Alejano: China keeps pushing PH into a corner
Magdalo partylist Rep. Gary Alejano has questioned the Philippines’ decision to abort its plan of construction work in the sand bars of Pag-asa Island after China protested.
“I believe that China has no acceptable basis to react negatively with the Philippines’ plan of construction work in the sand bars of Pag-asa Island. The Philippines did not violate the Declaration of Conduct. The planned construction in Sandy Cay was not a new occupation by the Philippines,” he said.
He added, “In fact, the sand bars have traditionally been under effective control of the Philippine troops. Further, the sand bars are subject to regular patrols and visitations by the Philippine troops and our own fishermen.”
The Magnificent 7 member said it was a shame that the Philippines was allowing China to get its way.
“Just a minute reaction from China and the Philippines would immediately halt its actions. Meanwhile, Chinese forces, military and coast guard, are illegally entering our Exclusive Economic Zone yet our DFA Secretary and the President could only respond that we assume good faith in their actions,” Alejano said.
“The administration has been downplaying the situation in the West Philippine Sea while China continues to push us into the corner,” he said:
“I hope that the administration would now realize the importance and urgency of asserting the favorable ruling of the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration issued in July 2016. There could not be any more proper time to stress it than now. We do not want to waste time that we could use to peacefully strengthen our claims,” he added.