House backs rules-based approach to West Philippine Sea
A resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives endorsing the Department of Foreign Affairs’ call for a rules-based regime in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) following repeated Chinese intrusions since in February.
House Resolution No. 1401, principally authored by Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez and filed last week, expresses respect and adherence to international law to preserve peace and resolve conflicts.
Golez said international law had given equal voice to nations regardless of political, economic or military stature. As such, he said the Philippines expected nothing less from its international partners.
“The rule of law is the bedrock of peace, order and fairness in modern societies. The rise of a rules-based international system has been the great equalizer in global affairs,” Golez said in his explanatory remarks.
Bullying not allowed
He said the Philippines, as an independent, proud, peace-loving, sovereign nation “must not allow any other nation to bully and trample on the rights and dignity of the other nations in the region.”
“Where there are disputes, rules provide an effective tool for peaceful and fair resolution,” he stressed.
Golez noted that the Philippines had faced serious challenges in the West Philippine Sea since the Chinese intrusion in the Panganiban (Mischief) Reef in 1995.
He said the country’s ownership of the Kalayaan Island Group based on legitimate maritime jurisdictions had been contested by certain nations.
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