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‘PH should be more assertive vs China’

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 05:30 AM February 04, 2019

Bayan Muna party-list group on Sunday said that while it agreed with Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. that the Philippines should protest China’s construction on Kagitingan Reef, it wanted a stronger, more assertive response to the giant neighbor’s “invasionary actions.”

More forceful steps

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Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares said the Department of Foreign Affairs should take more forceful steps in expressing its dismay over China’s reported establishment of a maritime rescue center on Kagitingan Reef, one of the features in the disputed Spratly archipelago claimed by the Philippines.

“While we agree with [Locsin] that the Philippines must protest China’s establishment of a maritime rescue center on the contested Kagitingan Reef … we strongly urge the government to be more proactive in defending our sovereign rights and claims,” Colmenares said in a statement.

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“Call it a rescue center or by whatever euphemism for occupation, it is still a gross violation of our sovereign rights and an ecological disaster,” he added.

‘Cannot be trusted’

“The Chinese government is cunning and cannot be trusted,” Colmenares said.

In a Twitter post, Locsin said he would “not contest, but protest” the construction of the rescue center, but preferred to do it on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly.

“I hope that [Locsin] would deliver on his statement to show China that we are not taking their invasionary actions sitting down,” Colmenares said.

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TAGS: Bayan Muna, China-Philippines relations, Kagitingan Reef, Maritime Dispute, Neri Colmenares, South China Sea, Teodoro Locsin Jr., West Philippine Sea
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