Groups celebrate PH ‘win’ vs China ahead of arbitration ruling
Various groups on Tuesday joined forces to celebrate the expected win of the Philippines in its arbitration case against China on disputed areas in the South China Sea.
The Vietnamese Community in the Philippines (VCP), US Pinoys for Good Governance, and Marcha Kontra Tsina led hundreds of Filipino citizens and their supporters eager to hear the decision of the international tribunal in The Hague.
The decision is expected to be released in less than an hour.
After a press conference, the group marched to the nearby Manila Bay to release balloons and offer sampaguitas in the hopes of a peaceful resolution for the Philippines and China, as well as other claimant countries.
Roilo Golez, former congressman and national security adviser and now head of Marcha, said that the case filed by the Philippine government shows that Filipinos, as a nation, “stand up with dignity” as it calls on other countries, “especially China, to respect our rights.”
“The world is watching us, the world is watching how we fight for our rights according to international law,” he said during a press briefing held in Manila.
Eric Lachica, Washington D.C. Coordinator for US Pinoys for Good Governance, said the Philippines’ expected win in the arbitration case is just the start.
Golez added that while China is likely to ignore the ruling, as it had refused to participate in the arbitration, the question is whether they can “sustain ignoring” it as they face “the indignation of the international community of nations.”
“Many of these groups will use this ruling in order to beat up China in various international fora,” he said.
Lee Amber of the Vietnamese Community in the Philippines (VCP),said their group is one with the Philippines. She said the issuance of the award of the tribunal “is an event of historical importance” that will also impact other countries.
Vietnam is among the countries in dispute with China over some areas of South China Sea.
Other groups present were Akbayan-Youth and Kalayaan Atin Ito. The latter earlier visited disputed islands in West Philippine Sea and were intercepted by the Chinese Coast Guard. JE/rga
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