MANILA (DWDD) – Most Filipinos reminded Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay reminded him of the implications of his statement favouring sharing of resources with China in the West Philippines Sea, especially through joint exploration and development.
Majority of the netizens, posting from different social media sites, drew their ire on Secretary Yasay who stated that “the Philippines is willing to share natural resources with Beijing in contested South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) areas even if it wins a legal challenge (July12)”.
“It’s my understanding that in the long course of history, Scarborough has been the traditional fishing grounds, not only of Filipinos but also for Vietnamese, Chinese. We can continue with this arrangement” added Yasay.
Pouring out their emotions, some shared their thoughts:
“Panatag shoal is 12 NM within our territorial waters because it has rocks above water during high tide. Panatag shoal is well within the Phl’s EEZ and near international waters. So Panatag shoal or should I say Phl, has territorial waters around. IT IS OURS, WE SHOULD NOT SHARE IT WITH POACHERS AND BULLIES. Correct me if im wrong.” – Mark Steven Payuran
“I’m a Filipino, so please defend what is righ for us!! And that is our right! – Butch Nachor
“Resign your post”. – Amador C Apostol Jr.
“200 Nautical miles is ours..no logic to share it to China! They also have theirs. They “The fact is that they are too greedy.” – Jonah Muriel Belmonte
“There must be other ways than surrendering to the greediness and bullying of China…likeappealing to the world to unite against China…like boycott against China. – Val Francisco
“China must immediately stop their reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea and leave if the arbitration will favour the Philippines’ claim on the disputed waters.” – Salvador France
“Idaan na lang natin yan sa digmaan total harap-harapan naman tayong binabastos at pinapahiya ng ChiNazi eh di idamay na natn sila..! db? Kasi yan ang hinihintay ng US at mga kaalyado kasi gagamitin nila ang umiiral na mutual defense treaty..! kaya sa bandang huli lalaya pa ang Hongkong, Taiwan at Tibet sa kamay ng ChiNazi! – Josephine Ramos Sampaga
Even foreigners drew negative reactions to the statement of Sec Yasay:
“Idiot!” – Park Joo Ji
Although Secretary Yasay made it clear that the decision on the sharing issue or any issue for that matter will be made pending the issuance of the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration of its written decision on the matter.
He insisted that the Philippines would not concede any of the its rights in the area.
“Why can’t we all just Calm down and let’s see kung saan papatungo yung mga ginagawa niya for now. Kasi, puro tayo dada wala naman tayong nagagawa. Pray na lang talaga magagawa natin. Para i-guide pres. Natin sa mga gagawin niya. Kasi kahit magreklamo kaya jan. Wala naman magagawa yung reklamo niya.” – Ailyn Cristy
“Well, it’s ok to share but if China will not recognize the decision we have to share at all.” – Erickson Laxa Manalad
“Hindi kailangan makipag-giyera kung sakaling pumabor sa atin ang desiyon. OK lang sa resource sharing pero dapat pabor satin ang hatian dahil EEZ natin yun (kung satin talaga pabor ang UNCLOS) dapat limitado kung anong resources ang iseshare natin. Dapat padating sa lamang dagat sa atin lang. Dahil alam natin kalalaki at gano kagahaman mga mangingisda na intsik lahat hinuhuli. Sila gagastos sa equipment sa exploration at extraction sa natural gas. Pero dapat sa atin pa rin ang malaking percent ng income. – Jezreel Dava
“Whatever the outcome will be, we should remain steadfast on our position that the West Philippine Sea is rightfully ours.” – PAMALAKAYA
Some believe that the dispute can be resolve if the UNCLOS is strictly upheld and enforced.
“Neither war nor sharing of our territory to China is the solution to the dispute. The following of UNCLOS will hopefully be followed by China and Phl.” – Jerome Salvador
Last July 7, China’s Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua met with the president and secretary Yasay. The next day, the ambassador was seen at the Department of Foreign Affairs.
It can be recalled that the Philippines challenged China’s imaginary claim in 2013 over ninety percent of the strategic waterway in a tightly-watched case that raised tensions in Southeast Asia, after Manila exhausted more than 17 years of negotiations and diplomatic means over territories believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves.
Manila is not asking the tribunal to resolve sovereignty or delimit boundaries, but is seeking decisions on some key points, in particular, the 9-dash line which has no historical o legal basis under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Beijings move has already resulted in frequent incidents of military and non-military confrontations between China and its Asian neighbours Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
One of the most tragic that flared into open conflict was in 1988 when Vietnam and China fought a naval battle on Johnson Reef in the Spratly Islands and massacred about 70 Vietnamese soldiers.
China, through its President Xi Jinping, has been frantically conducting public relations blitz in an effort to throw off the effect of the decision by saying they are “not afraid of trouble” and are preparing for “military confrontation” within the contested territories.
They have decided “not to step back” on the issue and have even launched military drills since last week and has reportedly sent out more ships and planes into the region.
If the Philippines is able to “pierce” the nine-dash line through the tribunals decision, its “position and credibility” will be weakened.
Experts agree that the if the court decides in favour of the Philippines, after three years of deliberations, two hearings and nearly 4,000 pages of evidence, it would clearly reject some of China’s theoretical claim and it would provide support to the views of other states in the region.
Alarmed like other nations, the United States of America had sent warships and surveillance planes to the region to closely patrol the contested areas to ensure “freedom of navigation and overflight” which was threatened by China’s illegal reclamation of former reefs and shoals that they converted into man-made islands-turned military installations, that may affect the worlds shipping lanes passing through to-and-fro Europe and the Middle East with $5 trillion (4.5 trillion euros) in ship-borne trade. MCAG