The Philippines must stand up to China and protect its territorial integrity. China’s action constitutes a crime of aggression under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
I call on the Government to strengthen our Military and our Navy. Indonesia stood up to China; it even burnt encroaching Chinese fishing boats, like Argentina did.
We must call a spade a spade. China is not just a bully. It is an aggressor. It aims to have hegemonic power over Asia Pacific.
The 2016 Decision of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Arbitral Tribunal clearly “DECLARES that Mischief Reef and Second Thomas Shoal are within the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines”. We have sovereign rights over Ayungin Shoal, it being in our exclusive economic zone. We must protect those rights.
We must be concerned and call on the Government to focus on building the country’s economy, including removing corruption. We must have steel mills that can supply the building of coast guard vessels.
Asserting our sovereign rights over our exclusive economic zone will not happen overnight. But we have started already and must continue to do so consistently and without letup.