Everybody seems to be concentrated on how weak we are, on how under-equipped our Navy and Coast Guard is, but what we don't immediately realize here is that it takes greater courage to confront a stronger nemesis, which in this instance, in Scarborough Shoal, are those Chinese marine surveillance ships.
Let me reiterate here that we are not at war with China (PRC), however, in this particular instance only, our Armed Forces, in particular that arm to which is entrusted by our nation, the security and wholeness of our seas, finds itself on an opposite disposition, out of sheer necessity, with that Country.
Just this morning, it was asked in a current affairs program if those Chinese vessels were armed. Of course they are, at the very least, one has to assume that these vessels are defended by weapons, these are after all, reconnaissance ships.
Therefore, our sailors were and still are in real danger. This to me is not weakness - it deserves recognition in the highest order.
Indeed, it could have turned out badly. It still could. However, chances are if an incident like this one does not immediately escalate, it will de-escalate.
We must remember things aren't always as fortuitous in the South China Seas or West Philippine Sea (depending on which parallax of war we subscribe with - fact is, everybody knows there is but one sea in question).
My brother and sister Filipinos, we can not rely on the workings of Providential grace exclusively for our national defense.
We have to forge a plan for the credible defense of this Republic. And we must stick to it.
China, it seems to me, is becoming what she hated in the past; that thing of War that she knew and hated and suffered under... it makes me sad to think about it.
Now, a diplomatic solution that would preserve the dignity of both our sovereign Republics must be worked out.
Compromises have to be made and given in order to secure a longer term solution to the much larger, more powerful Spratly divide that threatens to suck the whole of our region into conflict (and mire the whole of our continent of Asia in War for an indeterminable amount of time, further depleting what stores of human spirit and human potential our nations have managed to preserve thus far).
This is by far not the only way out of this standoff at Scarborough Shoal but this is the only one - the only one - which will cost less in terms of the ultimate price it shall exact upon the lives and fortunes of both our nations (and consequently, of all our nations).
Mabuhay. May God be with us all.