VIDEO BY OBET DE CASTRO:
MANILA, Philippines — Leftist groups, led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, protested China’s militarization of the West Philippine Sea with a picket at the Chinese consulate in Makati Wednesday.
At the same time, the more than 100 activists who turned out for the protest slammed what they called the Duterte government’s “indifference” to the aggression that has seen the Asian giant build military facilities on artificial islands within territory also claimed by the Philippines, citing presidential spokesman Harry Roque’s “appalling statements that show subservience to China.”
“We were robbed, but we’re still thankful. Tayo na ang ninakawan, tayo pa ang magpapasalamat,” Bayan said, adding. “We say, ‘No thanks! Get out’!”
“The times call for protest and the firm assertion of the legal victory we had won in relation to our exclusive economic zone,” it said, referring to the verdict of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on the suit the Philippine brought against China.
President Rodrigo Duterte has chosen to set aside the ruling, saying he would rather build good relations with China.
“We may be a small country, but what we lack in relative size, we make up for in terms of our intense love for country,” Bayan said. “The Duterte government should rely on and encourage Filipino patriotism rather than the stale defeatism it has promoted in relation to the West Ph Sea.”
ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio, speaking at the rally, accused the administration of “treason,” saying its position that China’s militarization does not violate the status quo in the disputed areas because this did not entail any new reclamation “covers up the reality that Duterte has surrendered our territorial claims to China.”
“Duterte’s foreign policy with respect to China is surrender,” he said, adding that foreign policy “is the sole responsibility of the president.”
ACTOR MAE ‘JUANA CHANGE’ PANER SPEAKS AT THE ‘CHEXIT’ RALLY AT THE CHINESE CONSULATE IN MAKATI CITY. (VIDEO BY OBET DE CASTRO)