SENATOR Francis N. Tolentino on Tuesday urged the  Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to distribute humanitarian aid to Filipino Navy personnel and fishermen in the South China Sea (SCS) amid Chinese aggression.

“The ICRC under the Geneva Convention can facilitate the necessary humanitarian aid to our Navy personnel living in BRP Sierra Madre and would pave the way for the delivery of the needed food supplies by our soldiers,” according to a copy of the letter he sent to Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique A. Manalo.

The Red Cross provides aid to people wounded in armed conflict, according to its website.

Tensions between the Philippines and China have worsened in the past year as Beijing continues to block resupply missions to the dispute Second Thomas Shoal, where a handful of Filipino soldiers live in the grounded ship called the BRP Sierra Madre.

The Philippines grounded the World War II-era ship there in 1999 to assert its claim and after China seized Mischief Reef in 1995. — John Victor D. Ordoñez