Bayan decries Duterte admin’s ‘indifference’ to China’s ‘illegal activities’


12:25 pm | Friday, February 9th, 2018

“No thanks, get out!”

This was the call of Leftist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) as it denounced the Duterte administration’s “indifference” to China’s “illegal activities” in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“While the Duterte government appears indifferent to China’s military build-up in the West Philippine Sea, the Filipino people are taking to the streets to protest China’s illegal activities,” Bayan said in a statement issued on Friday.

The group has set a protest before the Chinese Embassy in Makati City on Saturday to assert the Philippines’ legal victory in its maritime dispute case against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Bayan also criticized Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s “appalling” statements showing “subservience” to China.

“We were robbed, but we’re still thankful. Tayo na ang ninakawan, tayo pa ang magpapasalamat,” Bayan said.

In an interview on Wednesday, Roque said that one day, the Philippines would thank China for the facilities it built in the disputed islands.

Earlier this week, published aerial photographs it obtained from a source that showed that China is almost finished transforming seven reefs claimed by the Philippines in the Spratly archipelago into island fortresses, in a bid to dominate the heavily disputed South China Sea.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: New photos show China is nearly done with its militarization of South China Sea

“There will come a time when China‘s might had ceased, when we will have to thank them for the islands because it is only the Philippines that can legally build on those artificial islands,” Roque said.

READ: Someday PH will thank China for reef structures – Roque

“Clearly, eventually, those artificial islands will be ours if we can ask China to leave the islands,” he added.

Bayan said that the Duterte government should rely on and encourage Filipino patriotism rather than the “stale defeatism” it has promoted in relation to the WPS.

“We may be a small country, but what we lack in relative size, we make up for in terms of our intense love for country,” the group said.              /kga

Tags: activism , Bayan , China , Sovereignty , West Philippine Sea

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