EVEN the school where President Rodrigo Duterte hailed doesn’t seem happy the way the latter has been behaving on matters concerning the continuing incursion of China at the West Philippine Sea.
In issuing what they aptly referred to as “fraternal statement of concern,” San Beda graduates called Duterte to take a clear stand against China’s illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea and “publicly uphold” the Constitution by “retracting his defeatist statements” on the issue.
“When a part of our country’s territory is taken against our will by the People’s Republic of China and our countrymen, particularly the fishermen, are threatened with force from exclusively enjoying our nation’s marine resources, the President is solemnly bound to uphold, defend and protect his countrymen and the integrity of our national territory,” the statement reads.
Among the demands of Duterte’s fellow alumnus include:
· Retract his public statement that China is in possession of the West Philippine Sea
· Retract his declaration that the arbitral award “is a mere scrap of paper, and should be thrown in the wastebasket” in order that it will not be used as an admission against the interests of the Philippines
· Categorically, demonstrably and publicly uphold the mandate of our Philippine Constitution that: “The State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.”
Among the signatories were former officers of the College Student Council; former editors of The Bedan, the official college paper; former presidents of national youth and student organizations, and other graduates who have grown to become legal luminaries, government services, bankers, businessmen and media personalities.
Duterte earlier belittled the 2016 UN Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling which invalidated China’s claims in the West Philippine Sea, describing it as a piece of paper that should be thrown in a waste basket.
Malacanang said the ruling lacks enforcement mechanisms.
Duterte earned his law degree in 1972 from then-San Beda College.