Amid West PH Sea dispute ruling: Filipinos in China told to be on guard, avoid political debates

  • The PH embassy issued safety reminders for Filipinos working and living in China
  • Filipinos given checklist to follow to avoid incurring the ire of the locals
  • They were instructed to bring their passports at all times and to avoid inflammatory discussions

MANILA, Philippines – With the UN arbitral tribunal’s ruling on the West Philippine Sea dispute set to be released any time today, July 12, the Philippine Embassy reminded Filipinos working and living in China to be careful and avoid incurring the wrath of the locals.

In an announcement, the embassy instructed Filipinos not to publicly discuss the issue or matters of a political nature either in public or in social media so as not to place their welfare in jeopardy.

“Avoid gathering to talk about political issues in public, do not join discussions or debates about political issues, especially on social media,” Rappler quoted the embassy as saying.

The embassy also told Filipinos to stay on the lookout for news and updates, to bring their passports/residence permits with them at all times, and to promptly call the embassy or local police hotline to inform them of any threats.

“It is important to be careful of your personal safety. The embassy hopes for your cooperation and support to protect the welfare of all Filipinos in China,” it said.

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is set to release its ruling on the dispute involving China and the Philippines. The decision would either uphold the country’s 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) or validate China’s 9-Dash Line.

China has refused to participate in the proceedings on the argument the ITLOS has no jurisdiction to hear the case. It has also repeatedly emphasized it will only negotiate with the Philippines via two-way talks.