73% of Filipinos want PH to assert rights under Hague ruling
MANILA, Philippines – Seven out of 10 Filipinos want the Duterte administration to assert the Philippines' rights over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) under the historic Hague ruling of July 12, 2016, pollster Pulse Asia said.
Pulse Asia reported this on Thursday, July 12, the second anniversary of the Hague ruling on the South China Sea.
Ronald Holmes, president of Pulse Asia, presented these findings at an event organized by the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute to mark the Hague ruling's second anniversary.
Pulse Asia asked respondents whether they agree or disagree with the statement, "The Duterte administration should assert our right and protect our territorial sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea as stipulated in the 2016 decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration."
The survey showed a big majority of respondents – 73% – agreed with this statement.
The survey was taken from June 15 to 21, Pulse Asia said. The survey was commissioned by the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute.
Holmes said Pulse Asia asked the same question in a December 2016 survey, and "the level of agreement then was 84%."
"This is a slightly lower level of agreement, but still it's a significant majority. Hopefully the Duterte administration will heed this specific opinion," Holmes said.
In his presentation on Thursday, Holmes added that "a plurality of Filipinos are of the opinion that the Philippines should file a diplomatic protest against or in relation to the continuous militarization of the Chinese in our territories in the West Philippine Sea."
This comes as President Rodrigo Duterte refuses to enforce the Hague ruling while his foreign secretary, Alan Peter Cayetano, declines to publicize protests made by the Philippines against China, if any.
On Thursday, Vice President Leni Robredo also spoke at the Stratbase event, and urged Filipinos to "peacefully protest" China's behavior in the West Philippine Sea.
In his own speech at Thursday's event, former Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario lamented that the Philippines has become "a willing victim" and "an abettor" of China.
"Before we can hope for help, we must first demonstrate that we are worth helping," Del Rosario said. – Rappler.com