By Aaron Recuenco
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has rejected a proposal for the country to develop its nuclear weapons capability as a way of driving away the Chinese that occupied some of the disputed areas within the Philippine territory.
“We appreciate Senator Enrile’s patriotic duty to suggest how to protect what is legally ours but developing a nuclear weapon is not the way to proceed,” said Lorenzana.
The Defense chief was reacting to the statement of former defense minister and current senatorial candidate Juan Ponce Enrile that the only way to enforce the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration was for the Philippines to develop its nuclear weapons capability.
The Philippines, it was recalled, won in 2016 the case it filed against China which claims almost all of the South China Sea, including islands and rock formations that were inside the Philippine’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
The ruling, however, was reportedly shelved after President Duterte took power and coupled with his tack of being friendly to China.
But the tack appeared to have not worked out after Chinese militias were seen swarming the Pagasa Island and the recent report of massive destruction of coral reefs in the area due to giant clams harvesting of Chinese poachers.
Lorenzana cited three main reasons why the Philippines cannot develop nuclear weapon capability.
First and foremost, he said that the Philippines had no technical and technological capability for it.
And even if the country would have scientists to help in the nuclear weapon development, Lorenzana said that the Philippines being a signatory to Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty prevents the country to do so.
“Third, our Constitution states that we denounce war as an instrument of national policy,” said Lorenzana.
“Nuclear weapon is not a defensive weapon but an offensive one,” he stressed.