Del Rosario urges Duterte gov’t: Protest new Chinese districts in South China Sea


MANILA, Philippines – Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario called on the Duterte government to file a diplomatic protest against China’s creation of two districts in the South China Sea, saying the Philippines must be “extra vigilant” in defending its sovereign rights even as it combats the coronavirus pandemic.

“We…respectfully urge our government to protest this recent action of China, as it rightly did over the sinking of the Vietnamese fishing boat on April 8, 2020,” Del Rosario said in a statement on Sunday night, April 19.

“These recent events in the South China Sea remind us Filipinos to be eternally vigilant in the defense of our country’s territory and sovereign rights even as we confront a very grave threat as COVID-19,” he added.

Del Rosario – under whose leadership the Philippines took China to court and won – said Beijing’s recent moves only showed it “has been relentless in exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to pursue its illegal and expansive claims in the South China Sea.”