Senator Risa Hontiveros filed a resolution requesting that July 12 be declared “National West Philippine Sea Victory Day”, to mark the country’s 2016 arbitral victory over Beijing in the disputed waters.
Proposed Senate Resolution No. Hontiveros stated that a date is needed to commemorate the award. This is also a way of countering misinformation and disinformation which “deliberately diminishes the” ruling by The Hague.
She stated that “Celebrating the National WPS (West Philippine Sea) Day” will help Filipinos understand and learn more about the importance fighting for the WPS. “Kung-taon, nating mapaparangalan anang kahalagahan WPS, Mas maisasapuso din.natin ang Ating Karapatan sa Ating sariling Karagatan (If the WPS is recognized every year, it will be easier for us to assert our rights over our territory.
Hontiveros said that the Senate resolution honors the efforts of the late President Noynoy-Aquino’s administration to secure the historic win.
“PNoy is the father to our 2016 victory in The Hague,” Hontiveros stated that without his commitment to putting the Philippines first, we wouldn’t have received a landmark international legal decision, which established our credibility on the global stage.
The Aquino administration saw China challenge the Philippines’ claim to a large portion of the South China Sea. The Philippines was favored by the international court three years later, on July 12, 2013, during President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.