By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The chairman of the House special committee on West Philippine Sea urged on Tuesday the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to file a diplomatic protest against China in the wake of Beijing’s reported establishment of weather monitoring stations in the disputed South China Sea.
Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr., former Speaker, said the filing of diplomatic protest would remind the Chinese government that the Philippines will not in any way abandon the landmark unanimous ruling of the United Nations arbitral tribunal in The Hague, which rejected China’s historic nine-dash line.
“I urge the DFA to file a diplomatic protest so that on the record, we protested. And we have not abandoned our Hague victory,” he said in an interview.
“But, we should continue to have mutually beneficial relationship with China,” he added.
Belmonte was part of the high level delegation of executive and legislative officials to The Hague in 2015.
Malacañang said if the reports are proven true, the government is considering filing a diplomatic protest.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said it was up to the DFA to take the appropriate action. The DFA assured that it “will take the appropriate action should these reports be validated.”
News reports quoting the officials of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said weather observation stations have been established on three features in the West Philippine Sea. The stations were located on the disputed Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief reefs.