9 in 10 Filipinos believe regaining China-held islands in West Philippine Sea important

A recent survey revealed that 93% of adult Filipinos believe that it is important for the Philippine government to take back control of islands occupied by China in the West Philippine Sea

According to the survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations from June 22 to 26, 74% of the respondents said this is “œvery important,” while 19% said this is”somewhat important.”

Only 1% said it is “somewhat not important.” Another one% said “not at all important,” while 4% were undecided.

The survery also noted that the perception of Filipinos on regaining control of islands in the West Philippine Sea has “increased steadily in four surveys since June 2018.”

The figure was 89% rating in December 2018, and 87% in September 2018 and in June 2018.

The survey also revealed that 89% of the respondents said it is not right for the Philippines to leave China alone with its infrastructures and military presence in the claimed territories.

With regards to militia, 92% said the country should strengthen its military capability, especially the Navy.

Majority of the respondents are urging the government to take some forms of actions such as taking the issue to international organizations — to which 83% voted for — and forming alliances with other countries to help in defending the West Philippine Sea — to which 84% of Filipinos agreed with.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte’s stance on China’s presence in the West Philippine Sea has remained unchanged.

On Monday night, he said he might use the State of the Nation Address this month, his fourth, as an opportunity to “educate” Filipinos on the West Philippine Sea.

“What they are saying that it is unconstitutional… maybe on my SONA I will educate people that what I said ‘You (China) can fish (in the EEZ)’… I am right,” he said, referring to him allowing the Chinese to continue fishing within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) due to its friendship with China.

While critics were quick to point out Duterte’s pronouncement was a violation of the constitution, the President defended himself and said: “What I did was not unconstitutional. As a matter of fact, it was in keeping with the law.” 

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