MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines may consider elevating the continuing spat with China in Scarborough Shoal before the United Nations in the hope that it would send an observer group in the disputed island and avert any confrontation there, a senator said on Thursday.
“The calibrated response is diplomatic talk with China, Asean, and the United States and then elevate it to the UN for possible actions,” Senator Gringo Honasan said in a press conference in the Senate .
“Malay natin baka mag decide ang UN Security Council na magpadala ng observer group sa Scarborough shoals ( Who knows the UN Security Council would decide to send an observer group in Scarborough shoals), then they might decide to intervene,” he said.
The presence of a UN contingent in the island, Honasan said, could avert any confrontation between the Philippines and China and other claimant countries.
But if the Philippines wants to asserts its ownership of the disputed island, Honasan said the country may pursue its plan to make the island a tourist spot.
“We might also consider our plan to have a tourist spot there because ownership is occupancy. Once we send Filipinos there, then we can claim the island,” the senator said in mixed Tagalog and English.
For its part, Honasan said the Senate is working with other concerned government agencies in crafting a national security policy that will clearly define the government’s response to security issues like this.
“Made-define iyong magiging response natin sa mga ganitong sitwasyon. Do we do it on our own, or do we rely on the mutual defense treaty or the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) and other agreements with our nations?” he said.
The national security policy, Honasan said, will also result in the amendments of certain laws such as the 70-year-old Commonwealth Act.