Tinio: Duterte admin has ceded control of West PH Sea to China

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ACT Teachers partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio accused the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte of having given “de facto recognition” of China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea claimed by the Philippines.

In a statement, the Makabayan lawmaker said Malacañang’s attempt to play down reports of China’s militarization of reefs in Philippine waters spoke volumes about how it has ceded control of West Philippine Sea to Beijing.

“The ‘good faith commitment’ purportedly made by China to maintain the status quo and not reclaim any new features in the Spratlys is a mere fig leaf that Malacañang invokes to cover up the shameful reality that the Duterte administration has already given de facto recognition to Chinese sovereignty over the South China Sea and has virtually ceded control of the West Philippine Sea to China,” Tinio said.

He was reacting to aerial photographs showing that China has almost completed its buildup of military facilities on reclaimed islands and reefs within the Philippine economic zone.

“This is why Malacañang is downplaying reports that China has completed the construction of military installations in the area as ‘not new’,” Tinio said.

“It’s now abundantly clear that Duterte’s policy is to surrender to China our national patrimony not just in the West Philippine Sea but in the Philippine Rise as well, in exchange for the promise of loans and investments that will primarily benefit favored oligarchs,” he said.