If there is something unnerving about the statements made by the US and other western powers it is the supposed "advice" it gave to the Philippine government to assert the arbitral ruling decision in moving forward on this vital issue.
Not surprisingly, western and local media jumped on the chance to amplify the lecture as a tough talk against the Philippines as a swipe against its decision to set aside the ruling.
Judging by the way the statements were written, it is clear that the west is tiptoeing around China, afraid to embolden the angry reaction of a billion people who they hope will buy the products they make, much of it the west depends on them to manufacture in rhe first place.
It is unfortunate that the Philippines was made a pawn in this international chess game, with our specific interest forming the western bargaining chip in the extended play.
What is more disgusting is how we are still made their pawn, only because they want to avoid a big confrontation with China.
The western dominated international press will always push narratives that paint China as a villain, but is careful not to anger the next economic superpower.
We would have expected more thoughtful discussion in light of larger scale ASEAN consensus with China on the code of conduct, but certain quarters insist and persist on a west- led confrontation that the Philippines SHOULD not be part of.