Use arbitration win to assert rights in WPS, Robredo tells gov’t as ruling’s 5th anniversary nears
MANILA, Philippines — The government should use the country’s historic arbitration win to assert its rights over the West Philippine Sea, Vice President Leni Robredo reiterated on Sunday, a day before the fifth year mark of the country’s arbitration win against China.
Robredo, in her weekly radio show, said the fifth anniversary of the landmark ruling should “remind” the government to fight for the country’s sovereignty and rights of the fishermen.
“Pagpapaalala ‘yong fifth anniversary bukas na mayroon tayong pinaglalaban pa, na marami tayong mga kababayan na nakabase doon ‘yong kanilang hanapbuhay,” she said on radio DZXL.
(The fifth anniversary of the arbitral ruling tomorrow reminds us that we have so many things to fight for. We have country men who rely on the sea for a living.)
“Ang pinag-uusapan ‘yung sovereignty, ‘yung encroachment sa territory, pero ‘yung mukha talaga nito iyong mga maliliit na mangingisda, na sumusubok lang mabuhay, tapos sila pa iyong maha-harass, sila iyong tatakutin, sila iyong papaalisin,” she added.
(We are talking about sovereignty and encroachment of our territory, but our fishermen are on the forefront and they are the ones who were harassed, threatened, and driven away just for making a living.)
Robredo pointed out that the country’s move to challenge China’s claim before the Permanent Court of Arbitration can be an instrument to push for multilateral talks.
“Yung pagkapanalo natin, makasaysayan ‘yon. Tayo ‘yong pinakaunang bansa na dinala ang China to arbitration,” she said. “Ito ay may epekto hindi lang sa atin, pero may epekto ito sa lahat ng may claims over sa South China Sea saka sa West Philippine Sea.”
(Our historic win — as the first country who brought China to arbitration — will not only affect us but every country who has claims on South China Sea or West Philippine Sea as well.)