June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

House leaders back gov’t plan to sue China 

HOUSE leaders on Tuesday expressed their support for the government’s plan to file new cases against China over its illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Assistant Majority Leader and Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Jil Bongalon said it is only right for the Philippines to adopt a more assertive approach in defending the nation’s rights by pursuing legal action against China.

“I guess we are already tired in the diplomatic approach asking China to stop this and stop that. So, I guess this is a positive development on the part of the administration to collect pieces of evidence so that we can file a case against China,” Bongalon said.

He continued, “Ito po ay pagpapahayag na hindi po tayo papayag sa anuman pong pambu-bully na ginagawa po ng isang mighty country katulad naman po ng Tsina. So, I guess this is a positive development on the administration wherein they’re leading our country in making a more credible and more decisive step in asserting our rights in the WPS.”

Bongalon was reacting to reports quoting the National Security Council (NSC) that the Philippines has started collecting evidence in filing new cases against China over its illegal actions in the WPS.

According to the NSC, the evidence gathered will be forwarded to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for the country’s next legal action against China. 

To recall, in 2013, the Philippines initiated arbitral proceedings against China, leading to the 2016 ruling by the Hague-based Arbitral Tribunal that deemed China’s claims, including its nine-dash line, recent land reclamation efforts, and other activities in Philippine waters, unlawful.

Deputy Majority Leader and PBA Party-list Rep. Margarita “Atty. Migs” Nograles emphasized the significance of evidence and a measured response to address the situation in WPS.

“Even with the arbitral ruling alam naman po natin at ng buong mundo na we are on the right and with this development before nga naman filing any cases you really need to have proof and a lot of pieces of evidence,” Nograles pointed out.

She added, “Hindi naman pwedeng basta-basta at nakikita naman natin na we do not fight violence with violence. Itong mga pambu-bully na ginagawa sa atin we will defend ourselves pero sa tamang pamamaraan.”

For his part, Assistant Majority Leader and Manila 1st District Rep. Ernesto “Ernix” Dionisio Jr. said: “Any evidence that will help our case against the bullying country ay makatutulong po sa ating paglalaban sa ating soberenya.”

Diosnisio also cited President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s stance, particularly the deployment of assets in the WPS, as a powerful message to China and the world that the Philippines will not yield to bullying tactics.

“Tuwang-tuwa lang ako kay Presidente at lahat ng moves ng mga iba-ibang ahensya ng ating pamahalaan is synchronizing all its efforts para malabanan natin ang bullying galing sa ibang bansa,” Dionisio said.