Okay, Donald Trump Jr., I got your point; you’re a businessman and you’re not Filipino so who are we (Filipinos) to judge you?
But you should know where we’re coming from, too. The Tubbataha Reef is one of the most remarkable coral reefs in the world; it is not just an ordinary tourist spot. Its beauty is spectacular, the habitat beneath it is vast and diverse. It is our treasure. It is our pride and it lies on Philippine seas.
I understand that it’s a stupid act to destroy a multi-million vessel just to prevent further damage of the reef. Your economy has yet to bounce back; that money could be put to more useful projects there. But we did not ask your country’s vessel to accidentally “sail” on our reef. It was an accident, yes. But damages due to accident must be compensated. The vessel destroyed something of environmental and tourism value to us.
You value the worth of your country’s vessel while we value the worth of our reef. You may never understand the feelings of the people here and vice versa when it comes to defining what is valuable and what is not.
Again, it’s all about dignity and responsibility. It’s about paying the damages done.