Press Release
July 12, 2022

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the 6th anniversary of Hague Ruling

On the sixth anniversary of the Hague Tribunal's Ruling on the West Philippine Sea, I am calling on the Marcos administration to use its newfound influence with China to protect our interests. This is a chance for the leadership to take a sharper position compared to its predecessor.

Any discussion of "shared prosperity" which will be developed using Philippine resources, must yield to international law and our own constitution. These should always be at the back of our government's mind as it now attempts a "higher level" of engagement with Beijing.

Hopefully, this new "special friendship" puts Filipinos first, unlike the previous administration. No amount of diplomatic relations should ever imperil our sovereignty.

However, to this day, China has barely built any sort of foundation for good will, trust, or respect because of its refusal to accept the court's authority regarding the WPS. Despite tremendous international pressure, they have not heeded the order cited in the Hague Ruling, and have, in fact, increased their violent and illegal presence in Philippine waters.

Promoters of illegal activities, such as the militarization of Philippine territory, must be held to account. China's naval exercises have led to the outright bullying of Filipino fisherfolk and the loss of their livelihood.

China's unlawful and aggressive incursions must also stop, especially their addition of artificial islands in disputed waters. Mr. President, it is your duty to prohibit these operations.

While overlapping exclusive economic zones at the WPS have been a perpetual issue in our region, this should never be a reason to let the trail run cold. Even now, the landmark case victory from the Hague Ruling not only bolsters our case against China, it energizes all citizens to fight for our sovereignty.

Let us do right by our fellow Filipinos and show them why bullies never, ever, win.

Dahil ngayon at bukas, ATIN ANG 'PINAS!

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