By Billy Begas
House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Tuesday urged the House of Representatives “to register its collective voice against China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).”
Zarate said the Makabayan bloc has filed at least five resolutions on WPS issues “Yet, until now, not one has been heard by the appropriate House committee.”
He was referring to House Resoluion (HR) 8 on China’s intrusion in Recto Bank, HR 254 on the alleged Chinese companies plan to buy Fuga, Grande and Chiquita islands, HR 835 on the gun pointing incident of a Chinese warship against BRP Conrado Yap, HR 1169 on collision between the Chinese vessel M/V Viena Wood and F/V Liberty 5 and the abandonment of 14 fish worker victims, and HR 1675 on the swarming of Chinese maritime militia in Julian Felipe reef.
“Congress should not stand idly by when there are infringement on our territory and sovereignty,” said Zarate.
He also called for the “complete demilitarization of the South China Sea” amid the ramping up of military and naval presence by China, United States and other western powers in the disputed maritime region.
“The recent aggressive and expansionist actions of China is now apparently being taken as a cue by western powers, particularly the U.S., France, etc., to increase its military and naval presence in the region. This increasing militarization of the South China Sea, including our West Philippine Sea, is making this region a potential flashpoint for trouble,” he added.
Zarate also called for the passage of a code of conduct among all claimant countries.