We, the People’s Choice Movement (PCM), composed of diverse faith based Filipinos, denounce the defeatist and treasonous stance of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte when he shamefully discards the historic Arbitral Award of 2016 over the West Philippine Sea by the UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal as “a scrap of paper.” The Tribunal, sitting at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, ruled with finality that China’s “Nine-Dash Line” claim, which encompasses about 80% of the EEZ of the Philippines, has no factual or legal basis and that the West Philippine Sea belongs to the Philippines.

The PCM calls on all our public officials in all our three branches of Government —- Executive, Legislative and Judicial, including the patriotic members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police —- to faithfully fulfill their mandate to enforce the Constitution. The Constitution specifically provides for the obligation “to conserve and develop our Patrimony.” The Constitution also obliges the Government to protect “the Sovereignty” of the Nation.

We call on all our Leaders to apply and implement all possible legal and diplomatic means, including strategic alliance-building with our ASEAN neighbors and members of the International Community, to immediately implement and enforce the Arbitral Award over the West Philippine Sea in accordance with International Law.

We also call on our fellow Filipinos, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, business groups, labor organizations, educational institutions, Church and religious communities, civic and other sectoral goups to actively initiate and/or support all initiatives to enforce the Arbitral Award.

PCM issues this call to action to all to protect our Sovereignty over our territory in the West Philippine Sea. The Constitution states that “Sovereignty resides in the People and all governmental authority emanates from them.” No Government has the right to trade or give away the Country’s Patrimony without the full consent of the True Sovereign: the Filipino People. Beyond geopolitical issues, there are moral principles that the position of the current Government regarding the West Philippine Sea runs afoul of. The right of nations to govern themselves and the territories over which they have rightful sway is included in integral development based on human dignity and solidarity. This was the first Christian social principle identified by the bishops at the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines in 1991.

We, the Filipino People and Sovereign of this Country, therefor DO NOT CONSENT to the giving away by this Government of our rights over the West Philippine Sea. We fight for this cause for the benefit of our People today, and of those who will come after us, our children and their children’s children. And we fight for these territorial rights on legal, Constitutional and moral grounds. Accordingly, we, the Filipino Nation hereby proclaim that: “The West Philippine Sea is ours! The Sovereign Filipino People claim it! No Government or Public Offical will ever be allowed give or trade away those rights to China or any other power that tries to seize our territorial claims from us!”

 

PEOPLE’S CHOICE MOVEMENT (PCM) 28 May 2021

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