|Loida Nicolas Lewis
MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos around the world are gearing up for a mass action against China.
The U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance is calling on Filipinos to mount demonstrations in front of Chinese embassies and consulates at noon on May 11 in protest of China's bullying over the Scarborough Shoal.
"I'm calling on global Pinoys who are concerned about this intrusion of China... let's stand up and show up on Friday May 11," said Loida Nicolas Lewis, National Chairperson for the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance, on "[email protected]
"International opinion may make them realize they're not a good citizen."
Lewis insisted China has no right to intrude into the Philippines' territorial boundaries and should subject itself to the jurisdiction of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea or ITLOS.
Lewis said they hope the show of force on Friday will pressure China to stop its overt action and instead seek a peaceful resolution over the Scarborough dispute before the international court.
"The international family of nations should see that this big wannabe superpower China is not following the law. They are in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), they are in violation of the convention on international trade of endangered species and the international law regarding who has control over property or real estate," she said.
Protests in Manila will take place outside the World Center on Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City.
Protests are also set in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as Toronto and Vancouver, Canada and Sydney, Australia, while talks are also ongoing for the participation of Filipinos in Rome, Italy, Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong.
Lewis said China continues to disrespect the territorial rights of other nations especially the Philippines.
China has repeatedly turned a deaf ear to calls by the Philippine government to bring the question on the ownership of Scarborough before the international court.
Lewis said the Philippines has effective jurisdiction over Panatag Shoal or the Bajo de Masinloc, an area off Zambales rich in oil and mineral deposits, since 1973 and 1801.
Chinese officials have also called for decisive actions against the Philippines to resolve the territorial dispute in the area. The impasse over Scarborough began three weeks ago after Chinese vessels were discovered poaching in the area. The Philippines has since sent vessels to assert its sovereignty over the area.
At the first 2+2 meeting between the United States and the Philippines on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, America supports a diplomatic resolution to the territorial dispute but is against any use of threat or force.
Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said, the U.S. vowed to support the Philippines when it brings the Scarborough dispute to international legal bodies.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said, the Philippines is pursuing a three-track approach to the Scarborough shoal dispute: a political track which will put together a code of conduct under the ASEAN framework, a legal track which will use dispute settlement mechanisms under the UNCLOS, and a diplomatic track, which involves consultations with China to defuse the tension.