The Philippines is not giving up its rights over West Philippine Sea.
In fact, it is asserting ownership over the disputed body of water between China and the Philippines, and President Duterte himself made such assertion while aboard BRP Davao Del Sur a few days back.
“So ngayon ang sitwasyon is nandiyan ang West Philippine Sea. We are not giving up our rights,” President Duterte, who led the commemoration of Philippine Rise aboard BRP Davao del Sur on Tuesday.
“As a matter of fact, we are still insisting until now to the point that they are now willing… Iyan ang sabi nga ni Xi Jinping eh, ‘we would always find a solution to any problem,’” the President added.
With the President during the commemoration were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon and the other members of the Cabinet, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, some honorable members of the House of Representatives, AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez and the other major service commanders, Northern Luzon Commander Lieutenant General Emmanuel Salamat, the officers and enlisted men and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Filipino maritime researchers of the Philippine Rise among others.
The President even recalled his previous meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping where he told the latter about the Philippine’s claim over the WPS and the arbitral decision.
“Ýou know, Mr. President, we are claimants to that island and we have this arbitral award. Though I am not insisting on its solution now, I’d like you to know that I am going to China Sea to claim part of our territory and I will dig oil,” the President said.
“But of recent memory, nagkaiba-iba ang jurisprudence sa dagat. I have nothing against China but China claimed the entire ocean of China Sea. So not only did it assert its jurisdiction over the distance of the 12-mile limit territorial waters, and what would be known as the sovereign rights of a sovereign country territory, lumagpas na and they have claimed entire ownership, property in nature,” the President added.
As there is ‘geopolitics’ involved in the dispute as well as other countries who may also be claimants, the President explained that there might be some other ways by which the Philippines can benefit much from the disputed WPS.
“Alam mo maraming ano diyan geopolitics.There was this arbitral ruling because of the conflicting claimants. You must remember that it’s not only China — in reality, not China and Philippines, but actually it involves so many countries: Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnamese and Malaysia for that matter,” the President narrated. “And in the southernmost could be the Indonesian group of islands. Iyon ang status ng WPS.”
“And you know what? Si Xi Jinping, the ever cool na guy started by just, sabi niya, “Well, we just restored our relationships. I think it’s a new era for us, a new day and if I may beg you not to bring this up forcefully because there will be a time that we will be discussing it.”
“And sabi ko, “right, Mr. President, at least during my term I will raise the issue agai,” the President continued.
The current situation, the President revealed, is that China is offering a joint exploration and development.
“They are now offering for a joint exploration and development. Sabi niya (Xi Jinping) maybe you’ll have a bigger share,” the President added. (Arman Carandang)