SENATOR Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla on Friday urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to ensure that the grassroots understand government efforts on the West Philippine Sea (WPS), as well as on the Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty(MDT) and Visiting Forces Agreement(VFA).
Padilla said there is a need to ensure the right information reaches our people not just on the arbitral ruling but also on the MDT and VFA.
Many Filipinos according to Paidlla think that like in the movies, the US will immediately come to the aid of the Philippines which is not the case because the US has to undergo a process before helping the country in case of an attack.
He added many Filipinos have such an impression even for other issues such as the tension between China and Taiwan – where they believe the US will immediately come to our aid if the conflict there reaches Philippine shores.
“Kailangan may tamang pagbibigay ng impormasyon hindi lang sa kalagayan ng arbitral kundi pati rin sana sa MDT at VFA. Kasi kung kayo sa ground sa lugar na marami ang ating kababayan, hindi nila naintindihan yan. Akala nila parang sa pelikula pag nagkagulo andiyan na Amerikano,” he said.
Padilla, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, said it is important that Filipinos be aware of the steps that are being taken to implement our arbitral victory on the WPS in 2016.
He noted the general public needs to be enlightened on the roles of the DFA as well as the details of the issues involving the MDT, VFA, and arbitral ruling.
Padilla explained that at the grassroots, our people won’t understand the role of the DFA, the MDT, and the arbitral ruling despite everything.
“Patungkol sa WPS hangga’t hindi nakikita ng ating kababayan na nakapangisda ang kababayan natin doon, kahit tayo mag-tumbling, hindi nila maintindihan yan ,” he said at the Senate hearing on the DFA’s budget for 2023.
“Kailangan doon, muling makapangisda nang malaya ang ating mangingisda at kababayan natin sa Pagasa Island,” he added.