Statement of Sen. Francis Pangilinan on 3rd anniversary of Hague ruling on West Philippine Sea
Panalo tayo. Nakuha na natin ang trophy three years ago. Bakit parang binibigay pa natin sa tinalo natin?
Kaya tuloy, simula nang nag-pivot ang Pilipinas pa-China, naging mas agresibo ang ating higanteng kapit-bansa sa asta nito sa West Philippine Sea. Ang pagbangga at paglubog sa bangkang GemVer sa Recto Bank ang pinakahuling pambubully nito.
Before this pivot, we, like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, had been trying to protect our waters so that our fishermen can freely fish there and feed us.
The Philippines had stood up to the bullying by filing diplomatic protests, summoning Chinese ambassadors, arresting, prosecuting, fining, and eventually expelling Chinese (and other foreign) poachers.
And there has not been any war. In any case, the cause of our fishermen, our territory, our children’s future is worth fighting for.
The Recto Bank alone is estimated to hold up to 5.4 billion barrels of oil and 55.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to a 2013 report from the United States Energy Information Administration. The UP Marine Institute, on the other hand, says that fisheries production of both municipal and EEZ waters of the country has declined over the past decades, and is predicted to drop further by 25-50% in a few years’ time.
If we are able to harness the oil and gas, and protect our marine life in the West Philippine Sea, it would mean cheaper power and electricity, as well as seafood, for our consumers, and more income and food for our fisher folk.
Tungkulin ng pamahalaang Pilipino na itaguyod ang panalong ito at protektahan at pangalagaan ang ating teritoryo.
Gayundin, tungkulin nating lahat bilang Pilipino na isabuhay ang panalong ito para sa pamana ng ating lahi at kinabukasan ng ating mga anak laban sa patuloy na pananalakay ng China.
West Philippine Sea, atin ‘to!