Bishops find Duterte’s invoking of arbitral win ‘very decisive’

Bishops find Duterte’s invoking of arbitral win ‘very decisive’

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos (File photo)

MANILA – Catholic prelates have lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for invoking The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling against China’s massive claims in the South China Sea in a speech before the United Nation (UN) General Assembly on Wednesday.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said Duterte’s speech “is a very decisive and assertive stand for our rights and sovereignty”.

“It means our country first and always to protect her, preserve and promote her,” Santos said in a statement. “We are grateful to our President for his reasonable, justifiable speech in defense of territorial integrity.”

Santos said he will pray for the President to remain firm with his assertion of the arbitral award and “much more to translate it to action”.

San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza thanked Duterte and promised to pray for the Chief Executive.

“I thank him for doing so and I pray he will continue to do so,” he said.

Novaliches emeritus Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr. commended Duterte for his courage to tackle the issue before the members of the international body.

“I’m happy, at the end he had courage,” he said.

Sorsogon Bishop emeritus Arturo Bastes thanked God for enlightening the President to do what is right.

“This is a happy news! Praise the Lord for enlightening Duterte to do what is right: to assert our sovereignty and legal ownership of the Spratly Islands on the West Philippine Sea situated South of China,” he said. (PNA)

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