April 23, 2012
Casiño calls for diplomatic full court press vs China on Panatag (Scarborough) shoal issue, seeks use of parliamentary channels
Party list Rep. Teddy Casiño today called on the leadership of both Houses of Congress to use the international parliamentary arena as part of a “diplomatic full court press” against China on the Panatag (Scarborough) shoal issue.
“I am calling on Speaker Sonny Belmonte and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to use our international parliamentary networks in support of the Philippine position. As standing members of the Asian Parliamentary Association (AIPO) and the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) we should use these venues to gather international support for our sovereign claim over Panatag shoal,” said the progressive lawmaker.
“I will personally write parliamentarians in other countries to express concern or support for the Philippine position. It would be good for parliamentarians in other nations to deliver privilege speeches or parliamentary inquiries on the matter,” he added
“It will not be difficult to get the support of parliaments and their individual members because our exercise of sovereignty is based in international conventions and practices,” said the solon.
“We may not win through military might but certainly we are strong in the legal, moral and diplomatic arenas. Let’s focus on that,” he said.
Casiño, a member of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, also said that there must be a diplomatic offensive to get the other countries to protest the instability caused by Chinese aggressive acts in the region. “Other countries should be involved as well because they may be the next target of China’s bullying.”
“For one, Congress and its members can 1.convene a summit of other legislative bodies and members in the region to address the issue; 2.lobby other legislative bodies to issue a strongly worded statement condemning the incursions and urging its immediate diplomatic resolution,” said the progressive lawmaker.
“We should urge individual parliaments and parliamentarians to voice out their concern because this is not simply an issue between the Philippines and China but a regional and an international concern,” he stressed.
“This standoff would be best settled at the soonest time possible because it has dire consequences not just on our diplomatic policy but on the lives of thousands of fisher folk families who rely on fishing on the shoal for their livelihood,” ended Casiño.