Alejano: Duterte seems giving up West PH Sea to China
President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that China is “already in possession” of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) “sends a message of surrender,” Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano lamented on Friday.
“Tila isinusuko na ng mismong Pangulo ang ating teritoryo [It looks like the President is surrendering our own territory],” the opposition lawmaker said in a statement.
While the economic giant is “forcibly taking and illegally occupying our islands and abusing Filipino fishermen and soldiers,” the senatorial aspirant said the Philippines should not “surrender” the territory.
“Imbes na pagsuko at pananahimik, ang nais nating marinig sa Pangulo ay ang paglaban nito sa ating mga karapatan sa West Philippine Sea. Sa atin ang West Philippine Sea at hindi dapat natin ito isuko [Instead of surrendering and being meek, what we need to hear from the President is the desire to fight for our right on the West Philippine Sea. The West Philippine Sea is ours and we should not surrender it],” he stressed.
In an interview during the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Singapore on Thursday, the Chief Executive said China is “already in possession” of the disputed WPS. He also warned that any military exercises there would create “friction” and provoke the Asian superpower.
“I said China is already in possession. It’s now in their hands. So why do you have to create frictions, strong military activity that will prompt a response from China?” Duterte said.
But Alejano said, “if there is anyone who is creating friction in the region, it is China.”
He also slammed the “defeatist stance” of the Duterte administration which he said has “emboldened China’s illegal actions,” “weakened our legal claims in the West Philippine Sea,” and “compromised the security and peace of the whole Southeast Asian region.”
“It is becoming clearer that the Duterte administration protects China’s interests, and not ours. Isa itong katrayduran sa bayan at sa bawat Pilipino [This is treacherous to our country and fellow Filipino],” Alejano added. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.