PH, Vietnam urged to unite vs China over sea dispute; protest set
MANILA, Philippines – As the dispute escalates between China and its neighbor countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines, over the South China Sea, cause-oriented groups will take to the streets this Friday to protest China’s aggression.
US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG), Vietnamese Overseas Initiative for Conscience Empowerment (VOICE), Di Ka Pasisiil Movement, Filipinos Unite, and Akbayan-Youth urged Filipinos to join Vietnamese nationals in a protest against China’s territorial intrusion.
Since China deployed a deep-water drilling rig in the disputed South China Sea, protests erupted in Vietnam.
“It is with great urgency that I ask the Filipinos to join Vietnamese community here in the Philippines in expressing our anger and disgust at this very, very Hitlerian impetus of China,” Loida Nicolas-Lewis, USP4GG chair, told reporters in a press briefing Wednesday.
Lewis likened China to the oppressive Nazi party led by the German dictator Adolf Hitler for its “hegemony and imperialistic tendencies.”
“We remember in World War 2, Hitler says, ‘this is my last territorial demand. Austria is mine,” she said, noting that China’s aggression was similar to Hitler’s action that started the global war.
“The reason why are holding this rally is to shame China. That’s why we have very, very strong words here because everybody knows what Hitler did to Europe,” she added.
Roilo Golez, former lawmaker and Di Ka Pasisiil Movement leader, said the Filipinos should also be alarmed with China’s aggressive stance against Vietnam.
“If they’re going to succeed in threatening Vietnam, their next step, I’m sure, it’s going to be in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” Golez said.
Hoi Trinh, VOICE founder, expressed in a statement that they were one with the Philippines against China’s defiance of the United National Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).
“We object in the strongest possible terms, (especially) China’s deployment last week of deep sea oil rig known as HD-981 within Vietnam’s continental shelf,” Trinh said.
For the part of Filipinos Unite, group of Filipino-Americans in New York, member Knowa Lazarus said Southeast Asia was both the “home” of the Philippines and Vietnam, not of China.
“We have to draw the line and let people know that we will stand and fight for what we believe in,” Lazarus said.
Despite the criticisms against the recently-signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca), Ted Laguatan, USP4GG lawyer, stressed that the Philippines needed the US.
“Our national security demands that we should have help from a superpower like US because we are facing a superpower like China. We do need Edca,” Laguatan said.
The groups will hold the demonstration in front of the Chinese Consulate at 330 Sen. Gen. Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati City.
An estimated 500 participants will be present to support the protest.
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