EDITORIAL - Donât squander this opportunity
EDITORIAL - Don’t squander this opportunity
(The Freeman) - September 20, 2020 - 12:00am

We seem to have gained powerful allies in our struggle to assert our sovereignty in our legal territory in the West Philippine Sea. This after the United Kingdom, France, and Germany said they are not recognizing China’s Nine-Dash Line claim.

According to reports, the three countries sent a note verbale to the United Nations informing the international body about their rejection of China’s “historic rights” to some areas of the South China Sea.

“France, Germany and the United Kingdom also highlight that claims with regard to the exercise of 'historic rights' over the South China Sea waters do not comply with international law and UNCLOS provisions and recall that the arbitral award in the Philippines v. China case dating to 12 July 2016 clearly confirms this point,” the note verbale read.

Malacañang has welcomed the development saying it affirms our claims to some disputed areas in the South China Sea.

Of course there will be those who will say there is nothing these powers can do from where they are in the other side of the world. They will say these three countries are a continent away and have no military presence in the area while China is practically in our backyard with all its illegal bases.

But those who do so forget the fact that France and the UK are permanent members of the UN Security Council (although it should be mentioned China is also one of them), while Germany is a major influence in the European Union.

In short, they don’t have to be somewhere militarily to make their influence felt.

It is good that we have gained the support of these three nations. Now we have to make sure we don’t squander this show of support.

Have we squandered something like this before? Yes, indeed.

It remains an unfortunate fact that our stand against China’s encroachment into our territories has some inconsistencies. While some of our officials openly condemn China’s illegal seizure of our territories, other officials choose to turn a blind eye to these incursions.

Along that line, while some of our officials insist on using our strongest legal weapon against China, the arbitral ruling cited in the same note verbale mentioned above, there are those who are more than willing to “set it aside” for some inconceivable reason.

We have already chosen to give ourselves a handicap in this David-versus-Goliath dispute with China, God forbid that some official in the future also sets aside this show of support from United Kingdom, France, and Germany for some idiotic reason.

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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