At least 9 senators to file reso vs China’s illegal activities in West PH Sea
MANILA, Philippines — At least nine of 24 senators are set to file a resolution condemning China’s illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Monday.
Aside from him, Drilon said eight others have already expressed support for the resolution that would be filed in the Senate, and they are Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, Grace Poe, Richard Gordon, Nancy Binay, and Joel Villanueva.
“Yes, we will file a resolution condemning the illegal activities of the Peoples Republic of China in Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone and other parts of the West Philippine Sea,” Drilon told reporters in an online interview.
“There are nine of us and I hope that there can be more before we file this resolution, but the resolution is ready,” he added.
Drilon also backed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana’s proposal to for the Philippines to start building own structures in the West Philippine Sea.
“I support that because if that can be done, then this adds strength to our assertion that these are part of Philippine territory because an element of sovereignty is occupation and putting up physical structures is proof of occupation on the part of the Philippines,” he said.
And if putting up Philippine structures would further heighten the tension in WPS, then “that is a price that we have to pay for asserting our sovereignty over what is rightfully ours,” the minority leader also said.
Sobejana earlier raised the possibility of buildings structures in the WPS following China’s apparent disregard on the status quo agreement among other nations claiming parts of the disputed area.
“The reason we’re not building structures there is because there is an agreement that no new structures will be built but China has broken that agreement,” the AFP chief was quoted as saying.
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