MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario lamented that the Philippines has become "a willing victim" and "an abettor" of China, two years after Manila won its landmark case against Beijing over the South China Sea.
Del Rosario posed 3 questions, and presented answers, in a forum on Thursday, July 12, to mark the second anniversary of the Hague ruling.
In a prepared speech, Del Rosario said (points of emphasis his):
First question: What may we call one that acquiesces to the abuses against it?
Answer: A WILLING VICTIM
Second question: What may we call one that defends an aggressor at every opportunity?
Answer: AN ABETTOR
Third question: What may we call ONE THAT GAMBLES THE RIGHTFUL PATRIMONY OF ITS FUTURE GENERATIONS for unlikely gains in the present?
Answer: Sorry, I cannot help you. That is for each of you to ponder.
Del Rosario said: "We need all of our friends in the community of nations who believe in the rule of law to help us. But before we can hope for help, we must first demonstrate that we are worth helping."
China 'a bully,' 'grand larcenist'
Del Rosario blasted China as "a bully," "a grand larcenist," and "an international outlaw."
First question: What should we call one that uses muscle to deprive others of their rights?
Answer: A BULLY
Second question: What should we call one that unlawfully takes a significant property of others?
Answer: A GRAND LARCENIST
Third question: What should we call one that refuses the rule of international law?
Answer: AN INTERNATIONAL OUTLAW
While the Philippines won a decisive victory against China on July 12, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte has refused to enforce it because the Philippines is seeking economic gains from Beijing.
Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio criticized the Duterte administration's "inexplicable reluctance" to enforce the Hague ruling, and the way it "incomprehensibly decided to befriend" China "at all costs."
Del Rosario said that "there is still time for our country to do what is right for our people."
Del Rosario presented a broad range of solutions – from multilateralism at the United Nations or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to bilateral engagements with other states, or all of the above.
He noted that "coercive diplomacy has no place in a rules-based international order."
"As Filipinos, we must voice our sentiments to our government and exercise our right to raise our indignation against China," Del Rosario said. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.