Journal Online - PH-China sea dispute

News & Interviews
12 November 2015

Journal Online

Featured-Image-Journal-OnlineSenator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has called on the government to take every opportunity to talk to the Chinese to address the overlapping claims in the West Philippine Sea.

A vice presidential candidate in next year’s election, which is participatory democracy in action, Marcos stressed anew the need to seek a peaceful solution to the territorial dispute in the Spratlys.

Anyway, at the end of the day, what is important is for both sides -- the Philippines and China -- to consider the future of their relationship.

As various quarters said, formal or informal talks between the two neighboring countries ought to get off the ground as soon as possible.

Marcos, the only son of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda R. Marcos, described as “productive development” the willingness of the Chinese government to talk with the Philippines on the basis of international law.

However, he was also quick to emphasize the importance of pursuing confidence building steps in order to lessen the tensions between the Filipinos and the Chinese.

The young but hard-working Marcos, a former congressman and governor of Ilocos Norte, said that Filipino and Chinese fishermen used to trawl in harmony in disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea.

In fact, “sila’y nagsasama, sila’y nag-uusap kapag nagpapahinga, sila’y kumakain nang sabay bago ituloy ang kanilang pangingisda,” according to the articulate lawmaker from the so-called “Solid North.”

That does not mean, however, that we should no longer pursue “iyung ating sinimulang adjudication sa UN (United Nations).”

Marcos said that “maliwanag naman na ang pagkakataon na ito is an opportunity for the Philippines to make its case in an objective forum.”

Like other Filipinos, we believe that for as long as the two countries have the willingness to approach the talks with an open mind, then perhaps a peaceful settlement of the territorial dispute is still possible.