West Philippine Sea, a marine wealth of the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea director, Professor Jay Batongbacal is concerned with the seemingly stronger militarization of China in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea.
In a press conference last Saturday, Professor Batongbacal said that China is hugely benefitting with the Philippines in its seemingly lax treatment on the issues regarding the South China Sea.
“The government seems to be trading away its advantages too much, too soon, and I don’t think it’s wise because China is clearly gaining so much from our softness on these issues,” said the maritime expert.
It is right that the Philippines strengthen its good relation to China, but he reiterated that it is not right for the government to just give away our territory.
“It is correct to try to improve relations with China but it should not come at the cost of our own long-term interest,” said Batongbacal.
He added that it would be a huge loss for the country if foreigners will benefit from the riches which should be for Filipinos.
Last February 13, a bilateral consultation was conducted by the Philippines and China, it was a few days after the posted new photo of the artificial island built by China in the South China Sea.
Batongbacal was dismayed because until now, there is still no clear result on the said bilateral consultation on the issue of the disputed territories. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue
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