DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s rejection of the Chinese government’s demand for the Philippines to remove the BRP Sierra Madre should be welcomed by all sectors of society.
And Lorenzana was quick to underscore that the Filipino people “can do whatever we want there” since the Ayungin or St. Thomas Shoal is part of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The ship has been in the area, which is within the country’s 370-nautical mile EEZ, since 1999 when it was intentionally grounded there by Philippine Navy authorities.
He denied a Chinese foreign ministry statement that the Phippines had made a commitment to remove the BRP Sierra Madre, which serves as our military outpost in the West Philippine Sea.
When he rejected the Chinese government’s demand, Secretary Lorenzana showed that he is a graduate of the elite Philippine Military Academy (PMA) for nothing.
In fact, the demand of the Chinese that we pull out from our own territory is something that cannot be ignored by any Filipino.
Thus, the soft-spoken member of PMA Class 1973, who traces his roots to the rice-growing and rustic town of San Quintin in Pangasinan, was right in rejecting the Chinese government’s demand.
His mistahs include former PNP Chief Gen. Oscar Calderon and retired three-star Police Gen. Isidro Lapena, who is from Urdaneta City, also in vote-rich Pangasinan.
For the sake of the Filipino people, particularly the youth, let’s act in unison to protect our sovereign rights in the disputed West Philippine Sea.