Senators agree on passing resolution vs Chinese incursions–Zubiri
MANILA, Philippines — After holding a caucus on Monday, senators agreed to pass a resolution condemning China’s continued incursions and harassments in the West Philippines Sea (WPS).
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri disclosed this decision following the all-member caucus of the Senate which was attended by the country’s top foreign and security officials.
During the caucus, Zubiri said they discussed his Senate Resolution No. 707 and Senate Resolution No. 659 earlier filed by Senator Risa Hontiveros — both on the WPS issues.
“We have agreed to merge the provisions between the two resolutions and pass a resolution condemning the harassment of the Filipino fishermen and continued incursions of Chinese Coast Guard and militia vessels in the West Philippine Sea,” the Senate leader said in a statement Monday evening.
“It was a very cordial, straightforward and productive meeting between the senators and our key government officials dealing on the West Philippine Sea,” Zubiri said.
Among those present in the caucus were Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo, Sec. Eduardo Año, chairman of the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea, General Romeo Brawner Jr., Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and their senior officials.
Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva and Hontiveros confirmed in separate messages to reporters that the resolution would be approved by the Senate on Tuesday.
“Rest assured that your Senate will continue to defend our sovereignty and sovereign rights,” Villanueva said.
Hontiveros did not also provide other details about the new resolution, except saying that there will be a clear condemnation of China’s aggressions in the disputed waters.
“Malinaw sa reso ang pagkokondena sa China & the many tools that the DFA may wield to assert our claims, pati ang paghain sa UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) ng resolution. Malinaw na nagtagumpay ang gusto ng taumbayan, at hindi ang gusto ng China,” she said.
(The resolution clearly condemns China and the many tools that the DFA may wield to assert our claims, including filing a resolution at the UNGA. It is evident that the will of the people prevailed, not China’s desires.”
Hontiveros’ resolution particularly urged the government to raise before the UNGA China’s repeated incursions in the West Philippine Sea.
Some of her colleagues, however, raised questions when her resolution was first tackled on the Senate floor last week.