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MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Wednesday, December 6, approved a resolution that “strongly” condemned China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and called on the government to assert its rights under international law.
“The Philippines should continue to assert and fight for its rights in the [WPS] and uphold and implement its hard-earned victory at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, the Netherlands,” said House Resolution 1494.
Lawmakers also noted that the government should create a “self-reliant defense posture program” on top of improving the capabilities of the Philippine Coast Guard, which is often at the receiving end of China’s aggression in the waters. This is on top of recognizing that the “government must boost the funds allocated to our armed troops and our civilian maritime patrol forces.”
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration already ruled that China has “no legal basis” to claim rights in waters within its so-called nine-dash line.
Despite this, Beijing continues to encroach Manila’s territory, in the process harassing and intimidating PCG personnel and Filipino fisherfolk. The resolution notes China’s illegal activities, namely: shadowing, blocking, dangerous maneuvers, and radio challenges, the imposition of a fishing moratorium, and conducting research activities.
In August, the Senate adopted a similar resolution “strongly condemning” China’s incursions in Philippine waters. – Rappler.com