A Senate resolution initiated by the Minority bloc condemning China’s illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), is expected to be formally adopted by Majority senators led by Senate President Vicente Sotto III as soon as Congress reconvene plenary sessions.
The still unnumbered resolution, expected to be filed Monday by Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, affirms full support of senators for Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. who fired off a slew of diplomatic protests against China, as well as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who strongly condemned the intrusion of Chinese ships well within West Philippine Sea territory.
A total of eleven senators have thus far expressed intent to coauthor the resolution, conveying Senate’s condemnation of the illegal occupation of Philippine territory by a supposed long-time friend of the Philippines that has been hosting a huge Filipino-Chinese community dating back centuries ago.
“The illegal occupation by China of parts of the West Philippine Sea Territory is well within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines,” Drilon stressed.
The lawmaker from Iloilo added that apart from his allies in the Minority bloc—Senators Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima as coauthors—they will be joined by other members of the Majority bloc, including Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Sens. Richard J. Gordon, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Lito Lapid, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Joel Villanueva, as co-sponsors, paving the way for quick adoption of the Resolution condemning China’s illegal intrusions.
Drilon said Senate’s condemnation of illegal acts by China in the WPS territory is expected
to encourage more people to speak out against Chinese intrusions.
He added it could also be considered as the senators’ contribution as “partner of the Executive” branch in laying down the country’s foreign policy.
At the same time, Drilon backed the suggestion of Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana to put up government structures in the West Philippine Sea to solidify the country’s claim affirming these are parts of Philippine territory.