DOJ recommends filing of cases vs China over coral harvesting in West PH Sea

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Tuesday said his agency is recommending the filing of cases against China over the massive coral harvesting in reefs of the West Philippine Sea.

In a press briefing, Remulla noted he will talk to Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin “the soonest possible time.”

“With or without a territorial dispute, the destruction of the environment is a sin against humanity kaya it’s a very good case to file on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines for the sake of humanity itself,” he stressed.

Remulla said the matter is “a very ripe case” for adjudication in international tribunals.

On Monday, the Philippine Coast Guard confirmed the "severe damage" to the marine environment and coral reef in the seabed of Rozul Reef and Escoda Shoal — areas frequented by Chinese maritime militia. 

Senator Risa Hontiveros also urged the government to sum up all the environmental damage in the WPS, stressing this was “just the latest [incident]” of “abuse” done by China to the Philippines along the contested waterway. 

Remulla said the government will tap the best legal experts and environmental lawyers in the country.

“We will pursue these cases against China because ang pangit na, eh, no. Marami na tayong ebidensya [It’s ugly already. We have a lot of evidence,” he said.

CNN Philippines' digital producer Syrah Vivien Inocencio contributed to this story.