Most Filipinos want Marcos to assert West PH Sea claim - analyst


Posted at Jul 12 2022 06:36 PM

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MANILA—Majority of Filipinos want the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to assert the country's rights in the West Philippine Sea as he is set to visit China, a political analyst said Tuesday.

According to Dindo Manhit, president of Stratbase ADR Institute, some 89 percent of respondents in a recent Pulse Asia survey want the new administration to defend the country's sovereignty.

"Basically 9 out of 10 Filipinos are saying that the new government, the Marcos Jr. government, should assert our rights based on the 2016 arbitral ruling," he told ANC.

The Stratbase ADR Institute commissioned the Pulse Asia survey, which was conducted last month.

The respondents also told Pulse Asia they would like the government to improve the capability of Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Navy to defend the country's rights and protect marine resources.

"So, it's an issue that is in the heart, in the minds of the Filipino people that when they are asked they know it's very important," Manhit said.

The West Philippine Sea is the country's exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, which China claims in near entirety. 

On July 12, 2016, exactly 6 years ago, a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal invalidated China's 9-dash line claim in the waters, in favor of a Philippine plea.

Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have partial claims in the resource-rich waters, a strategic sea route where billions worth of goods pass annually.

Last week, Malacañang announced Marcos had accepted China's invitation to visit Beijing. No date has been set yet for his visit.

In a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the President said he would "find ways to work to resolve the conflicts that we have" with China.