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Saturday, June 22, 2024

House leadership hits China order to arrest ‘trespassers’ in West Philippine Sea

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House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Saturday denounced China’s order to arrest foreign nationals in the West Philippine Sea.  

“China’s aggressive pronouncements are a blatant escalation of tensions in the West Philippine Sea. These unilateral actions flagrantly violate international law and the established norms that guide the Philippines and other law-abiding nations with claims in the South China Sea,” Romualdez said in a statement.

The House leader said China must respect international rulings and act as a responsible member of the global community, rather than imposing its own laws unilaterally and bullying other nations.

“The House of the Filipino People will not tolerate any arrests of our citizens or fishermen within our own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). We will fiercely defend our sovereignty and ensure the safety and rights of our people,” Romualdez said.

The civilian regatta of the Atin Ito Coalition that was supposed to be en route to Panatag Shoal on Thursday has been a remarkable source of pride and an excellent display of Filipino patriotism, according to Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. and Lanao del Sur Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong.

Abante even called on his fellow lawmakers to embark on the same journey to Filipino territory in the West Philippine Sea.

“We are not only being bullied but, all over the world, they are harassing us. We are just being a pawn in the motive of China to control the international trade because more than 60 percent of all trades and fuel go through there,” Abante said in a mix of English and Filipino. 

Adiong was also all praises for the citizens who organized and joined the civilian regatta.

“It speaks about civilian support and the people of the town are united with our President… It is a civic duty for each and every one of us who call ourselves Filipinos to support this administration in pushing for our rights over the West Philippine Sea,” Adiong said.

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