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Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The support expressed by the European Parliament for the Philippines in its decision to seek a settlement from the United Nations arbitral tribunal on the West Philippine Sea dispute with China, is a very welcome development indeed.
For several months, tension has been growing in the country because of the seemingly hard stance being taken by China in insisting that a portion of the Philippines belongs to it. The claim had surfaced only recently, and by now, it has become clear why that country has become so adamant in pursuing it. It is now believed that there is oil in that area which, naturally, anybody would covet.
Apprehension first started to arise when, suddenly, it was found out that, not only had China been claiming ownership of the area called the Scarborough Shoal, it had also started building structures there. That, naturally, alarmed the Philippines, because, aside from the fact that the Chinese people in the area would not entertain the protests of the Philippine government, it even further expanded its constructions there.
Attempts by the smaller, and weaker country to dialog with the Chinese authorities were ignored, and it was clear that their officials knew that when, as the saying goes, push comes to shove, they could easily shove us anywhere they want.
The plan of the Philippine government to bring the problem up to the United Nations was initially met with what seemed to be disdain by the Chinese government who, obviously knew that our country could not do anything more than making noises about the bullying.
It is therefore a hopeful sign that the European body had adopted a resolution expressing support to the arbitration initiative of the Philippines. Furthermore, it is also calls on China to commit itself to observing the UN Charter and international law. What remains to be seen now is whether, at long last, China will admit that it is still a member of the international body, and subject itself to the Charter that governs it.*