Press Release
June 18, 2024

On China's latest dangerous and reckless behavior in the West Philippine Sea

I condemn in the strongest possible terms the recurrent and unauthorized entry of Chinese maritime forces into the Philippines' territorial waters.

Such dangerous actions, including the ramming and towing of Philippine vessels, destabilize our region, jeopardize the safety of our citizens, and undermine our sovereign rights.

China acts like a bully by ignoring international maritime laws, including the UNCLOS, disregarding the Philippines' victory in the 2016 Arbitral Award, and failing to respect the freedom of navigation in the region.

Instead of engaging in fair and lawful conduct, China resorts to aggressive and underhanded tactics that escalate tensions in our seas, posing a direct threat to regional stability and international maritime norms.

China must be held accountable for these trespasses and for endangering Filipino lives. It is imperative for the government to utilize all available means to protect our people and our nation.

As I have always said, it is high time that we should speed up strengthening our defense posture by modernizing our military forces.

The Philippines will not be intimidated. The West Philippine Sea is rightfully ours, and we will continue to defend it.

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