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Otso Diretso senatorial bets visited Masinloc in Zambales which was just a few kilometers away from the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea and also home to many of our poor Filipino fishermen who relied on their day-to-day fish catch in order to make a living. In fact, their goal was supposed to travel by boat in Scarborough Shoal to see firsthand the situation of the fishermen and how China and re-assess reports that China has been really controlling the area and harassing Filipino ships. However, they have been prevented to do so by members of the Philippine Coast Guard citing national security.
But we own — Scarborough Shoal? Don’t we?
Our rights over Scarborough Shoal has since already been re-affirmed by our recent victory in the Permanent Court of Arbitration led by none other than the brilliant former solicitor general and current senatorial aspirant Florin Hilbay himself. China also knows that under UNCLOS, we own Scarborough Shoal as it sits within our 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone from the baselines of its habitable islands because both the Philippines and China are parties to the Convention, the Philippines having ratified it on 8 May 1984, and China on 7 June 1996. The Convention was adopted as a “constitution for the oceans,” in order to “settle all issues relating to the law of the sea. However, China actually declared the delimitation of its oceanic bounderies beyond the 200 Mile Exclusive Economic Zone citing ”historical rights” over the entire South China Sea.
We’ve also been able to prove that China merely ”translated” Filipino reefs/shoals using ancient maps drawn between 1636 and 1933 by Philippine authorities and foreigners, all showing Scarborough Shoal, named or unnamed (Punto de Mandato, Panacot, Bajo de Masinloc), as part of the Philippines.
After years of lengthy arbitration proceedings. The Permanent Court of Arbitration finally ruled in favor of the Philippines well over too late for the former President Aquino to act on as he has since been replaced by the now incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte who once promised to ride on a jetski and plant a flag in Scarborough Shoal which he then recanted later and called those who believed his statement as mere ‘fools’.
“..The Tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line..”
“..Having found that certain areas are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, the Tribunal found that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by (a) interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, (b) constructing artificial islands and (c) failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone..”
So if China does not own Scarborough Shoal then why is Duterte preventing Filipino citizens from actually going there, planting a flag and taking pictures of it? Of course, that shouldn’t be of any harm compared to China’s armed warships sailing around our own seas unchallenged while bringing with them a horde of commercial fishing vessels plundering our oceans for the benefit of the Chinese people.
How can you fathom these atrocities while hundreds of Filipino fishermen suffer from lesser fish-catch as well as our territorial integrity blatantly violated by a foreign country? How can you accept Duterte’s hollow explanations and defeatist stance in the South China Sea dispute? Whilst still proudly calling yourself a ‘Filipino?
Otso Diretso candidates bravely showed to the Filipino people that they want to defend our country from foreign invaders like China despite being bogged down and prevented by Philippine Coast Guard to set sail in Scarborough to plant our flag there
Of course, this isn’t a political campaigning post but to what end to we wallow in extreme political neutrality whilst our country is inching its way closer the bottomless precipice of dictatorship paving the path of a new Chinese-backed Marcosian aristocracy. We need to speak up and make sure that our votes go to well-deserving candidates who stand firm in favor of the people and thinks only of our own welfare and best interest. We can’t allow ignorant, dishonest and corrupt politikos run the Senate which is why I must insist that we ought to vote as if our life actually depends on it.
Could the Chinese govt be helping Duterte’s drug business?
We’ve already heard from JB Sebastian’s Senate hearing statement that most of the drugs coming into the Philippines actually comes from China now. Implying that Duterte really is incapable of quelling the mass influx of illegal substances flooding the country which is coming from China.
In fact, Duterte’s defeatist stance on the West Philippine Sea seems to coincides with the recent spate of ”Bikoy’s” viral videos leaking bank transaction details showing that his son Paolo Duterte had been linked to big-time Chinese drug lords. Could this mean that the Chinese government who controls most of China’s external commercial interests wants to also help his son’s illegal business prosper while in return favor China’s demands?
We’ll have to wait for Bikoy to upload the next installment of the video.