By ROGER M. BALANZA
President Rodrigo Duterte should ask the country’s neighbors and allies , including the United States, Japan and Australia, to join the Philippines’ fight against China and its illegal occupation of the country’s territory.
Senator Franklin DrIlon made this suggestion as China refused to move out its vessels in the West Philippine Sea, which is under the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EZZ), deSpite continued protests by the Philippines.
“Apart from the protests, which I support, we should, as an objective, get the other nations to confront China, including our allies—United States, Japan and Australia. We must unite against the unlawful Chinese incursion in the West Philippine Sea,” Drilon said.
But while making a suggestion on how to resolve the territorial conflict withChina, Drilon also snapped at Duterte’s “policy of appeasement and accommodation toward China.”
This presidential complacency encouraged Beijing to ignore the Philippines’ protests and continue its occupation of waters well within the country’s 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone, said Drilon.
Drilon said the Philippines has legal basis in “rightfully and forcefully asserting the country’s claims on the West Philippine Sea” based on the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in favor of the Philippines .