Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hague Ruling on West Philippine Sea: A "Slingshot" that Struck "Goliath China's" Bullying

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I join the Filipino people in celebrating the United Nations' Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling in favor of the Philippines' rightful claim over the West Philippine Sea. The historic decision is a triumph of Philippine sovereignty and international law; it is a "slingshot" that struck "Goliath China's" bullying in the region.

I commend the previous government for filing the arbitration case in the face of continuing Chinese continuing threats and incursions in our territory.

I commend the Filipino people, particularly our fisherfolk, for their strong, peaceful and united resolve to defend the country's sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.

This is our victory.

I trust that the Duterte administration will build on this victory to further safeguard the country's sovereignty and marine jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea and in advancing genuine peace and regional stability.

This historic win must be strengthened by the new government. To deviate from the spirit of this ruling would render the victory hollow and our sovereignty compromised.

The Duterte administration must capitalize on the decision to strengthen international public opinion to our favor and mobilize allies to rally behind our sovereignty.

This should be a signal to China to end its bullying and militarist expansion in the region. The US government must also be reminded that the West Philippine Sea should not be a staging ground for their superpower games.

I also encourge the government to craft an interdependent and progressive foreign policy guided by the Hague ruling. It should serve as the administration's reference to upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity in the region.

President Duterte must use all democratic multilateral platforms to protect our national interest and foster stronger ties with our regional neighbors.

Lastly, we call on the Chinese government to respect the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. As a regional leader and emergent global power, China must prove to the international community that it abides by the international law and is committed to regional peace.

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