Duterte’s address at the UN
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Leo Lastimosa (The Freeman) - September 24, 2020 - 12:00am

We learned that President Rodrigo Duterte received commendations for his latest remarks before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) where he invoked the Philippines’ arbitral victory on the South China Sea arbitration. I guess this was some kind of Zoom meeting with the UNGA.

In his statement during the general debate of the 75th Session of the UNGA late Tuesday, President Duterte affirmed the country’s commitment in the South China Sea (SCS) in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 arbitral award. In the same light, former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, who led the Philippines in the South China Sea arbitration, welcomed Pres. Duterte invoking the landmark ruling. As we all know, the 2016 arbitral award invalidating Beijing’s nine-dash line claim over a large part of the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, is now part of international law and is beyond compromise, President Rodrigo Duterte said during the UNGA meeting.

The President brought up the ruling despite the Palace saying the dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea can be “set aside” as among “the matters that we cannot resolve” perhaps in our lifetime. He added saying, “We welcome increasing number of states that have come in support of the award and what it stands for the triumph of reason over rashness, of law over disorder, of amity over ambition. This as it should is the majesty of the law.”

Of course, this was in reference to the favorable arbitral ruling that the Philippines won in The Hague in 2016 based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which held that China’s sweeping nine-dash line claim has no legal basis. Unfortunately, China has totally refused and totally ignored this ICC ruling. As the saying goes, proof of the pudding is in the eating. So from December 2013 to October 2015, China built artificial islands with a total area of close to 3,000 acres on seven coral reefs it occupies in the Spratly Islands in the southern part of the South China Sea. Most of these islands have been turned into naval bases complete with harbors for ships and runways for air assets.

Mind you, many Yellowtards say that this ICC ruling should be credited to the presidency of Pres. PNoy Aquino. Yet these same Yellowtards are silent on the reality that under PNoy Aquino’s presidency, he blinked his eyes while China created naval bases out of these artificial islands that they now claim sovereignty.

Meanwhile, still in the UNGA, Pres. Duterte talked over his presidential term, and has not been shy about expressing his distaste for the intergovernmental organization, calling its officials “inutile idiots” in separate instances, and even once saying he would “burn it down.” At last Tuesday night’s session, though, President Duterte said, “the UN remains humanity’s [most] essential organization.”  Well, all I can say is, at least the President still honors the UN, while people like me have seen the huge transformation of the UN from a very credible institution to a corrupt one. It was made corrupt by a very corrupt Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A case in point? We already know that the CCP corrupted the World Health Organization (WHO) who is led by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is a Marxist leader in his nation in Africa so he is a perfect partner with the Chinese communists.

Last January, he espoused what the CCP has been telling the world that the coronavirus did not have a human to human transmission, only to reverse the decision by the WHO a week later. As for this global pandemic, Pres. Duterte told the UNGA, “the global health crisis has further complicated the global security environment. No aspiration or ambition justify the use of weapons that destroys indiscriminately. These weapons of death puts at all at mortal risk if they fall in the hands of terrorists without a shred of humanity in their soul.” Calling attention to the issue of climate change, the President also said: “This is a global challenge that has worsened inequalities and vulnerabilities. Developing countries like the Philippines suffered the most, and we cannot afford to suffer more. We’re talking about mankind and Earth, our one and only home.”

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com  His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com

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