De Lima supports Carpio’s call for SCS ‘truth movement’

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed support for Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio’s call for the creation of a “truth movement” to help rectify China’s fake historical claim on the disputed islands in the South China Sea (SCS).

De Lima agreed that the creation of such truth movement will help Chinese people better understand the history of the SCS and eventually help them put on added pressure to the Chinese government to stop showing disrespect to the international law.

“I fully support Justice Carpio’s call for a ‘truth movement’ to push back against China by reaching out to the Chinese people who occasionally travel outside their country and educate them about China’s distorted historical claim in the South China Sea,” she said.

“After all, the best way to disprove the lies peddled by the Chinese government to its people is to counter it by spreading the truth: That China does not own the entire South China Sea and that it has, in fact, violated international law by building military bases on artificial islands within our Exclusive Economic Zone,” she added.

Amid China’s consistent claims that it owns almost the entire SCS, Carpio called for a SCS “truth movement” which he described as “a people’s movement using freedom of expression to explain the historical truth about the South China Sea.”

He recounted how the Chinese government has been teaching its citizens that their country owned the South China Sea for over 2,000 years, despite a resolution by the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal in 2016 in The Hague nullifying its claim.

While Carpio claimed that “the Chinese people are inherently good people,” he said “they have, however, been taught by their government only one historical narrative that happens to be totally false.”

“There are high seas in the South China Sea that belong to all mankind, as there are exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea that belong solely to the adjacent coastal states,” said Carpio.

De Lima said the concerted effort among Filipinos in asserting the Philippines’ rightful claim over parts of the SCS is urgently needed because Mr. Duterte himself has not showed any sign of standing against Chinese incursion in the SCS anytime soon.

“Dapat tayong sama-samang tumindig laban sa mga sumusubok sumakop sa atin, lalo pa’t nasa panig naman tayo ng tama,” said De Lima, who was part of the Philippine delegation before the UN Arbitral Tribunal.

Note that even with the decision of UN Arbitral Tribunal invalidating China’s claim and ruling that Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over SCS, locally referred to as the West Philippine Sea (WPS), China refuses to comply with the verdict.

Last year, De Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 744 proposing for the immediate convening of the National Security Council to determine decisive courses of action on the reported China’s militarization over the SCS. She also filed Senate Bill No. 2201 this year, declaring July 12 of every year as a “West Philippine Sea Victory Day” in meaningful observance to the country’s arbitration victory against China over the WPS.

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