Bishop to OFWs in China: Don’t engage in talks about tribunal win
An official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) cautioned Filipinos working in China to refrain from talking about the favorable ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which upheld the Philippines’ claim to parts of the South China Sea, for their safety.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, the chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Pastoral Care for Migrant and Itinerant Peoples, asked overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) living in China to be vigilant about “personal threats” and avoid engaging in debates about the arbitration court ruling.
“We accept and we received the decision with gratitude to God. And so we appeal that we should be magnanimous that we should not brag about it let us accept everything with humility and with appreciation but we don’t boast about it,” Santos said in an interview that aired on Veritas Patrol on Wednesday.
“We advise our OFWs to maintain what they are doing that they are responsible, respectful that they are quiet and there is no need for open debate and discussion,” he added.
The bishop also asked OFWs in China not to form groups and talk about the decision on social media.
The CBCP earlier asked Filipinos to pray an “oratio imperata” to seek a peaceful resolution for the territorial dispute between Manila and Beijing.
On Tuesday, the UN-backed PCA ruled that China had no historic title over the South China Sea and that it violated the sovereign rights of the Philippines with its actions in the said waters.
“China had violated the Philippines’ soveriegn rights in its exclusive economic zone by interfering with fishing and petroleum exploration by constructing artificial islands and failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone,” the PCA said after handing its ruling on the case filed by Manila against Beijing in 2013.
China dismissed the Philippines’ win in the arbitration court as “null and void.”
“China opposes and will never accept any claim or action based on those awards,” a statement from China’s foreign ministry said. JE
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