It is the task of every Filipino to ‘stand against a Goliath’ – Del Rosario


Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario on Tuesday likened China to a modern day Goliath who is pursuing a strategy of 3-B’s – “bribery, brawn and bluster” – to achieve its wrongful objective on the South China Sea.

In a speech at the launching of the book, South China Sea Arbitration for Understanding the Awards and for Debating with China authored by De La Salle University Professor Dr. Alfredo Robles Jr., the former DFA secretary said it is the task of every Filipino to “stand against a Goliath” notwithstanding the strategy being employed by Beijing.

“Our task was well-defined. It was about pursuing the rule of law that is the great equalizer among states, regardless of size, power and influence. It was about our beloved country – a developing nation without a strong military – whose people worked diligently to peacefully uphold the rule of law, thus enabling it to stand against a Goliath,” Del Rosario said.

He pointed out that the country’s victory in the arbitration case it filed against China before the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague was the Philippines’ contribution to the world in promoting an international rules-based system, fostering peace, stability and prosperity for everyone.

Del Rosario said Robles’ well-researched writing is about a modern Goliath whose intentions, declarations and actions are to force a doctrine of dominance on our region and beyond.

“It is about a Goliath who is pursuing a strategy of employing its own 3 Bs – “Bribery, Brawn and Bluster” to achieve its wrongful objective of demonstrating that might trumps right,” he said.

Furthermore, he said the book is about the Goliath who has “rejected and vilified the arbitral outcome that is now an integral part of international law.”

“After unlawfully constructing and militarizing artificial islands in the SCS, it is about a Goliath who tried to lobby the tribunal. It is the same Goliath who has selectively utilized aspects of international law to its advantage while rejecting those portions which are not. It is the very same Goliath who accused the former president of ITLOS (International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea) of political bias simply because he is Japanese,” he continued.

Del Rosario, who was the DFA secretary when the Philippines filed the arbitration case against China in 2013, lamented the Duterte administration’s decision to shelve the arbitral victory “to avoid China’s displeasure and ire” and in exchange for expectation of significant amounts of investments and aid for its “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

“It is about our additional silver platter offerings to Goliath of our country’s strategic assets which would effectively result in providing a stronger position of domination against the Filipino people,” he said.

He said a vast majority of Filipinos clearly rejected the current administration’s actions to shelve the tribunal results and instead wants the government to advance the tribunal outcomes.

“When confronted by a bullying Goliath, no Filipino would naturally want to be described as a willing victim nor as an abettor,” he said.

It is the task of every Filipino to ‘stand against a Goliath’ – Del Rosario