By Liza Soriano
One of China’s island reclamation projects in the West Philippines Sea (Photo courtesy of Defense News)
MANILA — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday slammed the recent photos of artificial islands allegedly built by China in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“It is angering to see China’s continued and growing occupation in the West Philippine Sea,” Hontiveros said.
“Ilang taon na natin pinapanawagan ang paglayas nila sa ating teritoryo pero nagbibingi-bingihan pa rin ang Tsina,” she added.
The senator emphasized that China was aware of how strongly the Philippines has opposed the creation of artificial islands on the disputed waters.
“The Philippines has not fallen short in making the Chinese government aware of our assertion, not least by bringing the case to The Hague and securing the 2016 legal victory. Then and there, China should have halted her activities in the WPS,” she said.
The Philippines’ claim to a portion of the South China Sea was supported by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016, invalidating Beijing’s nine-dash line.
“Ngunit ang tigas talaga ng ulo. China is making it hard for the Philippines and all the other claimant countries in the ASEAN to have a productive conversation and a consensual resolution of the matter. Siya ang may diperensya, hindi tayo, kaya siya ang mag-wasto,” the senator said. (ai/mtvn)