By: Elena Grace Flores
Bongbong Marcos earlier said that the 2016 legal victory of the Philippines against China before a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal. This invalidates Beijing’s expansive claim to the South China Sea creates tension with the powerful neighbor. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio then clarifies that the joint exploration with China does not violate the constitution. This is because the Philippines is still in full control with the operation. What’s unconstitutional is the China war threat. Carpio suggests trying to change the mindset of the Chinese people that they do not own the South China Sea through international influence and social media.
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[VIDEO]: Carpio: Kasunduan ng China at Pilipinas sa oil at gas development, walang nilabag na batas.
Change the Mindset
Carpio reiterates his call for a more vigorous campaign to change the mindset of the Chinese that the West Philippine Sea does not belong to China. He also said that there are bills pending in Congress that push for the declaration of portions of the West Philippine Sea as a marine sanctuary.
Call for Unity to Enforce Ruling
The Social Weather Stations releases results a month ago that shows 84 percent of Filipinos want the Du30 administration to do more against China’s intrusion in the West Philippine Sea. Carpio said that 84 percent can increase at the end of the year. “That is good because it is only when we are united can we get the ruling enforced,” he said
No Legal Basis for China’s Claim
He said the Philippine government should continue to assert its rights over the West Philippine Sea. It should do something to fortify the ruling given by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2016 every year. The ruling states that China has no legal basis for its nine-dash line territorial claim.
Educating the Chinese People
He also said that Filipinos should take time understanding the issues. That way, they could better explain the country’s position to other nationalities. They have the mission to convince other countries of the Philippines’ position. This is in the hope that together they could convince the Chinese people that the West Philippine Sea does not belong to them.
Downside of the Supreme Court Justice’s Plea
The Supreme Court Justice knows that China will never accept the ruling. Not unless the Chinese people realize that their historical narrative 2000 years ago is false. Since grade school to college, they have been taught that they own the South China Sea. They really believe it because they were not taught other things,” he said. However, it seems vague how the Filipinos with the help of other nations can change the mindset of over 1.3 billion people. This can actually cause more tensions between the two countries.