'Leave WPS', opposition senators tell China after alleged waste-dumping in Spratlys

Published July 13, 2021, 6:55 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Opposition Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday, July 13, reiterated their call to China to leave the West Philippine Sea (SWS) after it was reported that some of the country’s ships have been dumping human waste and sewage in the area.

Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan (Senate of the Philippines)

“Hindi na nga sa inyo, sisirain niyo pa. Umalis kayo riyan (It’s not even your territory and you had the nerve to destroy it. Leave),” Pangilinan said in a statement.

Satellite images released by United States-based firm Simularity bared that Chinese vessels have been disposing sewage and ship wastewater over the South China Sea, including the Spratlys Islands, or the Kalayaan Island Group, for several years, damaging reefs and other marine resources.

“Tapunan ng basura ang trato sa ating bansa. Ganito ang isinusukli ng China sa mga sunud-sunuran, tikom ang bibig, at kaduwagan. Wala tayong utang na loob sa mga umaagaw sa ating yamang dagat at karagatan, sa mga inaalipusta ang ating mga mangingisda (The Philippines is being a treated as a garbage bin. This is how China repays the submissive, the silent, and cowards. We do not owe those who rob our marine resources and seas and those who bully our fishermen anything),” Pangilinan said.

Hontiveros, for her part, said the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should investigate the incident and also look into extent of the damage done by the Chinese vessels.

She insisted that China should pay ₱800 billion for the damages of its incursions in the WPS.

“Dapat patuloy din ang ating panawagang paalisin na ng Tsina ang kanilang mga barko (We should continue to appeal that China should withdraw their ships),” Hontiveros said.

“Hindi lang ito political o legal issue, itong laban para sa ating karapatan sa WPS ay isyu ng sikmura (This is not only a political or legal issue, this fight for our rights over the WPS is a hunger issue),” Pangilinan also said.

Other senators have also assailed the reported waste-dumping activities by Chinese vessels in the WPS.