July 14, 2016
Reference: Atty. Virginia Lacsa-Suarez – Secretary General, Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN)
Diplomacy Not Sword-Rattling, Respect the Decision in PH-CH Territorial Dispute – KILUSAN
“Respect the decision and settle the dispute diplomatically,” advised Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) Secretary General and Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan Chairperson (KAISA KA) Atty. Virginia Lacsa Suarez in the light of the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration that has declared that none of the Spratlys are legally islands because they cannot sustain a stable human community and are thus entitled only to territorial seas, not exclusive economic zones, or continental shelves.
Suarez added that the ‘rule-based landmark decision’ should spur multilateral and bilateral diplomatic dialogue among the parties—Philippines, China and the other ASEAN nations’.
“The US, not being a party to the decision, should keep his counsel since sword-rattling and similar actions can only prove detrimental for the well-being of the peoples of the region,” warned Suarez.
She further discouraged the parties to the decision against actions that would fan flames of conflict rather than furthering a peaceful resolution to the territorial dispute.
“It would be prudent for the Philippines not to be caught in the middle of a fight between titans like US and China. Everybody wins if the issue can be settled diplomatically,” ends Suarez. ###