PH, other SCS claimants can file joint protest before UN vs China coast guard law — senator
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines could initiate the filing of a joint diplomatic protest with other claimants in the South China Sea before the United Nations against a new China coast guard law, Senator Francis Tolentino said.
The foreign ministers of Southeast Asian countries with claims in the disputed South China Sea can hold an emergency meeting within the week, Tolentino said in an interview over dzBB on Sunday.
“Pwede sigurong imungkahi ni [Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.] na yung mga claimant nations sa e magkaroon ng emergency meeting, kahit virtual. Kasi di lang naman tayo [ang apektado]. Sa Vietnam, ganun din ang gagawin ng China,” he said.
(I think Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. could suggest to other claimant nations that an emergency meeting be held, even a virtual one.)
“So lahat ng mga affected nations e pwedeng magkaroon ng emergency meeting pagusapan ito informally or formally, ano ba yung pwede nating gawin? Pwede tayong mag-file ng joint diplomatic protest sa United Nations, dapat magtulong-tulong na yung mga apektado, ‘di lang tayo,” he added.
(So the affected nations can have an emergency meeting and discuss, either informally or formally, what can we do? We can file a joint diplomatic protest before the United Nations, this should be a combined effort from those who will be affected.)
Last week, Locsin filed a diplomatic protest over China’s new law allowing its coast guard to fire at foreign vessels in Chinese-claimed reefs “when national sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction are being illegally infringed upon by foreign organizations or individuals at sea.”
While the Philippines can unilaterally file its own diplomatic protest before the UN, Tolentino said it would be more powerful if other claimants join in.
“Kung pwedeng tayo [ang mag-initiate],” he said.
(If it’s possible, we can initiate.)
“Mas malakas ang joint. Kung sabay-sabay magpa-file, mas malakas,” he added.
(It would be more powerful if it’s joint, if we file together.)
Earlier, Tolentino delivered a privilege speech during a Senate session expressing concern over China’s coast guard law and the dangers it could present to Filipino fishermen in the area.
Aside from firing at foreign vessels, the said law also allows personnel of the Chinese Coast Guard to “demolish” other countries’ structures built on China-claimed reefs and to board and inspect vessels in waters claimed by Beijing.