MANILA - China must be held accountable for its bullying, the Philippines' former top diplomat said Thursday, after a Chinese vessel allegedly rammed a Filipino fishing boat in disputed waters.
Twenty-two Filipinos were left at sea off Reed Bank in what the Philippine military described as a "hit-and-run." Malacanang had called on Beijing to "sanction" the Chinese ship crew.
"What is obvious is that Goliath, the neighborhood bully, will continue to rear its ugly head to intimidate our poor fishermen," said former Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario.
It was Del Rosario who pursued the Philippines' winning arbitration case against China. Together with former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, he also filed a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court.
"We must accept that Beijing has absolutely no respect for the rule of law," he said. "We need to find a way to hold China's leadership accountable."
Del Rosario said he hoped the ICC filing would be treated with "greater urgency" and that "crimes against humanity must be curtailed."