Bayan Muna chairman and Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate issued their support to the case filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials for allegedly committing crimes against humanity in connection with China’s activities to gain control over most of the South China Sea.

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales filed the case before the International Criminal Court on March 15 or two days before the Philippines’ exit from the tribunal.

“This is one way of asserting our sovereignty against China. We should use every venue both here and internationally to expose and fight China’s takeover of our seas,” said the Makabayan senatorial bet.

“Atin ang West Philippine Sea. The UN Arbitral Tribunal affirmed that. The case now filed in the ICC is an assertion of our legitimate rights over our exclusive economic zone and a means especially for our fisherfolk to get justice,” he said.

It can be remembered that Colmenares and Bayan Muna filed a case in the Supreme Court in 2008 to declare the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) with China as unconstitutional and has been in fact used by China to map out the resources in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and with this knowledge started their aggressive actions.

“Protest actions from Filipinos all over the world should also be launched to show to the Chinese government that we are not push overs,” added Colmenares.

Rep.Zarate meanwhile said that ” we have continually called on the Duterte administration to send the Philippine coast guards to accompany or escort our hapless fisherfolks at Bajo de Masinloc or in the other areas where we have valid claims in the West Philippine Sea. We have to show China that we are serious in defending our people as well as our territory. Our officials should always assert our independence, instead of them acting as apologists for China, who apparently now treat the Philippines as her vassal state,”
“China is apparently treating the Duterte administration as a push over by doing what they want in Bajo de Masinloc and the rest of the West Philippine Sea without nary a whimper from Malacanang,” said the Davao-based solon.
“We are not saying that we declare war on China. But what we need is for Malacanang to stand up for our fisherfolks and our territory. We have already suggested in the past the filing of a diplomatic protest and increasing patrols of our seas, among others. One thing is clear though, the government must do something now to stop this creeping invasion of China,” ended Rep.Zarate.###

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