De Lima : Duterte goverment an "accomplice" in China's economic and military expansion

De Lima : Duterte goverment an "accomplice" in China's economic and military expansion

The opposition senators continues to question and doubt the present administration.

Detained Senator Leila De lima just made herself relevant and urged her colleagues to probe the Duterte  administration’s alleged collusion with the Chinese with respect to the research done in Benham Rise. The senator warns that present administrations gives a preferential treatment with respect to China and it is possible that it is already an accomplice in the Chinese plan to extend its military and economic reach in the area.

She stressed that there is a need for the government to limit, if not prevent, Chinese access to the country’s territorial waters as this could expose strategic information that would endanger Manila’s national security.    *
Senator Leila De Lima (photo credit to owner)

The detained senator filed Senate Resolution 604 which aimed to look into supposed “undue preference” given to China to explore the undersea region, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte barred foreign explorations in the region.

Opposition Magdalo Partylist- representative Gary Alejano revealed in the media that Duterte’s stoppage order came two days after Chinese vessels left the area, an indication that they were done with their research.

“Circumstances surrounding Chinese activities in Philippine waters show that China’s interest over strategic areas within Philippine territory present a danger [to] our national interest, including our national security, economic and environmental interests, territorial integrity and sovereignty,” De Lima said.

 De Lima claims that China having access to waters off the country’s eastern seaboard would give Beijing military and scientific advantage by giving them information and access to areas including the Western Pacific Ocean Region.

“Continued tolerance by our government of Chinese incursions over our territorial waters makes our government an accomplice, wittingly or unwittingly, to the Chinese plan of expanding their military and economic reach well beyond their territory,” she said.

In the filed resolution, De Lima stated that China might just be looking for opportunities in the Pacific by increasing its submarine operations, citing former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez who said that the Chinese might just be looking for a thin layer of water called thermocline where their underwater assets could freely operate. *

She said that this was in consonance to the statement of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who said last year that China might be looking for “a place to put submarines” when he ordered the Philippine Navy to shoo China’s vessels away.

The detained senator also stressed doubt on China’s compliance with the country’s regulations in the Philippine Rise as it had already shown “bad faith” by conducting research prior to Manila’s approval.

De Lima is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Quezon City over alleged drug charges connected in the shabu operations in the national penitentiary.

Report from Philstar

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