Binigyang-diin ni dating pangulo Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III ang kahalagahan ng pakikipaglaban ng mga Pilipino para sa kanilang mga karapatan lalo na sa kasalukuyang estado umano ng politika sa bansa.
Sa isang talumpati kung saan tinanggap niya ang isang parangal mula sa Jose Wright Diokno Awards, binalikan ni Noynoy ang ginawang effort ng kanyang administrasyon kaugnay sa pakikipaglaban ng bansa sa Tsina hinggil sa South China Sea.
Aniya, daan-daan umanong protesta ang ibinigay nila sa Tsina na ibinasura lamang ng naturang bansa.
“Sec. Del Rosario can probably give you the exact hundreds of diplomatic notes and protests that we sent to China. The amount of paper used could probably earn a keep for a recycler to last for weeks,” anang dating pangulo.
“The response to all these belligerence had to be nuanced. [W]e, however, had to respond strongly enough lest we encourage them to continue to push and encroach on our territories. We needed to say enough is enough and stood up to their violations,” pagpapatuloy niya.
Aniya, dalawang bagay lang din ang maaaring gawin ng bansa laban sa pagiging mapilit at agresibo ng Tsina.
“So, the question now is how do we respond to this? [I]n the simplest of terms there are two choices; the first option, as a head of state of an ASEAN Country stated “that is the way of the world, they are a big country and we are a small country, what can one do?” which I took to mean acquiescing to whatever China wanted because there is nothing we can do, or option two, we stand our ground and fight for your rights,” pahayag niya.
Sambit ni Noynoy, malaking bagay na ang subukan ng isang maliit na bansa ang pumalag sa malaki at makapangyarihang bansa.
“Standing up to a giant is no small feat and we at least had to try to get allies in this fight. We had a lot of sympathy but at the same time a lot were also hesitant to displease the economic behemoth that is China and lose the attendant benefits of a good relationship with them,” wika nito.
Hirit pa niya, tila nagkatotoo na rin ang biro noon na kasabihan umano ng Tsina na “What is ours is ours, what is yours we share.”
“Sadly, what started out as a joke seemed to have turned into reality. More and more we came to realize that to the Chinese Government, their view point is the only valid one, the concerns that must be addressed are their concerns alone, and that their desires and interests are the only goals worth striving for.”
Sa dulo ng kanyang talumpati, pinasalamatan niya ang publiko at mga nakasama niya sa kanyang administrasyon sa pakikipaglaban ng bansa sa Tsina.
“I always say that I am just the face of the efforts of so many, Sec. Albert Del Rosario, Justice Antonio Carpio, and Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales,” saad niya.
“The career officials of the DFA, members of the private sector, a number of our political leaders, and ultimately the Filipino people who stood up for what is right.”
Nanungkulan bilang pangulo ng Pilipinas si Noynoy mula 2010 hanggang 2016.