Lacson: It’s just ‘proper’ to call on US, allies to check on China in WPS
MANILA, Philippines — Calling on the United States and other western allies to help check on China in the West Philippine Sea would be “proper” and would not result to war, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Thursday.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier dared the US, UK, and France to “assemble” in the WPS in light of criticisms against his statement that he is allowing China to fish in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“… (C)alling on the United States and other western allies to help check China in the WPS is proper given the prevailing circumstances, contrary to some narrow-minded critics that such move is a sure formula for war,” Lacson said in a statement.
The lawmaker also stressed that maintaining the balance of power in the WPS would prevent rather than ignite a war.
“Why? No two superpowers would go to war in this day and age of nuclear technology for the simple reason of its ‘zero-sum’ outcome,” he said.
The senator also said it was a “good development” that the President had clarified that he cannot prevent incursions of foreign fishing vessels within the EEZ “because we don’t have the capability nor the capacity to do it, not to mention that the arbitral ruling is unenforceable in the first place; and that the Philippines merely exercises sovereign right, not sovereignty over the areas within the EEZ.”
“I agree with the President in this regard. Having said that, to allow is not the same as not being able to prevent,” Lacson added.
Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday said allowing Chinese fishermen to fish in the Philippine EEZ in the WPS is against the 1987 Constitution which states that: “The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its … exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.” (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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