Somebody should be accountable.
Partido Liberal officials on Tuesday called on the government to explain why China was allowed to explore Philippine Rise without permission from concerned agencies.
“Bakit natin pinayagan (Why was this allowed)? This is an affront to our independence,” said former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, Partido Liberal vice president for external affairs.
“Ganito ba ang ibig sabihin na maganda ang relasyon natin sa China? Na pupuwede lang nilang gawin ang gusto nila kahit walang pahintulot (Is this the meaning of having a good relation with China? That they can do what they want without any permission)?” Tañada added.
For his part, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Partido Liberal president, stressed that the Philippine Rise issue is a sovereignty issue.
“Why are we too accommodating towards China? Government should never allow our sovereignty to be undermined by these highly questionable incursions,” said Pangilinan.
Tañada and Pangilinan made the assertions after it was revealed during the Monday hearing of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, chaired by Sen. Bam Aquino, that China conducted hydrographic surveys in the Philippine Rise without the required consent from the Philippine government.
During the course of that research, China named five undersea features through the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
Aquino, for his part, echoed Tañada’s appeal that government explore all channels to overturn China’s move to name the five undersea features in the Philippine Rise.
Earlier, the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) asserted that the Philippine government can call on the IHO to nullify its approval of the Chinese names.
As a sign of good faith, Aquino said China itself could withdraw their naming rights.