MANILA— Two senators on Monday said that they support the call of Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio to bring to the United Nations China’s threat of war if the Philippines drills for oil in its exclusive economic zone in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
In a speech in Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte said that Chinese President Xi Jinping warned of war if the Philippines will insist on its rights to the exclusive economic zone.
Carpio said that the threat was a “violation” of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia to which China and the Philippines are parties.
“Justice Carpio is right. Dapat i-bring up ito sa attention ng UN. After all, China is a member. So dapat i-pursue natin dahil di maganda yan (We should bring this up to the attention of UN. After all, China is a member. We should pursue this because it’s not good),” Lacson told reporters in an interview.
Lacson stressed that friendship between Philippines and China should be “based on goodwill” but it is not goodwill if one party was threatening of going to war.
“If we want to be friendly with China, it can still be pursued. But sabi ko nga, friendship should be based on goodwill. Hindi pwedeng ang magkakaibigan, nagte-threaten (But like I said, friendship should be based on goodwill. Friends don’t threaten each other),” Lacson said.
He said that the Philippines could either file a diplomatic protest or even just a manifestation basing our claim on the UN arbitral ruling.
He said it was right for President Duterte to insist on the Philippines’ claim during his conversation with his Chinese counterpart noting the claims had basis.
On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that China’s threat was a “serious case” that should not be taken lightly.
“The Philippine government should immediately elevate the threat that the Chinese President allegedly issued against the Philippines over the West Philippines Sea to the United Nations,” Drilon said, adding that the threat “is a gross violation of the United Nations’ Charter.”
Drilon cited Article 2, Section 4 of the UN Charter which states that “all members shall refrain in their institutional relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations.
“We should stand up to China. We should not allow our country to be bullied and threatened,” the senator said.