Palawan board denounce Chinese aggression in West PH Sea | Inquirer News

Palawan board denounce Chinese aggression in West PH Sea

/ 08:03 PM August 08, 2023

Palawan board joins growing number of officials denouncing Chinese aggression in WPS FILE PHOTO

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — The members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial council) of Palawan added their voice to the number of officials “condemning in the strongest term” the latest aggression made by Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) against the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

During its regular session on Tuesday, the board members unanimously approved a resolution expressing outrage against the actions of the CCG which they said has been happening for quite a long time now.


The resolution came after CCG used a water cannon against the PCG and civilian vessels that were conducting a resupply mission to troops stationed in BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal last Saturday, August 5.


Board Member Juan Antonio Alvarez said in a privilege speech that the government has been fighting for its territorial rights in WPS for a while now, but China still keeps conducting illegal activities in the area, including the harassment of Philippine vessels.

“I move that we consolidate all our resolutions [created and issued in the past] to show our unity in condemning the latest harassment by Chinese Coast Guard against our countrymen in WPS,” Alvarez said.

Board Member Al Nashier Ibba also said the incident is saddening, considering CCG has been bullying Filipinos in WPS, with the latest incident involving Philippine military and coast guard personnel.

“Our military delivering goods to our countrymen was disrespected. What more with our local fishermen? They would be pitiful because they would not be able to defend themselves,” Ibba lamented.

Board Members Rafael Ortega and Ryan Maminta, meanwhile, said that while they support the condemnation of China’s actions, they also want to discuss the matter with PCG and the military’s Western Command before taking any further action.

“I would like to move for an executive session with officials from the coast guard and Western Command for us to know their actions because this concerns national security so that we can also seek their suggestions on what actions to take in accordance with their moves,” Ortega said.


Maminta further noted that the latest incident happened just a few weeks after the 7th anniversary of the ruling of the United Nations (UN) Permanent Court of Arbitration against China and in favor of the Philippines regarding territorial rights over WPS, and the adoption of Senate Resolution no. 79 condemning the continuous aggression of Chinese ships in WPS against Filipino fisherfolks.

“For so long since 2016, after the decision of the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration, we have had our continuing resentment and condemnation of the aggressions of Chinese maritime vessels in WPS,” Maminta said.

Board Member Winston Arzaga said the Chinese intrusions have been a long and never-ending tale, considering the number of resolutions adopted and statements released.

“I understand from the President that this is the 46th note verbale which the government of the Philippines has issued because of the several transgressions of Chinese militia as well as the CCG, in defiance of the 2016 Hague ruling on the territorial claims,” Arzaga said.

He, however, said there were two points of concern: one which is worrisome, while the other is heartening.

“There is a statement from the President that is saddening where he was saying that the protagonists — China and the Philippines — are doing it simply because it is a gray area. In other words, China can claim, the Philippines can claim,” Arzaga said.

“But we know very well that, that is very far from the truth. Because the truth is, we won the case that settled the sovereignty issue in the WPS. Perhaps the President should be cautioned in making such a statement because it would only trigger more aggression from China,” he explained.

Arzaga, however, noted the show of support from other countries after the harassment made by the CCG.

“If you will notice in previous intrusions, not a word was heard from other countries in support of our stand. But now, within a few minutes, we have Canada, we have US, France, and Japan, supporting the stand of the Philippines, that this is part of our territory,” he stated.

“I think it might as well be good because the more that the Chinese encroaches in our territory, the more that most countries are becoming aware of the bullying of China,” he added.

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READ: Bongbong parrots Duterte on West PH Sea: We don’t stand a chance vs China

TAGS: China, Palawan, West Philippine Sea, WPS

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