Lawmaker wants National Security Council convened

MANILAA lawmaker at the House of Representatives has filed a resolution calling for the convening of the National Security Council (NSC) to address the "seeming escalation" of military presence by China within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In a statement on Monday, Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon, senior vice chair of the House national defense and security committee, said the "weaponizing of islands" by China within the country's EEZ is a matter of serious national security concern.

"This issue is beyond politics and involves a threat to national territorial integrity and security, and will affect the lives of not just the Filipinos of today but also those of future generations," Biazon said.

House Resolution 1855 expresses the sense of the House of Representatives on the need to convene the NSC in order that a national policy on the West Philippine Sea may be formulated and defined.

Biazon said it is urgent for the Philippines to come up with an official policy that will uphold national interest in terms of security, territorial integrity, natural resources, and patrimony.

"Such a policy is best crafted with the inputs from those who compose the National Security Council whose collective wisdom based on experience, expertise, and diversity of opinion will ensure a balanced conclusion in favor of Philippine national interest," he said.

Under Executive Order No. 115 series of 1986, the NSC is primarily tasked to "formulate and adopt policies, programs, and procedures on all matters pertaining to or affecting the national security so that judgments and actions thereon by the President may rest on sound advice and accurate information."

Biazon also filed a separate resolution calling for a congressional probe on the reported deployment by China of missiles in the Spratly islands.

In his House Resolution 1856, Biazon cited reports that China had deployed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on Kagitingan, Zamora, and Panganiban reefs in the Spratly archipelago, noting that these capabilities are well within the EEZ and national territory of the Philippines.

He said the deployment of military assets clearly has national security implications on the Philippines and should be taken seriously as a threat.

"A foreign military presence within our sovereign rights and sovereign territory, regardless of physical presence or projected capability to strike, should not be tolerated, especially if its presence is not upon invitation by the Philippines or covered by a mutual agreement or treaty," he said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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