Given the recurring acts of aggression against our countrymen in the West Philippine Sea, I urge Department of Foreign Affairs Sec. 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.
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.
If all else fails, the DFA can consider adopting the courses of action that the Senate made in its adopted Resolution No. 79 which includes the following:
- Bringing international attention to China’s harassment of Filipino fishermen in the Philippine EEZ and its continued violation of the Hague Ruling and the UNCLOS;
- Utilizing 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;
- Engaging 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,
- Filing a Resolution before the United Nations General Assembly, to call for the cessation of all activities that harass Philippine vessels and violate the Philippines’ established rights in the West Philippine Sea; and
The repeated harassment and bullying of Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea demand our immediate attention and resolute response.