‘Di Natinag Sa China! Jinggoy Estrada Raises West PH Sea In Forum Of Asia Pacific Parliamentarians

(POLITIKO) Senator Jinggoy Estrada expressed the Philippines’ concern over China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea when he faced foreign politikos at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF).

During the plenary session on political and security matters on Friday (Nov. 24), Estrada mentioned the developments in the West Philippine Sea without directly naming China as behind the harassment of Filipino vessels and fisherfolk in Philippine waters.

China sent delegates for the APFF from its National People’s Congress (NPC), with NPC foreign affairs committee vice chairperson Wang Ke as the head of its delegation.

“As representatives of our respective governments, it is incumbent upon us to raise serious concerns over recent developments in the West Philippine Sea, which refers to parts of the South China Sea over which the Philippines has sovereign rights, and jurisdictions, as they have the potential to undermine the peace and stability that our nations have collectively worked towards over the years,” Estrada said.

“It is in our purview as representatives of the people to address this issue with the utmost diplomatic care and urgency,” he added.

Estrada said the APPF can be the venue for parliamentarians to resolve the issue diplomatically and ensure the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

“Resilient partnerships for peace are not just a necessity; they are the moral imperative of our time. Let us choose dialogue rather than conflict, cooperation instead of force or intimidation, and unity over division. Together, let us lay the foundations for a more secure, stable, and progressive Asia Pacific region,” Estrada said.

The Philippines is not blaming any country in attendance at the APPF, but the forum should be a venue for dialogue among countries with “competing claims and interests” to find a compromise, Estrada said.

“Let us be clear – the concerns we express are not intended to assign blame or take sides. Instead, they reflect our shared commitment to upholding a rules-based international order,” Estrada said.

Estrada mentioned the word “West Philippine Sea” in his speech before the plenary, even though the Philippines will not mention its term for its maritime entitlements at the South China Sea in its sponsored resolution at the APPF.