MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday called China “hardheaded” and the “biggest plague” when she slammed the continued presence of Chinese ships at the Julian Felipe Reef in the Western Philippine Sea.
“In titigas ng ulo. The Chinese ships in the Julian Felipe reef must leave immediately. If they are fishing boats as China claims, then they cannot fish in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) without our permission. Misunderstanding about ba o sadya na tayong niloloko? Hontiveros said in a statement.
She also said the Philippines was “not alone” and the international community stands with the country in condemning “persistent fraud and aggression.”
“China can pack better and leave. The world is taking up the gray zone smoker screen. How long will it take ‘civilian’ ships to pursue military activities in our EEZ? A strategy based on lies and deception does not always make one sublime; sometimes it even exposes someone as a liar, ‘she added.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana previously reiterated that the Philippines had filed a diplomatic protest over the presence of the ships in the area.
“We reiterate our demand for the Chinese to leave our sovereign territories and abide by international law,” Lorenzana said.
Hontiveros also called China “the biggest plague in Asia” to continue “plaguing” the Western Philippine Sea.
“The Chinese Communist Party wants to be the leader of Asia, but instead it has become the biggest plague in Asia. Instead of uniting the region, it has united the region against them. How long can such a regime have any kind of mandate to lead the region? “she said.
She further reiterated that the Philippine government should have already had effective ways to “pay China for its invasions.”
“Beijing has already damaged parts of the sea that are out of repair and it is only right that it pays for this irreversible destruction,” she said.
“We have to act now. We need to drive these ‘fishing vessels’ out of our EEZ and dismantle all illegal structures on the reefs and features we claim. “Any delay at our end is an opportunity for China to seize what is right and proper of us,” she added. Liezelle Soriano Roy, trainee
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