Send Chinese envoy home, Zubiri urges Marcos
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Sunday urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to order the expulsion of Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, following the latest incidents of Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea over the weekend.
“I urge [the] President… to send the current Chinese ambassador home. He has done nothing to address the continued attacks of his government on our troops and on our people,” Zubiri told reporters.
“This was a humanitarian mission, and still China chose to attack them. They have no heart,” the Senate leader said.
He was referring to China’s water cannonade of three patrol boats sent by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Saturday to provide fuel and other supplies to fishermen near Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal).
On Sunday, the China Coast Guard continued its water cannonade against three more Philippine boats and even rammed one of them.
“They have gone from unlawfully blocking us, from navigating our own waters, to now deliberately damaging our vessels and endangering the lives of our people,” Zubiri said.
Meanwhile, Speaker Martin Romualdez urged China to “desist from actions that infringe” on the Philippines’ sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone.
Romualdez said the water cannonade of the BFAR patrol vessels is “not only a blatant disregard [of] international norms but also a direct challenge to the sovereignty and rights of the Philippines.”
“We demand that Beijing take immediate and concrete actions to cease these aggressive activities and uphold the principles of international law. The Philippines stands firm in its sovereignty and jurisdiction over Bajo de Masinloc and its territorial sea. We will not be intimidated nor will we stand down in the face of these unwarranted and illegal actions,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
Romualdez also described as “disheartening” China’s rejection of a House resolution condemning its actions in the West Philippine Sea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin earlier said Resolution No. 1494 passed by the Philippines’ House of Representatives “groundlessly criticized, misrepresented and smeared China.”
Romualdez, in response, said “China’s rejection of the resolution is disheartening, especially in light of its continued illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea, a clear violation of the  arbitral award [upholding the Philippine claim over its exclusive economic zone].”