Filipinos from both sides of the political aisle should feel proud hearing the President express his strong and unequivocal position on the WPS issue. His statement should erase all doubts on where he stands.
More importantly, I hope that China heard the President’s message loud and clear.
Indeed, it’s long in coming by way of a statement from our DFA secretary. China’s display of arrogance by accusing us of infringing on its sovereignty and security by sending military aircraft into airspace adjacent to Panatag Shoal/Bajo de Masinloc, urging the Philippines to immediately stop illegal provocations, tops it all.
In an interview on DZBB/GNTV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– national dignity factor in UN-HRC resolution on killings
– ‘double standard’ in UN, WPS issues?
– reported claim that VP Robredo’s stand on UN-HRC resolution is a ground for impeachment
A verbal agreement between President Duterte and President Xi is what it is – a verbal agreement. Is that verbal agreement already part of our national policy? Is it being carried out? It is my humble view that it is not. Why? There is no showing that the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as the Department of National Defense are implementing that so-called verbal agreement.
In fact, on occasion, the two frontline agencies have expressed different views. Having said that, we will be better off to just leave it at that.
Maybe our problem is, we have a spokesman who talks more than he should. He telegraphs every move and every plan that the executive has on issues that need a little diligence and study.
To Malaya Business Insight: This refers to the column of former ambassador and Dean Reynaldo Arcilla, where he tried to inject political color into Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson’s recent statements on the Recto Bank incident at the West Philippine Sea.
On the Mutual Defense Treaty, while my opinion is different from the President’s, it doesn’t matter much which one is right or wrong; it is who is making the decision which in this case, obviously, he is the one.
As for me, I always express my opinion on what I think is right, not when it is popular. In some people’s minds, highly partisan as they are, that is lack of conviction.
It is a good development that the President has subsequently corrected himself by saying that he cannot prevent incursions of foreign fishing vessels within the Exclusive Economic Zone because even if he wants to, we don’t have the capability nor the capacity to do it, not to mention that the arbitral ruling is unenforceable in the first place; and that the Philippines merely exercises sovereign right, not sovereignty over the areas within the EEZ. I agree with the President in this regard. Having said that, to allow is not the same as not being able to prevent.
Further, calling on the United States – with whom we have a Mutual Defense Treaty – and other western allies to help check China in the WPS is proper given the prevailing circumstances, contrary to some narrow-minded critics that such move is a sure formula for war.
On the other hand, maintaining the balance of power in the WPS will prevent rather that ignite war. Why? No two superpowers would go to war in this day and age of nuclear technology for the simple reason of its ‘zero-sum’ outcome.