Selling out the West PH Sea
AS PRESIDENT Duterte continues to express his beliefs and state his positions, he has confirmed that he is our fundamental problem. It is he who stands in the way of the nation working together to protect the Philippines’ sovereign rights in our EEZ.
Duterte had been notably silent as Chinese vessels gathered in numbers in the area of the Julian Felipe Reef reported by the National Task Force on the WPS on March 20; this, despite the DFA’s filing of diplomatic protests against China. On April 28, the president shifted blame on officials of the Aquino administration for the country’s loss of Scarborough Shoal in 2012 and then challenged the former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonio Carpio to a debate – from which he backed off when Carpio accepted the invitation. In his May 18 public address, he ordered “the Cabinet and to all and sundry, talking for the government to refrain discussing this West Philippine Sea with anybody.”
The order is designed to silence further public discussion and to lessen media attention on the subject. But the media should keep focused on the problem: Duterte admits that he gave fishing rights to China which is against the Constitution and Philippine laws; and Duterte refuses to do anything else about pressing China to observe international law which upholds our claim to these waters.
CMFR infographics reviews the president’s statements explaining his position; and provides documentation of the basis of Philippine claims in international law which Duterte has chosen to ignore.