Hontiveros presses punishment of China for laser harassment of PCG
Updated @ 10:26 p.m., Feb. 13, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — China should be penalized following its harassment of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in the West Philippine Sea, Senator Risa Hontiveros said on Monday.
According to the PCG, the Chinese Coast Guard directed a “military-grade” laser toward BRP Malapascua, causing temporary blindness to crew members.
“The Chinese government, if it wants to show true leadership of the region, should act responsibly, and restrain any behavior by its coast guard, navy, and maritime militia that might further inflame the situation in the West Philippine Sea,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“Tensions are already high, but what is China doing instead? She is only getting brazen by the day. Her shameless harassment, causing temporary blindness to Filipino crew members, should warrant a penalty. Iligal na nga ang presensya nila sa West Philippine Sea, nanakit pa sila ng kababayan natin,” she added.
(Their presence in the West Philippine Sea is already illegal, yet they hurt our fellow Filipinos.)
The opposition senator expressed full support to the country’s Navy and Coast Guard forces as they “implement proper countermeasures against the repeated unjust and violent operations of Chinese elements in the country’s maritime zones.”
“Atin ang Pilipinas at karapatan nating magdepensa sa ating teritoryo, mamamayan, at soberanya,” said Hontiveros.
(The Philippines is ours and our right to defend our territory, people, and sovereignty.)
The senator renewed her call to Malacañang and the Department of Foreign Affairs to meet with other claimant countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and member states of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue to ensure peace is upheld in Philippine waters.
“We need to establish an updated security framework with our partners in the region as soon as possible. Magpapatuloy ang pambabastos ng Tsina kung hindi sila napipigilan,” Hontiveros said.
(China’s harassment will continue if they are not prevented.)
Meanwhile, Senator JV Ejercito said that it is about time for the country to enter into an alliance with other nations.
“Sobra na ang China Coast Guard na yan! Yan lang masasabi ko! Kahit anong diplomatic protest di naman pinakikinggan ng China,” he said in a separate statement.
(The Chinese Coast Guard is too much! That is all I can say. Despite diplomatic protests, China does not listen.)
“[It’s] about time the Philippines enters into an alliance with US (United States), Japan, Australia, and other ASEAN nations with territorial dispute with China so that the continuing aggression of China has to stop in the Asia Pacific Region,” Ejercito went on.
As of January 26, the Philippines has filed 461 diplomatic protests since 2016.