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4 years after the arbitral ruling

7 out of 10 Filipinos believe gov’t should assert rights over West PH Sea

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 04:01 PM July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Four years after the historic Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling in favor of the  Philippines, majority of Filipinos still believe that the Philippine government should assert the country’s rights over the islands in the West Philippine Sea, the latest SWS survey released Tuesday showed.

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According to the survey conducted from July 3 to 6, seven out of 10—or 70 percent—of Filipinos said that they agree that the government should assert its rights.

Of the 70 percent, 45 percent answered in the survey that they “strongly agree,” while 15 percent said that they “somewhat agree.”

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However, the latest survey by the pollster also showed that the net agreement score is at +57 in July 2020, compared to +82 in July 2019.

Meanwhile,13 percent said that they disagree that the government should assert its rights, and the remaining 15 percent of respondents said that they were undecided.

Net Agreement was highest in Metro Manila (+65), followed by the Visayas (+59), Balance Luzon at (+57), and Mindanao at (+52), the pollster added.

Last year’s SWS survey showed that 87 percent of Filipinos say that the government should assert its rights in the disputed territories, with only five percent said that they disagree, while eight percent were undecided.

The latest survey also revealed that 82 percent—or four out of five Filipinos— said that the Philippines should form alliances with democratic countries that are ready to defend the Philippines’ territorial rights in the disputed islands.

Nine percent, meanwhile, disagreed that the country should not form alliances, while eight percent of respondents said they were undecided.

It was on July 12, 2016 when the PCA decided that the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea, and invalidated China’s “nine dash-line” claim over the disputed territories.

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On Sunday, which also marked the fourth anniversary of the historic ruling, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. issued a statement calling for China to respect the arbitral award.

In response, China rejected the appeal, saying that the award was “illegal and invalid.”

The latest SWS survey carried questions sponsored by the Stratbase Albert Del Rosario (ADR) Institute.

The poll was conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI), and interviewed 1,555 adult Filipinos (18 years old and above) nationwide.

The survey also had a sampling error margin of ±2 percent for national percentages, ±6 percent for Metro Manila, and ±5 percent for Balance Luzon, ±5 percent Visayas, and ±5 percent in Mindanao.

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TAGS: arbitral ruling, China, Permanent Court of Arbitration, Social Weather Stations (SWS), South China sea
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