Dela Rosa tells DFA: ‘We are sick and tired of diplomatic protests’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said on Tuesday that he was getting sick and tired of repeatedly filing diplomatic protests against China, prompting him to ask the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) if there was another course of action the Philippines can take to tackle the maritime issue.
“We are sick and tired of diplomatic protests. Parang walang nangyayari at hindi naaaksyunan. [Are there any] other modes and other approaches na pwede nating gawin?” dela Rosa asked.
(It seems like nothing is happening and no action is being done. Are there any other modes and other approaches that we can do?)
The senator raised this question during the Senate committee on finance’s hearing on the proposed P23.9 billion budget of the DFA for next year.
Before dela Rosa raised his question, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo stated that once they “get confirmation from the Philippine Coast Guard,” they will issue a protest to the Chinese Embassy in Manila.
“We will also ask our embassy in Beijing to go to the Chinese Foreign Ministry,” Manalo added.
He, however, did not detail what specific actions would be done once the Philippine Embassy meets with the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
This did not sit well with Sen. dela Rosa, who then claimed that if he was the one sitting as the DFA chief, he would come up with “strategies” to outsmart China.
“Kung ako ang Secretary of Foreign Affairs, tatawagan ko yang ambassador na ‘yan. Halika nga dito, lalasingin kita. Diskartehan mo para makuha natin ang impormasyon galing sa kanila,” said the senator.
(If I were the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, I would call that ambassador and say “Come here, I’ll get you drunk.” Find a way so we can get information from them.)
Dela Rosa then repeatedly advised Manalo to “strategize” and “deviate a little,” if he sees that all formal protests filed against China are not making the situation better.
China on Monday accused the Philippines of “intruding” in Scarborough Shoal. According to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin, the floating barriers were put in place to “block and drive away” Philippine vessels.