At 4:00 pm, the Vice President gave a speech in the West Philippine Sea: Issues and Policy forum in Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law, Diliman. The event was organized by Kaya Natin (KN) Movement. KN Movement is a non-profit and non-government organization that promotes good governance and ethical leadership in the Philippines. The event aims to shed light on the recent surrounding West Philippine Sea issues. Professor Florin T. Hilbay served as the speaker/lecturer during the event. As the former Solicitor General, he was the official representative of the Republic of the Philippines during the Philippines vs. China case at The Hague.
In her speech, the Vice President emphasized that more than anything, our nation must prioritize its freedom and sovereignty to protect the rights of all Filipinos. “We understand that speaking up against a major global superpower is intimidating and scary. By size, by head count, by influence, or by military strength, the Philippines may seem very small and insignificant. But our people are not. Each life, each future, each individual’s potential deserves a government that explores all possible diplomatic and peaceful solutions. We cannot hand over our sovereignty just because we are afraid. We must assert our claim on the West Philippine Sea, but that means each of us must stand united, so that we can fight for what is ours. Simple lang naman ito: Ang atin ay atin. Obligasyon nating pangalagaan ang ating teritoryo, pati na ang kapakanan ng lahat na nakatira dito. Hindi ito basta-bastang isinusuko o binibigay sa iba dahil lamang kinakatukatan natin sila. Kapag hinayaan nating yurakan ang karapatan ng ating mga kababayan, at nailagay sa peligro ang ating lupang sinilangan, binibigo natin ang bawat Pilipinong umaasa sa atin.”