Hindi dapat malagay sa kompromiso ang pakikipaglaban ng Pilipinas sa mga bahagi ng West Philippine Sea (WPS) na nasa loob ng teritoryo nito, pati na rin ang iba pang mahahalagang usapin dahil lamang sa lumalalang bangayan ng dalawang magkalabang paksiyon sa pulitika sa bansa.
Ayon kay Senate committee on national defense chairman Panfilo Lacson, higit na nakakarami pa rin ang mga may lehitimong layunin para sa ikakaayos ng bansa kaya hindi dapat matabunan ang hangaring ito ng dalawang grupo na gamit ang troll farm.
“We are a deeply divided nation. DDS and Yellows bicker about anything. Worse, they assume that everybody else is their proxy. Right or wrong, either you’re with them or against them. Absolutely false! There are many of us who speak our own minds, not theirs,” banggit ni Lacson sa kanyang Twitter account.
Majority of Filipinos must not let the deep “political divide” keep them from coming up with a united stand on the West Philippine Sea and other issues of national importance, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Sunday.
Lacson lamented that while there are tens of millions of Filipinos who have their own opinions about important issues, only two groups are dominating the conversation, and mostly through the operation of troll farms.
“We are a deeply divided nation. DDS and Yellows bicker about anything. Worse, they assume that everybody else is their proxy. Right or wrong, either you’re with them or against them. Absolutely false! There are many of us who speak our own minds, not theirs,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.
Filipinos should stand foursquare behind DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana for making known his strong position in defending our country’s sovereign rights over the Whitsun Reef (Julian Felipe Reef) – and before that, the Mischief Reef, occupied by the Chinese during the period 1994-1995 and the Scarborough Shoal, which China cordoned off in 2012. All these have legal basis under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the existing arbitral ruling in our favor.
A sad reality is that while the ruling is permanent, it is unenforceable. The situation is made worse when our country’s leaders and foreign policy decision makers resort to acquiesce bordering on implied derogation of our sovereignty.
Even amid this pandemic, such “health crisis opportunism” being applied by China does not speak well of the assumed trust and goodwill between the two Asian allies. That said, our country is losing tens of billions of pesos a year in “stolen” aquatic resources, not to mention the wanton destruction of corals within our Exclusive Economic Zone that threatens our food security.
The fact that we are a militarily weak country that cannot match China’s military power should compel us to resort to establishing stronger alliances not only with other Asia-Pacific neighbors like Australia and Japan and the other ASEAN countries, but our long-standing western allies like the US and Europe.
Only through a clear message that the presence of “balance of power” in the West Philippine Sea can help us in this regard.