Press Release
August 24, 2023

Bato on China's claim that PH needs approval to conduct WPS activities: Sino sila?

Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa questions China's recent claims it has allowed the recent successful resupply mission of the Philippines to BRP Sierra Madre due to "humanitarian consideration."

In an interview on Wednesday, Dela Rosa was asked whether or not the Philippines needs China's go signal with regards to exercising its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, to which the former top cop replied in the negative.

"Sino sila? Sino sila para mag-a-approve kung anong dadalhin natin doon para sa ating outpost, para sa ating mga sundalo doon sa outpost? Bakit nila tayo pigilan kung anong gusto nating dalhin? Halata talaga na iyong kanilang pagpipili kung ano lang ang pwedeng madala doon is advancement of their own position. Gusto nila talaga na masira iyong barko nating Sierra Madre para 'pag masira na 'yan, magiba, wala na tayong matitirahan at sila na ang papalit sa atin, aagawin na nila 'yan," Dela Rosa said.

Despite the success of the resupply mission, Philippine Coast Guard - West Philippine Sea Spokesperson Jay Tarriela says the said attempt was "not a walk in the park" as China still worked its way to block the said mission through its usual aggressive tactics.

In the same month, the Senate had just collectively denounced China's continued harassment in the disputed seas with its coast guards water-cannoning a Philippine vessel carrying food and other supplies for the soldiers stationed at BRP Sierra Madre.

The issue was raised last week during the Committee on Finance briefing with the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on the Proposed 2024 National Expenditure Program where Dela Rosa appealed to the government's economic managers to consider increasing the budget of the Defense sector.

This was after the economic team presented the budget they allocated per sector with 37.9% for social services, 29.6% for economic services, 12.1% for debt burden, 15.5% for general public services, and only 4.9% for defense.

"Awang-awa na tayo sa ating mga puwersa doon. Forgive me, my heart goes to the MUP (military and uniformed personnel) because I've been there, done that and saw my people dying before my eyes during encounters with the enemy. Kaya kung itong pambabastos ng China na simpleng tubig lang wala tayong panglaban, kawawa naman talaga iyong ating Coast Guard, kawawa iyong ating Navy," Dela Rosa said.

"Gusto ko lang talagang makalaban iyong ating mga tao doon. Ay napakakawawa talaga. Dagdagan natin kaunti," the former top cop added.

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