Losing West PH Sea the ‘gravest threat’ since World War II —Carpio
Losing the West Philippine Sea to nuclear-armed China may just be the “gravest external threat” to the Philippines since the second World War, acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said on Friday.
In his commencement speech at University of San Carlos in Cebu City, Justice Carpio warned that if Filipinos lose the huge resource-rich waters to Asia’s superpower, they would lose it “forever.”
“If we lose this huge maritime area, we lose it forever. This generation, and future generations of Filipinos, will never be able to recover this vast area with all its rich natural resources,” the magistrate said.
“I call this the gravest external threat to the Philippines since World War II, bar none,” he lamented.
Carpio stressed that it is President Rodrigo Duterte and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who is “tasked by the Constitution to lead the way in defending our national territory and maritime zones.”
The magistrate, likewise, said that Filipinos should also defend the country against China’s “unlawful and unjust aggression” by turning to the 1987 Constitution, and spreading the message to the world.
“Let it not be said by future generations of Filipinos that today’s generation of Filipinos slept while China seized the West Philippine Sea. We, the Filipino people, can defend today the West Philippine Sea,” Carpio said.
Filipinos, Carpio said, can do so by having people-to-people conversations with all peoples of the world, and with the “inherently good” Chinese people, through social media, blogs, conferences, journals, books and newspapers, online and print.
“I am certain that the Chinese people will change their thinking once the history of the South China Sea is properly explained to them in a people-to-people conversation with other peoples of the world,” the acting chief magistrate said.
“Let us not delay any longer, let us start this historic people-to-people conversation with other UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas) member nations, and with China, today,” he said. /jpv
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