10,000 students show support for West Philippines Sea claim

Around 10,000 students from various universities and colleges in Palawan and 15 volunteers from different provinces in the Philippines turned up Monday in Puerto Princesa city in a summit organized to show support to the country’s claim in the disputed West Philippines Sea.

The summit was led by the “Kalayaan Atin Ito Movement,” which aims to educate them on the importance of the West Philippines Sea, and what they can do to support the government’s fight for recognition as owner of the islands that are said to be rich in marine resources, like oil and gas.

Most of the students who attended were from Palawan State University (PSU), accompanied by Dr. Jeter Sespeñe, their president. Kalayaan Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon and former military captain Nick Faeldon were also at the Puerto Princesa City Coliseum to show support.

Batanes was the first province visited by the “Kalayaan Atin Ito Movement” led by Faeldon, and Palawan is the 33rd they have already visited. The freedom caravan of Kalayaan Atin Ito had been to Pampanga, Tarlac, Batangas, Masbate, Laguna, Romblon, Marinduque, Batanes, Catanduanes, Aurora, Bataan, Aurora and Zambales.

The movement aims to go to around 82 provinces in the country, including Palawan, to disseminate information about the West Philippines Sea, and to recruit 30 volunteers from each to join them in a tour of the area.

On the first week of December, officials and members of the movement will return to Palawan with all its volunteers to conduct what they call as “one month patriotic voyage” in the West Philippines Sea.

They will visit all Philippine-claimed islands in the disputed region in the hope of gaining attention that young people in the country care.