FILE PHOTO: West Philippine Sea, a marine wealth of the Philippines
VIETNAM – It’s been two years since President Rodrigo Duterte visited Vietnam and met with the Filipino community there.
Like the Philippines, Vietnam is also one of the claimant countries in the disputed territories in the South China Sea, however, Filipino migrant workers in Vietnam have different views and opinions on the issue.
Under the Duterte administration, the Chief Executive shelved temporarily the maritime dispute and instead, developed a better relationship with China for economic inclination.
The government of Vietnam took a different route.
On May 2018, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam formally pressed on China its withdrawal of military equipment and military activities on the disputed area in the South China Sea.
Some OFWs in Vietnam agree with the steps that the Duterte administration has taken — others do not.
Filipino migrant worker Dale Orocio believes that, “Dapat din talaga kung talagang atin yun, ilalaban talaga yun (We should fight for it if it is really ours).”
While OFW Mae Laolao said, “Hindi ko masasabi na pakikipagmabutihan sa China, I wouldn’t call it that, pero para sa akin siguro mas okay yung ganoon. Kasi lahat tayo the nations around the border of South China Sea, ano tayo eh, nagde-depend din tayo dun sa dagat na yun. So, siguro mas titingnan ko na lang siya as shared stewardship kumbaga.”
(It’s not that we’re cozying up to China, I wouldn’t call it that. But I think it’s better that way because all the nations around the border of South China Sea depend on that sea. So, maybe it’s more of shared stewardship.
Another lady OFW said, “Para sa akin lang naman po no, kung talagang atin po talaga yung lugar na yun, wala naman po sigurong masama kung iki-claim natin sya. Para sa atin yun eh. Ang Pilipinas ay para sa Pilipinas.”
(For me, if that [disputed teritory] is ours, there’s nothing wrong if we claim it because it’s ours. The Philippines is for the Philippines.)
Meanwhile, Vietnam Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang, Vietnam expects China to maintain the peace and order in the East Sea. The installation of missles in the Spratlys is a serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignity.
According to the Philippine consulate, there are 3,400 Filipinos residing in Vietnam are eager to hear the President Duterte’s third SONA. — RJ Timoteo / UNTV News & Rescue.