|The Philippine Coast Guard patrols past Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef on April 14, 2021. (Photo: philstar.com)
The statement was made by more than 500 professors and lawyers from colleges and universities in the Philippines, saying COVID-19 is spreading in many countries, and China’s acts are distracting countries from dealing with the pandemic. They said China should stop its provocative acts and join ASEAN countries in fighting the pandemic.
They expressed their support for Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s request that China withdraw its vessels from the area and respect international law as a signatory of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).