Press Release
May 8, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1,065:
Supplemental Statement on Duterte's remark that the arbitral ruling is a worthless piece of paper

This is getting troublesome, if not downright treasonous!

More and more, Duterte has been parroting China's talking points on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue. First, he said we cannot enforce the Hague ruling. Then he claimed that it was just a piece of paper to be thrown in the trash.

Noong una, may pa-jetski pa raw si Duterte sa WPS para sabihin sa China na atin yun. Tapos sa speech niya sa ASEAN, sinabi niya na hindi na maitatanggi ang panalo natin sa kaso natin laban sa China. Ngayon, biglang atras siya at sinabing hindi niya kailanman ipinangako na babawiin niya ang WPS at i-pressure ang China. Tapos sinabi niya na basurang papel lang ang ipinanalong kaso natin.

He forced Sec. Locsin to apologize to China for using expletives in demanding that they withdraw their ships that trespassed in our territory. This after he has used foul language against non-Chinese world leaders like the US President and the Pope. He relentlessly insults the gentlemen-patriots, former SAJ Carpio and former SFA del Rosario. Why would our President take a stand against our own who are defending our country?

Kahit ang simpleng pangingisda, parang si Duterte pa ang nakikiusap sa China na payagan ang mga Pilipino na mangisda sa karagatan natin.

Throughout his term, Duterte has always assumed a defeatist attitude towards our rights over the WPS. He said that our claims are disputed. It is not. He said that we cannot do anything. We can.

Maliban sa China at kay Duterte, kinikilala ng buong mundo ang ating karapatan sa WPS. Ang US, Europa, Australia ay nagsalita na sa pagkilala nila sa pagkapanalo natin sa kaso natin laban sa China.

Senate President Sotto said that we should either negotiate or go to war with China. With all due respect, why would we allow China to drive our choices? Why is the only non-war option to negotiate with China on their own terms? Do we even trust Duterte to protect the interests of the Filipino people when dealing with China?

We need to strengthen our alliance with countries who observe the rule of law and whose interests align with ours. They already recognize our rights over the WPS under UNCLOS. If we negotiate, it should be on our own terms and in affirmance of our rights. That is the only way to cancel China's hegemony over our region.

The West Philippine Sea represents food, energy, security, and so many resources for Filipinos now and the generations to come. For Duterte to casually dismiss our rights is treason against our country and our future.

I call on my colleagues to honor our oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, as members of a strong and independent Senate.

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 1065 here:

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