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FILIPINO PROTESTERS plan a second trip to disputed islands in the South China Sea, this time staying a month, a spokeswoman said on Thursday, image via Kalayaan Atin Ito FB page

Last December, about 50 Filipino youth protesters made a three-day boat trip to Pag-asa Island, one of the islands occupied by the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.

The group said that Filipino fishermen could no longer use their traditional fishing grounds because of Chinese Coast Guard ships were driving them away.

Last week China allowed a group of tourist, most of them are the family of the soldiers that are stationed there in the man-made Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratlys, as they began test flights in the 3,000 meter runway of the island.

“China is now doing what we actually did last month when we landed on Pagasa (Thitu) island,” said Vera Joy Ban-eg, spokeswoman for the Kalayaan Atin Ito group.

“In April, we will make another voyage to our islands. This time, we will spend a month to visit all the islands we occupy in the Spratlys. We are encouraging all patriotic Filipinos to join us and fight for our territory,” she added.

“China has established firm and effective control of the South China Sea,” Ms. Ban-eg said.

They criticize the Philippine government for not doing enough to stop Chinese fishermen from destroying the reefs, collecting giant clams and using dynamites and cyanide for catching fishes. -John Esconde