PCG-WPS spox: Filipinos siding with China in water cannon attack are deemed ‘traitors’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea on Thursday deemed Filipinos who defend China’s recent aggressive behavior in the West Philippine Sea “unpatriotic” and traitorous.
In a post made on Twitter — or X —, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela chided Filipinos “making excuses” for China after the China Coast Guard (CCG) attacked PCG vessels escorting boats delivering supplies to Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel in the West Philippine Sea with water cannons on August 5.
“If you are a Filipino, whether in government or private sector, regardless of your politics, defending and making excuses for China’s aggressive behavior should deem you unpatriotic, and a traitor to the Philippines and to our people,” said Tarrieta.
“Given current developments in the West Philippine Sea, it is important to show loyalty to [the] country,” he added.
Outshining the ‘unpatriotic’
According to Tarrieta, while he recognizes freedom of speech as an important right, “it should not be misused as a means to justify unpatriotic actions by acting as China’s mouthpiece.”
To overshadow the pro-Chinace stance of some sectors, Tarrieta urged Filipinos to unite and denounce Beijing’s “aggressive and unlawful actions in the West Philippine Sea” and stand together to protect the country’s interests and a peaceful resolution to the issue.
The call for unity gains value in the wake of China’s claim that the Philippines agreed to tow the BRP Sierra Madre away from the disputed sea without actually naming, which the government leader said so after CCG brazenly attacked Filipino vessels.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. denied making such agreements, categorically rescinding such deals if they existed.
The Philippines and China have been in a long-running maritime dispute after the latter claimed that it owns the entirety of the South China Sea, including portions of the West Philippine Sea with its so-called nine-dash line claim.
The Philippines then challenged China’s claim through the International Permanent Court of Arbitration (IPCA) in The Hague in 2013, and won in 2016.
China, however, has consistently refused to recognize the ruling, ignoring a series of protests and demands made by the Philippine government for Chinese vessels to leave the WPS.
The Philippines has filed 445 diplomatic protests against China since 2020.