It is high time that the country as one nation stands up to China’s continues incursion in the WPS. By all accounts, it is maritime bullying,” Senator Franklin Drilon said as he commended Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for standing up against China and demanding that it withdraw its fleets from the Julian Felipe Reef.

“The Philippine government should pursue, and strongly and actively call for, the enforcement of the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague,” said Drilon, a leader of the opposition Liberal Party and a critic of the foreign policy of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte..

The Julian Felipe Reef is located within the country’s 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Philippine-claimed West Philippine Sea (WPS).

FILE PHOTO: Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana answer questions during a Reuters interview at the military headquarters of Camp Aquinaldo in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco/File Photo

On Sunday, Lorenzana said China should stop conducting activities in the disputed waters. He said  the presence of China’s maritime militia in Julian Felipe reef reveals China’s intent to further expand its presence in the WPS.

Drilon said it is about time for the country to stand up against the “maritime bullying’ of China.

Drilon said the Philippines must take a strong stand on the continuous incursion of Chinese vessels in theWPS as well as other areas within the country’s exclusive economic zone by raising the 2016 Hague ruling.

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