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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Our President may need more help

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By Albert del Rosario

There appears to be an urgent need for our President to require a fuller briefing from his people as shown, for instance, by his reactions to developments in South China Sea and, in particular, the West Philippine Sea.

Ayungin Shoal

The most recent illustration was the harassment of Philippine troops in Ayungin Shoal, of which the President had no knowledge.

Sandy Cay

Another example attributed to the absence of a less than full briefing appears to be the loss of effective control of Sandy Cay by the Philippines, which was not given much importance.   

Our President seemed to dismiss Sandy Cay as merely a sand bar, not worth protesting. The reaction to Sandy Cay was obviously a decision made without the benefit of being provided full information.

As advised by Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, should China acquire sovereignty over Sandy Cay, it could claim Subi Reef as part of the territorial sea of Sandy Cay. This would aid in legitimizing China’s claim over Subi Reef, and would significantly reduce the territorial sea of Pag-asa Island.

Consider consultations with CJ

The expertise of Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio on the South China Sea is clearly unequalled. Our President may want to consider having his people closely coordinate with the Acting Chief Justice on matters related to the South China Sea.

Preserving our gains with the Un

Of utmost primacy is the protection of the hard-earned gains of the Filipino people as handed down by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Arbitral Tribunal. 

In this connection, following the Shangri-La Dialogue just held in Singapore, it is most opportune for the Philippines to commence work on drafting a resolution for adoption by the United Nations General Assembly this year. 

The intended UN Resolution should request China and the international community to abide and implement The Hague Arbitral ruling of July 12, 2016. 

Albert del Rosario is the chairman of the of ADR Institute and a former Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary.


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