‘So insensitive,’ says Hontiveros of Chinese envoy’s conduct at June 12 rites
Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros assailed Wednesday the “insensitive” conduct of Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua during the Independence Day rites at the Aguinaldo Shrine amid reports of harassment of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.
Zhao, along with envoys from Japan and Russia, joined President Rodrigo Duterte at Tuesday’s Independence Day rites in Kawit, Cavite.
The ambassador briefly talked with Duterte during the celebration. He was also spotted while having a casual talk with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza.
“Hindi ko alam kung bakit nakatayo pa ‘yung Chinese ambassador sa tabi ng Presidente habang itinataas ‘yung watawat…kung bakit nakikipag-usap pa sa ating defense secretary,” Hontiveros said at Kapihan sa Senado forum.
“Napaka-insenstive talaga ng mga ganoon,” she added.
In an interview on Tuesday, Lorenza said he relayed his displeasure over the incidents involving Chinese coast guards in the West Philippine Sea.
Hontiveros said it was about time the Senate conducts a foreign policy audit to help the Duterte administration craft an “honorable” position on China.
Minority senators have filed several resolutions seeking to investigate the government’s alleged inaction on China’s “creeping invasion” and militarization in the South China Sea.
Hontiveros said she would inquire with Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee on why hearings have not been scheduled yet.
Malacañang has yet to respond to INQUIRER.net’s for comment. /muf
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