Solon slams US-PH war games near disputed shoal
More News from Karen Boncocan
More News from INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines—The war games between the United States and the Philippines will only “heighten tension” in the West Philippine Sea, a leftwing lawmaker said Thursday.
Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Neri Colmenares said Manila “should strongly assert our territory against China” as he branded the two superpowers as world bullies.
“We should not allow a bully to replace another bully,” said Colmenares.
A US destroyer will join the Philippine Navy’s flagship for war games starting Thursday. The exercises are a boost for the Philippines’ poorly equipped military as it struggles with perceived rising Chinese aggression, and follows repeated pleas to longtime ally the United States for protection.
“The goal of these exercises is to further boost cooperation… between the two armed forces and further streamline responses to counter-terrorism and maritime security,” Deputy Presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.
Colmenares denounced “President Benigno Aquino III’s subservience, undermining of our sovereignty and the peaceful resolution of the dispute.”
“The US troops should be pulled out and we will file a resolution to junk the Visiting Forces Agreement,” he said.
The six-day exercises are an annual event but this year they will be held off the west coast of Luzon, close to Panatag Shoal which China insists it owns.
The shoal is a tiny set of rocks and islets in the West Philippine Sea, also known as South China Sea, 230 kilometers east of Luzon and 1,200 kilometers from the nearest major Chinese landmass.
China claims nearly all of the strategically vital West Philippine Sea, even waters close to the shores of its smaller neighbors. With Agence France-Presse
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94