PH to hold China ‘accountable’, says Locsin

By Roy Mabasa

If China intensifies its activities in the South China Sea such as establishing an air defense system in Scarborough Shoal, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he will not hesitate in holding China accountable for its action.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit / MANILA BULLETIN) Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit / MANILA BULLETIN)

“I would appear in the United Nations and blast China,” Locsin told the ANC’ Headstart program on Monday.

Given that scenario, Locsin insists that he will fire a protest again and again and assert the victory achieved by the Philippines in the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague.

The DFA secretary said he is grateful to former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and the administration of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III for filing an arbitration case against China.

“They sued China as they should, and all we have is the law. We do not have power,” Locsin pointed out.

On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration awarded the Philippines with victory over its petition to invalidate China’s outrageous nine-dash-line claim in the South China Sea.

However, Beijing refused to honor the international court’s decision and instead continued with its massive building of artificial islands in the vast swathe body of waters in the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, Locsin said he will bring up with China the yet to be paid “compensation” for the 22 Filipino fishermen whose fishing boat, the F/B Gem-Vir, was sunk by a Chinese vessel in the waters off Reed bank on June 9, 2019.

Locsin recalled that in August 2019, the Guangdong Fisheries Mutual Insurance Association wrote Philippine Ambassador to Beijing Jose Sta. Romana offering compensation.

“China offered several times – last at the BCM (Bilateral Consultation Meeting). But no response. Well, we were celebrating our bravery calling China to account for a private incident to pay attention,” the DFA chief said in a tweet.

The Department of Justice is said to be coordinating with the fishermen in Occidental Mindoro through the provincial prosecutor to assess the amount of compensatory damages.