July 16, 2024

The territorial dispute at the West Philippine Sea between China and the Philippines is getting worst by the day.
The confrontation between the two country’s Navy is getting more intense if not violent. Ironically, the former almost always has the upper hand due to its more superior firepower and armament.
What compensates for the latter’s lack of military capability is its determination to hold its ground and assert its sovereignty in and around the disputed seas. The Philippines has another super-power and all allied countries taking its back and assuring it that it will be defended in the event skirmishes ensue. This is a hard position to assert.
Recently, China has announced it will start arresting Filipino fishermen who will dare enter the area and continue their livelihood thereat. The Philippines countered by saying it will not be bullied into giving up its territorial integrity.
Yet, what is there to assert if China starts implementing its threat? Does it mean that our country will counter it with similar measures by also arresting Chinese nationals who are within the area?
The bottomline is how the government can assure our fishermen that if they enter the area, they will not be harassed by the Chinese Coast Guard and its militia.
We have seen in the past the seriousness of China in claiming exclusive jurisdiction and control over the WPS. China agents have pursued and hosed our small fleets and even made dangerous maneuvers at sea that is obviously designed to sink or disable our boats and ships. We could not retaliate. To do so will justify China into using more force and coercion.
Look at what happened when a Filipino fisherman was caught on camera aiming a rifle towards a Chinese Navy ship. It was blown out of proportion and the Chinese media had a frenzy showing to the world it is not them that is fostering violence but us. Truly unfair but, since when was China ever fair?
Hence, it seems even in the propaganda war, we are losing our claim at the WPS. China is using technological and psychological warfare to defeat us and we have nothing to fight back.
If this trend continues, we might be seeing the end of our claim at the West Philippine Sea.
If there is a bright spot, our leaders are finally doing something about it although it might not be enough.
For instance, they continuously file diplomatic protests. However, this mode of dealing with China appears to be insignificant because China is not listening nor is it replying. There had been a hundred or so protests filed and to this day, it is not acted upon. These protests are merely papers that no longer serve any useful purpose.
We have prayed to Almighty God that China will listen and adhere to the law of the seas to which it is a signatory. And, though God is listening, China is not. Not even the voice of God can change its determination. China, after all, does not believe in God. With no moral conviction to guide it, there can be no reasonable compromise.
At any rate, the change in our alliances wherein the current administration is leaning more toward the United States of America might help. The mighty country may just dissuade China from trampling on the territorial rights of the Philippines. Still, if the two superpowers will collide resulting in war, the Philippines will be caught in the middle with no means to defend or protect itself. Either way, the country will always be in a no win situation.