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Bayan Muna backs ICC case against China: ‘Atin ang West PH Sea’

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Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Saturday expressed support for the case filed in the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Chinese President Xi Jinping for crimes against humanity in connection with China’s activities in the South China Sea.

“This is one way of asserting our sovereignty against China. We should use every venue both here and internationally to expose and fight China’s takeover of our seas,” said Colmenares, the Makabayan senatorial bet.

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales filed the case before the ICC on March 15 or two days before the Philippines’ exit from the tribunal.

“Atin ang West Philippine Sea. The UN Arbitral Tribunal affirmed that. The case now filed in the ICC is an assertion of our legitimate rights over our exclusive economic zone and a means especially for our fisherfolk to get justice,” he said.

Colmenares and Bayan Muna filed a case in the Supreme Court in 2008 to declare the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) with China as unconstitutional.

“Protest actions from Filipinos all over the world should also be launched to show to the Chinese government that we are not push overs,” added Colmenares.

Zarate said: “We have continually called on the Duterte administration to send the Philippine coast guards to accompany or escort our hapless fisherfolks at Bajo de Masinloc or in the other areas where we have valid claims in the West Philippine Sea.

“We have to show China that we are serious in defending our people as well as our territory. Our officials should always assert our independence, instead of them acting as apologists for China, who apparently now treat the Philippines as her vassal state,” he added.

“China is apparently treating the Duterte administration as a pushover by doing what they want in Bajo de Masinloc and the rest of the West Philippine Sea without nary a whimper from Malacanang,” said the Davao-based solon.

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