THE National Youth Movement for the West Philippine Sea has issued the following statement to strongly express its extreme disappointment with the statements attributed to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the proper approach to Chinese intrusions into the Philippines’ EEZ and sovereign territory when he mocked and unduly criticized the position propounded by retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on this issue of utmost national importance.
The NYMWPS strongly supports the statement of Justice Carpio that “the world community is a powerful ally that can help the Philippines defend its maritime jurisdiction without going to war.”
The Arbitral Award on July 12, 2016 in favor of the Philippines has been recognized and accepted by the international community.
We as Filipinos and citizens of a civilized world governed by responsible rules on mutual respect among nations agree that “a country cannot just fold up just because the other side is stubborn.”
We also take President Duterte to task, as the country’s leader and supposed epitome of Filipino patriotism, for his silence and seeming acquiescence to the creeping Chinese incursions on Philippine territory and EEZ in the West Philippine Sea.
Chinese intrusions into the country’s sovereign territory in the West Philippine Sea have not only violated international rules and disciplines on the territorial integrity of civilized nations, but they have also deprived Filipino citizens of livelihood and the enjoyment of their God-given maritime resources. These intrusions have likewise prejudiced the peace and security of the Philippines, and continue to endanger the freedom of navigation in this important area and avenue for world commerce.
China’s blatantly destructive methods continue to obliterate the marine environment in an area that is crucial to world marine environment and health.
We demand that China cease all such illegal and destructive activities and depart the area inclusive of the contested territories.
The NYMWPS strongly exhorts President Duterte to stand up to these incursions and bullying, and duly perform his duty under the Constitution that he has sworn to uphold and protect.
We further exhort the President and his administration to exhibit the proper high level of domestic and international statesmanship in advancing the country’s interests, employing all feasible and legal means on all relevant fronts and international fora to counter this specific threat to our national sovereignty, security and integrity.
As history has proven time and again, a small country with principled determination can effectively counter the bullying and aggressive intent of any larger and more militarily powerful country. Not just with the destructive violence of war that President Duterte apparently fears, but with other means that can be just if not more effective.
Filipino statesmanship and diplomacy can craft and aggressively pursue a proper, effective and principled national strategy to counter such serious threat.
Our glorious history until this present debacle has proved to ourselves and to the world that we are not a nation of cowards and slaves. The leadership and the citizens of the country are exhorted to live and honor the courage, ingenuity and sacrifice of leaders and citizens — patriots all — who came before us.