(POLITIKO) Senator Jinggoy Estrada reiterated the call for the Philippine government to seek the international community’s support at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and condemn China for its bullying tactics in the West Philippine Sea.
Estrada made the statement in relation to the China Coast Guard’s latest water cannon incident and dangerous maneuvers against the Philippines’ resupply mission to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal on Friday (Nov. 10).
“Our government should seriously consider heeding the adopted Senate Resolution No. 79 which recommends several courses of action, one of which is the filing of a resolution before the UNGA to call for the cessation of all activities that harass Philippine vessels and violate our established rights in the West Philippine Sea,” Estrada said on Saturday (Nov. 11).
The senator was referring to the resolution adopted by the Senate on Aug. 1 “strongly condemning the continued harassment of Filipino fishermen and the persistent incursions in the West Philippine Sea by Chinese Coast Guard and militia vessels, and urging the Philippine government to take appropriate action in asserting and securing the Philippines’ sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.”
“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 West Philippine Sea and incessant harassment of Filipino fishermen, patrol vessels, and resupply mission teams,” Estrada said.
“Recent developments involving China’s unlawful acts and increasing aggression against our vessels are leaving us with no other recourse but to take appropriate action in asserting and securing our sovereign rights over our exclusive economic zone (EEZ). China should be made to stop its illegal activities,” he added.
In the resolution, the Senate urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to continue holding dialogues with China in fighting for the Philippines’ sovereign rights and in pushing for the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea.
And if China continues its illegal actions, the DFA is urged to pursue the following moves, according to the Senate resolution:
1. Bring international attention to China’s harassment of Filipino fishermen in the Philippine EEZ and its continued violation of the Hague Ruling and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);
2. Utilize international fora to rally multilateral support for the enforcement of the Hague Ruling and raise awareness on the real situation in the West Philippine Sea;
3. Engage like-minded countries in various international organizations, meetings, and other fora to call on China to respect the Hague Ruling and the UNCLOS; and subject to necessity and prudence,
4. File a Resolution before the UNGA, to call for the cessation of all activities that harass Philippine vessels and violate the Philippines’ established rights in the West Philippine Sea; and
5. Pursue such other diplomatic modes as the DFA may deem appropriate and necessary.