MANILA, Philippines – Saying Filipinos should stand up to bullies, the head of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines expressed support Saturday for proposals to ban or impose higher taxes on products from China due to the ongoing standoff at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, the current CBCP president, said he also supported plans of overseas Filipino groups to hold rallies in front of Chinese embassies and consulates across the globe on May 11.
He said he supported “in principle” the proposal to ban products from China.
“Maybe these are procedures or actions which could be discerned by the Filipinos. In truth, I think in principle we have to defend our integrity and supremacy over the land which we believe is our own,” Palma said.
“I agree in the spirit that we should defend our own, I would say, integrity and supremacy,” he added.
Palma said that the planned protest actions in front of Chinese embassies abroad should remain peaceful.
“These are legitimate means to make known our sentiments that we object to the bullying that they’re doing to us,” the archbishop said.
House leaders earlier proposed imposing higher taxes on Chinese products or banning them all together as a form of protest against Chinese aggression.