Palaweños advocating for the country’s territorial and maritime claims in the West Philippine Sea will come together tomorrow to commemorate the 8th year of triumph over China in the international arbitration court.

The newly formed organization Sulong West Philippine Sea (SWPS) will lead the victory march down Rizal Avenue on Friday, July 12. This day pays tribute to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) decision in favor of the Philippines over China, which continues to assert claims over the region through grey zone tactics and aggression.

Municipal Councilor Maurice Philip Alexis Albayda of Kalayaan municipality said the parade, themed as a unity walk, will see participation from various sectors of society in Puerto Princesa City and Palawan.

“The very concept of SWPS is to become a vehicle of all the advocates of the West Philippine Sea like the fisherfolk and youth sector where we expect to become a volunteer arm of the government to further spread awareness on WPS to the grassroots,” Albayda explained in a telephone interview with Palawan News.

“After the parade, we will have a program at the Provincial Capitol Convention Center where SWPS will be officially launched and introduced. And then, Gov. Victorino Dennis Socrates will officially sign the declaration of July 12 of every year as West Philippine Sea Victory Day,” he added, referring to the provincial ordinance approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan during its regular session on July 9.

Expected to join the parade are different operational units of Western Command, the Kalayaan local government unit, and other provincial government officials.

Meanwhile, Atin Ito Coalition and Akbayan Party will also hold a rally in Metro Manila to urge the government to declare July 12 of every year as “West Philippine Sea Day.”

“The groups believe that observing a West Philippine Sea Day will significantly raise awareness about the historic ruling and the ongoing issues concerning the West Philippine Sea,” Atin Ito said in a press statement released on Wednesday, June 10.

The coalition is expecting around 200 WPS advocates to join the event.