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Why change what ain’t broke? Locsin calls West PH Sea a ‘juvenile’ name

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin has slammed the use of the name, “West Philippine Sea” to refer to the part of the South China Sea that belongs to Filipinos.

In a series of tweets posted Saturday (June 15), Locsin said changing the South China Sea’s name is how the Philippines will lose its territory.

“That is how we lose territory, by dropping technical colonial names (what other names pa, without the West we had no standardized names for land and sea) and renaming them; thereby losing the historical association which was the strongest basis of our claims. Shet,” he said.

“We started down that juvenile path of renaming historically named places—like the British imperial name “the South China Sea” to the juvenile “West Philippine Sea”. So? The puddle in my garden during rainy season I can call “The Teddy Boy Pond.” So? That is how we lose,” Locsin added.

He likened the importance of retaining the name of South China Sea to the Philippines keeping the name that the Spaniards chose for the country.

“Not to me it isn’t. It is what the British called it when they owned China: the South China Sea; even as the Philippines is and will always be what Spain called the scattered islands it welded it into one nation that became independent: the Philippines,” Locsin said.

The West Philippine Sea is once again in the headlines after a Chinese vessel sank a Filipino boat at Recto Bank on June 9.

Filipino fishermen who were on the boat claimed their vessel was deliberately rammed by the Chinese. Beijing, however, said it was Filipinos who caused the incident.

In September 2012, then-President Benigno Aquino III issued Administrative Order No. 29 creating the name West Philippine Sea.

Under the order, the West Philippine Sea covers areas “around, within, and adjacent to” the Kalayaan Island Group (Spratly Islands) and Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal).

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