'WPS is ours... no ifs and buts'
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During his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 22, President Duterte made it very clear that “… the West Philippine Sea is ours. There [are] no ifs and buts. It is ours… we have been acting [applause] along that legal truth and line. But we have to temper it with the times and the realities that we face today.” The President spent a large portion of his speech — in my estimate, about 18 percent of its length or roughly 17 of his 93 minutes of delivery time — to this raging controversy involving our national territory, sovereignty and honor. He explained that “[t]he avoidance of conflict — armed conflict — and protection of our territorial waters and natural resources compel us to perform a delicate balancing act,” and that he tried to avoid “war, even on a limited scale… [because] [m]ore and better results can be reached in the privacy of a conference room than in a squabble in public.”
Panganiban, A. V. (2019, July 28). 'WPS is ours... no ifs and buts'. Philippine Daily Inquirer, p. A9.
Associated contentOnline version
Territorial waters; Environmental protection; Natural resources; United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea; Law of the sea; International law; Disputes; Exclusive economic zone; Fishing rights; United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA); Duterte, Rodrigo; Carpio, Antonio; Xi, Jinping