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Duterte gives up Spratlys claim in exchange of China aid – De Lima

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The Philippines is “giving up” its rights over fishery and energy resources in the West Philippine Sea in exchange of China’s continued patronage of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Detaiend Sen. Leila de Lima on Tuesday said the Duterte government’s “client-state status vis-à-vis China continues to cost the Philippines its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) simply because China is willing to ignore the Philippine human rights crisis under Duterte.”

At the same time, China’s support to Duterte serves as his government’s “remaining link to the international community, after Philippine global isolation due to its continued state-sanctioned human rights violations,” she said.

“In short, what the Duterte regime is doing in order to continue the killings in its war on drugs is to basically give up our claims over the Spratlys Islands, Scarborough Shoal, and our entire EEZ in the SCS/WPS (South China Sea/West Philippine Sea),” De Lima said.

The International Arbitral Tribunal in 2015 has ruled as illegal China’s 9-dash-line claim over the entire South China that eats up big portions of the Philippines’ EEZ.

“It is ironic that after winning the legal battle against China’s ridiculous 9-dash-line claim, the Philippine becomes the very first country to give up this victory and begin a policy of kowtowing to China,” said De Lima.

De Lima is detained at the Phil. National Police Custodial Center on drug charges.