De Lima slams ‘treasonous defense’ of gov’t officials on vessels’ collision
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition Senator Leila De Lima on Wednesday slammed the “treasonous defense” of government officials on the alleged ramming and sinking of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel near the Recto (Reed) Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
Ten days after the June 9 incident that left 22 Filipino fishermen in open waters for hours, De Lima said the public have only heard an “orchestrated response in defense of China” from officials under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
She said Duterte himself only broke his silence on the issue eight days after it happened, calling it a “little maritime incident” between “two boats.”
“Never has such treasonous defense of a foreign aggressor been committed by Philippine officials since the Laurel Japanese puppet government in World War II,” De Lima said in a statement.
But at least in the said “puppet government,” the foreign aggressor was “already an occupying force pointing a gun at the Filipino officials,” said De Lima.
“In their shameless defense of China, Duterte and his officials once again acted like a Chinese puppet government, at their own volition and without being forced by China,” said De Lima.
“Unlike the Laurel puppet government, their treason is voluntary,” the senator said.
De Lima further criticized Duterte for using his “fake fear” of nuclear annihilation by China as his excuse for committing the supposed treason.
She said the Philippines used to have determination to defend what is rightfully ours, as shown in the history of resistance against three foreign powers that invaded the country.
“This is why we have our heroes, and also our share of traitors who chose the side of the enemy, although now all we have are the latter,” De Lima said.
In the past several days, De Lima said Duterte had whined about the hopelessness of the Philippines as a nation. She said his treason is the “logical conclusion of this frustration.”
“He has not sold out to China as much as he bought himself in. The Philippine national interest, as we know it, is now against his own personal interest and fortune. More than a traitor, Duterte is just a glorified carpetbagger, with loyalties to no one but himself,” she said. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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