China not a reliable, friendly ally — Gordon
The Philippines should not be “meek” and should have the resolve to tell China that it will not be bullied, Senator Richard Gordon said on Thursday.
The senator expressed doubts on the reliability of China as a Philippine ally following recent reports of harassment of Filipino fishermen in the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
“Alliances are best seen by the actions of a people. You are not a reliable ally. Hindi dapat pakialaman yan, you are unfriendly,” he said in a statement.
Gordon expressed dismay over the “unfriendly” acts of members of the Chinese coast guard, who were caught boarding Filipino boats and seizing the catch of the fishermen in the disputed sea.
“The fishermen are not threats. That is an unfriendly act to Asia. You are not a reliable ally or a friend. We are not enemies of China but you are treating us as if we are interlopers in our own country,” he said.
Gordon added that China should be reminded that, at the very least, the ownership of that area is still being disputed.
A United Nations-backed tribunal ruled that Panatag Shoal was a traditional fishing ground of Filipinos, Chinese, and Vietnamese fishermen.
Gordon said the country should beef up the capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to defend and protect the territories of the country.
“That is for us, that is our land. Hindi lang natin maipairal dahil kulang tayo sa barko. We have to build our Navy, we have to build our Air Force, we have to have submarines para meron tayong ipantapat. Hindi naman kailangang malaki, basta meron lang tayong panlaban,” he said.
If the bullying would continue, Gordon said the Philippines would be “forced to form alliances with Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand or perhaps the United States.” /ee
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