Speaker Romualdez renews appeals to China: Stop aggressive activities in West Philippine Sea

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Monday reiterated his appeal for China to stop its aggressive activities in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

He made the reiteration in the wake of reports that China’s Coast Guard seized some food items and other supplies airdropped by the Philippine military to a platoon of soldiers manning the aging BRP Sierra Madre, the symbol of Philippine sovereignty in Ayungin Shoal in the WPS.

The leader of the 300-plus-strong House of Representatives said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. has just declared during the Singapore defense summit that he would not give up “even an inch or millimeter” of Philippine territory.

He said Philippines-China relations would not improve as long as Beijing pursues aggressive activities in the West Philippine Sea.

“At sa nangyayari po, we bemoan, at talaga nalulungkot talaga tayo dito sa ginagawa ng ating kapitbahay, mga taga-China, at sana tigilan na nila itong mga aggressive behavior kasi hindi gaganda ang relasyon natin,” he said.

Speaker Romualdez said such activities need not define Philippines-China relations as there are other aspects of such ties that could be improved.

“Sa totoo lang po, hindi dapat itong West Philippine Sea ang magde-define ng ating relasyon between the Philippines and China. Mas marami pang bahagi ng ating relasyon pero habang itong mga aggressive behavior ng China ay isinasagawa ng kanilang mga naval, or Coast Guard, or militia forces, or mga naval assets nila or sea assets, lalong nagiging tense at lumalala ang ating relasyon dito,” he said.

“Pero syempre hindi tayo papayag na ganun-ganun lang ang trato. Kaya we will be very firm and all the respective authorities will be supporting the President’s policy,” he stressed.

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