4 in 5 Filipinos agree alliances would help defend West Philippine Sea — SWS
In this April 5, 2019 photo, amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) maneuvers alongside the Philippine Navy offshore patrol vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS 16) in the West Philippine Sea in support of Exercise Balikatan 2019.
US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker
4 in 5 Filipinos agree alliances would help defend West Philippine Sea — SWS
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - July 14, 2020 - 1:47pm

MANILA, Philippines — Four out of five Filipinos believe that the Philippines should form alliances with other countries to help defend its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, according to a Social Weather Stations survey.

The poll released Tuesday found that 82% of Filipinos (56% strongly agree and 25% somewhat agree) agreed that other democratic countries would help defend the country's territorial rights.

Only 9% disagreed (5% somewhat disagree plus 5% strongly disagree) to this while 8% were undecided.

The same poll revealed that 70% of respondents (45% strongly agree plus 15% somewhat agree) said the government should assert its rights over islands in the West Philippine Sea, as stipulated in the 2016 arbitral ruling of a United Nations-backed tribunal.

Meanwhile, 13% disagreed (8% somewhat agree plus 5% strongly agree) while 15% were undecided.

The poll, which SWS described as a probability-based survey, was conducted from July 3 to 6 using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing among 1,555 adult Filipinos nationwide. Sampling error margin is at ±2% for national percentages.

"The survey items reported here were commissioned by Stratbase ADR Institute for release as a public service," SWS said.

The survey on Filipino public opinion on China came days after the fourth anniversary of the arbitral ruling that sided with the Philippines and invalidated China's nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea.

The US also released a new policy statement on maritime disputes in the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea, declaring most of Beijing's activities in the region as illegal.

The Philippines and the US have long been allies through the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty. Last year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured the Philippines that any armed attack against Filipino troops stationed in the West Philippine Sea would trigger the defense pact between the two countries.

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