Press Release
July 28, 2023

Cayetano Alan: Wisdom In Fighting For What Is Right! Might Should Never Dictate What Is Right!

Let's get things done in the West Philippine Sea based on what is right, not on might!

Wisdom is essential; let's look to the past and learn from history in coming up with an effective and comprehensive West Philippine Sea strategy.

In resolving the issues of the West Philippine Sea and our relationship with China, we need to have an aggressive and sincere effort to have direct negotiations as well as confidence-building measures with China. This is in order to jumpstart a joint approach to the West Philippines Sea dilemma that will see peace and stability in the short term as we work towards an acceptable solution in the long term.

Both countries have a large stake in maintaining stability in the region. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, with every country in the whole ASEAN scrambling to get back on its economic feet as soon as possible, peace, order, and stability are essential for steady progress and development.

We cannot be ignorant of geopolitics. We must be conscious of, and sensitive to the dynamics of rival superpowers, yet be assertive that superpowers should not force upon us their way of doing things in the region. A Rule Based Approach That Is Fair To All Is What We Should Insist On.

As elected leaders of the nation, it is our duty to get things done the right way. For this we need wisdom and circumspection. In formulating a national strategy, we have to look honestly into the past and make every effort to learn from history.

The Senate must continue the discussion on the West Philippine Sea. Maturity is needed not only in how we approach the problem but also in how we contextualize our approach and strategy. In this regard, I believe not bringing this matter to the UN General Assembly is NOT a sign of weakness but a mark of maturity.

It is also not true that there is no other choice, nor that the Government is not doing anything. In fact the UNGA option has been discussed many times in the past, and many experts have said that it will not help the Philippines' cause and might even weaken our position.

We are already on very firm ground based on International Law from the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and The Hague arbitration award. If we bring this matter before the United Nations General Assembly, anything less than a unanimous vote will only weaken our position and clutter the issues. The UNGA is not a venue of enforcement.

The Philippine government's problem has never been who is "right," rather it is who has the "might" to enforce "the right".

Let us continue to pray and support our frontliners who bear the burden and risk their lives in protecting our lives and sovereignty.

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