PRESIDENT Joseph Estrada did promise in 1999 to remove the BRP Sierra Madre, which his Navy deliberately grounded on Ayungin (Second Thomas Shoal). In the instances when the governments of Estrada and later of President Benigno Aquino 3rd were reminded of that commitment by the Chinese, they claimed that technical difficulties prevented them from removing the landing ship, tank (LST) Sierra Madre.

This is an indisputable fact. The Foreign Affairs department is shamelessly irresponsible in its refusal to correct the claims of such ignorant jingoists as National Security Council spokesman Jonathan Malaya and Coast Guard official Jay Tarriela.

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