Filipinos want gov’t to assert rights over West Philippine Sea


By Monsi A. Serrano

Seven years after that landmark decision made by the Hague Arbitral Tribunal, China despite being a signatory in the UNCLOS still does not honor the rule of law nullifying their historical claim in the West Philippine Sea. Needless to say, they continue to pose a destabilization in the Indo-Pacific region and the current security threats remain.

But despite China’s disruptive, unprofessional and uncooperative behavior, many Filipinos want the government to assert our sovereignty based on the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

According to Dindo Manhit, CEO and managing director of the think tank Stratbase ADR Institute, 84% of Filipinos surveyed recently said that the Philippine Government should assert the nation’s rights in the West Philippine Sea based on the arbitral ruling.

It also revealed that seven out of 10 Filipinos or 72% believe that the government should strengthen the military capability of the Philippines, especially the Navy and Air Force, and to build up maritime cooperation among like-minded states and key stakeholders.

Back in the time of former President Rodrigo Duterte, he said that the decision of The Hague was just a piece of paper and not enforceable.

Professor Dindo Manhit, CEO and managing director of the think tank Stratbase ADR Institute

Manhit also discussed the need for multilateral cooperation and strong alliances among like minded states like the United States, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, the European Union member-states and India that endure the collective peace and security of the region.

He also underscored that by forging a strong partnership and deep friendship with Philippine allies, we can engage in multilateral inclusive cooperation that will enable the Philippines to contribute to the global efforts of promoting shared democratic values.

Meanwhile, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, France, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden issued statements supporting the Philippines in its legal claim on the West Philippine Sea.

Manhit thanked the ambassadors for continually standing with the Philippines as it asserts its territorial claim and sovereignty.

He expressed confidence that the Filipinos would never allow the Philippines’ victory before The Hague to be diminished and trampled upon by China.


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