The Philippines with at least one shoal within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) illegally occupied by Chinese naval forces is building up its naval and coast guard forces. Recently the Philippine Navy announced the pending purchase two frigates, two helicopters, and three gunboats. All are slated for deployment in the South China Sea where the Dragon is presently running roughshod over watery territory of the Philippines. There is a sense of urgency in these acquisitions. These purchases come hard on the heels of a number of moves by the Philippines to harden potential defenses against China. The Philippines, despite a past history of brutal occupation by Imperial Japan, last year announced that the Republic had no objections to Japan increasing the size and power of the Japanese Naval Self Defense Force, which is actually now among the world's top five navies. Additionally the Philippines has accepted gifts and loans of naval equipment from Japan. Japan has its own disputes with China over Chinese claims to islands that are Japan's by tradition, long administration, and formal treaty.
The Contracts were announced on board the Philippine Navy's most powerful ship the BRP GREGORIO del PILAR, which is a former U.S. Coast Guard Hamilton Class Cutter. As the Philippines attempts to build up, China is reclaiming land and creating man made islands over certain shallow shoals, building air strips and even ports on certain islands belonging to her maritime neighbors. The Philippines, a close U.S.ally has brought international arbitration cases against China seeking peaceful settlement of these territorial disputes in accordance with existing international law. China refuses to participate in the arbitration. None the less a ruling is expected in the case sometime in 2015. Vietnam, a virtual Chinese vassal state also filed a case with the UN against China and drew an angry and threatening response from the Dragon