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Ipaglaban mo! JV, Kiko urge Duterte to protest China’s incursion in PH waters

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Senators Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Tuesday (Mar. 21) made a twin call to President Duterte to heed the advise of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that of protesting the Chinese incursion into the country’s territorial waters.

“The Scarborough Shoal and Benham Rise are part of the Philippine territory. As it is our sworn duty to protect our territorial integrity and sovereignty, I urge our foreign affairs department to file a strong diplomatic protest against China’s incursions and building activities in Philippine territory,” Ejercito said in a statement.

“As a member of the community of nations, we do not wish to engage in destructive military confrontations. We should therefore exhaust all diplomatic means in asserting our sovereign rights in these territories,” Ejercito added.

Pangilinan made a similar call as he stood against Duterte’s pronouncements that there’s nothing that the government can do should China decide to continue building structures in the Panatag or Scarborough Shoal.

“We cannot simply say we are helpless when 300,000 square kilometres of our territorial waters, an area of about 381,000 square kilometres of our national territory is being annexed by a foreign power. It’s even bigger than the total land area of the Philippines. Given such an area, we just cannot say ‘walang magagagawa’,” he said.

Pangilinan joined Carpio in urging Duterte to reconsider his public pronouncement.

Carpio reminded Duterte of his constitutional duty, being the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to defend the national territory.

He made the statement after Duterte said befoe leaving for Myanmar that the country cannot do anything to stop China from building structures in Scarborough or Panatag Shoal, which under RA 9522, is part of the national territory.