‘Alipin no more!:’ Lacson says UN speech should ‘erase doubts’ on Duterte’s stand on sea row
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for affirming the Philippines’ arbitral win against China over the South China Sea, saying it should now eradicate doubts on the Chief Executive’s stand in Manila’s territorial dispute with Beijing.
“Alipin no more!” Lacson said in a tweet.
Alipin’ no more!
Hearing the President invoke the Award before the UN General Assembly while firmly rejecting any attempt to undermine it should now erase doubts on where he stands regarding the WPS issue.
— PING LACSON (@iampinglacson) September 23, 2020FEATURED STORIES
“Hearing the President invoke the Award before the UN General Assembly while firmly rejecting any attempt to undermine it should now erase doubts on where he stands regarding the WPS [West Philippine Sea] issue,” the senator added.
Manila and Beijing have long been locked in a maritime dispute and in 2013, the Philippines filed a case with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague challenging China’s sweeping claim of nearly the entire South China Sea, including parts of the West Philippine Sea.
In July 2016, the Hague-based court ruled in favor of the Philippines invalidating China’s nine-dash line claim but Beijing has repeatedly refused to recognize the ruling.
Duterte has been criticized for setting aside the landmark 2016 arbitral ruling and also earlier drew flak for saying that he was “inutile” and “cannot do anything” to counter China’s aggression in the South China Sea.
But the President, during the UN General Assembly, said Manila’s win is “now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon.”
‘Filipinos should feel proud’
In a separate statement sent to reporters, Lacson said Filipinos, regardless of their political stand, should “feel proud” of Duterte’s invocation of the country’s arbitral victory.
“Filipinos from both sides of the political aisle should feel proud hearing the President express his strong and unequivocal position on the WPS issue,” the senator said.
“More importantly, I hope that China heard the President’s message loud and clear,” he added.
Lacson also commended the President for defending the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 before the international body.
Duterte had said that the anti-terror law, which Lacson principally authored, is a crucial “legal framework” to eradicate terrorism.
Duterte signed the law on July 3 despite the widespread opposition of various sectors over fears that it could be used as a potential state weapon against legitimate dissent.
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