Tackle 'unhealthy situation' in West PH Sea with Chinese leader now, Marcos urged | Inquirer News

Tackle ‘unhealthy situation’ in West PH Sea with Chinese leader now, Marcos urged

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 03:20 PM July 07, 2023


Tackle 'unhealthy situation' in West Philippine Sea with Chinese leader now, Marcos urged

This handout photo taken on March 2, 2022 and released by Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on March 27, shows a Chinese coast guard ship (L) shadowing a Philippine coast guard vessel (R) while patrolling the Scarborough Shoal in South China Sea.  The Philippine Coast Guard accused its Chinese counterpart on March 27 of illegally steering one of its ships close to a Filipino patrol vessel on March 2 in the disputed waters, risking a collision. (Photo by Handout / Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) / AFP)


MANILA, Philippines —  Senator JV Ejercito on Friday called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to directly discuss with Chinese President Xi Jinping the “very unhealthy situation” in the West Philippine Sea since diplomatic protests filed by the Philippines seem to be ignored.


Ejercito cited China’s unrelenting aggression in the West Philippine Sea, which, he said, is no longer the behavior of a true ally or friend. 


The Philippine Coast Guard earlier slammed the “dangerous maneuvers” of China Coast Guard vessels directed at PCG ships en route to Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal for a resupply mission.

Ejercito said he believes Marcos should directly raise the issue with the Chinese leader. 

“Yes, I would think so because it’s one of our sworn duties to protect [and] fight for our territorial integrity and sovereignty at all costs,” he said.

Ejercito pointed out that the Department of Foreign Affairs has already filed hundreds of diplomatic protests against China, but these seemingly “fall on deaf ears.”

“Siguro, panahon na na ang Presidente na mismo ang dapat kumausap because it’s a very unhealthy situation already in the West Philippine Sea,” Ejercito said in a media interview.

(Maybe it’s time for the President himself to talk to China about it because it’s already a very unhealthy situation in the West Philippine Sea.) 


Ejercito also renewed the call to “exhaust all diplomatic means” by elevating the maritime dispute before the United Nations and strengthening alliances with “right-thinking nations” in the region.

“More than anything, it’s our fishermen who are deprived of their livelihood. Nakakaawa naman ang mga fishermen natin. One of the poorest sectors in the society, pakakaitan pa nila. They are harassing our fishermen,” he lamented. 

(…I feel sorry for our fishermen. One of the poorest sectors in society is being deprived of their livelihood…)

China asserts sovereignty over nearly the entire South China Sea, encompassing the West Philippine Sea, as delineated by its controversial nine-dash line.

In 2016, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration invalidated China’s sweeping claims in the contested waterway.

China, however, has repeatedly tossed aside the ruling. — with reports from Kirsten Segui, INQUIRER.net trainee

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TAGS: Bongbong Marcos Jr., China, JV Ejercito, Philippines, Xi Jinping

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