‘In honor of PNoy,’ Hontiveros files measure declaring July 12 as National West Philippine Sea Victory Day

‘In honor of PNoy,’ Hontiveros files measure declaring July 12 as National West Philippine Sea Victory Day

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday filed a resolution declaring July 12

as National West Philippine Sea Victory Day, in commemoration of the

Philippines’ 2016 triumph at the Hague, and in honor of the efforts of

former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III administration in

securing this landmark legal victory.

“PNoy is the father of our 2016 victory at The Hague. If not for his

unwavering commitment to put the Philippines first, we would not have

been awarded a landmark legal decision in international law, which

established our credibility in the global arena. Nang dahil sa

tagumpay natin sa The Hague, buo ang loob ng international community

na kumampi sa Pilipinas sa bawat pagmamalabis ng Tsina,” Hontiveros

said upon filing Proposed Senate Resolution No. 762.

The resolution states that after Chinese vessels began excluding

Filipino fisherfolk from their traditional fishing grounds in Panatag

Shoal and other parts of the WPS, it was President Benigno Simeon

Aquino III who led the Philippine government in initiating arbitration

proceedings against the People’s Republic of China before the

Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, Netherlands, to uphold

the country’s sovereign rights in the WPS.

“PNoy was a true patriot. Even when the Philippines was going against

the Goliath that is China, he pursued the case merely on the principle

that it was the right thing to do. He would often say ‘the Filipino is

worth fighting for,’ and this particular fight is undisputed proof

that he kept his word,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros added that having a day to remember and celebrate this win

is also a way to counter mis- and disinformation that deliberately

diminishes our 2016 victory.

“Marami ang nagmamaliit sa tagumpay na ito. Marami rin ang mga fake

news na nakikita natin na kesyo si PNoy daw ang dahilan kung bakit

nawala sa atin ang ating mga teritoryo. Let’s stop all these lies once

and for all through correctly remembering his leadership,” Hontiveros

said.

PSR No. 762 also details that the WPS may contain up to 55.1 trillion

cubic feet of natural gas and 5.4 billion barrels of oil. Hontiveros

said this is “an abundant source of energy with the potential to

secure the energy security and independence of the Philippines for 

at least the next generation of Filipinos.”

The WPS is also a traditional fishing ground of Filipino fisherfolk,

with an annual fish yield of 5 million tons sustaining the economies

of coastal communities on the western coasts of Luzon and Palawan.

“Napakayaman ng WPS pero hindi ito common knowledge para sa

napakaraming kababayan natin. Celebrating a National WPS Day will

enable Filipinos to understand and know more about the importance of

fighting for the WPS. Kung taon-taon nating mapaparangalan ang

kahalagahan ng WPS, mas maisasapuso din natin ang ating karapatan sa

ating sariling karagatan,” Hontiveros said.

“Considering the unresolved territorial dispute between the

Philippines and China, which continues to prevent and harass Filipino

fisherfolk from exercising their traditional fishing rights in the

area, it is essential that the spirit of the country’s landmark legal

victory in the Hague be kept alive in the hearts of our people through

a special day of remembrance. Ito din ay para hindi natin malimutang

magbigay pugay kay PNoy, na siyang naging daan para tunay na tumindig

sa Tsina. Sana sa pamamagitan ng pag-alala sa pamumuno ni PNoy, ang

inumpisahan niyang laban ay maipagpapatuloy ng mga henerasyong susunod

pa,” Hontiveros concluded. (ai/mtvn)

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