Zubiri: Senate resolution on WPS to draw int’l support
The proposed Senate resolution prodding the government to bring to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) China’s continued incursions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) would “solidify” the international community’s support for the country’s historic arbitral court victory, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Friday.
Zubiri expressed confidence that the upper chamber would adopt next week the resolution filed by opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros after Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano blocked its passage.
Cayetano, who served as former President Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign secretary, questioned why Senate Resolution No. 659 singled out China, arguing that Vietnam and Malaysia had also built militarized structures within the Philippines’ 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone.
“While the senators differ on how to go about this, we are united in the desire to condemn the harassment and bullying of our fisherfolk and coast guard in the West Philippine Sea and, ultimately, to enforce the 2016 arbitral award,” Zubiri told reporters.
“That said, the Senate is a deliberative body whose members are open to discussion and reasonable compromise. We are confident that we can come up with a wording of the resolution that will meet our common desire while addressing the concerns of all the members of the Senate,” he said.
The intention of the resolution, he reiterated, was to urge the Marcos administration to “take concrete action before international fora and solicit multilateral cooperation.”
On Wednesday, Hontiveros, Zubiri and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada delivered their separate sponsorship speeches urging the Department of Foreign Affairs to lodge a resolution asking the UN’s primary policy-making body to compel China to abide by the decision of the arbitral court in The Hague, the Netherlands. INQ