Press Release
April 27, 2021

Hontiveros signs Senate resolution condemning China's illegal activities in the WPS

Senator Risa Hontiveros has signed the proposed Senate Resolution No. 708 — along with Senators Frank Drilon, Leila de Lima, Ralph Recto, Nancy Binay, Richard Gordon, Kiko Pangilinan, Lito Lapid, Grace Poe, Bong Revilla, and Joel Villanueva — that condemns the illegal activities of the People's Republic of China in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines and other parts of the West Philippine Sea.

"I am one with my colleagues in the Senate in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, China's incessant activities in the WPS. We are united in our call for China to uphold the rule of law and to respect our country's sovereignty. Ang resolusyong ito ay magbibigay ng malakas na senyales sa mamamayang Pilipino na katuwang niyo kami sa paglaban sa panghihimasok ng Tsina," Hontiveros said.

PSR 708 seeks to assert that China's activities are in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in favor of the Philippines. It makes clear that China refusing to play by international rules "must be firmly resisted and denounced."

The resolution also states that "neither close diplomatic and political ties nor promise of donations, aids or loans, whether they actually materialize or not, should be mistaken as acceptance of China's creeping hegemony over our region and country."

Hontiveros also emphasized she is heartened by the numerous organizations — such as fisherfolk groups from affected provinces, the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, the PMA Retirees Association, and business groups, among others — that have jointly condemned China's aggressive behavior in the WPS.

The senator added that the European Union, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, as well as Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia have pushed back against China's recent actions in the South China Sea.

"Our voices are getting louder and stronger. We must keep asserting our victory at the Hague; we must keep making China accountable for her actions; we must keep defending our sovereignty; and we must keep protecting the Filipino people. The more that we consistently amplify our voices, the more that China will be forced to finally rethink her actions," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros had previously called for China to pay over P800 billion in reparations for her environmental and economic damage to the West Philippine Sea. The senator said that the money could be used for the nation's COVID-19 response.

"We cannot shirk our collective responsibility to defend the Philippines. China's overreaching ambitions should never be at the expense of any country, and therefore, her moves that endanger any nation should be blocked at every turn. Hindi tayo nag-iisa, kaya magsama-sama tayong tumindig sa Tsina," Hontiveros concluded.

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