IT is sickening for the previous Yellow regime, especially its Foreign secretary Albert del Rosario, and just recently President Rodrigo Duterte’s present Defense and Foreign Affairs secretaries to be flag-waving in claiming that the arbitration suit President Benigno Aquino 3rd had filed against China was a “victory” for the Philippines.
The truth – if Duterte’s officials would just bother to study the award and read international law experts’ voluminous analyses on it (rather than reports of United States media) – is that it severely damaged our national interests on such a scale that Aquino and del Rosario could be deemed to have committed treason.
I discussed in last Friday’s column that the arbitration award degraded our islands in the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) into mere “rocks” not entitled to exclusive economic zones, which could have meant – if not for the award – expansive maritime areas for the country four times bigger than the size of Luzon.
But the worst ruling of the award that has put the Philippines in a situation of clear and present danger is this: it made us vulnerable to Chinese or Vietnamese military operations to control our claimed territory within the KIG, which they claim – way before Ferdinand Marcos did in 1978 – as part of their sovereign territory.
It was really stupid for the Aquino-del Rosario lawyers to have asked the tribunal to rule as illegal Chinese ships’ attempts in May 2013 to block Philippine vessels from providing supplies to our 12-man Marine detachment in Second Thomas (Ayungin) Shoal living in the BRP Sierra Madrewreck. (more…)