Atin Ito!

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Recently, Gov. Chaco Sagarbarria  welcomed visiting Senators to the Capitol centennial celebration, among them, Sen. Risa Hontiveros,  one of the leaders of Akbayan, the lead convenor of the advocacy group, Atin Ito Coalition,  with  active citizenship as its core advocacy.

Atin Ito is focused on the call to deepen Filipinos’ awareness of the contentious issues surrounding a portion of the West Philippine Sea, amidst Chinese claims  of “indisputable sovereignty” over almost the entire area, the South China Sea.

Panatag Shoal’s rocks and features are within the 200-nautical-mile (370-kilometer) exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

From the nearest coast of China, the distance to Panatag Shoal is 472 nautical miles (874 kilometers)! The Shoal is not considered an island but a triangle-shaped chain of coral reefs with several rocks encircling a 150-square-kilometer-wide lagoon.

China claims sovereignty over  almost all the South China Sea, including parts claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam, despite a 2016 ruling by The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration that found how China’s sweeping claims have no legal basis.

In her statements, Senator Hontiveros emphasized that  peaceful endeavors are crucial in demonstrating national solidarity, and upholding the Philippines’ sovereign rights in the WPS, in accordance with international law.

In the pursuit of a shared goal,the assertion and protection of the country’s maritime rights in the West Philippine Sea, Atin Ito! actively supports the Marcos government’s opposition to Chinese aggression, working closely with the country’s defense establishment.

Described as “Diskarteng Pinoy” – the Filipino way – made the day for the Atin Ito Coalition’s “peace and solidarity regatta” as it managed to elude a Chinese blockade of Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal to accomplish its mission, including holding a solidarity and peace regatta of 100 small fishing boats within the country’s exclusive economic zone, placing symbolic markers within the West Philippine Sea, and distributing a total of 6,000 liters of fuel and a thousand food packs to 670 fisherfolk.

Atin Ito said the 10-member advance team that reached Panatag Shoal comprised of members from Akbayan Party, Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Samahan sa Kanayunan, and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement.

Previously, in an exclusive chat with Rappler Plus members, Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed fears that the Philippines, one of the US’s longtime allies in Asia, might end up heavily indebted to China, stating: “I worry about the Philippines becoming basically a subject of China through financial investments, through the buying of influence, through the undermining of institutions. I think that there’s a real danger that, left unchecked, the Philippines – no matter who the leader is – would find itself increasingly unable to act without Chinese approval. I don’t think that’s the kind of future that the Philippines would like,” Clinton said. Agree or disagree?

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once. Listen to pronunciation: “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once” ( William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in Act II, Scene 2.)

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Author’s email: [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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