“Hindi nag-iisa ang Pilipinas sa pakikibaka laban sa pang-aangkin at pang-aabuso ng China sa ating teritoryo. We should fully express our gratitude to our friends in the international community who have joined us in opposing China’s unlawful and destructive acts in the West Philippine Sea and the rest of the South China Sea.” This according to Senator Risa Hontiveros, as she called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to officially thank the United Kingdom (UK), France and Germany for rejecting China’s claims in the South China Sea and for supporting the arbitral award won by the Philippines in 2016.
Hontiveros said the DFA should officially send the country’s ‘profound appreciation’ to the three Western countries, who recently submitted a joint note verbale to the United Nations (UN) refuting China’s historic claims over the entire South China Sea.
The senator said that the three countries’ statements “have effectively strengthened the Philippines’ claims over the West Philippine Sea,” through their support and recognition of the arbitral award in the 2016 case of Philippines vs. China.
The landmark case, which was won by the Philippines, was cited in the said note verbale as proof that China’s so-called historic rights and claims to the whole South China Sea have no basis under international law.
“These declarations by the UK, France and Germany before the UN greatly elevate our country’s position as we pursue our just and legal claims against China’s misdeeds in the West Philippine Sea,” Hontiveros said.
“Although Malacañang has already issued a statement about this action by the UK, France and Germany, it would be more appropriate if the government, through the DFA, officially expresses the appreciation and solidarity of Filipinos with our European allies,” she added.
Hontiveros then said that government should urge more countries to follow the example of the UK, France, and Germany – as well as the United States and Australia – in rebuking China over her baseless claims over the South China Sea, and her continuing abuses against Filipinos in Philippine waters.
“As they say, there is strength in numbers. Let’s work with the international community and create a united front that can stand up to China’s bullying in the West Philippine Sea, and in other parts of the South China Sea,” she concluded. SENATE.GOV.PH