Press Release
December 5, 2023

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the swarming of vessels near Julian Felipe Reef

This is appalling, but again, not surprising. We have seen this before. In 2021, over 200 ships were moored near Julian Felipe Reef, urging our government to then file a diplomatic protest. In 2022, they returned again. Ngayon, umulit nanaman.

Araw-araw, may plano ang Tsina na saklawin ang mga teritoryo natin. Maliwanag na sila talaga ang nag-uumpisa ng gulo, hindi tayo.

No matter how many times our government and the international community condemn China's illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea, Beijing simply does not listen.

By now, we should be doing more than fire off a diplomatic protest. We have to execute actionable on-the-ground steps to prevent the Chinese from any reclamation and base-building activities in Julian Felipe. Tiwala ako na gagawin na ito ng National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine Coast Guard must also be applauded for upholding their duty to patrol our seas despite China's overwhelming presence. Dapat maparami narin natin ang hanay nila para tuluyan nang maitaboy ang Tsina.

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