Tolentino eyes forging of research accords with maritime nations

Tolentino suggests forging of research agreements with maritime nations

/ 03:04 PM March 25, 2024

In this March 30, 2014, file photo, Philippine Marines raise the Philippine flag on the first day of their deployment on the dilapidated navy ship LT57 BRP Sierra Madre at the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, locally known as Ayungin Shoal, off the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines on Monday, Aug. 18, slammed what it called China’s “illegitimate sovereignty patrols” of Philippine waters, following President Aquino’s revelation that two Chinese research vessels had been spotted on oil-rich Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea. AP PHOTO/BULLIT MARQUEZ

In this March 30, 2014 file photo, Philippine Marines raise the Philippine flag on the first day of their deployment on the dilapidated navy ship LT57 BRP Sierra Madre at the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, locally known as Ayungin Shoal, off the West Philippine Sea.  (AP file photo/BULLIT MARQUEZ)

MANILA, Philippines — Apart from defense treaty alliances, Senator Francis Tolentino on Monday urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to establish a research and development pact with maritime countries.

Tolentino, chairperson of the Senate special panel on maritime and admiralty zones, said the establishment of research and development alliances could help in “[mobilizing] international support,” especially after China’s cannon attack on a Philippine vessel en route for a resupply mission in the West Philippine Sea.

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READ: PH vessel sustains ‘heavy damage’ in Chinese coast guard attack

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“To those countries with which the Philippines have no alliance through treaties or our allies in defense, pacts, or treaties, we can have joint exercises for peaceful marine science research and development,” Tolentino said in a statement.

The senator particularly noted that the Philippine government could establish this alliance with Norway, the Netherlands, as well as “other countries in Europe and Latin America that are far from the Philippines.”

“It will involve non-aligned countries that would seek to develop and explore the area through scientific and development,” the lawmaker said.

“We involve not just our ordinary allies, our regular allies in terms of defense agreements, but also non-defense allies concerned about peaceful resolutions in upholding the norms of international law,” he added.

‘No end to China’s violation of PH rights’

Tolentino, in the same statement, said he personally sees “no end” to China’s violation of the Philippines’ rights under international laws.

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“This is not just an isolated event. China will commit a continuing series of violations, and we expect that to happen,” Tolentino said.

“The Philippines would not know the gravity of the escalation or what China would do next because China had already done many things, and the Philippines had been the recipient,” the senator noted.

“Perhaps we should ask about this: Is our nation ready for the consequences for our economy, peace and order?” he wondered.

‘Seek accountability’

In a separate statement issued also on Monday, Senator Grace Poe deplored China’s recent aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

“This uncivilized action should stop. We must hold the Chinese vessel responsible for the injury inflicted on our troops,” said Poe.

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“While the Philippines continues to deal with the attacks in [a] legal, legitimate and calm manner, we must also seek accountability,” she emphasized.

The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, said it summoned on Monday morning the Chinese embassy’s Charge d’affaires and protested China’s aggressive actions during the Philippine’s resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal.

For comprehensive coverage, in-depth analysis, and the latest updates on the West Philippine Sea issue, visit our special site here. Stay informed with articles, videos, and expert opinions.

TAGS: China, DFA, West Philippine Sea, WPS

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