4 in 5 Filipinos reject gov’t inaction vs China moves – SWS

Rambo Talabong
Most Filipinos also believe the Duterte administration should strengthen the Philippine military as China militarizes the West Philippine Sea

BOOSTING TIES President Rodrigo Duterte shakes hands with President Xi Jinping during his state visit in October 2016. Malacañang file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Four out of 5 Filipinos said it is wrong for the Duterte administration to do nothing about China’s militarization of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey found.

In a survey released on Saturday evening, July 14, the SWS said 81% of respondents think it is “not right” for the Philippine government “to do nothing about China’s intrusion in claimed territories.”

The survey was conducted from June 27 to 30 among 1,200 adult respondents. The margin of error was ±3% for national percentages.

In this survey, the SWS also found the following:

  • 80% think it is right for the Philippines to strengthen its military, particularly the Philippine Navy
  • 74% think it is right to bring the issue to “international organizations for diplomatic negotiations”
  • 73% think it is right to pursue bilateral negotiations with China
  • 68% think it is right that other countries mediate in the issue

The survey comes as the Duterte administration refuses to publicly protest China’s moves in the West Philippine Sea because agitating China will supposedly court war – a claim debunked by experts

China has built military structures in the West Philippine Sea, part of the South China Sea that belongs to the Philippines. 

While China militarizes these waters, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remains one of the region’s weakest militaries. The Philippines aims to strengthen the AFP through Republic Act 10349, which set up a 15-year program to modernize the military. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.