What cannot change

IF there was ever any doubt that we will never give up an inch of our national territory or an iota of our territorial rights, including what is now part of our national patrimony—our victory at the Hague, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, an internationally respected soldier, laid that doubt to rest.

In a briefing he said that Chinese survey ships entering waters recognized by the United Nations as Philippine territory, is “very concerning.” He said this even as the president got a promise from China to buy a billion dollars worth of bananas.

In response to the Chinese presence, Lorenzana said, “I have ordered the navy that if they see these service ships this year, to start to accost them and drive them away.”

If this triggers an aggressive response, the Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty kicks in, the US 7th Fleet sails in, and World War 3 begins and the US wins. Nice.

He explained that “the very concerning thing is that the Chinese have several service ships plying this area, staying in one area sometimes for a month as if doing nothing. But we believe they are actually surveying the seabed.” Not, as cheap opinion has it, merely to look for minerals but “for a place in which to put submarines,” said the retired general. A military mind does not see mere economic possibilities but capabilities that translate to threat—to the Philippines and its military alliance, which are one and the same.

Nothing can diminish that first priority.

Some things will never change.

And those are the fullest extent of our territory.

And the defense by any and all means of our sovereignty and democracy. “The Army,” says our wise Constitution, “is the protector of the people and the state.”


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