Senator Risa Hontiveros vented her frustrations Friday on social media over China’s “continued and growing occupation” of features in the West Philippine Sea, despite the Philippines’ repeated calls for them to leave.
She expressed her dismay that China continues to disregard the Philippines’ sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea (WPS) after seeing the most recent aerial photos of the developments on the artificial islands it has built, taken by Ezra Acayan of Getty Images.
“It is angering to see the continued and growing occupation of China in the West Philippine Sea. Ilang taon na natin pinapanawagan ang paglayas nila sa ating teritoryo pero nagbibingi-bingihan pa rin ang Tsina,” Hontiveros stated.
“Matagal na nating alam ang pagtayo ng Tsina ng mga artificial islands sa ating karagatan at alam niya ang ating matinding pagtutol. The Philippines has not fallen short in making the Chinese gov’t aware of our assertion, not least by bringing the case to The Hague and securing the 2016 legal victory. Then and there, China should have halted her activities in the WPS,” she added.
The senator claimed that China’s obstinacy is posing a challenge for the Philippines and other claimant nations to have a fruitful discussion and reach an amicable agreement on the issue in the ASEAN.
Acayan’s images from a trip on October 25 to the Spratlys show among others “airfields, buildings, recreational facilities, and other structures,” including ports and military outposts, on the artificial islands.
“Siya ang may diperensya, hindi tayo, kaya siya ang mag-wasto,” she said.
“The President had committed not to give up even a square inch of Philippine territory, so I expect that his administration takes definitive action on China’s arrogant contempt and disrespect for our sovereignty. Umaksyon na tayo ngayon bago pa tuluyang masakop ng gahamang dayuhan,” Hontiveros said.