Estrada urges DFA to direct PH ambassador to China to return for consultation on WPS

(MANILA BULLETIN) Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada on Monday, November 13 urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to direct the Philippine ambassador to China to return to the country for consultation on the West Philippine Sea.

“Given the recurring acts of aggression against our countrymen in the West Philippine Sea, I urge DFA Secretary Enrique Manalo to direct our ambassador to China to return to the country for consultation on the course of action in seeking redress for the persistent challenges we face in the WPS,” Estrada said in a statement.

“The DFA is in a position to pursue diplomatic modes it may deem necessary and appropriate. We must remain steadfast in resorting to diplomatic tools to convey the seriousness of our concerns and in our unwavering commitment to engaging them in a peaceful and constructive dialogue,” he said. 

One of the recommendation is for the Philippines to bring to international attention, China’s harassment of Filipino fishermen in the country’s own exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and its continued violation of the Hague ruling and the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Seas or UNCLOS. 

The recommendation also include utilizing international fora to rally multilateral support for the enforcement of the Hague Ruling and to raise awareness on the real situation in the WPS.

Estrada also said the government should consider engaging like-minded countries in various international organizations, meetings, and other for a to call on Chian to respect the Hague Ruling and the UNCLOS. 

The lawmaker also said filing a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) calling for the cessation of all activities that harass Philippine vessels and violate the country’s established rights in the WPS  is also an option. 

“The repeated harassment and bullying of Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea demand our immediate attention and resolute response,” he said.