DFA praises National Book Store's patriotism
MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday published a letter it gave to the National Book Store management, praising the bookstore for pulling out Chinese-made globes showing Beijing's claims to most of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
In a letter addressed to National Book Store VP for Purchasing Cecilia Ramos Licauco, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario commended the country’s largest bookstore chain “for demonstrating its patriotism in supporting the protection of Philippine sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.”
“As a major provider of educational products in the Philippines, National Book Store plays a valuable role in enriching the knowledge of young Filipinos. I was highly encouraged by your management’s decision to withdraw the China-manufactured educational globes from your retail stores following our discussions on the misinformation contained in these globes on China’s contentious nine-dash line encompassing virtually the entire West Philippine Sea,” del Rosario said.
He added: “Your resolve in immediately implementing this decision reflected your company’s strong sense of nationalism over and above economic profit.”
National Book Store pulled out the Chinese-made globes last week after learning about the "misinformation" contained in the education materials. Del Rosario said he shared the news with President Aquino “who was delighted and proud of [NBS] management’s selfless and patriotic action.”
Del Rosario said the Philippines is now entering a critical juncture after initiating Arbitral Proceedings against China on the nine-dash line to bring a durable solution to the West Philippine Sea dispute.
“It is vital that the Filipino people stand in unity to defend ‘what is ours’ in accordance with the Philippine Constitution. I believe that the National Book Store’s example will inspire Filipinos to express their patriotism in their own individual capacities,” he said.
The Philippine government last month took China to an arbitration panel under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea -- a 1982 treaty signed by both countries -- to demand that it declare China's claims invalid.
China's territorial claims overlap those of the Philippines as well as Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.