Chinese pushing PH into corner over WPS
A party-list lawmaker on Thursday denounced the latest activities of China in the West Philippine Sea.
“I have received this information early on in connection to the Chinese incursions in Sandy Cay last August,” Magdalo Party-List Rep. Gary Alejano said in a statement.
He believed that China “has no acceptable basis” to react negatively to the Philippines’ plan of construction work in the sand bars of Pag-asa Island. “The Philippines did not violate the Declaration of Conduct,” Alejano said.
The lawmaker said the planned construction in Sandy Cay was not a new occupation by the Philippines.
“In fact, the sand bars have traditionally been under effective control of the Philippine troops. Further, the sand bars are subject to regular patrols and visitations by the Philippine troops and our own fishermen,” Alejano said.
Just a “minute reaction” from China and the Philippines would immediately halt its actions, he noted.
“Meanwhile, Chinese forces, military and coast guard, are illegally entering our Exclusive Economic Zone, yet our DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] Secretary and the President [Rodrigo Duterte] could only respond that we assume good faith in their actions,” Alejano pointed out.
The administration has been downplaying the situation in the West Philippine Sea “while China continues to push us into the corner,” he added.
Considering the recent Chinese activity in the contested waters, Alejano said he hopes the administration “would now realize the importance and urgency of asserting the favorable ruling of the UN [United Nations] Permanent Court of Arbitration issued in July 2016.”