The recent Chinese incursion in the Julian Felipe Reef has been strongly condemned not only by the Philippine government, but by the full spectrum of Philippine society. It is clear that the sentiment of the Filipino people is for our government to be resolute in protecting our sovereign rights and territorial integrity.
The persistent and deliberate swarming maneuverings of their maritime militia vessels in Philippine waters reveals China’s expansionist ambitions and renders false their pronouncements to safeguard peace and stability in the region. They continue to instigate deceptive rhetoric and acts that undermine the precepts of peaceful resolution and stability in the region.
The Stratbase ADR Institute firmly rejects China’s invasive claims in the West Philippine Sea. China does not have any jurisdiction over the maritime resources of our Exclusive Economic Zone. The Philippines has every right to exercise its sovereignty over these waters. We have the right to patrol, protect, and harness its resources as established by international law and the 2016 arbitral ruling.
We strongly condemn the disrespectful conduct of the Chinese Embassy whose recent pronouncements have offended our officials. This behavior is unbecoming of its official engagement as diplomatic guests of the Republic of the Philippines.
We call on the Duterte administration to re-pivot its foreign policy stance where “paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest”, and where its “prime duty is to serve and protect the people” as stated by the 1987 Constitution.
We support the move to forge stronger ties with regional partners and allies in maintaining regional peace and stability through joint efforts of maritime patrol and military exercises.
Prof. Dindo Manhit
Stratbase ADR Institute
Image Source: Jun Dumaguing, ABS-CBN News/File