Escudero: Gov’t should at least assert rights over West PH Sea
If the Philippines cannot enforce the Hague’s ruling, then the government should at least assert its right over the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
Senator Francis Escudero made this assertion on Tuesday after majority of Filipinos reject the government’s policy of “doing nothing” about China’s intrusion” in the WPS.
The people’s sentiments were reflected in latest survey of the Social Weather Stations.
“There is a principle in law called “laches” which states that an unreasonable delay in seeking a remedy for a legal right or claim will prevent it from being enforced or allowed if the delay has prejudiced the opposing party,” Escudero said in a statement.
“While we cannot enforce the ruling of The Hague given our lack or absence of military/economic might, we should also not do anything to adversely affect or diminish the ruling and our concomitant claim by any action or inaction by any president or government, now or in the future,” he added.
The senator said temporarily setting aside the Philippines’ disagreement with China “is not per se contributory to laches.”
“But we must at the very least mention it [including the ruling of The Hague] in our multilateral or bilateral dealings with China and other nations,” he pointed out.
“Perhaps it is the perceived “silence” of the government in even mentioning it which our countrymen are really against and do not agree with.”
“Our people do not expect the government to assert our rights over the WPS militarily. However, they perhaps expect government to at least mention and assert it in their policy speeches and declarations,” Escudero added. /jpv
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