land as theirs. Even if they try to use the illegally reclaimed Subi Reef as their means of insisting territorial control over Sandy Cay however we beat them by the distance.
- Subi Reef is 12 Nautical Miles away from Sandy Cay
- Pag Asa Island is just merely 3 Nautical Miles away from Sandy Cay
So if we are to weight our claim over Sandy Cay based by the irrefutable distance and the fact that Sandy Cay rose from the same territorial oversight as Pag Asa Island then technically speaking we deserve territorial rights over it than that of China’s Subi Reef which lays 12 nautical miles away. Worst, the entire chain of stolen reefs which China illegally claimed as theirs were in fact 598.1 nautical miles. away from China.
How Duterte helped China to steal Sandy Cay from the Philippines
Only under the Duterte administration that we’ve lost Sandy Cay from China. And here’s how. Since the Aquino administration, there have always been Philippine troops routinely patrolling and navigating the area and keeping an eye out of China’s distant dredging activities in Subi Reef. With the entry of the new incumbent administration, things have changed ever since. Despite Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling debunking China’s nine-dashed line claim and ordered it to return it’s seized reefs/shoals to the Philippines — still Duterte maintained a non-confrontational approach even as far making his country bilaterally indebted to China as it showers him with lots and lots of high-interest loans laced with malicious conditions which will put Philippine’s patrimonial assets under China’s crosshairs.
“A Chinese vessel allegedly erected a 3-meter-high Chinese flag on a sand cay is known to be within a Philippine-controlled area,”
– Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano
China’s latest acquisition of Sandy Cay will make it even closer to Pag Asa island which was occupied by civilians. And should China started building military facilities nearby then it will surely affect the residents of Pag-Asa Island especially the fishermen who rely on their day-to-day fish catch to eat and earn a meager income. Thus, China’s will slowly strangle and possibly even blockade shipments of supplies towards the island in hopes of discouraging its inhabitants and forcing them to leave. As China would like to call it ”Cabbage Strategy”.
“..Why should I defend West PH Sea sandbar? “- Duterte
Our President obvious ultra-Pro China leanings is absolutely appalling. It requires no further analysis as to what makes the President ticks. His loyalty is obviously tarnished to a point where he carelessly allowed the butchery of his own citizens in his War on Drugs yet allowing tons of Chinese drugs flooding into the country with open arms. Right now, new pieces of evidence and documents emerged out from the web alleging his son Paolo Duterte as beneficiaries of hundreds of millions of pesos out from the illegal drug trade or as claimed by Trillanes. Duterte’s son is a member of the Chinese Triad.
China’s navy is now swarming against Pag-Asa island to harass and starve its inhabitants (‘Cabbage Strategy’)
I know this is very disheartening news for every Filipino. This is a great loss for our country. China shamelessly invaded and claimed yet another Philippine territory while the government seems to be very silent on the issue. Now China has won an island without fighting a single shot and I’m sure if continue down this path and allow a Chinese controlled dictator to manipulate the masses to his own benefit then we will surely lose more islands for the Chinese.
Until the Filipino people stand united against the brutish and shameless traitor in Malacañang then we can truly reclaim our dignity as a nation. But when? I’m sure its easier said than done but we actually have that opportunity. This coming May 2019 — I encourage you to vote for candidates who will stand against his whims and Pro Chinese perversions. He must not be allowed to enter in yet another round of dubious onerous loans that will put the country down to its knees. Or even give him his much coveted ‘Charter Change’ which extends his term and change the Constitution to easily imposed ‘Martial Law’ all over the archipelago. You have the power to change all of this. Our last hope is in the Senate.