Pangan: Too late the efforts

Benjie R. Pangan
·2 min read

PHILIPPINE authorities are scrambling to avert a complete Chinese takeover of our territories in the West Philippine Sea.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin are moving heaven and earth to stop the Chinese onslaught by issuing separate statements invoking our inherent rights over the disputed reefs. Lorenzana even put up the arbitral ruling to no avail. Bold and feisty Locsin issued biting statements but the ever sly Chinese took no heed, diplomatic protests disregarded.

What to do now? Let the Chinese do their thing since our efforts prove futile and clueless?

The Chinese raiders do not recognize any issuance from the United Nations, more so the arbitral ruling that reinstated our ownership over reefs and territories within our exclusive economic zone.

In contrast, they imposed their nine-dash line claim which encompasses all the territories and reefs we lay ownership on. Other claimant countries like Vietnam are also summarily disregarded.

The Department of National Defense (DND) chief even conceded that China is so intent on occupying the entire West Philippine Sea, so do we need to say goodbye to our territories there?

As a manifestation of complete Chinese intrusion into our islands, it sent some 200 militia-type ships disguised as fishing vessels that stayed at Julian Felipe Reef, clearly part of our exclusive economic zone.

Said Lorenzana in news reports: the continued presence of Chinese maritime militia in the area reveals their intent to further occupy features in the West Philippine sea.

Now the top Philippine authorities are registering vigorous objections over the Chinese presence in our territories. Why were they allowed entry into our country in the first place? Who was the president when this happened? And now Duterte even tolerated it all in exchange for the 1 million doses of vaccine? Just asking.

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Let us admit it. We are helpless to stop the continued presence of the Chinese in our territories in the West Philippine Sea. Who knows that after the Julian Felipe Reef, they would intrude into Kalayaan Islands knowing we cannot do anything to stop them. After that, the entire Philippines?