HOUSE Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares ” strongly supported” the position of retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio to bring the South China Sea dispute to the United Nations (UN).
At the same time, Zarate and Colmenares called on President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte to initiate a resolution with the UN General Assembly for a UN supervised demilitarization of the disputed area and pave the way for its peaceful resolution.”
“We strongly support the move of former acting Supreme Court Chief Justice Antonio Carpio that the Philippines submit the dispute to the United Nations. We also demand that President Duterte file a resolution with the UN General Assembly calling for the UN to supervise the complete demilitarization of the South China Sea,” said Zarate, a Davao-based congressman.
“Complete demilitarization requires all countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam and China, to dismantle any military installation and prohibits any military facility in the South China Sea.
We urge other disputant countries such as Vietnam to support the Philippine resolution and generate votes with the General Assembly,” said Zarate, a progressive lawmaker.
“Under Article 35 of the UN Charter, any member of the United Nations may bring any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute” that may endanger international peace and security, as is happening now in the disputed South China Sea,” Zarate explained
“It is almost certain that majority of the UN members will vote for the complete demilitarization of the South China Sea recognizing that China threatens international peace with its military expansionism in the region and will not allow for a peaceful resolution of the dispute if it maintains military superiority in the South China Sea. Once all military installations in the South China Sea, including those from Vietnam, Philippines and China are dismantled, then all disputants can sit and discuss the peaceful resolution of the dispute. We do not agree to the position of China that the resolution of the dispute is through China’s bilateral negotiation with each disputant country, as what China is doing with the Philippines today. This is a divide and rule tactic that ensures China’s superiority in the negotiating table,” Zarate stressed.
Meanwhile, Colmenares, a former congressman, said that ‘the Philippine resolution merely asserts that, despite the Tribunal decision, the militarization of the South China Sea threatens peace and stability in the region and asks the United Nations General Assembly to supervise the demilitarization of the area.”
“The United Nations had recently supervised the demilitarization of various conflict areas such as Africa and demilitarizing the South China Sea will get the support of many countries,” Colmenares pointed out.
“The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and the Confederation of Lawyers in Asia Pacific (COLAP), of which the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia are members, recently called for the complete demilitarization of the South China Sea. It seems that peoples in disputant countries are willing to abandon their military installations in the search for a peaceful resolution of the dispute.
It is therefore likely that a demilitarization resolution from the Philippines and other disputant countries will get the support of many UN members who want to resolve the South China Sea dispute once and for all,” Colmenares stressed.