De La Salle professors ‘appalled by failure of gov't' to defend West Philippine Sea

De La Salle professors �appalled by failure of gov't' to defend West Philippine Sea
In this undated handout photo received from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on April 25, 2021, coast guard personnel conduct maritime exercise near Pag-asa island in the West Philippine Sea.
AFP / PCG, Handout

MANILA, Philippines — Faculty members of De La Salle University on Monday decried what they called the government's failed response to China's long-running incursions on Philippine sovereignty.  

In a statement, DLSU professors from the departments of political science and international relations said China's aggression in the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea "jeopardize the welfare of our fisherfolk and the sustainability of aquatic resources in the area." 

"We are equally appalled by the failure of our government to effectively secure the sovereignty of the country," they added. 

Posted by DLSU - Political Science Department on Sunday, April 25, 2021


Hundreds of Chinese ships are still lingering in the West Philippine Sea, prompting the Philippine government to file a slew of diplomatic protests and bolster its own presence in the area. However, President Rodrigo Duterte has been silent on the issue save for his continued reiteration of the claim that asserting Philippine sovereignty in the area will lead to war with China. 

"While the government has belatedly invoked the Hague ruling and filed diplomatic protests, the President should disabuse himself of the simplistic notion that the only other option is to antagonize China and risk war," DLSU professors said. 

Gov't told: Explore other solutions 

Echoing calls from lawmakers, the professors urged the government to consider "multilateral solutions" to China's aggression which affects not only the Philippines but other claimants in the South China Sea. 

READ: Senators push ‘united stand’, multilateral approach on South China Sea disputeLIST: World powers that criticized China's maritime militia ships at West Philippine Sea reef

"We must seriously strengthen our maritime security capacity," they also said. 

"The Chief Executive must genuinely show the resolve he promised during his 2016 presidential campaign for in doing so he will fulfill his constitutional duty." 

Duterte campaigned on taking a confrontational stance with China on the West Philippine Sea, even claiming that he would jet ski to a disputed island and plant a Philippine flag there.

But, in 2019, he announced an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping allowing China to trawl in Philippine waters. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque recently denied the existence of such an agreement, contradicting a previous spokesman who said the agreement was "informal" but "binding." 

"We must stand against those who think that might is right. It is time that our government values our country's patrimony," the professors said. 

"We re-assert that appeasement emboldens the aggressor, peace without dignity is subjugation, and asserting our rights is not a declaration of war." — Bella Perez-Rubio 

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 28, 2023 - 12:01pm

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis continues underway in the South China Sea.

The US Pacific Command just reported that it has received "cargo" from support ship USNS Rainier in the disputed waters.

September 28, 2023 - 12:01pm

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources conducts an aerial maritime inspection over Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc on Thursday, according to a report of PTV.

PTV says BFAR is checking if the southeast portion of Bajo de Mansinloc remains free from illegal and hazardous floating barriers.

Earlier this week, the Philippine Coast removed the chains surrounding the entrance of Bajo de Masinloc installed by the China Coast Guard. — PTV

September 25, 2023 - 3:02pm

The National Security Council condemns the installation of the floating barriers of the China Coast Guard in Bajo de Masinloc, PTV reports on Monday.

“It ruled categorically that such action by the PRC violated the traditional fishing rights of our fishermen in the shoal who have been fishing there for centuries," NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya says.

"Any State that prevents them from doing artisanal fishing there violates UNCLOS and international law, in general,” he adds.

September 22, 2023 - 2:33pm

PTV reports that BRP Antonio Luna of the Philippine Navy and HMCS Ottawa of the Royal Canadian Navy conducted a joint sail in the West Philippine Sea on Sept. 21.

“The joint sail is part of the Philippine Navy's regular engagements with its partners in the Philippines' maritime zones. Bravo Zulu to all the personnel of both ships and those who planned this activity," Ltc Enrico Gil Ileto, Public Affairs AFP chief says.


July 21, 2023 - 3:49pm

Ahead of the second State of the Nation Address of President Ferdinand Marcis Jr, the descendants of the Bai sa Condor and  Anta sa Tebouk, on behalf of the Iranun in the Philippines composed of 16 sultans, formally declares ownership of the  Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoals as patrimony from their ancestors. 

The declaration of ownership is led by Sultan Tomas Reyes Cabili, Jr. as part of the advocacy of the Tomas Ll. Cabili  Foundation (TLC Foundation).

"TLC Foundation is doing this for our country’s sake as a whole on our claim for what is ours. Not just for our Muslim brothers and the Moro Origins of Mindanao (IRANUN), BUT for all the Filipinos - and the next generations to come. All the Philippines’ descendants of the Iranunis unfurling the historical dimension of the Spratlys and the ScarboroughShoals to strengthen the Philippines' claim on them and complement the theoretical frameworks already presented in the United Nations," Cabili says.

July 5, 2023 - 10:47am

Raymond Powell, project lead at the Gordion Knot Center for National Security Innovation, tweets that China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels "maneuvered dangerously close" to two Philippine Coast Guard ships on a resupply mission at Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea last week.

In a tweet, Powell identifies the ships as BRP Malabrigo and BRP Malapascua. He says these were escorting a small-boat resupply mission to the Philippines' outpost aboard BRP Sierra Madre and were met by an armada of CCG and militia ships, as well as a possible navy vessel.

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