By: Elena Grace Flores
The much publicized move of Duterte’s administration in dealing with China’s rejecting the ruling has sparked anew when the Chinese counterpart of Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said that they will only resume bilateral talks with the Philippines if the Philippine government would disregard the recent international tribunal ruling that gave sovereignty to Philippines over the disputed West Philippine Sea.
Wang Yi was told by Yasay that their request is unacceptable and the foreign secretary firmly said that confrontation with them would be likely in the near future. This is a different Yasay as portrayed by the media earlier – who tried to befriend China before the ruling. However, due to massive public outrage, the government must be in unison with the sentiments of the majority which is to tell China to get lost and seek the defense mechanism of the super powers that are getting ready to help the Philippines as their ally.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte is prioritizing the fishermen who are deprived by China’s territorial grabbing strategies. The fish-rich Scarborough Shoal that should be open to both the Filipino and Chinese fishermen are now guarded by the Chinese coast guard and driving away Filipino fishermen making their living away from the fishing ground with water cannons. The public is anxiously waiting on what President Duterte can do since bilateral talks are off at least for the time being.