China’s persistent aggression in West PH Sea shows character of a ‘bully’ – Hontiveros
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday said China’s continuous aggression in the West Philippine Sea shows the character of a “bully” as she lauded the move of the Philippine government to file two diplomatic protests against the Asian powerhouse.
“I really welcome itong diplomatic protests na fi-nile ng ating Department of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the Philippines sa China dahil napakaseryoso talaga nitong tuloy-tuloy na pag-angkin ng Tsina sa mga bahagi lalo na ekslusibong bahagi ng ating bansa sa West Philippine Sea,” Hontiveros said in an interview with CNN Philippines.
(I really welcome these diplomatic protests that the Department of Foreign Affairs filed on behalf of the Philippines against China because this continuous claiming of China of parts of our exclusive territories in the West Philippines is a really serious matter.)
“Itong patuloy na aggression at militarization nila sa West Philippine Sea ay isang halimbawa ng ugali talaga ng isang bully,” the senator added.
(The continued aggression and militarization of China in the West Philippine Sea is an example of the character of a bully.)
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday announced that the Philippine government has filed two diplomatic protests against China for pointing a radar gun at a Philippine Navy ship while in Philippine waters and for declaring parts of Philippine territory as part of Hainan province.
Hontiveros highlighted the importance of indicating Kagitingan Reef in the diplomatic protests.
“Ito na daw ayon sa mga eksperto ang pinaka built up na halos military base ng Tsina sa loob ng West Philippine Sea,” Hontiveros said.
(According to experts, this is the most developed, almost like a military base, of China inside the West Philippine Sea.)
The filing of the diplomatic protests can also serve as an opportunity to seek payment from China over damage in the marine ecosystem in the West Philippine Sea.
Hontiveros earlier wanted China to “foot the bill” for the Philippines’ response to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak that led to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the Philippines lost over P200 billion due to the destruction of Philippine reef ecosystems brought about by China’s reclamation activities in the area.
“Since nakapaggawa na rin ng diplomatic protest ang DFA kaugnay nitong aggressive actions ng Tsina sa bahagi ng West Philippine Sea ay pwede na ring tumuntong doon sa pagsingil ng damages,” Hontiveros said.
(Since the DFA already filed diplomatic protests over the aggressive actions of China within parts of the West Philippine Sea, we can also ask them to pay for the damage.)
“Damages sa ating reef and other marine ecosystems sa West Philippine Sea na ayon nga sa isang peer-reviewed study on the cost per hectare of reefs so may environmental valuation dito ay mga P33.1 billion per year,” she added.
(The damage to our reef and other marine ecosystems in the West Philippine Sea that according to a peer-reviewed study on cost per hectare of reefs has an environmental valuation of P33.1 billion per year.)