No closer to resolving issues on disputed seas
The reported appearance of National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia before a Senate panel has fortunately brought to center stage the country’s sovereignty over the Kalayaan Island Group and related maritime areas.
It is time, indeed, perhaps overdue, that at the highest levels the problem be reviewed and whatever the administration or the government has done be assessed, and how we move forward to bring about a satisfactory solution be looked into.
Based on limited knowledge largely drawn from reports in the media, I do not think we have come nearer to a satisfactory solution; instead the problem has aggravated. While the filing of arbitration proceedings in regard the “nine-dash line” has attracted international attention, whatever the result may be would not resolve our sovereignty issues regarding the Kalayaan Island Group and related maritime areas.
Parenthetically, with the appearance of Garcia, the National Security Council itself, I assume, is now involved in the problem. Thus far, only the Department of Foreign Affairs and President Aquino seem to be involved. I venture to suggest that neither a stream of diplomatic protest or even the suggested strengthening of our security forces in the area would necessarily bring us closer to a satisfactory resolution of the problem.
—ESTELITO P. MENDOZA
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