Lawmaker nixes proposed PH-China military drills
A lawmaker on Saturday objected to China’s proposal to hold joint military exercises with the Philippines, noting that Beijing has been violating Manila’s sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.
“This is absurd!” said House constitutional amendments panel chair Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, a critic of China’s aggression in the disputed South China Sea.
Rodriguez said he would file a House resolution to formally express his opposition to the proposal.
“How can we have joint military drills with China whose forces are always swarming our West Philippine Sea, violating our sovereign rights over our 200-mile exclusive economic zone …, unlawfully disregarding the 2016 arbitral tribunal award against China’s nine-dash line and harassing Filipino fishermen?” Rodriguez asked.
House assistant minority leader Rep. Arlene Brosas joined Rodriguez in his protest. “We must never compromise our sovereignty and national security for the sake of appeasing foreign powers,” she said. —Julie M. Aurelio