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

De La Salle professors âappalled 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 





As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: February 28, 2022 - 10:29am

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.

February 28, 2022 - 10:29am

Around 68 foreign vessels were near Julian Felipe Reef and 39 near Union Banks on February 17, satellite image show.

Liz Derr, CEO of the geospatial data provider Simularity, says this at a Stratebase ADR-hosted conference.

In March 2021, over 200 Chinese vessels were sighted near the reef.  — report from News5/Marianne Enriquez

November 22, 2021 - 3:54pm

President Rodrigo Duterte condemns the latest flare-up in the disputed South China Sea after Chinese coastguard ships fired water cannon at Filipino boats. 

"We abhor the recent event in the Ayungin Shoal and view with grave concern other similar developments," Duterte tells the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China, using the Filipino name for the shoal. 

"This does not speak well of the relations between our nations and our partnership." — AFP

November 22, 2021 - 8:41am

The European Union expresses "strong opposition" against China's unilateral actions in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

This statement comes after Chinese coast guard ships blocked and water cannoned Philippine boats transporting supplies to military personnel stationed at Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal.

"In this context, the European Union recalls the Arbitration Award rendered under UNCLOS on 12 July 2016, which found that Second Thomas Shoal lies within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf," the EU says in a statement.

July 14, 2021 - 8:49am

Geospatial imagery and analysis firm Simularity stands behind its report on ships dumping raw sewage in the West Philippine Sea, adding a stock photo used in its presentation was not used in its analysis.

"We welcome the news that Philippine agencies are validating our research and results. It is all reproducible, based on publicly available sources, well understood algorithms, and the approach and interpretation are validated by readily available scientific papers, links to which you can find in our report," it says.

July 13, 2021 - 2:44pm

The Department of Environemnt and Natural Resources says it will coordinate with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Department of National Defense "on the authenticity of the allegation" that Chinese ships have been dumping raw waste in areas of the West Philippine Sea, which satellite imaging firm Simularity said has been causing damage to coral reefs in the Spratlys.

"After that, we will be seeking for the attention of the Chinese government through our Department of Foreign Affairs," Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, DENR spokesperson, says.

"We will also validate if indeed these are Chinese vessels," he also says.

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