PH urged to enact national territorial defense framework to protect WPS

Published April 14, 2021, 2:35 PM

by Richa Noriega

China will continue to aggressively assert its claims over the South China Sea even beyond the term of President Duterte, a security analyst said on Wednesday, April 14, as he called for enactment of a national territorial defense framework amid the heightened tension in the disputed area.

MARITIME PATROL. Vessels believed to be manned by Chinese maritime militia are seen off the Julian Felipe Reef in the West Philippine Sea based on information from the maritime patrol conducted by the AFP Western Command on Monday (March 22, 2021).
(Photo courtesy of AFP / FILE PHOTO)

Dr. Chester Cabalza, founder and president of International Development and Security Cooperation, said the Philippines should also think of a better and long-term naval strategy to secure maritime integrity particularly in the West Philippine Sea.

 “On the part of the Philippines it has to enact a national territorial defense framework in post-2022 because we have not seen this yet even if there are different national security policy, national security strategy, national defense strategy, and national military strategy that have been completed already,” Cabalza said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s ANC Matters of Fact.

“We have to harmonize all of these and think of the strategy that will help us further better our naval strategy and of course with the help of the maritime laws to secure our maritime integrity particularly in the WPS,” he added.

Cabalaza also emphasized the importance of the diplomatic protests, even calling on the Philippine government to file as many protests against China’s use of force in the WPS.

 “This kind of behavior will continue on so what is important now is that we have to do a lot of diplomatic protest and noises against strategic deception, use of force, and illegitimacy that will hound the narratives of next generation of China’s people because basically these kind of narrative resistance will form part of hundred years of humiliation with China if we continue on doing these,” he added.

The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) said on Tuesday, April 13, the swarming of over 240 Chinese vessels was “prejudicial to the peace and security” in the region.

The task force likewise expressed serious alarm at the reported pursuit of a Filipino vessel by Chinese ships during their voyage at Ayungin Shoal.