Monday, May 14, 2012


BULLIES SHOULD NEVER BE TOLERATED. Tolerating them only leads them to think that they can go on with what they are doing or, worse, make them believe (without thinking) that what they are doing is right.

I have always thought of China's actions with respect to the PANATAG/SCARBOROUGH SHOAL issue as international bullying but was afraid of verbally expressing it lest I (unintentionally) trigger something in the international scene (so presumptuous of me, according to my husband!). How could I not think so when tourists from China have been advised not to go to the Philippines and tourism packages to my country from China have been cancelled. How could I think otherwise when a shipload full of bananas for export to China were rejected (necessitating its Filipino owner/seller to throw them off board). Indeed, to my mind, China was bullying my beloved country with impunity and without shame. I thought China is a bully but I dare not speak out loud. Fortunately, a famous environmentalist/lawyer, Antonio Oposa, described such acts of China as akin to bullying. Now I can say my piece.

There is wisdom in what Atty. Oposa is recommending to our President in his open letter to the PNoy. I agree that the Philippines should now start invoking the jurisdiction of international venues and/or tribunals --- UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas, and harnessing the legal expertise of our lawyers knowledgeable on international law. Bullying thrives in the absence of law or in the inefective or non-implementation thereof.

Oposa's open letter further impressed me in that it recommends that the Philippines change its view of Scarborough Shoal --- from that of being a source of valuable naturals resources to be exploited, to one of being a natural resource worth conserving and preserving. It is about time that we do such a change in paradigm and infect other member of the international community in the process. We have all been too focused on the benefits and resources that could be derived from the disputed shoal that we fail to consider its preservation for future generations.

I am reminded of the case of Oposa vs. Factoran which, for the first time introduced the concept of inter-generational responsibility. It reminded us that children of future generations, like us, have a right to a balanced and healthful ecological and that we, as the present stewards of the earth, have the obligation to care for such resources to make sure that they (members of the future generation) get the chance to use them and to preserve them for other generations yet to come.

So, to the bully, think not of your country alone. Think also of the world. Why fight for one piece of resource that can easily be depleted by (China's) greed when we (the entire international community) can stand to benefit from its preservation. No need for bullying --- that is, in my opinion, for the uncivilized. Follow international law and make the world a world of peace --- a world without bullies.


  1. I think it's downright bullying (and more) too! I can't believe that it is happening, really. It's 2012, and we are not living in the period where a country could just get a piece of land by merely claiming it's their's even though it's clearly in the boundary of another country.
    It's injustice.

  2. it's bullying, i agree. i felt we're so helpless though given the fact that our present leader has Chinese lineage and we do not have the arms to defend ourselves.

    nevertheless, no to bullying still.

    i like your blog. can i list it in my current reads? :)

    here is my blog's current address --->