MANILA, Philippines – Despite the heavy downpour, militant groups remained unfazed as they flocked in front of the Chinese Consulate office in Makati City and the U.S. Embassy in Manila on Tuesday, June 12.
Some vented their anger over the fate of some Filipino fishermen whose catch had been seized by Chinese coast guard. They noted that Malacañang and the fishermen themselves admitted that there were instances that Chinese coast guard left them with only noodles and canned goods in exchange for the fish. This, to them, is a sign of surrender to China.
“Anong magagawa ng noodles at tubig kung hindi makapangisda ang mga mamamayang Pilipino? Pero ito ang itinutulak ni Duterte sa atin. Ang pagsuko niyang ito ay nagpapatunay ho na ang sikmura niya mismo ay made in China,” shouted a militant.
The Palace again clarified that they are taking steps to prevent a repeat of the incident but refused to call it a form of harassment
“We are demanding that the Chinese should take steps to stop the coast guard from doing these acts. Gumawa na kami ng mga hakbang at ang hinihingi natin, gumalaw ang mga otoridad ng Tsina na itigil itong mga pangyayari,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque.
With this statement, the militant groups appealed to the palace spokesperson to stop defending China.
“Si Roque sa halip na iprotesta niya ito eh parang binibigyang katuwiran pa ang ginawa ng Chinese Coast Guard,” said opposition Congressman Antonio Tinio.
“Ngayon po ay araw ng kalayaan pero walang kalayaan sa West Philippine Sea lalo na para sa ating mga mangingisda na inaagawan ng mga huli ng Chinese Coast Guard. Ang panawagan natin sa araw na ito ay kamtin natin ang tunay na kalayaan,” he added.
June 12, 2018, is the country’s 120th-year commemoration of the Philippine Independence.
However, the militants believe that the country is not completely liberated unless it is free from the influence of foreigners and that Filipino fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc and nearby areas can fully exercise their exclusive rights to the riches of the island. – Mai Bermudez / Marje Pelayo