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Magdalo: Duterte stance on China 'dereliction of duty'

Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano holds a copy of the impeachment complaint he filed against President Duterte at the House of Representatives on Thursday. Philstar.com/File photo
MANILA, Philippines — Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano said that his group is considering  filing a supplemental complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte for allegedly being subservient to China.
 
Alejano's statement came after Duterte claimed last week that he allowed China to send survey ships to Benham Rise as part of an agreement.
 
The Department of Foreign Affairs last week said it was not aware of an agreement or policy over the Benham Rise region.
 
 
In an interview on CNN's 'The Source,' Alejano said that the president's action is a matter of national security since there is a conflict of interest with China on the West Philippine Sea, the part of the South China Sea that Manila claims.
 
"We're talking about national interest here, we're talking about national security here because we have a clear conflict of interest in West Philippine Sea," Alejano said.
 
China has repeatedly reiterated its position over the South China Sea, saying it has a historical and legal claim over the vast area.
 
An international tribunal however, ruled in favor of the Philippines in an arbitration case against China, saying that China's "nine-dash line" claim over a large part of the South China Sea, including part of the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, has no basis.
 
In a speech on Sunday, Duterte also said that he cannot stop China from setting up a reported monitoring station in the Scarborough Shoal, also known as Panatag or Bajo de Masinloc.
 
"We cannot stop China from doing its thing. Hindi nga napara ng Amerikano," Duterte said.
 
 
Duterte added that the country will lose all of its military and policemen if he declares war against China.
 
Alejano however, said that war is not the only solution, saying that the president could constantly raise issues in the West Philippines Sea.
 
"He's not doing that because he's afraid to offend China," Alejano said.
 
He added that if Duterte said he cannot do anything to protect the country's territory "then that's dereliction of duty."
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