‘Stinking reality:’ Poe says China ‘treating us as its toilets’ violates laws
MANILA, Philippines — China treating the Philippines “as its toilet” clearly violates both international and local environmental laws and should serve as the administration’s “wake up call” to the “stinking reality” of Beijing’s disrespect of Manila’s territorial rights, Senator Grace Poe said Tuesday.
In a statement, Poe said the government should “strongly condemn” and “demand the immediate cessation of any waste-dumping activities in the area.”
“Anything less would be unacceptable…We can only hope that this comes as a wake-up call to the administration on the stinking reality that China gives no respect to international law, whether it be our territorial or environmental rights,” she said.
Further, the senator said Chinese vessels’ alleged act of dumping wastes in the area “clearly shows that the dumper knows the West Philippine Sea is not theirs.”
“[O]therwise they would have respected the ecological value of the rich fishing ground,” she added.
“China treating us as its toilet is a clear violation of both international and local environmental laws,” Poe said.
For instance, Poe cited the Stockholm Declaration, which was agreed upon during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Sweden in 1972.
This declaration, Poe noted, requires all states to “take all possible steps to prevent pollution of the seas by substances that are liable to create hazards to human health, to harm living resources and marine life, to damage amenities or to interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea.”
“Similarly, we have local laws like R.A. 9275 or the Clean Water Act, and R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 which impose penalties on such acts,” the senator further said.
Earlier, US geospatial firm Simularity reported that Chinese ships anchored in parts of the West Philippines Sea are dumping “raw sewage, every day onto the reefs they are occupying.”
“When the ships don’t move, the poop piles up,” Liz Derr, co-founder and CEO of Simularity, said during Monday’s forum hosted by Stratbase ADR Institute on the fifth anniversary of the Philippines 2016 victory against China.
Poe found this “certainly infuriating and disgusting.”
“Hindi ito gagawin ng kahit sinong matinong kapitbahay [This will never have done by a responsible neighbor]. This adds insult to injury. We are not the dumping site of any country, let alone by a nation laying claims on our territory,” she said.
“If the laws of men are not enough, basic laws of human decency demand that we do not submit to this debasing treatment. Dito nga sa atin, kahit walang batas, sinusunod natin ang ‘Tapat ko, linis ko [Here in our country we are abiding by the phrase “I’m responsible to clean up my own jurisdiction” and yet this is not even a law],’” she added.
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