Robredo slams Chinese Coast Guard’s action vs Filipino TV news crew
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday decried how members of the Chinese Coast Guard blocked a Filipino TV news crew from conducting interviews at Panatag Shoal.
During her weekly radio show, Robredo said the incident showed China’s “disrespect” for Filipinos despite the “Philippines’ landmark victory before the arbitral tribunal.”
“Nakakatakot na nakakagalit (Scary and offensive),” she said.
“Nakakalungkot kasi ito iyong pinapamukha sa atin: na talagang iyong mga dapat may karapatan naman tayo, inaangkin ng iba—inaangkin ng China (This is sad because we have rights. But what is ours is being claimed by China),” she added.
The footage of the incident aired on GMA-7’s Reporter’s Notebook was recorded on November 8, days before the two-day state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the country.
It shows that as the TV crew approached the shoal, two speed boats of the Chinese Coast Guard advanced towards the local fishing boat carrying the TV crew.
“Without the permission of China, you cannot carry out the interview here,” a smiling member of the Chinese Coast Guard told journalist Jun Veneracion.
Robredo slammed the “defeatist attitude” of the administration towards China’s intrusion in the country’s territory.
The vice president stressed the need for the government to “stand up to such treatment, especially in light of the arbitral ruling, which upheld Philippines’ rights over the West Philippine Sea.”
Robredo also warned that China’s claims over the area will not only affect the country’s sovereignty but the fishermen and their families who rely on the area for their livelihood.
“Noong nakaraan lang na mga araw, mayroong deklarasyon si Pangulo na sinasabi na, ‘Wala na tayong magagawa.’ Kapag iyong Pangulo na iyong nagsabi na wala nang magagawa, parang ginive up natin iyong pakikipaglaban,” she said.
(The other day, the President declared that we can’t do anything about it. If it is the President himself saying that there’s nothing we could do, that is tantamount to saying we have given up the fight.)
“Iyong mga irresponsible na mga comments galing sa Pangulo, galing sa spokesman, galing sa ating mga ibang officials, tantamount ito sa pagbebenta ng sovereignty natin. Kaya sana nag-iingat sa mga sinasabi, kasi iyong apektado dito, hindi lang tayo pero iyong mga henerasyon na susunod sa atin. Kasi iyong pagbuhay ng bawat Pilipino, nakataya dito,” she added.
(Those irresponsible comments coming from President, the spokesman, and other government officials are tantamount to selling our sovereignty. We should be careful about the statements we make because even the next generation will be affected.)
Robredo also questioned how the government could have easily given the disputed territory away, despite the country’s effort to uphold our claim in the area.
“Ang tanong, bakit ba interesado sila diyan? Dahil maraming makukuha na yaman. Bakit ba natin binibigay nang napakadali para sa kanila? Pinaglaban na natin ito nang legal,” she said.
(The question is why they are interested in that area? Because it is rich in natural resources. Why are we giving it away that easily? We have fought hard for this legally.) /ee
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