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Unheeded

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“IF THE Duterte administration still refuses to heed the sentiment of the Filipino people and continues with its appeasement and defeatist policy, the Filipino people will convert their sentiment into votes in the … 2019 elections. That is how our democracy works under the Constitution.”

Thus warned Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio in the wake of the results of opinion polls that 73 percent of Filipinos want enforcement of the July 2016 ruling of the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in favor of the Philippines in the country’s challenge to China’s claim to nearly all of the South China Sea.

“We have to grow the number of Filipinos demanding enforcement of the ruling to over 90 percent so that the Duterte administration can no longer ignore the sentiment of the Filipino people,” Carpio furthered.

“It is just a matter of explaining to the people that the first step in retaking our islands is to enforce the ruling.”

In the same book launch where Carpio made his pitch, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario called on President Duterte to defend the Philippines’ rights in the West Philippine Sea, waters within the country’s 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, “according to what we are fully entitled to under international law.”

Del Rosario, who led the Philippine challenge to China at The Hague, said: “We need to listen not to the Chinese ambassador but to our people. We need to embrace not China but our own country” and for the administration to “cast aside their fear of displeasing China.”

“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 whole of the rules-based international system,” Del Rosario said.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana poopooed the Hague ruling as an “empty victory.”

Yeah, Welcome to the Philippines, Province of the People’s Republic of China.

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