Take up West Philippine Sea issue with United Nations, Tulfo tells Marcos admin 

At a glance

  • ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo is suggesting a more drastic, yet still diplomatic, move for the Philippines in its bid to protect its interests in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) from China.

FB_IMG_1694447275265.jpgACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo (Facebook)








ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo is suggesting a more drastic, yet still diplomatic, move for the Philippines in its bid to protect its interests in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) from China. 

Tulfo said the Marcos goverment through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should sponsor a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) calling on China to stop unlawful actions in the WPS. 

The deputy majority leader for communications made this pitch in House Resolution (HR) No. 1766. He said that this was in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). 

“The landmark decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Case No. 2013-19, known as Republic of the Philippines vs. People's Republic of China, conclusively invalidated the Chinese government's expansive claims under the so-called 'nine-dash line,' declaring such to be incompatible with the provisions of UNCLOS, thus upholding the Philippines' sovereign rights over its EEZ and continental shelf in the WPS,” Tulfo said in the resolution. 

Despite this ruling, China has “steadfastly refused to acknowledge and comply with the arbitration award, persisting in its increasingly unlawful actions in the WPS, including the harassment of Philippine vessels and construction of artificial islands equipped with military installations, airstrips, and other strategic infrastructure within Philippine waters". 

“This year alone, aggressive maneuvers and water cannon attacks by Chinese vessels  against the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Filipino fisherfolk underscore China's blatant disregard for international law and the legal maritime rights of the Philippines, thereby diminishing our territorial integrity and compromising regional stability and security," he said. 

Last May 15, China promulgated the "Regulations on Administrative Law Enforcement Procedures for Coast Guard Agencies". Taking effect on June 15, the directive reportedly authorizes the China Coast Guard (CCG) to detain foreign nationals suspected of 'illegal entry' into its waters for up to 60 days without trial. 

“This further exacerbates the already volatile situation and poses a direct challenge to well-settled international maritime laws and principles,” Tulfo added in the resolution. 

Tulfo also noted that his resolution is also in line with President Marcos' earlier statement on the Philippines' unwavering commitment to resolving disputes through peaceful means, emphasizing the importance of dialogue and diplomacy in addressing complex regional issues. 

President Marcos also articulated the "Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept," a strategic framework aimed at building the Philippines' defense capabilities and investing in diplomacy. 

“In pursuit of the stance of the President before the international community, it is thus imperative for the Philippine Government, through the DFA, to assert its rights over the WPS and intensify diplomatic efforts to obtain international support against China’s unlawful acts,” Tulfo averred. 

The neophyte lawmaker insisted that one of the diplomatic avenues available to the Philippines is to bring the issue before the UN. 

Tulfo said the UN, through its resolutions, can significantly influence international norms and policies, providing a robust platform for the Philippines to assert its maritime rights and seek global support against unlawful actions by any state, thereby reinforcing the importance of the rule of law in resolving such disputes.