Filipino-Americans in New York/New Jersey, led by community activist Loida Nicolas Lewis, in a file photo last year, as they demonstrated against Chinese made products in front of the Chinese Embassy in Midtown Manhattan.

IT’S been mentioned in Manila newspapers that the ruling by the UN Arbitration Tribunal that heard the Philippine claims against China in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea issue will be handed down on July 12.

It has been predicted by various sectors that the Tribunal may rule in favor of the Philippines.

As to how the decision will be framed is unknown.

Respected Law Professor James Kraska of the U.S. Naval War College has written two articles on what to expect from the Tribunal.

The articles are titled, “Legal Analysis of the Philippines-China Arbitration Ruling” and “Forecasting the SCS Arbitration Merits Award.”

The lawyer-author predicted that the Tribunal will not decide which states ultimately have sovereignty over any of the disputed maritime features, thus, making the areas open to all and thus, no one, including China has the right to claim ownership.

The Diplomat, an online news source, wrote last month the following:

“That it is generally expected that the PCA will largely rule in favor of Manila. Most likely, Beijing will simply ignore the legal decision, as reiterated during this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, and perhaps even accelerate its ongoing militarization of the islands they established and claimed as their own and create further facts on the ground to include the eventual establishment of an air defense identification zone once they have the full means to enforce it.

“If so, there is very little that the Tribunal can do to enforce the ruling. It will, however, diminish the non-complying state’s credibility when it invokes and relies on international law in the future. In that way, non-compliance by a state to an adjudicated dispute becomes a leverage point in international politics, but not in international law.

“In the case of China, refusal to comply may have great reputational costs for a rising power seeking to become a world power, especially as friendly relations with neighbors and international credibility are essential to its continued rise as a global leader.”

The online news outlet Diplomat also indicated that alternatively, Beijing may ignore the PCA’s ruling and just bide its time, at least until after the G-20 Summit slated to be held in Hangzhou, China this September.

Chinese leaders may have made the conclusion that they already achieved significant gains and just need to exercise patience to consolidate those gains for now.

What will the United States do?

We don’t know.

What we know is that the U.S. has repeatedly said it will defend the Philippines in the event of a foreign enemy attack.

It has increased its military presence in the native country and in the region.

What will the Philippines do?

So far, the only indicator of what the Philippines will do in the event China ignores a ruling not favorable to them is the expressed willingness of President Duterte for bilateral talks, which, the previous Aquino administration vehemently rejected.

Even the U.S. is not in favor of bilateral talks.

Rather, it favors multi-lateral talks with the guidance of the United Nations.

Soon, the China issue will be the first test or challenge the Duterte Administration will face in the area of foreign policy.

It will be a sensitive challenge.


Happy Birthday Moppet!


Moppet Villasin Nucum

Remember nurse Moppet of New Jersey whom we featured in this space two weeks ago for making push-ups for 22 days for the veterans?

I found what she wrote on the last day of her activity.

I’d like to share it with our readers.

“As I ended my challenge yesterday, the most important values I learned from doing this were perseverance, determination, & hope. I pursued this challenge not only to strengthen my physical ability, but also to show HOPE to the people who feel despaired in their lives.

“Events in life may not turn up the way you’ve planned, but I always believed that there are certain good reasons why things turn out the way they do. “Believe in yourself” because at the end of every hardship, there is this light at the end of tunnel of darkness.

“Thank u to everyone who supported and followed me on this 22 days of push up challenge to support and raise awareness to the fact that on average, 22 AMERICAN VETERANS commit suicide each day.

“Thank u to our men and women in uniform. God Bless you all!”

In the course of my conversation with Moppet, she mentioned that both her parents were also with the military before.

Partly, this was what motivated her to do what she did.

Moppet also mentioned she was happy because there were people who accepted her challenge to do the 22-day push-ups for the vets.  


JC Council President Lavarro Fundraiser

We have written earlier about the intention of Fil-Am Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jr. (pictured above) to run for mayor in the next local elections, if Mayor Steve Fulop will not seek re-election.

Councilman Lavarro will hold a political fundraiser, which is open to all his supporters, at Port-o Lounge & Restaurant, 286 1st Street (corner Newark Avenue), in Jersey City next Wednesday, July 13, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

RSVP details, types and amounts of support are posted in Council President Lavarro’s Facebook page.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it