(Eagle News)–Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon reiterated his push for multilateral talks in dealing with the West Philippine Sea issue, following the Recto Bank incident that prompted the Philippines to file a diplomatic protest against China.
In an interview over radio dzbb, Drilon said the incident had shown that bilateral talks were “not effective.”
“Babalewalain tayo ng China. Malakas ang kanilang ekonomiya. Malakas ang kanilang sandatahang lakas,” Drilon said.
According to Drilon, in the first place, “hindi lang naman Pilipinas ang nagke-claim dito.”
“Maraming involved dito. Para sa stability and peace ng WPS, dapat maraming bansa ang nag-uusap. Hindi ubra ng China at Pilipinas ang nag-uusap; dapat lahat ng involved sa disputes ay maupo at pag-usapan ito,” he said.
He said an apology on the part of China was also “in order.”
“Nagkasala sila. Whether deliberate or by accident, ang China ay nagkamali rito dahil binangga nila ang Philippine vessel na muntik ng ikamatay ng 22 Pilipino. We should demand an apology from them,” Drilon said.
The Palace has denounced the June 9 incident that saw a Chinese vessel hitting a Filipino fishing boat, and then leaving the 22 Filipino fishermen on board as their boat sank.
The Chinese embassy has said it was “seriously probing” the incident even as it noted that no hit-and-run had taken place.
The embassy said the Chinese vessel only left after it confirmed that Filipino boats had come to the rescue of the 22 fishermen.
It added the Chinese vessel had been “besieged” by seven or eight Filipino boats while “at berth” in the area.