AT A GLANCE
- Senators on Saturday, Nov. 11 condemned China’s recent move of deploying a water cannon on a much smaller Philippine vesselchartered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Senators on Saturday, Nov. 11 condemned China’s recent move of deploying a water cannon on a much smaller Philippine vessel chartered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” strongly condemned the recent action of Chinese ships against Philippine vessels out on a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre–the country’s outpost in Ayungin Shoal.
“In this latest incident, we again see China as a bully: using size and brute strength to illegally encroach upon our EEZ (exclusive economic zone) [and] enforce a baseless right to drive away our protectors,” he said.
He added that these water cannons and blockades will not dampen the will and resolve of the Philippine Navy as well as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to protect the country’s EEZ in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“We remind the Chinese Coast Guard that no amount of aggression can undo the fact that the Chinese government’s claims to the WPS have already been invalidated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration,” he said.
“They cannot justify their aggression under the guise of “defense,” when their ships are clearly and disproportionately larger and more advanced than ours,” he added.
Zubiri commended both the Navy and PCG for continuously standing their ground and asserting the country’s rights in its own EEZ. He added that the Philippine Senate is behind them 100 percent.
Meanwhile, Senator Jinggoy Estrada says the Philippine government should seriously consider heeding the adopted Senate Resolution (SR) No. 79, which recommends several courses of action, one of which is the filing of a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to call for the cessation of all activities that harass Philippine vessels and violate our established rights in the WPS.
“In a show of solidarity, my colleagues and I crossed party lines in unanimously passing this resolution which calls out China for its repeated incursions in the WPS and incessant harassment of Filipino fishermen, patrol vessels, and resupply mission teams,” he said.
He added that recent developments involving China’s unlawful acts and increasing aggression against Philippine vessels left them with no other recourse but to take appropriate action in asserting and securing the country’s sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone.
Estrada said that China should be made to stop its illegal activities.
“We have, countless times already, employed diplomatic modes in dealing with China insofar as exercising our sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over the WPS. We have always been guided by the rule of law in claiming our maritime entitlements,” he said.
“Sa hindi na mabilang na insidente sa WPS, hindi ni minsan tayo gumawa ng mga hakbang gaya ng mga pambu-bully nila sa atin (In countless incidents in the WPS, we never made steps such as what they are doing to us),” he added.
Estrada also quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who said in a virtual forum of the Chinese Embassy in Manila on Jan. 17 that: “This is not a proper way for neighbors to treat each other.”