The Hague, The Netherlands – Patriotic and democracy-loving Filipinos in Europe stand today here in The Hague in solidarity with our compatriots in the Philippines to uphold and defend the Filipino people’s national sovereignty and to strongly condemn and protest China’s continuing violation of our sovereign rights over the Philippine exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf in the West Philippine Sea.

These sovereign rights are upheld by the Philippine Constitution, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the judgment made by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on July 12 2016 in favor of the Philippines against China’s invalid claim of owning 90 per cent of the South China Sea and depriving the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries of their sovereign rights.

China has been arrogantly and adamantly disrespecting international laws and Philippine sovereignty. It has time and again intruded into Philippine territory and violated our sovereign rights, plundered our marine resources and inflicted grave harm on our compatriot fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.

Recently at the Recto Reef a Chinese vessel intruded into our exclusive economic zone in the vicinity of Recto Bank and rammed a small Philippine fishing boat and endangered the lives of 22 Filipino fishermen and crew. Instead of helping the fishermen, the Chinese vessel fled the scene and left the boat and crew floundering in clear violation of the laws of the seas for abandoning the fishermen.

We strongly deplore the Duterte regime for displaying unabashed puppetry and cowardliness to China by letting these incidents pass without a single tongue-lashing that he is known to do. The Duterte regime is condemnable for tolerating and encouraging China’s unfounded and illegal claims over the West Philippine Sea.

We commit ourselves to fight these continuing transgressions on Philippine sovereignty by China and the Duterte regime’s treasonous subservience and sell-out of sovereign rights to China which amounts to blatant violation of the Philippine Constitution which it should be defending and upholding in the face of these transgressions from a foreign imperialist power.

We will continue to organize and mobilize our compatriots and call on our international solidarity friends to join us in denouncing China’s violation of our sovereignty, and in calling on more compatriots to denounce, resist, and to make the Duterte regime account for its treason, puppetry and crimes against the Filipino people.#