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Kiko says Alan should set tone at DFA by filing protest against Xi Jinping’s war threat

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Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urged newly-designated Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano to set the tone in his department by filing a diplomatic protest against China before the United Nations (UN).

Pangilinan made the call following President Duterte’s recent revelations that China had threatened to use force against the Philippines if it will extract oil from Recto Bank, an area in the West Philippine Sea that has already been recognized last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague as part of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Recto or Reed Bank in the Spratly group of islands is being claimed by China as also part of its territory. China has created ‎seven artificial reefs and has steadily militarized the Spratlys since 2011.

Pangilinan, president of the opposition Liberal Party (LP) reiterated their support to resolution No. 158 filed by party mate, Sen. Bam Aquino in Oct. last year, calling on the Senate committees on foreign relations and economic affairs to conduct a hearing, in aid of legislation, on the foreign policy direction of the government.

“This is with the end view of protecting our national interest. The hearing should tackle not only this issue but also the detains of the $24 billion loans and investments recently sealed with China as well as the Duterte administration’s decision to reject aid from the European Union,” he said.