Cebu officials, traders mixed over PH victory in sea dispute

By: Nestle L. Semilla, Victor Anthony V. Silva July 13,2016 - 11:54 PM
Cuenco

Cuenco

LOCAL reactions over the United Nations (UN) ruling favoring the Philippines in its dispute with China over the Spratly Islands were mixed, with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña saying he was happy the country stood up to China.

In yesterday’s press conference, Osmeña said he supports the government’s fight to assert its sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea and congratulated those who fought on behalf of the government, adding that they are the real heroes.

Asked if this will affect Cebu City’s sister city ties with Xiamen City in China, the mayor shrugged.

“I’m not going to sacrifice our country’s sovereignty because of a sister city. Come on please, no,” he said.
Sought for comment, Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco said the UN ruling won’t affect sister city ties.

Cuenco, who chairs the Council Committee on Trade, Tourism and International Affairs, said China and Cebu, not just the city, have a deep relationship.

“That is a political matter. We have long relations with Xiamen City, mostly their roots come from Cebu. It’s mostly emotional attachment, above anything else,” he said.

Joseph

Joseph

Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan “Dondi” Joseph said the Philippines’ win over China in its arbitration case for the West Philippine Sea is a good moral victory, but it is also hollow.

“To my mind it’s a good moral victory but hollow. If China refuses to cooperate, we have little recourse,” he said in a text message.

He said the country is definitely not in a position to go to war so the national government’s best strategy is to negotiate with the Chinese government.

Joseph said nationalism won’t create jobs or feed hungry Filipinos.

China warned its rivals on Wednesday against turning the South China Sea into a “cradle of war” and threatened an air defense zone there, after its claims to the strategically vital waters were declared invalid./with an Inquirer report

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TAGS: business, Cebu, Cebu officials, China, Gordon Alan “Dondi” Joseph, PH victory, Philippines, Spratlys, Tomas Osmeña, Tribunal, UN ruling, West philippine Sea

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