All the needed documentations were made and/or presented. All the interested representations were heard. All the arguments have been given. The Tribunal worked long and much. The arbitration was eventually done. The verdict was released. But the tense status quo remains the same in essence. The dispute continues unresolved. No one won in the discord. The tension is still existent. The official and categorical conclusion of the illustrious Tribunal is plain and clear in substance. The West Philippine Sea belongs to the Philippines! What a profound verdict! What a historical conclusion! What an impressive finding! This would be like saying that the Philippine Eagle is neither a Chinese bird nor an American chicken! Amazing conclusion.
The Philippines is interested in the Case for several reasons – like the sea business, the fuel search, the integrity of its area of coverage. But North America is also markedly interested in the Case basically for one fundamental reason: Its own national security. It is not a secret that Uncle Sam wants to fight his wars far from his own territorial coverage. This amply explains the existence and maintenance of American Bases in other Countries. And this too is precisely the rationale of the recent EDCA phenomenon by virtue of which any Philippine Military Base may be now used by North American Forces to install in and operate their own weaponry – in the event that any Country in Asia like China would be in a warring mood someday, somehow.
The truth of the matter is that the issue about the West Philippine Sea brought to nothing less than the attention of the International Arbitrary Tribunal or the International Tribunal of Arbitration, is not really but between two but three parties of interest: NORTH AMERICA – Philippines – CHINA.(Difference in emphasis intended) Powerful North America does not love China. Powerful China does not love North America. The Philippines is in-between them. This makes the Philippines a useful stepping stone for North America to reach/dominate China and for China to reach/dominate North America – all in the light of the saying “Might is right.” The problem is that when a mighty Country wants to have dominion over another mighty Country by virtue of the said maxim, the poor and thus weak Countries usually become their stepping stones. Sad but true.
Back to the long-awaited supposedly monumental arbitration done by nothing less than an International Tribunal: Whereas China from the very start did not really join the arbitration done and much less recognize the conclusion thereof, the ground reality remains that it is still between the Philippines and China that the resolution of the issue can be done. And rightly so. The issue is really between the Philippines and China. And the resolution of the problem then should be between them too. This is when diplomatic talks come to order. And this is when its acceptable resolution could be eventually reached – with both of them mutually winning and losing something.
If even war can be stopped by a give-and-take diplomacy, by a lose and gain agreement – with none of the parties therein involved as a total winner or an absolute loser – why can’t the Philippines and China themselves have their own compromise agreement which is another phrase for reconciliation, which is another term for peace. Why not?