February 10, 2018
Filipino activists today trooped to the Chinese consulate in Makati to protest China’s militarization of the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea as well as denounce the Philippine government’s inaction over China’s “illegal activities”.
The Philippine government had recently said that it could not do anything to stop China’s construction of military facilities in several disputed islands, including one that falls within the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone.
“If the Philippine government won’t strongly protest China’s military build up, then the Filipino people will. We cannot just stand by and allow these illegal activities to go unchallenged. It is important that we continue to defend our country’s sovereign rights to these waters and reefs, lest China think the Philippines has already given up by default,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“We are not saying the Philippines should go to war. Far from it, the Philippines should instead assert the legal victory it already attained in so far as the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone is concerned. International law already recognizes the Philippines sovereign rights to waters and formations within its exclusive economic zone,” Reyes said
Bayan slammed China’s reclamation and construction activities on Fiery Cross Reef (Kagitingan), Calderon, Burgos, Mabini, Zamora ,Panganiban or Mischief Reef, and McKennan or Hughes reef. Panganiban or Mischief Reef lies within the Philippines 370 km exclusive economic zone.
“It appears that our foreign policy is heavily influenced by the Duterte government’s reliance on loans from China. That is not an independent foreign policy. That is a subservient foreign policy,” Reyes said .
Bayan also slammed the recent statements from a Palace spokesperson that said the Philippines will one day be thankful for China’s facilities that the imperial power will leave behind.
“Nanakawan na tayo, tayo pa ang magpapasalamat. It’s like being thankful that thieves returned your wallet, even if it’s already empty. The statement shows everything wrong with Philippine foreign policy,” the Bayan leader said.###