Alejano seeks diplomatic protest vs China over militarization of disputed waters

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2018 01:21 AM

MANILA - Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano wants the Philippine government to file a diplomatic protest over China's military weapons in the South China Sea.

"When you file a diplomatic protest, that's saying to the whole world na we're concerned about the militarization. Hindi naman ibig sabihin makipagsigawan tayo or giyera kaagad ang sagot sa problema na 'yan," Alejano said.

Alejano said President Rodrigo Duterte’s friendship with China should not mean looking the other way. 

"Assuming na lang kaibigan niya ang China, hindi naman ibig sabihin we will tolerate all the actions of China that place the region in an unstable situation," he said.

"Now for the Philippines that should raise an alarm to the country because we’re part of the region. Hindi pwede sabihin natin na wala tayong pakialam because that will be selfish on our part because we’re part the stakeholders in the South China Sea and our objective should be peace and stability in the region if we allow militarization there na tayo hindi nagre-raise ng concern then we are a party of the aggressive militarization of China," Alejano explained.

In a statement over the weekend, Alejano took the administration to task for not doing enough. 

“It is crystal clear that China is strengthening its militarization of the South China Sea, having deployed an H-6K bomber aircraft after setting up a missiles system just last month. H-6K is a strategic bomber with combat radius of 3,500 km. The range of the bomber practically covers the entire Philippine territory and should definitely cause alarm. I condemn the recent actions of China as this further erodes peace and stability in the region," he said.

“We are seeing a clear and present danger. Hanggang kailan mananahimik ang administrasyong Duterte sa usaping ito? Liban na lamang kung talagang nagpagapi na ito sa China at naibenta na ang ating mga teritoryo kapalit ng mga loans na may panganib din na maglubog sa atin sa utang," he added.

Malacañang on Monday said it views China’s deployment of bombers in the disputed South China Sea with concern, but it noted that the Philippine government does not consider it as a threat for now.

China's air force has landed bombers on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise in the disputed region, it said in a statement over the weekend.