January 29, 2023

Defend the West Philippine Sea

The Permanent Court of arbitration on July 12, 2016 has invalidated China’s nine-dash-line claim over the entire South China Sea and upheld the Philippine sovereign rights over the 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea.
But it is a national tragedy that our President said that the ruling is just a piece of paper that can be thrown in the wastebasket, adding that China has possession of the West Philippine Sea and that there is no mechanism to enforce the arbitral decision.
It is the sworn duty of the President under the Constitution to protect the West Philippine Sea and enforce the arbitral award with public support.
Several diplomatic protests were lodged against militarizing Philippine waters but China has been ignoring them.
If China really considers the Philippines as its friend, then it should not acquire the belongings of Filipinos who are struggling to develop.
Having debates on the issue will not settle anything. It will just cause disunity among Filipinos. Let us instead join hands on defending our rich aquatic resources, oil, and gas deposits in the West Philippine Sea, which is historically and legally our territory. — PERCIVAL B. ALIPIT, Baguio City

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