Lacson pushes for review of PH-China diplomatic ties amid WPS incursions
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson is seeking a review of the diplomatic ties between the Philippines and China, in the wake of the latter’s recent incursions in the West Philippine Sea.
Lacson, who chairs the Senate committee on national defense, said a review of the diplomatic relations between the two countries is “timely and called for” as he asked: “What kind of friend—or benefactor—would take what is ours, bully us, and ignore our protests?”
“All the diplomatic protests that the Secretary of Foreign Affairs filed have been ignored as if nothing was filed at all. The continued incursions and bullying finally got his goat,” Lacson said in a tweet late Monday night.
Maybe a review of the country’s diplomatic relations is timely and called for. All the diplomatic protests that the SFA filed have been ignored as if nothing was filed at all. The continued incursions and bullying finally got his goat. The Senate must support him in this regard.FEATURED STORIES
— PING LACSON (@iampinglacson) May 3, 2021
In this light, Lacson said Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, the principal author and sponsor of a recently filed Senate resolution condemning China’s “illegal activities” in the West Philippine Sea, has accepted his proposed amendments.
One of which is to “urge the Department of Foreign Affairs to consider a review of the long existing diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China” to send a “clear message that the incursions into our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in utter disregard of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the rule of law is totally unacceptable.”
Lacson said the review should go hand in hand with seeking stronger alliances with the more militarily powerful countries like the United States, Australia, even Japan and some European Union countries to maintain the balance of power in the region.
Meanwhile, Lacson said another amendment that Drilon accepted was to change the word “condemning” to “strongly objecting” in the resolution.
“To condemn means some sort of eternal divine punishment. Hence, no matter how unlikely, in case China eases up on its aggressive stance, our condemnation cannot be taken back,” Lacson said in a statement.
Throw support to Locsin
Lacson, likewise, said the Senate must also throw its support towards Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. who did not mince his words in telling China to “get the f*ck out” of Philippine waters as Chinese vessels continue to linger in the West Philippine Sea.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it has already protested the “illegal presence” of the Chinese Coast Guard in the Panatag or Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough) shoal as well as its “belligerent actions” against the Philippine Coast Guard.
This, on top of the daily protests the DFA is filing over the lingering presence of Chinese vessels in various parts of the West Philippine Sea.
Nonetheless, Lacson also said that the issue of the West Philippine Sea should not be connected with other issues, including vaccine donations.
“We should have a united stand on the West Philippine Sea, and this should not be connected to any other issue except sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Lacson said.
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