Enough is enough.
Senator Nancy Binay on Wednesday said China’s continued aggression in the West Philippine Sea and its relentless claim the maritime territory is part of their sovereignty should stop.
BInay made the remark following China’s statement the Philippines should “respect” Beijing’s ownership of the contested area which is well within the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“As a people, we will always be committed to working for a peaceful solution beyond the military realm, but we cannot just allow any country to diminish our sovereignty,” Binay said in a statement.
“We are a peace-loving nation and have no hostile intent. Yet we cannot let the bullying continue by remaining scared and silent. We act with reason. It’s time to say enough,” the senator reiterated.
Senator Richard Gordon echoed the call and strongly reiterated the need for the Philippines to stand its ground by condemning and resisting China’s creeping invasion.
Gordon stressed it is the solemn duty of each and every Filipino to stand up against foreign aggression, “just like our forefathers from Lapu-Lapu to Jose Rizal to the heroes of Bataan and Corregidor.”
“China has been brazenly seizing, occupying, and claiming Philippine territory with force and intimidation and contrary to international law and agreements. That is present reality and we cannot say ‘set aside what cannot be resolved during our lifetime’,” Gordon reiterated.
“Iniisahan na tayo ng China, ninanakaw na ang kayamanang dagat ng sambayanan (China is cheating us, they are stealing the country’s marine resources). We cannot just fold our arms and accept what is now happening in the West Philippine Sea,” he said.
“Hindi po solusyon na dedma na lang tayo (ignoring them is not the solution).,” he said.
Gordon also said the pressure on China to reverse its aggressive actions can be exerted through unified censures from the international community.
“There are several avenues, excluding outright armed conflict, which the Philippines can pursue, through the United Nations and international tribunals, as pointed out by our legal scholars and academicians,” he pointed out.
On Tuesday, Gordon started an online petition calling on freedom-loving Filipinos to adapt Lapu-lapu’s mindset when it comes to facing the issue of foreign intrusion, particularly what is happening now in the West Philippine Sea.
The online petition, initiated by the “Bagumbayan Volunteers For a New Philippines Party,” coincides with the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the victory of the native Filipino chieftain over invading imperial Spanish troops led by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
The petition also manifests its strong condemnation not only against China’s aggressive and illegal activities in the WPS, but also for its continued disregard for the historic ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, that recognized Philippine sovereign rights over the said waters and dismisses China’s 9 Dash Line claim.
“Filipinos are never push-overs when it comes to defending our freedom and territory. We have a long and glorious history of being warriors against foreign intrusion and invasion, stretching from 1521 to the Second World War,” Gordon said.
“With this resolution, we honor that brave and heroic spirit and also call on all Filipinos to be modern day Lapu-Lapus: ready to fight and repel any foreign intrusion that threatens our freedom, sovereignty, and economic future,” he said.
The resolution also rallies Filipinos in the country and abroad to join in the cause.
“Whereas, we, the sovereign Filipino people here and abroad, will not sit idly by, and remain silent and allow ourselves to be pushed around, bullied and threatened, while China continues to ignore the Arbitral ruling, intrude into our territory and to continue to display unacceptable and uncivilized conduct expected of a country trying to establish itself as a world power,” read the resolution, which accompanied the petition. [Hannah L. Torregoza]