By: Elena Grace Flores
Beijing’s rejecting the ruling made the Philippines’ Tribunal victory a silent struggle. Debates in the congress and senate are going on to give clarity on the issue for the next step – as far as the country’s sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea is concerned. Purisima stressed out that the victory came after failure of negotiations that took many years. The filing in Tribunal was initiated when the harrassment by the Chinese coast guard became unbearable, grabbing the livelihood of Filipino fishermen.
Agreeing into joint exploration with China would put the efforts of the past administration into waste. Another issue would be – if China is capable of following lawful agreements when it does not even respect international laws? Mejia added that there’s danger to go into joint development with china. The Philippines should strenghten its defense capabilities to anticipate future aggressions from land grabbers. Mejia will not say this if there’s no truth on the rumored dollar reserves available in the government’s treasury for this purpose – but is playing a wait and see game to determine its crucial necessity.
Incoming Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III in the congress is calling for a peaceful means of exerting our power of control as awarded by the ruling over China – but the big question is “how” since China will not accept defeat over this matter at all, thus making the tough Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s mouth to be sealed – at least for the time being.