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Erwin Tulfo wants UN General Assembly to intervene amid Chinese aggression in WPS

A resolution calling on the United Nations General Assembly to intervene in the continued Chinese aggression against Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea has been filed in the House of Representatives.

In House Resolution 1766, House Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo said UN intervention in this case is in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) and an international tribunal's July 2016 ruling that invalidated China's massive claims over nearly the whole South China Sea.

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.

“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 West Philippine Sea,” Tulfo said in the resolution.

"[But] 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 added.

Tulfo also cited China's May 15, 2024 promulgation of the "Regulations on Administrative Law Enforcement Procedures for Coast Guard Agencies," effective June 15, 2024, which reportedly authorizes the China Coast Guard to detain foreign nationals suspected of "illegal entry" into what it calls 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 said.

He also said his resolution is in line with President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.’s 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.

“In pursuit of the stance of the President before the international community, it is thus imperative for the Philippine Government, through the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), to assert its rights over
the WPS and intensify diplomatic efforts to obtain international support against China’s unlawful acts,” Tulfo added. — BM, GMA Integrated News