Ironing Disputes over the West Philippine Sea: President Duterte and Ambassador Zhao to Meet this May 2017

There is a paradigm of order in the universe. The waters stream in its patterns, and the birds fly to their easts and wests in their own seasons. There is order in people too, sometimes, we divert from the harmony it establishes just as how the dispute that arisen from the dominion struggle over the west Philippine Sea or the South China Sea.

But just like how the earth balances itself in its own ways, China and Philippines are moving to settle their disputes. According to Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, the Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhu is willing to discuss matters with President Rodrigo Duterte on May 2017 to formulate a “bilateral mechanism” in handling the South China Sea and settle maritime issues.

Duterte, during his visit to Thailand in March 2017, stated that he is looking forward for a complete framework based on “mutual trust, understanding, and maritime cooperation” for both countries.

This convergence of ideas is a game-changer in the history between the two countries wherein both parties will win accordingly.

With this framework, issues between Filipino and Chinese fishermen will be settled such as the parameters allowed. This is to respect each other’s territories if both parties are not willing to fish together in all locations. May there be an agreement of shared maritime responsibility to ensure the safety of the sea from other intruders. May this framework reserve the rights of the fishermen in maximizing their resources.

This agreement is a “keeping of peace” and the butterfly effect that will avoid bloodshed. Disputes like this, if not handled coming from a mind grounded in peace, will always result to danger. Territories are meant to be protected, but let us not resort to our ancestor’s quest for dominion through bloodshed. All is fair when it comes to convergence of ideas. No bloodshed, no war, no struggles, just peace.

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