Former DFA chief on China: We cannot remain silent

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Philippine's Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario attends the 48th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Australia Ministerial Meeting at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur on August 5, 2015. -- AFP

By Camille A. Aguinaldo

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario on Friday, Aug. 17, reiterated that the Philippines should not remain silent with China’s “non-adherence to the law.”

In his speech during a forum organized by Stratbase, Mr. Del Rosario said the Philippines should act “with peaceful resistance against threats” the country’s sovereign rights.

“Let us not be willing victims by supporting and fueling China’s non-adherence to the rule of law. Concomitantly, we cannot remain silent,” he said.

“By being silent, we have weaponized an aggressor to do more harm. By being silent, we have encouraged further aggression into our territories and marine resources,” he added.

He also said the country should stand up and begin to rally for the support of other countries.

Mr. Del Rosario maintained that China must abide by the “totality of the UNCLOS” and not be choose its actions arbitrarily for its benefit.

He said China continuously rejected the rule of law by setting aside the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The country has also refused to abide by the arbitral court ruling and deprived the Philippines of its sovereign rights.

“Since our northern neighbor is a signatory to UNCLOS, it cannot pick and choose arbitrarily what benefits China,” he said.