It was 2012 when our fishermen were blocked by the Chinese coastguard into their traditional fishing grounds called the Scarborough Shoal. The Aquino administration was a newly minted government then and was barely two years old. The past administration faced many challenges, some involved the loss of lives due to internal conflict but none as pressing as this issue as it directs what the future of the West Philippine Sea, our sovereignty, will be.
I have followed this standoff closely. Our boats went home but our men feared for their future. China is a growing superpower and our country has no match to its military strength. But I am proud to say that our nation is restless and our former leaders were always in high spirits.
Those who closely follow the news know now that the result of the case we lodged at the High Tribunal at The Hague was released last July 12 in favor of the Philippines. Many are elated with the much anticipated Philippine-favored ruling. But following this huge win for our country, are doubts with what the present administration will do after receiving the news. Being in Isla Pag-Asa over a year ago made this issue very close to me. I can only do so much but my heart and soul are one in thoughts that China should respect the decision. Ignoring it simply means that they know they are on the wrong footing and will do all means necessary to assert they they are right. Interpreting how this is being played, China is not the one to back down or get just a menial share. With their aggressive nine-dash line claim, it’s either win or nothing at all.
You can never go wrong as long as you are treading the right path. And I sincerely pray that our new leaders will continue what their forebears has started for the sole benefit and goodness of the great Filipino nation.