(From Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Aerial photographs obtained by Inquirer.net from a source show that China is almost finished transforming seven reefs claimed by the Philippines in the Spratly archipelago into island fortresses, in a bid to dominate the heavily disputed South China Sea.
Shown the photographs, Eugenio Bito-onon Jr., the former mayor of Kalayaan town on Pag-asa Island, the largest Philippine-occupied island in the Spratlys and internationally known as Thitu Island, recognized new facilities on the man-made isles.
“These photos are authentic. I flew with HBO before the elections in 2016. We got repeated warnings from the Chinese because we were circling over the islands. I see there are now additional vertical features,” Bito-onon said.