Press Release
January 27, 2021

Hontiveros to Malacanang: Express concern about China's Coast Guard Law, denounce recent harassment in Pag-asa Island

"Kaka-anunsyo palang ng bagong Coast Guard Law, napaka wala sa lugar agad nilang mang-harass ng mga Pilipino sa sarili nating teritoryo. Malacanang should denounce China's bullying immediately."

This statement from Senator Risa Hontiveros as she took the side of Filipino fisherfolks in Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island who were recently harassed by a Chinese coast guard ship.

"Pagkatapos magpasa ng Tsina ng Coast Guard Law, mga fisherfolks na natin mismo ang humihingi na tuligsain ito ng administrasyon. Tumindig tayo laban sa Tsina. Kampihan naman natin ang ating mga mangingisda," Hontiveros said.

"This is the arrogance of a country that still considers itself the Middle Kingdom and an empire. This is an unacceptable encounter," she added.

The senator earlier cautioned about China's new law, urging the Department of Defense (DND) to immediately create a strategy for if and when the Chinese Coast Guard uses force in our contested waters.

"The law will be passed in February. The next thing we know, Chinese coast guards might not only block, but also shoot at our own boats. Dapat may plano na tayo kasi, huwag naman sana, posibleng mangyari ito," she said.

Hontiveros then called on countries in the ASEAN to reach a consensus and to take multilateral action to stop China's incessant adventurism. The senator explained that the Chinese game plan is to isolate and divide the countries around it so it can deal with them individually through bilateral talks, maximizing its relative advantage in resources and power against any one of its neighbors.

"China should stop its bullying tactics. ASEAN member-states should band together and show China that we will not be bullied into deference. Sama-sama, hinding-hindi tayo mapapaluhod," Hontiveros concluded.

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