Press Release
September 22, 2023

Tolentino: China evading the coral harvesting issue

MANILA -- Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino said on Friday that China is trying to evade the issue with its recent comment to "stop the political drama" in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) coral harvesting issue.

"Apparently they're trying to evade the issue and not just pictures, but science-based proof would show that the destructions made in Iroquios as well as in Escoda and Sabina are not really due to natural waves or current, but it's man-made," said Tolentino in an interview with CNN's The Source.

Sen. Tol stressed that while "everything has to be subject to proof," initial findings show that China might have been involved.

The Senate Committee on Maritime and Admiralty Zones chairman said: "There's no no denying that they're the only country interested because Escoda, Sabina is sort of the the guard post going to Ayungin [Shoal]."

The said areas, according to Tolentino, are strategic locations to have gas and oil explorations.

Sen. Tol further noted that the Philippines has to file a case to demand damages.

"China will only pay if there is a conclusive proof shown to the entire global community. That would probably place them in a situation that they would behave appropriately," Sen. Tol said.

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