Vice President Jejomar Binay is really living up to his name and reputation.
As if the charges of corrupt practices are not enough, now and then, Binay is once again giving the Filipino people a negative impression on who he really is as a person and as a politician, and what would become of this country if gets elected president in 2016.
While the leaders of this country and most Filipinos are upset with the way China has been bullying its way and claiming the entirety of the South China Sea with no possibility of compromise since its stance has always been all or nothing, now comes Binay making a discordant and a divergent approach, saying, “May pera po ang China, kailangan po natin ng kapital (China has money, we need capital).”
According to reports Binay said the foregoing in an interview on Saturday, April 12, over the radio station DZYM in Catarman, Northern Samar.
Clearly what this means is that if and when he gets elected president of this country, Binay will agree to have bilateral talks with Beijing conforming to the idea of going for a joint venture with China in developing the natural resources even as the nation’s territorial claim in the disputed sea/area is being infringed, especially with China’s rapid expansion/reclamation and fortification of the area being undertaken today.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) coastal states have the right to establish sovereignty over adjacent waters out to a maximum of 12 nautical miles from the nation’s coastline, including the coastline of offshore islands. These enclosed waters are known as the coastal state’s territorial sea.
Unfortunately, China does not respect the UNCLOS as it continues to barrel on, claiming to up to about 90 percent of the South China Sea with their nine-dash line forming a U-shape down the east coast of Vietnam to just north of Indonesia and then continuing northwards up the west coast of the Philippines.
The nine-dash line has been considered by many experts as incompatible with UNCLOS, which rejects historically based claims.
Binay should understand that all is not about money. Rather it is about respect, dignity and sovereignty of a nation governed by laws.
Alas, these are strange words for Binay.
Because China is “creating a great wall of sand” through land reclamation in the South China Sea, and even in parts we consider belonging to the West Philippine Sea, which could be used for military and other facilities to bolster China’s territorial claims, the country is seeking additional support from the United States in terms of being able to take a stronger position in defending our position, which is to uphold the rule of law.
President Benigno Aquino may have his faults, but he is right in saying that what China is brazenly doing in the South China Sea should bring about fear to people and nations around the world of the real intentions of China.
Binay should be ashamed for taking not only an unpopular stand in the South China Sea issue, but one that is also discordant and emblematic of his embarrassing leadership.