Imee Marcos questions bid to raise PH-China case to UN
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos expressed concerns on Thursday over a move in the Senate to raise China’s harassment in the West Philippine Sea before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
For one, Marcos fears the Philippines’ victory against China in the 2016 arbitral ruling would only weaken if the country loses its bid in the UNGA.
It would also be a massive embarrassment for the Philippines, she said, if the country fails to secure the needed votes in the assembly.
“We already have in hand the arbitral judgment, which is far more powerful and important,” Marcos said, echoing some lawmakers’ assertion.
“Furthermore, I also worry that we may not generate the votes necessary. Ang laking kahihiyan pag natalo pa tayo sa General Assembly.”
(Furthermore, I also worry that we may not generate the necessary votes. It’s a huge humiliation if we lose in the General Assembly.)
“Sigurado ba tayong mananalo tayo dyan? Baka sa Aseas lang e kulang na yung boto , e mas lalong malulusaw yung ating claim. Mas nakakahiya naman,” Marcos continued.
(Are we really sure that we will win there? In the Asean alone, we might not get the needed votes, so it will just further weaken our claim. That would be even more embarrassing.)
Through Senate Resolution No. 659, opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros is urging the Philippine government to bring to the UNGA China’s incursions in the West Philippines Sea.
Some senators, however, raised questions when Hontiveros presented her resolution for Senate approval on Wednesday.
Marcos also raised more questions on this proposal.
“Do we have the actual headcount in hand? Are we certain of victory in the General Assembly? Also, what will the practical effect of a general assembly resolution be?”
“Di ba expressing the sense, parang resolution ng Senate yan di ba? Anong mangyayari e meron na nga tayong judgment, meron na nga tayong pinal na arbitral award, di ba? Malinawag na yun, enforceable. Ito bang General Assembly resolution, enforceable ba yan? Hindi,” she pointed out.
(It’s like a resolution in the Senate. What else will happen when we already have the judgment, the final arbitral award? That’s already clear, and enforceable. How about a General Assembly resolution? will it be enforceable? No.)
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri remained confident, however, that the resolution would get the Senate approval next week.
“While the senators differ on how to go about this, we are united in the desire to condemn the harassment and bullying of our fisherfolk and Coast Guard in the West Philippine Sea and ultimately, to enforce the 2016 arbitral award,” Zubiri said in a statement.
“That said, the Senate is a deliberative body whose members are open to discussion and reasonable compromise. We are confident that we can come up with a wording of the resolution that will meet our common desire while addressing the concerns of all the members of the Senate,” he said.
Zubiri and Senator Jinggoy Estrada backed Hontiveros’ resolution, while Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa raised questions during plenary debates.