House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna MP Carlos Isagani Zarate on Wednesday April 28 called on the government to deploy the Philippine Coast Guard in the West Philippine Sea to escort Filipino fishermen.
Zarate appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte when he strongly condemned China for harassing and confiscating the catches of Filipino fishermen from waters of Filipino territory in Bajo de Masinloc and other parts of the WPS.
“Now send our coast guards to escort our fishermen into the West Philippine Sea (WPS)!” He said when daring Duterte to take immediate action to protect the rights of Filipino fishermen.
He accused the Duterte government of “laconic measures to defend our Filipino fishermen and national sovereignty”. “We call on the Duterte government to send the Philippine Coast Guard not only for short exercises, but above all to help our unfortunate fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc and in the other areas where we have valid claims in the West Philippine Sea. to accompany or accompany. Said Zarate in a press release.
“We have to show China that we are serious about defending our people and our territory. Our officials should always assert our independence rather than acting as excuses for China, which apparently is now treating the Philippines as their vassal state, ”he said.
“China appears to be treating the Duterte government as a push by doing what it wants in Bajo de Masinloc and the rest of the West Philippine Sea without a whimper from Pres.Duterte,” noted the opposition legislature.
However, he made it clear that his proposal should not be misunderstood as an attempt to wage war against China, a world superpower.
“We are not saying that we are declaring war on China. But what we need is that Pres.Duterte stands up for our fishermen and our territory, ”he said.
Zarate explained: “One of the things we have proposed in the past is to increase patrols on our seas. One thing is clear, however: the government must do something now to stop this invasion of China. “However, the soloist of the partyists also attacked plans by the United States and its allies to step up and expand their naval patrols in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) to challenge China’s military build-up in the region.
“The situation in the WPS is already getting serious. The US and China should stop their saber rattling to ease tension in the region, ”said Zarate.
“The Philippines and other claimants in the region find themselves in a situation where two (2) bullies fight and beat each other in their backyard, regardless of the backyard or the nearby homes and their residents,” he said.
“We are again calling on our neighbors and co-applicants such as Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia, together with the Philippines, to unite and defend themselves against these bullies. We also call on the international community to intervene and put pressure on the US and China to demilitarize and de-escalate tensions in the region, ”said the opposition leader.
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