• PH should stand up to China – senators


    SOME senators on Monday said the government should not take the threat Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly issued against the country lightly and must show China that the Philippines will not allow itself to be bullied.

    According to Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, the Chinese leader’s threat, if true, is a gross violation of the UN Charter.

    Drilon particularly cited Article 2, Section 4 of the UN Charter that states, “All members shall refrain in their institutional relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations.”

    “The Philippine government should immediately elevate the threat that the Chinese President allegedly issued against the Philippines over the West Philippines Sea to the United Nations,” the minority leader said, referring to the South China Sea.

    He added that the Philippines should stand up to China and not allow to be bullied and threatened.

    Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio earlier urged the Philippine government to file another case against Beijing before the UN arbitral tribunal for threatening war against the Philippines over disputed territories in the South China Sea.

    But the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has chosen to explore peaceful mechanisms first before considering running to the UN.

    DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar cited that the completed draft framework of the Code of Conduct between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China and the start of the Philippines-China bilateral consultation meetings as among the avenues the Philippine could take in resolving the dispute in the South China Sea.

    Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the supposed mention of war by the Chinese President regardless if it was indirect or not is considered a threat and the Philippines should bring it to the attention of the United Nations.

    Carpio, according to Lacson, was right in suggesting that the government should put UN into the picture because the reported threat is a very serious matter.

    “Friendship should be based on goodwill. But where can you find goodwill if there is threat of going to war in case the Philippines pursues its right to explore based on what we believe is ours,” he said.

    The senator added that the Philippines could either file a diplomatic protest or just a manifestation so long as the issue is brought to the attention of the UN, instead of not doing anything about it. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA



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