MANILA—Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Friday the Philippine government should consider taking its maritime dispute against China to the United Nations General Assembly.
"For a full 3 years, we had endeavored to deal with Beijing on a bilateral basis resulting in our being bullied, harassed and intimidated. We are obviously no match for this Goliath who intends to have us for breakfast, lunch and dinner," he said in a statement.
"Before we get shoved around any further leading us to irreversible consequences, it is imperative for us to adopt a multilateral approach."
Del Rosario said the Philippine government should seek support to compel China to abide its arbitral win in the disputed waters.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague upheld in 2016 Manila’s sovereign rights to its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), rejecting Beijing’s historic claim to resources in the South China Sea using its nine-dash line doctrine.
The ruling, which Beijing refuses to recognize, was handed down at the start of President Rodrigo Duterte's term.
Del Rosario added "we also need to bring to the fore China's threat of force."
China claims large parts of the South China Sea and is ramping up its militarization activities in the resource-rich waters. Other claimants, such as Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, contest the territorial claims.
On Wednesday, the Philippine government filed diplomatic protests against China over 2 incidents in disputed waters.
Manila protested the passage of Chinese warships through Sibutu Strait in the Philippines' southern tip without prior clearance and the 113 Chinese vessels swarming around Filipino-occupied Pag-asa Island.—With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News