Del Rosario tells Duterte: Cast aside your fear of displeasing China
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario has called on President Rodrigo Duterte to put the country first and defend the country’s rights in the West Philippine Sea “according to what we are fully entitled to under international law.”
At Tuesday evening’s launching of the book Rock Solid: How the Philippines Won Its Maritime Case against China written by veteran journalist Marites Danguilan-Vitug, Del Rosario urged Mr. Duterte to listen to the people and not to China.
“With the tribunal ruling, ladies and gentlemen, we need to respectfully call on the President to finally do what is necessary to defend what we are fully entitled to under international law. We need to listen, not to the Chinese ambassador, but to our people. We need to embrace, not China, but our own country,” Del Rosario said.
Rock Solid: How the Philippines Won Its Maritime Case against China details the stunning victory of the Philippines’ maritime case against China over the South China Sea in 2016.
Del Rosario, who was one of the speakers at the event, said the Duterte administration “should cast aside their fear of displeasing China.”
The administration has been criticized for squandering the gains of the landmark ruling in 2016 in exchange for economic investments and closer ties with the regional superpower.
“The Philippines took a measured risk in order to protect what rightfully belongs to it. To subsequently afford China a soft diplomacy is a clear mockery, not only of our people but of the rules-based international system,” Del Rosario pointed out. /kga
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