On April 10, 2012, our Philippine Navy ship and at least two Chinese vessels were locked in a standoff at the Scarborough Shoal. The standoff was because of the eight Chinese fishing boats that were caught poaching endangered species and rich marine life in Philippine waters.
The inspection team dispatched by the BRP Gregorio del Pilar reported large amounts of illegally collected corals, giant clams and live sharks.
Two Chinese maritime surveillance ships managed to get between the Philippine Navy ships and the eight Chinese fishing vessels preventing the immediate arrest of the Chinese fishermen.
Up until this date, each side has held their ground within the vicinity of the shoal while everyone else awaits what would become of this surmounting tension between the two Asian nations. Days have already passed and this is one territorial dispute that seems to be going in the dark soon.
Our government has maintained their resolve in using diplomatic dealings with the Chinese government thus continuing the beneficial relationship with our Chinese brothers.
Clearly, we fall short in terms of military power over our seas and China has persisted in claiming their authority over the rich vastness of the Panatag shoal. That is why, more ships are being dispatched in ways of threatening us and saying that we should give up and that there’s nothing we can do. But then, the incident has caught a lot of eyes around the world putting us somehow in a favourable situation.
Recent graphic posts on social networking sites (like Facebook) about the location and the measured distance of the shoal from our land as compared to China has even led to a greater indication that we have significant domination on this small piece of land.
Though we are still waiting for the immediate resolution of this dispute, we should keep supporting our own and never give up what is evidently belonging to us. China’s aggressive actions should never overwhelm us but instead further challenge us in keeping our best foot forward and uphold what is right.
Our geographic location has forever taken as aback from defending what is supposed to be our property. The Scarborough Shoal standoff should become an eye-opener for our government to make ways in averting if not moderate territorial issues in the future.