Senate adopts resolution 'strongly condemning' China’s harassment, other incursions in WPS

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 1) – The Senate adopted a resolution on Tuesday that strongly condemns China's continued harassment of Filipino fisherfolk and its persistent incursions in the West Philippines Sea.

Sponsored by Senate President Migz Zubiri and Sen. Risa Hontiveros, the resolution urged the government to take “appropriate action in asserting and securing the Philippines' sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf," as well as to call on China to stop its “illegal activities.”

It also asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to bring international attention to China's harassment, assert the enforcement of the 2016 ruling of the arbitral tribunal on the South China Sea, and to file a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly to end China's harassment.

“When it comes to matters of national sovereignty, we will never be bullied into submission. In the face of relentless China propaganda since last week, we held our ground,” Hontiveros said.

“The fight against China’s reckless behavior in the West Philippine Sea does not end here,” she added.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin earlier said the government is considering all actions available in the United Nations to address issues that the country is facing in the West Philippines Sea.

“We are not ruling out anything because that is also part of our diplomatic tact, bringing this to the attention of the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) or the Security Council," Bersamin said. "Nothing is given up there, nothing is abandoned. All these options are open to us."

READ: Bersamin: PH open to all options in UN to address issues in West Philippine Sea 

Meanwhile, Ambassador Henry Bensurto Jr., lead counsel of the DFA's legal team when it first filed the case against China in 2016, said Beijing continues to reject the 2016 Hague ruling because “of their knowledge and their analysis that they can change us [Philippines].”

“China knows it is wrong...but for China to understand that and to accept that, we ourselves must be able to make them understand that,” Bensurto said.

READ: 7 years on, more can be done to maximize potential of 2016 Hague ruling on South China Sea – envoy