11 senators file resolution vs China’s reported illegal activities in WPS
MANILA, Philippines — Eleven senators filed on Monday a resolution condemning in the “strongest possible terms” the reported illegal activities of China in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and other parts of the West Philippine Sea.
Senate Resolution No. 708 was initiated by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon as principal author, while 10 other senators signed as co-authors of the measure.
The 10 are Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Senators Nancy Binay, Leila de Lima, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Lito Lapid, Francis Pangilinan, Grace Poe, Joel Villanueva, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla.
The senators lamented the continued presence of Chinese vessels in disputed areas despite a series of diplomatic protests lodged by the Department of Foreign Affairs and strong public statements by Philippine authorities.
According to the senators, the continued presence of Chinese ships in the country’s territorial waters violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).
“While China’s increasing dominance as regional and world power cannot be denied, its open and serious contempt of the UNCLOS, as well as its expansion of influence in the area at the expense of legitimate interests and legally-recognized maritime entitlements of smaller nations like the Philippines, must be firmly resisted and denounced and the 2016 PCA Award vigorously asserted,” the resolution read.
“Neither close diplomatic and political ties nor promise of donations, aids or loans, whether they actually materialize or not, should be mistaken as acceptance of China’s creeping hegemony over our region and country, and no promise of economic largesse often undelivered should soften our resolve against these illegal and unwarranted incursions,” it added.
China, they said, should not be allowed “to rewrite or nullify the UNCLOS” citing the serious ramifications on on a “rules-based international order” and its impact on the livelihood of Filipino fishermen, among others.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved hat the Senate of the Philippines condemn in the strongest possible terms the illegal activities of the People’s Republic of China in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines and other parts of the West Philippine Sea, in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of The Sea and the 2016 Award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in favor of the Philippines,” the resolution further read.
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